American Heart Association announces 2019 Guilford County Heart Walk chairman with a focus on minority health disparities and inequities
Greensboro, March 14, 2019 – The American Heart Association is proud to announce Derek Ellington, Bank of America’s Triad Market President, as the Chairman for the 25th Annual Greater Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk. Ellington is leading a team of local executives to raise vital funds to benefit heart disease and stroke research, prevention and education. Derek has a focus on health disparities across the entire community.
“As Chairman this year, I want to tackle health and health inequity within the Greater Guilford community,” said Ellington, Market President for Bank of America for the Triad of North Carolina. “By focusing on disparities faced by multicultural residents living in underserved communities, we can increase awareness and improve the health of our community”.
Derek Ellington leads Bank of America’s local corporate social responsibility work, leveraging the company’s unmatched capabilities to help the Central North Carolina region address social and economic challenges and build stronger communities. He has been with Bank of America for the past 21 years in various positions.
Derek Ellington is very active in the community and serves as the Board Chair of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and board secretary and treasurer for East Greensboro Now, a private, non-profit Community Development Corporation involved in community revitalization in East Greensboro. Derek’s family, his wife and 4 children, are very important to him and he leads by example by committing himself to community projects around the Greensboro area.
Disparities in Guilford County have many facets. Lack of health insurance, access to healthy foods, limited opportunities for early detection of disease, transportation to medical clinics as well as unconscious bias by medical professionals sometimes leads to different treatment plans than what would be prescribed to non-minorities. Factors such as education, unemployment, low income levels, cultural habits, limited access to fresh foods, inadequate healthcare, stress and sedentary lifestyles are among the major causes of the poorer health of minorities on many health measures and has immense impact on the quality of life and life expectancy of many minority groups.
- According to the 2017 North Carolina Resident Population Health Data by Race and Ethnicity, African-Americans are 20% more likely to die from heart disease and 40% more likely to die from strokes.
- High blood pressure is very prevalent in the African-American community and they are more likely to experience cardiac arrest coupled with survival rates twice as low compared to other groups.
- Based on the 2016 Guilford County Community Health Assessment, residents of census tracts in low income and low educational attainment areas have life expectancies of 18 years less than high income and high education attainment areas.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death in Guilford County. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and the fourth leading cause of death in Guilford County. Both heart disease and stroke are up to 80% preventable. Educating the public on the benefits of heart healthy lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in the culture of health of Greensboro and the surrounding areas.
The 2019 Greater Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk, sponsored by Cone Health and Bank of America will take place on Saturday, May 18 at UNC Greensboro. The day’s program starts at 8 a.m. and the walk begin at 9 a.m. For more information, visit www.GuilfordHeartWalk.org. To become a corporate sponsor, donate or form a team, please contact Garet Beane at 336-542-4829 or email Garet.Beane@Heart.org.
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 heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.