The Linda Joy Pollin Women's Heart Center is dedicated to promoting heart health in women. Not only does the Pollin Women's Heart Center offer free screenings and programs that promote and improve heart health in women, the program also conducts research studies focused on the prevention of heart disease in women. This program was made possible by the generous donation from Abe and Irene Pollin.
In their 46th season of ownership of the Washington Bullets/Wizards franchise, Irene and Abe Pollin held the distinction of being the longest-tenured owners in the National Basketball Association. Since becoming owners in 1964, the Pollins watched the NBA explode in growth from a small, regional league to a worldwide presence. As majority owners of the Washington Sports & Entertainment Limited Partnership, the Pollins had overseen the operations of the Washington Wizards, Washington/Baltimore Ticketmaster, and the management of Verizon Center and The George Mason University Patriot Center.
While the sports industry is full of astute business professionals, what distinguished Irene and Abe Pollin from their peers is their commitment to social responsibility. They shared a passionate need to give back to the community and have made helping people a way of life. Their philanthropic and humanitarian endeavors knew no bias or boundaries, which is evident by the numerous public service and community organizations that they selflessly devoted enormous time and energy.
Irene Pollin founded the Medical Crisis Counseling Center at the Washington Hospital Center (an outpatient clinic that specialized in medical crisis counseling for chronically ill patients and their families). As a psychotherapist, she worked directly with patients in the mental health field for more than 30 years. She has published two books, Medical Crisis Counseling and Taking Charge: Overcoming the Challenges of Long-Term Illness; written numerous articles; and created videos on the mental and physical health of people coping with chronic illness.
Irene Pollin has forged a dynamic reputation as a psychiatric social worker and lecturer in the department of psychiatry at Harvard University. As president and founder of the Linda and Kenneth Pollin Foundation, she serves on a number of national advisory boards and commissions in fields of both mental and women’s health, and is the founder and chairperson of Sister to Sister: The Women’s Heart Health Foundation, an organization whose aim is to increase women’s awareness of heart disease and provide free cardiac screenings. Founded in 2000, Sister to Sister was the first organization to address the public health crisis that heart disease is the # 1 killer of women, and has provided more than 80,000 free heart health screenings and counseling interventions while educating more than 200,000 women at heart health fairs nationwide. In 2003, the Secretary of Health and Human Services proclaimed the third Friday in February as Women's Heart Day.
She has served as a board member of numerous organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Smithsonian Institution, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, National Kidney Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Society for Women’s Health Research, National Cancer Institute, National Rehabilitation Hospital, the National Institute of Mental Health, the U.S. Committee for the Washington, D.C. United Nations Fund for Women, the National Institutes for Health Foundation, and the Office of Women’s Health at NIH. She is also a member of the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Round Table, the DHHS Office on Women's Health's Heart Attack Campaign Expert Panel, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital President’s Advisory Council.
With the passing of Abe Pollin in November 2009, Irene Pollin continues to carry on her work with Sister to Sister and Brigham and Women’s with the goals they both share of philanthropy, public service, and unwavering commitment to the community.
Learn more about Abe and Irene Pollin's generous donation to Brigham and Women's Hospital in the Fall 2008 BWH Magazine.
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