American Heart Association Programs and Community Initiatives Webinar Series: April 14

Time: 12:00 PM


Virtual - Friday, April 14, 2023, 12 - 1 p.m.


This program is complimentary. Funding for this program was provided by IDPH Improving the Health of Illinoisans Through Chronic Disease Prevention grant. (CDC-DP19-1815).

Register Online

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and a major cause of heart attacks, strokes and disability for people living with type 2 diabetes, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure but many don’t know they have it. This webinar series will show you how to reduce health disparities and enhance population health through AHA programs and community initiatives.


The April 14 webinar will focus on AHA’s Target BP program and McHenry County’s Cultivating Health Ministries program that bring free health and wellness activities to faith-based communities.

Participants will hear from organizations implementing these initiatives.


This webinar will help participants:

  • Understand the data on the prevalence of high blood pressure and diabetes.

  • Identify the process to implement Target: BP, Check. Change. Control. Cholesterol. and Target: Type 2 Diabetes programs.

  • Understand how organizations are working outside of the healthcare setting to meet patients where they are.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for nurses, physicians, health educators, community health workers and those interested in chronic disease.


Tim Nikolai, Senior Rural Health Director, American Heart Association (AHA)
Covering AHA’s 13-state Midwest Region, Nikolai works with organizations that are based in or focused on rural communities. These include hospitals, community health centers, local health departments, school districts and libraries to address chronic disease, nutrition insecurity, tobacco use, cardiac readiness and more. His work focuses on helping organizations adopt evidence-based policies and practices to improve health and address health disparities.

Kimberly Scott-Pilkington, Health Educator, Egyptian Health Department, Eldorado
With 10 years in public health, Scott-Pilkington facilitates Chronic Disease, Diabetes Self-Management Program classes, along with a hybrid diabetes support group and online awareness group. She serves as secretary for the Southeastern Illinois Community Health Coalition; chairperson of the Diabetes Today Resource Team for Gallatin, Saline and White counties; Regional Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities Program coordinator; and chairperson for regional Southeastern Illinois Tobacco-Free Alliance.

Scott-Pilkington previously served on the Illinois Statewide Diabetes Planning Committee. She has worked for the past several years with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s DP18-1815 grant, which addresses chronic disease, pre-diabetes and diabetes, as well as implements and expands evidence-based strategies that address heart disease. She has collaborated extensively with the American Heart Association to bring programs to her area that address heart disease, specifically the Check.Change.Control: BP (CheckIt! Challenge) and Target BP.

Elizabeth Rios, APRN, RN, Project Director, Cultivating Health Ministries
Rios leads the ministry’s collaborative approach to bringing free health and wellness screenings, programming and classes to faith-based communities in McHenry County. She provides nursing care in a community clinic, and has more than 10 years of experience taking care of the Latino population and uninsured/underinsured individuals, with a specialty in diabetes management. Rios is a PhD candidate and a Fellow for Life for the Schweitzer Fellowship Program.

Carol Waggoner, BSN, RN, CDCES, Public Health Nurse, McHenry County Department of Health
For the past nine years, Waggoner has worked with the McHenry County Department of Health as a public health nurse. She has successfully implemented no-cost, evidenced-based community classes in diabetes prevention and management in collaboration with a variety of community agencies in McHenry County. Waggoner is a Certified Diabetes Education and Care Specialist, a facilitator for the Stanford Diabetes Self-Management Program and a Lifestyle Coach for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Diabetes Prevention Program. She currently represents the McHenry County Department of Health on the Cultivating Health Ministries Steering Committee. In that capacity Waggoner has worked closely with ministry staff and volunteers in providing diabetes screenings and education in McHenry County.