American Heart Association


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Building a culture of health in the Mid-South

Welcome to Memphis, the birthplace of rock 'n' roll and home of the blues! Situated on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, the Bluff City has a rich history and culture. Memphis is the #4 most obese city in America and #1 among metro areas with at least a million residents. Half of Memphis children live in poverty and do not have access to fresh, healthy food. But these numbers are improving with help from community partners and home-grown ingenuity. Memphis and Shelby County have increased opportunities for safe and active commutes, like Big River Crossing on the Harahan Bridge. The 10-mile Shelby Farms Greenline now connects Midtown Memphis to Shelby Farms, one of the largest urban parks in the country. Local farmers' markets provide fresh fruits and vegetables to reduce the effects of food deserts. By connecting healthy choices to those most in need, together we are making the Bluff City a heart-healthy home for all Mid-Southerners.

Health Measurements

Donate HeartPercent of adults with...
High Blood Pressure: 36.1%
High Cholesterol: 33.3%
Diabetes: 12.1%
Heart Disease: 5.8%

Lifestyle Risk Factors

Donate HeartPercent of adults who...
Don't exercise: 28.8%
Are overweight (BMI over 25): 65.7%
Smoke cigarettes: 18.7%
Don't eat enough fruits and veggies: 75.3%

Our Community

John and Leslie Daniel

John Daniel, survivor

EVP & Chief Human Resources Officer
First Tennessee Bank

After a viral infection damaged his heart in the early 1990s, John was told he would one day require a heart transplant. For the next 20 years he did everything he could to take care of his heart, but in 2014, his heart failed. For the next year, he depended on an LVAD (left ventricular assist device) to pump his heart. In September 2015, John received his new heart and strives to live every day to the fullest. John and his wife Leslie served as the 2018 Heart Ball Chairs. Leslie also serves on the local Board of Directors.

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! Thanks to Cigna and Shelby County School, as of 2018 we have planted six Teaching Gardens in the Mid-South.

Mid-South Teaching Garden
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.

Get With the Guidelines

Focus on Quality

When medical professionals apply the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines, patient outcomes improve. That’s the simple truth behind the drive for continuous quality improvement. Our comprehensive suite of programs can help you advance farther and faster in the quest for ever-better care.

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.

Tennessee Capitol Building
Early Childcare Education

State Policy Win

To give kids the building blocks for a healthy life, we helped establish statewide education standards for nutrition, physical activity, and screen-time for both center- and home-based early childcare settings.

Advocate for a healthier Tennessee(link opens in new window)

Funding Local Researchers

Research is a pillar of the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission. For more than a decade, we’ve awarded 45 grants totaling $6.6 million to Memphis-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

Current Research Spotlight

“Our research is aimed at developing vaccines that will prevent strep throat. Strep throat can lead to acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, which is the leading cause of heart disease in children and young adults in the world. The long-term goal is to develop safe, effective, and affordable vaccines. Such a vaccine could have a major impact on the health of millions of children around the world and save more than a half-million lives per year.”

–James Dale, M.D., University of Tennessee Health Science Center


Visit Professional Heart Daily, a resource for clinicians and scientists

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.

woman sitting on grass doing yoga
man performing CPR on CPR manikin

CPR Saves Lives

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, immediate CPR can double or triple their chance of survival. Prepare to save a life, find a CPR course near you today.

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.

Mid-South Katrina Dorse

Memphis Heart Mom Spotlight

Katrina Dorse’s son Kellen was born with seven congenital heart defects and passed away while receiving treatment and awaiting a heart transplant at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. As a Heart Mom, Katrina understands how important the life-saving work of the American Heart Association is to families in need. In addition to giving to the American Heart Association, she now works to raise money and provide programming to support the patients and families of Le Bonheur’s Heart Institute and Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.

West Tennessee Stream
West Tennessee Stream

Greater Together

Across the Volunteer 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

Mid-South Heart Walk & Red Dress Dash

Saturday, April 25, 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 Memphis! Walk or run in memory of someone you love, or create a team.

Midsouth Heart Walk
Heart Ball

Mid-South Heart Ball

Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Peabody Memphis

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 Mid-South!

Mid-South Go Red For Women

June 4, 2020

The Soundstage at Graceland

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!

Go Red For Women

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

Mid-South Pyramid

5384 Poplar Avenue, Suite 100
Memphis, TN 38119

Phone: (901) 248-7950
Fax: (901) 684-4791

Local Leadership

Mid-South Board of Directors

Board of Directors


Darrel Doane
Home Instead Senior Care

Paulo Teixeira
The Juice Plus+ Company, CEO


Dr. Dwight “Dan” Dishmon
Interventional Cardiologist
UT Methodist Physicians Group

Chair-Elect, Leadership Development Chair

Monica Wharton
Chief Legal Council
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

Immediate Past President

Dr. Dharmesh Patel
Stern Cardiovascular Foundation, Cardiologist

Communications Chair

Valerie Morris


David Baytos
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare – Olive Branch

Leslie Daniel
Community Philanthropist

Steven S. Gubin
President and Cardiologist
Stern Cardiovascular Foundation

John Lewis
Administrator and CEO
Semmes-Murphey Neurologic and Spine Institute

Rev. Dr. Keith Norman
VP of Government Affairs
Baptist Memorial Healthcare

Brian Yoakum
Attorney, Stakeholder and Director
Evans Petree PC

Mid-South Leadership Committees

Mid-South Heart Walk

Mid-South Go Red For Women

Mid-South Heart Ball

View Mid-South Leadership Committees