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Advocate Spotlight - Max Stein

Max Stein, Idaho

This month, we wanted to feature and thank our Smokefree Idaho Community Educator, Max Stein.  Max has been working tirelessly in communities across the state to educate individuals and businesses on the harms of secondhand smoke.  Because of his work, Smokefree Idaho has reached an important milestone: more than 100 organizations and businesses have now signed on as endorsers!  He has been out at community events, getting much needed postcards and petition signatures. 

We here at the American Heart Association would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Max and his many hours to Smokefree Idaho!  We couldn’t have made all the progress we have without him!  If you agree with us that everyone deserves the right to breathe clean air and would like to help us make that a reality in your community, email Adrean at

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Help Make Our Communities Smokefree

The American Heart Association as a member of the Smokefree Idaho coalition is working to make communities across our state smokefree. With help from advocates like you we have helped pass smokefree ordinances in Boise and Ketchum that include all indoor places including bars.

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that secondhand tobacco smoke is directly linked to heart disease, the number one killer of both men and women. The U.S. Surgeon General has declared that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

We believe that everyone has the right to breathe clean air. We believe that workers should not be forced to choose between their job and their health.

If you would like to help us make your community smokefree please click here and share your comments of support.

We need your help to make our cities healthier places.

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Have a Heart Healthy Summer

Guest Blogger: Kami Sutton, Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator

Happy Summer, You’re the Cure Advocates! As the temperatures are rising and we are all preparing for the fun activities of summertime, I thought I would share with you my favorite low sodium summertime recipe! As a congenital heart defect survivor and someone who is in a constant battle against Congestive Heart Failure, I have learned how to eat a healthy low sodium diet.

Even for healthy hearts it is important to eat a well-balanced diet to prevent heart disease and that includes a diet low in sodium and processed foods. Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. To lower blood pressure, aim to eat no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day. Reducing daily intake to 1,500 mg is desirable because it can lower blood pressure even further.

With that in mind I present to you a delicious low sodium recipe to take to your next summer picnic or BBQ!

Black Bean Salad (or Salsa)

6 servings


About $0.84 per serving


1 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added or low-sodium black beans, drained

1 15-ounce can no-salt added or low-sodium kernel corn, drained or ¾ cup frozen corn, thawed

1 medium red bell pepper or 1 tomato diced

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1 teaspoon minced garlic from jar

2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lime


Toss all together, chill at least one hour.

TIP: Serve this as a side salad to a meal or warm in microwave and use as a filling for tacos!

For nutrition facts and links to more healthy recipes, visit:

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Idaho Do You Know How To Do Hands-Only CPR?

Last week was National CPR Awareness Week and I wanted to ask for your help.

Too few Idahoans know how simple it is to learn and perform Hands-Only CPR—but with your help, we can change that.

Would you share this video PSA about Hands-Only CPR on Facebook? Educating your friends and family members is one of the best ways to spread the word.

SHARE THIS! Copy and paste this into your Facebook status:

WOULD YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO? Last week was National CPR Awareness Week and every person in Idaho should know Hands-Only CPR. Step 1: Call 9-1-1. Step 2: Push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives. You could save the life of a loved one or a stranger. Watch this video and please share. #HandsOnlyCPR -

Unfortunately, 90% of people that suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital don’t survive, and most people don’t know what to do in those emergency situations. But every person in Idaho can learn Hands-Only CPR in a few short minutes, and be equipped to save the life of a loved one or a stranger.

That’s why we worked so hard this year to make Hands-Only CPR a requirement for all high school students in Idaho. This requirement goes into effect for freshman staring school in the fall of 2015. That means thousands of new lifesavers will be in our communities starting in the spring of 2016 and that number will continue to grow every year.

If you’re not a Facebook user, you can still help! Just send out the message in an email to your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.

Thank you so much for your help.

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What Could Be More Important?

Guest Blogger: Pat Tucker

I have met two people in my entire life who have been saved by CPR.  Both of them beautiful young boys who understood at their tender ages that they would not be alive today without someone bringing them back to life with CPR.  They both seem to have a special sense of their own mission, and that they need to pay back for the priceless gift of a second chance at life that they were given. 

May 21, 2008, Erik Jackson, just a 2-year-old toddler, fell down a hole filled with 3 feet of water.  He was dead.  He had no pulse.  But because CPR was used on Erik until he reached the hospital, he is a healthy, happy, and bright 8-year-old today.  “When you save a child’s life, it has a ripple effect . . . it literally changes history,” his father, Bruce Jackson passionately stated at a conference where he recounted the miracle of Erik’s life.

June 1, 2009, at 5 years of age, Cody Fitzpatrick was not a strong swimmer when he went to the neighborhood pool with his cousins and brother.  The next thing his aunt saw was Cody sunk at the bottom of the pool.  Thanks to the bystander who performed CPR on Cody as soon as he was pulled out of the water, Cody is a precocious, 10-year-old who loves jiu jitsu today.  “Everyone needs to know CPR because most likely the person you will have to save is one you love!” his mother, Jami Fitzpatrick reminds people when sharing the miracle of Cody’s life.

August 15, 2002, Cady Tucker, 11, took the brunt of a massive three car crash caused by a driver with uncontrolled blood sugar, was partially ejected from the car though seat-belted in, her head hit the door pillar, her left hand upraised to protect herself from the dashboard coming at her, locked in that position after her wrist snapped in two.  Because of lack of awareness, when a bystander felt no pulse and told the EMT assigned to Cady, “She’s already gone,” the EMT turned around and walked away.  No one provided CPR.  No one provided emergency medical treatment. 

Three different scenarios.  Two miracles.  One failure to try.

I am Cady’s mother.  I know each day the anguish of the death of an only child, made even worse by my child receiving no help.  Could Cady have been saved—even long enough for me to get to the scene and touch her alive, tell her I love her, and hold her?  I will never know.  But what I am certain of is that if CPR had been performed, I would have the blessing of knowing that someone had tried to save her life, that what could have been done for my daughter was done—regardless of the outcome.

There is nothing more valuable than a human life.  Parents know we value most the lives of our children.  If it were only Erik and Cody given the second chance at life to grow up and make this world a better place, it would be enough for me to shout from the rooftops that, as Cody’s mother said, “Everyone needs to know CPR!”  But the reality is 40,000 lives could be saved each year in this country by combining CPR with use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). 

Just last month, a co-worker and friend of mine succumbed to sudden cardiac arrest at work, another co-worker performed CPR, and another co‑worker operated the AED.  Tragically, my co-worker did not survive, but her family and co-workers have the assurance that everything that could have been done for her was done, and I know the unquantifiable difference that makes.  But, even more importantly, and read this very carefully, 80% of the time, sudden cardiac arrest occurs at home, so the life you most likely would save would be someone you love very much.  What could be more important than knowing CPR?  When your loved one’s life is on the line, nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

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Advocate Spotlight - Cody Fitzpatrick

Cody Fitzpatrick, Idaho

Cody Fitzpatrick is one of our newest volunteers at the American Heart Association in Idaho.  When Cody was just 5 years old, he was found at the bottom of the community pool he was visiting with family.  A bystander, Jennifer, or Cody’s “angel” as the Fitzpatrick family like to call her, jumped into action and performed CPR on Cody for an astonishing 15 minutes before EMS personnel arrived.  Because of Jennifer’s quick response, Cody is an active, vibrant 10 year old who just graduated from the 5th grade. 

 Cody, along with his mother Jami, worked with the American Heart Association to pass the recent CPR requirement for high school graduation.  Cody attended our Idaho Lobby Day, spoke to legislators about the importance of CPR, and even taught a few of them this life-saving skill. Cody might be young but he is a powerful advocate for CPR. Thanks so much to the Fitzpatrick family for helping to train the next generation of lifesavers!

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Smokefree Efforts are Gaining Ground Around the State

Guest Blogger: Adrean Cavener, Idaho Government Relations Director

The smokefree efforts are really gaining momentum in Idaho!  After the recent passage of the state’s most comprehensive smokefree ordinance in Ketchum, other cities have been taking notice and looking at ordinances of their own. 

Garden City has scheduled their first hearing on a smokefree ordinance for May 12thIf you live in Garden City please take a moment and let the city council know you support this ordinance.

In Eastern Idaho Pocatello is also considering a smokefree ordinance.  The AHA along with our volunteers, have been reaching out to the city council there to encourage them to move forward with the process. If you live in Pocatello click here to message the city council.

McCall is also exploring a smokefree ordinance that would prohibit smoking in bars, small businesses, hotels, motels, bus stops and some outdoor areas. You can let the City Council know you support the ordinance by clicking here.

As you can see we have been working hard in communities across the state to ensure that everyone has the right to breathe clean air.  If you would like to help in these efforts, don’t hesitate to contact me at

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Advocate Highlight: Mark Dunham

Mark Dunham, Idaho

I have been a lobbyist in Idaho since 1984. I was the CEO of the Idaho Association of REALTORS for almost 20 years, BSU’s lobbyist for 3 years, the Vice President of IACI, and starting in November of 2007, I was the Executive Director of the Idaho Associated General Contractors.

On January 10, 2012, I was getting ready for work when I had a stroke. Three days later I had another massive stroke that left me paralyzed on my right side. That was devastating, but the worst part was that I could not communicate at all. Imagine being trapped in your head wondering if I would die and leave my wife and my 6 year old son.

I was in St. Al’s for 18 days, and then I had many months of intensive therapy just so I could talk. My paralysis subsided, but I still have vision loss. Even now, I go to therapy two days a week.

I was a healthy 50 year old when my strokes happened. I assumed that strokes happened to “old people who smoked and were not healthy.”

Second chances in life are rare. I believe that I can help survivors and their families by spreading the word that a stroke can happen to anyone.

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Looking Back at the 2014 Idaho Legislative Session

Guest Blogger: Adrean Cavener, Idaho Government Relations Director

The 2014 Idaho Legislative Session was a very successful one for the American Heart Association.  We passed three major pieces of legislation that will build lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

First, the Legislature approved a rule that requires cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for high school graduation.  This will ensure that thousands of students graduation our schools every year with the skills so they are ready, able, and willing to save a life.

Next, we worked with a large task force to pass Senate Bill 1239, Time Sensitive Emergencies legislation. This legislation sets up a system of care for heart attacks and strokes so that every patient gets to the right care in the right amount of time.

Lastly, the Millennium Fund Committee appropriated over $4 million for tobacco prevention and cessation in the state of Idaho, the most they have ever appropriated.  This means that tobacco users who want to quit will have the resources to do so and that more Idaho children never start.

It cannot be said enough, we could not do this work without our incredible volunteers, both those who have come with us to the Statehouse and those who have sent emails on our behalf.  Thank you for all your time and please let me know if you have any questions or comments at

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Advocate Highlight: Idaho-AHPERD

In association with the American Heart Association, Idaho-AHPERD has been working diligently for the past two years to strengthen Physical Education (PE) requirements in the state of Idaho. Meetings were conducted to poll the top priorities for PE requirements and included physical education teachers from all around the state, key stake holders, and a health lobbyist.

The proposed requirements started off with many elements, but were modified several times. In the end, specific amounts of time for PE classes were suggested as a state requirement in elementary, junior high/middle school, and high school. Along with the PE requirement, it was proposed to teach CPR in junior high/middle school, and again in high school.

In February, the Idaho Senate Education Committee, after postponing the vote four different times, rejected the PE minutes requirement for all schools. They passed the CPR requirement, but not the PE minutes/week. Unfortunately, this means the PE requirement is done for this legislative session. Idaho-AHPERD plans to regroup and try again. There are movements all around our nation to make PE a core class. Idaho has a dream to see this movement come into fruition. We will be heard from again!

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