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  • Blog Post: A Victory for NYC's Sodium Warning Icon Law!

    The saga that surrounds New York City's Sodium Warning Label continues. But every step has been a strong show of support of this policy which will help to empower consumers to make healthy decisions about the food they eat when dining out at chain restaurants. On Thursday, May 26, the New York...
  • Blog Post: Tobacco 21 Passes in Albany County!

    Today is a great day to live in Albany County. Last night the Albany County Legislature voted to pass Local Law C, which would raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. The vote was 24-13. It was inspiring to see the work of the legislature at it's finest. While some legislators still argued...
  • Blog Post: Capital Region NY Stroke Ambassador Kicks of American Stroke Month!

    On May 5th, 2016 Stroke Ambassador Paula Symanski was joined by her New York Assemblymember Carrie Woerner as she rode her bicycle through the streets of Albany, NY - arriving in front of the State Capitol to cheers of her friends and supporters! May and June marks the height of the state legislative...
  • Blog Post: FDA Announces New Rule Overseeing All Tobacco Products Including E-Cigs!

    Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced exciting news that they finalized a rule extending its authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco and pipe tobacco, among others. This move will help improve public health and protect future generations...
  • Blog Post: Yuki Courtland - PE Advocate in NYC!

    Yuki Courtland is an advocate. She sees something wrong in her world and pushes to make the necessary change to help. As the chair of our Advocacy Committee in New York City, she has been leading the way to help make sure every student, regardless of where they go to school, learn how to embrace physical...
  • Blog Post: #PE4All Victory in NYC!

    It's almost too good to be true! After years of advocacy, more emails than you probably want to remember and countless hours of work with our community partners in the Phys Ed 4 All coalition, New York City is poised to make significant progress in our goal to improve physical education for every...
  • Blog Post: UPDATE: Tobacco 21 Moves Through Committees in Albany County, Goes to Full Vote!

    On Wednesday, April 27, the Albany County Health Committee and the Audit & Finance Committee voted to move Local Law "C" through to a vote with the full legislature on May 9. Local Law "C" would raise the purchase age of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. In addition to...
  • Blog Post: Albany County Legislature Holds Public Hearing on Tobacco 21!

    Last night, the Albany County Legislature held a public hearing on raising the purchase age of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. Public Health advocates and community members came out in full force to discuss the reasons why raising the purchase age is so important. I was there beside my colleagues...
  • Blog Post: New Stroke Advocacy Video Coming Soon!

    Yesterday, staff at the Albany, NY office met with local paramedics and AHA volunteers to create a new video highlighting the advances in stroke treatment and why it is important for states to have stroke systems of care, including designation of stroke hospitals. In New York, the AHA/ASA is advocating...
  • Blog Post: A busy Albany comes to a stand still as Legislators go on break

    You would never have guessed that yesterday more than 20,000 people came out to rally in support of three different candidates all vying for the 2017 Presidential bid. With supporters and protesters lining the streets of downtown Albany in hopes to see Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, or John Kasich, the...
  • Blog Post: In Preparation for American Stroke Month

    You likely know the statistics: Stroke is the number one cause of disability and the number five cause of death in the United States. In 2013, over 50,000 New Yorkers were hospitalized due to stroke and that same year over 6,000 died from stroke. Over the next three months, the American Stroke Association...
  • Blog Post: NYS Passes Final Budget Agreement, But What's in it for Heart Health?

    On Friday, April 1, Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders announced an agreement on a final state budget totaling approximately $147 billion dollars. Built-in to the agreement were several hot ticket items including Paid Family Leave, $15 minimum wage, and an increase in school aid. Not included, however...
  • Blog Post: Final Week of State Budget Negotiations

    This week is already turning into a frenzy. With tons of advocacy and coalition groups vying for funding in this year's budget, the Capitol has turned into a zoo. One group is holding a 24-hour vigil in the Assembly chamber starting today in hopes to see their budget requests reflected in the final...
  • Blog Post: UPDATE - A Victory Against #SneakySalt

    Salt likely won't be sneaking around restaurant menus in New York City any more - thanks to a ruling by the State Supreme Court that upheld the city's Sodium Warning Label. This law requires that any food item or meal combination that has a dangerously high level of sodium must have a small 'salt...
  • Blog Post: Want to keep the kids busy this week AND help out the AHA?

    Did you know 32 out of the 62 New York State counties are struggling with access to healthy food? That is roughly 1.7 million New Yorkers who lack access to stores with healthy food options. And poor nutrition can lead to diet-related illness - like heart disease and stroke. This is unacceptable! ...
  • Blog Post: New State healthy food access report, Healthy Food = Healthy Economy, is now available!

    A new report released last week by a group of New York State coalition partners sheds light on the efforts to improve access to healthy food and how more work needs to be done. The report, Healthy Food = Healthy Economy , details New York State’s work to improve healthy food access and its impact...
  • Blog Post: Why do restaurants make it so difficult?

    It's been a long day. You started off before dawn, ran the kids out of the house, dropped them off at school, put in a full day's work, picked the kids up at their after-school program and have just a few precious minutes before getting them settled into bed before the next marathon day. But...
  • Blog Post: New York State Lobby Day on the State Budget was a great success!

    American Heart Month was kicked off on February 1 st by our advocates descending on the New York State Capitol to lobby state legislators in support of funding to make New York more heart-healthy. This year, we are supporting funding for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, the Healthy Corner Store...
  • Blog Post: Bob Elling, New York

    Bob Elling is a career paramedic, but has many other “jobs,” including educator, author, and four decades of service as a very passionate American Heart Association volunteer. Bob has served in a number of capacities: Founder’s Affiliate board member, Albany Regional Board of Directors...
  • Blog Post: Governor Cuomo's 2016 budget proposal doesn't do enough!

    On January 13, Governor Cuomo laid out his 2016 agenda in a combined State of the State and budget address in Albany. While my colleague Martha and I sat in the Convention Center and anxiously waited to hear how Governor Cuomo would be supporting programs that protect New Yorkers from heart disease...
  • Blog Post: Smaller Stomachs Deserve the Healthiest Meals

    New York City may be moving forward to help improve the quality of meals served to kids in our restaurants - but they're not going far enough! The current version of the bill, just posted for a vote in the Council Health Committee - only affects meals that have a toy connected to it. While these...
  • Blog Post: Healthy Food Access = Good for our Bottom Line!

    Whether you're talking about health or wealth...supporting healthy food retail is a winning equation! All across New York, AHA advocates are talking about the need for Governor Cuomo and our state leaders to invest public funding wisely. Healthy food retail is a proven winner. When New York devoted...
  • Blog Post: We must do more in the fight against tobacco in New York!

    A new report released today by a coalition of public health organizations, including the AHA, ranks New York State 20 th in the country in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. The report explains that New York State is spending $39.3 million this year on tobacco...
  • Blog Post: Investing in Good Health

    Now that we have a full team in place to help lead the AHA's advocacy in Albany, we are full steam ahead! This past week, Kristin, Martha and Robin met with key staff members from Governor Cuomo's office who are helping to craft his focus for the upcoming state budget. With so many important...
  • Blog Post: Martha Auster, New York

    My name is Martha Auster and I am thrilled to join Kristin Salvi and Robin Vitale to complete the expanded government relations team for New York State! I first witnessed the extraordinary reach of American Heart Association volunteers and staff early in my public affairs career when I was a staff...