Every heartbeat matters. In that vein, Amanda Fowler ’99 is leading a global beat to spread knowledge, screening and treatment of heart valve disease to one million underserved people by 2020. The goal is a large one, backed by Edwards Lifesciences where Fowler is the executive director of global corporate giving.

Every Heartbeat Matters is a promise to the most underserved heart valve patients that we will fight this disease with them and give them hope to continue doing what they love most in life,” she says. An economics alumnus, Fowler joined the Edwards team in 2000 to help build the company’s investor relations department, drawing upon her previous experience with PacifiCare Health Systems.

“Amanda was a key player in managing our transition as we became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange,” wrote Michael Mussallem, Edwards’ chairman and CEO.

After a brief time away to New Century Financial, Fowler returned to Edwards in 2007 as part of the global communications department where she became involved with the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation. She now oversees all of the company’s corporate giving activities around the world as executive director of the foundation. Since its inception in 2004, the foundation has gifted more than $36 million to non-profit organizations around the world.

“Philanthropy is unique in that it seeks to solve some of our world’s most challenging issues,” she says. “And the best part of philanthropy is that it is contagious - once you start and you see the difference in the eyes of a hopeful child, a grateful parent, or an inspired surgeon, there’s just no stopping.”

Fowler’s employer encourages its workers to participate in at least one charitable activity a year, and she and her team help coordinate volunteerism and teambuilding activities in support of that goal. Due in part to her efforts, more than 70 percent of Edwards’ 9000 employees give back to their communities through service or donations each year - including herself. Fowler volunteers frequently at community events and serves on the board of directors of the Association for Corporate Contributions Professionals and the Orange County Funders Roundtable. She has also served in leadership roles with the local chapter of the American Heart Association for the Go Red For Women Movement and the OC Heart and Stroke Ball.

She also hasn’t forgotten her UCI ties; Fowler can often be found on campus talking with new soc sci undergrads and serving on career panels for those getting ready to go out and make a difference, just like her.

For her efforts, Fowler will be receiving the UCI Alumni Association’s 2015 Lauds and Laurels Outstanding Alumni Award in Social Sciences at the annual gala May 14.

-Heather Ashbach, Social Sciences Communications
-photos courtesy of Edwards Lifesciences

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