American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
2014 Tennessee Legislative Wrap Up

The Tennessee General Assembly adjourned its 2014 session on Thursday, April 17, 2014. The highlights of the session for the American Heart Association include:

  • Healthy Food Financing (HHF) legislation
  • Electronic Cigarette (e-cig) legislation
  • Formation of a Nutrition caucus.

The HFF legislation had two very strong sponsors and made its way through both the house and senate committees, but stalled due to no agency stepping up to house it. The Electronic Cigarette bill would have erased a lot of the progress we have made in this state to fight against tobacco. We managed to stop the e-cig bill without it even making it to a hearing by working closely with the Health Department. Senator Mark Norris announced to formation of a Nutrition Caucus in which both the House and Senate will be part of. The American Heart Association is a partner in this and involved with its kick off.

A lot of progress has been made on our policy agenda, but we have just started. Healthy Food Financing will be on our policy agenda again for 2015 and we ask you to be a vocal supporter of it. Other polices are in the works to improve the health of our state and we can only accomplish them with your help.

Read More

How to Make Tennessee Healthier in 2014

The 2014 session of the Tennessee General Assembly will convene at noon on Tuesday, January 14.  Excitement is building about the potential policy changes that will aid in making Tennessee healthier and a state others can learn from.  We will play an important role in crafting these policies and YOUR VOICE is incredibly important to the work that the American Heart Association does at the Tennessee State Capitol. 

Our overall goal is to support and advocate for public policies that will help improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths by coronary heart disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.

Over the next several months, we'll send action alerts to You're the Cure advocates, updating them on our issues and offering them the chance to help by emailing or calling lawmakers or even visiting the State Capitol.  We ask all advocates to please take the time to respond to these requests – it truly only takes a minute.  Legislators want and need to hear from you, their constituents. The American Heart Association has found that effective grassroots campaigns are vital to making positive changes to health policy in the state of Tennessee.  

Also, be sure to "Like" us on our You're the Cure- Tennessee Facebook page.  This is a great place to stay updated with the latest advocacy activity in Tennessee.  

You are the cure!

Read More

On the Horizon for the Mississippi 2014 Legislative Session

Over the past several months, You’re the Cure advocates and American Heart Association staff have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session.  Session begins on January 7.  You should have received several You’re the Cure emails that explained our two issues in Mississippi: CPR Education in Schools and Healthy Food Financing

Making sure that ALL of Mississippi’s high school students know CPR by the time they graduate will position thousands of CPR-trained bystanders in the community.  This “next generation of lifesavers” will be able to save lives, maybe even yours.  They will be ready, willing and able to act whenever they witness an emergency at home or within the community. These important actions can potentially save thousands of lives every year.

Creating the healthy food financing initiative will aid in breaking down economic barriers and providing healthy choices to Mississippians that live in food deserts.  Research indicates that people who live in communities without a supermarket suffer from disproportionately high rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related health problems.  This situation is pressing; Mississippi spends an estimated $ 1 billion dollars each year treating obesity related diseases.  Providing Mississippians with greater access to nutritious, affordable food will help alleviate these public health concerns, as well as, unnecessary and preventable statewide health expenses.

Both of these issues are important to the future health of our state.  They will not be possible without your help!!  Throughout the legislative session, we are asking that you please take action on alerts that show up in your email inbox, talk to your lawmakers when you see them, and ask others to join in the effort.  Click here to invite your friends, family, and co-worker to join You’re the Cure today!

Watch how easy it is to join You're the Cure and start letting your voice be heard today!

Read More

Welcome Tennessee's New Government Relations Director

We are excited to announce that Bernard Reynolds is the new Tennessee Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association.

Prior to the American Heart Association, Bernard has spent his career in the corporate, government and nonprofit arenas. Most recently, he has been working as a contract lobbyist with a firm that he and his wife Ellen started. As a contract lobbyist, Bernard represented the American Heart Association on several occasions. He has an eleven year old son, Carter, who lives in Nashville with his mother. Bernard has been involved with fundraising and awareness for Mitochondrial Disease, a rare disease that he lost his daughter to.

Bernard is glad to be joining our team and looks forward to bringing his experience working with American Heart Association in Georgia to Tennessee. You will start hearing from him soon on the important issues of Tennessee.

Read More

Governor Haslam Will Not Expand Medicaid Coverage Right Now

Governor Bill Haslam made his long-awaited decision on expanding Medicaid on March 27th, where he announced that he would not expand Medicaid coverage now, but perhaps later, under the right circumstances.  The governor made the much anticipated announcement in an address to a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly.  The governor said he would not recommend Tennessee move toward accepting billions of federal dollars made available for expanding TennCare under the Affordable Care Act.  Instead he offered what he called the “Tennessee Plan”, a hybrid plan similar to what has been proposed in Arkansas, who chose to use the federal funds to purchase private insurance plans for eligible recipients. 

 Nationally, the American Heart Association has come out in favor of expanding Medicaid to improve health care for low-income families and individuals.  In Tennessee, the expansion of Medicaid would mean more than 181,000 low-income Tennesseans would be provided the security of quality health coverage in the first year.  It is still unclear as to what impact Governor Haslam’s decision will have in its current form.

Read More

Thank you for a GREAT Day on the Hill!

On March 13th, the Tennessee Obesity Taskforce and the American Heart Association held its 2013 Day on the Hill activities. 
This year we had well over 60 people attend and those volunteers took part in 43 scheduled one-on-one meetings with their legislators.  It was a great day and I have had a lot of positive feedback about the meetings that were held with legislators.  We would like to say THANK YOU to each of you who made time out of their busy day to attend, and for those who weren’t able to, there’s always next year!  To see the issues we discussed with our lawmakers, please visit this link:

Read More

Pulse Oximetry Law Goes into Effect in Tennessee

On January 1, a new state law went into effect mandating that children will be screened at birth for Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD). 

The Tennessee government relations staff worked extensively with the Tennessee Department of Health and Senate sponsor, Doug Overbey, himself diagnosed with a CCHD, to ensure doctors can detect CCHD early and provide immediate care that will reduce their future heart complications and extend their lives.

Congenital heart disease is responsible for more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defects.  Although few newborns in Tennessee have heart defects, they can be fatal if not treated.

A pulse oximeter is a non-evasive device which uses a light emitter with infrared LEDs that shines through a reasonably translucent site with good blood flow.  It is usually attached to the infant’s foots of the palm of the hand. The procedure allows medical professionals to evaluate any potential problems with CCHD.

Read the news story here from

Read More

Tennessee Update for October 2012

Hello Tenessee Advocates,

Here's the latest update from Rick Casebeer, our Government Relations Director, about the work going on across your state.

Healthy Vending in Memphis

On September 18, a conference call took place to discuss the Healthy Vending initiative in Shelby County/Memphis.  The initiative is being undertaken by the Shelby County Department of Health and Healthy Memphis Common Table.  We had a very good discussion with Dr. Robinson and others on the call with him updating us on the effort and with us offering any assistance that we can offer as an organization going forward.  We left the dialog open for future discussion as we described that our (AHA’s) vending standards are still being developed and are awaiting scientific outcomes.  

If you're interested in healthy vending, check out some of the stories that have been published on this topic:

Advocacy Sub-Committee Conference Call

During the advocacy subcommittee conference call on September 24, 2012.  The committee agreed that the following policy priorities would be the focus of the efforts going into the upcoming Tennessee General Assembly, which begins January 8, 2013.

  • Food Deserts/Access to Fresh Foods
  • Procurement/Healthy Vending
  • Support of Coordinated School Health Program Funding

Read More

[+] Blogs[-] Collapse