It is that time of year when we all take stock of what we are thankful for. I know here at the Hartford Foundation we are incredibly grateful for the partners who help us advance our mission to improve the health of older Americans. This is vital given that only 2 percent of philanthropic dollars go to fund programs focused on older adults.

We currently have 86 funding partners hailing from foundations/nonprofits to corporate and federal agencies. Today, I am thankful to add one more to the list: The American Heart Association (AHA).

According to the AHA, an estimated 82.6 million American adults—more than one in three—have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. Of these, 40.4 million are estimated to be 60 years of age or older. We also know that nurses provide a significant amount of cardiovascular care to older adults. Therefore, we are pleased to announce a new Hartford National Centers of Gerontological Nursing/AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship for nurses who are interested in both aging and cardiovascular care.

With more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters, the AHA is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting cardiovascular diseases. It has funded more than $3.3 billion in research since 1949.

Our new partnership provides special two-year funding from the National Hartford Centers at the Gerontological Society of America  and the AHA to support an investigator proposing innovative basic, clinical or translational research projects relevant to gerontological nursing, aging, cardiovascular disease, and /or stroke. In addition to an RN degree, applicants must hold a PhD, DN.Sc or equivalent degree at the time of award activation. DNP applicants are not eligible. The chosen awardee will be expected to attend the November 2013 and 2014 GSA Leadership Conference.

Applications are due January 22-29, 2013 and vary by affiliate region.

Interested parties should submit a postdoctoral fellowship application to their local AHA affiliate.

It is our deepest hope that the research made possible by this new fellowship will become a source of thanksgiving for older adults in years to come.