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Cutting Funding for Tobacco Prevention is a Step Backwards

Despite the historic successes of Vermont’s tobacco control program, tobacco use is still the number one preventable cause of death and disease. While we’ve made great headway, there is more work that needs to be done and the program is at risk.

 

The Governor’s proposed budget would cut nearly $245,000 this coming year, reducing funds to the health department and eliminating funding for the independent Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board. 

 

This cut in prevention funding will only move Vermont backwards in the state’s efforts to control skyrocketing healthcare costs. Vermont currently spends $348 million each year on tobacco-attributable health care expenses.

 

Tobacco use still claims the lives of 1,000 Vermonters annually.  400 children become new daily smokers each year and 10,000 Vermont children currently alive today will die prematurely from smoking. We have populations where smoking rates are high – over 20% of Vermont’s college-age youth smoke and smoking rates for those with low incomes or serious mental illness are at or above 30%.

 

Help us urge Vermont lawmakers and the Governor to maintain funding for the tobacco program to reduce these numbers and support a significant increase in the tobacco tax – proven measures that will reduce smoking in Vermont. Click the link below to take action today!

 

https://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/actioncenter.aspx

 

 

 

 

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How Heartsafe Is Your Town?

New Hampshire’s Heartsafe Communities grew in number this year to 22 cities and towns which have taken action to strengthen their chain of survival from cardiac arrest. A Heartsafe Community is one that has taken steps to develop and implement a lifesaving network by coordinating local resources to prevent sudden cardiac arrest from becoming sudden cardiac death.

With more lay-rescuers trained and ready to give CPR immediately, and with more automated external defibrillators (AED) placed in public places, as well as first responders equipped and ready to use AEDs when they arrive on the scene, we can double or even triple the survival rate from cardiac arrest. New Hampshire’s HeartSafe Communities now include Manchester, Derry, Milford, Lyme, Hampton, Chester, Concord, Goffstown, Henniker, Hudson, Keene, Lancaster, Lincoln, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Rochester, Swanzey, Walpole, Woodstock, Laconia, Bedford and Enfield NH.

A Community is designated "Heartsafe" by the NH Bureau of EMS and the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health. The community earns ‘heartbeat’ points for the number of CPR trained residents and AED placement. Training all students in CPR would be included in reaching the Community CPR points. Is your community ready to be "Heartsafe"?

http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/fstems/ems/defibrillators/heart_safe.html

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Kids can't eat healthy foods if they don't have a healthy choice…

Did you know low-income neighborhoods have 50 percent fewer supermarkets than the wealthiest neighborhoods? 

For millions of people around the country—many of them kids—the fast choice is the only choice when it comes to food.  But things don’t have to be this way.  Healthy food financing initiatives can help...and everyone should have easy access to the fresh, healthy food our bodies need to stay well. 

In New York State, six out of ten adults are considered overweight or obese.  That’s 8.5 million New Yorkers that are struggling!  The state's Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund can help communities across New York by providing the funding needed to create supermarkets and mobile markets. 

Providing healthy food, creating jobs and revitalizing the economy...now that sounds like a win for kids and families!

You can help bring healthy food to communities across New York, create jobs and revitalize NY’s economy too—by speaking out in support of  the state's Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund. 

Let's help give kids and families a healthy choice.

 

 

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New maps provide insight on access to supermarkets in New York State

For millions of people around the country—many of them children—the fast choice is the only choice when it comes to food.  Newly created maps paint a picture of the problem.  View below to see maps outlining supermarket sales and income data in New York State.  Additional blog posts on yourethecure.org outline supermarket sales and income in New York City, Syracuse and Buffalo.

 

 

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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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Go Red For Women this Heart Month

Go Red For Women is about much more than wearing red on National Wear Red Day. It’s about making a change. Here are a few ways you can make a change today: Go to GoRedForWomen.org to learn what you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Encourage your family and friends to take small steps toward healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke, too.

Explain “What it means to Go Red” by sharing the following acronym:

  • Get Your Numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
  • Own Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
  • Raise Your Voice: Advocate for more women-related research and education.
  • Educate Your Family: Make healthy food choices for you and your family. Teach your kids the importance of staying active.
  • Donate: Show your support with a donation of time or money.

Cardiovascular diseases cause one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute. An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases. 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. 80% of heart disease and stroke events could be prevented. Cardiovascular diseases kill more women than men. Unfortunately, fewer women than men survive their first heart attack and women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men. Each year, about 55,000 more women than men have a stroke.

For more information, please visit GoRedForWomen.org.

The facts show that women who are involved with the Go Red movement live healthier lives.

  • Nearly 90% have made at least one healthy behavior change.
  • More than one-third has lost weight.
  • More than 50% have increased their exercise.
  • 6 out of 10 have changed their diets.
  • More than 40% have checked their cholesterol levels. One third has talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
  • More than 620,000 women have been saved from heart disease and stroke over the past 10 years.

About 300 fewer women are dying per day

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Last Chance to Register for the MN Legislative Breakfast!

The Minnesota Legislative Breakfast is coming up next Wednesday February 18th at the Kelly Inn!  Register now to join advocates from Minnesota to speak with legislators in a strong, unified voice about the importance of acute care issues when treating heart disease and stroke. During this event you will have the opportunity to learn more about our system of care policy efforts and speak to lawmakers about the importance of supporting a strong statewide system of care to treat stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Breakfast is included. No cost to attend but advanced registration is required.

Don't miss out on this great even and register here now or call Jess at (952) 278-7928.

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Want To Make A Difference? Here's How!

With 2015 legislative sessions underway, it’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on ways that advocates can make a difference.

How Can You Make an Impact? Here are some examples:

Take Action (and make it personal): When you receive an action alert quickly take action! It’s important to respond when an alert enters your email box; often-times, they contain opportunities to reach out to your legislators on an important issue, and may involve a time sensitive committee hearing or legislative vote – so we recommend that you take action without delay! Don’t forget to let your legislators know why the issue is important to YOU in your communication - that is what they want to hear, why this issue is important to their constituents! Then take that next step, share the alert on social media, and encourage others to take action. Let your friends and family know what you’re up to – and that you’re saving lives with You’re the Cure.

Build the Relationship: Your local contact with lawmakers is critical to ensuring they have information about why issues are important to you and their district. You help draw the connection between state policy choices and local impacts. How can you do this? Think about which of your elected officials you may know – can you cultivate that relationship to make it stronger? Send a personal note with thoughts on the issues you care about. This can really get a lawmakers attention.  Request a meeting and work with your state Grassroots Director to identify others from your community to join (we suggest no more than 4) so that you can provide education on the AHA issues. Consider inviting your elected official to speak to your church or other civic group to share their insights on the policy process.

Above all, it is important to always be respectful, helpful, and clear about what your perspective is and how you hope your elected official can help. We are always available to provide you talking points and guidance.

Attend Advocacy Events: Your state advocacy team will offer trainings, both in-person and via teleconference, which provide a great opportunity to not only learn more about the hot button issues in your state and community, but also offer you the opportunity to meet other great advocates like yourself! Want to know if there is an event coming up in your state? Reach out to your state Grassroots Directors, Keltcie Delamar if you live in MD, DC, or VA or to Kim Chidester if you live in NC or SC, to learn more about what is going on in your area!

Update Your Profile: We want to send you action alerts about issues you want to hear about. Please take a moment and make sure to update your profile. Go to www.yourethecure.org, log in to your account, and click on your name in the top right corner of the screen to access your profile information. Here, you can also select your interests on the "my interest" tab to make sure you are getting emails about the issues that are important to you!

In addition to indicating the issues you are interested in, you can update your contact information so we stay in touch.

Stay in the Know: Watch for our blog posts and updates—they are full of information about what is going on currently, and be sure to share on social media and comment when there is an opportunity. Be sure to stay in touch with your state Grassroots and Government Relations Directors. As your AHA staff partners, your Grassroots and Government Relation Directors are a resource to you and will help provide you with key information—so keep in touch!

Make 2015 the year when you take your advocacy work one step higher – pick one of the ideas and try it out! You will make a difference.

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Campaign to Pass a Sugary Drink Tax Picking Up Steam! You Can Help!

Campaign Launched at Press Conference! The American Heart Association along with the Alliance for a Healthier Vermont officially launched our effort to pass a 2 cent per ounce excise tax on sugary drinks at a Statehouse press conference on January 20th. The result? Legislators, media and Vermonters are talking about the effort!

At the press conference, Alliance for a Healthier Vermont Campaign Director Anthony Iarrapino said a portion of the $34 million in revenue from the tax could be used to fund affordable health care programs, help subsidize the purchase of healthy foods for low-income Vermonters, and increase funding to create a more comprehensive state obesity prevention program.

 “Education alone is not enough to improve health and reduce health care costs. A two-cent-per-ounce excise tax modeled on the successful tobacco tax can level the playing field for healthier beverage choices like milk and water, while also raising substantial new revenue for health care, food access, and other pressing needs,” he said.

 American Heart Association national nutrition committee member Rachel Johnson added, “Food is essential to life, but sugary drinks are not.  Sugar-loaded drinks contribute only empty, nutrient void calories to the diet and increase the risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.”

 More than 30 Vermont organizations are now part of the Alliance in support of the sugary drink tax, including the state’s hospitals and the largest low income advocacy group.

 We're in the news and editors are supporting the tax! We’ve been in the news quite a bit as we continue to talk up the effort with lawmakers and media, and we’ve received editorials from the Rutland Herald, Addison Independent and St. Albans Messenger in support of the tax. Check out some of the stories and share on social media:

 You can help! If you haven’t taken action yet to support our efforts, there are many ways you can help. We can't do it without you!

  • Go to the Alliance web site and sign our resolution. www.healthiervt.org
  • Urge your family and friends to get involved. Just text HEALTHYVT to 5-2-8-8-6. It’s easy!
  • Take a sugar-free selfie of you or your family drinking a healthy drink and send it to us to post and the American Heart Association and Alliance Facebook pages. Email Tina.Zuk@heart.org and post on your own page as well!

 

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