10 Maryland leaders driving equitable health for all

BALTIMORE, September 28, 2023 – Where someone lives should not dictate how long they live. Ten Maryland leaders are joining the American Heart Association’s Leaders of Impact campaign in an effort to combat health inequities in the community.

Studies show[1] a roughly 20-year life expectancy gap in zip codes across Baltimore and other parts of Maryland. According to the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, this can be caused by social determinants of health and other barriers to achieving health equity for all communities -- factors that include structural racism[2] and access to quality healthcare[3].

“Cardiovascular disease remains the No. 1 killer of people in Maryland and across the nation, and oftentimes disadvantaged communities do not have the same level of access to healthcare systems and those who are more fortunate,” said Larry L. Johnson, the chairman of the American Heart Association, Baltimore and Greater Maryland division Board of Directors, and a past top fundraiser for the Leaders of Impact campaign. "These 10 changemakers have an opportunity to make a difference in their communities by raising funds and awareness for the American Heart Association through the Leaders of Impact campaign, and to help create a world of longer, healthier lives for all."

The Leaders of Impact initiative engages community leaders across 150 cities to take part in a seven-week challenge to improve health by raising awareness and funds to support the life-saving work of the American Heart Association.

Greater Maryland nominees were selected to take part in Leaders of Impact because of their passion and drive to make a difference. This year’s nominees are:

  • Dr. Branville Bard Jr, Johns Hopkins University
  • J. Teigen Hall, Esq., Nemphos Braue LLC
  • Kristen Katz, Ojas Wellness
  • Shaheen Mazloom, Versa Business Systems
  • Nicholas Meade, Resolute Technologies LLC
  • Sifiso Mkhize, NAVAIR Patuxent River
  • Dr. Barbara A. Palmer, Kingdom Kare, Inc
  • April R. Randall, Esq.
  • Allan Sidley, Sidley Standup
  • Ashika Vijay, Robert Half

Beginning on World Heart Day, Friday, Sept. 29, nominees will work to raise funds while engaging their networks to directly impact the health of Baltimore and Greater Maryland.

Funds raised will support the American Heart Association’s 2024 Impact Goal which aims to advance cardiovascular health for all, including identifying and removing barriers to equitable health care access and quality. Currently, the American Heart Association is working with local stakeholders and community members to address barriers and inequities around self-monitored blood pressure and food insecurity.

“My mom suffered a stroke when I was in seventh grade, and it had a really indelible impact on my life. My wife’s father is also a stroke survivor, and those two personal reasons inspired me to become a Leader of Impact last year,” said Tony Torain, the top fundraiser of last year’s local campaign.

“The experience was truly fulfilling. Leaders of Impact is a great way to get involved and engage your network to support the mission of the American Heart Association and get others to contribute and support the Association’s important work in Maryland,” Torain said.

The Greater Maryland Leaders of Impact winner will be announced on National Philanthropy Day, Nov. 15, 2023, and will be celebrated at the Heart of Maryland event in May of 2024. For more information on the Leaders of Impact initiative or to support one of this year’s nominees visit www2.heart.org/baltimoreleaders.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries:

Wayne Carter: wayne.carter@heart.org

Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org


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