[CHICAGO, Illinois], Dec. 8, 2023 – Farah Hussain, DO, a cardiologist at Advocate Health Care, has been named the American Heart Association, Chicago’s 2023 Leaders of Impact winner for her work driving equitable health in the Windy City. Chicago has long been reported to have the largest life expectancy gap in the country with residents of the affluent Streeterville neighborhood living to approximately 90 years old, compared to residents of the South Side community of Englewood, whose average life expectancy is only about 60 years.

Over the course of seven weeks, Hussain participated in a blind fundraising competition against eight other professionals from Chicago and the Chicago suburbs. Hussain was named the 2023 Leaders of Impact winner at the conclusion of the campaign after raising more than $60,000.

Chicago saw its second year as the No. 1 Leaders of Impact campaign in the country. Collectively, the nine nominees from the Chicagoland area raised more than $196,000.

“Each year we are blown away by the dedication and engagement our Leaders of Impact cohort shows, not just in raising funds but in building community awareness around how the fight toward equitable health affects each and every one of us,” said Samantha Netluch, development director of impact campaigns for the American Heart Association, Chicago. “Dr. Hussain’s relentlessness allowed her individual campaign to shine, and we are happy to celebrate her victory alongside the other nominees who helped us execute another incredible campaign year.”

Hussain serves as medical director of cardiovascular health for Advocate Health Care in Central Chicago.

“Participating in this year’s campaign as a cardiologist myself was an incredible way to stretch my impact in the world of heart health and health equity,” Hussain said. “I’m honored to be this year’s winner, but even more honored to share in the victory of advancing the fight against heart disease and stroke with an incredible group of community changemakers.”

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 Chicago, the Association is specifically focused on CPR education, cardiac emergency response plans and health equity in the workplace.

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.

Other nominees included:

  • Patrick Besler, director of government relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Sam Elrad, growth strategy associate, Avant
  • Nick Farwig, managing director – senior management consulting executive – strategy & consulting, Accenture
  • David Francis, partner, Slalom
  • Mike Gaal, principal & consulting actuary, Milliman
  • Connor McDermott, vice president, A1 Health Ventures
  • Gina Parker, health care account manager, Interior Investments
  • Toni Tashiro, vice president – strategic account management, Hello Heart

Leaders of Impact is held annually as a part of the Heart of Chicago campaign. The annual Chicago Heart Ball will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Navy Pier. This year’s event will celebrate the American Heart Association’s Centennial by honoring past and present survivors with hope for a second century of striving for longer, healthier lives.

For more information about Leaders of Impact and a list of all the 2023 nominees, please visit http://www2.heart.org/ChicagoLeaders.  



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:
Jorie Goins: (312) 298-9335; Jorie.Goins@Heart.org
Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org