KENTUCKY, September 29, 2023 – Where someone lives should not dictate how long they live. That’s why eight Kentucky leaders are joining the American Heart Association’s Leaders of Impact campaign in an effort to combat health inequities in communities across the Commonwealth. According to the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, this can be caused by social determinants of health and other barriers to achieving health equity for all communities – factors that include structural racism and access to quality healthcare.
The Leaders of Impact initiative engages community leaders across 150 cities to take part in a seven-week challenge to improve health by raising awareness and funds to support the life-saving work of the American Heart Association. Eight local nominees were selected to take part in Leaders of Impact because of their passion and drive to make a difference.
This year’s Kentucky nominees are:
- Sandy Allnutt of Lexington, realtor at The Agency
- Craig Beavers of Paducah, vice president at Baptist Health - Paducah
- Erin Bojorquez of Louisville, digital marketing director at American Beverage Marketers
- Carol Russell of Lexington, retired
- Dr. Cali Rzasa of Lexington, pediatric cardiologist at Kentucky Children’s Hospital
- Veda Stewart of Lexington, division director at the Kentucky Department of Education
- Dr. Derek Weyhrauch of Louisville, pediatric cardiologist at Cincinnati Children’s
- Shellie Wingate of Frankfort, health coach at CoachShellie
Beginning on World Heart Day, September 29, nominees will work to raise funds while engaging with their networks to directly impact the health of Kentucky. Funds raised will support the American Heart Association’s 2024 Impact Goal, which aims to advance cardiovascular health for all, including identifying and removing barriers to equitable health care access and quality. Currently, the American Heart Association is working with local stakeholders and community members to address barriers to health across Kentucky.
“We are thrilled to have these leaders join us in our relentless efforts for a world of longer, healthier lives” said Dana Stefaniak, statewide development director at the American Heart Association. “Cardiovascular disease remains a top killer in Kentucky. That’s why it’s critical for us to engage volunteers who are passionate about making a lasting impact on their community.”
The Kentucky Leaders of Impact winner will be announced following the campaign culmination on National Philanthropy Day, November 15, and will be celebrated at the Kentuckiana Heart Ball on February 24 and the Central Kentucky Heart Ball on March 1.
For more information on the Leaders of Impact Initiative or to support one of this year’s nominees, visit http://www2.heart.org/KentuckyLeaders.
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, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.