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A Century of Commitment to the Fight Against Heart Disease and Stroke

100 Survivors Project launches to celebrate centennial milestone, kick off American Heart Month

KENTUCKY To celebrate its 100th birthday and in honor of American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day in February, the American Heart Association in Kentucky launched the 100 Survivors Project, which celebrates individuals from across the Commonwealth who have battled heart disease and stroke-related conditions. Throughout its Centennial year, the Association will feature local survivors’ stories on its social media platforms, at events to honor their journeys and spread awareness about heart and brain health.

“As we close out our first 100 years and begin the next, our work remains as important as ever, and no one better represents the work of the American Heart Association than survivors of heart disease and stroke,” says Andrea Ooten, executive director in Central and Eastern Kentucky. “In addition to showcasing the real faces behind the statistics, we know that sharing the impactful stories of these resilient survivors will provide hope and inspiration to others facing similar battles.”

A celebration of a century of profound impact on heart health and well-being, 2024 also marks the start of the organization’s Bold Hearts celebration. In addition to telling the stories of survivors whose journeys have been fueled by their own bold hearts, the Association’s second century of mission-critical work now begins and the organization will continue its steadfast commitment to making the bold moves needed for new paths of scientific discovery, eradicating barriers to health equity and advocating for policies that give every

Rep. Kimberly Moser, co-sponsor of House Bill 331, with local youth advocates, Alexis Loveless of Louisville and Max Thompson of Georgetown, both of whom are heart survivors
Yolana Wakefield-Wilson, Community CPR Manager with the American Heart Association, provides a Hands-Only CPR demonstration to Sen. Shelley Funke Frommeyer.

Kentuckian the opportunity for a longer, healthier life.

Celebrating 100 Years

The American Heart Association was founded by six cardiologists on June 10, 1924, but the distinguished achievements of the organization for the past century are the result of the passion of more than 40 million volunteers, supporters, employees, and more than $5 billion invested in scientific research. But there is still work to be done. According to the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics, heart disease and stroke remain the No. 1 and No. 5 leading causes of death in Kentucky.

“Our relentless pursuit will continue until heart disease and stroke are the stories of our past, and not of our future,” says Ashley Sokoler, executive director of the American Heart Association in Kentuckiana and Western Kentucky. “We also know we can’t create a world of equitable health and well-being alone, which is why volunteers, donors and advocates play such an important part in accelerating our lifesaving work.”

The American Heart Association’s Centennial is a celebration of the lifesaving achievements that exemplify a shared vision for a bold new century that will exponentially advance heart and brain health. The Association shares a commitment to bettering the health of all citizens with like-minded community leaders and organizations, who are relentless in their efforts to eliminate heart disease and stroke in the new century.