Southern New England American Heart Association Pleased to Announce 2020 SNE Heart Walk Chair

CEO and Chairman, Landmark Medical Center and The Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island, to serve as 2020 Southern New England Heart Walk Chair

PROVIDENCE, RI, March 3rd, 2020 – The American Heart Association (AHA), the largest voluntary health organization fighting heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases, announces Michael R. Souza, CEO and Chairman, Landmark Medical Center and The Rehabilitation Hospital, as chair of the 2020 Southern New England Heart Walk. The 2020 Southern New England Heart Walk will take place on Sunday, May 31st in Providence at Station Park, 100 Gaspee Street, Providence RI 02903. 

The Southern New England Heart Walk is a large annual outdoor walking event that bring together over 5,000 people annually to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke, promoting active and healthier lifestyles.

“As someone whose family has a significant history of heart disease, I am honored in a very personal way to serve as Chair for the American Heart Association’s 2020 Providence Heart Walk,” said Michael R. Souza, CEO and Chairman, Landmark Medical Center and The Rehabilitation Hospital. “Heart disease and stroke are the #1 and #5 killers of Americans – a very concerning statistic that we have the power to change. The charge must be led by all of us – whether a physician, nurse, lay person or patient, together we must share the goal of enabling a healthy and productive community that strengthens our patients…. our employees and our communities,” said Mike Souza, CEO

Spreading awareness is an important mission to Souza, with heart disease running in his family. Taking his role as chair to heart, Souza is walking in memory of his grandfather who suffered seven heart attacks before passing in 1991. Souza is now helping take care of his father who survived a serious heart attack in July 2019 at the age of 62, and has lost a number of aunts, uncles and cousins to heart disease.

As chair, Michael R. Souza will lead the organizational and recruitment efforts for the Southern New England Heart Walk. He will call on thousands of area volunteers, survivors, walkers, and business leaders to step up to reduce disability and death from cardiovascular disease and stroke, the leading cause of death in the United States. The goal is to raise $500,000 to finance cutting-edge scientific research, conduct public and professional educational programs and advocate for public health.

“We are thrilled to have Michael R. Souza leading this year’s Southern New England Heart Walk,” stated Austin Prario, Heart Walk Director for the Southern New England American Heart Association. “His charisma and passion are driving this walk to be bigger and better than ever.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Both heart disease and stroke are up to 80% preventable. Educating the public on the benefits of heart healthy lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in the culture of health of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. 

The Heart Walks are now part of the Healthy for Good initiative, which is the AHA’s initiative to inspire all Americans to live healthier lives and create lasting change. It focuses on the simple idea that making small changes today can create a difference for generations to come. The Heart Walk also lends to the health of the community as walking is one of the safest, least expensive and most sustainable forms of exercise.

For more information about registering for the 2020 Southern New England Heart Walk visit www.sneheartwalk.org. To learn about sponsorship opportunities please contact Austin Prario, Southern New England American Heart Association Heart Walk Director, at (401) 228-2327 or email Austin.Prario@heart.walk.org

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