CLEVELAND, May 4, 2023 - The American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives, will recognize three Cleveland-area leaders for fueling the Association’s mission with the 2023 Heart of Cleveland Guiding Values Awards. These three individuals will each receive an award that highlights one of the American Heart Association’s key tenets. The three awards and their recipients are:

  • Extending & Improving People's Lives award: William Lewis, MD, cardiologist at MetroHealth
  • Live Fierce. Stand for All award: Lindsay Davis, Miss Ohio United States 2011 and heart health advocate
  • Bringing Science to Life award: David Van Wagoner, Ph.D., researcher at Cleveland Clinic

The Extending & Improving People's Lives award recognizes the importance of promoting the goals of the American Heart Association as a healthcare clinician. Dr. William Lewis’ far-reaching accomplishments include being a member of the American Heart Association’s National Quality Oversight Committee. Dr. Lewis also served as chairman of the American Heart Association’s National Get With The Guidelines Atrial Fibrillation Working Group. He played a pivotal role in the national adoption of these guidelines, which have touched millions of patients.

“It is an honor to represent the teams of American Heart Association staff and volunteers who have made life healthier for the people of Ohio and the U.S.,” Dr. Lewis said. “American Heart Association programs like Get With The Guidelines save lives and prevent heart attack and stroke every day. I have been lucky to play a small part in this movement.”

The Live Fierce. Stand for All award recognizes those who not only live fierce for themselves and their loved ones, but who also serve as a catalyst for longer, healthier lives for everyone, regardless of who they are or where they live. Lindsay Davis, as a survivor herself, championed legislation including the eponymous "Lindsay's Law" to help raise awareness for heart conditions so others can receive lifesaving treatment without having to rely on luck for diagnosis. Davis has also helped to pass CPR and AED training mandates in Ohio and several other states.

“I am honored to receive the Live. Fierce. Stand for All award, but I realize that this recognition is not about me, but rather about the cause we all stand for,” Davis said. “I humbly accept this award and will continue to work toward advancing equity and improving health outcomes for all.”

The final honor, the Bringing Science to Life award, recognizes a local Association-funded scientist for their steadfast and innovative work bringing science to life through research related to cardiovascular and/or neurological health. Dr. David Van Wagoner has devoted his career to exploring the mechanisms of atrial fibrillation (AF). His multi-disciplinary research uses electrophysiological, biochemical, genetic and biophysical techniques. Dr. Van Wagoner collaborates with surgeons, clinical electrophysiologists and basic science faculty on translational studies that examine how aging, sleep apnea and obesity increase risk of AF in order to prevent AF with novel treatments.

“Science is a career in which passion, patience and persistence are key,” said Dr. Van Wagoner. “With the American Heart Association’s support, I have learned that the best science depends on teamwork and effective communication. I am honored to receive this award in recognition of my science and my contributions to the Association’s mission and I’m grateful for this recognition by my peers and the American Heart Association community.”

The Cleveland American Heart Association will honor and celebrate each of these individuals at its 29th annual Heart & Stroke Ball, taking place on Friday, June 16, 2023, at The Hilton Cleveland Downtown. The event is a celebration of the Heart of Cleveland campaign, a year-round initiative aimed at driving equitable health in Northeast Ohio. The initiative raises funds toward the American Heart Association’s while supporting priority issues in Greater Cleveland.

Sponsored by Second Century Sponsor J.P. Farley Corporation and Signature Sponsors M7 & Oswald Companies, the 2023 Cleveland Heart and Stroke Ball will be a celebratory evening of storytelling, fine dining, dancing and an exciting auction. For more information on how to support or attend the event, visit or contact Molly Palmer at



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, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

For Media Inquiries:
Jessica Smylie, Regional Senior Communications Director
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and