SEATTLE, April 7, 2023 – The fact that one in four women dies of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, was surprising to Lee Crain. Her own family had been impacted by cardiovascular disease. She was also startled to learn that women are less likely to receive bystander CPR than men. These three things motivated her to raise awareness and funding to help reduce women’s risk and her actions ultimately earned her an award from the American Heart Association.
Lee Crain from Mercer Island, Wash. has been named the 2023 Puget Sound Woman of Impact Award Winner. The recognition by the American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, is awarded annually to the Woman of Impact nominee who earns the most points during a 9-week fundraising and heart health education drive.
Crain earned the award, part of the American Heart Association’s long-standing Go Red for Women® movement, for leading her team to raise $63,764 and participate in mission-impact activities for the American Heart Association’s signature women’s initiative.
“Taking part in the Woman of Impact program was personal for me. I know too many families, including my own, that have been impacted by cardiovascular disease. Saying yes to this fundraising campaign was an easy decision,” said Crain. “I’m honored by this recognition and grateful to the friends and family members who donated and joined my team. I’m incredibly proud of the contributions we’ve made together in support of Go Red for Women’s mission to wipe out heart disease and stroke and improve the overall health and well-being of women in the Puget Sound and beyond.”
This year was the inaugural year of the campaign in Washington and candidates were nominated by their peers to embark on a journey starting on National Wear Red Day in February and culminating on April 6 to earn the local title. In addition to Crain, the other candidates were Tonita Webb of West Seattle and Wendy Zheng of West Seattle.
Collectively, this year’s nominees and their Impact Teams made up of friends, family and personal connections called attention to disparities in heart and stroke research and bystander CPR response rates in addition to raising awareness about the importance of personal mental wellbeing. Candidates also raised $108,325 for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement in the Puget Sound.
“We are so grateful to Lee and to all of our nominees for their work to support Go Red for Women in the Puget Sound,” said Whitney Meidl, Executive Director, American Heart Association in the Puget Sound. “While our work is far from finished, we’ve made considerable progress in women’s heart and brain health awareness. With advocates like Lee and our other Woman of Impact nominees leading the way, the Puget Sound is stronger and our future is brighter.”
While a large majority of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease continues to be a woman’s greatest health threat, taking the life of 1 in 4 women. Research published by the American Heart Association shows that younger women, particularly Millennials and Gen Z may not be aware of their risk for heart disease and stroke. For more information or to get involved visit heart.org/PugetSound.
About Go Red for Women®
The American Heart Association’s signature initiative, Go Red for Women®, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally. While the majority of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming the lives of 1 in 3 women. For 19 years, Go Red for Women has encouraged awareness. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power of women to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them tools they need to lead a heart healthy life. The Go Red for Women movement is nationally sponsored by CVS Health, with additional support from national cause supporters. For more information, please visit GoRedforWomen.org or call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721).
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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