American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
Amanda Lindsay

Amanda Lindsay

My name is Amanda Lindsay and I am excited to be interning for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association this summer, so that I can gain hands on experience in the different areas of Public Health and become more involved in my community.

I currently reside in Oregon City, Oregon. I am in the process of completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health with the option of Promotion and Behavior at Oregon State University. I am also in the process of completing a Psychology minor.

I have experienced loss in my family due to lack of education and motivation to seek help early and this is why I have chosen public health as a career. I have a passion for health promotion and disease prevention and this internship is paving the way for me to work towards a healthier and safer Oregon. The American Heart Association has allowed me to take charge and speak up in the community while working towards making Hands-Only CPR a graduation requirement in Oregon High Schools by 2015.

These past two months have been very busy as I have been working on the Hands-Only CPR in Schools campaign. I have been able to meet and connect with people from all over the state of Oregon as they have shared their success stories with me.

One of these inspiring people that I was able to meet with was EMS Officer Bill Conway of Clackamas Fire Department. He shared his input, passion, and knowledge, and is making a huge difference in our community. I was very honored to meet with him.

I also attended Representative Margaret Doherty’s Town Hall Public Safety Event in July where she was joined by Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue who taught Hands-Only CPR.

I am thrilled to be working with the American Heart Association on this exciting campaign for Hands-Only CPR this summer. I plan to take the knowledge that I have gained from school and the American Heart Association and continue dedicating my time to promoting healthy behavior in the community. 

Read More

Life is Why - What's yours?

Guest Blogger: Sarah Higginbotham, Oregon Government Relations Director

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association unveiled this month Life Is Why, a new way of expressing our message to the public and to decision makers. Life is Why is a concise answer to the question of why we do what we do: We believe everyone deserves to live a healthier, longer life. Why? Life. Life is why.

Life Is Why represents a strategic shift for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.  It’s designed to help us reach our goal of dramatically improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 2020. The supporting campaign was created to make a more personal connection with the public, volunteers, employees and partners, while strengthening AHA’s visibility and impact.

The Life Is Why is a national campaign, including digital, print, television, social media and public relations. The reveal of Life Is Why began with a video announcement in Times Square in New York City, culminating a two-week teaser campaign. I hope you’ll take a moment now and watch it here.

Nancy Brown, the CEO of the American Heart Association, had this to say: “The very essence of the campaign is personal and evokes an emotional response. We wanted people to be able to be able to share with others the reasons for embracing a healthy lifestyle in heart and mind.”

Here in Oregon, we kicked off this exciting new conversation with our own staff. We shared the moments, the people, the places that we believe make life worth living. I was so touched to hear about what drives my colleagues to do the inspiring work of making Oregon a safer and healthier place to live. 

 Laughter is why.

Adia is why.

Nature is why.

Hugs from my dad is why.

The good life is why.

Personally, fairness is why for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to quality health care, nutritious food, physical activity—the opportunity to be healthy so I could get down to the business of living life. I believe in AHA’s mission and I work every day because I believe everyone deserves this chance—and unfortunately, we have a long way to go in Oregon to make that a reality. Efforts like CPR in Schools, Safe Routes to Schools, and tobacco control policies all help ensure that all Oregonians can lead healthier lives.  

Direct citizen engagement and social sharing is a big part of the Life Is Why campaign. A microsite,, features a toolkit designed to give you the ability to customize and share your personal Whys.

So I invite you to share your personal Why with us! Visit and let us know why you care about the important work of the AHA. We know our work touches your life and the lives of others every day and we know there’s more work to do. Why do you care?

I can’t wait to hear from you and start sharing your Whys with our staff, our volunteers, and decision makers right here in Oregon.

Read More

Mark Your Calendar for the EmpowerMEnt Challenge!

We’re gearing up for National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and we want you to be in on all of the action!  Throughout September, we’re encouraging families across the country to take control of their healthy by participating in the EmpowerMEnt Challenge.  Each week, families and kids will pursue a different goal, including eating more fruits and veggies, limiting sugary drinks, reducing sodium intake, and increasing physical activity.  Each goal is fun, simple, won’t break the bank and can be done as a family.  And by the end of the month, families will be a step ahead on the road to a heart-healthy life. 

So mark your calendar for the challenge kick-off on September 1st!  Complimentary templates and activities, broken down into the themed weeks, are now available on  In addition, you're invited to join our EmpowerMEnt Challenge Facebook group, where you can make the commitment to take the challenge and share your progress with others.  

Read More

Advocate Spotlight - Brittany Badicke

Brittany Badicke, Oregon

My name is Brittany Badicke, and I’m one of AHA’s Oregon Advocacy Interns. This summer, I’ll be working on our Tobacco Control efforts, with the ultimate goal of giving more Oregonians access to resources to help them quit smoking, and ensuring fewer actually start smoking. Smoking remains the number one preventable cause of disease in Oregon.

I grew up in Longview, Washington and after graduating high school became a Certified Nursing Assistant, and began pre-requisites for nursing school. Thinking acute care was my niche, and with more opportunity to work in an acute care setting in Oregon, I earned my CNA II acute care license and moved to Portland, Oregon. After years of working as a CNA, and meeting several patients that were suffering from preventable diseases, I realized that my passion is in health promotion and disease prevention, which led me to pursue a degree in health education.

Currently, I am a Health Studies student at Portland State University where I will graduate with my Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education in March of 2015. After graduating, my goal is to put my undergraduate degree and passion for promoting healthy behavior to use in the field before applying to the dual MPH/MSW program at Portland State University.

In the future, I’d like to dedicate my time to promoting healthy behavior focusing on education and systematic change, which is why I am beyond thrilled to be an intern for the American Heart Association! I am excited about this wonderful opportunity to learn and practice advocacy skills while gaining hands-on experience that is impossible to learn in a classroom, as well as to meet and work with like-minded people that are actively working for healthier communities.

Read More

Safe Routes to Schools: Let’s give every kid a healthy future

Guest Blogger: Sarah Higginbotham, Oregon Government Relations Director

This year, Metro Council will decide on critical funding that could give every kid a chance at a healthier future through Safe Routes to School programs. (The Metro Area covers Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties in NW Oregon.) 

A Dangerous Trend for Oregon’s Kids

Our kids are getting less exercise than any previous generation. This is a major factor to one in three kids in the U.S. being overweight or obese, and it’s leading to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension—and eventually early death. Something as simple as walking to school every day isn’t an option for many families in the Metro area. Too many communities lack safe sidewalks, bikeways and crosswalks. Our kids who most need opportunities for physical activity often don’t have safe routes for walking or biking to school.

Healthier Kids, Safer Communities

Kids that can safely walk and bike to their neighborhood school get regular physical activity and do better in school. To ensure that’s an option for all families, Safe Routes to School programs make streets and crossings within the mile-radius of schools safer; empower communities to take charge of their own health and safety with bike and pedestrian safety education; and create communities of families walking and biking together through fun, school-based events.

Safe Routes to Schools Works

Some Metro area schools have received funding since 2006 for robust Safe Routes to School programs. Schools with well-supported programs have seen walking and biking to school quadruple in one year. We can and should do more to ensure every kid in the Metro area has a chance at a healthy future. Over 60,000 kids in the Metro area could be walking and biking to school after just one year of a robust regional Safe Routes to School program.

Every School District in the Metro Region

When it is safe, convenient and fun to walk to school, our children are healthier, our streets are safer for everyone, and our communities thrive. Safe Routes to School programs could bring every community in the Metro Region:

-          Healthier kids ready to learn

-          Safer neighborhood streets for all residents

-          Kids equipped with crucial bike and pedestrian safety education

-          Thriving neighborhoods that foster community

-          Opportunities for physical activity for kids who need it most

This year, Metro Council will decide on critical funding that could give 150,000 kids a chance at a healthier future. If you live in Multnomah, Clackamas, or Washington counties, we’ll be asking you to join us in urging regional leaders to fund Safe Routes to School programs at every school district in the Metro Area.

Updates and opportunities to take action to come throughout the summer and fall. If you’re interested in helping sooner, please email

Read More

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:

Read More

Do You Know How to do Hands-Only CPR?

Guest Blogger: Sarah Higginbotham, Oregon Government Relations Director

Last week was National CPR Awareness Week and there’s one important thing you can do to save more lives this month.  

Too few Oregonians 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.

You can copy and paste this message into your Facebook status: 

WOULD YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO? Last week was National CPR Awareness Week and every Oregonian 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 #OregonCPRweek -

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 Oregonian 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’re working right now to make Hands-Only CPR a requirement for all Oregon high school students. Doing so would put 45,000 new lifesavers into our communities 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.

I’d love to hear from you—so please send me a note to let me know you’ve shared this important message and why it matters to you. You can email me at, or just click reply to this email.

Thanks so much for your help.

Read More

Junk Food in Oregon Schools

Guest Blogger: Sarah Higginbotham, Oregon Government Relations Director

You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that Oregon has been leading the way in improving school food since 2007.  That was the year that Oregon passed a law restricting junk food in schools, and also launched our nationally-recognized Farm to School and School Garden program. 

But now, seven years later, junk food is still being marketed at Oregon schools. There’s something wrong with this picture.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, junk food companies spent $2 billion in one year marketing to kids.  Ads targeting children promoting sugar-sweetened beverages and unhealthy foods undermine everyone’s efforts to promote healthy options and to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.  That’s why the American Heart Association is working to pass a law eliminating the junk food marketing in Oregon schools.

It’s simple: If foods don’t pass Oregon’s nutrition standards for what can be SOLD in schools, they shouldn’t be MARKETED in schools, either.

Now we have a chance to get junk food marketing out of schools here in Oregon—and I am asking for your help. We need stories and pictures of junk food marketing in Oregon schools… and the school year is about to end

So I am asking for your last-minute help.

Will you send me a DESCRIPTION or a PICTURE of junk food marketing at your school?  Please say WHERE and WHEN the picture or story is from

Email your stories and photos to

(If you do not have kids in school or if you don’t work at a school, please help us out by forwarding this message to a few friends or relatives who do!)

What does junk food marketing in schools look like? Here are a few ways it happens in schools:

-          Ads on vending machines, scoreboards, banners, book covers, and athletic uniforms

-          Benefit nights at fast food restaurants

-          Fundraiser sale items like cookie dough, pizza and doughnuts

-          Channel One TV

-          Donated classroom materials, such as math or reading worksheets

-          Pizza or junk food coupons as awards

-          Box top programs

And of course, there are other ways too, so I appreciate you sharing what you see in your school.

Thank you in advance for your help, in the form of stories, descriptions, or pictures. 

Read More

Grateful for Grace: Volunteering for Healthier Kids

We have a lot of work to do over the next few months and it’s only with the help of volunteers that we’ll be able to accomplish our goals for a healthier and safer Oregon. I wanted to introduce you to one of those important people, Grace Clark, our newest advocacy volunteer.

Grace is working as a Research and Outreach Coordinator on two of our obesity prevention campaigns: Junk Food Marketing (banning it in schools, that is) and Safe Routes to Schools (ensuring kids have safe, active ways of getting to school). Both of these efforts are part of AHA’s national initiative, Voices for Healthy Kids.

Grace comes to Oregon by way of the University of New Mexico, with a BS in Nutrition/Dietetics. She is currently a dietary aide at a rehab and specialty care hospital. Grace is excited to gain experience advocating for policy and would like to become a Registered Dietician. New to Oregon, she is happy to be here and loving the greenery.

Here’s what Grace wanted to share with you about why she cares about ensuring everyone has a chance to make healthy lifestyle choices:

“When I started school at the University of New Mexico I didn’t know what I wanted to study. Because I had always been involved in the theaters in my schools and community, it seemed like the logical next step to get involved in theatre in college. Long story short, I did not like the theater program at UNM and was in great need of a change.

“During this time I had started to develop certain health issues that caused me to pay very close attention to what I ate, this lead me to become fascinated by food and how it can make/break your body. Plus, I started dating a chef, so it was a natural progression for my life to become centered on food. After taking my first formal nutrition course I discovered that there was an actual major called Nutrition/Dietetics, and the rest is history!

“I officially became a Nutrition/Dietetics major and the deeper I got into the program the more passionate I became about reaching out and helping others, especially those who may be unable to help themselves. I am still unsure about my exact path, but through this opportunity with the AHA I am discovering a whole new way to fulfill my passion. I am excited about working with everyone and look forward to where this opportunity will take me!”

Feel free to send Grace a note of welcome, or to let her know if you’d like to get involved on either of these campaigns:

Read More

Sheila Ramerman - A Caregiver at the Heart of It All

Sheila Ramerman, Oregon

Survivors of stroke can face enormous challenges as they recover and rehabilitate—physical, mental and emotional. And by their side are their loved ones, who care for them through it all. A stroke survivor’s family is often the most important source of long-term support during recovery and rehabilitation.

With National Stroke Month upon us, I wanted to take a moment to recognize those special caregivers. Sheila Ramerman’s story of caring for her husband, Jack, is one that is all too often untold. And their story isn’t over—it’s one they continue to live every day in Eugene, Oregon. 

In 2008, Jack suffered an ischemic stroke on the right side of his brain. He was just shy of 61.

Immediately, Shelia had to take over all of the household chores and financial responsibilities. During the three months that Jack was in the hospital and in-patient rehab, Sheila had to make some major life changes, drastically limiting her work hours. Even after Jack returned home, for the next two to three years, Sheila was only able to work about half as much as she had before.

The financial burden for families of stroke survivors can be immense and ongoing. Sheila and Jack emptied a retirement savings account to pay for caregivers, so Sheila could work even part-time to pay for continuing outpatient therapy for him, and to qualify for Medicaid assistance. And while Medicaid now pays for his caregivers based on the level of his disability and picks up what Jack’s health insurance does not, Sheila still faces much of the responsibility of daily family life on her own. She is responsible for all of their finances as well as scheduling Jack’s appointments, keeping track of his medications, scheduling his caregivers, and more.

“Everybody thinks of the physical effects of a stroke—the things that are readily visible—but not of the emotional or cognitive effects that can result, depending on the kind of stroke,” Sheila says. “I know I certainly didn't have any knowledge of these ‘invisible’ effects.  I think that's something that needs a lot more publicity and education because those are the effects that make recovery so much harder.”

To provide greater support to caregivers for stroke survivors in your life, we have a set of resources and a network to help.  

Here in Oregon, the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association is working to prevent stroke, while also working to ensure that victims have access to the best stroke care possible. Through our advocacy work, we educate decision makers, provide expert opinions, and share evidence-based research as we advocate for policies that will do just that. Read more about our latest Oregon victory on stroke here (insert link to the other newsletter article on SB 375).

Our sincerest thanks to Sheila for her courage as a caregiver and in sharing her story. Too many stories just like Sheila and Jack’s never get shared, but we’re working to change that. Please let us know if you have a story to share with us—you can share it right here on You’re the Cure.

Read More

[+] Blogs[-] Collapse