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Building a culture of health in the Mid-SouthWelcome 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.
Lifestyle Risk Factors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mid-South Heart Walk & Red Dress Dash
Saturday, April 25, 2020
** VIRTUAL EVENT **
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.
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!
Email us for more information on giving
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
Mid-South Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Home Instead Senior Care
The Juice Plus+ Company, CEO
Dr. Dwight “Dan” Dishmon
UT Methodist Physicians Group
Chair-Elect, Leadership Development Chair
Chief Legal Council
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Immediate Past President
Dr. Dharmesh Patel
Stern Cardiovascular Foundation, Cardiologist
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare – Olive Branch
Steven S. Gubin
President and Cardiologist
Stern Cardiovascular Foundation
Administrator and CEO
Semmes-Murphey Neurologic and Spine Institute
Rev. Dr. Keith Norman
VP of Government Affairs
Baptist Memorial Healthcare
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