As we bring National Women's History Month to a close, we at the Open My Heart Foundation (OMHF) are also making history! OMHF introduced HB1137 (House Bill) to the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis on March 7, 2024. HB1137 would allow for the standardization of Coronary CT Scans for Calcium Score Testing, paid for by insurance providers. Our legislator and state Delegate Jamila Woods, heard us and she is working hard in the Maryland General Assembly to fight for what is right.

Coronary calcium scan, is a quick, convenient and noninvasive way of evaluating the amount of calcified (hard) plaque in your heart vessels. The level of calcium equates to the extent of plaque build-up in your arteries. Plaque in the arteries leads to heart attacks. By having early detection, it would reduce the mortality rates of heart disease.

Thank you to those who were able to testify for this important bill, Heart Survivors Ruth Harris, and Pamela Parker along with myself, Dr. Paul Underwood and Dr. Adrien Janvier. Thank you to those who came out for a show of support, including Cassandra Grant, Barbara Taha, Dr. Sandra Crewe, Alexis Cecile Tolliver, Kathi Muhammad, and Bahati Bridges.

Our day in Annapolis was very eye opening, informative and insightful as we listened to other testimonials in support of other bills. Special thank you to Edith Perry for helping us through the process. In addition to the support for our bill, we also took the time to celebrate the birthday of our board member, Barbara Taha. Members of Sisters 4 Sisters Network represented in show of support as well.

Lastly, we would also like to thank all who could not make it but sent letters of support. SUPPORT MATTERS! The fight is not over to standardize cardiac screenings as a part of our routine exams! Prevention and early detection matters. Stay tuned and let's continue to fight the good fight to standardize cardiac screenings!

Impact of the Key Bridge Collapse:

Request for Collaboration and Resources

A Message From

Maryland Nonprofits & Maryland Latinos Unidos

Dear friends,

Our hearts are aching amid the challenging circumstances following the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore. Our attention is first and foremost on the families of those whose lives were lost and on the survivors. We acknowledge that those who lost their lives were from the immigrant community, which is being hardest hit by this disaster.

The bridge and the waterway will be closed for some time, affecting jobs and livelihoods in already struggling and underserved communities. In this scenario, we anticipate a significant surge in demand for support services, ranging from emotional counseling and financial assistance to job placement services and more.

Given the scope of the needs and the potential for our resources to be stretched thin, collaboration among nonprofits is more critical than ever. We are reaching out to fellow organizations, community groups, and faith communities to compile a comprehensive list of available resources, services, and assistance programs that can be mobilized to aid those affected by the Key Bridge collapse.

Bilingual resources and services for immigrant communities are particularly critical in this response. We kindly ask that you share any information on:

  • Emergency aid and relief services
  • Counseling and emotional support services
  • Employment assistance and job placement programs
  • Food and energy assistance
  • Financial assistance programs
  • Services for immigrant communities
  • Any other services or resources that could aid those impacted

The Open My Heart Foundation stands with Maryland Nonprofit and Maryland Latinos Unidos and we hope you will to. Click on their link below to submit resources. #BaltimoreStrong

Submit Resources Here



Do you want to be a volunteer? Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) ask healthy volunteers to provide blood samples for research studies of blood vessels and immune diseases that cause clotting. In this study, investigators want to understand the basis of these diseases to facilitate the development of better treatments.

You can participate in this study if you :

  • Are at least 18 years old and in general good health
  • Are not pregnant or breastfeeding

During the study, you will:

  • Have a brief screening visit including medical history and a blood draw. Screening may be over the phone or in person
  • Health screening is at no cost and compensation for participation will be provided

To learn more about this NIH study #000829-H, or other studies, please call us at 866-444-1132.

2nd Annual Heart Health Equity Symposium: Closing the Gap in Cardiovascular Health

Held at the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center

The Open My Heart Foundation held it's 2nd Annual Heart Health Equity Symposium: Closing the Gap in Cardiovascular Health, at the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, Maryland on February 9th. We were able to share Red Bags of Courage by WomenHeart, as we addressed inequities in the healthcare system, social determinants of health, and health disparities. We also addressed what medical professionals are doing to close the gap in inequities in treatment.

Expert panelists included, Camile Black Fall, Maryland Department of Health, Director, Office of Minority Health and Disparities, Dr. Adrien Janvier, MedStar Health, Internal Medicine Residency, Dr. Tom-eka Archinard, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, UM Capital Region Medical Center, Senator Melony Griffith, President, Maryland Hospital Association, Dr. Sandra Crewe, Howard University School of Social Work, Dr. Terri Peters, Quality of Life Pharmacy and UM Capital Region Health, Dr. Patrice Nickens, NIH, NHBLI, Delegate Jamila Woods, State Delegate, District 26.

Here's a look at a short video called "See Me", on the importance of closing the gap.





Lisa Sutton, pictured here with her husband, is our 2024 Honoree for the "Survivor that Thrives" Award! Lisa was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in after giving birth to her twins in 2020. She also wears a pacemaker. Stay tuned for her full story and video. Congratulations Lisa for being the recipient of the Open My Heart Foundation's 2024 "Survivor that Thrives" Award!


Michelle Brown

Michell Brown is a Heart Transplant Recipient, a Songwriter, and Author from Temple Hills, MD.

She was diagnosed with Peripartum Cardiomyopathy/ Heart Failure. She has been living with heart failure for 30 years. On June 30, 2022, she received the ultimate gift and miracle in the form of a heart transplant. Michelle is still thriving and enjoying life. She is currently preparing to write her next book about her heart transplant journey. Please help us welcome her to the Open My Heart Family.

If you are are a heart survivor, stroke survivor, or at risk of heart disease with high blood pressure, diabetes, family history, or if you need support due to the loss of a loved one with heart disease, consider joining our family of supporters by clicking the link below. You are never alone.


The University of Maryland Capital Region Health Foundation, in collaboration with the Open My Heart Foundation

The University of Maryland Capital Region Health Foundation, in collaboration with the Open My Heart Foundation host it's Inaugural Wine & Wellness Fundraiser at the Woodmore Country Club, June 7th! Scan the QR Code to register and come out for a great cause. We hope to see you there!




Dr. Florence Champagne received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from The School of the Great Commission Bible College and Seminary on February 25th at the Bowie School of Performing Arts. We congratulate Dr. Champagne all of her hard work, continued sacrifice, dedication and leadership in the community. Pictured here with Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc. graduates who also received their honorary doctorate degree for their leadership in the community. (Bottom L-R: Dr. Susan Petty, Dr. Judith Clark, Dr. Florence Champagne, Dr. Stefanie Flood, Dr. Jackie Mims. Top L-R: Dr. Linda Powell, Dr. Kathi Muhammad, Dr. Sharon Bullock, Dr. Laura Dorsey, Dr. Wyomme Pariss). CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES!


Join the Open My Heart Foundation as we support the

Community Serving the Community Health Fair June 15th.


SOS (Supporting Our Sisters)

for National Heart Awareness Month at Woodside Village

In recognition of National Heart Awareness Month, and as we ushered in a new year, we mapped out our hearts desire with vision boards with a twist, from heart shaped felt for hanging. This active adult community loved mapping out their aspirations for the coming months.

The Black Family Wellness Expo

The Open My Heart Foundation partnered with The Links, Inc., as they hosted The Black Family Expo at Largo Community Church on March 16th. This was a widely attended successful joint effort from 3 chapters of the Links, which entailed free screenings, break out sessions, local hospitals, community health organizations and more. Pictured here with heart survivor and past honoree of the Open My Heart Foundation, Stacy Alston, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, and Florence Champagne.

Doctor Yolanda Cares Foundation 6th Annual Heart to Heart Red Carpet Affair February 17, 2024

Congratulations Dr. Yolanda, of Dr. Yolanda Cares Foundation on a successful 6th Annual Heart to Heart Red Carpet Affair held on February 17th at The Arc Black Box Theater in Washington, DC. Our Founder and CEO Dr. Florence Champagne, was able to take part in the event with a live interview. Congratulations Dr. Rick Peters, husband of our very own, Dr. Terri Peters, on receiving your award! Thank you to Open My Heart Foundation members and NCBW-PGC Members who cam out to support this spectacular event!


In my journey to eating more plant based foods, I came across this delicious recipe. Spaghetti squash where have you been all my life?! It is so good! I hope you will enjoy it too!



In recognition of National Heart Awareness Month, the Open My Heart Foundation in collaboration with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital has "Heart Health Talk" with Seniors.

During National Heart Awareness Month, we were so honored to participate in MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's "Heart Talk" with cardiologist Dr. Barbara Srichai, at the Kenilworth Recreation Center in Washington, DC, February 29th. The event was coordinated by our very own, Khaleelah Cohen. We were able to share Red Bags of Courage from WomenHeart, along with heart health tips and information.

The Open My Heart Foundation is a nonprofit 501c3 organization. Your donation is tax deductible. Make your donation today at: