GREENVILLE, S.C. January 19, 2023— Five prominent local women will help advance heart health and raise lifesaving funds to fight women’s No. 1 health threat with the American Heart Association, as members of the Upstate's 2023 Woman of Impact class.

Each year a select group of individuals across the Upstate are nominated by their peers to become an American Heart Association Women of Impact because of their passion and drive to make a difference in the community and raise awareness of women’s cardiovascular health.

Upstate’s 2023 Woman of Impact Nominees are:

  • Alexis Louden
  • Emily Koon
  • Odessa Young
  • Rebekah Hernandez
  • Sarah Key

Woman of Impact is an extension of the American Heart Association’s long-standing Go Red for Women movement, a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally.

“Cardiovascular disease remains our No. 1 killer so it’s vital for all women to take charge of their heart health and encourage others to do the same,” said Cheyenne Miranda, the Go Red for Women chair. “While we’ve made some great strides over the years, we still have a long way to go. For example, American Heart Association surveys have found younger generations of women, Gen Z and Millennials, are less likely than prior generations to be aware that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat.[1] We must raise our voices and make sure all Upstate women know how to take steps now to protect our heart later.”

While majority of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease continues to take the life of 1 in 3 women. Heart disease accounted for 33,362 hospitalizations for South Carolina women in 2020 and remains one of the top killers for women in South Carolina today. [2]

Beginning on National Wear Red Day , Feb. 3, 2023, hundreds of Woman of Impact nominees nationwide embark on a 9-week journey to help transform the health of women. Each week, nominees and their Impact Teams, made up of friends or family members, participate in activities designed to create a culture of wellness and health equity. Activities may include educational events, learning and spreading the word about CPR, getting active, recruiting women to participate in research, and more. Nominees and their Impact Teams also raise critical funds for the Upstate American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

On April 6, 2023, the woman whose team has the highest number of impact points—awarded through a combination of fundraising and mission impact activities —is named the Upstate 2023 Woman of Impact Award Winner. The nominee with the most points nationwide will be named the National Woman of Impact Award Winner.

“By using their influence, their local networks and their unique lived experiences, these volunteers are able to make a measurable difference in Upstate and we are so grateful for each of them,” said Kinsey Besser, development director. “Woman of Impact truly embodies the power of coming together to create important and lasting change for good.”

To learn more about the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement in Upstate visit or contact Kinsey Besser at


About Go Red for Women® 

The American Heart Association’s signature initiative, Go Red for Women®, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally. While the majority of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming the lives of 1 in 3 women. For 19 years, Go Red for Women has encouraged awareness. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power of women to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them tools they need to lead a heart healthy life. The Go Red for Women movement is nationally sponsored by CVS Health, with additional support from national cause supporters. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721). 


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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