Published on May 11, 2015

Nurse Honored As AHA 2015 Volunteer Advocate of the Year

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (May 11, 2015): Nazareth Hospital Nurse Theresa “Terry” Conejo, BSN, RN, FAHA, was named the American Heart Association's (AHA) 2015 National Volunteer Advocate of the Year. This designation is awarded in recognition of an individual who has made a generous commitment of time, energy and talent to assist AHA in advocating directly to key lawmakers on heart and stroke issues. Terry was presented with the award during the AHA’s Lobby Day Luncheon on Monday, May 11 in Washington, D.C.

The AHA recognized Terry as Volunteer Advocate of the Year for her remarkable work as a community advocate, including her efforts testifying before lawmakers, and serving as a grassroots mobilizer on important issues and legislation vital to AHA advocacy goals. Terry has been an outstanding healthcare advocate and AHA volunteer for many years. She serves on the PA Advocacy Committee and frequently meets with legislators at the state and federal level to promote heart health initiatives.

One of Terry’s main current focuses is AHA’s fight for a comprehensive smoke-free law for Pennsylvania. In recent months, Terry has contributed op-ed pieces about proposed smoke-free legislation to major news outlets across the state. Terry is also advocating for the proposed Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act. In her local community, Terry pushed for Bensalem Township to ban smoking in its community parks. Her successful efforts were honored and praised by state representatives.

"Being able to help people and contribute to the community is my passion and what drives me,” Terry said. “Through my passion and commitment, I hope to inspire others to take action and help improve their health, well-being and quality of life.”

“Not only is Terry volunteering her time and efforts to the community, she is educating them on how to lead healthier lives and giving them the resources to get started,” said Nancy Cherone, FACHE, executive director at Nazareth Hospital. “We are extremely proud of her continued devotion and dedication to the health of others. Terry truly exemplifies the spirit of advocacy and volunteerism that we should all strive.”

Terry’s involvement with the AHA/ASA began eight years ago when she became a volunteer advocate for the AHA/ASA. She was recognized in 2009 with the AHA/ASA Distinguished Achievement Award and again in 2014 with the Go Red Por Tu Corazon Ambassador Award. Her contributions to the organization have included service on various committees, boards and community fundraising events. In February, Terry was named an AHA/ASA Fellow in recognition of her scientific and professional accomplishments, volunteer leadership, and service.

Watch Terry’s 2015 National Volunteer Advocate of the Year recognition video.