Kaiser Permanente’s Cynthia Cifuentes and Ameya Kulkarni, M.D. are looking forward to leading the 2023 Greater Washington Region Heart Walk

WASHINGTON, DC, October 18, 2023 – For nearly a century, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization committed to fighting heart disease and stroke, has worked toward a world where all people have the chance for a longer, healthier life. Leading the charge to save and improve lives as our 2023 Greater Washington Region Heart Challenge Co-Chairs are Cynthia Cifuentes, Vice President of Brand, Communications and Community Engagement at Kaiser Permanente, and Ameya Kulkarni, M.D., associate medical director at Kaiser Permanente and president-elect for the Association’s Greater Washington Region board of directors.

This year, thousands of walkers will take crucial steps to fund research and science that saves lives, advance equitable health for all and boost the health and well-being of people across the Greater DC area.

On Saturday, Nov. 4, the Greater Washington Region Heart Walk will take place at the National Mall in Washington, DC. The festival area opens around 8:30 am and the walk steps off at 10 am.

“As a father and cardiologist, the mission of the American Heart Association and the strides we’re taking together at the Heart Walk are personal to me,” Dr. Kulkarni said about his second consecutive year chairing the Walk. “Serving on the front lines of health every day, I see the toll cardiovascular disease and risk factors like food insecurity and hypertension have on people in our community. Walking alongside my Kaiser Permanente team is not only an opportunity to transform the future of heart and stroke care; it allows me to set a healthy example for my kids so that they too can have a long, healthy future.”

“At Kaiser Permanente, providing more access to quality care to achieve healthier outcomes, including heart health, is at the core of our work and woven within the fabric of our organization. As co-chair for a third consecutive year, I am eager to build on our lifesaving impact at the Heart Walk and bring other community leaders and health advocates into the fold,” Cifuentes said. “Whether you walk for yourself or a loved one, we are all connected to heart disease and stroke in some way, and the steps we take now will help to save and improve lives for centuries to come.”

The Heart Walk brings together a community of committed volunteers, donors, survivors and advocates around the mission of the Association and celebrates 99 years of saving and improving lives. Cifuentes and Dr. Kulkarni are joined by a team of other local executives who share in this vision and strive to promote employee health and wellness, improve physical activity and mental well-being, and unite our community together in the fight against heart disease and stroke.

The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) includes:

  • Mike Pittsman, DAVIS Construction
  • Owen Billman, Blake Real Estate
  • Jeff Bosick, Leidos
  • Linda Gooden, Gooden, LLC
  • Erin Henderson-Moore, Centene Corporation
  • Tom O’Donohoe, Digital Realty
  • Vicki Schmanske, Leidos
  • Dr. Cedric Sims, MITRE
  • Lauren Sipple, KPMG
  • Daniel Wilson, UnitedHealthcare
  • Joe Winthrop, SAIC
  • Diane Zanetti, Capital One

The Heart Walk brings thousands of people to the National Mall each year for a beautiful 1- or 3-mile walk among the monuments. Festivities include live fitness demonstrations with fitness guru Laurent Amzallag, fun for your four-legged best friends including a pet zone and parade presented by SAIC, special activities for our youngest walkers in the Kids Zone presented by Van Metre, Hands-Only CPR demonstrations and more. There is truly something for everyone.

All funds raised from the Heart Walk go toward the Association’s work as a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. At last year’s Greater Washington Region Heart Walk, 100 companies and 532 teams raised over $1.7 million. The continued generosity of supporters like you is helping more people survive heart disease and stroke!

Thank you to our 2023 sponsors including Kaiser Permanente, Sheehy Auto Stores, Blake Real Estate, Capital One, DAVIS Construction, Leidos, Peraton, SAIC, UnitedHealthcare, Van Metre, Booz Allen Hamilton, Burness, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Deloitte, KPMG, Millennium Corporation, MITRE, RSI and WASH-FM. To learn more or register a team for the Walk, visit GreaterWashingtonHeartWalk.org


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

For Media Inquiries:

Rachel Stevenson: Rachel.Stevenson@Heart.org

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

heart.org and stroke.org

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