Baton Rouge
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Baton Rouge

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Building a culture of health in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge is tailgates, football, flamingos, lakes, hot air balloons and architecture. The red stick runs deep as the middle ground of the state between the Cajuns and the Creoles. We love our culture, but the roots of heart disease and stroke run just as deep in our community. Heart disease is the number one killer in the city. This college town is plagued with poor health statistics. Despite our health rankings, the hearts in the Capital Area are stronger than ever and beating together to drive changes in our lifestyles. Our comprehensive smoke-free city and healthy vending policies are helping us make strides to be a healthier community. Our city boasts the number one fundraising school in the region as well as the largest Heart Walk and Go Red events in the state. We are creating a new generation of life-savers through the Burke Cobb high school CPR act. Join us and let’s build a heart-healthy Baton Rouge.

Health Measurements

Donate HeartPercent of adults with...
High Blood Pressure: 30.8%
High Cholesterol: 36.4%
Diabetes: 11.8%
Heart Disease: 3.7%

Lifestyle Risk Factors

Donate HeartPercent of adults who...
Don't exercise: 26.7%
Are overweight (BMI over 25): 65.7%
Smoke cigarettes: 18.5%
Don't eat enough fruits and veggies: 81.3%

Our Community

May Leah Coco

“I volunteer for the American Heart Association not only because I believe wholeheartedly in their mission but also because their innovative research saved my life. It is my turn to do anything I can to save the life of someone else, and it is a privilege that the AHA allows me to do so. What could have been a tragedy for me has now become my life’s work.”

–Mary Leah Coco, Survivor, Department of Transportation and Development, Baton Rouge

Heart-Healthy Teaching Gardens

Teaching Gardens are funded by local donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other community-based organizations. Students learn about the garden, the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, and why they're so important!

Teaching Garden in Baton Rouge
Healthy For Good

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. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be Well. 

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is the local Healthy for Good sponsor, leading the way for healthy living in the Capital Area.

Training Citizen Lifesavers

Emergencies leave us feeling helpless, but they don’t have to. Take two minutes to learn Hands-Only CPR now. 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. When a person has a cardiac arrest.

CPR Training in Baton Rouge
Kristen Gradney

“Prevention and support. I serve with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association to create healthier communities that help prevent risk factors in our children and provide support for those who are born with and develop heart disease.”

–Kristen Gradney, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Gonzales

Blood Pressure Screening
Target BP
Blood Pressure Screening

Blood Pressure

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!

Target BP

For Professionals

Target: BP

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.


Closing Equity Gaps

EmPOWERED To Serve is a movement inspired by multicultural volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice in their communities. These committed ambassadors are closing gaps in health equity through advocacy, policy, education, and social change.

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.

Get With the Guidelines
Bill Slaughter

“I am a volunteer with American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association because of my commitment to the reduction of cardiovascular disease and a healthier population.”

–William S. Slaughter, Ph.D., SSA Consultants, LLC, Baton Rouge

Why Cholesterol Matters

You can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Take control of managing your cholesterol levels by making healthy lifestyle choices and following a sound medical treatment plan.

Support Network

Support Network™

Life is hard, but you're not alone. We're all in this together, right? Learn from locals like you or help others going through a tough time. Explore the chat forums, read survivor stories, seek and receive support. Because it's okay to lean on others who have been there too.

Baton Rouge City Hall
Smoke Free

Local Policy Win

East Baton Rouge residents can now breathe a little easier. The Parish Council voted to go smoke-free, effective June 1, 2018, which will protect the nearly 450,000 residents who live in the parish. Baton Rouge joins close to 20 smoke-free communities across the state.

Advocate for a Healthier Baton Rouge(link opens in new window)

Funding Local Researchers

Research is a pillar of the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission. Over the past 10 years, we’ve awarded 10 grants totaling $1.6 million to Baton Rouge area researchers in the ongoing quest to understand, improve, and treat cardiovascular disease and stroke. The results will assist doctors, hospitals, and other institutions to save lives in our own backyard and across the world.

Scientist peering into microscope
Debra Lockwood

“I volunteer for the American Heart Association because of its meaningful efforts to fight cardiovascular disease and stroke, which it does through competent, compassionate staff and volunteers throughout the world.  That being said, I am also proud to be associated with an organization so dedicated to improving the health of ALL Americans, which means AHA has strategies to increase diversity so that they can help people in their communities, homes and their work environments.  Lastly, I feel I am a better person being an AHA volunteer because AHA can change and save lives.  I can talk to anyone willing to listen about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and do so using messaging based on scientific research.”

–Debra W. Lockwood, Provident Resources Group, Baton Rouge

Louisiana Walkway
Louisiana Walkway

Greater Together

Across the Bayou 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.

Local Events

Capital Area Heart Walk

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Let's get HeartWalking, a movement to move more. Heart Walk is a festival of one million hearts in 300+ communities nationwide being healthy for good. Join us in Baton Rouge! Walk in memory of someone you love, or create a team.

Baton Rouge Heart Walk
Baton Rouge Go Red

Capital Area Go Red for Women Luncheon

Friday, February 7, 2020

Raising Cane's River Center

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!

Get Involved

Mission Advancement

Why I Support the AHA

“The work of the American Heart Association universally helps people from all walks of life and economic situations improve their daily lives. It brings me great pleasure to know that my volunteer and financial support efforts with the AHA over the past decade are helping to break the silence about the devastating impact heart disease and stroke is having on our families and our communities.”

–Martin Davis, an American Heart Association donor

Email us for more information on giving

Contact Us

2644 S. Sherwood Forest, Suite 108
Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Phone: (225) 666-4300
Fax: (225) 293-1409

Local Leadership

Baton Rouge Board of Directors

2018-19 Executive Leadership Team

Board President

Stephanie Anderson
Woman’s Hospital

Board Chair

Dr. Kenny Cole
Baton Rouge General Medical Center

Coletta Barrett
Our Lady Of the Lake Regional Medical Center 

Becky Curren
Baton Rouge General Medical Center

Trey Godfrey

Kristen Gradney
Our Lady of the Lake Physicians Group

Michael Jackson
Jackson Bell Law Firm LLC

Dr. Steven Kelley
Baton Rouge Cardiology Center

Debra Lockwood
Provident Resources Group

Rev. Clee Lowe
Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church

Hollis Milton
West Feliciana Parish School Board

Bill Slaughter
SSA Consultants

Terrie Sterling
Our Lady Of the Lake Regional Medical Center 

Temple Thomas
Breazeale Sachse and Wilson

Capital Area Leadership Committees

Baton Rouge Heart Walk

Baton Rouge Go Red For Women

Baton Rouge PULSE

View Capital Area Leadership Committees