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  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Don Battcher, Kentucky

    Don Battcher Kentucky Don Battcher's daughter, Grace, was born with a congenital heart defect requiring multiple surgeries over her 18 years. Last summer, Don reached out to the American Heart Association eager to work on legislation to require newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease...
  • Blog Post: Health Education Standards Bill Introduced!

    Today, Ohio House Bill 256 was introduced. It will establish state standards for health education. State education standards provide a definition of quality for local schools. By establishing a minimum level of education, Ohio can be confident that all students are receiving basic information, while...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Lisa, Donny and Jack Scarfo, Pennsylvania

    Lisa, Donny and Jack Scarfo Pennsylvania Jack was prenatally diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a complex congenital heart defect, prior to his birth on April ‎15‎, ‎2008‎. ‎Jack and his twin ‎brother, Nathan, were delivered in Philadelphia in the event that Jack should require...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Sarah, Josh and Zoey, Kentucky

    Sarah, Josh and Zoey Kentucky Zoey is an adorable two year old little girl born with half of a heart, a syndrome known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Zoey's condition means that the left ventricle of her heart is too small to function properly. When she was just seven days old, Zoey had...
  • Blog Post: This September - Focus on Healthy Kids

    September is designated as childhood obesity awareness month. As kids are now back in school, it is a great time to focus on the health of our children. There is much all of us can do to impact the increasing rates of child overweight/obesity to make sure all kids are healthy and active. Making a personal...
  • Blog Post: It's Back to School Time--The Perfect Time to Speak Out for Our Kids!

    It's that time of year--the hustle and bustle of Back to School! But along with backpacks and books, let's not forget about another necessary tool for better learning: better health. Research shows that healthy children learn more effectively and achieve more academically. In addition, kids who...
  • Blog Post: Activate - Ways to Support Health Education Standards

    As we've posted, Ohio now has a bill to provide state standards for health education classes in schools. Ohio is currently one of two states without such standards. While the bill does not address content, or specific health topics, it is skills based learning. You may remember memorizing information...
  • Blog Post: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Pennsylvania

    As our kids settle into the new school year, now is the perfect time to advocate for policies that will lead to healthier futures for our youth. Research shows that healthy children learn more effectively and achieve more academically. In addition, kids who get physical activity during the school day...
  • Blog Post: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Ohio

    As our kids settle into the new school year, now is the perfect time to advocate for policies that will lead to healthier futures for our youth. Research shows that healthy children learn more effectively and achieve more academically. In addition, kids who get physical activity during the school day...
  • Blog Post: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Delaware

    As our kids settle into the new school year, now is the perfect time to advocate for policies that will lead to healthier futures for our youth. Research shows that healthy children learn more effectively and achieve more academically. In addition, kids who get physical activity during the school day...
  • Blog Post: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, West Virginia

    As our kids settle into the new school year, now is the perfect time to advocate for policies that will lead to healthier futures for our youth. Research shows that healthy children learn more effectively and achieve more academically. In addition, kids who get physical activity during the school day...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Jessica and Mason, Delaware

    Jessica and Mason Delaware Dear Mason, The day you were born was the greatest day of our lives. We were so happy you were now a part of our family, but at the age of three weeks we were told you had a heart condition called Truncus Arterious and that you would need surgery to fix this problem. Mommy...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Dana, Paul and Sam, Pennsylvania

    Dana, Paul and Sam Pennsylvania When I was pregnant with each of our boys, my husband and I did not know their gender. We wanted to be surprised. We didn't care if we had boys or girls, "as long as they're healthy." We said it dozens of times, never imagining something would be wrong...
  • Blog Post: Have you heard about Voices for Healthy Kids?

    In July, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced an advocacy collaboration, Voices for Healthy Kids , focused on reversing the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. The AHA and the RWJF will focus on policy interventions to advance six priorities that...
  • Blog Post: Raising Smart, Healthy Kids in Ohio Report

    Yesterday, a new report was released that details the impact on Ohio of a proposal by President Obama to expand early childhood education and fund it with an increase in federal tobacco taxes. It was released by group of organizations that included: National Women’s Law Center, Save the Children...
  • Blog Post: E-Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students Has Doubled

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a new report, which shows that the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) among middle school and high school students more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. This report raises the concern that e-cigarettes may be a starting point...
  • Blog Post: E-Cigarette Use Among Pennsylvania’s Middle and High School Students Has Doubled

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a new report, which shows that the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) among middle school and high school students more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. This report raises the concern that e-cigarettes may be a starting point...
  • Blog Post: Healthy School Lunches Help Make Healthy Kids

    The American Heart Association is working to help kids and families live heart-healthy lives. During the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and implementation, efforts have focused on providing greater access to nutritious meals and removing junk food and sugary beverages from vending machines...
  • Blog Post: Sharing the News on Shared Use

    School playgrounds and other school facilities are natural resources in communities. But, due to fear of lawsuits, many schools don’t open their grounds for shared use by non-profits or other local groups after-school hours. In many cases, these facilities are locked each day when the last employee...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Amiee, Chad and Emilee Mathews

    Amiee, Chad and Emilee Mathews Pennsylvania Emilee was born on October 11, 2003, with what was considered a slight heart murmur. Within months, Dr. Paul Chlpka recognized Emilee’s heart murmur was intensifying and promptly referred us to Dr. Grace Smith a pediatric cardiologist. Dr. Smith informed...
  • Blog Post: A Victory for Pulse Ox Screening!

    Last Tuesday morning, we had an important victory here in Pennsylvania for pulse oximetry (pulse ox) screenings. HB 1420 was passed unanimously by the PA House Human Services Committee, sending the pulse ox bill to the full House for a vote. This legislation would require pulse ox screenings for all...
  • Blog Post: The Tobacco Toll on Ohio Kids

    This month, we are looking at the impact of tobacco. Last week, we posted how tobacco use affects the body. This week, we'll examine the impact on our kids. The chart below was developed by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Most of us would be surprised to know 21% of high school students smoke...
  • Blog Post: November Advocacy Day a Great Success: Make Plans to Join Us in March!

    On November 13th, the American Heart Association hosted the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Advocacy Day with our partners, Buckeye Healthy Schools Alliance and Ohio SOPHE. That day, our fantastic advocates urged support for healthier communities through adoption of state health education standards...
  • Blog Post: Support A Simple Screening That Can Detect Congenital Heart Defects

    Did you know that a simple pulse oximetry screening can detect a congenital heart defect that might have otherwise gone unnoticed? House Bill 1420 would ensure that all Pennsylvania newborns are given this lifesaving screening before being discharged from the hospital. Please urge your Senator to make...
  • Blog Post: Kentucky's CPR Bill Passes House, But Senate Leaders Block Measure

    Despite Kentucky's CPR in Schools bill passing the House of Representatives unanimously and the overwhelming support and outreach to lawmakers from fantastic You're the Cure advocates like you, ultimately Senate leaders blocked the measure from being heard in the Senate. Each year, nearly 424...