10 named to Baltimore, MD 2023 Woman of Impact class as champions of heart health

Ten prominent local women will help advance heart health and raise lifesaving funds to fight their No. 1 health threat with the American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, as members of its Baltimore & Greater Maryland 2023 Woman of Impact class.

Each year a select group of individuals across Maryland are nominated by their peers to become an American Heart Association Woman of Impact because of their passion and drive to make a difference in the community and raise awareness of women’s cardiovascular health.

Greater Maryland’s 2023 Woman of Impact Nominees are:

  • Sara Ayyad, Diving In Health
  • Nino Isakadze, Johns Hopkins
  • Ashley Izadi, Valley Dental Health
  • Kerunne Ketlogetswe, MedStar Health
  • Shay Patterson, Truist
  • Sybil Pentsil, LifeBridge Health
  • Kavita Sharma, Johns Hopkins
  • Rebecca Smith, survivor
  • Cari Stein, PBS
  • Rebecca Torzone, Northrop Grumman

Learn more about the Woman of Impact nominees by clicking here.

“Cardiovascular disease remains our No. 1 killer so it’s vital for all women to take charge of their heart health and encourage others to do the same,” said Tracy Brazelton, Executive Director of the American Heart Association, Baltimore & Greater Maryland division.

“While we’ve made some great strides over the years, we still have a long way to go. For example, American Heart Association surveys have found younger generations of women, Gen Z and Millennials, are less likely than prior generations to be aware that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat. We must raise our voices and make sure all Maryland women know how to take steps now to protect our heart later,” Brazelton added.

Woman of Impact is an extension of the American Heart Association’s long-standing Go Red for Women movement, a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally.

While the large majority of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease continues to take the life of 1 in 3 women.

Hundreds of Woman of Impact nominees nationwide began the 9-week journey to help transform the health of women on National Wear Red Day, Feb. 3, 2023. Each week, nominees and their Impact Teams, made up of friends or family members, participate in activities designed to create a culture of wellness and health equity. Activities may include educational events, learning and spreading the word about CPR, getting active, recruiting women to participate in research, and more. Nominees and their Impact Teams also raise critical funds for the Greater Maryland American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

On April 6, 2023, the woman whose team has the highest number of impact points — awarded through a combination of fundraising and mission impact activities — is named the Baltimore & Greater Maryland 2023 Woman of Impact Award Winner. The nominee with the most points nationwide will be named the National Woman of Impact Award Winner.

“By using their influence, their local networks and their unique lived experiences, these volunteers are able to make a measurable difference in Maryland by raising awareness around women’s heart health, advancing the mission of the American Heart Association and raising lifesaving funds to fight cardiovascular disease,” said Elizabeth Wise, President and CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health and chairperson of the 2023 Greater Maryland Go Red for Women campaign.

“Woman of Impact truly embodies the power of coming together to create important and lasting change for good. For that, we are so grateful to each one of them,” Wise added.

To learn more about the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement in Maryland visit BaltimoreMDGoRedLuncheon.heart.org.