Happy to lead with a Healthy Heart

Photo by Tracy Doyle


When you’re responsible for leading others, rallying them for financial support for the prevention of heart disease, it only makes good sense to see to it that your own ticker is in tip-top shape.

Garren Colvin, president and CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare and a co-chair of the upcoming 25th annual Cincinnati Heart Ball, committed to a year of walking – and walking – while talking the American Heart Association (AHA) fundraising talk. He was also inspired to take better care of himself after a close younger friend died from a heart attack. Colvin logged roughly three miles a day, stuck to a sound diet, and voila! He’s 55 pounds lighter, maintaining his new weight, says he feels great and is more determined than ever to see to it that St. Elizabeth blazes Northern Kentucky’s trail toward becoming one of the healthiest communities in the country.

“We’re very excited about this year’s Heart Ball,” Colvin says. “We’ve set a very lofty goal of trying to raise $2 million. What I think is unbelievable is how this community rallies around a great cause. In terms of population, the Greater Cincinnati region is by no means one of the largest in the country, but our Heart Ball has always ranked in the top five such events sponsored around the country. If we achieve our $2 million goal, we will be only the third Heart Ball to achieve that benchmark.”

The 2018 Heart Ball, like the quarter century of glamourous black-tie fundraising galas before it, is a celebration of the American Heart Association’s lifesaving work for Greater Cincinnati families, with contributions supporting cardiovascular research, professional and community education, and advocacy groups that positively impact the entire region.

Colvin and his wife, Susan, along with St. Elizabeth physician Dr. D. P. Suresh and his wife, Subhadra, are sharing the co-chairing responsibilities for this year’s event, themed “Celebrating 25 Years of Heart.”

Colvin, named St. Elizabeth’s CEO in 2015, grew up in Ludlow. He joined the St. Elizabeth team as a co-op student in 1983 while attending Thomas More College. He later served as vice president of finance, senior vice president and chief financial officer, executive vice president and chief operating officer, and interim president and chief executive officer. The Colvins have two daughters, Hannah and Kylie.

“What brings the AHA and St. Elizabeth together is that we are likeminded in what we want to achieve in the Tri-State,” Colvin says. “The American Heart Association wants to reduce heart-related deaths by 20 percent by the year 2020. When St. Elizabeth Healthcare opened its Heart & Vascular Institute, it was our vision to reduce heart-related deaths by 25 percent by the year 2025. So, as you can see, we have very similar goals to improving health and wellness, and saving lives, in all our communities.”

The good news is, statistics show that both the AHA and St. Elizabeth are ahead of pace to make their goals, he adds.

“We’ve taken the opportunity to look at our strategic plan and our vision, and we’ve modified our vision to be outward rather than inward looking,” says Colvin. “We have a great team at St. Elizabeth – our leadership team, our management team and our associates. But we can’t do it alone. So, today you see St. Elizabeth involved in a greater fashion throughout our Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities.”


For more information about St. Elizabeth Healthcare, visit www.stelizabeth.com.