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Meet Sandi Shaw
I'm delighted for our You're the Cure advocates to meet Sandi Shaw. Sandi's  story and connection to stroke is powerful and one that I hope inspires readers to take action and get involved in the grassroots movement to fight heart disease and stroke! 
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Name:  Sandi G. Shaw, RN, BSN
 
Occupation:  Stroke Program Coordinator
 
How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association?  
20 years. I became more active since my husband’s death from a heart attack and my mother’s multiple strokes.  
 
Why do you advocate to build healthier lives and communities, free of heart disease and stroke?
By the time I was 32 years old, I was a widow. At age 36, I became the primary caregiver for my mother who suffered a Stroke. Four years later, she would be diagnosed with another Stroke. As a result of these events, my life was immediately changed. I constantly asked myself these questions: What signs did I miss? How did I miss the signs? As a nurse who specialized in Cerebrovascular events for many years, I blamed myself. My next question: What can I do to stop blaming myself and help other patients and families? I realized I can help them by sharing my experiences, educating them about Stroke and Community Resources, and reducing their fears about Stroke. As a result, we all recover together.               
 
What are your passions and your interests in life?
20 years ago, Stroke was the 3rd leading cause of death. It’s now the 5th leading cause of death. We are moving in the right direction…as with stroke recovery, it takes time. It’s my desire to encourage clinicians to learn about Stroke and become experts in caring for Stroke patients. It’s my desire that patients and families understand they are not alone in their recovery. We will support them in every process from the Emergency Department to discharge. My ultimate passion is that patients and families are confident excellent Stroke care will be provided as soon as they arrive to the Emergency Department.                 
 
What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off?
I enjoy spending time with my mother. Her stroke diagnoses, strangely enough, has strengthened our relationship. Also, my other life is shared with my 3 (three) rescue dogs: Lexi, Coco, and Rio who are great bed alarms and always let me know when my mom is ambulatory.      
 
Can you please share about the work you have been doing so far to raise awareness about stroke?
I am very active with Community Awareness for Stroke. I take part in Community events at least 6 months / year. This includes but is not limited to churches, sporting events, grocery stores, sports arenas, schools, and hospitals. I take part in orienting new clinical team members about stroke on a monthly basis. In fact, I keep FAST cards in my car….always ready to pass them out to anyone I meet. I’m a firm believer that children should be educated on FAST…it’s sometimes the child who dials 911. I encourage patients and families to attend our monthly Stroke Support Group sessions. 
 

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Join Us for Wear Red Day at the Capitol!

You're invited to join us at the Capitol on Friday, February 19th, as we recognize National Wear Red Day and the fight against the number one killer of women - heart disease, by advocating for heart healthy and stroke smart policies. 

What: Advocating for Heart at the Capitol
When: Friday, February 19th, 8:00 am - 10:00 am
Where: House Committee Room #112, The Colorado Capitol
Why: To recognize National Wear Red Day and support the American Heart Association’s legislative agenda.

Please RSVP by 2/16 to Julie.Knowles@heart.org

Our Advocating for Heart event will include: an advocacy training, issue overview on our top legislative priorities, visits with legislators, and breakfast.

We hope you will join us in Denver on February 19th as we advocate for a healthier Colorado. Please click to here to invite your elected officials to join us as we recognize National Wear Red Day!

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The Colorado Legislature is Now in Session
The gavel is down and the 2016 Legislative Session is officially underway. We are excited and eager to work with our state legislators on policies that will help make Colorado healthier and safer.
Over the next several months you will receive emails providing updates on the progress of these issues, as well as giving you the opportunity to take action via email, phone calls, and visits to legislator offices. Just know that your voice is incredibly important to the work that the American Heart Association does at our state Capitol.
We have found that effective grassroots campaigns are vital to making positive changes to health policy in the state of Colorado. We can’t do this without you!
If you would like to get more involved with the movement to create healthier communities and advance heart health, please email Vanessa.Fuentes@heart.org. 

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Join us on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 5

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women are asking for your support by participating in National Wear Red Day® on Friday, February 5, 2016 and donating to help fund research during American Health Month.

Why Go Red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. That’s why this year we are asking that you wear red on National Wear Red Day® and donate to Go Red For Woman. By doing so you help support educational programs to increase women’s awareness and critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health. 

And don’t forget to make your heart health a priority. Schedule your Well-Woman Visit, a prevention check-up to review a woman’s overall health so her doctor can measure blood pressure, check cholesterol and look for signs of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses. Then encourage others through your social channels to do the same.

We couldn’t make positive changes without the support and donations by individuals like you.

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Meet the Denver Grassroots Action Team

One important way the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association builds healthier lives and communities is by advocating for heart healthy and stroke smart policies. It’s part of our effort to build a culture of health, which means creating environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice.

Recently, You’re the Cure advocates and Grassroots Action Team members gathered in Denver to discuss how we can work together to create a healthier community for Colorado residents. These volunteer leaders are paving the way for us to live healthy, longer lives with those we love. If you want to join the movement to save lives, please email Christopher.Roller@heart.org to learn how to get involved.

A special thank you to our Denver Grassroots Action Team (GAT) Members for attending our January Meeting!

GAT Members:

  • Gerri Falco
  • Jaime Cabrera
  • Mckael Grayson
  • Shaik Khader
  • Liz Schmittgens
  • Tess Grohmann
  • Carrie Lehtonen

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Advocate for Heart at the Colorado Capitol!

You're invited to join us at our state Capitol on Friday, February 5th, as we recognize National Wear Red Day and the fight against the number one killer of women - heart disease, by advocating for heart healthy and stroke smart policies.

What: Advocating for Heart at the Capitol
When: Friday, February 5th, 8:00 am-10 am
Where: The Colorado Capitol, located at 200 East Colfax Avenue in Denver
Why: To recognize National Wear Red Day and support the American Heart Association’s legislative agenda.

Please contact Julie.Knowles@heart.org to RSVP.

Our Advocating for Heart event will include: an advocacy training, issue overview on our top legislative priorities, visits with legislators, and breakfast.

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Get Social With Your Members of Congress

Will you be on Facebook or Twitter today? Your Members of Congress and their staff will be, and it's a good place to reach them according to a report released in October by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF).

The CMF report, #SocialCongress, says Congressional offices are listening to social media chatter and it takes relatively few posts or comments to get their attention. That's good news for us!

So, how can you use the Facebook newsfeed or Twitter timeline to get the attention of lawmakers and help pass heart healthy policies?

  • Follow your members of Congress, as well as state and local elected officials on Twitter. ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ their pages on Facebook.
  • Tweet about our health policy issues, tagging the appropriate legislators by using the @ sign and their Twitter handle. For example: I’m from Pennsylvania, so I’d tag my U.S. Senators by including @SenBobCasey & @SenToomey in my tweet.
  • If they allow it, you can post about our issues directly on the Facebook pages of elected officials. Frequently, that feature is disabled but you are able to comment on their posts. According to #SocialCongress, Congressional offices typically monitor those comments for a limited period of time. Your best bet is to comment within the first 24 hours after a post.
  • Rally your friends and family members to tweet, post or comment about an issue on a single ‘day of action’. CMF’s survey data shows just 30 or fewer comments can be enough to make a legislative office pay attention.
  • Be sure to use the campaign hashtag if one has been created by your advocacy staff partners. The #hashtag allows all the relevant posts to be woven together to tell our story, and makes your post searchable by others interested in the issue.    

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Meet Petra Colindres, Member of the Grassroots Action Team
We're so excited for you to meet Petra Colindres, member of the Grassroots Action Team! Petra lives in Oklahoma and is a leading You're the Cure advocate. Get to know her and learn of her motivation to volunteer with You're the Cure.
 
Name: Petra Colindres
Occupation: RDN/LD, IBCLC – State Wellbeing Program Coordinator
How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association?  2-3 years
Why do you advocate to build healthier lives and communities, free of heart disease and stroke?
My heart belongs to children, that they lead healthier lives with better opportunities and health outcomes than we do currently. That’s why I advocate- these kids don’t have a voice or are allowed to make their own choices due to age, location, education. By helping change policy and addressing access issues helps redistribute disparities within our population. 
What is something in your life that you love? 
I love my family, my friends, and having purpose in my life and career. However, I especially love my newest addition, my son Bodie. 
What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off? 
There’s such thing as time-off? Ha! But, when I do have downtime I enjoy hosting cooking classes for kiddos, reading, and exploring the world with my family. Also, it’s a must that I have 30 minutes to hour of “me” time daily and do some exercise. Otherwise I go bonkers.
What excited you most about joining the GAT?
What the GAT is doing lines up right with my passion of early childhood nutrition. By addressing easier access to more nutritious food sources we can alleviate some of the poorer food options kids choose that lead to long-term health problems. 

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Thank you, Denver, for stepping up for health!

Recently over fifty Denver residents joined the American Heart Association and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in an event to celebrate the opening of two new protected bike lanes in the downtown area. Three protected bike lanes are now open downtown with more to come! This was a result of increased funding in the 2015 budget for multi modal transportation initiatives. In addition to unveiling the bike lane, Mayor Hancock also announced the passage of the 2016 budget which included $7.1 million for biking and walking and multi modal infrastructure.

It's advocates like you who stepped up and sent emails to the city council and attended budget hearings to show support for this community investment. With this funding dedication, Denver residents will soon be able to experience an optimal bikeable and walkable city.

The transportation investments include:
-Funding for a one full-time planner to head a "citywide, strategic approach to pedestrian infrastructure."
-$2.2 million to continue buildout of the city’s bicycle network
-Seven full-time employees dedicated to installing bike-ped infrastructure.
-$1 million for preliminary design work for bus rapid transit on East Colfax Avenue.
-Funding to create a citywide transit plan.
-Funding for two neighborhood traffic calming plans.
-$320,000 for eight (8) "enhanced multimodal crosswalks" in the city.
-$200,000 to study turning 21st Street near Coors Field into a "festival street" - an active public realm which includes expanded streetscapes, pedestrian seating areas, bike corrals, special event areas, etc


Please click here to send an email to Mayor Hancock and Denver city leadership for their support for healthier Denver!

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We're Excited About Mayor Hancock's Transportation Vision!

Bicycling and healthy heart advocates are so excited about Mayor Hancock's vision for a walking and biking friendly city!

Click here to support his vision for $7.1 million in active living proposals in the city budget.

The proposal includes:

  • Funding for a one full-time planner to head a "citywide, strategic approach to pedestrian infrastructure."
  • $2.2. million for Denver Moves, a plan to make the city truly bikeable.
  • Seven full-time employees dedicated to installing bike-ped infrastructure.
  • $1 million to create the initial design for bus rapid transit on East Colfax Avenue.
  • Funding to create a citywide transit plan.
  • Funding for two neighborhood traffic calming plans.
  • $320,000 for "enhanced multimodal crosswalks" on Speer Street and in other areas of the city.
  • $200,000 to study turning 21st Street near Coors Field into a "festival street" - an active public realm which includes expanded streetscapes, pedestrian seating areas, bike corrals, special event areas, etc.

Tell Mayor Hancock how excited you are about a heart healthy transportation future!

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