Be a changemaker: Join the American Heart Association’s work in the Rochester community

2019 Rochester Heart Walk & Run

You probably know about the thousands of your fellow community members who take part in the Rochester Heart Walk & Run, the Heart Ball, or the Go Red for Women Luncheon each year, but do you know what else the American Heart Association is doing?

“We are so much more than the events you love,” said American Heart Association Executive Director Marc Natale. “We work all year-round to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. Supporting the American Heart Association goes beyond the walk and beyond a table.”

The American Heart Association works in Rochester and the surrounding communities to help improve health outcomes for all people. That includes work impacting health equity and social determinants that can impact health outcomes. The American Heart Association is committed to serving as a catalyst, convener and collaborator toward fighting structural racism within the realm of cardiovascular science, medicine and health care.

Eat Smart Day deliveries in 2018

The American Heart Association works in our schools with programs like Kids Heart Challenge, which provides curriculum and resources for teachers to help keep kids active, whether at home or school. Thanks to fundraising from local companies, the AHA has donated physical activity equipment, healthy snacks for Eat Smart Day and CPR in Schools training kits to several area schools.

It’s not just students learning how to do perform Hands-Only CPR. Before the pandemic, the American Heart Association regularly held demonstrations within Rochester-area companies so people could learn CPR during the workday. Other workplace wellness programs included healthy cooking demonstrations, stress management, and even ergonomics. While COVID-19 has paused some of these in-person programs, the American Heart Association continues to work with local employers to impact the health of thousands of employees throughout the area. Virtual webinars on topics like the impact of COVID-19 and improving mental health bring awareness and information to employees wherever they are. The AHA also recently announced its Workplace Health Achievement Index, including recognition for five area companies for creating a culture of health and investing in the health of their workforce.

The American Heart Association will be launching a community-wide challenge to help control blood pressure. High blood pressure is often called a “silent killer,” because most of the time it has no obvious symptoms. More than 28% of adults in our community have been told by a doctor they have high blood pressure, or hypertension. That’s more than 259,740 people, or 20 times the capacity of the Blue Cross Arena! The African American community is disproportionately affected by hypertension.

African Americans are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure. The Check It! Challenge, part of the Check. Change. Control. program, encourages people to check their blood pressure twice a month. The program includes four months of educational content to help participants understand their blood pressure, change to healthier habits, and control their numbers. The program runs from February through May.

All of these programs are made possible by the support of our community. Whether you donate, advocate, sponsor, or walk, you are part of a positive change in the Rochester community.

That work is why Keith Williams and Jennifer Graney, from Consiliarium Group, are leading the charge as co-chairpersons for the 2021 Rochester Heart Walk & Run.

Keith Williams

“Being part of a common cause where our community comes together to support health and wellbeing is significant, especially in times like we are experiencing today,” said Williams, Managing Partner at Consiliarium Group. “The American Heart Association rallies our community to extend out valuable programs and healthy heart initiatives, with the goal to create a community free of heart disease and stroke for all generations.  The American Heart Association is truly Rochester at Heart.  Consiliarium Group is honored and thankful to Chair the 2021 Rochester Heart Walk, and the efforts and collaborations to bring together Rochester community citizens and businesses for this event and overall healthy heart awareness is truly meaningful to us all.”

Jennifer Graney

“Consiliarium Group recognizes the importance of health and wellbeing and are strong advocates of heart health,” said Graney, Partner at Consiliarium Group. “The health and wellness tools, resources, and support American Heart Association promotes to our Rochester community and communities worldwide is significant and impactful.  At Consiliarium Group, our commitment to health and wellness is reflected through our corporate culture and local initiatives to promote healthy choices for our teammates.  We are always looking for opportunities to extend that culture throughout the community which is why Consiliarium is proud and honored to Chair the 2021 American Heart Rochester Heart Walk & Run.”

Join the American Heart Association and be a changemaker for our community. Together, we are a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

Register now for the Rochester Heart Walk & Run, or contact Jason Stulb or Marc Natale for other ways to get involved.