Six local women named to Blair County 2023 Woman of Impact class

Six prominent women in Blair County, Pa., 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 Blair County 2023 Woman of Impact class.

Each year a select group of individuals across Blair County 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.

“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 Tiffany Tomlinson, unit director of the cardiac cath and electrophysiology labs and chest pain coordinator at UPMC Altoona, and chair of the 2023 Blair Go Red for Women campaign. “While we’ve made some great strides over the years, we still have a long way to go. A large majority of cardiac events can be prevented if we know how to take steps now to protect our heart later.”

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.

Beginning on National Wear Red Day, Feb. 3, 2023, hundreds of Woman of Impact nominees nationwide embarked on a 9-week journey to help transform the health of women. 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 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 Blair County 2023 Woman of Impact Award Winner. The winner will be recognized at the Blair Go Red for Women event on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at the Blair County Convention Center.

Blair County’s 2023 Woman of Impact Nominees are:

  • Jennifer Cacciotti, PhD, Med, RN, assistant teaching professor, Penn State Altoona
  • Sara Fiore-Gunnet, MBA, vice president, secretary and treasurer, Fiore Brothers Inc.
  • Candance Holliday, heart survivor
  • Kristi Montrella, CRNP, cardiology department, UPMC Altoona
  • Dawn Piotti, stroke survivor
  • Andrea Schurr, community and public relations manager, Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries

“By using their influence, their local networks and their unique lived experiences, these volunteers are able to make a measurable difference in their community and we are so grateful for each of them,” said Tomlinson. “Woman of Impact truly embodies the power of coming together to create important and lasting change for good.”

To learn more about the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement Blair County, visit