Seven prominent local women will help advance heart health and raise lifesaving funds to fight their No. 1 health threat with the American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, as members of its Hampton Roads 2023 Woman of Impact class.
Each year a select group of individuals across Hampton Roads are nominated by their peers to become an American Heart Association Woman of Impact because of their passion and drive to make a difference in the community and raise awareness of women’s cardiovascular health.
“Cardiovascular disease remains our No. 1 killer so it’s vital for all women to take charge of their heart health and encourage others to do the same,” said MeShall Hills, Executive Director of the American Heart Association Hampton Roads. “While we’ve made some great strides over the years, we still have a long way to go. For example, American Heart Association surveys have found younger generations of women, Gen Z and Millennials, are less likely than prior generations to be aware that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat. We must raise our voices and make sure all Hampton Roads women know how to take steps now to protect our heart later.”
Woman of Impact is an extension of the American Heart Association’s long-standing Go Red for Women movement, a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally.
While the large majority of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease continues to take the life of 1 in 3 women.
Beginning on National Wear Red Day, Feb. 3, 2023, hundreds of Woman of Impact nominees nationwide embark on a 9-week journey to help transform the health of women and the Hampton Roads nominees were debuted at the Go Red for Women Luncheon. Each week, nominees and their Impact Teams, made up of friends or family 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 women to participate in research, and more. Nominees and their Impact Teams also raise critical funds for the Hampton Roads American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.
On April 6, 2023, the woman whose team has the highest number of impact points—awarded through a combination of fundraising and mission impact activities —is named the Hampton Roads 2023 Woman of Impact Award Winner. The nominee with the most points nationwide will be named the National Woman of Impact Award Winner.
The Hampton Roads 2023 Woman of Impact Nominees are:
- Keshia Brown, DSL/PA-C at Velocity Urgent Care
- Ciara Jones, MHA, BSN, RN, CHFN/Sentara Healthcare
- Frankye Myers, MSN, RN, NE-BC/Riverside Health System
- Joanna Pascua-Colasito, MBA, BSN, RN, CCRN-K/Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
- Amber Payton/iHeartMedia Norfolk
- Kati Rogers Johnson/One Step Forward Nutrition
- Erika Thompson/Truist
“By using their influence, their local networks and their unique lived experiences, these volunteers are able to make a measurable difference in Hampton Roads and we are so grateful for each of them,” said Dr. Ethlyn McQueen-Gibson, nurse with Gibson & Gibson Health Consultants LLP and Leadership Development Chair of the American Heart Association Executive Board of Directors. “Woman of Impact truly embodies the power of coming together to create important and lasting change for good.”
To learn more about the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement in Hampton Roads visit www.hamptonroadsgrfw.heart.org.
Communications Director, Hampton Roads, VA
Encouraging people to live fierce and be relentlesses forces for a world of longer, healthier lives.