As part of our 2021 Ohio Valley Women of Impact campaign, each participant is sharing their story as to why they are participating in the event. This entry is from Missy Yeso, Executive with Novo Nordisk.
My name is Missy Yeso and I’m from the Buckeye State… and we have HEART!!
I was raised to believe that it takes a small group of dedicated individuals with a passion for helping people to have an impact on a community. I grew up in an amazing, supportive and giving Italian family in Martins Ferry, Ohio. My family has owned a toy store for over 65 years, so much of my free time was involved being at the store and getting to know our customers and being part of the community. As a gowned adult, it is still my favorite place to be on the weekends, as it reminds me of the importance of giving back and paying it forward. Family is at the heart of who I am.
The word family has so many meanings. We have our immediate family, work families, and our community family. The American Heart Association has become part of both my work family and my community family.
When I graduated from the Ohio State University in 2003, I started to work for the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. In 2010, I made a transition to Novo Nordisk, the worlds leading diabetes company. It was around the same time I decided to return to the Ohio Valley to be close to family and invest my efforts, and passion for healthcare in my surrounding community. My career at Novo Nordisk has blessed me with the opportunities to own my development and invest time and resources into the Ohio Valley and greater Morgantown area. In 2011, I began to partner with WVU Extension Service – Families and Health, where I looked for ways to provide updated diabetes resources to the Dining with Diabetes program. In 2012, I was the recipient of the WVU Extension Partnership award.
This honor gave me the platform I needed to bring additional Novo Nordisk resources to WVU, West Virginia and the Ohio Valley. In 2013, WVU Extension in partnership with Novo Nordisk built the very first educational disc golf course, focused on educating youth on diabetes and obesity while encouraging fun physical activity at Jackson Mill. That same year in partnership with WVU Extension, WVU Health Science, Novo Nordisk Public Affairs, Legislators, and key stakeholders in West Virginia I spearheaded the efforts around the state passing a Diabetes Action Plan. In 2014, Senate Bill 360 was passed giving the State of West Virginia a Diabetes Coalition, which the direction and support of WVU Health Science and public health, was adopted in 2021 as a State Diabetes Action Plan.
In 2016, I was asked to join the American Heart Association Executive Leadership Team for the Wheeling Heart Walk. At first I didn’t know much about the AHA, but the more time I spent getting to know the organization and the people, the more I felt as if their mission aligned not only with my life’s work, but the work of the company I represent, Novo Nordisk.
Growing up in the Ohio Valley, cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes touches almost everyone we know in some way, shape of form. Unfortunately, you can’t talk about one without talking about the others. I am privileged to spend my days working alongside hospitals, health systems, physicians and pharmacists where we have a mutual interest in educating, providing tools and resources, and helping patients gain access to life saving medications and treatments.
For me, being affiliated with the American Heart Association is an opportunity to give back to those who have helped and are helping pioneer advancements in new surgical techniques, treatments, education, and outreach.
Like for so many, my appreciation and commitment for the AHA is personal. When I was in the 2nd grade my mother gathered my three sisters and myself in her room and informed us that my grandfather had a heart attack and he needed to have quadruple bypass surgery. I remember thinking, next to my father, my grandfather is the most important man in my life, he is the heartbeat of the entire Tolbert family.
Making sure patients have access to care is so important to me, when East Ohio Regional Hospital closed its doors, I was part of a small group responsible for the reopening of the NEW East Ohio Regional Hospital. Cardiovascular disease has a greater risk of impacting women, making sure all our mothers, sisters, and aunts have access to care close to home is a comfort to me and such an incredible asset to our community.
Women of Healthcare Influence nominees have great responsibility. We are given the chance to encourage the community to give back, educate, and get involved with the American Heart Association. As a young woman who has a family history of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes, I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to support the American Heart Association and the Ohio Valley to happier and healthier heart care.
While healthcare is my passion, I am dedicated to keeping my community growing. In my free time I proudly sit on the Board of Project Forward, the Martins Ferry Revitalization Committee, where I chair the Strawberry Festival, Christmas Tree Lighting, and WinterFest. In 2020, I was appointed to the Board of Health Right in Wheeling, where I assists the Medical Committee.
If community is important to you… then this is the time to be generous. Take a moment and make a donation in honor or memory of a loved one who is challenged with CVD, or has had or is at risk of suffering a stroke. Every dollar counts and every person touched by the American Heart Association matters.
to learn about this year’s nominees and support the woman of your choice!
Kevin is the Communications Director for West Virginia and Western Virginia. When not in the office, Kevin is an active performer with the State 35 Comedy Troupe and is the founding member of the Ghostbusters – WV Division fundraising team. He has been with the organization since 2005.