February 23, 2015 (Fort Wayne, IN) – The American Heart Association is pleased to announce that two Lutheran Hospital directors will lead the 2015 Go Red for Women efforts in Fort Wayne. Krista Peak, executive director, Lutheran Children’s Hospital, and Joyce Walz, executive director of cardiac services, Lutheran Hospital, will take the helm as this year’s Go Red for Women campaign chairs. The Go Red for Women movement and supporting events take place annually to raise awareness for the No. 1 killer of women – heart disease. Peak and Walz are beginning their roles during American Heart Month.

For over 10 years, women have been fighting heart disease individually and together as part of the Go Red for Women movement. During that time, more than 627,000 women’s lives have been saved, and 330 fewer women are dying per day. Heart disease affects more women than men and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. 

“I am so honored that we continue to play a role in helping to save women’s lives and improve their health. Not only do we strive to be good community partners at Lutheran Health Network, we hope to inspire others to participate in events and support the American Heart Association and its efforts,” said Brian Bauer, CEO, Lutheran Health Network. “Krista and Joyce are outstanding leaders and their work with the AHA will continue to impact the families and the region that we serve every day.”

As the 2015 American Heart Association chairs for the Go Red for Women campaign, Peak and Walz will lead all fundraising efforts and work alongside dedicated volunteers and survivors. Money raised through Go Red finances research specifically geared toward women, opportunities for education, and legislative advocacy programs in Fort Wayne.

“Go Red for Women is a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health and I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s efforts. It is a true sisterhood of women from all different backgrounds with one goal in common — preventing heart disease,” said Peak.

Krista Peak is the executive director of Lutheran Children's Hospital, bringing 20 years of patient care and management experience to the AHA and the Go Red for Women campaign. She has a strong background in family-centered care, a philosophy which acknowledges the impact of a negative or traumatic health event on the entire family unit.

She has had firsthand experience with the impact of heart disease on the family after her father had a quadruple bypass when he was 48 years old and she was 17 years old. This family-related risk factor is something that motivates Krista to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including making heart-healthy food choices.

“This movement harnesses the energy, determination and intelligence of women to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It also gives us the tools we need to lead a heart-healthy life. I’m excited to work with a dynamic group of women in making this year’s campaign a success, said Walz.

Joyce Walz has been with Lutheran Hospital for 18 years, all but one of them devoted to cardiac care.  Having been impacted by heart disease both professionally and personally, she is dedicated to the care of patients with these unique needs and champions efforts to promote a heart-healthy lifestyle.  Joyce has been a consistent participant in American Health Association events and campaigns including the annual Heart Walk where she actively recruits walkers and fundraisers to represent teams from Lutheran. 

She was an integral figure in the development and transition of inpatient heart services to Lutheran's newly constructed fifth floor in 2011, an 18-month expansion that literally and figuratively raised the hospital's trailblazing reputation for cardiac care to new heights.

Joyce earned an Associate of Science in nursing from the Lutheran College of Health Professionals and a bachelor's in nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has also served on the nursing advisory board for HealthTrust purchasing. 

Joyce and her husband Rick have three children.

The Fort Wayne campaign’s signature event, the Go Red for Women luncheon will take place in the fall. For more information about the Go Red for Women movement, contact Tiffany France at 260-578-0222. Go Red for Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s. Local sponsors include Lutheran Health Network, Fifth Third Bank, Parkview Physicians Group – Cardiology, and Ashton Creek Health & Rehabilitation.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke — America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. 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. We are the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.

Media Contact:
Ryan Johnson
Office Phone: 312-476-6627
Cell Phone: 773-419-2352


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