American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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August Recess Visit: Rep. John Kline

You’re the Cure advocate and Minnesota State Advocacy Committee member, Jolene Tesch and her two little ones Charlie and Raina visited Minnesota Representative John Kline’s office today to deliver a few special puzzle pieces highlighting nutritional foods that "fit" into a successful school day for every child. Like other advocates across the country, Jolene was puzzled by some Members of Congress are trying to roll-back strong nutrition standards for school meals. She especially wants to make sure her two little ones have healthy school lunches!  Thanks Jolene, Charlie and Raina for being great advocates and delivering this very important message and even snapping a picture while you visited the office.

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August Recess: Representative Peterson

You're the Cure advocates like Mary Bertram and Minnesota Advocacy Committee member, Jo DeBruycker are puzzled why some Members of Congress are trying to roll-back strong nutrition standards for school meals. So Mary and Jo made a visit to Representative Colin Peterson's office, delivering a special puzzle highlighting that nutritious foods "fit" into a successful school day for every child. They also made sure to grab a photo while there and even managed to get Rep. Peterson in the picture (even if it was only a picture of him).


Want to help too? Speak-up for quality food in schools: #SaveSchoolLunch

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Stillwater stepping up to be a heart-safe community

Check out this article from the Stillwater Gazette! They interviewed Justin Bell, AHA's Government Relations Director of MN, on the importance of AEDs.

A automatic external defibrillator (AED) uses recorded voice commands to help bystanders if a cardiac arrest is taking place. (Submitted photo)

With more than 420,000 reported cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States last year, the American Heart Association (AHA) views quick emergency action as the only way to ensure survival. As the large baby boomer generation begins to age, the AHA is looking for ways to prepare for an expected increase in heart-related emergencies.

"As soon as signs of cardiac arrest are seen, it is a matter of minutes before death occurs," said Justin Bell, who oversees the AHA public policies. "You want to start the emergency chain of survival immediately." Continue Reading Here

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Study Released on Childhood Obesity Policy

Health Talk (University of Minnesota)  posted an article today on Childhood Obesity Research.  Check it out! AHA's RVP of Advocacy, Rachel Callanan was co-author!

How our legislators make decisions depends on a variety of factors such as expert beliefs, constituents’ opinions, political principles and research-based evidence. And while we’d like to think more decisions are made utilizing research-based evidence, a new study by researchers at the School of Public Health and the Medical School at the University of Minnesota along with collaborators at the American Heart Association and the Public Health Law Center found only 41 percent of all formal legislative discussions over childhood obesity-related bills in Minnesota from 2007-2011 cited some form of research-based evidence.

The new study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked to quantify the extent to which research-based evidence compared to non-research-based information was used in legislative materials about childhood obesity, an issue that continues to be prevalent not only in Minnesota but across the U.S.

"Quantifying how legislators make decisions regarding childhood obesity is important because public health researchers, like those at the University of Minnesota, have produced a considerable amount of policy-relevant research," said Sarah Gollust, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. "Research evidence regarding obesity costs, causes, consequences and the impact of potential policies could be of great value for policy decisions if it is translated to decision-makers effectively." Continue reading the article here

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Volunteer with TLC & Move MN at the State Fair!

As a member of the Move MN Coalition, the American Heart Association is headed to the State Fair this month to spread the word about urgent transportation needs in our state—and we need your help!

Volunteer for a few hours and the Coalition will return the favor with free fair admission and a Move MN t-shirt!

Volunteering involves talking to fairgoers and asking them to sign postcards in support of transportation funding. This is a fun, easy way to make a difference, meet other volunteers, and enjoy the Great Minnesota Get-Together at the same time. Training is provided to make sure you have everything you need.

Help is needed every day of the fair, Aug. 21 through Sept. 1. There are three shifts each day: 9 AM–12:30 PM, 12:30 PM–4 PM, and 4 PM–7:30 PM. These are first-come, first-served. To claim your shift please contact Erik Petzel at and provide the following information:


Preferred Phone Number


Top 3 Shift preferences (date & shift)


Photo:  TLC and Move MN

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My Story: Katie Krisko-Hagel

Katie Krisko-Hagel Eagan, MN

I am a registered nurse.  My Ph.D. is in nursing with a specific focus on heart disease, especially in women. My stroke story is about my mother who died from stroke and heart disease six years ago.

It was 1995 when she presented to an emergency room after having experienced dizziness, weakness, and loss of consciousness. She had a known history of high blood pressure yet she was admitted for an inner ear disorder. I was told later by the nurse that she was alert and oriented as evidenced by her ability to answer questions about where she lived, living relatives (who, in fact, were no longer alive), etc. Yet, nobody bothered to check to see if her answers were correct; because they weren't. My mother's memory was quite impaired and by this time, the window of opportunity had passed and brain damage had occurred. Her life was never the same since then. She lost her ability to live independently (she was only in her mid-seventies at the time) and eventually needed to live out her final years in a nursing home as she continued to suffer more strokes. Since 1995, much has improved about how people are assessed in an emergency room and treated by receiving tPA once ischemic stroke has been identified. Many brains have been saved; many lives have been uninterrupted and spared. Also, since 1995, a lot has been done about the prevention of stroke. This has all come about because of research. But, the battle isn't over because many people still suffer and die from stroke and heart disease every year. In fact, heart disease is still the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Research needs to continue in order to change these statistics. Without research, many lives like my mother’s will continue to be cut short or so drastically altered that they will never be the same again. Prevention and adequate treatment is key and can mean the difference between life (as well as quality of life) and death. Only through research can we have any hope to change the statistics. Only by continuing to fund that research, we can make it happen.

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Volunteer for the You're The Cure area at the Northland Heart Walk

The Advocacy Department needs 4-6 volunteers for our upcoming heart walk in Duluth. We will need help throughout the day working at the advocacy information table, collecting petition cards and recruiting new advocates to our network.   All volunteers will receive a You’re the Cure t-shirt.

Please let us know if you're interested or if you know friends and family members that are interested in helping volunteer for this event by contacting Jess Nolan at, including the event name, the names of those willing to volunteer and their t-shirt size. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Northland Heart Walk

Lake Superior Zoo

7210 Fremont Street

Duluth, MN 55807

Volunteers needed from 7:15 a.m. to Noon


See you at the Heart Walk!


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Minnesota Public Access AEDs Required To Be Registered

Check out this article from KARE 11 on the new law requiring public access AEDs to be registered in the state of Minnesota. A big thanks goes out to Kim Harkins, one of our AHA volunteers for her help with the story and the bill!

MINNEAPOLIS - Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, have saved thousands of lives.

The technology is found in airports, community centers, schools, government buildings and private offices, but just because they're within easy reach, does not mean they'll work when needed.

"Across the country there have been big issues because an AED was brought to a patient's side and it didn't work" said Kim Harkins with the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium at the University of Minnesota. Click to continue reading

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Stratis Health Awards Heart Disease and Diabetes

Check out this article featuring AHA's Justin Bell and advocate Albert Tsai, posted by the Minnesota Department of Health on Stratis Health's 2014 Building Healthier Communities Award.

Stratis Health, Minnesota’s state quality improvement organization, recently announced six recipients of their 2014 Building Healthier Communities award. This Stratis Health grant award supports creative community initiatives that promote a culture of health care quality and patient safety in Minnesota. Two of the recipients touch the Minnesota Department of Health.

MDH’s Diabetes Program and Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Unit are active members of the Minnesota Diabetes and Heart Health Collaborative. The Collaborative received the $9,500 award to continue the World Café-style Community Conversations for Diabetes Prevention and Care Action in the African American, American Indian, Hmong, Latino, and Somali communities. The conversations have been helping the communities in taking next steps in implementing their most important recommendations for reducing their burden of diabetes and health disparities.

The other award was given to the Minnesota Time Critical Care Committee, co-chaired by Albert Tsai, from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Unit and Justin Bell, from the American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate. The $10,000 award will act as seed money to develop an online training learning management system for emergency medical service (EMS) providers to provide education on time critical care conditions. The intended audiences include first responders and EMS providers in and around Minnesota. See Article Here

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Farm to Childcare Program Introduced in MN

Check out this article from the Public News Service - MN, talking about how statewide childcare centers are starting to introduce healthy habits and fresh foods to young children. (photo courtesy of New Horizon Academy)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – An effort to get more fresh, healthy and local foods on the plates of children in day care is now ready to roll out across Minnesota.

The development of the Farm to Childcare curriculum was led by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Erin McKee VanSlooten, senior program associate of the institute’s Farm to Institution, says after a two-year pilot project, the curriculum has just been released for use statewide. Continue reading here

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