Designer, businesswoman and local philanthropist, Virginia Visser has assumed the role of Chair of the Board of Directors for the Central Texas American Heart Association.
She joined Studio 512 Co-Host Stephanie Gilbert to speak about her many years of service to the organization and to encourage the community, especially women, to get involved with the work and the mission.
Tell us why you decided to make an even deeper commitment to the AHA?
“I’ve always been impressed by the work of the organization and how laser-focused they are on educating, empowering, and supporting not only women but everyone in every community,” Visser said. “When I first became involved with the American Heart Association nearly a decade ago, I was struck by the fact that so few women knew that cardiovascular disease is their number one health threat. Specifically, fewer than 30% of women had that knowledge when the ‘Go Red’ campaign began in 2004 and since that time, the American Heart Association estimates nearly 300 fewer women die of heart and vascular disease each day. It’s true that the more women we tell, the more lives we save.”
“I am looking forward to working with a dedicated group of Board Members, staff, and volunteers to drive the mission into the future and make a profound impact across Central Texas,” Visser said.
What will be some of your focus or priority areas for the board and organization over the next few years?
“2021 has gotten off to a great start. We are working alongside organizations like Texas Mutual, Abbott, Vertiv, Live Oak and so many others to take on health equity, access to care, and chronic disease reduction,” Visser said. “Our work with Abbott and local healthcare organization ‘Lone Star Circle of Care’ will look to reduce the number of patients living with uncontrolled hypertension by providing blood pressure monitoring devices and resources at no cost to them.”
“We are stepping up our efforts when it comes to understanding the unique needs and challenges faced by communities of color. We are proud to kick off a new ‘Empowered to Serve’ program that seeks to impact the Black and African American community and we are expanding our annual ‘Vestido Rojo’ event by turning it into series where Hispanic and LatinX women can interact with clinical experts year-round,” Visser said. “We’ve hit the ground running and I couldn’t be more excited about the work.”
What are some of the ways the community can get involved with the American Heart Association?
“We are always looking for volunteers – people who are interested in serving the community, making a real change, and standing with us in our mission for a world of longer, healthier lives,” Visser said. “Right now, we are looking for people who are interested in rolling up their sleeves to improve access, equity, and to make a sustainable change. We are also looking for heart and stroke survivors who would be willing to share their personal stories.”
Learn more about the American Heart Association of Central Texas by visiting Heart.org/Austin and by following the organization on social media at @AmericanHeartTX.
This segment is paid for by the American Heart Association and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.