APPLETON, Wis. – The American Heart Association (AHA) announces ThedaCare, an Appleton-based community health system, as the first Life is Why sponsor in Wisconsin. 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, cardiovascular disease took the lives of more than 11,000 Wisconsinites in 2016 alone. The sponsorship, reaching the ThedaCare service area including the Fox Valley, provides support to the American Heart Association’s mission: to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

“We appreciate the opportunity to help educate the public about heart health and the potentially life-saving choices people can make every day,” said Imran A. Andrabi, MD, President and CEO of ThedaCare. “Our “why” is putting our patients and their loved ones first. We are dedicated to serving Northeast and Central Wisconsin and sponsoring the American Heart Association’s Life is Why program is another vital way we can advance our mission of improving the health of the communities we serve.”

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States and the second leading cause of death in Wisconsin. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and is the number three killer in Wisconsin. Focus throughout this three-year sponsorship will be on creating a culture of health for residents of the Fox Valley area. The American Heart Association’s work is centered around changing policy, leading breakthroughs in science and technology, changing systems, transforming healthcare and transforming communities.

Here are just a few ways residents in the Fox Valley and beyond will see the Life is Why commitment in the community:

  • Promote employee wellness in local workplaces
  • Instill heart-healthy habits in kids through the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge in more than a dozen local schools
  • Distribute 100 CPR Anytime kits in the community and train residents in the life-saving skill of CPR
  • Community-wide education and awareness on a variety of health and wellness topics.

“We are thrilled to have ThedaCare as a major sponsor of our work in Wisconsin,” said Kim Friend, Senior Vice President, Eastern Field Operations for the American Heart Association. “This relationship will raise awareness of our leading health threat and create a culture of health through policy and systems change, education, prevention and research programs designed to make an impact right here where we live, work and play.”

Life is Why is a national brand element which emphasizes an emotional connection to the work of the AHA. The campaign encourages people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds to consider what or who they are living for and turn that into their personal motivation for making lifestyle changes that add up to healthier, happier and longer lives with the ones they love. 

For more on Life is Why, visit For more information about the work of the AHA in the Fox Cities, find us at @AHAWisconsin on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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