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Ultimate Medical Academy Aims to Get People Moving for Heart Health in Support of Go Red for Women Effort

Alexandra Schaffrath

Tampa, Fla. – February 1, 2022– For the third year in a row, Ultimate Medical Academy, (UMA), a nonprofit higher education institution with the mission of equipping and empowering students to excel in healthcare careers will partner with the American Heart Association of Tampa Bay to support their annual Go Red for Women campaign. The effort takes place during American Heart Month (February) and focuses on preventing heart disease and stroke, sharing stories of people impacted by cardiovascular disease, and raising critically needed funds to save more lives.

The partnership reflects UMA’s commitment to healthcare issues, especially those that disproportionately affect disadvantaged communities. Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, with the disease disproportionally impacting women of color.

”I lost my mom to heart disease in 2011, and many of my close female family members have struggled with the impact of heart disease” said UMA Chief Financial and Strategy Officer Alexandra Schaffrath, who serves on the AHA of Tampa Bay’s Go Red Campaign Executive Board. “As a woman, and a person of color, I care deeply about raising awareness around the signs of heart disease and preventative measures we can take to turn the tide on this condition. The majority of UMA’s workforce and student population are women, including a large community of women of color. Because of our team members, and our mission in healthcare education, we feel particularly compelled to be a part of this cause.”

Exercise and movement are key to improving and maintaining good heart health, so UMA is focusing on these areas this year.

“Like many organizations, UMA transitioned to remote work at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we expect to continue with a remote work plan,” said Schaffrath. “Working remotely, many of us don’t walk as much as we did in a large office, so we’ve created a plan that uses technology to connect our people no matter where they’re based and get us moving together.”

On February 1, to kick off American Heart Month, UMA will launch its second annual Step Challenge, which promotes daily movement in pursuit of heart health. Team members can monitor their activity and their colleagues’ progress on the Pacer app throughout the month of February. Last year, teams got creative with walk-and-talk meetings, encouraging posts within the app and more. In 2021, 315 UMA team members collectively walked to the moon and back (taking a total of 31,232,138 steps as a team) and the institution looks to surpass that total this year.

This year, UMA is also curating a playlist in the spirit of the 2022 Go Red for Women theme, Reclaim Your Rhythm, that the public will be able to listen to as they move towards better health.

In addition to the Step Challenge, in advance of the Go Red for Women event UMA will host USF Cardiologist Joel Fernandez, who will speak about heart health on Valentine’s Day.

UMA will be sharing more on it’s Go Red campaign. For more information, follow hashtags  #UMAGoesRed and #TBGoRed.

To learn more about this year’s Go Red for Women event and purchase tickets, please visit

Contributions to UMA’s #UMAGoesRed campaign can be made at