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Irene Pollin gives Johns Hopkins Hospital $10 million for heart health

Irene Pollin, the widow of the late Washington sports team owner Abe Pollin, has made a $10 million donation to a Johns Hopkins University center for the prevention of heart disease, the university announced Thursday.

Irene Pollin, who lost two children to heart ailments and is a longtime advocate of heart health, gave the money to the Johns Hopkins University division of cardiology to support the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. The gift also establishes the Kenneth Jay Pollin Professorship in Cardiology — named for her 13-month-old son who died of a heart condition.

Abe Pollin died in 2009. He was the owner of the Washington Wizards in the NBA and the Washington Capitals in the NHL.

“If you’re lucky to be born with a healthy heart, you need to take care of it, and there’s a lot you can do,” Irene Pollin said in a news release issued by the hospital. “I see this gift to the Ciccarone Center as a way to make a powerful impact on the knowledge and behavior of people to improve their health.”

Roger Blumenthal, professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Ciccarone Center, has become the Kenneth Jay Pollin Professor of Cardiology.

Irene Pollin, with then-minority owner Ted Leonsis of the Washington Wizards, pose during the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery at the Studios at NBA Entertainment on May 18, 2010 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty Images)

“Ms. Pollin’s extraordinary support will help us lead transformative work in the field of preventive cardiology,” he said in the news release. “Her generosity will make it possible for us to better define risk factors and implement new ways to prevent heart attack and stroke.”

Mike is a general assignment reporter who also covers Washington institutions and historical topics.


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