A big thanks to the nearly 50 advocates who came out to our Heart on the Hill at the Capitol in St. Paul yesterday. The entire day was a HUGE success!
We were able to visit with nearly 90 legislators, delivering important messages and personal stories on our three priority issues – funding the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), funding Safe Routes to School and screening newborns for heart defects using pulse oximetry!
We were able to showcase SHIP dollars at work to lawmakers passing through the Rotunda thanks the great displays from SHIP grantees around the state. A special thanks to the following SHIP grantees who participated - Little Huskies Daycare, Ramsey County, Smoke-Free St. Cloud, Sibley East School Garden and Hopkins Schools. Also, a big thanks to the Minnesota Bike Alliance for providing materials on Safe Routes to School. And thanks to the University of Minnesota Pharmacy students for providing blood pressure screenings to lawmakers, staff, volunteers and the public.
Additionally, lawmakers, volunteers and the public saw firsthand how easy (and painless) the pulse oximetry test is when Dr. Jamie Lohr, professor of pediatric cardiology at the University of Minnesota, administered tested baby Oliver during the Pulse Ox Demo and Press Event. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health, was also onhand to declare, on behalf of Governor Mark Dayton, Feb. 7 to Feb. 14 Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week! The demo and pulse ox bill received some great media coverage highlighting Representative Zerwas and his personal story of survival. Check out the clip from KARE 11 here.
We were also very excited to have the first and fifth grade classes from The Blake School attend the event! The fifth graders are learning about government and were able to see it in action, while the first graders were there to encourage lawmakers to support the pulse ox bill in honor of their classmate who has a congenital heart defect. The group even delievered Valentine's to Governor Mark Dayton thanking him for his support of screening newborns for critical congenital heart defects. Thanks to Twin Cities Board Member, Dan Spiller for making the school's participation in the event possible!
Couldn't attend the event? It's not too late to send a message to your legislators letting them know you support the issues! Take action here!
Make sure to check out the great photos from the event on our Facebook page here.