Ellen Chapline Kay
As an active member of the Women’s Heart Association Board for over twenty years, Ellen has been part of the changes to the long-running Affair of the Heart luncheon, including the creation of a website and electronic ticketing. Who would have thought that twenty years after she became a member, the Affair of the Heart event would be held virtually due to a pandemic? Serving in a variety of Executive Board positions, including Luncheon Co-Chair in 2009 and Woman’s Board Chairman from 2013-2015, Ellen has experienced first-hand the creativity, resilience and “can-do” attitude of her fellow Women’s Board members who are passionate about their mission to fund life-altering heart research and heart health advocacy. Along the way, Ellen has made lasting friendships. She has co-sponsored several wonderful friends to become Women’s Board members, all of whom went on to co-chair the luncheon and take on leadership roles (case in point, our Chairman Gita Joyce and Vice Chair Mimi Lawless!) She’s grateful to longtime member, Marge Kay, for introducing her to this dynamic organization and is honored to co-chair the event this year with Deb Wells.
Ellen was born and raised in Kansas City and is a huge Chiefs football fan. She graduated from Southern Methodist University and went on to earn her MBA from American University and her MA in English from Marymount University. Her years in Macy’s management program in Kansas City and then working for the American Trucking Association in D.C. offered different perspectives, equally interesting and challenging. Her greatest joy has been raising her two great kids, David and Sally, both happily married and living in North Carolina and Connecticut, respectively. Ellen has been active in the Chi Omega Alumnae Association of Northern Virginia since moving to the area in 1986 and was recently named A Women of Inspiration by the Northern Virginia Panhellenic Association. She’s served on the board of Salute Military Golf Association and volunteers at the organization’s annual charity golf tournament. Since last fall, Ellen has co-taught weekly classes to immigrants seeking to pass the US Citizenship test through a local church’s ESOL program. She enjoys the camaraderie of weekly golf, Zumba, and yoga. Ellen’s commitment to these activities, along with reducing processed/high sodium foods in her diet, has resolved her hypertension issues diagnosed ten years ago.
Deb joined the Women’s Board in 2018 after attending the Affair of the Heart Luncheon for several years. Deb has served as the Service Committee Chair and is dedicated to bringing up to date information and opportunities to the Women’s Board members. She is honored to lend her time and energy to this longstanding event.
Deb’s passion for promoting women’s health goes back decades. The American Heart Association tapped into Deb’s personal experience with stroke in 1998 and the placement of a pacemaker to manage her sick sinus syndrome in 2004. Deb has been the keynote speaker for Go Red for Women® luncheons and became a regular, frequent speaker for advocacy appeals in San Antonio and now Washington D.C. In 2009 the San Antonio Business Journal honored Deb as a “Healthcare Hero” for her work in the community as a healthcare advocate.
Deb is the Founder and CEO of the Wells Health Group, a Washington D.C. based health policy and government relations firm. She founded WHG in 2012 to help provide clients with specialized guidance in developing and implementing reimbursement, health policy, market access, private equity financing and mergers and acquisition due diligence. Deb brings a rare combination of more than 35 years of healthcare industry executive leadership, coupled with we-recognized government relations.