AUSTIN, October 25, 2023 — Everyone has a connection, a person, a why, to get out there and make a difference when it comes to the #1 and # 5 causes of death, heart disease and stroke. That is why more than 5000 attendees joined the American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization focused on heart and brain health for all, at the 2023 Austin Heart & Stroke Walk at Q2 Stadium on Saturday.

Every walker and company that participated, every dollar donated, means more research, more people trained in lifesaving CPR, more medical breakthroughs and more lifesaving moments for hearts big and small.

Led by Chairperson Mark Hauerland of H-E-B, this year’s event was focused on walking to save lives; an initiative H-E-B took to heart by expanding their Wellness Wednesday initiative to engage every Central Texas location on nutrition and mental health.

Event attendees learned Hands-Only CPR, how to take their blood pressure, about the five pillars of the Association and more prior to the opening ceremonies.

Emcees Kristen Currie and David Yeoman from KXAN got the crowd going to kickoff the opening ceremonies where awards were presented to recognize the significant impact of three volunteers. Sabine Barrett, a seventh grader and heart survivor who collapsed after practicing soccer, presented her coach and CPR hero, Nic Snyder, with the Heartsaver Hero Award.

For the first time, the Association was honored to be a part of handing out Live Fierce Awards, presented by H-E-B and Higginbotham, recognizing those who are a catalyst for longer, healthier lives for everyone, everywhere. This year’s recipients were Chance Whitaker and Isabelle Elrod.

A frontline worker at a grocery store, Chance went above and beyond to engage his store and coworkers in the mission of the Association while encouraging them to make small changes that would positively impact their physical and mental health.

Isabelle is a heart survivor and lively 12-year-old from Round Rock. She served as a national ambassador in 2021-22 and has spoken locally at various events this past year. She has bravely shared her story in hopes to help other young survivors while also inspiring youth to make their health a priority.

The 2023 Austin Heart & Stroke Walk is presented by St. David’s Healthcare and Texas Mutual. Local sponsors Centre for Neuro Skills, Texas Children’s Hospital, H-E-B, Higginbotham, Salute Mission Critical, ABC Home & Commercial Services, Atlassian, Hello Heart, KPMG, 100 Black Men of Austin, Austin Regional Clinic, Baylor Scott & White Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Broadway Bank, Catellus, CFAN, IREP, UFCU, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons, UnitedHealthcare and UT Health Austin were all instrumental allies in making this event a success.  

The Austin Heart & Stroke Walk is the signature event of the American Heart Association’s Heart Challenge program which is designed to help companies positively impact employee overall health and wellbeing. The program is anchored in a series of customizable workplace events that inspires employees to be more engaged, reconnect with colleagues, get in their physical activity, support a great cause and have a lot of fun doing it. 

The funds raised from the Austin Heart & Stroke Walk go towards research, advocacy, CPR training and to promote better health in support of the Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal, reducing barriers to health care access and quality. 


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, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

For Media Inquiries:  

Megan Jameson: 512-639-4366;  

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