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A Hands-On Advocate - Josh Moore

Josh Moore is saving lives, and he wants to make sure you know how to as well. A firefighter paramedic with the Eugene and Springfield Fire Department, Josh’s leadership in the community and in the State Capitol will put thousands of new lifesavers on the streets.

Josh, who has worked in Oregon as a professional firefighter paramedic for 13 years, is the program creator and coordinator of ACT: C3. This community-wide program is aimed at improving survival rates from cardiac arrest. It focuses on the five links in the chain of survival identified by the AHA.

“I named it ACT: C3 because I want people to take action,” Josh said.

Mobilizing students from the University of Oregon and local high school students to teach Hands-Only CPR to middle school students, Josh is demonstrating that big things can be accomplished with collaboration. Last year, thanks to the program, over 3,000 local citizens learned “Hands-Only CPR,” including every middle school student in Springfield. This year he’s up to more of the same. The creation of ACT: C3 earned Josh a Class II Commendation Medal from Eugene Springfield Fire.

Josh knows firsthand how easy it is to train students in Hands-Only CPR –it takes less time to learn than watching a TV sitcom. And he knows how important this is for all of Oregon: Requiring students to learn Hands-Only CPR would equip 40,000 new Oregonians every year to save the life of a loved one or a stranger. That’s why he has brought his experience and passion to AHA’s CPR in Schools campaign.

Josh serves on the Oregon CPR Advocacy Committee that works to advance efforts to teach more Oregonians CPR. At the State Capitol, Josh has met with legislators alongside young adults to advocate for a bill that would ensure students learned Hands-Only CPR before graduating. His voice as a community leader and a professional in emergency cardiac care is invaluable.

Most notably, Josh has a contagious passion for making Oregon a safer place to live. His willingness to generously give his time and enthusiasm to make that happen will have a profound impact for years to come.

At the American Heart Association, we can’t thank Josh enough. Perhaps the best way to show our appreciation is to encourage you to join Josh in advocating for CPR in Schools. As Josh will tell you, it takes everyone in a community to save more lives.

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CPR in Schools Could Save Lives

Guest Blogger: Sarah Higginbotham, Oregon Government Relations Director

Look to your left. Look to your right. Would the people around you know how to save your life if you suffered from sudden cardiac arrest? You can make sure that across Oregon there are thousands of people who would know what to do. That’s the whole idea behind our CPR in Schools campaign.

The majority of sudden cardiac arrests happen outside of the hospital. That means away from Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and surrounded by regular people, just like us. In many cases, it’s our neighbors, family members or even complete strangers who we rely on to save our lives. (If you haven’t read Raoul’s story  about how his wife saved his life with CPR, take a look.)  It’s crucial that we know the one skill that could save a life in the event of cardiac arrest: CPR. 

That’s why we’re working to bring more lifesavers to our community by making sure no high school student in Oregon graduates without learning the life-saving skill of CPR. Doing so will prepare more than 45,000 Oregon students each year to administer CPR in an emergency.

The facts support themselves:

  • Many cardiac arrest victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating.
  • Each year, nearly 424,000 people have sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, and only 10.4% of these victims survive. 
  • Yet, when a CPR-trained bystander is near, they can double, even triple these victims’ survival rates by giving victims the help they need until the EMTs arrive.
  • Three to five minutes is a matter of life and death for sudden cardiac arrest victims. If victims don’t receive CPR or an AED in this timeframe, their survival rates drop.

 So far, 15 states across the country have passed laws requiring every high school student to be CPR-trained before graduation, and it’s paying off. Our Pacific Northwest neighbor, Washington State, passed a CPR in Schools policy in 2013.

And just last month, Morgan, a 15-year-old student in Spokane, Washington, saved her grandfather’s life. Morgan learned CPR on a Thursday at school, and on Monday, she made the courageous act of saving a loved one who needed help. You can read more about Morgan’s story, here.


Here in Oregon, we’re working to pass a CPR in Schools policy in 2015, but we need your help. We have to educate our community leaders and decision makers. We need to share your stories of survival or rescue. And we need you to let your elected officials know that you support this effort. Contact for more information about speaking up and getting your community involved.

Let’s save more lives. Let’s train the next generation of lifesavers. Let’s teach Oregon’s students to be CPR smart.

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Portland Heart and Stroke Walk is Just Around the Corner

The Portland Heart and Stroke Walk is just around the corner. The Heart & Stroke Walk celebrates those who have made lifestyle changes and encourages many more to take the pledge to live healthier lifestyles while raising the dollars needed to fund life-saving research and initiatives in our local community. Come walk with us Saturday, May 17th at the Eastbank Esplanade. The festival opens at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

Create a Community Team! There’s still time to recruit friends and family to walk with you and raise money for a great cause.

Be sure to stop by the advocacy booth and sign a postcard in support of adding CPR training in Oregon high schools. If you are interesting in helping at the advocacy booth please click here to email Sarah Higginbotham.

This year’s walk promises to be an inspiring and exciting event. We hope to see you on May 17th!

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Advocate Spotlight: Raoul Meekcoms

Raoul Meekcoms

Raoul Meekcoms of Tualatin, Oregon may not recall the details of August 12th   2012, but for wife Sandra, those details are all too vivid. That warm, summer day became a day they will never forget. When preparing for a baby shower, “Rook”, as his wife calls him, collapsed in cardiac arrest. Sandra called for help and began performing life-saving Hands-Only CPR as she was instructed over the phone by the 911 operator. Sandra, who hadn’t had CPR training since high school, says she remembered that early training.

Once emergency responders arrived, they took over, continuing CPR and began using an automated external defibrillator to restore Raoul’s heart to a normal rhythm, while he was transported to Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. Raoul coded once more later that day and again after 44 minutes of CPR his pulse was restored and he began his recovery, with no lasting damage.

Raoul has become an inspiring advocate on the importance of CPR training, sharing his story with young people, decision makers, and the public. He’s a member of the AHA’s Oregon CPR Committee.  In 2013, Raoul even testified before the Oregon Senate Education and Workforce committee in hopes of passing an AHA priority bill to make training in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators a requirement for high school graduation. And this past month, Raoul shared his story of survival with the dozens students trained in Hands-Only CPR at AHA’s Oregon State Lobby Day.

From everyone at the AHA, a warm thank you to Raoul for sharing his story and for his help, and to Sandra for her courageous act to save a loved one’s life.

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Advocates Take Heart-Healthy Message to the Capitol

Guest Blogger: Sarah Higginbotham, Oregon Government Relations Director

On February 27th, our Lobby Day at the Oregon State Capitol was nothing short of inspiring. Firefighters, doctors, students, business leaders, survivors and advocates joined together in the marble hallways of Oregon’s capitol building to meet with their state legislators in support of heart-healthy policies. See the Portland Tribune's coverage of our big day.

To those of you who joined us in Salem or took online action, I just want to say THANK YOU. Together with you, we educated and advocated for our top priority issues in the coming year: ensuring CPR is taught in schools, protecting Oregonians from tobacco, and preventing childhood obesity.

Thanks to our volunteers, here’s how we did it:

-          We connected with every state legislator’s office in-person or via email

-          We met face-to-face with dozens of legislators and their staffers

-          We enabled students to teach Hands-Only CPR to over 30 legislators and staffers

On the big day, our volunteers heard from a few special guests.

Fire Chief Mike Duyck of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and the Vice President of the Western Fire Chiefs Association, emphasized the strong support from the fire service and first responders in Oregon for teaching young people Hands-Only CPR.

State Senator Mark Hass spoke about how his work to increase access to lifesaving equipment and education is rooted in his community and personal experience. Sen. Hass was the driving force that made Oregon the first state in the country to require AEDs in large commercial buildings.

We were especially appreciative to hear survivor Raoul Meekcoms share his story. Rescued by his wife and kept alive with CPR, Raoul reminded us that lives can be saved every single day if only more people knew Hands-Only CPR.

We were joined by high school, middle school and college students who helped us demonstrate Hands-Only CPR. They trained legislators and their staff how to perform this simple and important this lifesaving skill.

Because you shared your stories of survival, rescue, care, and personal commitment, our message to the state’s decision-makers was clear: Heart disease and stroke affect too many Oregonians—and with their leadership in the Capitol, there’s much we can do to save lives. 

I’ve posted photos from the day on our Facebook page, so please take a look. “Like” your favorites, tag  yourself, and share with friends.

View the photos from Oregon Lobby Day last week.

And if you missed this year’s Lobby Day, don’t worry. There will be a lot of opportunities to take action in the coming months. And we’ll need every single one of you along the way.

Thank you again for being part of the You’re the Cure team. 

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Introducing Sarah Higginbotham

Guest Blogger: Sarah Higginbotham, Government Relations Director, Oregon

As the new Government Relations Director, I wanted to take a moment and introduce myself. My name is Sarah Higginbotham and it is a privilege to join the important work of the American Heart Association.

Not only do I love Oregon—our beautiful landscapes and our vibrant communities—but I am passionate about advocating to keep this a safe and healthy place to live. Most recently, I was the State Director for Environment Oregon where I developed and managed strategic campaigns to do just that.

I am looking forward to engaging Oregonians in sharing their expertise, personal stories, and passion for AHA’s mission with decision makers. Without a doubt, it is these voices—YOUR voices—that enable us to pass profoundly important policies to fight cardiovascular disease and stroke.

This month, in particular, is especially important.

First, February is American Heart Month—a month where people around the country challenge themselves to make healthy changes as we confront the scary statistic that heart disease is America’s number one killer. We’ll be working here in Oregon to amplify the changes Oregonians can make to improve their health and reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.

February is also when our state’s decision-makers come together for Oregon’s 2014 Legislative Session. They will have the opportunity to make our state a healthier and safer place to live. I’ll be advocating in the Capitol to ensure the AHA’s data-driven strategies and grassroots voices resonate with our decision makers as they make these important decisions.

I’ll keep you posted about important opportunities to take action this month. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate shoot me a note to say hello - I can’t wait to meet you.


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Join us in Salem for Oregon State Lobby Day - February 27th

Guest Blogger Sarah Higginbotham, Oregon Government Relations Director

Where will you be on Thursday, February 27th? I’m hoping you’ll be able to join me at Oregon’s State Capitol as an American Heart Association advocate for Lobby Day.  We need to make sure our mission of building healthier lives free from cardiovascular diseases and stroke is heard by decision makers in Salem—and your voice matters!

Advocates will meet with state legislators to encourage them to support CPR training in schools and other heart healthy laws. Join us on the 27th and make a difference as a voice for your community. Please RSVP today, registration is free but space is limited.

No advocacy experience is necessary; training will be provided. We hope you will join us for this exciting and important day!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions:


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Introducing Kami Sutton

Guest Blogger: Kami Sutton, Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator, Western States Affiliate

Hi there YTC Advocates! I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, my name is Kami Sutton and I am the new Grassroots Coordinator for the Western States Affiliate of the American Heart Association. As someone living with a congenital heart defect, I have been a longtime Heart Walk team captain and volunteer here in Seattle and after I graduated from the University of Washington (Go Huskies!) I knew I wanted to make a career of giving back to an organization that has made me who I am today. It is because of the research and medical advancements that have been made by the American Heart Association to repair congenital defects, I am here today. I have spent the past year as the Office Coordinator here in the Seattle office working on office operations, finance and community outreach and I am so excited to be joining the Advocacy team!

After attending my first Lobby Day last January, I knew this is the direction I wanted to take my career. I was given the opportunity to share my story with my legislators and share my passion for this organization and that was all I needed to be hooked on Advocacy.

I always knew I wanted a job that meant something, where I could help make a difference. I really feel that is what the opportunity to work with the Advocacy department has given me. With the help of all of our amazing YTC Advocates, volunteers, board members and my fellow staff members, we are helping make the United States a healthier place to live, one city, county, and state at a time! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about our organization, the grassroots advocacy department and of course the You’re The Cure site! Thank you so much for sharing your passion with us! I cannot wait to work with you on our future advocacy adventures!

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Join Us for Oregon's Lobby Day - February 27, 2014

Don’t worry! There’s still time to RSVP for Oregon’s State Lobby Day! On Thursday, February 27th dedicated advocates from across the state will descend upon Salem to talk to state lawmakers about the important issue of CPR training in schools, tobacco prevention funding and other top policy priorities.

Please save the date in your calendars and keep an eye out for more details to come!  We would love for you to join us in Salem so please RSVP today, registration is free but space is limited.

If you have any questions please feel free to email Josh Brown at

We hope you will join us for this exciting and important day.

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Ready for the New Year?

As you know, the AHA and ASA aims to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing the deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20% by 2020.  Thanks to advocates like you, we’ve made a tremendous progress towards our goals, but we still have a lot of work to do!  Are you excited to continue to save lives this 2014?

When’s the last time you visited  If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to stop by and update the interests in your You’re the Cure profile to ensure that you receive timely alerts on topics that mean the most to you. 

When’s the last time you took action? Please take a moment to visit our action center to refresh yourself on recent legislative updates.  Your voice makes a difference! 

How has heart disease or stroke impacted your life?  Please share your story with us today by clicking here.  Our network is made of amazing individuals and we hope you take the opportunity to share your story so that the network can get to know you. 

Thank you for being a You’re the Cure Advocate and standing up for a heart-healthy future for yourself and your loved ones. Together, we’re making a difference to save lives!   

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