American Heart Association Announces Co-Chairs for the 2018 Eastern Connecticut Heart Walk

The American Heart Association, the largest voluntary health organization fighting heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases, announces Kevin Brown of Mohegan Tribe and Donna Handley of Hartford HealthCare will co-chair the 2018 Eastern Connecticut Heart Walk. The annual event will take place on Sunday, September 23 at the Mohegan Reservation in Uncasville. 

 Brown and Handley will lead the organizational and recruitment efforts in eastern Connecticut. They will call on thousands of area volunteers, survivors, walkers, and business leaders to step up to fight cardiovascular diseases.

“Working in the healthcare industry, I understand the need for continual support in the fight against heart disease through funding and awareness,” said Handley, “Hartford HealthCare is committed to helping people live healthier lives and by supporting the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk – we are joining together to advance their lifesaving mission of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease while encouraging a culture of physical activity.”

The Eastern Connecticut Heart Walk will attempt to raise more than $370,000 to fund research and education to fight heart disease and stroke. Each day, nearly 2,400 Americans die from a cardiovascular disease. That’s an average of one death every 37 seconds. A leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke is lack of physical activity. Research has found that individuals may gain two hours of life expectancy for every one hour of regular, vigorous exercise they do.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and it is no secret that it affects the Native American community at rates higher than most others,” said Brown. “This is one of the many reasons I take particular pride in continuing my co-chair role where I have the opportunity to help promote health and wellness and change these statistics. On behalf of the Tribe, we are honored to once again host the annual walk and are so proud of the dedication, commitment and support of our team members who participate each year – leading the way in the state and region helping to continue to support the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission.”

In her role as President of Hartford HealthCare’s East Region, Donna Handley provides executive leadership for the East Region which includes The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Windham Community Hospital in Willimantic, the Plainfield Emergency and Ambulatory Center, various outpatient clinics and urgent care centers.

Kevin Brown is serving his second term as chairman of the Mohegan Tribe. As chairman, Brown is responsible for maintaining the sovereignty that the Mohegan Tribe fought hundreds of years for, overseeing its numerous business entities and ensuring the well-being of its more than 2,100 Tribal citizens. Brown also serves as Chairman of the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) Management Board which oversees gaming entities across the country, as well as two professional sports teams.

To learn more about the Eastern Connecticut Heart Walk, or to find out about sponsorship opportunities, please call John Brannelly at 203-295-2941 or go to


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