The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization devoted to world of healthier lives for all, announces Elizabeth Wise, President/CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, as the community volunteer chair of the 2022-2023 Greater Maryland Go Red for Women movement.
Go Red for Women is a worldwide initiative of the American Heart Association designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women locally, nationally, and globally.
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined. Cardiovascular disease continues to be a woman’s greatest health threat, taking the life of one in every three women.
“It is fair to say that everyone in their lifetime will either themselves experience or have a loved one who is diagnosed with cardiovascular disease,” says Wise, who lost her grandfather to a heart attack and an uncle to complications from a stroke.
“As a Registered Nurse working at the bedside, I have had the opportunity to care for cardiovascular patients and I’ve witnessed the improvements in the care of heart and vascular patients through the introduction of new technology, new medications and advancements in research, and ensuring there is equity in the care of patients,” she adds.
Wise says her enthusiasm for the mission of the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women movement stems from the organization’s focus on caring for the whole person, not just care of the disease itself, with an emphasis on prevention to allow more people to live longer, healthier lives.
“We are thrilled to have Elizabeth’s experience, conviction and passion to help drive Go Red in Baltimore and Greater Maryland,” says Tracy Brazelton, Executive Director of the Greater Maryland region of the American Heart Association. “Together, we know that we will have a positive impact on the lives of women in our community and the families that depend on them.”
Joining Wise in leading Maryland’s Go Red for Women efforts will be Liz Klunk Crawley, Head of Clinical Product Development at Versant Health, as the campaign’s Circle of Red Chair.
Circle of Red is the Go Red campaign’s individual giving society that Klunk Crawley has been a donor/member of since she started serving on the campaign’s Executive Leadership Team in 2020.
“Being a nurse, healthy living and access to equitable care has always been top of mind, and the mission and vision of the American Heart Association supports this completely,” Klunk Crawley says, adding that heart disease has affected her family through several generations.
“My paternal grandfather and his entire family passed from cardiac and/or central vascular disease,” Klunk Crawley says. “My father had a hypertensive crisis identified during a routine eye exam, which saved his life; and my youngest brother is a congenital heart defect survivor.”
A new addition to Go Red for Women this year is the Woman of Impact initiative. Women are nominated by their peers to participate. The nominees will recruit champions from their networks to form a fundraising team and have a direct impact on women’s health and the Go Red for Women vision of creating a passionate community dedicated to addressing health issues unique to women.
The nominee whose team makes the largest impact in each market will be named the local Woman of Impact Award Winner. Maryland’s Women of Impact will be announced at the beginning of Heart Month in February.
This year’s Go Red for Women movement and its local achievements will be celebrated on May 4 at the 2023 Greater Maryland Go Red for Women Luncheon. Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by CVS and Aetna, and locally sponsored by University of Maryland Medical System, Johns Hopkins Medicine, LifeBridge Health, BRG and UnitedHealthcare.
For more information about Go Red for Women visit baltimoremdgoredluncheon.heart.org.
Wayne, a lifelong Marylander, is the communications director for the American Heart Association serving Baltimore and Greater Maryland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.