American Heart Association expands lifesaving efforts through corporate-driven Heart Walk campaign

[Richmond, VA, June 20, 2024] — Nine out of 10 people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of the hospital die, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), especially if performed immediately, can double or triple survival rates.[1] That is why the American Heart Association, celebrating 100 years of lifesaving service, will broaden efforts to drive CPR education in Central Virginia through the annual Heart Walk campaign, chaired by Joel Gray, Chief Executive Officer with Aetna Better Health of Virginia.

The Heart Walk is the Association’s largest community facing initiative that raises funds to advance lifesaving research, increase CPR education and training and drive equitable health for all people. The expansion of this lifesaving initiative will empower companies in Central Virginia to become champions of CPR.

Gray will spearhead efforts in Central Virginia by rallying fellow corporate leaders and their employees to join the 2024 Heart Walk. "With the expansive reach of the Heart Walk, we have a unique opportunity to solve a big problem right here in our community,” said Gray. “Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time and there are countless lives in Virginia that could have been saved if bystanders were confident and ready to perform CPR. Through fundraising, community education and corporate engagement, the Heart Walk aims to enhance CPR training accessibility, bolster bystander preparedness, increase funding for vital research, and ultimately, save lives. We urge every company in Central Virginia to participate in the Heart Walk, taking the first step towards creating a community of lifesavers. The readiness of our community could be the difference between life and death of someone we know and love.”  

Implemented in over 220 cities nationwide, the year-round Heart Walk campaign engages companies to improve health and well-being of employees while driving efforts to fight against cardiovascular diseases, the no. 1 killer in Central Virginia. Now, participating companies not only contribute to the fight against heart disease and stroke but also will help drive the organization-wide Nation of Lifesavers™ movement, the Association’s most recent commitment to CPR with the declaration to double survival rates of cardiac arrest by 2030.

“We want at least one person in every household to learn CPR,” said Gray. “Imagine the lifesaving impact we could make if every home had a hero in waiting who was confident and ready to act in a cardiac emergency. By engaging more people in Heart Walk we can turn our community of bystanders into a community of lifesavers.” 

For more than six decades, the American Heart Association has led the way as the global leader in resuscitation science, education and training, and as the official publisher of the guidelines for CPR. Through the Nation of Lifesavers initiative, the Association is committed to turning a nation of bystanders into lifesavers. The multi-year initiative supports CPR education, extends AED use, and engages employers, policymakers, philanthropists and others to increase the chain of survival. The long-term goal is to ensure that in the face of a cardiac emergency, everyone, everywhere is prepared and empowered to perform CPR.

The Richmond Heart Walk will take place on Saturday, October 19 at Innsbrook Companies interested in participating can contact Bobby Hall at For more information about the Richmond Heart Walk visit



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 a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

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