The Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease was created through the efforts of Dr. Roger Blumenthal in memory of his close friend, Henry Ciccarone. Ciccarone was a legendary athlete and lacrosse coach at Johns Hopkins, who led the school’s lacrosse team to three national championships (1978–1980) and was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Coach Ciccarone died after his third heart attack in 1988 at age 50.
Dr. Blumenthal, together with Dr. Myron Weisfeldt and the late Dr. Nicholas Fortuin, gathered the friends and former players of Coach Ciccarone to raise funds for a comprehensive program to prevent coronary heart disease events. The Ciccarone Center opened in 1990.
In 2013, Irene Pollin donated $10 million to the Ciccarone Center. Pollin suffered the tragedy of losing two children to congenital heart defects, including a son, Kenneth Jay, at just 13 months. She became a passionate health advocate, founding Sister to Sister to help women make constructive lifestyle changes to improve their heart health. Her gift to the Ciccarone Center established the Kenneth Jay Pollin Professorship in Cardiology, and it will fund pivotal research and train postdoctoral cardiology fellows focusing on preventive cardiology.