Categorized | Local News

Champions Of Change: Tampa Bay Leaders Take On Heart Disease And Stroke

SHERRYL J. CUSSEAUX

…2023 Tamp Bay Woman of Impact

DR. SHANI DAVIS

…2024 Woman Of Impact

 

CORNELL BOYD, III

…2024 Tampa Bay Teen of Impact

Recognized By American Heart Association

     In the heart of Tampa, two extraordinary individuals are leading the charge against heart disease and stroke, demonstrating the power of community and advocacy. Dr. Shani Davis and Cornell Boyd, III have been recognized as the American Heart Association’s 2024 Woman of Impact™ and Teen of Impact™ winners, respectively, for their relentless dedication to improving health outcomes in our communities.

     Davis, a distinguished nurse practitioner and owner of ‘Your Best You’ clinic in Tampa, has long been a beacon of hope for those affected by chronic diseases. With more than 22 years of experience, Dr. Davis has witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of heart disease, particularly among minority communities. Motivated by the disproportionate rates of cardiovascular mortality among Black women, she launched the inaugural “Heart & Soul Weekend,” a transformative event designed to raise awareness and foster fellowship within our community.

     “Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Black women,” Davis said. “Through Heart & Soul Weekend, I wanted to create a space where healthcare information is delivered in a culturally relevant manner, ensuring that our community has access to the resources needed to combat this silent killer.”

      It all began for Davis with the Allen and Sherryl J. Cusseaux’s Heart Legacy Ambassadors, where she served as an Ambassador. Her nomination for the Woman of Impact distinction holds special significance as a “legacy nominee” by last year’s local winner,Sherryl J. Cusseaux, the first Black woman nominated for Tampa Bay Woman of Impact (WOI) with the 2023 Tampa nominees raising over $100K in the nine-week WOI campaign. Cusseaux recognized Davis’s tireless efforts in advancing health equity and amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities.

      Alongside Davis stands Cornell Boyd, III, a senior at Jesuit High School whose passion for promoting heart health is deeply rooted in personal experience. Inspired by his grandfather’s battle with heart disease, Cornell is committed to raising awareness and funds for heart research. As the winner of the Tampa Bay Teen of Impact campaign, he embodies the spirit of youth empowerment and community engagement.

     “My ‘why’ in accepting this role as the Tampa Teen of Impact is more than the title,” Cornell shares. “It’s about making a difference in the lives of those affected by heart disease, including my grandfather. Together, we can work towards a future where heart disease is no longer a leading cause of mortality.”

     As champions of change, Davis and Boyd exemplify the resilience and determination of Tampa Bay’s Black community. Their efforts not only raise awareness about the impact of heart disease and stroke, but also inspire hope for a healthier, more equitable future for all.

      In a city where diversity is celebrated and voices are amplified, these two champions of change remind us that each of us has the power to effect meaningful change. Through their advocacy and leadership, they are driving progress towards a world where heart disease and stroke are no longer barriers to longevity and wellness.

 

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