BATON ROUGE, La. – March 25, 2023 - The American Heart Association’s Capital Area market raised more than $450,000 to save and improve lives across the community during its 2023 Capital Area Heart Walk on March 25. Thousands of friends, teams, local companies and sponsors came together at City Hall Plaza in downtown Baton Rouge to support lifesaving cardiovascular research, advocacy efforts and community programming.

The 2023 Capital Area Heart Walk was chaired by Cheri Johnson, senior vice president, Patient Care Services and CNO at Woman’s Hospital. Approximately 50 companies, 150 teams and more than 3,000 walkers came together to walk for longer and healthier lives in Greater Baton Rouge.

Highlights of the day included an exhilarating fitness warmup led by Orange Theory instructors. The national anthem was led by Marin Varnado, a local survivor and volunteer. The group 484 South provided entertainment and Brandi B. Harris, news anchor with WBRZ-TV was the emcee.

“The American Heart Walk is about getting people moving, celebrating life and caring for all of the hearts we love,” said Kerin Spears, executive director of the American Heart Association in the Capital Area. “Thank you to our walkers, sponsors and incredible volunteers who charged forward to make this year’s Capital Area Heart Walk so successful.”

The 2023 Capital Area Heart Walk campaign was chaired by Woman’s Hospital’s Cheri Johnson. Johnson brought together six local leaders who served on the Executive Leadership Team at this year’s Walk:        

  • Matthew Valliere, CareSouth Medical and Dental
  • Jennifer Waguespack, Level Homes
  • Ashley Gravois, CSRS
  • Leslie Stephens, Ochsner Health
  • Patrick Bull, Cintas
  • Erin Palmintier Pou, 225 Magazine

“The past couple of years have shown us that no matter where we are, we can come together for a common cause,” said Cheri Johnson. “The Heart Walk is all about promoting the health and well-being of our community and supporting our lifesaving mission.”

For nearly 100 years, the American Heart Association has been fighting heart disease and stroke and helping families and communities thrive. Funds raised will ensure more cardiovascular research, and the highest hospital standards of care, which in turn will save more lives.

The event was made possible with the support of the following sponsors: Our Lady of the Lake Health Heart and Vascular Institute, Woman’s Hospital, CareSouth Medical and Dental, Centerwell Senior Primary Care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of LA, Aetna Better Health Louisiana, Associated Grocers, Baton Rouge Clinic, Bernhard Capital Partners, The Celtic Group, Cintas, CSRS, Doyle Electric, Investar Bank, Lemoine Company, Level Homes, Louisiana Farm Bureau, Milton J. Womack, Inc., Ochsner Health Baton Rouge, Patton Brantley Realty Group, Worley, and our media sponsors WBRZ-TV, 225 Magazine, The Advocate Baton Rouge, Guaranty Media and Cox Communications.

Donations in support of the Capital Area Heart Walk can still be made at

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.   


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