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  • 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: Medicaid Redesign Is Right for Nebraska

    The American Heart Association supports efforts that improve access to quality healthcare for all Americans. That includes Medicare redesign which would help reduce the costs of health care and save the lives of hundreds of Nebraskans. The Medicaid Redesign Act proposes providing premium assistance for...
  • 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: Mission: Lifeline Expands Across the Border

    Access to emergency cardiac response is vital to saving lives from a STEMI heart attack - the most deadly kind of heart attack. Nebraska received funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to support the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline initiative which has ensured all parts of our...
  • Blog Post: More Concerns about E-Cigs

    As more research comes available and more studies are being done on the effects of e-cigarettes, today the New England Journal of Medicine raises a new worry about electronic cigarettes – exposure to formaldehyde. You remember formaldehyde, right? Who could forget that awful-smelling chemical used...
  • Blog Post: A Healthy Recipe for School Nutrition

    The U.S. is in the midst of a fullblown obesity epidemic that has disproportionately affected our children. Currently, nearly one third of children are overweight or obese. The health consequences of obesity in children are staggering. Recent research shows that an obese child’s arteries can resemble...
  • Blog Post: Expect Cigar Bar Legislation During Session

    Cigar bars in Nebraska will have to "snuff out" smoking in their establishments once their new liquor licenses are received from the state. A recent Nebraska Supreme Court ruling on the cigar bar and tobacco shop exemptions to the statewide smoking ban amounted to unconstitutional special legislation...
  • 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: Why Physical Education in School is Important

    Over the last two decades, the rates for overweight children have doubled, meaning that one-third of all children in the United States today are overweight. Obesity increases an individual’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and many other chronic illnesses and leads to higher health care...
  • 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: Why All Students Should Learn CPR

    Imagine you have just learned how to do CPR in your health class, and while out shopping, you find out someone nearby - a baby - needs this life-saving skill? Imagine that you are the one who knows what to do to help the baby's life. That a happened to a brave teenager. She knew what to do. She knew...
  • Blog Post: A Healthy School Lunch Doesn't Have to be a Puzzle

    The school year is well underway, and as a parent, it can be difficult to ensure your kids have nutrition-packed lunches that will please the pickiest of eaters. Home-made lunches can also be a first-line of defense in the fight against childhood obesity by helping kids embrace a healthy lifestyle. ...
  • Blog Post: Medicaid Expansion Is Needed for Heart Disease and Stroke Patients

    As Nebraska continues to debate the issue of expanding Medicaid to cover adults under 65 with income up to 133% of the federal poverty level in Nebraska, there are some important considerations on why this can improve health outcomes in our state. Medicaid is already an important source of health...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Dayna Krannawitter

    Dayna Krannawitter Nebraska I have seen the difference advocacy makes and I strongly support the efforts of the American Heart Association to make our great state an even healthier place to live. It is wonderful to be able to eat at a smoke-free restaurant and to know that all newborns will be screened...
  • Blog Post: Paramedics Step Up to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

    Paramedics in Carmel, Indiana, a fast-growing community just outside Indianapolis are stepping forward to reduce hospital admissions by implementing the Mobile Integrated Health Care program. In the past decade, according to the Joint National EMS Leadership Forum , close to 300 fire departments, ambulance...
  • Blog Post: Newborn Screening Saves Lives; Inspires Hope

    Newborn babies in Nebraska are being screened for congenital heart defects as a part of the newborn screening protocol, thanks to a law passed by the Nebraska legislature. This simple, non-invasive screening can detect life-threatening heart defects before an infant goes home from the hospital. Dr. Rob...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Kevin Sypal

    Kevin Sypal Nebraska It was about five years ago when I started to really reflect on my life. I had a great career in the advertising industry. I was married to the love of my life and my best friend, Laura. Together we were raising our first daughter, Claire. Everything seemed perfect, but something...
  • Blog Post: October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month: Would You Know What To Do?

    Do you know the difference between a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest? People often use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonyms. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly...
  • Blog Post: Nebraska Family Inspires Others Through Personal Loss

    The annual Go Red for Women event in Omaha brought out hundreds of volunteers, advocates, survivors and families to raise money and awareness for the number women killer of women - heart disease. But for one family, it brought out memories, images and even the voice of someone who was lost to heart disease...
  • Blog Post: National Healthy Eating Day: Your Toolkit for Success

    Take the first step to making healthier food choices by taking part in the American Heart Association's National Eating Healthy Day on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. On this day, Americans are encouraged to commit to healthier eating. Celebrating National Eating Healthy Day is fun and easy! We provide...
  • Blog Post: Advocate Spotlight: Kristen Waters

    I’ve been with the American Heart Association as the Nebraska Communications Director for the past two years, but my time with AHA extends beyond that. Let me take you back to 2008. I was living in the big city - our nation’s capital – and working for a big time trade association...
  • Blog Post: State of Obesity Report: Nebraska

    In recognition of Childhood Obesity Awareness month, we are pleased to be able to provide our advocates with the most recent statistics on obesity in our state and across the nation. The State of Obesity Report (formerly F as in Fat), a project of the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood...
  • Blog Post: AHA Applauds CVS Decision to Ban Tobacco Products

    Last February, CVS Caremark Corp. announced it would end the sale of tobacco products by Oct. 1, becoming the first national pharmacy chain to do so. The company noted their decision would result in a $2 billion loss in revenue, including $1.5 billion in direct tobacco sales and $500,000 in related purchases...
  • Blog Post: AHA Issues Statement on E-Cigs

    Electronic cigarettes might help some people quit smoking, but the American Heart Association recommends them only as a last resort and only with several notes of caution. AHA President Elliott Antman, M.D., underscored the careful approach Tuesday, a day after the organization’s first policy...
  • Blog Post: Lincoln Recognized for Acute Heart Event Response

    No one wants to have a heart attack, and if you do have one, you hope that you get the right care, in the right amount of time. Lincoln residents can rest assured that their EMS and heart attack systems of care are up to the task of providing the necessary response. Recently, Lincoln NE made the list...