Dr. Branville G. Bard Jr., the vice president for public safety for Johns Hopkins, knows the difference the American Heart Association can make.

"For all of my adult life, I have taken a pill which helps control my blood pressure,” Bard said. “Without the efforts and commitment of the American Heart Association, that pill might not be possible; without the efforts and commitment of the American Heart Association, my understanding of the importance of adhering to my prescribed regimen might be an impediment having healthy outcomes.”

Bard has been named the American Heart Association Greater Maryland 2023 Leaders of Impact winner for his work in driving equitable health in Baltimore and surrounding communities.

Over the course of seven weeks, Bard participated in a blind fundraising competition against nine other Maryland professionals and was named the 2023 Leaders of Impact winner after raising the most funds during that period. The nearly $37,000 Bard raised this year were equivalent to the total raised by the previous year’s entire Leaders of Impact campaign in Maryland.

“The American Heart Association is in the business of saving lives, and removing barriers to healthcare access and quality is part of our work as champions for health equity,” Larry L. Johnson, chairman of the Association’s Baltimore & Greater Maryland Board of Directors, said.

In Baltimore and across the state, life expectancy can vary by 20 or more years[1], which can often be caused by the social determinants of health and the barriers to achieving health equity for all communities — factors that include structural racism[2] and lacking access to quality healthcare[3].

“Leaders of Impact is a great way to get involved and expose more people in your network to the amazing work the Association is doing in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. It takes individuals like Dr. Branville Bard to champion these causes in the communities we serve,” said Johnson, who became involved with the American Heart Association through the Leaders of Impact campaign in 2022.

The American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, has invested in community health, innovative research and bold initiatives that save and improve lives. Funds raised through Leaders of Impact will support the Association’s 2024 Impact Goal which aims to advance cardiovascular health for all including identifying and removing barriers to health care access and quality.

In Maryland, the American Heart Association is specifically focused on improving nutrition security, working to ensure all people have access to affordable and nutritious foods, including healthy school meals for all children in Maryland public schools, and educating people how to eat better and prepare healthier meals at home.

Leaders of Impact launched on Sept. 29, World Heart Day in 150 cities across the nation and culminated on Nov. 15, National Philanthropy Day. Each nominee’s participation focused on opportunities to be a changemaker with a shared purpose to raise the critical awareness, action and fund the mission of the American Heart Association.

Others local nominees included:

  • J. Teigen Hall, Esq., Nemphos Braue LLC
  • Kristen Katz, Ojas Wellness
  • Shaheen Mazloom, Versa Business Systems
  • Nicholas Meade, Resolute Technologies LLC
  • Sifiso Mkhize, NAVAIR Patuxent River
  • Dr. Barbara A. Palmer, Kingdom Kare, Inc
  • April R. Randall, Esq.
  • Allan Sidley, Sidley Standup
  • Ashika Vijay, Robert Half

Leaders of Impact is held annually as a part of the Heart of Maryland campaign. Leaders of Impact participants will be recognized at the Heart of Maryland Celebration in May 2024. This year’s event will celebrate the American Heart Association’s Centennial and 100 years of saving lives.

To get involved in the American Heart Association’s impact campaigns including Leaders of Impact, Women of Impact and Teen of Impact, email nicole.bear@heart.org. For more information about the Heart of Maryland campaign, please visit www.heart.org/heartofmd.


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.org, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1

For Media Inquiries

Wayne Carter, 410-937-6873, wayne.carter@heart.org

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

heart.org and stroke.org