American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
Let us feature you and your "why"

The American Heart Association recently launched its new brand “Life is Why.”  We want people to experience more of life's precious moments.  It's why we've made better heart and brain health our mission.

What is your “why?”  Tell us why you advocate for heart health and stroke care and your story could become our “Advocate Spotlight” in our next newsletter.  Email Jason Harder at if you're interested in sharing.  All we need is your photograph and a couple paragraphs about you and your "why".

Need inspiration?  Check out

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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  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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Pulse Oximetry - it's official!

The big news from last week was all about Pulse Oximetry!  As of Thursday, July 3, all babies born in Wisconsin will be screened for CCHD prior to hospital discharge.  There has been a lot of great media coverage about this - click the link below to read a great article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Wisconsin has joined at least 31 other states that require testing of all newborns for critical congenital heart disease, one of the most common inherited birth defects.

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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 to find how you can get involved.


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Across America, 23 million students are eating healthier thanks to Farm to School programs

A 2012 study by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation predicted that obesity rates in the U.S.could exceed 44% by 2030, costing our country an additional $66 billion per year in medical expenses.  But here's the good news:  After years of focused initiatives to address childhood health and nutrition including the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, obesity rates are on the decline.

And there's is more good news.  More than 23 million students are now more likely to say yes to broccoli salad or other healthy fruits and veggies, thanks to their school's participation in the farm to school program.  Farm school enrich the connection kids have with fresh healthy food and local farmers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools. Learn more about the WI Farm to School Program here.

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One Million Milestone

Did you hear the big news?  We’ve reached an amazing milestone in our campaign to teach all students to be ‘CPR Smart’!  17 states now require CPR training as a graduation requirement, which adds up to over one million annual graduates who are prepared to save a life.  Congratulations to all of the You’re the Cure advocates and community partners who have spoken-up for training our next generation of life-savers.   

But with every advocacy celebration comes a new call to action.  33 states still need to pass legislation to make CPR a graduation requirement and you can help us get there!  Here are a couple simple things you can do right now to get the word out:

1) Watch Miss Teen International Haley Pontius share how a bad day can be turned into a day to remember when students know CPR.  And don’t forget to share this PSA on social media with the hashtag #CPRinSchools!

(Please visit the site to view this video)

2) Do you live in one of the 33 states that have not made CPR a graduation requirement yet?  Take our Be CPR Smart pledge to show your support and join the movement.  We’ll keep you updated on the progress being made in your state. 



We hope you’ll help keep the momentum going as we support many states working to pass this legislation into 2015.  Several states have already had success in securing funding for CPR training in schools, but now need to push for the legislature to pass the graduation requirement and in Illinois, the Governor recently signed legislation that requires schools to offer CPR & AED training to students. 

Bystander CPR can double or triple survival rates when given right away and with 424,000 people suffering out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year, this law is critical to helping save lives.  Thank you for being part of our movement to train the next generation of life-savers!

PS- Inspired to be CPR smart too?  Take 60 seconds to learn how to save a life with Hands-Only CPR.

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Advocacy in the News

Click here to read or listen to audio of Brad Gast, Chairman of the American Heart Association's Wisconsin's Advocacy Committee, discuss the victories that made 2014 such a great year for advocacy at the AHA! 

These successes are driven by volunteers like you.  If you'd like to get more involved and help keep the ball rolling, please visit and see what you can do today! 


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Session may be over, but you can still get involved!

While the state legislature may not be in session right now, there are still ways we need your help!  Stay involved this summer by checking out all the current Action Alerts you can still take part in!


  • Urge Congress to participate in American Stroke Month!

May is American Stroke Month, which is the perfect time for members of Congress to stand up for stroke survivors! With stroke being America's 4th leading killer, we need our elected officials to join us in making the disease preventable, treatable, and beatable! Urge your members to participate in American Stroke Month today!

  • Let's Eliminate Health Disparities in Clinical Trials

As patients, women and minorities want to know that the prescription drugs or medical devices being recommended for their treatment are safe and effective.  However, current gaps in clinical trial participation by these groups have limited the data available for these patients and their doctors to make the most informed decisions.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to create an Action Plan aimed at eliminating this health disparity and we're calling on Congress to push the agency to act now.  Will you ask your legislators to support this important action?    

  •  Tell Congress: Physical Education is vital for students

Our children should attend regular Physical Education (PE) classes throughout their day just like any other subject. Unfortunately for many children this is not happening. However, the Fitness Integrated with Teaching (FIT) Kids Act can help increase PE in our schools and create more active children. In order for this to happen, Congress needs to hear from you! Take action today!


If you're a survivor who'd like to share your experience on our Advocate Stories page, please send me an email ( and let me know!

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Share your Story: Morgan Frain

Morgan Frain Wisconsin

On January 7, 2012, our then 3-year-old daughter, Morgan, had a sudden cardiac arrest due to an undetected rare genetic heart disorder. We were at Lambeau Field at the time of her arrest. We had our then 7-year-old daughter, Hannah, run for help and call 911, while I began CPR and my husband found someone to bring us an AED. My husband prepared the AED, which indicated the need for a shock, and delivered the shock to our little girl. Once the AED indicated it was safe to do so, I resumed CPR, at which time I felt her heartbeat and she began to scream. The Green Bay Fire Department arrived shortly thereafter and brought our daughter to St. Vincent Hospital. After reading the strip from the AED, the PICU doctors decided to transfer Morgan to Children's Hospital where she underwent surgery to have her own internal defibrillator inserted. Despite everything she has been through, and everything she will go through in the future, she is a happy, healthy 5-year-old, thanks to the chain of survival.

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Take Control of Your Health

Did you know high blood pressure has also been called the “silent killer”? That’s because its symptoms are not always obvious, making the need for regular check-ups important.  As we recognize High Blood Pressure Awareness Month, here are the facts:

• High blood pressure (aka: hypertension) is one of the major risk factors for heart disease.

• It’s the leading risk factor of women’s deaths in the U.S., and the second leading risk factor for death for men.

• One-third of American adults have high blood pressure. And 90 percent of American adults are expected to develop high blood pressure over their lifetimes.

• More than 40 percent of non-Hispanic black adults have high blood pressure. Not only is high blood pressure more prevalent in blacks than whites, but it also develops earlier in life.
• Despite popular belief, teens, children and even babies can have high blood pressure. As with adults, early diagnosis and treatment can reduce or prevent the harmful consequences of this disease.

Now that you know the facts, what can you do to take control? The answer is a “lifestyle prescription” that can prevent and manage high blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle includes exercise, stress management, and eating a healthy diet, especially by reducing the sodium you eat. To learn more about taking control of you blood pressure, be sure to visit our online toolkit!

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