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Help us ensure everyone in Illinois has the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives.

YWCA Chicago - Empowered to save lives

YWCA Chicago

When a person has a cardiac emergency, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. The community impact team is thrilled to be working with the YWCA on cardiac emergency response and Hands-Only CPR.

This work is ongoing. To date, over half of the Chicagoland-area YWCA locations have created and implemented a cardiac emergency response plan as a new policy. The American Heart Association also guided the YWCA in identifying a response team equipped to act in a cardiac emergency.

Know Your Numbers


Free, state-of-the-art blood pressure kiosks placed by the American Heart Association empower community residents to measure and track their blood pressure and take steps to prevent heart disease, stroke and dementia. The kiosks include referrals to clinics in the area, helping patients access medical care in their community.

CPR Saves Lives


Of the 350,000 cardiac arrests that happen outside the hospital every year, less than 12 percent of victims survive. Bystander CPR can double or triple the chances of survival. Our Illinois team is in the community conducting training sessions, supplying local schools with CPR training and equipment, and spreading the message that it only takes two steps to save a life: call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest.


In the past 100 years, the American Heart Association and its community of supporters have accomplished an astonishing amount in the fight against heart disease and stroke. However, our journey is far from over. As we enter our second century of work together, we’re more dedicated than ever to finding and funding the next big scientific breakthrough in cardiovascular research.
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In Your Community

The American Heart Association is committed to driving equitable health impact in Illinois through five key priority areas: women, readiness, tobacco and vaping, patients, and healthy living. Equity is always at the center of our work, and it will continue to guide all that we do.

Through our focus on these key impact areas, and with collaboration among local organizations, sponsors, businesses, and others that serve the community, we are working to improve the health and well-being of Illinois citizens while saving and improving countless lives.

Throughout the state of Illinois, we’ve seen our community impact work grow, including efforts around creating avenues for greater access to care, expanding healthy food access and education, building a network of first responders through CPR kits in schools, supporting blood pressure screenings and education, and educating on the dangers of tobacco and vaping.

People are counting on us as never before. We at the American Heart Association, along with our supporters, will drive change, and we will be relentless.


For more than 40 years, Advocacy has had a mission-critical role in the American Heart Association's work. Our legislative and regulatory priorities help to mitigate risk factors and protect survivors in communities across the country. We support the enactment of evidence-based public policies that lead to longer, healthier lives.

Public policy advocacy is an essential strategy used by the Association to affect necessary and sustainable policy, system and environmental changes that help Illinois citizens build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Our efforts in Illinois and its communities are focused on the following policy areas: Tobacco and Vaping, Access to Care, Medicaid Expansion, and Hypertension Prevention and Control, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Healthy School Meals for All.


Board President
Mercedes R. Carnethon, Ph.D., FAHA 
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Board Chair
Sharon Langshur
Abundant Venture Partners


Aparna Abburi

Kimberly Bors
Dover Corporation

John Boschelli
Kemper Corporation

Gyasi C. Chisley
PNC Bank

Virginia Friesen
Advocate Aurora Health Care

Wayne H. Giles, MD, MS
University of Illinois at Chicago

Joe Greskoviak
Abundant Venture Partners

Michael Gray
Jones Day

Ranndy Kellogg

Jairo Mejia, MD, FAHA, CPE
ACCESS Community Health Network

Moncia Brown Moss
Trinity United Church of Christ 

Tochukwu M. Okwuosa, DO, FACC
Rush University Medical Center 

Andy Rauh
Duly Health and Care

Chet Robson, DO, MHCDS, FAAFP

Joan Rubschlager
Emeritus Member

Bryan Smith, MD
University of Chicago Medical Center

Dan Smith
Huron Consulting Group

Sarah Song MD, MPH, FAAN
Rush University Medical Center


Dezimon Alicea
Sayles Creative Studios

Kristin Barrie
Walgreens Co.

Emily Bateman

Katie Bigoness
Grant Thorton

Kathryn Bors
Kimberly Clark

Nazia Chowdbury

Ciera Hester-Smith
Midwest Orthopedics at Rush

Ben Higgins
Northern Trust

Tiara Muse
Furst Group

Amanda Nieh

Jaclyn Reider
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

John Wilkins
Northwestern University

Rachel Ziedman 
Community Volunteer

Sarah Zielinski
McGuireWoods LLP

Contact Us

Chicago, Illinois

By Appointment Only:
300 South Riverside Plaza, Ste 1200 
Chicago, IL 60606


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Heart and Stroke News

Find science-based stories about heart and brain health and inspiring survivor profiles from American Heart Association News.