Steppin’ Out for Hearts


Get your ball gowns and tuxedos ready for a night on the town! Mark your calendars for the American Heart Association’s 2023 Triad Heart Ball on Friday, April 21 at Legacy Stables and Events in Winston-Salem. The Heart Ball celebrates the American Heart Association’s collective success in driving change, funding science and encouraging behaviors that improve heart health in our community. The event includes a survivor celebration, silent and live auctions, a gourmet dinner, acoustic guitar by Kevin Beck, and live music with dancing courtesy of Hot Sauce. 

But it’s not just about the fun, it’s about raising vital funding to benefit heart disease and stroke research and community impact programs focusing on prevention of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease and stroke currently claim more lives than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined.

Since 1949, the American Heart Association has funded more than $5 billion in research and currently funds more than 1,600 scientists across the United States. In the Triad, the American Heart Association is currently funding nearly $2.8 million in research grants at North Carolina A&T State University, High Point University, and Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine. The next big discovery for heart disease and stroke could come right from our own backyard!

The American Heart Association’s mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With help from supporters, this impact is being felt in Triad neighborhoods through nearly $700,000 in community impact programs focused on nutrition education, hypertension management, and maternal health.

Chaired by Anita Prendergast, CEO of the Novant Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health, the 2023 Triad Heart Ball and the Heart of the Triad initiative is focusing on stroke and prevention for this year’s program accompanied by a traveling F.A.S.T. display sharing stroke warning signs.

“Like many individuals across the country, I have personally experienced how cardiovascular disease can impact a family,” said Anita. “In addition, our team at Encompass Health sees the devastating effects of stroke every day in our community through the services we provide at our rehabilitation hospital. Encouraging all families to learn the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke is critical to identifying a stroke quickly, leading to the best possible treatment options and outcomes for patients. I am honored to help lead this effort in the Triad.”

As part of the Novant Health Rehabilitation Platform Sponsorship and in an effort to increase awareness of the warning signs of stroke, large F.A.S.T. letters are part of a traveling display throughout Triad businesses and organizations this year. “F” stands for face drooping. “A” stands for arm weakness. “S” stands for speech difficulty. “T” stands for time to call 9-1-1. If a person shows any of the symptoms, even if their symptoms go away, 9-1-1 should be called and the person should get to a hospital immediately. According to the American Heart Association, every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke. The faster stroke is treated, the more likely the patient is to recover.

The good news is that heart attack and stroke-related events can be largely preventable with education and lifestyle changes, such as knowing your vital health numbers, moving more, eating smarter and managing vital health numbers including blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. For more information on the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, visit

The Triad Heart Ball is proudly sponsored by Life is Why Sponsor, Novant Health, and Platform Sponsor, Novant Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health.

Tickets are on sale now at For event questions, contact


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