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The Fight is Not Over

LEGISLATIVE RECAP: You've been with us each step of the way, from sending emails to lawmakers to attending advocacy events at the capitol. You brought smiles to our faces during this challenging legislative session.

We want to thank you for your dedication to advocating for improvements to heart attack care across Colorado. While House Bill 1357 failed to pass out of the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, our fight is not over.

We will continue our advocacy throughout the interim, and we want you to join our team to help get HB 1357, and other heart healthy policies, passed into law!

Email Erin.Hackett@heart.org to learn more about our advocacy efforts in Colorado!

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Volunteer at one of the Heart & Stroke Walks in Colorado on June 4th!

We are expecting a combined attendance of about 25,000 people at the Denver and Colorado Springs Heart & Stroke Walks on June 4th. It’s not possible to reach this giant audience about our advocacy efforts without the help of volunteers. Will you help us make a difference?


We need passionate volunteers like you to help us reach and recruit other advocates in Colorado. You’ll help us to register new members to our You’re the Cure network. This is a very important activity for the American Heart Association because it allows us the reach out to more individuals, helping to give them the power to make a difference by speaking out for policies that help build healthier communities and healthier lives.

Already walking? No problem! If you volunteer, you’ll still be able to participate in the walk, while making even more of a difference in our mission!

Denver Heart Walk
June 4th 7:30am-11:30am
Denver Performing Arts Complex

Colorado Springs Heart Walk
June 4th 7:30am-11:30am
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Stadium

If you are interested in volunteering or have questions, please reach out Julie Knowles at Julie.knowles@heart.org. Please indicate the location (Denver or Colorado Springs) where you would like to volunteer.

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Meet Caitlyn Borosak
"The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers." ~Terri Guillemets
 
Volunteers play a vital role at the American Heart Association, working alongside staff members, and fellow You're the Cure advocates to jointly advance our mission of building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. Through the Pulse Newsletter, we highlight the contributions of our volunteer network. Each month, we select a Volunteer of the Month who is performing above and beyond the baseline of excellence. We're thrilled to spotlight the dedication and mighty work of Caitlyn Borosak, who is quickly becoming one of our volunteer all-stars. Read below to learn more Caitlyn!
Name: Caitlyn Borosak
Occupation: Wellness Associate/ Student
How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association?  
3 months
Why do you advocate to build healthier lives and communities, free of heart disease and stroke?
The upmost important aspect of our lives is our health. Without it, our quality of life can worsen, and the attempt to get back on track becomes that much more of a challenge. Throughout my years in college, I have studied extensively on the consequences that come from ignoring eating well and being physically active, and by advocating to build healthier lives and communities, the message of health can be heard much more loud and clear. Personally, reaching as many people as possible on the importance of being healthy is my passion, as well as a necessity; our lives matter.
 
What are your passions and your interests in life?
I love learning about food! A couple years ago, I developed an autoimmune disease that affected me greatly in a very negative way. For a year of my life, I could not figure out how I developed this problem and no doctor knew how to help me keep it under control. It wasn’t until I started doing my own research that I found food had EVERYTHING to do with it. From then on, I have become passionate about nutrition and being mindful of what I put it my body, as well as encourage others to do the same. Along with my passion for good, healthy foods, I enjoy everything and anything outside, going on adventures, testing new waters, and enjoying the company of those I love.
 
What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off? 
I couldn’t live a day without the people I love! Whether we are going on a short or long trip, making dinner, or doing absolutely nothing together, anytime I am in the company of my friends and family I am at my happiest. 

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Legislative Update: We're One Step Closer to Improved Care

When a heart attack occurs, quality care in a timely manner is essential to a patient’s survival. Coordinated systems of care, which include hospitals equipped and ready to deliver this care, are vital. 

Your AHA Colorado Advocacy Team, along with a dedicated group of You're the Cure advocates, are working hard to secure the passage of House Bill 1357 which would improve heart attack systems of care throughout the state. 
We need your support now more than ever. 
House Bill 1357 has passed the House of Representatives and will soon be considered by the Senate. 
If you want to join the movement to help pass House Bill 1357, please email Erin.Hackett@heart.org.
Your action will make a difference. 

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Denver Grassroots Action Team Leads the Way

**Guest post written by Julie Knowles

Denver volunteers met recently to discuss the American Heart Association’s advocacy efforts in Colorado. They also happily welcomed a new and very motivated member to the Denver Grassroots Action Team. The importance of finding volunteers from all over Colorado was a key topic of discussion because Colorado lawmakers respond strongly to individual voices from their districts.

Volunteers also conferred on the best way to support the Heart Attack Bill (HB 1357) which would support a Task’s force’s efforts to improve Heart Attack care in Colorado. The volunteers ended the meeting feeling empowered to get signatures and educate their communities about this bill in hopes to cultivate enthusiasm from diverse proponents. 
If you're interested in joining the Denver Grassroots Action Team, please contact Christopher.Roller@heart.org for additional information. 

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Meet Mary Mandel, Our You're the Cure Hero
Every day we take thousands of steps to get where we need to go. You're the Cure advocate Mary Mandel knows this and is advocating for everyone to take the step toward a healthier lifestyle!
Meet Mary: 
As a heart attack survivor, I know the importance of taking time to take care of yourself. Many Americans aren’t dedicating enough time for physical activity. And it means we’re at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases. But we’re not going to take it sitting down! 
Join me and millions of Americans this month, as we pledge to live a healthier lifestyle and get physically active. Visit Heart.org/Walking and use the American Heart Association’s free tips and tools to stay motivated on your walking program. 
  • Name:  Mary Mandel
  • Occupation:  Cardiac Medical Yoga Instructor
  • How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association and what is your volunteer role:  I have been volunteering since 2011.  I volunteer for Go Red for Women, and I am also on the Passion Committee.  This year, I am starting to volunteer for the Advocacy team and I have joined the Austin Grassroots Action Team.
  • Why do you advocate for Heart:  To build awareness and to saves lives!  I never thought I would be affected by heart disease, and it ended up nearly taking my life...twice!  Perhaps if I had seen another young, healthy woman speak about heart disease, I would have recognized the symptoms and I would have gone to the emergency room sooner, which would have prevented many of the heart issues I now live with and manage on a daily basis.
  • What is something in your life that you love:  I absolutely love seeing my little 5-year old boy grow into the smart, compassionate, sweetheart that he is.
  • What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off:  yoga, meditation, and drumming!
  • Fun Fact about yourself:  I have lived in nearly every corner of the world...Europe, Asia, South America and India.



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Meet Shaik A. Khader, You're the Cure Advocate

Shaik A. Khader is a new member of the Denver Grassroots Action Team. He has joined the fight against heart disease and stroke and has been advocating for a healthier Colorado!
Name: Shaik A. Khader
 
Occupation: Public Health Intern
 
How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association?  
Since, October 2015.
 
Why do you advocate to build healthier lives and communities, free of heart disease and stroke?
I advocate to promote healthy hearts in the population, to raise awareness and to influence the public to take care of their health through regular exercise, a low sodium diet and going for early screenings to help prevent heart disease. Because, “Prevention is better than a Cure.”
 
What are your passions and your interests in life?
My passion is to become a good doctor and a public health advocate, and to educate people about chronic diseases like Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension and Cardiovascular disease and ways to prevent these conditions. My interests are hiking, exercising regularly, reading books, watching movies and doing some gardening. In my free time I like to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world. For example, news about politics, the environment and climate change and advancements in technology.
 
What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off?
Read medical related books and follow up with new research, as well as hang out with friends.
 
What excited you most about joining the Denver Grassroots Action Team?
My dedication to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases, and to help educate people on prevention and living a heart healthy life.

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The healthy difference a month can make

March is Nutrition Month, and a perfect time to get more involved with the AHA’s ongoing efforts to promote science-based food and nutrition programs that help reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Every day, we’re seeing new initiatives: to make fruits and vegetables more affordable; to reduce the number of sugar-sweetened beverages that our kids are drinking; and of course, to ensure students are getting the healthiest school meals possible, all with the same goal: to help families across the country lead the healthiest lives they possibly can.

It’s also a great opportunity to lower your sodium intake. The average American consumes more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day – more than twice the AHA-recommended amount. Excessive sodium consumption has been shown to lead to elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Visit www.heart.org/sodium for tips on to lower your intake and to get heart-healthy recipes.

However you choose to celebrate, Nutrition Month gives us all the chance to take control of our diets; to recommit to eating fresh, healthy foods; and to remember all month long that you’re the cure.

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Meet Mylan Shaunfield, Advocate for Health

We are thrilled to highlight one of our newest You're the Cure advocates, Mylan Shaunfield. He's been advocating for heart health in record speed. Mylan has shown his passion through participating in Advocating for Heart events at the Capitol, and has even been known to drop by legislative offices for a quick visit in support of our heart healthy priorities. 

While Mylan is one of our newest advocates, he represents the growing trend of young professionals who want to get involved in the fight against heart disease and stroke. 
Name: Mylan W. Shaunfield
Occupation: Attorney & Counselor at Law
How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association and what is your volunteer Role: Grassroots Action Team Member. Since October 2015 
Why do you Advocate for Heart:  A number of reasons but the three biggest is the passing of my father at the young age of 60 due to heart failure, and the environment we live in facilitates an unhealthy lifestyle and sets us up for failure from a health perspective.  The fact that healthcare is our nation's largest expenditure, and It's an unrealistic expectation for people to live a healthy lifestyle when it's cheaper and easier to be unhealthy. 
What is something in your life that you love: My job allows me to help people nearly every day
What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off: Traveling to places I've never been, experiencing different cultures, and meeting new people
Fun Fact about yourself: In 2013 I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, and an action shot of me next to the bulls made it on Yahoo news' and CNN's top stories.

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Colorado Promotes Heart Health for National #WearRedDay!
Recently, You’re the Cure advocates and Colorado lawmakers gathered to recognize Wear Red Day and the Go Red for Women movement. Here’s a recap of our day: 
We started the morning with conversation and breakfast, followed by two special guest speakers.  Volunteer advocates Gretchen Whitehurst and Tom Lucero spoke to the group about their experience advocating and testifying at the State Capitol. We were inspired by their stories and energized to get started on our advocacy day! We stopped for a moment to take a group photo showcasing our RED outfits, and posted our #GoRedSelfies. Afterward, we made our way to the Senate Floor to hear a state resolution reading that declaring Wear Red day in Colorado. 
The fun didn’t stop there, we then proceeded to the House of Representatives chamber where we were able to participate in the House Resolution presentation. Shortly after that, we met with lawmakers and legislative staff to chat about our efforts to end heart disease and stroke, and build healthier lives. All in all it was a great morning, and we made a difference in efforts to raise awareness and educate policymakers on the importance of fighting heart disease and stroke through strong public policies.

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