DALLAS, August 8, 2023Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in North Texas, and Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Dr. Mark Chassay, is serving with the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, to change that. Dr. Chassay is serving as chair for the 2023-2024 Dallas Heart Challenge™, a community campaign focused on engaging local companies, corporations and their employees to join the fight against heart disease and stroke. 

“My life was forever changed when I had a cardiac ablation in 2014, for atrial fibrillation after a failed medical treatment,” Dr. Chassay said. “I now volunteer for the American Heart Association because I want to pay it forward and help people detect cardiovascular and stroke-related problems while improving the health of all people in our community.”

As chair of the Heart Challenge™, Dr. Chassay will lead a team of 15 Dallas executives to recruit companies and organizations to take part in various Heart Challenge™ initiatives including Heart Walk®, CycleNation™, Field Day, and Executives with Heart. Through these initiatives, the leadership team and supporting organizations will raise funds for the American Heart Association while leading action-oriented conversations about employee health, corporate engagement, community health and community transformation in Dallas County. 

“We are incredibly grateful for these leaders who are stepping up to move the needle when it comes to heart disease and stroke” said Chris LaTurno, Region SVP and Sr. Executive Director for the Dallas American Heart Association. “Through the various Heart Challenge initiatives, we are able to drive maximum impact through employee engagement and corporate fundraising. Together, we can save lives right here in Dallas.”

Heart disease and stroke are largely preventable with nutrition, movement and stress management. The Heart Challenge™ provides resources, tools and activities to support both mental and physical well-being for employers and employees. 

Dr. Chassay will celebrate many of these Dallas employers, organizations, and mission supporters at the Dallas Heart Walk on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. Each year, North Texans from all over arrive for fun activities well before the opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. The walk begins at 9 a.m. with route-length options to walk 1 or 3 miles starting at the base of Reunion Tower.

The Dallas division of the Association is actively filling new leadership roles on the Heart Challenge™ Executive Leadership Team and within its “Executives with Heart” campaign, which engages corporate leaders to make meaningful, personal gifts to support the American Heart Association’s 2024 Impact Goal. For more information about Heart Challenge™ or to get your company involved, contact Beth Knott (beth.knott@heart.org) or visit dallasheartwalk.org.

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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.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with more than 140,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 520 hospitals to serve more than 7 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico). Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

BCBSTX.com | Twitter.com/BCBSTX | Facebook.com/BlueCrossBlueShieldOfTexas | YouTube.com/BCBSTX | BCBSTX Community Highlights

Dallas Media Inquiries to Lindsey Lyons:

469-499-6408; Lindsey.Lyons@heart.org

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

heart.org and stroke.org