GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, June 12, 2024 — The Grand Rapids Heart Walk is making a bold comeback as part of the American Heart Association’s Centennial celebration this year. The signature event, which was last held in 2019, is coming to Aquinas College on Saturday, October 5 at 9 a.m. Registration is underway now for the community campaign focused on engaging local companies, their employees and the public to join the fight against heart disease and stroke.

For 100 years the American Heart Association has saved and improved lives, pioneered scientific discovery and advocated for healthy communities. With bold moves and support from donors, the Heart Walk saves lives by bringing friends, families, coworkers and neighbors together.

“Every walker who joins, every dollar donated, means more lives saved. More research. More people trained in CPR. More medical breakthroughs. And more lifesaving moments for hearts big and small,” said Alejandro Quiroga, MD, MBA, President, Corewell Health West, who will serve as Chair of the 2024 Grand Rapids Heart Walk. “By participating and donating to Grand Rapids Heart Walk, participants are supporting the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association and safeguarding that fewer people die from stroke and heart disease.”

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in West Michigan. The American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, is working with Corewell Health, along with several community sponsors, to change that.

“Together, we demonstrate our commitment to health, and honor or remember loved ones with heart disease or stroke,” said Jana Siminski, executive director for the American Heart Association, West Michigan. “We have raised millions of dollars to improve health and quality of life for everyone, transformed communities and significantly reduced heart disease and stroke death rates. And we’re just getting started. With your help, we can keep working to ensure all people can enjoy longer, healthier lives.”

Heart disease and stroke impact people in very personal life-changing ways. Through the Heart Walk, participants are invited to express, share, and be inspired by the reasons why they walk.

“I walk for Jack, so that everyone knows the lifesaving skills of Hands-Only CPR,” said Gretchen Belsito, whose son was 16 when he experienced a cardiac arrest last year. “The money raised at the Heart Walk funds research that saves lives like Jack’s and funded the science of CPR and continues to fund the ongoing awareness to ensure at least one person in every household has the tools they need when it counts – in the moments when someone’s life is in their hands.”

Since the inception of the Heart Walk, mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke have decreased by 45 percent. In West Michigan, the American Heart Association is working to create a Nation of Lifesavers, aiming to ensure at least one person in every household knows the lifesaving skill of Hands-Only CPR.

The Grand Rapids Heart Walk festival and engagement area is open from 9-10:30 a.m. The main program starts at 10:30 a.m. and the walk is from 11 a.m.-Noon. Everyone is encouraged to dress in their Heart Walk best and come out to move more.

The Heart Walk route begins at the Aquinas College Fieldhouse, then winds through the beautiful trails on campus. The Heart Walk is family friendly, open to the public and features a kid zone, wellness activities, music and health screenings. The American Heart Association will provide CPR demonstrations on-site and celebrate survivors.

Participants can join Jack and help us keep young hearts beating by registering teams today at From there, participants can create personal fundraising pages, download the Heart Walk mobile app, and encourage family and friends to join.




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. 


For Media Inquiries:
Matt Johnson;  
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and