Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Leaders Spearhead Life-Saving Efforts In Miami-Dade

Photo Credit: Courtesy of America Heart Association

Cardiovascular disease continues to cast a grim shadow over Miami-Dade County, claiming countless lives each year. In the face of this formidable adversary, Perry Ann Reed, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Nicklaus Children's Health System and President of Nicklaus Children's Hospital, along with Dr. Redmond Burke, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, have taken up the mantle of leadership. They have embarked on a noble mission in collaboration with the American Heart Association, an organization dedicated to promoting healthier lives worldwide, to change the narrative of heart health in this community.

Reed and Dr. Burke have assumed the roles of co-chairs for the 2023 Miami-Dade Heart Challenge™, a community-driven campaign aimed at mobilizing local companies, corporations, and their employees in the battle against heart disease and stroke.

"This year's Heart Walk carries an extra layer of significance for me," remarked Perry Ann Reed. "I have always been deeply committed to heart health, both personally and for our community. This year, my own journey has further underscored the urgency of this cause, reinforcing the importance of our collective efforts to combat heart disease. I urge everyone to join hands with me and the Nicklaus Children's Hospital family, lace up your sneakers, and lead the charge against heart disease at this year's Heart Walk."

The theme of the 2023 Miami Heart Walk, 'I Walk to Save Lives,' aims to empower participants to take ownership of their personal Heart Walk campaigns by connecting with the motivations driving their involvement in this life-saving movement, fostering a deeper connection with the cause.

"The reasons for participating may vary for each walker," explained Dr. Redmond P. Burke, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. "I walk for the families of my patients, who display unwavering courage in the face of congenital heart disease."

As co-chairs of the Heart Challenge™, Perry Ann Reed and Dr. Redmond P. Burke are rallying a team of executives from Miami-Dade County to engage companies and organizations in various Heart Challenge™ initiatives, including the Heart Walk®, Field Day, and Executives with Heart. Through these initiatives, the leadership team and supporting organizations will raise funds for the American Heart Association while fostering discussions focused on employee health, corporate engagement, community well-being, and community transformation.

"We express our profound gratitude to these visionary leaders who are taking decisive action against heart disease and stroke," said Marisol Garcia, Executive Director for the American Heart Association's Greater Miami and Fort Lauderdale Market. "Through the diverse Heart Challenge initiatives, we can make the most significant impact by encouraging employee engagement and corporate fundraising. Together, we have the power to save lives right here in Miami-Dade."

Heart disease and stroke are largely preventable, and one's diet, physical activity, and stress management play pivotal roles in overall well-being, both physically and mentally. Heart Challenge™ offers resources, tools, and activities to support the mental and physical well-being of both employers and employees.

As of now, this year's Heart Walk has garnered support from sponsors such as Orange Theory Fitness, Schiller Americas, Ryder Systems, Inc., Nicklaus Children's Hospital, Florida Power & Light, CITY Furniture, New Edge Associates, LaCroix, Almazan Law, HCA East Florida, ADP, Victoria Nursing & Rehabilitation, AvMed, KIDZ Medical Services, One Beat Medical, and Training. Media sponsors for this event include Brickell Magazine, Haute Living Magazine, and PBS South Florida.

Mark your calendars for the Miami Heart Walk, scheduled for Saturday, December 2nd, at Regatta Park in Coconut Grove, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. For more information about Heart Challenge™ or to involve your company in this commendable cause, please contact Juanita Giraldo-De La Paz at or visit to register for free!

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association stands as an unwavering force committed to the pursuit of longer, healthier lives for all. This organization is dedicated to ensuring equitable health in every community. Through extensive collaborations with numerous organizations and the dedicated efforts of millions of volunteers, the American Heart Association funds groundbreaking research, advocates for public health, and disseminates life-saving resources. With a history spanning nearly a century, this Dallas-based organization remains a premier source of health information. Stay connected with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter, or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.