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Vermont Heart Walk to Highlight the Team Effort that Saved a Local Coach!

Vermont advocates pushed for passage of legislation in 2012 that required schools to teach students Hands-only CPR and the importance of an AED (automated external defibrillator). Its efforts like these that have raised awareness to the need for public access to defibrillation and a strong chain of survival. Many schools now have AEDs on hand, including at sporting events.

It’s a good thing. The American Heart Association’s Vermont Heart Walk on September 26th will highlight the successful effort that saved the life of Rice High School Girls’ Basketball Coach Tim Rice from a cardiac arrest during a game against CVU this winter. The CVU team had the foresight to bring their AED to the game with them. That AED, along with many quick actions from bystanders and EMS enabled the coach to give a thumbs up as he left the game instead of much worse outcome.

We’ll honor Cardiologist Ed Terrien, who performed CPR on Coach Rice that day. Join Dr. Terrien and hundreds of others walking at the Vermont Heart Walk at Oakledge Park in Burlington on September 26th to raise funds for life-saving research.

There will also be Heart Walks on September 12th in Swanton and September 19th in Berlin. You can register for any of the walks at www.vermontheartwalk.org. Do it today and make a commitment to save lives. Get your friends and family together for a great day and a great cause!

You can also ensure that your community and school have a strong chain of survival by contacting your local high school and asking if the school has an AED and making sure students are CPR-trained.

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PHONE BLITZ

IT'S TIME TO STOP VAPING IN WORKPLACES!  Time is running out in Albany to close the ecig loophole – yes, electronic cigarettes are allowed where smoking is prohibited! We are working to close this loophole…with just 2 legislative session days left, we need your help!  PHONE BLITZ TO ASSEMBLY AND SENATE LEADERS TODAY!! 

Leaving a message is easy…we do it all the time.  Simply call the numbers below and leave this message:

As a New York State resident, I urge you to pass legislation to include e-cigarettes in the Clean Indoor Air Act.

Senate Majority Leader Flanagan (518) 455-2071

Assembly Speaker Heastie (518) 455-3791

After you leave your message, just send a quick e-mail saying "done"  to julianne.hart@heart.org.

 When calling, you will likely just be asked for your name and hometown.  If you would like, here are other talking points:

  • Bill number is S2202 (FOR THE SENATE) and A5955 (FOR THE ASSEMBLY)
  • Why are e-cigarettes still allowed in places where you can't smoke?  The short answer is because e-cigarettes didn’t exist when the earlier law was passed.
  • What do we know about e-cigarettes?  That's the problem - we don't know enough. We need more research about the long-term health impact of e-cigarettes. 
  • We do know e-cigarettes are dangerous because they target young people, can keep people hooked on nicotine, and threaten to “re-normalize” tobacco use.
  • Even more disturbing, according to a new report from the CDC, e-cigarette use tripled among U.S. middle and high school students in just one year.

Let's close the e-cigarette loophole!  Thanks everyone!

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Setting a World Record During CPR Awareness Week

What better way to celebrate National CPR Week than to help set a world record on this life-saving skill in Times Square?!

Tommy and Julie Watson of Williston, VT traveled to NYC on June 4th to help the American Heart Association set a Guinness Word Record for Most People in a CPR Relay

Tommy, as an 8th grader in 2011, set a goal of training 100 people in Hands-only CPR. Since then, he helped the American Heart Association officially launch the Hands-only CPR Campaign, and has personally trained 1,532 people in this life-saving skill.

It only made sense to have this shining star join the AHA in the Big Apple again to set the Guinness Record. To do this, the AHA had to achieve at least 250 consecutive people successfully performing at least 60 proper compressions each on a single mannequin.  There couldn’t be any repeated participants and no more than 5 seconds between each turn. 

Congratulations Tommy and Julie for joining numerous other volunteers and staff to spread our mission at this important event. Tommy, who previously receive the American Heart Association’s National Youth Advocate of the Year Award, was presented with the AHA’s Heartsaver Award for his outstanding commitment to saving lives.

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Marketing of Unhealthy Foods in New Hampshire Schools Undermines Efforts to Instill Healthy Habits in Children

Preventing childhood obesity is one of the most important ways we can reduce the future risk of heart disease in adults. Tremendous progress has been made in school nutrition in recent years. There is overwhelming support among parents that their children have a healthier food environment during the school day. And in New Hampshire 98% of school districts have implemented the new nutrition guidelines for school meals under the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act. Yet food and beverage companies are still allowed to market junk food to students through giveaways like posters, scoreboards, coupon incentive programs and even on branded educational materials! Schools are not allowed to sell products that don’t meet the USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools Guidelines, so food and beverage companies should not be allowed to advertise these products. To learn more about public policies to help build healthy environments at school and in the community, please visit:  www.voicesforhealthykids.org.

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DC Council 101 - the Inside Scoop

In a town enthralled with government, becoming politically active can be a daunting adventure. Voyagers often discover the road to improved policy is tough and confusing. To alleviate this struggle, DC Council released a roadmap to help citizens navigate their way through DC’s distinctive system.

Council 101: Understanding the Legislative Process, follows treasured childhood figure, Schoolhouse Rock Bill, as he becomes a law. DC’s unique one house legislature makes getting involved easier than ever. Realizing that individuals have varying levels of policy-making expertise, this helpful little article includes three levels of intensity: 101, 102, and PhD.

Visit http://dccouncil.us/news/entry/council-101-understanding-the-legislative-process to read about it.

AHA’s You’re the Cure grassroots network is dedicated to creating easy ways for you to promote health policy. As a You’re the Cure advocate, you have access to all the necessary tools and resources to play a crucial role in the fight against heart disease and stroke. You can easily communicate with key legislators, communicate with advocates near you, and stay up-to-date on issues that matter most to you!

If you’re not already a member of this effective network, find out how easy it is to get involved. Join You’re the Cure today.

 

 

<Thanks to You’re the Cure intern Kassie Crook for help developing this blogpost>

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#StepUp4HeartHealth

Hundreds of You’re the Cure advocates are in Washington, D.C. today!   And we have a great group of NYers making the trip!  So what's everyone talking about?

Advocates will be telling lawmakers to support healthy school meals - Kids don't need junk food in schools. 

And we'll also be fighting for funding for medical research - it has the power to save lives.

You can help our advocates gathered in Washington, D.C. today in delivering a strong message to Congress – we can’t afford cuts to National Institutes of Health research. Take action here: http://p2a.co/9aEU5aY

Lets all #StepUp4HeartHealth

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American Heart Association Celebrates National Walking Day

By Violet Ruiz, Government Relations Director

The American Heart Association celebrated National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 1st! National Walking Day is celebrated on the first Wednesday in April and is meant to help Americans actualize ideal cardiovascular health. Even though National Walking Day is over – take time to tie up your sneakers, take a walk and celebrate your health every day!

On National Walking Day, Americans are encouraged to lace up their sneakers and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. Statistics show people stick to walking plans more than any other form of physical activity and walking is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke – the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers.

The other amazing thing about walking is that you don't have to wait until next year to get moving again. National Walking Day celebrations will come and go, but walking should be part of your daily exercise routine. Regular physical, such as walking, gardening, cycling, and climbing stairs can help you:

  • Lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Reduce or control blood pressure.
  • Raise HDL ("good") cholesterol.
  • Reduce your risk of diabetes and some kinds of cancer.
  • Sleep better.
  • Have more energy to do the things you love.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity. Walking has the lowest dropout rate of any other physical activity. If you can't carve 30 minutes out of your day to walk, just taking a few more steps in your day is a simple and effective place to start. It's really that easy. Or be creative and break up your activity into 10- or 15-minute increments. For example:

  • In the morning, park or get off the bus/train 10 minutes away from your job and walk briskly to work.
  • At lunch, walk for 10 minutes around where you work, indoors or outdoors.
  • At the end of the day, walk briskly for 10 minutes back to your car or station.

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Help us Take 5 for the Pledge

 

Thank you for your continued support of the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission.

Recently, we developed a full and robust campaign to help us drive sodium awareness and reduction efforts, featuring the tagline: “I love you Salt, but you’re breaking my heart.”



The goals of the campaign are:

  • increase awareness of how much sodium we eat and the impact excess sodium has on our health
  • build a base of supporters who will actively engage with decision makers to effect policy changes that reduce sodium in the food supply
  • inspire behavior changes to reduce the amount of sodium people eat

The American Heart Association’s goal is to build a movement to change America’s relationship with salt. We ask that you take the pledge to reduce your sodium consumption.  We plan to use these pledges to urge the FDA and food manufacturers to reduce sodium in the food supply. Why the food supply? Currently, the average American consumes more than twice as much sodium than the American Heart Association recommends, and nearly 80 percent of it is coming from pre-packaged and restaurant foods. Plus, when you take the pledge, you will receive information, tools and tips as to how you can personally reduce your sodium intake – break up with salt and save your heart a potential lifetime of heartache! 

We need your help in extending our reach significantly beyond our current base of supporters.

To do this, we set up a simple “Take 5 for the Pledge” process for you to follow:

Visit the website: www.sodiumbreakup.heart.org/pledge

  • Take the pledge
  • Send an email to 5 of your friends, family members or contacts and ask them to take the pledge

Please email Cherish Hart at Cherish.Hart@heart.org or Josh Brown at Josh.Brown@heart.org if you have any questions or need additional information. I truly appreciate you taking the time to help drive our sodium awareness efforts. Together, we can make a difference.

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Dr. Barb Frankowski tells lawmakers that a sugary drink tax could make the healthy choice the easy choice!

Warning that sippy cups were one of the worst inventions ever created, Vermont pediatrician Dr. Barb Frankowski recently urged House Ways and Means Committee members to take action to tax sugary drinks to fight obesity and improve dental health.

A portion of her testimony is excerpted below:

What do I see in my office?  Children drinking sugary beverages almost all the time.  I see it in the baby’s bottles and in the toddlers’ sippy cups.  Children and adolescents come in toting 20 ounce containers of everything from colas to sweetened iced teas to Gatorade.  How have we become such a thirsty nation?

Of course, the obesity epidemic is extremely complicated, and we can’t blame it all on sugary beverages.  BUT – sugary beverages do play an extremely significant role. 

Here are some facts:

  • Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages has increased 500% in the past 50 years, and is not the single largest category of caloric intake in children, surpassing milk in the late 1990s
  • A person who drinks one can (only 12 oz) of soda a day would gain 15 lbs in a year
  • Pure liquid sugar also does not “fill us up” or induce satiety, the same way that fast food (that also contains fat and protein) does. These empty calories do not make us feel full.  Therefore, there is inadequate calorie compensation - people are more likely to drink these extra calories in addition to other foods they are eating, rather than instead of these foods.

What is the burden of obesity from the medical point of view?  Well, we all know about diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  I do see some diabetes and hypertension in my pediatric practice.  But what do I see even more? I see kids who are depressed, I see kids who are bullied at school, I see kids who are truant from school because of the bullying and - they don’t want to participate in PE!

What does the research show?

  • Children who become overweight as preschoolers tend to stay overweight throughout childhood and into adolescents.  Overweight and obese adolescents tend to remain obese as adults.  Preventing obesity can be difficult, but it is MUCH easier than treating it!
  • Studies suggest that a 10% price increase for beverages through taxation would decrease consumption by about 8-10%

Why not just educate people?

  • There is NOTHING in soda that is good for you.  Do people think there is?
  • Smoking is bad for you – are there people who think it is good for them?
  • Health education and behavior change is complex – it works much better to make the healthier choice the easier (and more economical) choice.

 

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Urge Senators to Lift the Cap on Charitable Donations!

Please tell Senate Finance Committee members that limiting the amount of funds non-profit organizations can raise in Vermont to fund their missions is the wrong way to raise revenue.

The Vermont House has passed legislation that would cap itemized deductions at 2.5 percent of the state standard deduction ($15,500/individual; $31,000/couple). The bill, which reportedly raises $33.2 million, is now before the Senate Finance Committee. Please contact members of the Senate finance Committee at http://legislature.vermont.gov/committee/detail/2016/25 and tell them that such a cap could have an adverse effect on the good work the AHA is doing in Vermont.

In a response to Vermont’s non-profit community recently Senate Finance Committee Chair Tim Ashe stated the following, “…one thing is clear – Vermont’s tax system is in need of change. We currently tax the things that are not growing, and we do not tax the things that are growing. I am in no jag whatsoever to merely raise new taxes to “get us through this year.” We really do need a long-term approach so that both government and our non-profit partners have stable funding for planning and operational purposes.”

We agree. Please tell committee members that implementing excise taxes on tobacco and sugary drinks could raise significant revenue for the state but more importantly, deter unhealthy behaviors that lead to diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer that are costing the state millions.

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