Miami News

Miami-Dade Heart Walk raises over $540,000 to fight heart disease

Community unites in support of lifesaving research and heart health initiatives during Heart Walk

The American Heart Association, an advocate of healthier and longer lives, in conjunction with the Greater Miami and Fort Lauderdale market, was joined by the Miami-Dade community on a bright, sunny December day. Over 1,500 walkers joined the Heart Walk in Regatta Park, Coconut Grove, on Saturday, December 2. Get all the event details by reading this news below.

Heartfelt moments and community unity at the Miami-Dade Heart Walk

The event aims to raise awareness regarding the world’s deadliest killer: heart disease. The event not only raised heartbeats but also generated more than $450,000 donates to support, improve, and save lives affected by cardiovascular diseases across Miami-Dade County.

Thousands of sponsors, friends, coaches, and teams joined the walk to advocate cardiovascular research and direct more efforts into building community programming toward the cause. The heartfelt warmup by HCA Florida Healthcare and Miami International Cardiology’s interventional cardiologist, Dr. Shaun Smithson, was the highlight of the event. Dr. Smithson paid tribute to a child survivor whom he operated on along with Dr. Redmond P. Burke. Dr. Burke also co-chairs Heart Walk. Grace Chaffins’ beautiful voice further accentuated the day as she sang the National Anthem.

A large crowd of participants during Heart Walk

Leadership, support, and resilience: Driving change for cardiovascular health

Heart Walk was hosted by Univision news anchor Jorge Hernandez and WSVN news anchor Ehthan Colloway. The SVP and COO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System & President of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Perry Ann Reed, and Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Dr. Redmond P. Burke, chaired the event. Under their leadership, 13 other local leaders served in the executive leadership cabinet.

Perry Ann Reed called this cause personal, stating that he walked because he had been diagnosed with a heart condition requiring open-heart surgery. Likewise, Dr. Burke expressed his reason for joining in the walk is to support the families of his patients.

The American Heart Association’s executive director, Marisol Garcia, shared that this walk celebrated survivors whom the event calls “heart heroes.” Garcia also thanked everyone for joining and sponsoring the cause and making it a successful event.

This year’s Heart Walk was sponsored by more than 50 companies, and over 138 teams were part of the event. Those looking to contribute can still make donations at

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