The American Heart Association bestows the Richard M. DeVos Award to Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, Edgar Prince in memoriam, and to Dr. Ashraf Mansour

(Grand Rapids, Mich–Oct. 5, 2016) The American Heart Association will honor deserving individuals with the Richard M. DeVos Award at the twentieth anniversary of the Heart Ball on December 2.

This award is given annually to an individual or individuals who demonstrate a tireless dedication to their community through the work of the American Heart Association, in an effort to create a heart-healthy community. Through their giving and support, they enhance the cardiovascular quality of life for many and have played a significant role in advancing the mission of the American Heart Association in West Michigan.

The Richard M. DeVos Award for Medical Excellence is presented to Dr. Ashraf Mansour, a vascular surgeon at Spectrum Health. Dr. Mansour is also academic chair of cardiovascular services at Spectrum Health and the MSU CHM West chair of surgery.

During his over thirty-year career he has performed thousands of surgeries and procedures for stroke risk reduction as well as prevention of limb loss, cardiovascular disease, and aneurysm repairs. He has earned respect from his peers for his skills in the operating room, and he is known for his bedside manner and the empathy he shares with patients.  Dr. Mansour has mentored many within our community who are interested in medical careers. A military veteran, he continues to serve United States veterans by providing cardiovascular care at the Veteran Affairs Medical Centers.  On multiple occasions he has been honored as one of America’s Best Doctors and West Michigan’s Best Doctors.

The Richard M. DeVos Award for Community Excellence will be presented to Elsa Prince Broekhuizen and in memoriam to Edgar Prince.  Mrs. Prince Broekhuizen has worked quietly behind the scenes of the American Heart Association for several decades. Her late husband, respected businessman Edgar Prince, died in 1995 of a heart attack at the offices of Prince Corporation. In the years after his death Elsa faithfully supported the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball in hopes that research and education provided by the American Heart Association might work to lower the rate of cardiac death in West Michigan.

Through the years there has been a decline in the rate of deaths from cardiovascular disease. This has been attributed to new techniques developed as a result of research, new medical therapies, greater education and people practicing prevention.

The Heart Ball is now in its twentieth year and has raised more than $4.7 million. Past honorees of the Heart Ball have included such notables as former President Gerald R. Ford, Frederik Meijer and Richard DeVos, who allowed his name to be used for the awards.

The awards will be presented at the Grand Rapids Heart Ball on December 2, a celebration with prominent business and medical professionals in our community.  The Heart Ball will be at DeVos Place. Meg Miller Willit is chairing the event. Betsy DeVos is the honorary chair, which is a reprisal of her role as chair for a number of years after the event was created.

“While my father’s passing was painful, in his memory, we’ve been able to build on his legacy to fund the mission of the American Heart Association through education and research,” said Betsy DeVos, who is a daughter of Edgar and Elsa. “Knowing that generations to come will benefit from this research and educational advancement is important to us. Cardiovascular disease continues to affect many in West Michigan.”

Sponsors of the 2016 Grand Rapids Heart Ball include Meijer, Andy J. Egan Co., BDO USA, LLP, Betz Industries, Northern Trust, the Prince Foundation, the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation and VanDyk Mortgage. Media sponsors include the Grand Rapids Business Journal, The River 100.5, Channel 95.7, Women’s Lifestyle Magazine and WOTV4 Women.

Formal attire is encouraged. For sponsorship or ticket information, contact Susie Ziegler at (616) 482-1512 or at or visit