The American Heart Association is hosting the Greater Maryland Heart Walk at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium on Oct. 8. The heat walk will celebrate heart and stroke survivors, while raising lifesaving funds and encourage physical activity.
“Everybody has a heart, and we all need them to work well,” said Stacia Cohen, executive vice president for health services at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and chairperson of the Greater Maryland Heart Walk.
According to a profile on Cohen for the American Heart Association, Cohen’s family has a history of heart disease. Every generation in her family has been affected by heart disease and stroke. Two of her siblings died in childhood from a heart defect.
“They died of things that, 50 years ago, we didn’t know enough about,” Cohen said. “With the American Heart Association’s funding of research and improvements in treatment over the last several decades, most children who are born with what they had today live thanks to those advancements.”
The Greater Maryland Heart Walk was designed to help companies impact its employees’ health and wellbeing. The program will have a series of customizable workplace events that inspires employees to be more engaged, reconnect with colleagues, get in their physical activity and support a great cause.
“With heart disease and stroke still a leading cause of both morbidity and mortality, I think that not making meaningful progress in heart health and stroke health will continue to strain the resources and the burden that people face – not just the economic burden, but the quality-of-life burden,” she said. “The American Heart Association is a leader in that space, with its funding of research leading to improvements in treatment over the last several decades.”
This will be the 29th year for the Greater Maryland Heart Walk, one of a number of walks held by different local branches of the American Heart Association across the country every year, according to a spokesperson for the association’s Baltimore and Greater Maryland chapter.
The funds raised from the Greater Maryland Heart Walk go towards research, advocacy, CPR training to promote better health in support of the association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal which reduces barriers to healthcare access and quality. To register for the heart walk, visit greatermarylandheartwalk.org.