Welcome to the American Heart Association’s Mid-Atlantic Affiliate (MAA) blog!  We’re excited to share how we are working with our communities to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. 


A New Heart for Baby Tessa

We met Baby Tessa and her family at our Baltimore Heart Ball on Saturday February 23, 2019. Tessa was born on February 5, 2018 with multiple heart defects: LTGA, VSD, ASD, Pulmonary Atresia, Aortic Stenosis and a Hypoplastic Right Coronary Artery. She has spent most of her life in the hospital. She was listed as Status 1A on the heart transplant list on July 8, 2018 and on February 23, 2019, the night of the Baltimore Heart Ball, she had been on the transplant list for 225 days. On Monday February 25, 2019, her 227th day on the transplant list, her [...]

March 6th, 2019|Maryland, Mission, Survivor Stories, Uncategorized|

Postpartum Cardiomyopathy Survivor Reflects on her 22 year-long Journey

In March of 1997, Beth Williamson Ayers gave birth to her son, Owen. Healthy and happy after a smooth pregnancy and delivery, Beth returned home with her son and visiting family members. Five days later, however, while spending time with her sister, Beth began experiencing shortness of breath. Immediately, her sister called Beth’s OB-GYN to explain the situation. The doctor reassured Beth, attributing the breathing difficulties to seasonal allergies, while also directing her to monitor her breathing and call again if it worsened. After ending the call, it quickly became clear the shortness of breath was more severe than allergies. [...]

March 6th, 2019|Richmond, Survivor Stories, Virginia|

Keeping Maryland Smoke Free: National Harbor Cigar Lounge Proposal Defeated

Prince George’s County, MD- Following pressure by the American Heart Association and our national and state partners, on January 24, 2019 MGM Resorts withdrew their application to the Prince George’s County, Maryland Planning Department for a “special exception” to open a cigar lounge at their National Harbor venue. MGM previously had submitted a proposal for a 2,038 square-foot cigar store and lounge inside the casino that was under review by Prince George’s County agencies and decision makers. However as AHA argued, Maryland’s strong smoke-free law restricts smoking in all indoor workplaces, including casinos AHA and coalition partners including the American [...]

March 4th, 2019|Community Health, Greater Washington Region, You're The Cure|

Five HBCUs Advance in the American Heart Association Urban Health Accelerator-HBCU Healthy Communities Challenge

The American Heart Association hosted the first EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator-HBCU Leadership Summit on Thursday, February 28, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Leadership and students form HBCUs spent the day engaging in group discussions and learning from esteemed panelists on how to be a force for change on campus and in the community. The event concluded with the evening dinner, held at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture where five schools were announced to move forward to the EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator-HBCU Showcase event on April 29. The EmPOWERED to Serve [...]

Virginia Beach City Schools Superintendent and young son promote healthy lifestyle through Kid’s Heart Challenge

As superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), Dr. Aaron Spence oversees the operation of 86 schools (serving almost 69,000 students) as well as all administrative support functions for the school division. As a Hampton Roads, Virginia American Heart Association Board Member, he jumped at the chance to help promote Kid’s Heart Challenge featuring his young son. Over the course of months, Coastal Virginia’s Youth Market Director Matthew Houck facilitated this fun and engaging video that was recently distributed to all teachers. Last year VBCPS was the largest fundraising school district in the state of Virginia and #19 in [...]

February 25th, 2019|Hampton Roads, Kids Health, Virginia|

VA Beach City Schools Superintendent and Young Son Promote Healthy Lifestyle Through Kid’s Heart Challenge 

As superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), Dr. Aaron Spence oversees the operation of 86 schools (serving almost 69,000 students) as well as all administrative support functions for the school division. As a Hampton Roads, Virginia American Heart Association Board Member, he jumped at the chance to help promote Kid’s Heart Challenge featuring his young son. Over the course of months, Coastal Virginia’s Youth Market Director Matthew Houck facilitated this fun and engaging video that was recently distributed to all teachers. Last year VBCPS was the largest fundraising school district in the state of Virginia and #19 in [...]

February 25th, 2019|Hampton Roads, Kids Health|

Kroger Supports American Heart Association Life is Why We Give Campaign

Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a stroke or a heart attack. Less than one third of high school students get the recommended amount of daily physical activity and 30 million people in the United States have no easy access to healthy food . The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health, is on a mission to improve these statistics, and has teamed up with more than 70 companies around the country to do so through the Life Is Why We Give™ fundraising campaign. During American Heart Month this February, Kroger store [...]

February 20th, 2019|centralvirginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, Virginia|

Wells Fargo Raises Awareness Around Congenital Heart Defects in the Lowcountry

The American Heart Association and Wells Fargo teamed up to raise awareness about congenital heart defects in the lowcountry. Wells Fargo's Dita Brown and Kate Marty Caperton, the chairwomen of the Go Red for Women Campaign in Charleston, led the charge in the AHA's Little Hats Big Hearts program. This program dons newborns with knitted red caps and raises awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of Americans, and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country. Wells Fargo is the first company to sponsor Little Hats Big Hearts in South Carolina so they are making history, one red hat at [...]

February 15th, 2019|charleston, South Carolina|