leer en español

PORTLAND, Oregon, November 21, 2023 – Nicole Darabi, Lake Oswego, Oregon based nutrition coach, has been named the American Heart Association’s 2023 Leaders of Impact winner in Oregon and southwest Washington. Leaders of Impact help the Association push for equitable health across the region. In Oregon and southwest Washington, life expectancy varies by 9 years, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which can often be caused by the social determinants of health and the barriers to achieving health equity for all communities -- factors that include structural racism[1] and lacking access to quality healthcare[2].

Over the course of seven weeks, Darabi participated in a blind fundraising competition against three other Oregon and southwest Washington professionals.  Darabi was named the 2023 Leaders of Impact winner after raising the most funds.

“Nicole truly lives out the American Heart Association mission,” said Meredith Collett, American Heart Association executive director for Oregon and southwest Washington. “Her dedication to helping people live longer healthier lives is evident in her passionate approach to life and work.”

Darabi is a nutritionist with a special focus on uplifting busy moms juggling life's million demands. Her practice revolves around teaching attainable and approachable meal prep, as well as cultivating healthy eating and lifestyle habits for women.

She said, “Championing the American Heart Association isn't just a cause, it's a personal and urgent mission. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. What's even more alarming is that most women are unaware of these staggering statistics. My mission is to empower them to understand that they don't have to be a part of these grim numbers. Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference, and it's never too late to start making those changes today!”

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 Oregon and southwest Washington the Association is specifically focused on CPR training, hypertension and nutrition security.

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.

Others local nominees included:  

  • Ian Anderson, Mortenson assistant project manager
  • Anastasia Juergens, Propel Insurance business development associate
  • Lauren Maurer, BELFOR Property Restoration regional sales manager

Leaders of Impact is held annually as a part of the Heart of Oregon and southwest Washington campaign. The campaign’s culminating event, Heart Ball, will be held February 10, 2024 at the Hyatt Regency Portland. Darabi will be presented with the 2023 Leader of Impact award for Oregon & SW Washington at the Heart Ball.

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


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:

Jay Wintermeyer, jay.wintermeyer@heart.org