The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, will host the Western Kentucky Heart Walk in Paducah in person once again alongside Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital. The Heart Walk is an event that has been instrumental in innovative breakthroughs across the country over the last 30 years, and since its inception, mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke have plummeted by 45 percent. Each walker and donation have helped to transform health statistics into lives saved, but there is still more work to be done.  

The Western Kentucky Heart Walk is among more than 300 Heart Walks held in communities across the nation. Approximately 1 million people walk each year for a singular mission: to cure heart disease and stroke. This year, the Western Kentucky Heart Walk will be held on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 5:30 p.m. at the Noble Park Amphitheater in Paducah. Individuals and teams can register online at

“After all these years, the Heart Walk is still focused on funding groundbreaking research through the passion of walking together to change lives,” said John Jacobs, director of cardiovascular and pulmonary services at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital and 2022 Western Kentucky Heart Walk co-chair. “I am honored to serve and play a role in the promise of a better future for younger generations in Western Kentucky.”

Each time someone laces up their shoes or forms a team to participate in the Heart Walk, they are influential in groundbreaking breakthroughs that have taken place over the last 30 years. Every donation helps create new technologies like the artificial heart valve, cholesterol drugs, stents and the mechanical heart pump, which helps extend the life of patients. 

“The American Heart Association has carved a place in the history of health by saying ‘yes’ to progressing lifesaving science,” said Simone Fearon, MD, MBA, FACC, medical director of advanced structural heart imaging and quality management at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital and 2022 Western Kentucky Heart Walk co-chair. “The science of how we respond to heart disease and stroke has progressed tremendously in the past 30 years. With a new generation lacing up their shoes to participate in the Heart Walk, I am excited to see the big solutions to come.” 

Each day, more than 2,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease – the No. 1 killer in the United States. Stroke, the No. 5 killer and a leading cause of severe disability, claims the lives of more than 200,000 annually.

The Heart Walk is open to the community, and all are welcome to participate and change the story of heart disease and stroke in Western Kentucky. Those who walk are committed to funding research that keeps hearts beating.