American Heart Association

The WSA Exchange

For healthy hearts and minds

Welcome to the The WSA Exchange, for healthy hearts and minds. Kathy Rogers, American Heart Association Western States Affiliate Executive Vice President will share stories from across the affiliate.

Sean Maloney’s journey begins…

Sean Maloney #Bike4Heart banner

Sean Maloney #Bike4HeartHats off (or more like helmets off) to the entire Silicon Valley Team! Last week hundreds of supporters and cycling enthusiasts filled the streets of Downtown Palo Alto to cheer on Sean Maloney, stroke survivor and well respected high tech executive, as he geared up for an epic 5,000 mile bike ride from the Bay Area to New York City. Sean’s goal is to shine the spotlight on stroke and heart disease, and raise $1 million to benefit the AHA/ASA.

Heart Across America #Bike4Heart Team PhotoThe community celebration included 25 event sponsors, speeches from local public officials and  former U.S. Olympic Cyclist George Mount.  The event also garnered plenty of media buzz from  NBC Bay Area, the San Jose Mercury NewsPalo Alto Daily News,  Palo Alto Weekly and Bloomberg News, among others.

The collective efforts of the Silicon Valley Team truly reflects what we can accomplish at our best.

Track Sean’s journey virtually at and cheer him on using #Bike4Heart.


Halle Heart East Valley Mom Blog

Photo Credit: Staci, East Valley Mom Blog

Kudos to Len Gutman in the Phoenix office for meeting people where they are – on social media. Len reached out to key “mommy bloggers” in the area and invited them to visit and write about the Halle Heart Museum. His efforts paid off last week when one of the most-followed blogs in the area, East Valley Mom’s Blog, published a rave review of the Museum, as well a post to their Facebook page. Len further engaged the group by providing them with free tickets to give away in their recent contest. Be sure to check out the East Valley Mom’s glowing write-up here.

10th Annual Utah Go Red For Women Luncheon

Utah Go Red 2015 -  FOX13 emcee Kelly Chapman and keynote speaker Kathy SmithAnother amazing fundraising success comes from the 10th Annual Utah Go Red For Women Luncheon, which raised $124,000 – a 40 percent increase over last year’s revenue! Congratulations to Laura Western, Paula Axelrod and Amelia O’Neill for strategically engaging 21 new companies, increasing attendance by 87 people and nearly tripling the amount raised in Open Your Heart donations!

Held on March 13th in Salt Lake City, the Luncheon featured keynote speaker Kathy Smith, a New York Times bestselling author at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. Young mother and Army wife Sara Dye, who won Utah’s National Wear Red Day photo contest on Facebook, shared her incredible story of surviving a heart attack at the age of 31. Firefighters from three of the local departments escorted guests into the Luncheon and helped gather OYH pledges.

The health and wellness expo was buzzing with excitement as attendees fought to outbid one another in the silent auction. In the end, funding for women and heart disease research won with a 44 percent growth in silent auction income.Utah Go Red For Women Luncheon 2015 Firefighters and Circle of Red members

2015 Phoenix Heart Walk

2015 Phoenix Heart Walk StartA special congratulations to the Phoenix Heart Walk Team for a stellar event that raised more than 1.4 million toward their $1.5 million goal….and donations are still being made! On Saturday, March 21st, an estimated 20,000 participants including 133 companies and 120 community teams, gathered in downtown Phoenix.

2015 Phoenix Life is Why BoardIntroducing a couple of new facets to the Heart Walk;  Phoenix unveiled a Life Is Why board. The 8×10, free-standing, double-sided board was the brain child of Heart Walk Coordinator Rachel Haferman and came to fruition with the support of long-time Heart Walk company McCarthy Building Companies. The Life Is Why Board allowed walkers to share their personal “Why” in colored chalk and was a focal point of the festival area.

2015 Phoenix Heart Walk Lub Dub SportacusIn addition, the Phoenix team, in conjunction with the National Center, piloted a new event at the Walk called the Kids Adventure Dash! The Kids Adventure Dash motivated and inspired the AHA’s youngest Heart Walk participants and their families with the help of Sportacus, the star of the LazyTown television series.  More than 200 kids, ages 5-12, participated in a special half-mile obstacle course and dash.

Thank you again to Sr. Heart Walk Director Morgan Seller and her talented team Brittany Mayes, Debra Wilson, Cara Foster and Rachel Haferman.

Phoenix Heart Walk 2015 Heart Walk Staff