Northwest Hospital president steps up to save lives in Maryland, chair Heart Challenge

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in Baltimore and Greater Maryland. Craig Carmichael, the president of Northwest Hospital and a senior vice president of LifeBridge Health, is working hand-in-hand with the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, to change that.

Carmichael will serve as chair for the 2023 Greater Maryland Heart Challenge™, a community campaign focused on engaging local companies, corporations and their employees to join the fight against heart disease and stroke.

“As the president of Northwest Hospital, a healthcare leader and chair of the 2023 Greater Maryland Heart Challenge, I’m committed to serving our community and promoting a heart healthy lifestyle,” Carmichael said. “I want our team members, neighbors and our community to be the best, most healthy version of themselves. This community message is even more significant this year, as Northwest Hospital celebrates our 60th anniversary.  As we celebrate our history in the community, let’s use this platform to educate and encourage as many people as we can on the importance of heart health.”

“I have a very personal reason why heart health and living a healthy lifestyle are so important to me,” he added. “Just as I was starting my career over 30 years ago, I developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease where the immune system attacks the body’s nerves. It seemed as though in days, I went from being the picture of health to spending four weeks in the hospital, including two weeks in the intensive care unit, and another four weeks in rehabilitation learning to walk again.

“After recovering from that episode, I pledged to live a healthier lifestyle. I became an avid gym member and runner and continue to run most mornings before work. Whenever there is an opportunity to share my story to encourage others to live an active lifestyle, I do.”

As chair of the Heart Challenge™, Carmichael will lead a team of Baltimore-area executives to recruit companies and organizations to take part in various Heart Challenge™ initiatives including the Greater Maryland Heart Walk®, as well as Executives with Heart.

Through these initiatives, the leadership team and supporting organizations will raise funds for the American Heart Association while leading action-oriented conversations about employee health, corporate engagement, community health and community transformation.

“We are incredibly grateful for these leaders who are stepping up to move the needle when it comes to heart disease and stroke” said Tracy Brazelton, Executive Director of the American Heart Association, Baltimore & Greater Maryland division. “Through the various Heart Challenge initiatives, we can drive maximum impact through employee engagement and corporate fundraising. Together, we can save lives right here in Maryland.”

Heart disease and stroke are largely preventable and how you eat, move and manage stress impacts your well-being, physically and mentally. Heart Challenge™ provides resources, tools and activities to support both mental and physical well-being for employers and employees.

The Greater Maryland Heart Walk is the signature event of the American Heart Association’s Heart Challenge program in Baltimore.

On Saturday, October 21, 2023, Greater Maryland Heart Walk participants and teams are invited to the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium to celebrate heart and stroke survivors, raise lifesaving funds and encourage physical activity.

To register, visit From there, participants can stay up to date by downloading the Heart Walk mobile app and encourage friends and family to join in via e-mail or on social media, using the hashtag, #MDHeartWalk.

The funds raised from the Greater Maryland Heart Walk go toward research, advocacy, CPR training and to promote better health in support of the Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal, reducing barriers to health care access and quality. Visit to learn more.

The 2023 Greater Maryland Heart Walk is sponsored by LifeBridge Health, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical System and MedStar Health, among other local sponsors.