By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

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Paul and Joan Rubschlager of Chicago have donated $2 million to create the Paul and Joan Rubschlager Precision Promise Fund, which will support the American Heart Association Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine.

The Institute was established to target more effective treatment and prevention strategies for cardiovascular disease through the holistic study of individuals’ genetics, environment and lifestyle.

The Paul and Joan Rubschlager Precision Promise Fund will offer research grants toward work in precision cardiovascular medicine, which allows researchers and clinicians access to personal health information for research and analysis. The Institute plans to combine traditional results from blood work and biometrics with saliva tests and lifestyle data to help provide physicians a complete picture of an individual.

“The American Heart Association is so grateful for Paul and Joan’s support and leadership over the years. They are inspiring community leaders who understand the importance of research and the need to positively impact America’s No. 1 health threat – cardiovascular disease,” said Kevin Harker, executive vice president of the AHA’s Midwest Affiliate. “We are eager to see the lifesaving impact from the precision medicine initiative on the treatment and prevention of heart disease and stroke.”

The Rubschlagers – who ran the Rubschlager Baking Corp., a family bakery famous for its role in popularizing cocktail bread — say their success allows them to support positive and transformative change in the world, particularly through medical research.

“We hear about precision medicine at other medical research groups with which we are involved. Without a doubt, precision medicine is the foundation for future successful medical treatment. Treatment can be targeted to a specific condition for a specific individual, thus removing the need to experiment with treatments that may or may not succeed. We believe that this gift will allow AHA to get a running start with their precision medicine program,” said the Rubschlagers, who have been supportive of AHA for many years.

The couple has attended the Chicago Heart Ball for more than 25 years. In 2014, the pair donated $1 million — the largest individual gift in the event’s history at that point. They were honored with the Heart of Gold Award.