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The Board of Directors would like to take time to thank you for being a strong supporter of of he Open My Heart Foundation! We could not do what we do without you! During Christmas time and throughout the holiday season, we reflect on our goals, accomplishments, family and friends, just to name a few. In our buzziness, aside from the zoom meetings, we actually took the time to gather as a board to take time to fellowship and break break together. Pictured here are Dr. Paul Underwood, Florence Champagne, Alexis Cecile Tolliver, Gloria Ward Ravenell, Khaleelah Cohen, Dr. Sandra Crewe, Julia Hardeman Tsadick, Holly Jones.

May you have joy, prosperity, and good health during this holiday season and many more to come.

Please stay safe out there!

Merry Christmas!

Board of Directors

Open My Heart Foundation





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Modern Freedom Fighter, Singer, Songwrite, and daughter of the late Dick Gregory, Ayanna Gregory, will be performing at the Virtual Red Dress Gala Awards February 26, 2021! Ayanna is also an educator and human rights activist who has set the bar really high for tackling social issues.  With her dad, Dick Gregory being one of the most influential people of the 1960’s Civil Rights movement, Ayanna followed in his footsteps through the use of her music decades after that era ended. With an upbringing that forced Ayanna to critically examine social issues, her use of music is a vehicle to empower the world’s human occupants. It is her hope to change the destructive vibration that she believes can and should be positively altered. One of ten children, Ayanna was born in 1971 to parents intent on playing a major role in not only the changing of oppressive laws but also the hearts and minds of the people whose mindset seemed to remain the same. Register at:





DECEMBER 31, 2021

JOIN US FOR THE RED DRESS GALA AWARDS FEBRUARY 26, 2022! In recognition of National Heart Awareness Month, we will commemorate our 7th Year Anniversary, honoring Survivors of Heart Attacks and Related Heart Disease and Strokes! Early Bird Registration now open util December 19th! Register at the link below.

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WHAT A BLESSING! Our week long Food Drive for the Seniors was a huge success and more than expected! we held a Food Drive December 13th through 19th in order to feed seniors in Fort Washington, MD. Thanks to our amazing Community Partners: the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the 301 Nutrition Spot, In a Minute Cafe Chef Steven Wilson, and the National Congress of Black Women, we were able feed the seniors a delicious hot meal at their “Evening of Elegance” Christmas party, give them bags of groceries, including Cornish game hens, plus gifts! This has truly been one of the best Christmas’ ever as we experienced the joy of giving in service!

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Thank you for all of your donations! Special thanks to our SOLDIERS who stuck it out driving back and forth picking up food donations, volunteering your time, loading and unloading, bagging and more! We couldn’t have done it without you! The seniors really enjoyed the groceries, the gifts, and the delicious hot meals as they danced the night away. TEAM WORK TRULY MAKES THE DREAM WORK! THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS!

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Chafica Miles

2022 Survivor that Thrives

Atrial Septic Defect

Open Heart Surgery

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Audra Underwood

2022 Survivor that Thrives

Coronary Artery Disease

Open Heart Surgery

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Wanda Washington

2022 Survivor that Thrives

Tetrology of Fallot

Open Heart Surgery

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Charis Jones

2022 Survivor that Thrives

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

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Stacy Ashton

2022 Survivor that Thrives

Double Bypass

Open Heart Surgery

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Pamela Parker

2022 Survivor that Thrives

Heart Attacks

Coronary Artery Disease

Meet our 2022 Honorees and Survivors That Thrive! We will honor them at the Virtual Red Dress Gala Awards as they share their heart wrenching stories of challenges, to survival and triumph! So let's show up, learn from them, cheer them on, and watch them as they grace the runway in their red in our one of a kind signature event, the Red Dress Gala Awards!

Sponsorship Opportuities and Vendor Opportunities Available. Also consider giving a congratulatory message to an honoree by following the link below. If you cannot attend, please consider making a donation through the following link.



We are so grateful to have an awesome Red Dress Gala Committee working behind the scenes to produce an awesome event for an awesome cause. We salute our team.

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Dr. Karla Kornegay

Committee Chair

Blanche Steele Sharpe

Sponsorship Chair

Red Dress Gala Committee

Terri Allen

Entertainment Chair

Red Dress Gala Committee

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Kimberly Leary Gilchrist

Sponsorship/Fashion Show

Red Dress Gala Committee

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Tallulah Anderson

Videography Production Chair

Red Dress Gala Committee


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Dec 13-18 2021

Christmas Food Drive

Christmas Food Drive was held to provide groceries for seniors at a residential community, Woodside Village. We were able to provide groceries, hot meals, and gifts. Meals were given at their "Evening of Elegance" held December 18, 2021.

October 20, 2021

Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research Partnership

Educational social media campaign to increase awareness of sarcoidosis among African American women.

September 29, 2021

Participation in Health Care Forum addressing Health Disparities in Prince George's Hosted by Wala Blegay, Candidate for District 6, Prince George's County

September 15, 2021

SOS (Supporting Our Sisters) COVID-19: Are we Out of the Woods?      

We visited our status with Covid-19 as things being to open up, as we attend schools, music concerts, social gatherings, experience loss and grief. Virtual Event. With Dr. Patrice Nickens (NIH), Jackie Mims (Testimonial due to Covid Loss), Dr. Miriam Martin (ER Physician), Dr. Rick and Terri Peters (UM Laurel Medical Center and Quality of Life Pharmacy), and Denise Jenkins (Heart Survivor/Vaccine Reaction Testimonial).

September 14, 2021


Our CEO was invited and asked to participate in a video production on health disparities. This resulted in a short film which WomenHeart will utilize.  

August 8, 2021

Popcorn Fundraiser

Popcorn Fundraiser held to raise funds for the Open My Heart Foundation

July 15, 2021

SOS (Supporting Our Sisters)

“Thriver” Elena Crusoe Aiken lead a discussion called “Life After A Stroke” as she talks about her experiences with being a stroke survivor, and offer valuable tips. With Elena Crusoe Aiken (Thriver), Dr. Karen Smith (Family Practice), and Kanika DeSandies (Speech Therapist).

June 21, 2021

SOS (Supporting Our Sisters)

Karen DeSandies led the SOS discussion in June on SCAD Heart Attacks. Karen DeSandies (Thriver) and Dr. Paul Underwood (Cardiologist). With Karen DeSandies (Thriver), and Dr. Paul Underwood (Cardiologist).

May 20, 2021 

SOS (Supporting Our Sisters)

We held our virtual monthly patient-centered support groups called SOS (Supporting Our Sisters) with “Thriver” of Cardiomyopathy, Lacetta Bowman, who leda discussion called “Heartbeats Matters” as she talks about her experiences with Cardiomyopathy. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Karen Smith. 

May 9-15th

Women's National Health Week

The Open My Heart Foundation celebrated National Women’s Health Week with a series of events May 11th through Friday, May 13th.                 

Tuesday, May 11th

“Reaching Herd Immunity and Black Hesitancy” with Dr. Patrice Nickens from NIH. Dr. Paul Underwood, Boston Scientific. We tackled the tough subject of reaching herd immunity in a covid environment, the vaccine, what’s next, as well as discussed black hesitancy in our families and community.  

Wednesday, May 12th

“Line Dancing From the Heart” with Betty Harris.

We Got in the Flo with Line Dancing from the Heart. Line dancing is the perfect form of exercise! It provides the benefits of an aerobic workout which helps maintain a healthy heart and as well as provides a platform for you to get involved in a social environment, which is great for your overall mental wellness.       


Thursday, May 13th

Yoga From the Heart with Sherrell Moore-Tucker. We Got in the Flo with Yoga from the Heart. Yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility. It helps with back pain relief, eases arthritis symptoms, improves your heart health, relaxes you, helps you sleep better, improves your moods, and helps you manage stress. With Celina Gorre, CEO WomenHeart; Lyn Behnke; Rayette Brown; Starr Mirza; Kathy McDonald, PhD; Suz Schrandt, JD; Daniel Calac, MD; Keith Ferdinand, MD; Angela Richard-Eaglin; DNP; Eileen Hsich, MD; Rachel M. Bond, MD; Sharonne Hayes, MD; Jenice Baker, MD; Brandie Taylor; Afshan B. Hameed, MD.                      

April 20, 2021-September 2021


"Convening on Missed Diagnosis of Heart Disease in Women". This was a 6 month project from WomenHeart in which Florence Champagne was invited to participate in the Steering Committee which resulted in a White Paper Report on the Outcome. Paper released June 30, 2021.  

April 15, 2021

SOS (Supporting Our Sisters) Gloria Ward Ravenell is our Survivor to THRIVER who led us in this months SOS (Supporting Our Sisters) Support Group. Gloria is a recipient of a Aortic Valve Replacement and survivor. With Gloria Ward Ravenell (Thriver) and Dr. Archi Ludomirsky (Cardiologist)

March 18, 2021

SOS (Supporting Our Sisters)

In this months' HEALTH TALK, spoke about the "Broken Heart Syndrome". With Constance Anderson Collier (Thriver) and Dr. Paul Underwood (Cardiologist)

February 26, 2021

2021 Virtual Red Dress Gala Awards

Our Annual Signature Event, the Red Dress Gala Awards was virtual this year due to covid-19. It consisted of 6 Honorees receiving "Thrivers that Thrive" Awards. One honoree received a $500 grant from the Open My Heart Foundation for the Lilly Daniels Legacy Award. This is awarded to the honoree selected wjo has had the most devestation, loss, and/or has turned their tragedy into triumph.

February 8, 2021

Mid-Day Motivation

Participation in Sisters 4 Sisters Mid-Day Motivation Series.


January 2nd

Vaccination and Black America with Dr. Terri Peters            

January 9th

Taking Charge of Your Mental Health with Dr. Janice Davis, LCSW-C, Carol lAuletta, LCSW-C, Dr. Vanessa Allen, CEO, Family Wellness Center        

January 16th

National Healthy Weight Week-Getting Your Diabetes Under Control with Diabetes Educator Sharon Hawks                 

January 23rd

Heart Healthy Recipies

January 30th

De-Stress About Your Finances-Tips from the Expert Carol Robinson

March 2020-Present

Registered with Covid-19 Resource Center 211 Maryland.

Provide resources and assistancecallers seeking Covid Testing Sites and Vaccines in the state of Maryland. Look up and assist community with locations on where to get tests and vaccines, guiding them through the process, and assistance in scheduling tests and vaccines.

The Open My Heart Foundation is a 501c3 organization. Your donation is tax-deductible. For more information go to, email or call 240-389-4361

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