President Lachance Receives American Heart Association’s Crystal Heart Award MacKenzie Riley Young | March 25, 2022

Thomas College President Laurie G. Lachance recently received American Heart Association’s Crystal Heart Award at the 2022 Go Red for Women Luncheon by the American Heart Association on March 23 in Portland.

The Go Red for Women Luncheon is designed to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death for women in the United States, as well as generate funds for lifesaving cardiovascular research for women.

Each year, the Luncheon’s leadership committee nominates two individuals who strive to make Maine a better place to live, work, and play through their commitment to the well-being of Mainers.

This year, Laurie was one of the nominees and was joined by family members, friends, and members of the Thomas community.

During her speech, Laurie said: “As women, we take on so much stress, we beat ourselves up on a regular basis – and all of this takes a toll on both of our hearts – our body and our spirit. Heart health is more than just diet, exercise and sleep – it’s self-care, self-compassion, self-love, it’s acceptance of ourselves – warts and all, its slowing down, taking control, putting our own oxygen mask on first.”

In a video played during the ceremony, those who know Laurie well spoke about why she is so deserving of the Crystal Heart award and how much she’s impacted their lives for the better.

Thomas College trustee Meredith Jones attended the luncheon and said this: “Laurie gave heart-warming remarks about our heart feelings and our heart-healthy organ.”

Meredith said she learned there are a number of risk factors leading to heart disease over which we have control, including:

  • Eating a healthy diet with an abundance of vegetables and fruit and healthy fats (versus trans fat)
  • Managing stress through meditation, yoga, and/or other calming activities and exercises
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol
  • And above all, being active 30 to 60 minutes a day with walking or other exercise.
President Lachance with Thomas College trustees (L to R) Danielle Marquis, David Pease, Meredith Jones, Cary Olson-Cartwright, and Dorcas Riley.

“The luncheon was very powerful, inspiring & engaging.  Laurie’s remarks after accepting her award were dynamic and unique, her perspective that she delivered about heart health was encompassing of both your physical and emotional health.  It was so authentic and emotional, I was very honored to be there in support of Laurie, as well as support the American Heart Association here in Maine.  Throughout the program, I also learned so much about the need for continued research for heart disease and how impactful the disease is, especially on women.  I did not know that heart disease kills more women than all types of cancer combined.” – Danielle Marquis, Thomas College trustee

“Laurie’s speech was inspirational – we have two hearts – women take care of everyone else first and often don’t take care of themselves and provide self-care needed to stay healthy. We all need to provide love and support to the women in our lives to ensure they are well cared for.” – David Pease, Thomas College trustee

Overall, the Thomas community is so proud of Laurie for being recognized with the Crystal Heart Award. We’re so proud to have you as our leader full of heart.

Thank you to the American Heart Association for the work you do to promote heart health. Learn more about Women’s Heart Health here.