Sinema-McConnell Bill Creates Grant for Valvular Heart Disease Research

Apr 15, 2021

Senators’ bipartisan bill advances medical research and diagnostic and treatment options for Arizonans living with valvular heart disease

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema partnered with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to introduce the CAROL Act—bipartisan legislation that creates a grant program to conduct research on valvular heart disease, a rare heart condition that can lead to sudden cardiac failure and death.
“I’m proud to partner with Republican Leader McConnell to fuel medical research and improve diagnostic and treatment options for Arizonans living with valvular heart disease,” said Sinema.
“The CAROL Act is a fitting tribute to a wonderful Kentuckian. It embodies Carol Barr’s lifetime of service to others. Today, I’m proud to introduce this important legislation with Senator Sinema to help prevent more families from enduring this tragedy,” said Senator McConnell. “I’d like to applaud Congressman Barr for channeling his wife’s selfless spirit into action, and I look forward to its passage.”

Republican Congressman Andy Barr (Ky.) introduced the House companion with Democratic Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (NY) in honor of his wife Carol, who passed from sudden cardiac death due to valvular heart disease in June 2020. 
The CAROL Act authorizes a grant program administered by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to support research on valvular heart disease and could help identify those at high risk of sudden cardiac death. This type of longitudinal population research is necessary to fill knowledge gaps and develop risk and screening criteria to better inform early intervention and treatment plans.
In addition to creating a research grant, Sinema’s bipartisan CAROL Act instructs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to carry out programs increasing awareness and reduce incidences of death. The bipartisan legislation requires entities collecting information and research to submit their findings to CDC. The CDC in turn will publish best practices for doctors and other health care providers who provide care to individuals with valvular disease.
Sinema is one of the co-founders of the bipartisan and bicameral Personalized Medicine Caucus, that focuses on early disease detection, targeted medical treatment, and improved prevention strategies for Arizona patients.