York Hospital surgical technologist drives equitable health as York Leaders of Impact winner

Krista Null, a certified surgical technologist at WellSpan Health York Hospital, has been named the American Heart Association York 2023 Leaders of Impact winner for their work in driving equitable health in the community. In the south central Pennsylvania area, life expectancy varies by 22 years which can often be caused by the social determinants of health and the barriers to achieving health equity for all communities — factors that include structural racism[1] and lacking access to quality healthcare[2].

Null was one of four nominees that participated in the blind fundraising competition over the course of seven weeks. The four nominees raised a combined $19,918. Null was named the winner with a total of $13,218 raised.

Null’s campaign success was driven by a personal connection to the American Heart Association’s mission. Null was just 13 years old when she discovered her 17-year-old sister unresponsive in her bedroom one morning as they were getting ready for school. She had suffered a stroke and spent 64 days in the hospital re-learning basic skills. Despite some short-term memory loss, her sister went on to graduate high school and earn a college degree.

“It was a day that changed our family forever,” said Null. “Participating in Leaders of Impact was important to me because I’ve seen the devastating effects heart disease and stroke have on those we love. It was fun and rewarding to have so many people come together to help me.”

Krista Null (center) and colleagues at WellSpan Health York Hospital gather for presentation of York Leaders of Impact award. The award was presented by Marsha Jackson (left), executive director, and Gail Frassetta (right), development director for the American Heart Association, South Central Pennsylvania Division.

The American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, has invested in community health, innovative research and bold initiatives that save and improve lives. Funds raised through Leaders of Impact will support the Association’s 2024 Impact Goal which aims to advance cardiovascular health for all including identifying and removing barriers to health care access and quality. In south central Pennsylvania, the Association is specifically focused on improving nutrition security and reducing uncontrolled hypertension.

Leaders of Impact launched on Sept. 29, World Heart Day in 150 cities across the nation and culminated on Nov. 15, National Philanthropy Day. Each nominee’s participation focused on opportunities to be a changemaker with a shared purpose to raise the critical awareness, action and fund the mission of the American Heart Association.

Other York Leaders of Impact nominees included:

  • Larry Goldhahn, MD, EMS director, UPMC Hanover
  • Tina Hess, president, CEO and owner, Good News Consulting Inc.
  • Paul Johnson, administrative fellow, WellSpan Health Gettysburg Hospital

Leaders of Impact is held annually as a part of the fundraising campaign for the York Heart Ball, set for Saturday, April 6, 2024 at the Yorktowne Hotel. The event will celebrate the American Heart Association’s 100-year anniversary and significant milestones in the Association’s history.

For more information about Leaders of Impact and the York Heart Ball, visit heart.org/yorkhb.

Read more about all of the 2023 Leaders of Impact nominees in Pennsylvania. Leaders of Impact campaigns in full swing across Pennsylvania


[1] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000936

[2] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000753