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Kimberly Goodloe, Atlanta

Our 2015-16 Georgia Advocacy Committee is composed of 12 individuals from across the state with different occupations, who have a great interest in advocating for policy change for heart-health issues. Throughout the year, we will introduce some of our members. Today, we'd like you to meet long time volunteer, Kimberly Goodloe of Atlanta.

Occupation: American Heart Association Advocate Hero and Volunteer

How long have you been a volunteer with the AHA and in what capacity? Since, May 2010.

[Volunteer Advocacy Resume]

May 2010:  American Heart Association ( volunteer)

November 2011:  Go  Red For Women Passion Committee Member

2013:  You’re The Cure Advocate

October 2013 :  Georgia Advocacy Subcommittee Member

January 2014 & 2015 :  ML KING Celebration/United Ebony Society; Health Fair Coordinator  :  Lawrenceville, Georgia

July  2015:  National Volunteer Ambassador; American Heart Association’s Heart Valve Disease Program

July 2015: Community Champion:  American Heart Association Heart Walk  Committee

July 2015:  Vice Chair:  Georgia Advocacy Subcommittee Member

Who or what inspires you to help and volunteer your time to the work of the American Heart Association?  I love to encourage heart/stroke patients and their caregivers by sharing my story of survival  from three  surgeries because so many people are suffering in silence.

What heart healthy issue is most important to you and why?  Staying Active: it’s good for my heart.

What are two ways you keep yourself healthy?  Making healthy food choices & exercising

How is your community healthy that makes you proud?  Smoke free air,  beautiful community parks, many sidewalks, and bike lanes

How do you stay updated on current public policies in your state?  By responding to the You’re The Cure Alerts  & reading valuable information posted on the You’re The Cure & American Herat Association website(s)

If you could help advocate for one change in your state, what would it be and why?   Advocate for the uninsured; because so many people are in need of affordable  healthcare in our state.

Do you have a favorite American Heart Association/American Stroke Association event you annually attend?  What is your motivation to participate?  I love attending the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon , Go Red Lobby Day at the Georgia State Capitol and Metro Atlanta  Heart Walk. During Lobby Day, I am given the opportunity to share my journey and health care topics with state lawmakers. At the luncheon, I enjoy the great food, fun and fellowship with other volunteers, survivors and staff.  I enjoy the Heart Walk because I love raising funds to support medical research and walk in honor of every family affected by heart disease and stroke.

Have you attended a state or federal lobby day on behalf of the AHA?  If so, please briefly explain your experience. Yes, I traveled to Washington D.C. in April 2013.  I attended the Medical Rally and American Heart Association You’re The Cure Lobby Day.  It was such a pleasure to attend the rally and meet with the various state lawmakers. Sharing my heart journey and using my voice to advocate for the uninsured patients throughout the state of Georgia brings me great satisfaction.

What have you learned in your time being a You’re the Cure advocate?  It’s important ( as an heart disease survivor) to use my voice, gift of service to help empower the community.

Why would you tell a friend or family member to join You’re the Cure?  To learn more about public policy and encourage them to become educated in all the wonderful things the American Heart Association is involved in for healthy changes not only in Georgia, but across the nation.

Tell us one unique thing about yourself.  Despite my daily health obstacles,  I keep moving forward helping the community live a happier, healthier, lifestyle.

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Georgia Legislative Session Wrap-Up

The 2016 Legislative Session has ended and we are happy to report that we finished strong! We were able to pass legislation that will create a new level of Comprehensive Stroke Hospital Designation to protect and serve our citizens who suffer a stroke. We received full funds from the Tobacco Settlement and Medicaid was also fully funded.

Lawmakers heard the voice of our You’re the Cure network loud and clear! We could not have done our job without the efforts of all our volunteers.

Please click here to see a full session wrap up report. If you have any questions, feel free to email gsa.advocacy@heart.org with any questions.  Be sure to stay up to date with Georgia advocacy efforts on our You're the Cure Georgia Facebook page, as well as, on our Twitter page @YouretheCureGA.

Thank you for your time and support. We hope you’ll continue to join us as we advocate for policies that build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

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AHA President Says: The Science is Clear on Sodium Reduction

Check this out! In a new video, the President of the AHA, Dr. Mark Creager, explains that the science behind sodium reduction is clear. He says that robust evidence has linked excess sodium intake with high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. And, he points out that you can do something about it: join AHA’s efforts to demand change in the amounts of sodium in our food supply.

“Nearly 80 percent of the sodium we eat comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods” says AHA president Dr. Mark Creager. The video shows the 6 foods that contribute the most salt to the American diet: breads & rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup, and sandwiches."

To see the video, head over to our Sodium Breakup blog!

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Update from the Georgia State Capitol

Good news from the State Capitol! Our top priority – Stroke Designation – has passed the House and is expected to make its first stop in the Senate very soon.

Urge the Senate Health and Human Services Committee to vote YES on improving stroke care in Georgia!

When it comes to stroke, time loss is brain loss. To help stroke patients receive the right care at the right time, the Georgia Legislature passed legislation in 2008 to create facility designations for Primary and Remote Stroke Ready facilities.

Now, it’s time to update the policy to reflect advances in stroke treatment and therapy. Specifically, we’re advocating for the addition of a third designation: Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

Join us in our efforts to help more stroke patients receive the proper care. Click here to send your message now!

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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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Elaine Franklin, Atlanta

Guest Blogger: Elaine Franklin

In December 2010 during my annual physical at Emory Executive Health, I was told all tests were excellent - no problems and taking no medications. Six weeks later, on February 6, 2011, my husband heard me call for him and I explained my vision had suddenly changed to wavy lines. Within five minutes my speech became slow, reaction to questions delayed, and I fell asleep. He called 9-1-1. The dispatcher guided him as she suspected that I was having a stroke and sent an ambulance. My husband, grown children and four close friends gathered with the hospital chaplain to hope and pray. 

Fast action and tests at Northside Hospital confirmed a clot stroke and the neurologist received permission to give tPA. Thankfully, the medicine worked for me. I woke up and responded to all questions and tasks. The neurologist conducted further tests and in less than 48 hours I returned home.

My primary care physician at Emory University Clinic and his neuro-stoke associate implemented other tests and later encouraged me to “go live life.” For one year, I took a blood thinner and a statin drug. Now, I take supplements, an aspirin, and statin on a daily basis.    

Thirty-five years ago, my father had a clot stroke at the age of 67 and did not have access to tPA. It took him a full year to regain speech and mobility, and he was impaired until his death at age 76. I was 63 at the time of my stroke.  Since my stroke five years ago, I wake up every day grateful and committed to live a life of service to others with less stress, a healthy diet and regular exercise. When asked if I am afraid, I reply, “I let go and let God."

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Take the You're the Cure Advocate Survey

2015 was a great year for You're the Cure advocates and the many policy efforts that you work on. We have big plans for 2016, and we want to hear from you and what you want to see in the future for You're the Cure.

So take the survey now and let your voice be heard.

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Georgia Legislators Celebrate National Wear Red Day

Last week the Georgia House of Representatives recognized February 5 as National Wear Red Day, a day aimed at increasing awareness of heart disease in women. Members of the American Heart Association’s Georgia Advocacy Committee and representatives from Piedmont were at the capitol to receive the resolution.

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.

We thank the Georgia House of Representatives for recognizing National Wear Red Day. Together, we’re banding together as a force for change, for each other and for our future.

Learn more about heart disease in women at GoRedForWomen.org. 

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New Study Links Sugar-Sweetened Drinks to Increased Visceral Fat

Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages every day was associated with an increase in a particular type of body fat that may affect diabetes and heart disease risk, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation.

Data from the Framingham Heart Study — federally supported, ongoing research that has advanced the understanding of cardiovascular disease — showed that among middle-aged adults, there was a direct correlation between greater sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and increased visceral fat.

Visceral fat or “deep” fat wraps around a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. Visceral fat affects how our hormones function and is thought to play a larger role in insulin resistance – which may boost Type 2 diabetes and heart disease risk.

Read more at 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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