Who We Are - Chicago

Who We Are - Header

 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS...
These dedicated volunteers are healthcare professionals and business and ocmmunity leaders who guide the many activities in our six-county region in Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will). More about the Metropolitan Chicago Board
 
SURVIVORS...

sharing their stories; passing on hope and knowledge; all who make healthy lifestyle choices; research advances as well as heart disease and stroke risk reduction mean that more people will be seated at the table for the next family holiday dinner.
 
VOLUNTEERS...

often family and friends of survivors who are concerned about what the future holds; our events could not occur without the energy and hours spent by our volunteers; sharing information to promote health and wellness
 
DONORS...


our lifesaving work is funded by events such as Start! Heart Walks, Heart Balls, Go Red For Women Luncheons, Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart; by memorial gifts and donations to our workplace giving and mail campaigns. Individuals, corporations and foundations support our work with generous donations. Planned giving vehicles include wills, trusts, gift annuities and gifts of appreciated assets.
 
RESEARCHERS...
advancing surgical techniques, developing the artifical valve, pacemakers and cardiac stents; sharing results with the research community.
 
HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS...
hospitals implementing Get With the Guidelines to improve cardiac and stroke patient outcomes. Get With the Guidelines has impacted the lives of 2 million patients and counting; continuing education for physicians, nurses and other caregivers
 
COMMUNITY PARTNERS...
CPR Trainers; Health Alliances, parish nurses and churches

 
SPONSORS...
We are very grateful to all of the corporate and foundation sponsors of our events and programs.
 
STAFF...Local, state, affiliate-wide and national dedicated individuals committed to improving the heart health of our community
 

The American Heart Association is building healthier lives free from cardiovascular disease and stroke every day in Chicago. 
This is a summary of many of our local activities with contact information.

Advocacy and Government Relations

Julie Mirostaw, Senior Director of Government Relations
312-476-6657 or Julie.Mirostaw@heart.org
 
Anne Simaytis, Senior Regional Grassroots Advocacy Director, IL & MN
414-227-1410 or Anne.Simaytis@heart.org
 

The Illinois Government Relations Team advocates with various units of government in support of policies which further the mission of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. We work at all levels of government, maintaining relationships with officials at the local, municipal, county, state and federal levels.

Issues we address include everything from working with federal officials to increase biomedical research funding, to passing - and then protecting - a state law requiring smoke free public places, to working with lawmakers and paramedics alike to build better systems of emergency cardiac and stroke care. 

Because elected officials pay the most attention to their constituents, it is imperative for every volunteer leader to be actively engaged in advocacy. Please talk with our government relations staff about conducting in-district constituent visits with your elected officials and other ways you can make a difference.

The easiest way to get involved is by joining our You’re The Cure Advocacy Network. You don't have to be a doctor, nurse, or paramedic to save lives - be an advocate with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. In just a few moments, you can make a huge difference.

All you have to do is respond to the issues and action alerts that you feel are important. We'll make it easy for you to email, fax, phone or even visit your legislators. And we'll keep you informed on the progress you're making as one of the very important voices for the cure.

Please join the network online at www.yourethecure.org.  Once you join, you will receive action alerts by email from Sr. Regional Grassroots Advocacy Director Anne Simaytis.

Thank you for your support!
 

Julie Mirostaw, Senior Director of Government Relations
312-476-6657 or Julie.Mirostaw@heart.org
 
Anne Simaytis, Senior Regional Grassroots Advocacy Director, IL & MN
414-227-1410 or Anne.Simaytis@heart.org
 

The Illinois Government Relations Team advocates with various units of government in support of policies which further the mission of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. We work at all levels of government, maintaining relationships with officials at the local, municipal, county, state and federal levels.

Issues we address include everything from working with federal officials to increase biomedical research funding, to passing - and then protecting - a state law requiring smoke free public places, to working with lawmakers and paramedics alike to build better systems of emergency cardiac and stroke care. 

Because elected officials pay the most attention to their constituents, it is imperative for every volunteer leader to be actively engaged in advocacy. Please talk with our government relations staff about conducting in-district constituent visits with your elected officials and other ways you can make a difference.

The easiest way to get involved is by joining our You’re The Cure Advocacy Network. You don't have to be a doctor, nurse, or paramedic to save lives - be an advocate with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. In just a few moments, you can make a huge difference.

All you have to do is respond to the issues and action alerts that you feel are important. We'll make it easy for you to email, fax, phone or even visit your legislators. And we'll keep you informed on the progress you're making as one of the very important voices for the cure.

Please join the network online at www.yourethecure.org.  Once you join, you will receive action alerts by email from Sr. Regional Grassroots Advocacy Director Anne Simaytis.

Thank you for your support!
 

Jason C. Watkins
Vice President
Charitable Estate Planning, Midwest Team
517-974-9742

Charitable Estate Planning has a significant role in ensuring the future of the American Heart Association.  Gifts commitments generated through wills, trusts, charitable gift annuities, life insurance and retirement plans form the pipeline for future funding and are what make up the estate settlement dollars.  When gift commitments mature they become estate settlement gifts which account for approximately 18-25% ($13-17 million) of the Midwest Affiliate’s annual income.

The Charitable Estate Planning staff is responsible for identifying, cultivating, marketing, securing and stewarding future commitments from donors and professional advisors.  For fiscal 11-12, the Midwest Affiliate’s Charitable Estate Planning team successfully secured 99 gift commitments with an estimated value of $10,759,122.  Midwest Affiliate staff conducted over 600 visits with donors, prospects and professional advisors.  This team also produced over 4,000 leads; people wanting estate planning information which accounts for over 60% of the local leads for the entire national department.

There are thousands of individuals who have chosen to name the American Heart Association among the beneficiaries of their estate.  When they create their legacy to our organization they are honored with membership in the Paul Dudley White Legacy Society.  Dr. White was President Eisenhower’s personal physician and a founder of the American Heart Association.  He served as its president from 1940-41.

Please consider creating your legacy by including your American Heart Association in your estate plan.  For more information about making a legacy gift simply contact Jason Watkins.  If you already have included the American Heart Association in your plan please contact Jason Watkins so he can properly recognize you for your generosity.
 

Ryan Johnson
Communications Director
312-476-6627
ryan.johnson@heart.org

Julia Kersey
Sr. Communications Director
312-476-6684
julia.kersey@heart.org

Rachel Klousnitzer 
Communications Coordinator
312-476-6660
Rachel.klousnitzer@heart.org

The Communications team works to promote and publicize the mission of the American Heart Association and our integrated cause campaigns, as well as numerous events and programs. We work in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana communities to develop key relationships with members of the media and volunteers.

We are also responsible for developing timely and creative communication plans, including strategic use of the American Heart Association’s local social media platforms.
 

Amanda Kelley
Sr.  Director, Community Health
312-476-6686
Amanda.kelley@heart.org

The community health role is to serve as the “health lead” in the metro market and is responsible for executing the American Heart Association’s consumer initiatives focused on women and cardiovascular disease, healthy eating and physical activity for adults and children. The key consumer initiatives include Go Red for Women, My Heart. My Life, My Life Check and NFL PLAY 60 Challenge.  Go Red for Women Ambassador and My Heart. My Life. Healthy Living committees have been established to further recruit, engage and cultivate partners and volunteers.

As part of the Go Red for Women movement, a significant focus will be local activation of America Goes Red for 2013. This will not only entail historical landmarks and  buildings going Red, but also how do neighborhoods and community groups show their support.

The American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life. prevention platform is a comprehensive new health, wellness and fitness initiative to empower Americans to get healthier. The AHA will launch innovative campaigns in communities across America focused on eating and cooking healthier meals, getting daily exercise and learning about how to grow nutritious food. The specific activities include AHA’s Teaching Gardens, Fit Friendly Workplace Recognition program, National Walking Day and National Eating Healthy Day and Walking Clubs/Paths.

The community health director will also work closely with the Executive Director to drive and monitor the goals set by the community assessment process.  Goals have been set for each subcommittee which include childhood obesity, stroke and hypertension among minorities and Mission:Lifeline (STEMI systems of Care). 


 

The American Heart Association’s CPR and First Aid programs deliver a dynamic message of hope — the hope of saving lives.  New treatments have improved the possibility of survival from cardiovascular emergencies, cardiac arrest, and stroke. These new treatments offer the hope of improved quality of life for people who suffer these events. 

Increasing public awareness of the importance of early intervention and ensuring greater public access to defibrillation will save many lives.  CPR and First Aid programs train more than 13 million people every year by educating healthcare providers, caregivers, and the general public on how to respond to these emergencies.  We are committed to training 20 million per year by 2020. 

 

 

Anne Miller
Senior Go Red For Women Director
312-476-6671
anne.miller@heart.org
Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s nationwide movement that celebrates the energy, passion and power of woman banding together to wipe out heart disease and stroke – a woman’s No. 1 and  No. 5 killers. Since Go Red For Women’s inception in 2004, the campaign has accomplished much but critical gaps still exist.

Gaps in Awareness:
Awareness levels have stalled between 54 and 57 percent
Black and Hispanic women are significantly less aware than white women

Gaps in Acknowledgement:
In a recent American Heart Association poll, 39% of adults rated their health as ideal, but 67% polled said they were obese or overweight.
Though many know their blood pressure numbers, fewer than half of adults know their cholesterol, BMI or glucose numbers.

Following the very successful inaugural year of the Go Red For Women Community expo, we will once again be highlighting the power of Go Red For Women at the grassroots level, uniting women in diverse neighborhoods

Our Go Red For Women goals in Chicago:

  • Further engage existing audiences and expand reach to new targets
  • Provide an educational program that addresses community needs through multiple touch points
  • Celebrate community leaders who are driving sustainable change
  • Build upon the strong Go Red For Women brand recognition across metropolitan Chicago
  • Infuse new excitement and energy into this dynamic grassroots movement
  • Provide our sponsors the opportunity to partner with the American Heart Association to create meaningful change at the grassroots level. 

Santrice Martin
Health Equity Director
312-476-6654
Santrice.Martin@heart.org

Fil Guipoco, MA
Health Equity Director
312-476-6628
Fil.Guipoco@heart.org

The American Heart Association’s Health Equity department (HEQ) and its directors are change agents tasked with increasing the American Heart Association’s health impact, development opportunities, cultural competence, and identity within specific ethnic communities. Our three priority focus areas are:

  • Managing hypertension by providing significant integration opportunities with our advocacy efforts
  • Obesity – provide tools for weight management
  • Advocacy focus: disparity, stroke and obesity issues
Health Equity Directors will work with community leaders, businesses and alliance partners to promote and enhance the American Heart Association’s visibility and health impact goal within our African American and Hispanic communities.  Health Equity Directors will also rally and work closely with our key integration departments (specifically Advocacy, Community Health, Communications and Corporate Development) and will influence, direct and champion system change that brings forth health equity throughout their regional territories.

 

Rachel Gundersen
Senior Heart Ball Director
312.476.6605
Rachel.gundersen@heart.org

Amie Schumacher
Senior Heart Ball Director
312.476.6626
amie.schumacher@heart.org

Maria DiCuccio
Heart Ball Director
312.476.6623
maria.dicuccio@heart.org

The Chicago Heart Ball is the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual black-tie gala benefitting the AHA’s mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.  The Heart Ball has been celebrated in Chicago since 1982. 

Since then, over $13 million dollars has been raised to support the research and education programs of the AHA that are necessary for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. 

The evening’s festivities include a silent auction cocktail reception, dinner program, live auction and dancing.

Please mark your calendars to help the AHA celebrate the 31st annual Chicago Heart Ball next year on April 13, 2013!


 


As the American Heart Association’s signature fundraising event, the Metro Chicago  Heart Walk promotes physical activity and heart-healthy living in a fun corporate, community and family environment. The experience provides resources and activities to create hope, inspire change, and celebrate success.

To register or learn more, please visit www.metrochicagoheartwalk.org
 

 

Susan Cahoon
SVP, Individual Giving, Midwest Affiliate
952 278 7905
susan.cahoon@heart.org

Often there are annual donors, or individuals within our communities,  who have both the capacity and passion to favorably impact advancing our mission.   The Major Gifts/Foundations team  works to  identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward gifts from private, family and community foundations as well as individual philanthropists. Collaborative team efforts can greatly enhance these results.  

Major gifts are defined as gifts of $10,000 or more.  Individual major gifts and  foundation grants may either be unrestricted and used where the need is greatest, or restricted for a specific project or program.  Currently the department’s mission focused funding needs are:

  • Mission: Lifeline
  • Research
  • CPR Anytime
  • Infant CPR Anytime
  • Teaching Gardens
Board members and other volunteers can make a huge impact with securing mission critical support with Major Givers/Foundations in the following ways:
  • Make an introduction to a Foundation staff or board member
  • Make an introduction to an individual with major giving capacity   
  • Participate in a site visit or office meeting with Foundation staff
  • Participate in a cultivation visit with a prospective donor
  • Write a letter of support that can be submitted with a grant proposal
  • Participate in a prospect screening session with Major Gifts officers

 

Art Miller
Mission: Lifeline Director, Illinois
312-476-6670
art.miller@heart.org

STEMI Heart Attacks
Throughout the United States each year, nearly 400,000 people suffer heart attacks. Around half of those patients suffer a severe type of heart attack, (STEMI), caused by the sudden, total blockage of a coronary artery. A STEMI carries a substantial risk of death and disability and calls for a timely, coordinated  response on several fronts.

If a blocked coronary artery is opened quickly, the patient’s chance of survival is much greater.  The preferred method is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as coronary angioplasty.  Currently 30% of STEMI patients do not receive any therapy to open their blocked artery, and many more do not receive therapy within the 90-minute timeframe recommended by our scientific guidelines.

The Challenge
Ideally a STEMI is identified in the field by EMS personnel utilizing 12-lead electrocardiogram equipment and the patient is transported to a hospital that can perform PCI immediately.  However there are some barriers that can exist in this process.

  • Heart attack victims miss or ignore symptoms of a heart attack. Nearly 50% do not call 9-1-1.
  • STEMI’s cannot be identified by EMS personnel due to the lack of the 12 lead ECG equipment.
  • Protocols direct EMS transport to the closest hospital rather than the hospital able to provide PCI.
  • Delays in transferring patients from non-PCI medical facilities to a PCI capable hospital.
  • Some hospital processes still do not support rapid identification and immediate intervention in the cardiac cath lab.
Our Mission
Mission: Lifeline focuses on saving lives by increasing the number of patients who are rapidly transported to hospitals capable of opening the blocked coronary artery sooner and with the most appropriate therapy.

Through Mission: Lifeline, we assist in creating a system of care whereby every STEMI patient will receive improved quality of care and outcomes. Regional and statewide plans will be developed that provide pre-hospital identification of STEMI heart attacks, alert the nearest most appropriate hospital and activate the catheterization lab to treat the patient immediately upon arrival.  

Why is the American Heart Association leading this effort across the nation?
As a science-based, nationwide, neutral and non-profit organization representing the patient, the American Heart Association is able to bring stakeholders together – including EMS, hospitals, insurance companies and state agencies – to save lives and improve care for all heart attack patients. Changing systems of care, promoting policy change and organizing medical teams to work together requires leadership that the American Heart Association can provide.

 

Kathleen O’Neill, MHA
Senior Director, QI
312-476-6622
Kathleen.oneill@heart.org

The American Heart Association’s Quality Improvement Initiatives (QI) department manages and markets the suite of Get With The Guidelines clinical decision support and performance improvement tools for in-hospital patients. The Get With The Guidelines modules include stroke, heart failure, resuscitation, AMI, in collaboration with the ACC, and the recently launched  The Guideline Advantage Out-Patient program.

In addition to Get With The Guidelines hospital account management, QI is consultative to all AHA STEMI & stroke policy, Mission: Lifeline and other ongoing quality initiatives identified by collaborative state partners such as the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Hospital Association, Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network ,Health Plans and other healthcare quality stakeholders.

The goals of the QI Department include Get With The Guidelines new contracts and hospital award progression. Volunteer engagement and identification of quality initiative sponsorship have been vital to the overall success of the QI Directors in the Midwest Affiliate.

Illinois Get With The Guidelines Statistics

  • # Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure Hospitals= 14 (776 Nationally)
  • # Get With The Guidelines Stroke Hospitals= 64 (1853 Nationally)
  • # Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation Hospitals= 17 (64 Nationally)
  • # ACTION Registry Get With The Guidelines Hospitals= 36 (553 Nationally)
  • # Patient Records Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure= 11,219
  • # Patient Records Get With The Guidelines Stroke= 39,255
  • # Primary Stroke Centers in Illinois = 54
  • # Primary Stroke Centers in Illinois using Get With The Guidelines –Stroke= 45

 

Workplace Giving Director
312-476-6651

An increasing number of companies are adopting a new strategic model for employee philanthropy and employee engagement. Strategic choice employee giving is an employee giving campaign that further engages employees and aligns with corporate philanthropy goals, selected causes and core business objectives. It offers a new corporate positioning opportunity, flexibility, and overall improved focus for greater impact.  Strategic choice campaigns better target resources, dramatically increasing corporate influence and employee engagement with core nonprofit partners.

Employee participation increased in 97% of companies that offered choice and total contributions increased in 90% of company campaigns that allowed additional nonprofit organizations to participate.

92% of employees report a greater sense of loyalty working for companies supporting a cause and 93% of employees say a company’s commitment to social causes is important to where they work.

When companies make the move to a year-round and strategic partnership with a small number of organizations like the American Heart Association, it will have the opportunity to raise new funds for key company causes while engaging employees in volunteerism and giving.
 

Anne Schullo
Community Engagement Coordinator
anne.schullo@heart.org

The Associate Board of Chicago is the American Heart Association’s (AHA) network of  young professionals in Metro Chicago.  Associate Board members volunteer  their time and talent to support the programs and activities of the AHA that help us to create a healthier world, free of heart disease and stroke.  When you join the Associate Board you will have the opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals who are interested in making a difference in their community. 

The Associate Board of Chicago will officially launch in January 2013.

 

Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart are national education and fund-raising events sponsored by the American Heart Association and SHAPE.

These events engage elementary and middle school/high school students with jumping rope or playing basketball while empowering them to improve their own health and help other kids with heart-health issues.  And...both programs are great ways to satisfy the physical education standards as determined by NASPE (National Association for Sport and Physical Education) and AAHE (American Association for Health
Education). 

Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart Help Students Grow:

  • Kids learn the value of community service and become empowered to contribute to their community’s welfare.
  • Children join together in helping other kids with special hearts.
  • Students learn how to develop heart-healthy habits while being physically active.
  • Participants learn jump rope and basketball skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
  • Students help the school earn gift certificates for free P. E. equipment
The Youth Market Director is responsible for training and support of the physical education teacher, coach or teacher who volunteers to become the school coordinator.  They give them step-by-step instructions on scheduling, promoting and conducting the event, heart-healthy curriculum to support heart awareness, and tips for fundraising.  They also support the schools health and wellness goals with resources dedicated to many areas of children’s health, including physical activity, nutrition and smoking prevention.

Together, We are Saving Lives...