Twenty-one prominent women are helping to 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 their local 2023 Woman of Impact class.
Each year a select group of individuals across the state 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 Kaweeda Adams, chair of the American Heart Association board of directors in the Capital Region. “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 New York women know how to take steps now to protect our hearts 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 embarked on a 9-week journey to help transform the health of women. 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 American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement across New York.
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 2023 Woman of Impact Award Winner in her region. The nominee with the most points nationwide will be named the National Woman of Impact Award Winner.
New York’s 2023 Woman of Impact Nominees are:
- The Capital Region
- Nicole Hart, Community Care
- Joy Lucas, DVM, Upstate Animal Medical Center
- Vernessa Mitchell, RN, St. Peter’s Health Partners
- For information about the Capital Region women, visit: https://www2.heart.org/site/TR?fr_id=8794&pg=entry
- In the Capital Region, five men are also participating in the Men Go Red for Women campaign. They are:
- Jason Benitez, Capital Region Chamber of Commerce
- Jason Greco, FS Investments
- Paul Hook, Hook
- Nicholas Zarrelli, Saratoga National
- The Hudson Valley
- Michele Babcock, J & G Law
- Kim Caruso, Fleet Feet
- Jess Davis, Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Tara Gilman, Wappingers Central School District & Firefly Yoga
- For information about the Hudson Valley women, visit: https://www2.heart.org/site/TR;jsessionid=00000000.app30126a?fr_id=8547&pg=entry&NONCE_TOKEN=5DBF9730AFD64B32B2A5A9224DCE6698
- Long Island
- Jillian Dodge, EY
- Melissa Andrieux, Dorf & Nelson LLP
- For information about the Long Island women, visit Woman of Impact Long Island NY Spring 2023 – Woman of Impact – American Heart Association
- Cynthia Benjamin, Gannett | USA Today Network
- Tonya Nichole Dickerson, Rochester City School District
- Shonte Ofori, Matrix Care/ResMed
- For information about the Rochester women, visit: Woman of Impact Rochester NY Spring 2023 – Woman of Impact – American Heart Association
- Amanda Richie Terzian, Mrs. Syracuse 2023
- Jourdan Garcia, American Fashion Network
- For information about the Syracuse women, visit https://www2.heart.org/site/TR?fr_id=8594&pg=entry
- Lisa Burline Roser, Professional Media Services
- Theresa Lennon, Community Bank
- Danielle Padula, Broadway Theater League
- For information about the Utica women, visit https://www2.heart.org/site/TR?fr_id=8744&pg=entry
“By using their influence, their local networks and their unique lived experiences, these volunteers are able to make a measurable difference in the state, and we are so grateful for each of them,” said Adams. “Woman of Impact truly embodies the power of coming together to create important and lasting change for good.”