Monday, June 21, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Presbyterian Hospital chaplain and Lancaster, S.C. pastor has been honored with a national award for his commitment to raising awareness of stroke among the African American community in Charlotte and across Western North Carolina.
Chaplain Harry Burns received the Ambassador of the Year award for the mid-Atlantic States at the historic Apollo Theater in New York on May 7. The award was presented during the 5th Annual Power Awards Concert during which he was recognized by the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association.
Burns joined other distinguished leaders and celebrities from various fields across the country, including gospel artists Smokie Norful, Myron Butler and former NBA player, Juaquin Hawkins. The ambassadors “share the power” by helping to spread Power To End Stroke (PTES) messages to communities across the country in an effort to help reduce the risk of stroke among African Americans.
In his current position as a chaplain and health educator with Presbyterian Hospital, Chaplain Burns has promoted PTES materials and has secured more than 2000 PTES registrations. Burns is also a part of the Presbyterian Hospital health ministry program, and through his congregational health promoters training and workshops he has secured over 100 PTES ambassadors who are engaged in community power activities.
Burns attended S.C. State University and is a graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh. He holds a Master of Religion from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is a board-certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains. Burns received another national award in Chicago in April for service on the board of directors at its annual conference. He also was named Chaplain of the Year in 2008 by the North Carolina Chaplains’ Association.
He is involved in many causes based in the Charlotte area including Men For Change Against Domestic Violence, Eliminating Health Disparities, HIV and AIDs and sickle cell. Burns attributes much of his success to God and to his wife, Reverend Vara Smith Burns. They have been married for 33 years. The couple has three children and seven grandchildren.
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