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The Movement for Healthy Boulder Kids Continues!

The movement to combat childhood obesity in Boulder is now one step closer to officially being considered on the November election ballot. Earlier this summer, over 9,000 Boulder residents demonstrated their support for healthy Boulder kids by signing a petition to increase access to healthy foods, nutrition education, and physical activity, through revenue from a tax on sugary drinks.

A few weeks ago, the Boulder City Council voted unanimously in favor of this initiative. We are incredibly thankful for their overwhelming support and their consideration of the will of the voters. Stay tuned as we await the final vote of approval to advance this important health initiative to the November ballot.

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It’s going to take all of us, working together, to ensure a victory at the ballot box this November. AHA is committed to this work, but we need support from people like you to vote in favor of this critical public health measure. Join our campaign to combat childhood obesity and support healthy Boulder families!

Please email Vanessa.Fuentes@heart.org to learn how to get involved!

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Meet our Volunteer of the Month: Silvia Gutierrez-Reghunath

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the American Heart Association.  We are constantly amazed by our volunteers' commitment to advocate for healthier lives and to help save lives through policy change.  We are pleased to spotlight Silvia Gutierrez-Raghunath as this month's volunteer extraordinaire. Her passion and enthusiasm shine bright! Read below to learn more about Silvia and her why: 

Name: Silvia Gutierrez-Raghunath

Occupation: Researcher II/Promotora de Salud

How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association?

8 years

Why do you advocate to build healthier lives and communities, free of heart disease and stroke?

Because I have a child and he is my motivation, and I want to see my grandchild living free of heart disease and stroke. Because my mother died of heart disease and my father had 4 heart attacks, because I care about my community.

What are your passions and your interests in life?

I'm passionate about making a difference and helping others. I lost my father and my mother and ever since then, I have spent time volunteering to educate others (family and community) about how we can prevent heart disease. I also love getting to know patients and survivors on a personal level. I put my heart, mind and soul into even in my smallest acts. This is my real passion!

What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off?

I love spending quality time with my 9 year-old-son Diego and my husband Ramesh

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160,000 Petition Signatures Submitted to Help Reduce Smoking and Support Critical Health Care Needs and Medical Research
CAMPAIGN UPDATE:
The American Heart Association and You’re the Cure advocates joined over 65 partner organizations to gather over 160,000 signatures in support of an important public health measure. Supporters hope to raise the state cigarette tax in order to reduce smoking, support critical health care needs and fund medical research throughout the state. 
As active members of The Campaign for a Healthy Colorado movement, our mission began earlier this summer. After several weeks of intense work, we are thrilled to announce that over 160,000 signatures were delivered to the Colorado Secretary of State's office to advance this statewide ballot initiative. If passed, the cigarette tax increase will raise money for expanding mental-health services for children and veterans, while helping to stop kids from smoking and adults to quit. It will also provide an increased investment for research and treatment of smoking-related diseases.
NEXT STEPS:
The Office of the Secretary of State will now review the petition signatures and the official title given to the measure for the November ballot.
For more information on the campaign, please visit healthyco2016.com. If you would like to get involved, please email Vanessa.Fuentes@heart.org, Sr. Grassroots Director.

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Meet Jane Redford, Our Heart Warrior

Name: Jane Redford
Occupation: Director of Business Development at a tech company

How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association?

I’m just getting started after my open heart surgery (which was April 11). I’m getting involved in the Dallas area.

Why do you advocate to build healthier lives and communities, free of heart disease
and stroke?

Because I was fortunate enough to get a second chance. I want to help create second chances for more heart warriors.

What are your passions and your interests in life?

Adventure is my passion. I have a stacked bucket list. Now that I have this second chance, I’m more thrilled than ever to cross everything off of it. I’m want to cross most
of the items off with people I love. Life has never felt fuller and more exciting, and I want to share that with the people in my tribe. (I love being outdoors, being in the water (I’m most at home by a lake or ocean, traveling, cooking and writing.)


What is your all time favorite thing to do on your time off?

Travel! Camping, hiking, exploring a new city, etc.


Can you please share about the work you have been doing so far to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke?

Raising my voice as an advocate for heart disease early detection. I want to educate people on symptoms that indicate congenital heart disease, and how to prevent heart disease. I also want to use my voice to help all states adopt an early detection program for congenital heart disease.

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Heading to a Ballot Box Near You

Our movement to combat childhood obesity in Boulder is now officially underway. Over 9,000 Boulder residents demonstrated their support for healthy Boulder kids by signing a petition to get our public health initiative on the ballot!

Earlier this month, a coalition led effort, along with You're the Cure advocates, gathered signatures in support of a ballot measure that would ensure that all Boulder families have increased access to healthy foods, nutrition education, and opportunities for fitness and exercise, through revenue from a tax on sugary drinks. Through a collective effort we are thrilled to announce that this important measure will be heading to a ballot box near you come this November!

It’s going to take all of us, working together, to ensure a victory at the ballot box this November. AHA is committed to this work, but we need support from people like you to vote in favor of this critical public health measure. Join our campaign to combat childhood obesity and support healthy Boulder families!

Please email Vanessa.Fuentes@heart.org to learn how to get involved!

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The Campaign for a Healthy Colorado Begins!

Earlier this month, the American Heart Association and our partners formally launched The Campaign for a Healthy Colorado with a successful press conference. The AHA is partnered with other lead health organizations to work on this campaign, which provides us an opportunity to raise funding for important health initiatives through an increase on the cigarette tax and other tobacco related products at the state level. Many of our enthusiastic advocates attended and learned about how this ballot measure will benefit Colorado communities. It will help by reducing smoking and related health care costs, modernizing and improving care for youth and veterans, and propelling cutting-edge research to cure cancer and other major diseases. After the press conference, the advocates were trained on how to speak about this issue and how to become a petition circulator. Now our advocates are armed with skills to help us spread the word and gather signatures.

This measure will raise about $315 million a year, but it will only make it to the ballot with the help of the community. Please help the American Heart Association and the Campaign for a Healthy Colorado make Colorado a healthier state. We need more passionate advocates to spread the word in our communities! Will you help?

To help please visit: http://www.healthyco2016.com/ or email Vanessa.Fuentes@heart.org to learn more on how to get involved! 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Allison Pierce

Please meet our new American Heart Association volunteer leader and Arkansas State Advocacy Committee member, Dr. Allison Pierce.  

Hometown: Dallas, Texas     Current town: Springdale, Arkansas

Favorite movie: Stand By Me
Hobbies: cooking, gardening, home improvement projects, playing with my dogs
Pets: Kizzy (4-year-old blue heeler mix), Red (2-year-old boxer mix), Bill and Pi (2-year-old carpet pythons)

Role model: When in doubt, I look to my mother, who taught me patience, accountability, honesty, kindness, and generosity while making sure I understood that life is precious and to be lived fully every day.

Greatest achievement: I am an aunt to a wonderful four-year-old named Lily, and there is another little one on the way. While this is not necessarily my own achievement, it has brought me more joy than anything else I have experienced, and I have absolutely loved getting to know my younger sister as the beautiful nurturer that she has become. As far as my own achievements, I am looking forward to finishing my psychiatry residency. The path to becoming a physician has required years of focus and commitment, so that day will be quite a milestone.

Two celebrities or historical figures you would want to have dinner with (living or not) and why them? This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many. Maya Angelou comes to mind since her writing has been an inspiration to me for almost my entire life. I hear she could throw a great party, and I would love to talk to her about life, love, politics, and a host of other topics. Slavenka Drakulic is another strong and passionate woman who has inspired me. She endured the oppression of communism and still found joy in life while standing up to her oppressors, often at great risk to herself. She has inspired me in many ways, and I would enjoy hearing some of the more personal stories that don't make it into her writings. If I were hosting a dinner for historical figures or celebrities, it would most certainly be a large group.

Why is advocating with the AHA important to you? Heart disease runs in my family, so it is an issue that hits close to home for me. In my experience as a physician, I have seen the far reaching social, physical, and mental effects of heart disease. It is largely preventable, and advocacy is an integral component in providing education and resources that will empower people to take care of themselves.

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Volunteers Raise Their Voice at the Colorado Springs Heart Walk

A group of dedicated volunteers joined us at the Colorado Springs Heart Walk last weekend to raise their voice in support of stroke smart and heart healthy policies!  We were amazed and inspired by their enthusiasm and commitment to recruit You're the Cure advocates to join the fight against heart disease and stroke. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Without the support of these dedicated heart advocates and stroke heroes, we wouldn't be able to advance our mission of building healthier lives. Thank you to our You're the Cure advocates for all they do in keeping up the good fight!

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Launching Operation: 100,000

The American Heart Association, along with partner organizations, is working to ensure a Tobacco Tax increase makes it on the ballot this year, and we need your help! An increase in the tobacco tax will help reduce smoking rates, prevent young people from becoming smokers, and help to save lives. Join us in our mission for a healthier Colorado!

While we are up against the powerful Tobacco Industry, we're confident our You're the Cure advocates will help us achieve our mission of securing 100,000 signatures to fight for a healthier community!

Last weekend's Heart Walk was the first stop on our mission to secure 100,000 signatures from registered voters. If you would like to join our mission and be part of our fight for better public health, get involved today!

We need all of the help we can get in this fight. If you would like to volunteer, please email Vanessa.Fuentes@heart.org. 

 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Caitlyn Cook, Miss Central Arkansas 2016

Caitlyn is a hands-only CPR presenter and educator for the American Heart Association and American Red Cross; Zumba Instructor at University of Central Arkansas HPER Center; Titleholder in the Miss Arkansas Organization (Miss Central Arkansas 2016)

Name: Caitlyn Cook

Hometown: Conway, Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Spot: Mykonos, Greece

Favorite Movie: Gone With the Wind

Hobbies: Singing, Greek and Middle Eastern dancing, fitness training, instructing Zumba Fitness, and competing in pageants.

Why is advocacy with the AHA important to you?

Having lost friends and family members due to heart related issues, I became inspired to find an organization that aligned with my passion of living a heart healthy life. When finding the American Heart Association, I knew I had found the perfect fit for my advocacy. This discovery led to finding my role within this worthy organization as an ambassador for Hands-Only CPR to save lives. I have presented and educated to over 6,000 students and adults in the past two years. My goal is to impact over 10,000 lives on the importance of being emergency prepared.

To learn more about Hands-Only CPR CLICK HERE.

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