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Albuquerque Recognizes World Stroke Day

On Monday, October 20th the Albuquerque City Council issued a proclamation at their meeting declaring October 29th as World Stroke Day.  It was a great event, with around 20 volunteers and public health advocates in attendance. All of the attendees who RSVP’d ahead of time were able to have their names read aloud and they were acknowledged as stroke survivors or AHA volunteers.  We partnered with the Albuquerque Stroke Club on this event, which really helped with its success.

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Texas Cities Recognize World Stroke Day


On Wednesday October 29th, World Stroke Day, stroke survivors John Murphy & Anand Raghunathan, as well as Grassroots Action Team member Charmagne Coston, met with Austin City Council member Laura Morrison to accept a proclamation declaring October 29th as World Stroke Day in Austin. John & Anand shared their experience with stroke and the group brainstormed on ways to educate more Austinites about the signs of stroke, especially during the next Stroke Month.   


On October 27 Dallas issued a World Stroke Day Proclamation to a number of AHA volunteers and staff, including 3 stroke survivors. Dallas City Councilmember Dwaine Caraway spoke about his family’s experience with stroke and talked about how devastating this disease can be to a family.   “Stroke changes people’s lives” and people are lost without support of organizations like the AHA,” said Caraway.

Fort Worth

There was a great turnout on October 26 at the Fort Worth City Council Meeting for the World Stroke Day Proclamation.  Stroke survivors Alex Laverock, Bill Mellander, and Steve Jacob, showed their support for stroke awareness as Mayor Betsy Price presented the proclamation to the survivors.  AHA staff Brian Brooks, Corrie Hayward, and Kelsey Bernstein were also in attendance.

Mayor Price spoke about how stroke affects the Fort Worth community, and even shared a great story about one of her friends who just recently had a stroke at the age of 42 and was in great health.

Alex was the AHA spokesperson, who shared his personal story and did an amazing job representing the AHA and the survivors in attendance. 

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World Stroke Day In Arkansas

World Stroke was observed in Arkansas, Wednesday, October 29th with a press event and simulation/demonstration of a stroke emergency.  Key dignitaries joining the event included Dr. Dan Rahn, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, who welcomed everyone and discussed how his facility is connecting with hospitals across the state with the telemedicine program specifically for stroke patients. 

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Bates, of the Arkansas Department of Health discussed key risk factors for stroke and the high incidence of stroke in Arkansas.  He also highlighted the AR Stroke Registry and the importance of the data that is giving us better insight into the stroke system of care in the state.

Cammie Marti, RN, MPH, provided the following information about the Quality Systems Improvement program progress across the state:  In Arkansas, 41 hospitals tracked the quality of patient care provided to 4,588 stroke patients by participating in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines-Stroke Program. This program allows hospitals to closely monitor and improve on their quality of care based on the latest research and treatment guidelines.

Michael Manley, RN and Director of the AR SAVES (Stroke Assistance thru Virtual Emergency Support), telemedicine program walked the audience through an actual stroke case demonstrating procedures and actions taken when a patient presents at the Emergency Department. 

State Representative Kim Hammer spoke about stroke from a Hospice Chaplin’s perspective.  Hammer is with Saline Memorial in Benton, Arkansas, and is a health advocate as well as a State Representative. Hammer presented a Proclamation signed by Governor Mike Beebe proclaiming Wednesday, October 29th as World Stroke Day across Arkansas.

Also joining the event was Joyce Taylor, Central AR Executive Director, Cindy Hudlow NW Arkansas Executive Director both of the American Heart Association,  Cammie Marti, RN MPH QSI Director for Arkansas, Dr. Curtis Lowery of UAMS and the States Telemedicine Director, and David Vrudny with the Arkansas Department of Health- Stroke Registry.

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Michelle Whaley Advocates for Heart

On October 29, You're the Cure volunteer and acute neurovascular clinical nurse specialist Michelle Whaley, spoke to a group of volunteers and Colorado legislators to raise awareness of World Stroke Day. As a person on the front line practicing at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Michelle has firsthand experience in working with patients when they get to the hospital after suffering a stroke. Michelle shared her experience as she eloquently spoke to the group, ensuring that they knew the signs and symptoms of stroke. She also described the variety of patients she sees, from infants and children, to working parents and the elderly. The case studies she provided were a powerful example of how stroke can impact any one at any time.

Please click here to learn more about stroke. 

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We're Thankful... For You

It has been an incredibly exciting year in the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, full of policy advancement and growth in our You’re the Cure network. None of our success could have happened without the work of you, our many dedicated advocates.

We are thankful for you.

Our DC advocates worked hard and accomplished two major policy wins so far this year: a tobacco funding policy that went into effect as of October 1, as well as a Worksite Wellness healthy vending and procurement policy win. These deserve major congratulations! As our year progresses, we know without a doubt we will be able to achieve even more success across our affiliate.

We are thankful for you.

Advocates and staff have been working together at Heart Walks across the affiliate to recruit new You’re the Cure members, and educate walkers on our policy issues for this year. Since July 1, we have seen our You’re the Cure network grow by over 5,000 new advocates who have been adding their voice to our campaigns to help us make even more progress this year. We would like to share a very large "thank you" with all of our advocates who joined us early in the morning to help us accomplish this growth!

We are thankful for you.

In August, we reached out to our advocates to participate in our August Recess activity and help deliver lunch bags with puzzle pieces to their federal legislators in support of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. This policy’s aim of protecting strong nutrition standards for school meals was just one of many opportunities for advocates to get to know their advocacy staff and other advocates, as well as their legislators, on a deeper level while completing offline actions – actions which have resulted in a direct, positive impact on their communities.

We are thankful for you.

Recently we were able to offer a virtual Volunteer Summit in AHA offices across the nation, which brought together high level volunteers, board members, and staff to discuss the new Community Plan 2.0. We had four volunteers attend. Tracey Perry shared her experience: "The Volunteer Summit was an excellent opportunity to review the Community Plan 2.0 and National Agenda of AHA. It was then very helpful to review our local Charlotte Market and see how our Health Assessment compared. We discussed ways to increase engagement of volunteers, increase prospects, and focus on the three top Health Priorities for 2015.

We are thankful for you.

Nothing causes our hearts to sing more than when an advocate has that feeling of making a true difference. Ginnie Gick summed up one of her experiences as an advocate. "Being able to participate in the Rally for Medical Research on Capitol Hill really brought home the importance of advocating for the funding that is so necessary to support the fight against heart disease and stroke. I met so many incredible people who are struggling with the challenge to live a normal life in spite of their risk or illness, and every one of us deserves the opportunity to ask for and receive the benefit of advancements in medicine."

We are thankful for you.

Over the next several months, our states will begin their new 2015 sessions and there will be a host of new opportunities to amplify your voice through advocacy. Without your passion and involvement, the American Heart Association would not be where we are in the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, passing policy that keeps communities healthy.

Thanksgiving is why.

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Join Us For An Online Food Fight!

Fall brings about visions of harvest and nature's bounty. Unfortunately what we see when we are out on the go doesn't always match that vision. What do you see?

We want to know what you see - in convenience stores or where you stop to shop when you are on the go. We’ve started a statewide campaign and we’d like for you to show us what’s out there. Simply snap a picture for us and then upload it to your favorite social media site with the hash tag #healthyonthegoNC.

If you see some great healthy food, let us know by uploading your pictures and captioning them with "This corner store is making it easy for me to be #healthyonthegoNC." Or is your local selection not so great? Show us with "This is all I have to choose from? I want my corner store to be #healthyonthegoNC" - or simply create your own caption with the hash tag! 

We’ve already seen some great social media action so far since we started. Since we kicked off our campaign, we’ve gotten over 64 mentions, which is incredible! We’re learning that a lot of our neighbors in surrounding communities aren’t thrilled with their healthy options on the go, and we know that with this campaign, we have been able to reach up to 53.8 thousand people – so why don’t you join us and show us what’s in your neighborhood? Help us change our communities to make them healthier for everyone.

So take those pictures and help us find out what choices (good or bad) you find when you are on the go. Remember to tag them #healthyonthegoNC!

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We Want Healthier Kids: Contact the SC Board of Education

Recently, we shared with you information about some initiatives we are working on regarding the Smart Snacks policy within our state education system. We need your help!

The South Carolina Board of Education (SBE) is accepting public comments regarding zero fundraising exemptions until 5pm on November 24. We are asking advocates to send written comments urging the SBE to support ZERO fundraising exemptions during the school day. Below are talking points and instructions for where to send your comments.

All comments should be addressed to Dr. Juanita Bowens-Seabrook, , Office of Nutrition Programs, SC Department of Education. Additionally, we’d like to ask you to include your South Carolina Board of Education representative. Their contact information can be found here or below. Please let Kim Chidester know when you have taken action.

Here are some talking points to help you craft your message:

  • Healthy fundraisers are good for kids’ health.
  • Parents support healthy food in schools.
  • The board is responsible for ensuring that students are able to perform at their best academically, which includes ensuring a healthy learning environment. Healthy kids are better students, so there should be no exceptions for fundraisers.
  • Students may need time to adjust to healthier options, but they will, and there are examples of schools that have already done this successfully. The board should base its decision on the best interest of students, and allowing zero exemptions for fundraisers is what is best for children’s health.
  • Three out of four parents in South Carolina say that all food in schools should be healthy. Just like schools follow nutrition standards for meals and snacks, they should also follow them for fundraisers so that students have a consistent message from the classroom to the cafeteria throughout the school day. This reinforces the healthy habits that parents are trying to instill at home. We will not undermine parents’ efforts to raise healthy children.
  • Students need to be physically active and eat nutritious foods to maintain good health. This cannot be achieved by physical activity alone. Kids spend more time in school than anywhere else outside of their homes and consume up to half of their daily calories during the school day. The food available to students at school through fundraisers, meals, and snacks play a major role in their overall health.

Here is the contact information for the South Carolina Board of Education:

1. Mr. Barry Bolen, Chair: 11th Circuit (Edgefield, Lexington, McCormick, Saluda)
133 Congaree Park Dr, West Columbia, 29169

2. Dr. Traci Young Cooper, Chair-Elect: 5th Circuit (Kershaw, Richland)
120 Stonebrook Dr, Blythewood, 29016

3. Dr. Samuel Alston: 1st Circuit (Calhoun, Dorchester, Orangeburg)
251 Myers Lane, St. Matthews, 29135

4. Mr. Jim Griffith: 2nd Circuit (Aiken, Bamberg, Barnwell)
144 Highland Reserve Ct, Aiken, 29803

5. Mrs. Lonzena Harry: 3rd Circuit (Clarendon, Lee, Sumter, Williamsburg)
352 Calvary Church Rd, Bishopville, 29010

6. Dr. David Blackmon:  4th Circuit (Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Marlboro)
1106 Pinehurst Dr, Hartsville, 29550

7. Mr. James Stroman: 6th Circuit (Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster)
1018 Stroman Drive, Chester, 29706

8. Mr. Neil Willis: 7th Circuit (Cherokee, Spartanburg)
168 Clear Creek Dr, Boiling Springs, 29316

9. Dr. Ivan Randolph: 8th Circuit (Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens, Newberry)
250 Noble Estate, Abbeville, 29620

10. Mr. Larry Kobrovsky: 9th Circuit (Berkeley, Charleston)
402 Sea Breeze Ln, Sullivans Island, 29482

11. Mr. Jeff Kubu: 10th Circuit (Anderson, Oconee)
109 Buttercup Trail, Anderson, 29621

12. Mr. Tom Ewart: 12th Circuit (Florence, Marion)
1208 McIntosh Woods Road, Florence, 29501

13. Dr. Danny Varat: 13th Circuit (Greenville, Pickens)
40 Douglas Dr, Greenville, 29605

14. Dr. Rhonda Edwards: 14th Circuit (Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper)
22 Maple St., Ridgeland, 29936

15. Dr. Thomas Shortt: 15th Circuit (Georgetown, Horry)
85 Bonnyneck Dr, Georgetown, 29440

16. Mr. John Rampey: 16th Circuit (Union, York)
307 Brookside Dr, Union, 29379

17. Mr. Michael Brenan:  Governor's Appointee [Serves at the will of the Governor]
1215 Jennings Ct, Columbia, 29204

Read more here about the Smart Snacks policy, and the work we are doing to ensure our kids eat healthier across the state. And don’t forget: contact Kim Chidester once you have sent off your comments!

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World Stroke Day in Denver

Last month You're the Cure  advocates and Colorado lawmakers attended Advocating for Heart at the state capitol to raise awareness of World Stroke Day. The event highlighted the mission work of the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association to advance stoke care throughout the state. A state proclamation recognizing World Stroke Day and issued by Governor Hickenlooper was presented to the volunteers. You're the Cure advocates also had the opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and how to get involved in advocacy efforts. Special guest speaker and stroke survivor Aliesha Nuttall also shared her inspirational story with attendees. 

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You're The Cure in the Capital City

You’re the Cure advocates came together last week to raise awareness around World Stroke Day in the capital city.

Local advocates met on Monday, October 27th with the Austin Grassroots Action Team (GAT) convening for their initial meeting in advance of the 2015 Legislative Session. Volunteers met to discuss the 2015 legislative agenda and the group provided insight into further partnerships and recruitment opportunities.  They also discussed upcoming World Stroke Day events and planned for future GAT meetings.  GAT Chair Pkaye Washington led the meeting and provided great leadership on scheduling future meetings.        

 Austin Grassroots Action Team
















On Tuesday, October 28th, State Representative Eddie Rodriguez presented a state resolution recognizing World Stroke Day. Three You’re the Cure advocate volunteers, Susan Patten – Passion Committee Chair, Curtis Smith, and Charmagne Coston visited the Texas State Capitol to receive the state resolution and to raise awareness of the world’s second leading cause of death--stroke .

 YTC Advocates at the Texas State Capitol














On Wednesday October 29th, World Stroke Day, stroke survivors John Murphy & Anand Raghunathan, as well as GAT member Charmagne Coston, met with Austin City Council member Laura Morrison to accept a proclamation declaring October 29th as World Stroke Day in Austin. John & Anand shared their experience with stroke and the group brainstormed on ways to educate more Austinites about the signs of stroke, especially during the next Stroke Month.

















YTC Advocates with Austin City Council Member Laura Morrison





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Pledge to Stand Up to Sodium!

Did you know that most Americans eat more than twice the recommended amount of sodium? Chances are, that includes you—even if you rarely pick up the salt shaker. Too much salt can damage blood vessels over time, paving the way for high blood pressure – a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, our No. 1 and No. 4 killers. That's why we're asking everyone to stand up for their health by pledging to reduce their sodium intake.

Why take the sodium pledge? The American Heart Association is working to secure 350,000 online pledges, which we'll use to urge support for the reduction of sodium in our food supply. Why the food supply? Because nearly 80 percent of our excessive sodium intake is coming from pre-packaged and restaurant foods.

With the tempting holiday season quickly approaching, do your heart a favor and pledge to reduce your sodium intake today!

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