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American Heart Association Finds Strengthened Support in Kern County

Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial Hospitals makes 'Life is Why' multi-year commitment, the first of its kind in the region.

BAKERSFIELD, CA ― February 12, 2019 ― 

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, and Dignity Health Bakersfield have agreed to a three-year “Life is Why: Kern County” initiative that will provide local residents with community education and resources to improve their heart and brain health. The first of its kind in the area, the Life is Why: Kern County initiative will reinforce these messages and tools through local outreach events at annual AHA events including, the Heart and Stroke Walk in October and Go Red for Women luncheon in March, as well as other Dignity Health-sponsored events. Dignity Health’s commitment will also re-vitalize the Go Red Por Tu Corazón initiative aimed at improving heart and brain health in the Latino community. Together, the AHA and Dignity Health will provide resources to inspire a healthier lifestyle, help residents feel better, and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 10:30 a.m.

Dignity Health Memorial Hospital Children’s Healing Garden 420 34th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301 Parking: Visitor lot located south of 34th street across the street from the hospital


  • Lisa Kreber, Board Chair, American Heart Association Central Valley – Kern Division
  • Alma Navarrete, Board Chair, American Heart Association Central Valley – Kern Division
  • Shannon MacAdam, AHA Western States Affiliate Senior Vice President of Field Operations and Development
  • Dignity Health Memorial Hospital President & CEO Ken Keller
  • Michele Shain, Senior Director- Cardiac and Neuro Services at Memorial Hospital
  • Dr. Kiron Thomas- Medical Director of Stroke & Neuro Endovascular Services at Memorial Hospital, Interventional Neurologist

Cardiovascular disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 killers in the United States and Kern County. However, 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and action. Life is Why sponsors help make a difference in the lives of thousands with specific mission-focused community activations to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Additionally, they create a healthier workplace, boost employee engagement, and empower your employees to live healthier lives through targeted initiatives.


Day of event contact: Shannon MacAdam, AHA Western States Affiliate Senior Vice President of Field Operations and Development
Cell: (559) 213-0289 | [email protected]

Contact for media inquiries: Liz Faris: (520) 405-1337; [email protected]
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and




Additional Resources:

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Dignity Health Bakersfield
Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial Hospitals is Kern County’s premier healthcare system with three acute care hospitals in Bakersfield and a growing number of medical facilities to meet the needs of our community. With a reputation for providing award-winning care and state-of-the-art services in a compassionate, caring environment, citizens of Bakersfield and the surrounding area know they have access to some of the most advanced medical care available between Los Angeles and Fresno. Our family of services range from our beautiful birth and family care centers to specialized centers of excellence such as the Sarvanand Heart and Brain Center, Grossman Burn Center, the Lauren Small Children’s Center, the Robert A. Grimm Children’s Pavilion for Emergency Services, the Urology Center, and the Orthopedic, Spine and Hand Center.

As the largest healthcare organization in the western United States, Dignity Health is committed to the health and wellbeing of local residents. We also care for the thousands of Mercy and Memorial Hospital employees who call Dignity Health home. As Kern County’s third largest employer, we have much to offer our more than 3,000 employees. Competitive wages and excellent benefits, along with a host of continuing education and career advancement opportunities, make Dignity Health one of Bakersfield’s most sought out workplaces. Delivering on our promise to provide quality, compassionate care is why more than 600 affiliated physicians and specialists choose our care centers for their patients. In addition to our three hospitals, Dignity Health Bakersfield provides a growing number of healthcare facilities to meet the needs of the community, including Millennium Surgery Center, Dignity Health Infusion Center at the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center, and the Dignity Health Medical Group in Bakersfield.

Publish date: 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Media Contact


Violeta Trujillo

p: (661) 541-0322

[email protected]