Baton Rouge, La. – Jan. 26, 2023 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on ensuring longer, healthier lives for all, names Cheri Johnson, senior vice president, Patient Care Services at Woman’s Hospital as the 2023 Capital Area Heart Walk Chair. In this role Johnson is charged with leading a team of local executives to support fundraising efforts for the Heart Walk and the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.

“I am thrilled to serve as this year’s Heart Walk Chair to support the local American Heart Association’s efforts around CPR, blood pressure and educating everyone in the community on how to take control of their overall health,” said Johnson.

“Can you imagine how many lives we could save if every single member of our community knows their blood pressure numbers and learns hands only CPR?” she added.

The Capital Area Heart Walk is a way to get moving while socializing with friends, family and co-workers leading up to and on the day of the event. Walking in the Heart Walk boosts your heart health AND mental health while helping millions of others at the same time. The Heart Walk unites the community in celebrating health and honoring heart disease survivors.

The Capital Area Heart Walk will begin at 9 a.m. (CT) on Saturday, March 25, at City Hall Plaza, downtown Baton Rouge. At 8 a.m. there will be family activities and a t-shirt contest and more after the walk.

Johnson will be joined by other like-minded city executives working to increase physical and mental health, combatting burnout and promoting community engagement. The executive committee members include:

  • Matthew Valliere, CareSouth Medical and Dental
  • Jennifer Waguespack, Level Homes
  • Ashley Gravois, CSRS
  • Leslie Stephens, Ochsner Health
  • Patrick Bull, Cintas
  • Erin Palmintier Pou, 225 Magazine

“The Capital Area Heart Walk is so much more than just a one-day event where we get together and walk for a good cause,” said Kerin Spears, executive director, American Heart Association, Capital Area. “Through events like this, we reach our community and provide Hands-Only CPR training, teach them how to correctly check their blood pressure at home, introduce them to healthier food options and more; all while coming together to raise funds for critical research and initiatives we coordinate throughout Greater Baton Rouge,” she said.

“We are grateful for the support from Cheri Johnson, Woman’s Hospital, Our Lady of the Lake Health, the Baton Rouge community and all our local sponsors and organizations that help us continue to fund the much-needed lifesaving research of the American Heart Association.”

The funds raised at the walk supports the mission of the American Heart Association to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives while supporting priority issues in Greater Baton Rouge.

To learn more about how to engage your workforce or to join as an individual with Cheri Johnson and other area executives in their support of this event, visit or contact the Heart Walk team at for more information.


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.  

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