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  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Sharon Buhr, Susan Milender, and Andrea Winter

    Valley City, North Dakota School Wellness is all about partnerships in Valley City. In 2012 when schools were asked to revise and strengthen their school wellness policies, the local nutrition and exercise partnership, Barnes ON THE MOVE Partnership (OTM-17 members strong), stepped forth and volunteered...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Julie Smith

    Julie Smith Nebraska Heart disease has always been of importance to me even before I became a nurse. My parents both had cardiovascular disease identified when they were in their 50s. It affected their lives then and as they aged. Being from a rural area, when my father had his first heart attack...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Mary Michaels

    Mary Michaels South Dakota My Dad is Why. It was the month of May; I finished my second year of college and moved back home for the summer. I was a kid that actually loved hanging out with my parents. As the youngest of 6, I was raised going everywhere with them – concerts, plays, community...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Gene Johnson

    Gene Johnson New Brighton, MN On Sept.11,2002 I had a heart attack, followed immediately by a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). I had a series of miracles and fortuitous events that followed. My daughter called and told my wife to check on dad. I was laying on the driveway with the garden hose spewing...
  • Blog Post: Share your Story: Carrie Hoch-Mortlock

    Carrie Hoch-Mortlock Michigan I will begin by taking you back to year 2010. I woke up one Sunday in March and decided to stop smoking, cold turkey. I never smoked a lot, a pack per week or two. I was a social smoker. In January of that same year, I started working with a personal trainer. It was my...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Buffy Mckinney

    Buffy McKinney O Fallon, IL There was never any heart disease in my family. That all changed on August 12, 2010 when my first grandson, Brody, was born with a congenital heart defect called ASD/VSD. The thought was that the holes would eventually close themselves so they released him from the hospital...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Mrs. Jennifer Caribardi

    Jennifer Caribardi As a registered nurse, and the Director of Critical Care Services, Jennifer was highly skilled in treating stroke patients. Yet when she herself showed clear signs of a stroke, she refused to believe it. “I am too busy for this to happen,” she thought as her symptoms...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Ms. Jennifer Caribardi

    Ms. Jennifer Caribardi As a registered nurse, and the Director of Critical Care Services, Jennifer was highly skilled in treating stroke patients. Yet when she herself showed clear signs of a stroke, she refused to believe it. “I am too busy for this to happen,” she thought as her symptoms...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Dr. Paul Amundson

    Paul Amundson South Dakota FAMILY. As a family physician I saw numerous cases of individuals suffer and/or die from heart disease way too early in life. I committed myself early in my career to doing everything within my power to combat this #1 killer of South Dakotans (and the entire US). Like many...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Jennifer Caribardi

    Jennifer Caribardi As a registered nurse, and the Director of Critical Care Services, Jennifer was highly skilled in treating stroke patients. Yet when she herself showed clear signs of a stroke, she refused to believe it. “I am too busy for this to happen,” she thought as her symptoms...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Shelly Arnold

    Shelly Arnold North Dakota As the Chair of the American Heart Association’s Advocacy Committee, I understand the importance of statewide programs and the need to integrate work among all types of healthcare professionals. Heart attack and stroke are two life changing events that can sometimes...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Karen Tesina

    Karen Tesina Nebraska Throughout my nursing career, I was always most interested in caring for the cardiovascular patient. As a staff nurse, I worked both on a cardiac floor as well as a cardiovascular intensive care unit. Later, I was given the opportunity to start a heart program in northeast Nebraska...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Stephani Remetta

    Stephani Remetta Indianapolis, IN Stephani was born with a congenital heart defect that went undiagnosed until she was 27. Told she had a heart murmur, the more serious condition was finally diagnosed after the birth of her son. The diagnosis, accompanied by the news that she would not be able to...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Iowa Newborns

    Iowa Newborns Iowa Iowa joins a growing list of states that are requiring hospitals to screen newborns for congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry. The state’s new regulation requires all Iowa hospitals to use the test, screening more than 27,000 babies each year. Pulse oximetry...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Susan O'Brien

    Susan O'Brien Missouri Susan O’Brien was living happily with her new husband Mark and their two puppies in their dream home, enjoying good times as summer approached. “Life was wonderful,” recalled Susan, a petite woman in her 50s who exercised regularly and was in seemingly...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Rob Shipley

    Rob Shipley Kansas On March 20th 2013, Rob Shipley was enjoying a game of basketball with his 13-year-old son Bennett, when he started feeling light-headed, short of breath and went to sit down. This was unusual for Rob as he was an active 40-year-old that enjoyed biking, running and taking spin class...
  • Blog Post: Share Your Story: Brooke Maynard

    Brooke Maynard Springfield, IL November 20th, 2009, should have been the best day of my life. Instead it turned out to be the best and worst day of my life. This is the day I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. I was talking to my mother about my contractions during labor and the next thing I know...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Bonnie Staiger

    Bonnie and Stacy, Staiger Consulting Group North Dakota Question: You've represented the American Heart Association in the halls of the state Capitol in Bismarck since 1999. How has your firm grown since that time? Bonnie: We actually doubled in size in 2007! I was pleased when my daughter...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Athena Ramos

    Athena Ramos Nebraska I’m lucky to have a healthy heart, but others in my family are not. Heart disease runs in my family. When I was only 10 years old, my Dad had a heart attack. As a child, this had a tremendous effect on me. He ended up in the hospital with not just one bypass, but five....
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Jeremy Aylward Family

    Jeremy, Andrea and Nora Aylward South Dakota Blessings are why… I believe that I have been undoubtedly blessed in many ways throughout my short existence, but with a blessing being a gift I had to find a way to share my gratitude. Therefore, I fashioned the blessings bestowed upon me into...
  • Blog Post: My Story: Michele Beck

    Michele Beck Glen Ellyn, IL When I was 33 years old, I went to see my doctor and told her that I had pains in my chest and shortness of breath. I am a petite woman and was thin and young. Therefore, my doctor didn't run one heart test. I continued to see her off and on for one more year. Then...
  • Blog Post: My Story: AmandaJean Beaulieu

    AmandaJean Beaulieu Minneapolis, MN They say we only have one heart. Some of us are lucky enough to know someone who got a second heart. My family has been supporting the American Heart Association since 1994 when my cousin Emma became the first infant in MN to receive a heart transplant. Sadly she...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Government Relations Director Megan Myers

    Megan Myers South Dakota Hi there, You're the Cure advocates! Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself - I'm Megan Myers, and I serve as Government Relations Director for South Dakota. It's been an honor to work for the AHA. I joined the team in March and came over from the American...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Mary Jo Gillespie

    Mary Jo Gillespie Nebraska I was in my early twenties when my dad, age 57 died from heart disease. At the time I was in graduate school completing a nutrition degree to become a Registered Dietitian. Not only was that a life changing event, it was at that time that I became involved in my local American...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Lynette Anderson

    Lynette Anderson North Dakota Lynnette Anderson, is a registered nurse, and like many AHA volunteers has an extensive background in heart attack care. She was a Critical Care Nurse for 20 years, currently working in the quality department where she monitors and collects data on heart attack patients...