• Care Ring

"A Relentless Force for Longer Quality of Life": American Heart Association


Note: This blog post is a companion piece to Care Ring’s “Seeking the Heart”podcast series in which we talk with leaders from across the region about their ideas and insights on how we can create a better health care system for ALL. To listen to “Seeking the Heart,” simply click here, or search for “Seeking the Heart” on your favorite podcast platform.


The rapid spread of coronavirus is frightening. More Americans now die each week from COVID-19 than from any other cause. Nearly all of our energy as a nation is pouring into beating this novel, uninvited invader. Providing care and support to those impacted is paramount.

However, while our attention is on this new killer virus right now, many of the other diseases of modern life have not drifted away.

Before COVID-19 arrived in the United States, heart disease was the leading cause of death for adults. For most racial and ethnic groups, heart disease is the number one killer. In Charlotte, the number of adults with high blood pressure would fill Bank of America Stadium. More than four times.

We are fortunate to have local leadership through the American Heart Association to help us address these heart and stroke related health challenges.

For this week’s “Seeking the Heart” episode, I talk with VP of Health Shannon Emmanuel (pictured below) and Executive Director Erin Link (pictured above) with Charlotte’s AHA affiliate to learn more about how they advance AHA’s goals to help all people establish and extend their healthy life experience.


We discuss many of their local outreach programs, and learn more about how the AHA works to improve quality of life for all. This includes the innovative Promotores de Salud program designed to equip leaders in the local Latino/Hispanic community with education on nutrition, CPR, blood pressure management and more with their neighbors. The Harris YMCA and the Camino Community Center piloted this new initiative with great early success over the last year.

The AHA has a mission to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives in our community. As Shannon and Erin share in this episode, everyone deserves the opportunity to live their best possible life.

Author: Donald K. Jonas, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Care Ring