Building a culture of health in Tampa BayKnown for the most beautiful beaches in the country, Tampa Bay is a coastal gem. We have the flair for southern living, yet we're a melting pot of cultures and languages. We’re proud of our ever-growing arts and culinary scenes, including some of the best Cuban sandwiches and fried grouper around. As a state, we face healthcare barriers and access to quality care. Forty-four percent of our community has high cholesterol, and only 77 percent of high school students graduate on time. The good news is, we’re working harder than ever to build a healthier community. We’re preventing stroke-related deaths. We’re working daily with healthcare systems, companies, and community members to improve quality of care, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Throughout the past few years, Tampa Bay has made quite a few national Top 10 lists. Our next goal? To become one of the healthiest cities in the country.
Lifestyle Risk Factors
“When I realized that I had major complications of hypertension and diabetes, it struck home. I needed to be an example for my family because this runs in the family. I had to learn that it’s OK to take care of myself because then I’ll be able to take care of others.”
–Ruby Hope, Tampa Bay heart attack survivor, Go Red For Women ambassador(link opens in new window)
Because Life is Why
We believe everyone deserves to live a healthier, longer life. Together with Life is Why sponsor Tampa General Hospital, we educate the public about heart disease and stroke – the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in America.
STEM Goes Red
The American Heart Association understands the need for more young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Although women represent close to half of the U.S. workforce, they hold less than 25 percent of the roles in STEM fields. Investment in the education of young women in Tampa Bay can lead to groundbreaking discoveries in STEM and improve the health of all Americans.
Managing the Pressure
Our Check. Change. Control. sponsor BayCare is helping us improve and save lives in the Tampa Bay community through high blood pressure awareness and management.
Empowering Tampa Bay Healthcare Workers
Target: BP™ has launched in Tampa Bay, providing health professionals the tools to effectively manage patients' blood pressure. There are 19 clinics and health systems, covering 1.9 million patients, enrolled locally.
Blood Pressure Screenings
Complimentary readings are held throughout the year, like this one in downtown St. Pete with help from local paramedics. High blood pressure is a largely symptomless disease that can quietly threaten your health. Find out what high blood pressure is and arm yourself with knowledge about this “silent killer” affecting millions of people.
Check. Change. Control.
Stress on your blood vessels from high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and other serious health threats. Use our free Check. Change. Control.™ online tool to track your readings and maintain a healthy heart!
The AHA and AMA joined forces with the launch of Target: BP™ to support physicians and care teams. We can track and maintain blood pressure goals for our patients by offering access to the latest research, tools, and resources.
Healthy For Good
You don’t need a guilt trip. We know you know. You want to be healthy... for good. And we’re here to help inspire you to create lasting change in your health and your life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well. Get Healthy For Good.
Focus on Quality
Patient outcomes improve when medical professionals apply the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines. That’s the simple truth behind the obsession with continuous quality improvement. Our entire suite of programs can help advance your efforts farther and faster in the quest for ever-better care.
Why Cholesterol Matters
There are few warning signs of high cholesterol, but the impact is real. By lowering your cholesterol, you'll reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Take control today. Manage your cholesterol levels by making healthy lifestyle choices and following a sound medical treatment plan.
Breaking Up With Salt
Americans consume more than double the recommended daily amount of sodium, and this is putting us at greater risk for heart disease and stroke. Thank you to our volunteers and sponsors for helping us raise awareness about the risks of high sodium. It's time to end your unhealthy relationship with sodium.
“During one of my final TIA events, I remember lying on an ED stretcher at an HCA facility in Utah, my entire body numb, my extremities posturing, unable to speak, looking at my wife wondering what was going to happen to my family. It is because of research funded by organizations like the American Heart Association that I have been able to not only eliminate my TIAs but also virtually remove my future risk of stroke.”
–Peter Kennedy, stroke survivor(link opens in new window), COO Northside Hospital
Changing Local Policy
To improve access to healthy foods in public places, St. Petersburg adopted guidelines for healthy food and beverage options in government-owned vending machines.
Closing Equity Gaps
EmPOWERED To Serve™ is a movement inspired by our multicultural volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice in their communities. These committed ambassadors are impacting gaps in health equity through advocacy, policy, education and social change.
Funding Local Researchers
Research is a pillar of the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission. Since 1990, we've funded more than $21 million to Tampa Bay Area researchers in the ongoing quest to understand, improve, and treat cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Some of the institutions receiving grants include the University of South Florida, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Eckerd College, and the James A. Haley VA Hospital. Their research will assist doctors, hospitals, and other institutions to save lives in our own backyard and across the world.
Current Research Spotlight
“Our goal is to determine the impact of heavy negative stroke risk factors on the development and progression of cerebral blood vessel injury that will contribute to stroke. The overall impact will address health disparity issues and determine the potential outcomes associated with stroke in minorities, in addition to potentially designing therapeutic approaches to treat those disparities.”
–Mark Kindy, B.S., Ph.D., University of South Florida
Emergencies leave us feeling helpless, but they don’t have to. Take two minutes to learn Hands-Only CPR™(link opens in new window) now. 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. When a person has a cardiac arrest, immediate CPR can double or triple their chance of survival. Prepare to save a life, find a CPR course near you today.
CPR in Schools Kits
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital was the first in our community to help bring CPR in Schools kits and trainings to high schools throughout the Tampa Bay area. With their support, we’ve provided kits to more than 30 high schools, training thousands of lifesavers each year.
You are not alone. Learn from people like you, or help others who are going through an emotional time. Explore the forums, read survivor stories, seek and receive support.
“As a heart transplant survivor, a future without heart disease would look like less doctors’ appointments, less medicine, and more focusing on your future and what you’re going to do with it.”
–Maddie Price, Tampa Bay heart transplant survivor(link opens in new window), American Heart Association volunteer
Across the Sunshine State, communities are building a healthier infrastructure and tackling inequities for hearts of all ages. The challenges are great, but together our future is greater.
Tampa Bay Heart Walk
November 10, 2018
Raymond James Stadium
Let's get Heartwalking, a movement to move more. Heart Walk is a festival of one million hearts in 300+ communities nationwide beating healthy for good. Join us in Tampa! Walk in memory of someone you love, or create a team.
Tampa Bay Go Red For Women Luncheon
February 15, 2019
Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel
We "Go Red" for our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women - more than all cancers combined. Let's raise awareness that 80 percent of cardiac events are preventable!
National Wear Red Day
Tampa Bay area residents, businesses, and organizations get together to wear red in early February to raise awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Because when we come together, there’s nothing we can’t do.
Tampa Bay Heart Ball
March 30, 2019
Business, medical, and other community leaders unite to celebrate the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association. Don't miss this unforgettable evening of inspiration, entertainment and hope, as we build a healthier Tampa Bay!
Why We Support the AHA…
“Patsy and I are most grateful we are able to support the mission of the American Heart Association. We have experienced heart challenges in our family, and are so thankful that Patsy has been healed from Atrial Fibrillation. Also, we are appreciative that our own McNichols Company super associate, Kristen Powers, is a stroke survivor. Our company associates and family are further benefitting from the Education and Research that AHA works on each and every day! We thank God for Team AHA!”
–Gene and Patsy McNichols, Tampa Bay donors
Tampa Bay Board of Directors
President / Community Health Committee Chair
DR. KEVIN SNEED
Immediate Past Chair
Revenue Committee Chair
Research Committee Chair
DR. JAVIER CUEVAS
State Advocacy Chair
DR. ALFRED ASANTE-KORANG
DR. ROBERT SANCHEZ