PORTLAND, Oregon, September 29, 2023 – Where someone lives should not dictate how long they live. Four Oregon and southwest Washington leaders are joining the American Heart Association’s Leaders of Impact campaign in an effort to combat health inequities in the community.

Studies show a 17-year life expectancy gap in zip codes across Multnomah County and 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 and access to quality healthcare.

"Good health is not just about telling people how to be healthy. It’s about health equity, which means everyone has the same opportunity to be healthy. That’s why Leaders of Impact aims to raise funds to combat health inequities," said Dr. Nandita Gupta, American Heart Association of Oregon & SW Washington volunteer board president and Peace Health St. Johns Medical Center chief medical officer.

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.

Local 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:

  • Ian Anderson, Mortenson assistant project manager
  • Nicole Darabi, nutrition coach
  • Anastasia Juergens, Propel Insurance business development associate
  • Lauren Maurer, BELFOR Property Restoration regional sales manager

Beginning on World Heart Day, September 29, nominees will work to raise funds while engaging their networks in opportunities to directly impact the health of their communities. 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 blood pressure, tobacco and vaping, women’s heart health, and nutrition security.  

“We are thrilled to have these leaders join us in our relentless efforts for a world of longer, healthier lives” said Dick Clark, American Heart Association volunteer board chair for Oregon & SW Washington and retired health care executive. “Cardiovascular disease remains a top killer in our state. That’s why it’s critical for us to engage volunteers who are passionate about making a lasting impact on their community”.

The Oregon & SW Washington Leaders of Impact winner will be announced on National Philanthropy Day, November 15 and will be celebrated at the Oregon & SW Washington Heart Ball February 10 at the Hyatt Regency Portland. For more information on the Leaders of Impact Initiative or to support one of this year’s nominees visit bit.ly/PDXLeaders23.




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.org/Oregon, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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Jay Wintermeyer