Welcome to Heart Attack Ethiopia Inc.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by two Ethiopian-American physicians, dedicated to combatting the alarming increase in premature death rates from heart attacks and strokes in Ethiopia and other African countries. With a mission to save lives and improve cardiovascular health, we are committed to making a lasting impact on the communities we serve. Our goal is to inspire and catalyze positive changes focused on cardiovascular health and timely care delivery throughout Africa. By saving one heart at a time, we are paving the way for a healthier Ethiopia and leaving no heart behind.

Our Approach

We believe in a holistic approach to cardiovascular health. Through community outreach programs, we raise awareness about heart disease risk factors, promote healthy lifestyles, and provide education on early warning signs. We collaborate with local healthcare providers and organizations to enhance medical infrastructure, improve access to diagnostic tools, and deliver life-saving interventions in a timely manner.

Join Us

Become a volunteer

We invite you to join us in our mission to save lives and improve cardiovascular health. Whether you are a healthcare professional, a donor, a volunteer, or an advocate, your support is vital in making a difference. Together, we can create a future where heart attacks and strokes no longer devastate communities and orphan children.

Our Mission

Heart Attack Ethiopia Inc. is dedicated to saving lives and improving cardiovascular health in Ethiopia and beyond. Our mission is to establish a comprehensive and sustainable emergency cardiovascular service line that provides state-of-the-art management and care for cardiovascular conditions…

Our Vision

We aspire to inspire and catalyze positive change in cardiovascular health throughout Africa. Paving the way for a healthier Ethiopia by Saving one heart at a time and leaving no heart behind.

Meet Our Founders and Board of directors

Tesfaye Telila, MD. FACC, FSCAI.

Founder
Dr. Tesfaye Telila is a renowned Ethiopian American  interventional cardiologist who brings a wealth of experience in treating  patients with heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions. With his expertise and dedication, he has built a successful cardiology practice in the USA and has saved numerous lives and improved the quality of life for countless Americans. However, the unfortunate reality of lack of sustainable basic emergency cardiovascular services in his home country of Ethiopia has been a constant bane and frustration. Dr. Telila’s passion for cardiovascular medicine and his personal ties to his home country of Ethiopia fuels his unwavering commitment to catalyze positive changes focused on cardiovascular health and timely care delivery throughout Ethiopia and Africa.

Obsinet Merid, MD.

President and CEO
Dr. Obsinet Merid is an experienced Ethiopian American internist and assistant professor of medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta Georgia. She has a deep understanding of the importance of preventive care and early intervention. Her expertise in managing chronic diseases, including cardiovascular conditions and her deeply personal ties to the Ethiopian healthcare system where her older sister died due to lack of basic surgical care makes this nonprofit her passion project. She aspires to create a future where heart attacks and strokes no longer claim lives prematurely and envisions that no child should become an orphan due to a treatable medical condition. She currently serves as a president of a US based nonprofit organization, Making the Grade, Hope for African Youth.  She Co-founded Heart attack Ethiopia along with her husband  and excited to serve and share her experiences  as a president and CEO to our nonprofit organization.

TaRessa Wills, MD.

Vice President
Dr. TaRessa Wills earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA followed by her Doctorate of Medicine degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. She is currently a board-certified Internal Medicine physician who joined Emory University School of Medicine faculty as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Emory Division of Hospital Medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital in 2019. Clinically, she fervently delivers compassionate, direct care to Atlanta’s most vulnerable populations and strives to educate internal medicine residents, medical students and physician assistant students on how to integrate cultural competence and empathetic kindness into patient care. Dr. Wills also holds interests in global health rendering her zealous journey with Heart Attack Ethiopia.

Sharon Ashton

Chief Financial Officer
Sharon Ashton is a highly accomplished professional with extensive experience in both the business and philanthropic sectors. She has made significant contributions to society throughout her career, demonstrating her dedication to improving communities and making a positive impact.In the business realm, Sharon has held various key positions. Since 2012, she has been a Partner and Deputy General Manager at WGGA Eye Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Prior to that, from 2010 to 2012, she served as the Head of Anti-Money Laundering Task Force at UBS Bank Canada in Toronto, Canada. Her tenure at UBS Bank Canada spanned an impressive 30 years, from 1979 to 2009, during which she held the position of Executive Director. In this role, she oversaw Trading, Structured Products, and Asset Management for the Canadian market. In addition to her successful business career, Sharon is deeply involved in philanthropic endeavors. Since 2014, she has been an active Rotarian in the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa West, Ethiopia, within Rotary International. From 2005 to 2017, she served as the Executive Director of Ethiopian North American Health Professionals (ENAHPA), a Canadian/US Charity focused on medical initiatives in Ethiopia. Furthermore, from 2003 to 2012, Sharon held the position of Chairperson of the Orphan Committee for People-to-People Canada, a Canadian Charity that provides support to orphans and vulnerable children in Ethiopia, as well as HIV/AIDS education in Toronto. Through her diverse experiences and unwavering commitment to both business and philanthropy, Sharon Ashton has established herself as a dynamic leader and a compassionate advocate for positive change. Her impeccable resume along with her unmeasurable love for Africa and personal ties to Ethiopia makes her an ideal board member and chief financial officer (CFO) for Heart Attack Ethiopia.

Michael Conaway

General Manager
Take a servant’s heart, an innate talent for organization and the energy to make things happen. The result is Peachtree city, GA charity executive Mike Conaway. Mike spent 20 years in the corrugated industry in the US and Central America, first as an engineer, then in sales and finally as a business owner. The leadership skills he gained through sales and business were put to greater use when he became an ordained minister and coordinated a Peachtree city congregation’s outreach programs that included a “ car care’ ministry that performed basic automotive services for needy individuals with many donated materials recruited by him.Conaway’s community outreach led to a 501c3 nonprofit community health service, Healing Bridge Clinic, that provides hea1thcare to the underserved communities of central Georgia. First recruited to the board of directors, he became full time executive director in 2018. Since taking leadership of the HBC the value of medical care provided to the community has increased from 241,400 in 2017 to $1,700.000 in 2022. Tirelessly championing the cause. Conaway led the organization through the 2020 pandemic shutdown while sustaining needed funding and increasing the impact made on the local community. Not hesitating to join forces with other financially stretched charitable organizations, he co-founded the Fore Our Community Charity Golf Classic – a partnership between two nonprofits serving the same community coming together to raise money for both. Proving has creativity and flexibility, the Healing Bridge Clinic transformed its annual fundraising dinner to a virtual event that saved expenses while generating substantial monies for the organization.Mike Conaway believes that independent charitable institutions can serve communities as well or better than bureaucracies with appropriate support; that a helping hand at an appropriate time in an individual’s life can lead them to a greater control of their future and perhaps, to financial independence and an opportunity to pay it forward to others. Mike Conaway has been married for 39 years to his wife Shirley and has one adult son, Shawn. He is a graduate of Vincennes University.

Jon-Alan Manning, B.S, MBA

Director of Philanthropy
Jon-Alan Manning is a highly accomplished individual with a strong background in business and education. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Later, in 1970, he completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Emory University. With his wealth of experience in the corporate world, Jon-Alan has held various leadership positions throughout his career. His expertise lies in strategic planning, financial management, and organizational development in small business and real estate. He has successfully spearheaded numerous projects and initiatives, driving growth and profitability in the real estate industry. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Jon-Alan is passionate about giving back to the community. He supports several nonprofits, dedicating his hard earned money to making a positive impact in the world. His commitment to social causes is also influenced by what he witnessed firsthand traveling to over 54 countries in the world. As a board member and champion of philanthropy for Heart Attack Ethiopia Inc, Jon-Alan Manning brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will greatly contribute to our mission. We are privileged to have him on board and look forward to the valuable insights and guidance he will provide.

Meet our advisory board members

6-HAE

Virginia Fields, FNP-C

Secretary
Virginia Fields is an outstanding  Family Nurse Practitioner that provides direct care to patients with heart attacks at Piedmont Heart Institute. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from LaGrange College in 2007 and earned a Master’s of Science in Nursing from University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2016.  Virginia has experience in the fields of pediatrics, oncology, emergency medicine, and cardiology.  She found her career passion when she took a role as a Cardiology NP, with a particular interest in Acute Care and Interventional Cardiology. Since childhood, Virginia has known she would grow up to help people through a career in healthcare.  At age 15, she decided to become a nurse after she saw the stellar care and personal connection that her sister received from her nurses during a critical illness.  She feels very fortunate to have a career that has allowed her to meet thousands of patients from all walks of life and from all over the world.  She enjoys learning about each person’s journeys and finding creative ways to help them meet their needs. The opportunity to serve others is a privilege and she is eager to expand her understanding of the world by serving others in communities even further from home. She developed interest for Africa after she heard and read about the lack of very basic cardiovascular services that we take for granted here at home. She is so excited to be part of this great cause. On a more personal note, Virginia lives in Newnan, Georgia.  She has one daughter, Ellise, who is currently a student at Georgia Institute of Technology.  She is engaged to be married to her fiancé, David, in October 2024.  She enjoys spending her free time with her family, often finding hiking or camping trips or traveling to find the best local coffee shops or bookstores.
Michelle

Michelle Camper

Treasurer
Michelle Camper is a Certified Public Accountant with over 15 years of tax experience in both public accounting and several industries. She graduated from Trinity University with a Bachelor of Science in Business administration. She then received a Master of Accounting from the Ohio State University in 2007. She is currently a Senior Tax Manager for a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Atlanta.
Tracy

Tracey Rogers

Media and Marketing Advisor
Tracey Rogers is an award-winning media and marketing expert with extensive experience in video content production, digital strategy, earned media, social media, and executive communications. Her background includes 20+ years in broadcast journalism and interactive content creation. Recently, she was appointed to the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences’ Southeast chapter. Tracey has been honored with 18 awards, including eight Emmy Awards, two Edward R. Murrow awards, a Bronze and Gold Telly award, and the Target Gold Award for social media marketing.
Arthur J. Poole_BSC_Square

Arthur J. Poole, BSC

Social Media & Security Advisor

Arthur J. Poole, Jr. is a native of Montgomery, Alabama and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia where he is currently employed with a major retail organization while consulting independently within the cybersecurity space.

Arthur finished a Bachelor of Science degree in Management of Information Systems and is currently completing a Master of Science in Information Systems with a focus in Business Analytics and Cybersecurity Management both from Auburn University.

He is the owner of Poole Technology Solutions, LLC.

Arthur is a skilled cyber security engineer specializing in risk management and messaging security and authentication. His 18 years of experience in the information technology and cybersecurity industry have improved his skills significantly, making him a noteworthy asset for the cyber community. He is married to his wife of 6 years, Erica Poole. They have a 5-year-old son. He is excited to serve as a Social media campaign and Security advisor for Heart Attack Ethiopia Inc.

Location

Heart Attack Ethiopia is based in Georgia, USA. While our physical presence may be in the United States, our hearts and efforts extend to Ethiopia and other African countries where our work is focused. We work closely with local partners and stakeholders to ensure our initiatives are culturally sensitive, sustainable, and yield long-term impact.

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