Eight Harrisburg-area changemakers lead effort to fight No. 1 killer

To kick off February as American Heart Month, eight women from across the Harrisburg area are joining the American Heart Association to fight their number one health threat, cardiovascular disease (CVD) through the Woman of Impact initiative. Woman of Impact is an extension of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women® movement, a comprehensive platform designed more than two decades ago to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally. This year’s Woman of Impact class will work from February 2 to April 4 to raise funds to support research and education to better identify, diagnose, treat and prevent CVD in women.

Kristal Markle-Temons

Kristal Markle-Temons, president of Bossy Girl Leadership and the proud chairwoman of the 2024 Capital Region Go Red for Women campaign remarked that, “each of our 8 nominees are incredibly accomplished women who were selected for their remarkable achievements, servant leadership, and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact.” Kristal’s passion burns bright for empowering every woman to embrace her courage and her voice to achieve her full potential. “In our journey toward heart health, let’s not forget the incredible strength and resilience that resides within each of you. It’s not just about beating heart disease; it’s about conquering every obstacle and thriving in every aspect of your life.”

Woman of Impact, a nationwide initiative, launches in more than 100 cities across the country on National Wear Red Day, February 2. At the start of the campaign, hundreds of nominees nationwide embark on a nine-week journey to help transform the health of women through education and fundraising. Each week, nominees participate in activities designed to create a culture of wellness and advance health equity. Activities may include educational events, learning and spreading the word about CPR, getting physically active, recruiting women to participate in research and more. Nominees also raise critical funds for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

The 2024 Capital Region Woman of Impact Nominees are:

  • Shannon Claire, brand photographer and owner, The Content Creator’s Collective
  • Jenn Dusart, owner, Workout With Jenn LLC
  • Brandi Hunter-Davenport, senior associate, Triad Strategies
  • Addeline Alaniz Edwards, business development specialist, Abel Personnel
  • Carmen Kitts, RN, aesthetic registered nurse, GLO Skin Care MD
  • Alicia Luciani, senior technical business analyst, Capital Blue Cross
  • Eliz Nestorov, owner and chief influence officer, AKAEVA Consulting
  • Amy B. Porto, PhD, RD, owner and registered dietitian, Professor Eatbetter LLC

On April 4, one nominee will be named the 2024 Capital Region Woman of Impact Winner. In addition to local market winners, one nominee from across the country will be named the National Woman of Impact Winner.

Women experience unique life stages that can increase their risk of developing CVD over the course of their lifetime. In fact, CVD is the number one killer of new moms as the leading case of maternal mortality.[1] Nearly 45% of women over age 20 are living with some form of CVD[2]. The good news is, the majority of cardiovascular events can be prevented with lifestyle changes and education which is the foundation of the Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

The Woman of Impact winner will be recognized at the 2024 Capital Region Go Red for Women event, set for Thursday, May 16 at the West Shore Country Club. To learn more, visit heart.org/goredhbg.




























[1] Centers for Disease Control Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System Table: Causes of Pregnancy-Related Deaths

[2], [2][2], [2][2][2] , [2]V   Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, Anderson CAM, Arora P, Avery CL, Baker-Smith CM, Beaton AZ, Boehme AK, Buxton AE, Commodore Mensah Y, Elkind MSV, Evenson KR, Eze-Nliam C, Fugar S, Generoso G, Heard DG, Hiremath S, Ho JE, Kalani R, Kazi DS, Ko D, Levine DA,Liu J, Ma J, Magnani JW, Michos ED, Mussolino ME, Navaneethan SD, Parikh NI, Poudel R, Rezk-Hanna M, Roth GA, Shah NS, St-Onge M-P, Thacker EL, Virani SS, Voeks  JH, Wang N-Y, Wong ND, Wong SS, Yaffe K, Martin SS; on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on  Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2023 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published ahead of print January 25, 2023].

Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001123