Carla Smith, LMSW

Carla Smith, LMSW

Sr. Vice President & Executive Director, American Heart Association

Carla Smith serves as the Senior Vice President and Executive Director for the American Heart Association of metro Atlanta. Carla began her career as a licensed social worker providing counseling services to children and families in crisis before quickly moving into leadership and starting up operations in Atlanta for Youth Villages, a non-profit company based in Memphis, Tennessee. Carla went on to serve as a research/policy analyst and Chief of Staff for in the State Senate and later as the Deputy Director of the Georgia Senate Democratic Caucus. After a career in government, Carla moved to Signature HealthCARE serving as HR/Policy Director followed by serving as HR/Operations Manager for the Avondale Education Association and as a consultant for organizations seeking to enhance their community engagement and legislative efforts.

Most recently, Georgia Trend Magazine named Carla a Top 40 Under 40 Georgian to Watch and she was also named a “Woman of Excellence” by Atlanta Tribune Magazine, Who’s Who in Metro Atlanta list and she is also a past 30 Under 30 of Atlanta Honoree. Carla also completed the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University and received the Legislative Health Policy award from the Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University.

Actively engaged in her community, Carla is a member of The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church, an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and serves on many community and non-profit boards/councils across Metro Atlanta including the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, Chris 180, Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta – Champions Club, The Museum School, and the University of Georgia Women of UGA Leadership Council. Carla was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, and is a graduate of Paine College, an HBCU where she was previously awarded the Outstanding Alumni of the Year honor and earned her Master’s Degree at The University of Georgia. Known for her political savvy, deep community connections, and strategic thinking, Carla is dedicated to fostering a community that enriches the lives of every citizen.

All Sessions by Carla Smith, LMSW

Thursday June 16, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Adult Workshop I : The Heart Truth: The Intersection of Heart

Regency 3

Overview: Mental health is an important part of overall health and refers to a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health involves how we think, feel, act, and make choices. During the Covid-19 pandemic, risks related to both heart and mental health are on the rise. Evidence shows that mental health disorders-such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD, can develop after cardiac events, including heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. These disorders can be brought on after an acute heart disease event from factors including pain, fear of death or disability, and financial problems associated with the event. During this workshop, a team of experts will discuss heart health, risk factors for heart disease, and the impact of heart disease on mental health.