Two volunteers awarded with the Leadership Legacy Award for impactful work

The American Heart Association proudly recognizes Dr. Joonun (Chris) Choi and Sarah Yeager with the Leadership Legacy Award in Connecticut. The Leadership Legacy Award is a national award which recognizes current and alumni volunteers for exceptional service and contributions over a significant period of time.

Dr. Joonun (Chris Choi)

Dr. Choi began his involvement with the American Heart Association in 2007 serving on the AHA New York City Fellows Committee. He was President of the former Fairfield Board of Directors and has been a member of the Connecticut Board of Director since 2013. He also led the Fairfield County Heart Walk as Chair in 2020, and currently sits on the 2023 Heart Walk ELT Committee. In 2021, Dr. Choi was elected President of the CT Board of Directors and is currently serving his second year.

A strong supporter for the Association’s mission advancement, Dr. Choi has advocated for health equity throughout the State and is a member of Connecticut’s Cor Vitae Society.

“As Board President, Dr. Choi has taken on the role with much enthusiasm and consistently looks for opportunities to be more interactive with Connecticut communities, especially those who are underrepresented,” said Executive Director, Adria Giordano. “He has been instrumental in introducing the next generation of physicians to the Association, engaging residents and colleagues in the market’s community impact work with local federally qualified health centers and community-based organizations around improving blood pressure rates in communities of color.”

Sarah Yeager with her Leadership Legacy Award

Sarah Yeager began her involvement with the American Heart Association as a member of the Connecticut Board of Directors in 2008. For several years, Sarah served on the executive leadership team of both the Greater New Haven Heart Walk and Greater Hartford Go Red for Women Luncheon. Sarah also served as Chair of the Connecticut Board of Directors from 2020-22.

“Sarah has been a committed and passionate volunteer for many years working to promote and elevate awareness around the risk of heart disease in women and congenital heart defects in children,” said American Heart Association Executive Director, Adria Giordano.  “As board chair, Sarah advocated and led discussions on important issues which directly made an impact on the heart health of all Connecticut residents.”

“I am honored by this recognition from the American Heart Association,” said Sarah Yeager. “I have had the privilege of working with the Association, the local board of directors and our community at large for many years. We have come together and rallied around one goal: improving the health of our communities. I have hope that we can make a difference through our collective impact and raise awareness about heart disease.”

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in Connecticut. The American Heart Association, with the support of volunteers like Dr. Choi and Sarah Yeager, focuses on heart disease prevention and the health of Connecticut communities through policy change, elevating care, ensuring healthy environments and improving quality of life.

Board of Directors, June 2022. Back row L to R: Dr. Joseph Schindler, Dr. Chris Choi, Joe Catapano, Dr. Seth Lapuk, Russ Mills. Front row L to R: Sarah Yeager, Francine LoRusso and Maureen Boyle-Henninger.

“Without our volunteers, the work the Association does in our community would not be possible,” said Giordano. “We want to sincerely thank Sarah Yeager and Dr. Choi for their dedication and hard work to make hearts healthier in Connecticut.”

For more information on the American Heart Association’s work in Connecticut, go to