Get to know Iowa's QSI director.
hero_image_alt_text===Katie Bergen headshot
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What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?
I am extremely proud to be part of an organization whose mission is to increase the health of our population. I feel the AHA does a great job addressing the cardiovascular needs of Americans – young and old – with programs focused on prevention as well as having a solid focus on research and data analysis to continually improve care.
What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?
I am very passionate about systems of care and public education as it relates to heart and stroke care. Being part of the Mission: Lifeline grant in Iowa has allowed me to see how far we have come and can continue to go in improving delivery of care. Minutes matter in emergency situations, and they can mean the difference between a terrible outcome for a patient or allowing that same patient to recover and continue to make memories with their loved ones for years to come.
What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it so great?
My first week with AHA, I got to meet with the Iowa Stroke Task force. New stroke legislation had just passed and it was really exciting to see how passionate and supportive this diverse group is about top quality stroke care. Seeing Iowan health care providers put the patient first in all scenarios, sharing tearful stories and experiences, and displaying true compassion and peer support is an amazing and humbling experience.
What is your favorite way to be active?
In the last year, I started running. Never in my life did I imagine I would run unless I was being chased, let alone run for enjoyment. However, I just completed my third half marathon and I now I love the challenge and adrenaline rush that comes along with it. I encourage everyone to try getting active in a way you might not have considered before – you might surprise yourself!
What is your favorite fruit or vegetable?
I really love watermelon and bell peppers!