Central Massachusetts leaders join local initiative to drive equitable health for all

WORCESTER, MA, Oct. 9, 2023 Where someone lives should not dictate how long they live. Five local leaders are joining the American Heart Association’s Leaders of Impact campaign to combat health inequities in central Massachusetts.

Studies show[1] a 10-year life expectancy gap between neighborhoods in Worcester that are just a few miles apart. 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]

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.      

Central Massachusetts 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:

  • McKenzie Belanger, realtor, McKenzie Belanger Real Estate
  • Ellis Cropper, chartered financial consultant
  • Pamela Mills, broker/owner, Red Door Realty
  • Tara Ostromecky, founder and CEO, Makin’ It Marketing
  • Josh Saper, vice president, Intelligent Banking Solutions, Inc.

Since World Heart Day on September 29, nominees have been working to raise funds to directly impact the health of central Massachusetts. 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 women’s health, tobacco and vaping, patients, addressing community need and healthy living.

“We are thrilled to have these leaders join us in our relentless efforts to create a world of longer, healthier lives,” said Elizabeth L.B. Greene, the chairperson of the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors in central Massachusetts and a partner at the Worcester law firm Mirick O'Connell. “Cardiovascular disease and stroke remain top causes of death and disability in our region. That’s why it’s critical for us to engage volunteers like these Leaders of Impact who share, with me, our volunteers, and staff, the passion for making a lasting impact on the health and wellness of our community.”

The Central Massachusetts Leaders of Impact winner will be announced following the campaign culmination on National Philanthropy Day, November 15, and will be celebrated at the 2024 Central Massachusetts Heart and Stroke Ball.

For more information on the Leaders of Impact Initiative or to support one of this year’s nominees click here.

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

 

For Media Inquiries:

Chris Camire: 781-373-4521; chris.camire@heart.org

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

heart.org and stroke.org

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data-visualization/life-expectancy/

 

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