SOUTHFIELD, Mich., June 29, 2023 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit committed to advancing heart and brain health for all, announced Sara Hegarty as the new executive director of its Southeast Michigan office.

Hegarty is no stranger to the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission, serving as the executive director for the Toledo Market since 2017. Under her leadership, Toledo experienced growth for five years, including four years of record-setting fundraising. This year, Toledo is on the cusp of reaching $1 million raised.

“We are thrilled Sara is bringing her experience and passionate commitment to the Southeast Michigan market,” said Katherine Knoll, region senior vice president for the American Heart Association. “We look forward to her leadership as we enter the new fiscal year.” In this role, Hegarty will lead a team based in Southfield, Michigan responsible for the organization’s initiatives in Southeast Michigan, including advocating for healthier policies and laws, improving access to food and healthcare, promoting the Association‘s funded research and increasing awareness of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, she will oversee revenue, field operations, board of director development, volunteer recruitment and fundraising and community engagement initiatives to reduce health disparities.

“I am excited to lead this team serving Southeast Michigan and Metro Detroit,” Hegarty said. “The diverse community, rich culture and vibrant energy of the city and surrounding communities inspire us to push the boundaries and innovate in ways that can positively impact the lives of individuals and communities.”.

During her six years in Toledo, Hegarty was named one of Toledo’s 20 Under 40 in 2018, hosted the region’s first panel on vaping in 2019 and cultivated a volunteer relationship with the Association to a multi-market regional agreement. Prior to her executive director role in Toledo, Hegarty served as executive director for the March of Dimes in Northwest Ohio.

Hegarty and her husband Shaun have three children: Leah (15), JJ (11) and Nicholas (9). She holds the title of dance mom and football mom on the weekends, and her favorite past time is traveling and making memories with those that she loves.

The American Heart Association is working alongside the community to reduce health disparities through initiatives that address issues such as healthy food access, hypertension, maternal and women’s health, CPR training and education and tobacco/vaping use.


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, FacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

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Sarah Rood, Communications Director
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