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Nashville Heart Walk, Oct. 4

Join us on Saturday, Oct. 4 for the Nashville Heart Walk at Vanderbilt University Campus, corner of Natchez Trace and Children's Way.

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premiere event that brings communities together to raise funds and celebrate progress in the fight against this country's No. 1 and No. 4 killers, heart diseases and stroke. Activities will begin at 8 a.m. with the actual walk starting at 10 a.m. Our Tennessee advocacy team will be there working the You're the Cure booth. Stop by and meet Bernard Reynolds, Government Relations Director, and Denise Costanza, Advocacy Assistant. While there, tell fellow walkers how easy it is to be a You're the Cure advocate and to make a difference.

We're certainly looking forward to this inspirational day filled with energy, excitement and hope! Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that's fun and rewarding for the entire family. If you're the in the Nashville area, we hope to see you on Oct. 4 as we walk with friends, family, coworkers and other members of the community.

For more information about the event, visit the Nashville Heart Walk webpage.

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CVS Quits Tobacco

The first national pharmacy chain to stop selling tobacco said all 7,700 stores had halted sales by Wednesday — about a month earlier than planned — and announced a name change from CVS Caremark to CVS Health to reflect its commitment to health.

CVS announced its tobacco-free plan in February, saying the profits are not worth the larger cost in public health. Smoking is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S., killing 443,000 Americans and costing the nation $193 billion in healthcare expenses and lost productivity each year.

CVS Health also announced Wednesday a new “comprehensive and uniquely personalized smoking cessation program” developed by national experts.

Read more at blog.heart.org.

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What is Pediatric Cardiomyopathy?

Did you know that one in every 100,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 18 is diagnosed with a diseased state of the heart known as cardiomyopathy?  While it is a relatively rare condition in kids, it poses serious health risks, making early diagnosis important.  As the heart weakens due to abnormities of the muscle fibers, it loses the ability to pump blood effectively and heart failure or irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias or dysrhythmia) may occur.

That’s why we’re proud to team up with the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation this month- Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Awareness Month- to make more parents aware of this condition (signs and symptoms) and to spread the word about the policy changes we can all support to protect our youngest hearts.
 
As a You’re the Cure advocate, you know how important medical research is to improving the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease.  And pediatric cardiomyopathy is no exception.  However, a serious lack of research on this condition leaves many unanswered questions about its causes.  On behalf of all young pediatric cardiomyopathy patients, join us in calling on Congress to prioritize our nation’s investment in medical research.
  
Additionally, we must speak-up to better equip schools to respond quickly to medical emergencies, such as cardiac arrest caused by pediatric cardiomyopathy.  State laws, like the one passed in Massachusetts, require schools to develop emergency medical response plans that can include:

  • A method to establish a rapid communication system linking all parts of the school campus with Emergency Medical Services
  • Protocols for activating EMS and additional emergency personnel in the event of a medical emergency
  • A determination of EMS response time to any location on campus
  • A method for providing training in CPR and First Aid to teachers, athletic coaches, trainers and others – which may include High School students
  • A listing of the location of AEDs and the school personnel trained to use the AED

CPR high school graduation requirements are another important measure to ensure bystanders, particularly in the school setting, are prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency.  19 states have already passed these life-saving laws and we’re on a mission to ensure every student in every state graduates ‘CPR Smart’.
   
With increased awareness and research of pediatric cardiomyopathy and policy changes to ensure communities and schools are able to respond to cardiac emergencies, we can protect more young hearts.

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy?  Join our new Support Network today to connect with others who share the heart condition.   

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New Study: Hospitalizations, Deaths from Heart Disease, Stroke Drop in the U.S.

The rates of U.S. hospitalizations and deaths from heart disease and stroke dropped significantly in the last decade, more so than for any other condition, according to a study released Monday in the journal Circulation

A research team led by Harlan Krumholz, M.D., national American Heart Association volunteer and director of the Center of Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, said the drop was mainly due to a steady increase in the use of evidence-based treatments and medications, as well as a growing emphasis on heart-healthy lifestyles and behaviors.

The study examined data on nearly 34 million Medicare Fee-For-Service recipients from 1999 to 2011 for trends in hospitalization, dying within a month of being admitted, being admitted again within a month and dying during the following year. Age, sex, race, other illnesses and geography also were considered.

Read the full article on blog.heart.org.

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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 www.heart.org/healthierkids.  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.  

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Should all foods in Tennessee schools be nutritious?

Often, the foods and beverages sold to students in vending machines, through fundraising efforts and other venues are high in fact, calories, sugar and/or salt. That’s why the “Smart Snacks in Schools” nutrition standards released by the USDA set limits on calories, fats, sugar and sodium and encourage the consumption of dairy, whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables. These standards apply to all grade levels of any school participating in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. 

However, on July 25, 2014, the Tennessee State School Board adopted a weakened version of the rules allowing 30 days of the school year to be used for fundraisers. This far exceeds the American Heart Association’s current recommendation of zero days. The new rules now incorporate 9-12 grades where in the past they have been excluded.

The State Board committed to follow the progress of the new guidelines throughout the 2014-15 school year and review them next summer. The American Heart Association will continue to be involved with this issue as the school year progresses.

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We Want to Hear from You, Tennessee!

The American Heart Association is a volunteer driven organization and would not be able to accomplish its goals, fulfill its mission and make a difference in the health of our community without people like you. Here in Tennessee, we're already planning for the 2015 state legislative session and we can tell, there is a lot of work to do. We definitely will need your help and would like to know how you want to be engaged and the best way for us to communicate with you about our efforts.

Click here to take our very brief survey!

With your feedback, we can keep you updated on our advocacy efforts and provide you with ways to be involved. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Teaching Gardens = Learning Laboratories for Kids

Studies show that when kids grow their own fruits and vegetables, they’re more likely to eat them. That’s the idea behind the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens.  While 1/3 of American children are classified as overweight or obese, AHA Teaching Gardens is fighting this unhealthy trend by giving children access to healthy fruits and vegetables and instilling a life time appreciation for healthy foods.

Aimed at first through fifth graders, we teach children how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits. Garden-themed lessons teach nutrition, math, science and other subjects all while having fun in the fresh air and working with your hands.

Over 270 gardens are currently in use nationwide reaching and teaching thousands of students, with more gardens being added every day.  You can find an American Heart Association Teaching Garden in your area here or email teachinggardens@heart.org to find how you can get involved.

               

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Governor Haslam Supports Physical Activity in Schools

On June 3, 2014 Governor Bill Haslam signed into law SB 1760 (Ketron)/HB 1658 (K. Brooks). These bills help ensure Tennessee students get the 90 minutes per week of required physical activity for public school students, by prohibiting counting walking to and from class towards the minimum. It also clarifies that walking to and from class cannot be counted in the statutorily required minimum of 90 minutes per week of physical activity for Tennessee elementary and secondary students.

This legislation ensures true opportunities for physical activity (walking, jumping rope, playing volleyball or other forms of physical activity that promote fitness and well-being) are provided above and beyond change of class time.

Increased physical activity helps the American Heart Association in achieving its 2020 goal, which is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.

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Summertime Means Healthy Time!

Tired of cooking the same thing over and over, week after week?  Late Spring and early Summer are some of the best times of the year for healthy cooking with the plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables that are popping up at the local farmers’ markets,  grocery stores, and even in our own back yards!  Here is a great heart healthy recipe where you can put those fresh veggies to good use.

Eating heart healthy can be equally as delicious as it is good for your body.  And if you could save your heart by improving your diet, wouldn’t you at least want to give it a try?

HERBED VEGGIE SKILLET

2 teaspoons canola or corn oil
8 ounces zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup sliced onion
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
3/4 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1/3 cup diced tomato
2 tablespoons water (plus more if needed)
1/8 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon (scant) dried oregano, crumbled
Pepper to taste

Preparation
1.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the zucchini, onion, and bell pepper for 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft, stirring frequently.
2.  Stir in the remaining ingredients except the pepper. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender, adding more water if necessary. Sprinkle with the pepper.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 69
 Total Fat 2.5 g
 Saturated Fat 0.0 g
 Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
 Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g
 Cholesterol 0 mg
 Sodium 9 mg
 Carbohydrates 11 g
 Fiber 2 g
 Sugars 3 g
 Protein 2 g

Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat

© American Heart Association

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