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A University Medical School professor emerged as the new pacemaker of the American Heart Association last week, and will take over the top position in July, 1992. Edward Cooper was unanimously elected President-Elect of the national AHA at the organization's recent assembly -- Cooper will be the first black to serve as President of the group. After serving for one year as President-Elect of the organization, Cooper will then be the official top officer for the following year. As president of the AHA, Cooper will be a spokesperson for the volunteer organization and will lobby for legislation supporting tobacco restrictions and increased funding for healthcare and medical research. The AHA is the nation's largest voluntary health organization and is dedicated to the reduction of disability and death from heart and blood vessel diseases. Spokespersons for the AHA said that Cooper will stress preventive medicine among minorities and encourage more minorities to enter the medical professions. "He comes to leadership in an interestng period," AHA Spokesperson Tim Elsner said Tuesday, "A time to get our health messages out to all audiences -- in particular African-Americans and minorites." Cooper also serves as Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode's physician, according to University Medical Center spokesperson Martha Lubell. "We are thrilled that Dr. Cooper has received this honor," Lubell said Tuesday. "He is a fine physician and deserves this kind of recognition." Elsner added that Cooper will not leave his post at the University and will travel frequently as a representative of the AHA. Cooper has served as a volunteer with the AHA for nearly 25 years, both locally and nationally, and in 1990 received the prestigious Heart of Philadelphia award from the Southeastern Pennsylvania affiliate of the AHA. "The AHA is lucky to have Dr. Cooper as their leader," Lubell added.

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