Nine Maryland influencers of all ages lead effort to eliminate heart disease and stroke

To kick off February as American Heart Month, eight community leaders and one teen in the Baltimore and Greater Maryland area are joining the American Heart Association to fight their number one health threat — cardiovascular disease (CVD) — through the Woman of Impact and Teen of Impact initiatives.

These two campaigns support the American Heart Association’s mission to a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

As the Association celebrates its 100th birthday, efforts driven by these nominees will be key as the organization enters its second century of saving lives and advancing health and hope for everyone. Nominees participating in Woman of Impact will raise funds and awareness to support the Go Red for Women® movement and women’s health and well-being. Teen of Impact nominees are working to support equitable health for all people living in Maryland.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more lives than all cancers combined, so it’s vital for people of all ages to take charge of their heart health and encourage others to do the same,” said Dr. Nino Isakadze, cardiology fellow at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and the 2023 Greater Maryland Woman of Impact winner.

“While we have made a lot of progress over the last century, there is still a lot of work to be done,” Isakadze added. “I am here to encourage others to raise their voices and make sure the Baltimore and Greater Maryland community knows how to take steps now to protect our hearts later — and each of the nominees is helping to champion that message and bring our work directly to even more people.”

The Woman of Impact and Teen of Impact nationwide initiatives will launch in hundreds of cities across the country on National Wear Red Day, Friday, Feb. 2. At the start of the campaign, hundreds of nominees nationwide embark on a nine-week journey to help transform heart health through education and fundraising.

Each week, nominees and their team 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 friends and family to participate in research, and more.

Greater Maryland’s 2024 Woman of Impact Nominees are:

  • Brooke Bognanni, College Professor
  • Leigh Chapman, Carroll Hospital, A LifeBridge Health Center
  • Vicki Jones, City of Havre de Grace
  • Emily Kisner, Graduate Student
  • Latonia Lewis
  • Dr. Elisabeth Marsh, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Meghan Wieser, Recharge
  • Dr. Angela L. Williams, Coppin State University

Greater Maryland’s 2024 Teen of Impact Nominee is:

  • Delanie Spear, Wicomico County

On April 4, one nominee from each campaign will be named the Greater Maryland 2024 Woman of Impact Winner and Greater Maryland 2024 Teen of Impact Winner. In addition to local market winners, one nominee from each campaign across the country will be named the National Woman of Impact Winner and Teen of Impact Winner.

“By using their influence, their local networks and their unique experiences, these volunteers are able to make a measurable difference in Maryland and we are so grateful for each of them,” said Sonia Suber, VP Information Systems & Technology at Sodexo, and executive volunteer chair of the 2024 Greater Maryland Go Red for Women® movement. “The Woman of Impact and Teen of Impact initiatives truly embody the power of coming together to create important and lasting change for good.”

To learn more about the Woman of Impact and Teen of Impact campaigns, or to donate starting 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 2,

To learn more about the American Heart Association locally, visit