Exciting news for Virginia heart health! We are pleased to welcome Nichole Wescott-Hayes to the team as our new Government Relations Director. Nichole will help lead our advocacy priorities around Virginia and secure policy wins that support longer, healthier lives!
Nichole comes to AHA from the Virginia General Assembly where since 2019 she served as the Legislative Assistant for Senator Jennifer McClellan (a great friend of AHA and champion for food security and heart health!). For the last year, Nichole worked on Senator McClellan’s gubernatorial campaign, building coalitions and connections throughout the state. She previously also worked on Sen. Tim Kaine’s re-election campaign.
Prior to the Senate, Nichole led teams at the Virginia Department of Health for 13 years. In 2010 after her mother received a cancer diagnosis, Nichole began volunteering with ACS’s Relay for Life events. For 8 years she led the event in her community, led training courses, and found her love of advocacy during a lobby day event.
Nichole attended the College of William and Mary where she studied Psychology. She lives in Charles City County, a small, rural county outside of Richmond. Her husband Justin, is a teacher and Head Varsity basketball coach in Henrico County. They have a son, Jaylen, 13, and a daughter, Joelle, 9, pup Apollo, and a live-in god-daughter, Victoria. When not working or with her family, Nichole enjoys traveling to visit her best friends and community service with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta.