Monthly Archives: October 2014


Hearts for Charlie

Halloween is tomorrow – what a perfect opportunity to turn our attention to kids – or in this case, one very special kiddo and her family. “Hearts for Charlie” is a new Heart Walk team formed in Central California’s Kern County to support Charlie, a three-month-old born with hypo plastic left heart syndrome. She had her first surgery when just a [...]

World Stroke Day

October 29, 2014, is no ordinary day for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. It is “World Stroke Day” and was established by the World Stroke Organization in 2006 to help spread public awareness of the world's high stroke risk and stroke prevalence. Volunteers and staff around the affiliate capitalized on the opportunity to garner attention and raise awareness for a cause close [...]

Phoenix’s Inaugural Heart Walk Construction event raises more than $200,000!

Our Phoenix Division is tapping in to the bustling local building economy. They recently hosted a social event geared toward the construction industry executives in the area. The event kicked off the fundraising and wellness campaigns of the 2015 Phoenix Heart Walk. The 50 attendees had an opportunity to network and learn more about the mission of the American Heart Association. In [...]

Congratulations, Marklem Valdovinos!

It is my pleasure to announce that Multicultural Initiatives Director Marklem Valdovinos has won the prestigious American Heart Association Rome Betts Award. Marklem Valdovinos has consistently demonstrated outstanding results through implementation of programs that help to leverage and engage volunteers and address building a culture of health with our focus areas in hypertension, healthy eating/nutrition and obesity. She has a [...]

Knowledge is Power

October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month – the perfect time to emphasize the importance of CPR in many lifesaving events. On Oct. 6, our Greater Bay Area Division celebrated HeartSaver Heroes and Heroine who saved not one, but two lives, within the span of a few weeks this summer! San Francisco board Chair Yerem Yeghiazarians, M.D., presided at the [...]

Mommy is Why!

At five years old, Kaitlyn Ostrander called 9-1-1 when her mother went unconscious due to a heart condition. Because of her quick actions, Kaitlyn’s mother was saved and later had heart-valve replacement surgery. The Ostrander’s could have let this scary event hamper their lives – but instead they have used it as a platform to help others. Kaitlyn is now [...]

Banner year for the Bay Area!

I could not be more proud of our Greater Bay Area division and the work they are doing to make an impact with our organization. This amazing team is on their way to raising $1 million NEW dollars through their fall Heart Walk season. Here are just a few of the extraordinary accomplishments this team has achieved so far: Home [...]

Flavors of the Heart – healthy eating is why!

The fabulous Las Vegas was the setting for our fourth annual Flavors of the Heart (FOTH) brain and heart-healthy culinary event – with more than 400 people attending to raise awareness about healthy eating. This engaging event helped us raise more than $20,000 to continue supporting local Las Vegas division programs. About 23 chefs and suppliers showed their support by [...]

WSA honored for exceeding CPR training goal!

While in Dallas a few weeks ago, I was so honored to be able to join our WSA Senior Vice President of Health Strategies Lisa Jones Barker in accepting an award for exceeding our Hands-Only CPR training goal. During the last fiscal year we trained over 2.7 million people to save a life. That is a VERY large group of [...]

Policy wins will help kids grow up healthy

Fantastic news from our advocacy team in Nevada! I am happy to announce that our Advocacy team scored a huge win when the State of Nevada became the first state in the country to establish policy around “Competitive Foods in Schools” and “Junk Food Marketing in Schools.” Ben Schmauss, our Nevada government relations director, worked directly with the Department of Agriculture [...]