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.

Hold ‘em for Heart

Hold em heart gameThe American Heart Association is known for some of our tried and true events. Jump Rope For Heart, Go Red For Women Luncheons and Heart Walks are just a few of the staples we are known for.

Sometimes we have the opportunity to do things a little different – and that’s just what happened in Orange County when Mike Bolen, our WSA Chairman of the Board, put together a “Hold ‘em for Heart” poker tournament.

Hold em Heart winnersThanks to Mike’s incredible support, our first annual tourney was a huge success! Under his leadership the local Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team secured 27 players at a $5,000 buy-in and raised $135,000 for the organization! Additionally, they created a “day of” opportunity and sold squares for the football game ($100 buy-in and 100 squares) and we raised an additional $10,000. For a first year event that took only a few months to plan, we are simply ecstatic to share that we’ve raised nearly $150,000!

I understand that the players had a blast – and that the vision for next year is to have 60 players with a $10,000 buy-in! This is a perfect example of the power of engaging passionate volunteers. Mike did a wonderful job sharing the mission and impact of players’ gifts. Thank you to Mike and our Orange County team of volunteer leaders – outstanding work!

Hold em Heart 1st place winners

By |January 30th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

How to eSave a Life

Vyshali Rao, M.D shares how to eSave a lifeI wanted to share some exciting news about one of our Southern California volunteers.

A radio story featuring Vyshali Rao, M.D., of Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CA, recently won the division B “Golden Mike” award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California for best medical and science reporting.

The program titled “How To eSave A Life” by journalist Cason Smith aired on KSPC radio on Sunday, October 6, 2013. The program tells the story of a wife who had Googled symptoms to convince her husband (who was in denial), that he was having a heart attack. The production played on award for eSaveone of our Public Service Announcements that shows how most people tend to attribute their symptoms to anything but a heart attack, and refuse to call for help thinking they will get better. The overall message is to learn the warning signs, and not to go on the Internet or phone a friend, but rather call 9-1-1 immediately.

Congratulations, Cason – and thank you, Dr. Vyshali for sharing your time!

By |January 27th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

WSA Staff are winners!

Nichole Guzman win national center transformational rookie awardI am excited to share that we have had several staff win prestigious National awards recently.

Our Los Angeles Heart Walk Vice President Nichole Guzman was selected to receive the National “Transformational Rookie” award in recognition of the great work she has done with the Heart Walk team in LA. The LA Walks have undergone a transformation, achieving their fiscal year goal in the first six months of the campaign! An energizer to those around her, Nichole is creating excitement around the Walks and is dedicated to taking them to a whole new level.

Big Congrats are also in order for the Greater Bay Area Heart Walk team who received the “Transformational Growth Pacesetter Award” for being the first event with growth of nearly one million dollars this fiscal year. This dynamite team has been out in the community, engaging new volunteers and volunteer leaders to join the movement. Last year’s Heart Walk team secured not one, but two My Heart. My Life. sponsors. In addition, seven teams: Oracle, Union Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Charles Schwab, Deloitte, EY and Sephora raised $100,000 plus to become a part of the GBA Circle of Excellence. The Oracle Team raised nearly $350,000!


Ron Loomis win AHA National Center Lee Schwamm stroke awardAnd hats off to Sr. Quality and Systems Improvement Director Ron Loomis on being the winner of the 2015 “Lee Schwamm Award.” Ron achieved this exclusive industry award for having the highest number of ‘active’ bronze, silver and gold stroke award hospitals with the potential to get Target: Stroke (67) and the highest number of Target: Stroke Awards obtained (40)! Ron’s hard work will be recognized during a special dinner at the International Stroke Conference dinner where Dr. Schwamm will personally call him to the stage to be recognized.

I’m so proud of our WSA staff – keep up the great work!

By |January 22nd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Learn for Morgan

Learn For MorganCongratulations to our volunteers and staff in Orange County!

With leadership from division Board of Directors, their collaborative work is bringing a CPR training milestone to California! The group worked with Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District to become the first district in the state to require all students to learn Hands-On CPR and have AED training as part of ninth grade health class curriculum, making it a requirement for graduation.

The district purchased over $10,000 in CPR Anytime Kits and AHA staffer Sylvia Beanes trained over 35 teachers just last week! The curriculum change was inspired by the tragic sudden cardiac arrest death of Esperanza High School student Morgan Wilson, who might have survived had she received bystander CPR. We are proud to join Morgan’s friends and family in “Learn for Morgan,” an initiative to train students and the community in CPR.

By |January 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|