Following a brush with death in emergency heart surgery, and a subsequent close call with a stroke due to an irregular heartbeat, atrial fibrillation, Mellanie True Hills pledged to leave behind her high-tech executive life to use her second chance to help others avoid heart disease and stroke.
As a patient advocate and heart-health expert, she founded the non-profit American Foundation for Women’s Health and StopAfib.org, a patient advocacy organization that provides information and support for those living with atrial fibrillation (afib). She travels extensively, speaking out about heart disease, stroke, wellness, prevention, and patient advocacy, including at American Heart Association Go Red for Women events, hospital atrial fibrillation and women’s health events, and corporate and association events.
From partnering in Facing AFib featuring soap star Susan Lucci and the AF Stat coalition featuring NBA Hall-of-Famer Jerry West, to following Barry Manilow at the podium in front of members of Congress, atrial fibrillation and stroke awareness are real passions for Mellanie. Through StopAfib.org, the most visited heart arrhythmia site worldwide, she seeks to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation to decrease afib-related strokes and to improve quality of life for patients and their families by supporting and enhancing communication with their health-care providers. Successes include creating Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month and lobbying with other organizations to gain U.S. Senate designation of September as National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month. She brings the voice of the atrial fibrillation patient community to think tanks, health policy discussions in Washington, DC, and awareness-raising coalitions and partnerships worldwide.
Mellanie educates, inspires, and motivates audiences to make lasting changes in their lives to protect their health. She also guides patients and caregivers to become better health advocates and helps health-care providers understand what it is like to live with atrial fibrillation and how to better help their patients.
Always an agent of innovation, transformation, and change, Mellanie led the creation of one of the first corporate web sites, JCPenney.com, and one of the first corporate intranets. She was also a high-tech executive at Dell, an executive strategist at Cisco, a world-renowned Internet strategy consultant, a business journalist, and has spoken and consulted from Singapore to Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg to New Delhi.
She is the author of the multiple award-winning book, A Woman’s Guide to Saving Her Own Life: The HEART Program for Health and Longevity, and two best-sellers, Intranet Business Strategies (© Wiley) and Intranet as Groupware (© Wiley).
She is a regular contributor on patient perspectives to medical publications and has been featured by hundreds of media around the globe, including CNBC Asia, Reuters, Newsweek, PBS, Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS. She has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Heart-Healthy Living, More, Success, USA Weekend, and the New York Times.
She is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and the North Texas Chapter of the National Speakers Association.