Northeast Ohio, August 3, 2023 — The American Heart Association in Northeast Ohio, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, has named Jim LaRocca, Chief Financial Officer, Westfield Bank as chairperson of the Board of Directors and named Brian Adams, to Director of Operations and Clinical Services at UH Portage Medical Center as president of the 2023-2024 Board of Directors. Jim and Brian will serve a two-year term which began on July 1. They will assist the organization in guiding efforts to reduce the incidences of heart disease and stroke, the numbers 1 and 5 leading killers, respectively, of all Americans. 

“It is a great privilege to serve as chairperson of the American Heart Association’s Northeast Ohio Board of Directors,” said LaRocca. “I am passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of everyone in our community. Together, we will work to help people live longer, healthier lives in Northeast Ohio. I look forward to working with the board to promote and improve cardiovascular wellness for all.”

“I am honored to help lead the American Heart Association’s efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of our community as president of the Northeast Ohio Board of Directors,” said Adams. “I am committed to the incredible work of the Association and look forward to promoting cardiovascular wellness through science, education, diversity, and advocacy.”

LaRocca and Adams have been dedicated members of the Northeast Ohio Board of Directors. They are strong advocates for heart health in Northeast Ohio and committed to the mission of the Association to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

“The work of the American Heart Association is more critical now than ever,” said Lisa Wheler-Cooper, executive director for the American Heart Association in Northeast Ohio. “I look forward to working Jim and Brian as we continue the work of identifying and addressing health barriers and advancing cardiovascular health and well-being for Individuals and families in the communities that we serve.”

The American Heart Association Northeast Ohio region services Columbiana, Mahoning, Mercer, Portage, Stark, Summit and Trumbull Counties.

In Northeast Ohio, our health priorities for the next year include blood pressure control, CPR & AED readiness, tobacco and e-cigarette control.



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, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   


For Media Inquiries:
Jennifer McNeil, Communications Director: 330-219-0311;
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and