8 Upstate leaders making an impact in their communities

Greenville, SC – Change. It can take time. And it’s not always easy. But change is good. Just ask the 2023 Upstate Leaders of Impact class. They are changemakers. Along with leaders from 150 communities across the U.S., they are supporting the work of the American Heart Association to create change that saves lives.

Leaders of Impact represent bright leaders in our community who are dedicated to making a lasting impact on the health of their neighbors. Each year individuals are nominated to be a part of this initiative because of their passion and drive to make a difference. These nominees reach out to their networks to amplify the mission and fuel the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.

“As last year’s top fundraiser through Leaders of Impact and chairperson of this year’s campaign, I am thrilled to have these leaders join the Association in our relentless efforts for a world of longer, healthier lives,” said Tori Zambrano, Leaders of Impact Campaign Chair and Senior Tax Advisor, EY. “Cardiovascular disease remains a top killer in the Upstate. That’s why it’s critical for us to engage volunteers who are passionate about making a lasting impact on their community”.

The Leaders of Impact initiative is just one part of the Heart of the Upstate campaign that goes beyond the ballroom and onto the block, bringing the work of the American Heart Association to life and culminating at the annual Upstate Heart Ball celebration on May 11, 2024. The campaign is relentlessly focused on standing for all by driving equitable health for every member of our community.

How are they making changes?
Beginning on World Heart Day, September 29, Upstate Leaders of Impact nominees will work to raise funds while engaging their networks in opportunities to directly impact the health of Upstate. Funds raised will support the American Heart Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal which aims to advance cardiovascular health for all, including identifying and removing barriers to health care access and quality. Currently, the American Heart Association is working with local stakeholders and community members to address barriers and inequities around Hands-only CPR education, tobacco and vaping, blood pressure control, and access to care.

What changes are needed?
Healthier lives for everyone is the goal, and even small victories matter. These are just a few things that the American Heart Association would like to see improved:
• Heart disease and stroke are the first and fifth leading causes of death in the United States.
• Smoking kills nearly half a million Americans each year, and it’s one of the most preventable causes of death and disease.
• Historically, people of color, including Black and Hispanics/Latinx people, have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) largely due to social factors.
o For example, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for Americans – About 60% of adult Black men and women have CVD.
• It's estimated that about 1 in 10 households in the U.S. experienced food insecurity in 2020.
• Nearly 50% of Americans have high blood pressure, or hypertension, and only 25% of those with high blood pressure have it under control.
• During a cardiac emergency that occurs outside of a medical setting, bystanders only perform CPR 46% of the time.

Thanks to supporters, the American Heart Association has created meaningful change. As a leader in heart and brain health, the Association continues to bring innovative science and research to life in our local communities, strive for equitable health for all, fight the tobacco and vaping crisis, and help people throughout the country learn how to live healthier lives.

Why do they push for change?
Local nominees were selected to take part in Leaders of Impact because of their passion and drive to make a difference. This year’s nominees are:
• Ayla Fitzpatrick, City of Greer, Community & Media Outreach Coordinator
• Barry Newkirk, Intellectual Capitol (ICAP), Co-Founder
• Hannah Osborne, TD Synnex, Vendor Branded Services Supervisor
• Joel Arcieri, Viewpoint Leadership, LLC, Chief Operating Officer
• Skylar Winkles, Morgan Stanley, Financial Advisor
• Lauren Neely, Neely Builder Group, Owner
• Natalia Sowinski, EY, Senior Tax Accountant
• Sam Goodman, TD Bank, Corporate Citizenship Associate Manager

For more information on the Leaders of Impact campaign or information on how to support the American Heart Association, visit the website here.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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