Portland, OR, September 27, 2022 – Where someone lives should not dictate how long they live. Four Oregon & SW Washington leaders are joining the American Heart Association’s Leaders of Impact campaign in an effort to combat health inequities in the community.

Studies show1 a 17-year life expectancy gap in zip codes across Multnomah County and 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 racism2 and access to quality healthcare3.

"Good health is not just about telling people how to be healthy. It’s about health equity, which means everyone has the same opportunity to be healthy. That’s why Leaders of Impact aims to raise funds to combat health inequities," said Nick Brodnicki, American Heart Association of Oregon & SW Washington executive director.

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.      

Local nominees were selected to take part in Leaders of Impact because of their passion and drive to make a difference. This year’s nominees are:

  • Julian Allen, business development for McKinstry, a construction company
  • Heidi Stewart, community development coordinator for Community Tissue Services, a nonprofit focused on organ donation
  • Owen McCarty, professor & chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Oregon Health & Science University, a public research university
  • Haley Rott, HR Manager, Mallory Safety & Supply, a safety equipment supplier and distributor

Beginning on World Heart Day, September 29, nominees will work to raise funds while engaging their networks in opportunities to directly impact the health of their communities. 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 and inequities around blood pressure, tobacco and vaping, women’s heart health, and nutrition security.  

“We are thrilled to have these leaders join us in our relentless efforts for a world of longer, healthier lives” said Dick Clark, volunteer board chair for the American Heart Association in Oregon & SW Washington and retired health care executive. “Cardiovascular disease remains a top killer in our state. That’s why it’s critical for us to engage volunteers who are passionate about making a lasting impact on their community”.

The Oregon & SW Washington Leaders of Impact winner will be announced on National Philanthropy Day, November 15 and will be celebrated at the Portland Heart Ball on February 25 at the Hyatt Regency Portland.

For more information on the Leaders of Impact Initiative or to support one of this year’s nominees visit bit.ly/PDXLeaders22.



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. 


For Media Inquiries: 503-820-5309

Jay Wintermeyer: 503-820-5309; jay.wintermeyer@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)