Meet Our Tennessee Advocacy Committee

The American Heart Association is working toward improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, and reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020. Policy change is essential for us to meet this bold goal, and our volunteers are at the heart of our efforts.


Each year, the American Heart Association invites a diverse group of volunteers to serve on the Tennessee Advocacy Committee, which is the advisory board to volunteers and staff on state public advocacy issues. With the leadership of our subcommittee, we create a state public policy agenda that impacts heart disease and stroke risk factors and protects heart disease and stroke patients. We also conduct grassroots and lobbying activities to educate the public and policymakers about the need for policy change.

This year, we are proud to announce our 2016-17 Tennessee Advocacy Subcommittee:

  • Dr. Katherine Y. Brown, Chair -  Founder, We Teach CPR
  • Christian Marks, Vice Chair – Ph.D. student, Vanderbilt University
  • Lee Hord, Member – Director, Process Improvement and Standardization, Apria Healthcare
  • Kiersten Espaillat, DNP, RN, APN-BC, Member – Stroke Services Coordinator, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Karla Coleman García, Member – Policy Manager, Conexión Américas
  • Amy Couvillion, Member – Director of Stroke/Telemedicine Networks, Saint Thomas Health
  • Shirley Holt-Hale, Ph.D., Member – Retired Physical Education Instructor
  • Nieika Parks, MHA, Ph.D., Member – Enterprise Health & Wellness Coordinator, FedEx Corporate Services
  • Denise Hamilton-Sanders, Member – Supervisor of School Health & Safety for Giles County Schools
  • Lorean Mays, Member -  Heart and Stroke Ambassador

Stay tuned as we release our 2016-17 public policy agenda for Tennessee and let you know how you can help advocate in your community!

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