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Irene Pollin has donated $10 million to Johns Hopkins for heart health

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/By Ilan Shavit/

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

Irene Pollin, who lost two children to heart ailments and is a longtime advocate of heart disease organization Sister to Sister ,  gave the money to the Johns Hopkins University division of cardiology to support the Ciccarone Center. 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 was the owner of NBA’s  Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals. He died in 2009.

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The donation will also establish a heart disease prevention research position to be called the Kenneth Jay Pollin Professorship in Cardiology. The position is named in honor of Pollin’s son Kenneth who died of a congenial heart defect when he was 13 months old. Pollin’s daughter Linda also died of a congenial heart condition, when she was 16 years old.

“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, ” Pollin, of Bethesda, said in a statement. “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.”

Dr. 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.

“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.”

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