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
We're Feeling Grateful

As AHA Advocacy staff, we get to work alongside the most remarkable volunteers- like YOU! We get to see lives improved and lives saved as a result of the work we’ve done together, and for that, we're grateful.

As You’re the Cure volunteers, you share personal stories of loved ones lost too soon, of survival, or of triumph over heart disease or stroke- all because you know your stories will make a difference in someone else’s life. It is often those stories that convince lawmakers to pass the policies making our communities healthier.

Because of you, more babies are being screened with Pulse Ox and having their heart defects corrected before it’s too late. Because of you, people in communities around the country have been saved by students who learned CPR in school. Because of you, people are getting better stroke care, families have safe places for active play, fewer people are smoking, and kids are eating healthier food at school.  The impact you’re making is incredible, and our communities are better places- because of you.

You make us cry. You share your joy. You inspire us. You amaze us. And we’re just so grateful for all you do.

We’re including YOU as we count our blessings this month, and we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!   

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Carver Elementary Celebrates National Eating Healthy Day

 On Nov. 4, National Eating Healthy Day, the American Heart Association encouraged Americans to commit to healthier eating. Connie Dacus, a You're the Cure advocate and member of the American Heart Association State Advocacy Committee, wanted to celebrate the day by teaching students how to make healthy choices.

Connie worked with the American Heart Association, Alabama State University and Carver Elementary School to host the first mini heart farmers' market at Carver Elementary located in Montgomery, Ala. Students and parents walked from station to station to learn about which fruits and vegetables are in season for fall and what they look like, as well as how to cook with the produce. Students who did not attend the farmers' market received fact sheets and other goodies to help bring the experience home.

With advocates like Connie, the American Heart Association is one step closer to meeting its Impact Goal, which is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20% - all by 2020!

You can learn more about National Eating Healthy Day at

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Homewood Considers Stronger Smokefree Laws

After a lengthy debate, the public safety committee voted to recommend updates to Homewood’s smoking regulations at their Oct. 5 meeting.

The updates, proposed by the Safe & Healthy Homewood Coalition, include revisions to broaden the existing smoking ordinance, such as increasing the minimum distance a smoker must be from a business’ doorway, adding electronic cigarettes to the existing regulations and regulating the operation of private businesses dedicated to smoking.

The committee’s recommendation came with the proposal to ban smoking within 20 feet of a business’ doorway, which is an increase from the current 10 feet but a reduction from the 30 feet the Coalition proposed. Some stated concerns that a 30-foot distance is impossible in close shopping areas such as 18th Street South.


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Vickie Evans Fuller, Alabama

The American Heart Association Alabama Advocacy Committee consists of eleven Alabama residents from a variety of backgrounds united to advance the advocacy priorities of the organization. Throughout the fiscal year, we’ll introduce you to some of the members. Today, we’d like you to meet Vickie Evans Fuller.

How do you stay updated on current public policies in your state? AHA, the newspaper, TV and keeping the conversation going at community events

If you could help advocate for one change in your state, what would it be and why? Schools to work with the AHA to educate children at a young age to eat healthy and exercise more

What have you learned in your time being a You’re the Cure advocate? How powerful advocacy can be! I'm very happy to learn of the states that have passed laws to ensure newborns receive a pulse oximetry screening to detect heart issues.

Why would you tell a friend or family member to join You’re the Cure? Because heart disease affects everyone at some time, whether it's them or someone in their family.

Tell us one unique thing about yourself. I am currently working on my finance degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I have two daughters, one granddaughter and one grandbaby on the way in February.

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Sing to End Stroke

One in three Americans can’t recall any stroke warning signs. What if singing a song could help people recognize a stroke and give someone the power to save a life?

On World Stroke Day, October 29th, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is using music to help people remember the common warning signs of stroke, F.A.S.T. (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1).

Why learn the F.A.S.T song? The quicker you recognize the stroke warning signs and call 9-1-1 for stroke, the better the chances of recovery. 

Here is how you can participate:

So get your vocal cords ready and let's sing to end stroke!


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Gov. Bentley Questions if Budget is Unconstitutional

On September 8, the Alabama Legislature convened for a second special session to address the state’s budget crisis. Eight days later they passed a budget that relies heavily on a 25-cent tobacco tax increase and moving money from education to close a large portion of the budget hole.

Gov. Robert Bentley signed the budget the next day, and shortly afterwards questioned if the budget is unconstitutional because it encroaches on executive branch authority. To be certain, he asked the Alabama Supreme Court to issue an opinion on four specific item in the budget that place restrictions on state agencies.

According to, “the parts of the budget Bentley questioned [are]:

  • Require the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to keep open all drivers license offices that were in operation at the beginning of fiscal year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014), and that any reductions in force focus on areas that don't directly serve the public.
  • Prohibit spending General Fund or earmarked funds in the budget for capital outlay for the construction of new buildings, except in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency. If there is an emergency, the agency would have to make a request to the finance director and the chairs of the House and Senate budget committees, and two of the three would have to approve before the money could be spent.
  • Prohibit spending General Fund or earmarked funds on vehicle purchases or leases. Again, if there is an emergency, the agency would have to make a request to the finance director and the two budget chairs, and two of the three would have to approve.
  • Agencies must cut spending to administrative functions before any cuts made to direct services or payments to recipients of government programs.”

We want to know your thoughts. Do you think any of these items are unconstitutional?

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Twenty-Five Cents is Too Low for Alabama

The Alabama Legislature is in week two of their second special session to address the state’s budget crisis. Without an estimated $300 million in new revenue, our state faces devastating cuts to health care, public safety and other vital services.

To address the issue, the House and Senate have approved a 25-cent increase in the state tobacco tax. This amount is too low to impact public health and cannot raise the necessary revenue to fix the current deficit.

We'll continue to urge the Legislature to support a higher tobacco tax increase for the health of both the economy and residents.

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Montgomery Mayor Endorses Healthy Food Financing Act

Earlier this year, the Alabama Legislature passed the Healthy Food Financing Act of Alabama that sets up a much needed infrastructure to help bring healthy food closer to underserved communities. Now, Mayor Todd Strange of Montgomery is the first mayor to endorse the legislation.  

On August 27, Mayor Strange held a press conference to speak about the importance of the legislation for the state of Alabama. He noted that the Healthy Food Financing Act will benefit the health of residents and the economy. Connie Dacus, member of the American Heart Association's Alabama Advocacy Committee, participated in the event and discussed the role the organization played in passing the act.

If you recall, the Alabama Healthy Food Financing Act will help address a complex public health crisis – limited access to healthy food in many communities statewide. It creates a revolving loan fund program to offer incentives to grocers and other fresh food retailers to open, renovate or expand retail stores in communities with limited access to fresh, nutritious food. It has no state dollars attached and will provide a way for a public-private partnership fund.

The American Heart Association continues to work with Voices for Alabama's Children and other coalition partners to secure funding to be able to fully implement the act. As Mayor Strange noted, more work must be accomplished to ensure all Alabamians have access to healthy foods no matter what zip code they live in.

Read more about the press conference at

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New Stroke Guidelines Will Change Stroke Treatment in the U.S

Each year, more than 690,000 Americans have strokes caused by blood clots blocking vessels in the brain, called ischemic strokes. Some of the clots can grow large and may require intense therapy to treat.

However, widely celebrated new research reaffirms that large blood clots in the brain are less likely to result in disability or death, if the blockage is removed in the crucial early hours of having a stroke.

Right now the standard treatment is a clot-dissolving drug called tPA. But it must be given intravenously within 4.5 hours to be effective. For people with larger brain clots, tPA only works about a third of the time.

New studies recommend doctors to use modernized -retrievable stents, to open and trap the clot, allowing doctors to extract the clot and reopen the artery nearly every time when used with tPA.

To learn more read “Clot Removing Devices Provide Better Outcomes for Stroke Patients” and visit to learn the warning signs of stroke.

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Tell Legislators to Support Alabama Healthy Beverage!

It’s no secret that Alabama is in a budget crisis. What’s even more disheartening is public health in our state. We have some of the highest rates of cardiovascular-related deaths, diabetes and childhood obesity in the nation.

Our financial future looks bleak but quality of life looks even bleaker. That’s why we believe a sugary beverage tax would be a smart, long-term solution for Alabama.

Now is a great time for this initiative. Not only will the sugar-sweetened beverage tax generate $218 million for the State of Alabama each year, it also will reduce consumption of unhealthy drinks. Let’s encourage our children to enjoy water, milk, and 100% fruit juice instead of sugary sodas. These options won’t be taxed under the sugar-sweetened beverage tax.

We raise our kids to do well in school and to be polite. Let’s also point them to the correct choices for their health.

Tell legislators to support #ALHealthyBev today!




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