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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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New York City Tackles Obesity!

Did you see the news?  New York City recently announced that they've achieved a significant drop in the rate of severe obesity among our city's kids.  A nearly 10% decline of this leading cause of heart disease and stroke is a tremendous achievement!  However, the thing I liked most about this announcement (linked below), is the city's eye to the future.  It's right there in Commissioner's Bassett top quote.  More needs to be done.  Chancellor Farina's quote is an important one as well.  If health and wellness are truly top priorities for this administration - let's work together to pass laws that will serve to protect more kids from the dangers of inactivity and poor nutrition!

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2014/pr019-14.shtml

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Spot a Stroke FAST

What do you do when you are sitting around the table at dinner, or standing at the kitchen counter and the person across from you suddenly starts slurring their words or does not make sense?  What if that person’s face suddenly droops on one side?  Can you recognize the signs that someone is having a stroke?  It’s as easy as remembering the word FAST. 

F stands for Face – if someone’s face suddenly starts drooping on one side, or they can’t smile symmetrically, they may be having a stroke. 

A stands for Arms.  Everyone should be able to raise their arms to the same level.  If someone can’t do that, they may be having a stroke. 

S stands for Speech.  If someone is speaking in a way that makes no sense, or they are suddenly slurring their words, they may be having a stroke. 

T stands for Time.  If you see the symptoms mentioned in this post, it is TIME TO CALL 9-1-1. Remember, time lost is brain lost.

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Vermont Schools Fighting Obesity!

The American Heart Association has been working with the statewide coalition Eat Well Play More Vermont (EWPM) to reduce childhood obesity. The EWPM coalition offered the opportunity for schools across Vermont to apply for grants to reduce obesity in their communities and we received a number of great proposals.

The following schools were chosen to receive the first round of grants averaging around $3,000. Click on the links to view the amazing videos schools submitted for their projects!

Berlin Elementary School

Fitness Course

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU5KKr7mNv0&feature=youtu.be

Brattleboro Area Middle School

Brattleboro Enrichment Activities for Middle Schoolers (BEAMS)

http://youtu.be/nclvNVbQdHM

Hartland Elementary

Tabata Kids/Brain Fit Room

http://youtu.be/tX9SMn9Hwjc

Northfield Middle High School

Healthy Green Smoothy Movement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErTNSHCYWD4

St. Albans City School

School Walking Program

http://player.vimeo.com/video/93659698

Winooski Middle School

Spartans in Motion (SIM)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHPuDhs6bvA

A second round of grants will be offered this fall.

 

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Mary Cushman - An Advocacy "Hero"

American Heart Association Advocate and Board Member Mary Cushman takes her role as an advocate seriously, serving on both the Vermont and National AHA Advocacy Committees.

As a physician and researcher, she knows both are important to preventing lives lost to heart disease and stroke.  But she also knows that advocacy is the third important tool in her war chest to prevent these terrible diseases and save lives through policy change.

Mary has traveled to Washington, DC to urge Vermont's Congressional Delegation to support research funding. She takes action often through the American Heart Association's own www.yourethecure.org advocacy network and has worked on such issues as CPR in Schools, a tobacco tax and sugar sweetened beverage tax and recreational use of school property.  She's been so active, that she is now ranked as a  Hero in our network, having earned over 700 points for her actions in responding to advocacy alerts. Way to go Mary!

The more you take action, the more points you'll earn and the higher your advocacy status will climb! Thanks to Mary and all our advocates for making advocacy a priority.

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End of Session Wrap-up

The NYS Session has wrapped up and we're happy to report substantial progress in many areas.  Here's a quick recap.

CPR in Schools bill passes both houses:  Thanks to the help of our dedicated advocates and the bill sponsors, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and Senator Mark Grisanti, we took a major step to ensure NYS students learn CPR before graduation.  The CPR in Schools bill will now be sent to the Governor.  The new proposal specifically calls for the following:

  • The Commissioner of the State Education Department would have 180 days to make recommendations to the Board of Regents regarding the adoption of CPR/AED instruction in the curriculum.  
  • The Commissioner would need to seek input from interested parties – teachers, administrators, parents, students and other interested parties; and consider time and financial impacts.
  • The Board of Regents would then have 60 days to accept or reject recommendations.

CPR “So Many Reasons” Campaign launched:  This May, the American Heart Association launched a heartwarming campaign entitled “So Many Reasons.  Starting in May and until the CPR bill passed both houses, we sent a “reason” to our state lawmakers about why the CPR in Schools bill should pass. The reasons were real stories about real New Yorkers - people alive because of CPR and/or AED use; or people who are not alive because CPR wasn’t started, or not started soon enough.

Brianna’s Law passes NYS Assembly:  Legislation to ensure all police officers are certified in CPR every two years passed the NYS Assembly.  

Our first ever CPR Rally:  On June 3rd the Capitol was a sea of red at our first ever CPR rally!  Approximately 100 volunteers traveled to the Capitol to show lawmakers how to keep the beat.  Following a press conference, volunteers from throughout the state all performed CPR together to the beat of Stayin’ Alive.  Volunteers then spoke directly with lawmakers.

Physical Fitness and Activity Bill to be sent to the Governor: We know how important physical activity is for our heart health.  The American Heart Association supported legislation to create a New York State Physical Fitness and Activity Education Campaign. This campaign would encourage physical activity which will improve the fitness of the people of NYS and will complement existing programs administered by the department of health that develop and promote nutrition and wellness activities.

E-cigarettes:  The American Heart Association is supportive of legislation to include e-cigarettes in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA).  Why?  Electronic cigarettes didn’t exist when we enacted the CIAA and we don’t know the impact that long term exposure has on cardiovascular health. Bills moved in both houses this session however it did not come up for a full vote by the Senate or the Assembly.

Trans Fat:  Legislation to eliminate the use of sneaky trans fat in restaurants moved in both houses however the bill couldn’t compete with the many other priorities of legislators and didn’t pass this session.  We will continue to push to take this dangerous fat off the menu.

Protecting your health - Funding maintained for Obesity prevention and Tobacco Control:  Despite attempts to consolidate funding for chronic disease programs, we were able to garner support to reject this approach and maintain transparency.  And funding for programs designed to prevent heart disease and stroke was maintained.

Not one, but two successful Lobby Days! For the first time ever, we held two NYS State Lobby Days.  And the results speak for themselves.  Our volunteers are just the best!  We maintained funding for heart/stroke prevention and passed a CPR in Schools bill! 

Thanks for all that you do!

 

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Tedy Tackles the Legislature

On June 18th, Tedy Bruschi came to the State House to talk about important Stroke Legislation. He has been a dedicated advocate for us since suffering his stroke. He spoke passionately to the legislators about how he had a "stroke system of care" in place because he was a three time super bowl champion and a member of the New England Patriots. Shouldn't everyone get the same level of high quality care that Tedy got? He thinks so and I agree! We have been fighting for a number of years to improve the stroke system of care in Massachusetts and we are close. The Senate included language in their budget to create a tiered system of care and we are now fighting to keep it in the final budget. Tedy met with key legislative leaders to ensure that this can happen.

Tedy shared his story and the story of all the people he meets that have not been treated quickly, he talked about why time matters and he spoke about how because he went to the right hospital and was given the right treatment and diagnosis he was able to be a father, a husband and even a football player again. He talked about all the titles he has had over the years, super bowl champion, pro-bowler, but the one he says he is most proud of...Stroke Survivor. I know many other amazing survivors who would agree.

It is time for the legislators to act; it is time for Massachusetts who is a leader in health care with their world-class hospitals to be a leader in providing high quality stroke care. Will you help us?

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Need your voice TODAY!

Hey advocates—Since you are soooo good at getting things passed, we could really use your help on our trans fat legislation! Trans fat = dangerous. But it is still lurking on restaurant menus. Any chance you can use some of your advocacy zeal to help us get this passed too?  Today is the LAST day of session and we need your voice!  Send an email by clicking here:  

http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=35145

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Oklahoma City Council and Mayor Proclaim Stroke Month

On Tuesday, May 27th, Oklahoma City Mayor, Mick Cornett, presented a proclamation from the City of Oklahoma City recognizing May as “American Stroke Month.” Prior to the presentation of the proclamation, stroke survivors and AHA staff briefly met with Mayor Cornett to take a group photo and discuss the importance of recognizing Stroke Month.

After Mayor Cornett had presented the proclamation, each stroke survivor introduced themselves and shared their story as a stroke survivor. Survivor A. Jaye Johnson even announced that the previous Saturday marked the one year anniversary since his stroke, and that since then he has lost over 100 pounds!

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Declaring May as Stroke Month --- To Do or Not To Do?!

Guest Blogger: Christie Thompson, RN, MSN, Utah

I have been a member of the Utah Stroke Task Force since 2006. Often times, the Government Relations Director, Marc Watterson, has challenged the members to get involved in legislative issues surrounding stroke and heart disease, as well as reaching out to local government officials to recognize and increase stroke awareness.

I am not one for politics --- in no way, shape, or form! So, you can imagine that as I sat in the April Utah Stroke Task Force meeting, I pretty much decided to block the invitation from Marc from my mind to reach out to my local governing bodies, requesting that they honor the month of May to be declared as Stroke Month.

However, as I left the meeting that day - and in the days following - I continued to think about the request for spreading the message about stroke. I sort of felt a responsibility and a duty as a Stroke Coordinator to reach out; after all, who else was going to do it?! Whenever I know I should do something, but I don’t want to do it, I get that sort of sick, nervous, butterfly feeling in the pit of my stomach. Well, that is just how I felt!

Remember, I don’t care much for politics and I really didn’t want to get involved. It all seemed very scary to me and I didn’t know where to start, who to talk to, or what to say --- the list of excuses goes on and on. As I thought about it more, I convinced myself that it really couldn’t be that hard to do. And, it also dawned on me that this could be a very easy and inexpensive opportunity for educating the community about stroke awareness and prevention.

So, I began typing an email requesting help from Marc. He was very helpful and sent me an email with clear-cut instructions on how to request a spot on the agenda at the different council meetings.

Guess what I found out?! It was easy! I emailed my agenda request and the language for the Stroke Proclamation to my city and county councils. I received email confirmations about the agenda request and information about where and when the council meetings would take place. Then, I showed up. The government leaders seemed very pleased and happy to have me and my colleagues there at their meetings. As the proclamation was read, you could tell that they understood the importance of our request and unanimously voted to declare May 2014 as Stroke Month!

Declaring May as Stroke Month --- To Do or Not To Do?! It is a definite TO DO! Most government leaders may not even think about declaring May as Stroke Month, so it’s up to us to get out there and DO IT!

Maybe it’s not Stroke Month that you want recognized by government officials, but whatever it is, I’ve discovered that it’s really not as scary as I once thought, especially with the support and guidance of a supportive and encouraging Advocacy Director.

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