American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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Please Join Us at a Heart & Stroke Walk

We are having a lovely summer this year in Washington and while I don’t want to fast forward the calendar, I do want to take a moment and invite you to join us at one of three Heart & Stroke Walks in Washington this fall:

Spokane – September 10th at Riverfront Park

South Sound- Saturday, October 8th at Cheney Stadium

Puget Sound- Saturday, October 15th at Seattle Center

The Heart & Stroke Walk celebrates survivors, those we’ve lost to cardiovascular diseases and stroke; and those who have pledged to live healthier lifestyles.

Create a team with your co-workers or family and friends and join us at this free family event! Join us for a morning of healthy snacks, music, walking, raising awareness, and help raise the dollars needed to fund life-saving research and community initiatives.

In 2013, 13,176 people in Washington died from heart disease and stroke. We, the American Heart Association, want to lower that number and that is why we’d love to see you create a team!

We hope to see you at the Heart Walk!

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The 2016 Oahu Heart Walk is just around the corner

The Heart Walk celebrates those who have made lifestyle changes and encourages many more to take the pledge to live healthier lifestyles while raising the dollars needed to fund life-saving research and initiatives in our local community.

Come walk with us Saturday, August 13th at Kapi`olani Park. The festival opens at 6:30 a.m. and the walk kicks off at 7:30 a.m.


This free family event includes:

  • A health fair & preventative screenings
  • Kids' Zone
  • CPR training
  • FREE heart-healthy snacks & beverages!

Create a Community Team!  Each year more than 3,100 people in Hawaii die from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. There’s still time to recruit friends and family to walk with you and raise money for a great cause.

Be sure to stop by the advocacy booth and sign a postcard in support of adding CPR training in Hawaii high schools. If you are interesting in helping at the advocacy booth please click here to email Don Weisman.

We hope to see you on August 13th!

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Spring is in the air, and that means many exciting activities at the AHA

Guest Blogger: Erin Bennett, Idaho Government Relations Director

The legislative session will wrap up any day but we are happy to announce the Governor signed the appropriations bill for the Millennium Fund, with $4.7 million dedicated to tobacco prevention, cessation, and treatment. That is an increase of over $1.5 million from last year’s funding. During session we were also able to discuss with Legislators the importance of physical education and nutrition in schools, and will work during the interim with Legislators, the Department of Education, and other organizations to improve the health of all Idaho students.

Another big spring event for the American Heart Association is our annual Heart and Stroke Walk. We are in the middle of preparations for the walk, which will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at Julia Davis Park in Boise. We have a number of teams signed up but it’s not too late to register if you are interested in participating in this great event. We are excited to have people join us at this free community event promoting heart health.

Make sure to swing by the Advocacy booth to learn more about what we will be working on in the upcoming months. We will be spreading the word on our efforts to help cities go smoke free, helping eliminate the harms of second hand smoke on workers throughout Idaho. We will also be educating people on the high amount of sodium in most of our diets and how it effects our heart health. Be sure to sign the sodium pledge and commit to reducing your sodium intake in an effort to love your heart.

I encourage you to join us for the Heart Walk, gather your own team, or join a friend’s and register here: Boise Heart Walk. Stop by our booth and learn about all the exciting things we’ll be doing over the next few months to advocate for the health of all Idahoans.

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Back to School - Join Us As We Advocate for Healthy Policies for Our Children

written by Marc Watterson, Government Relations Director, Utah

Like many of you, I look forward to the fall season! Truth be told I’m not a huge fan of the heat and I have always loved Utah’s cooler fall climate. Fall brings with it many wonderful things – the excitement of professional, college, and high school football, little-league soccer, shopping sales, and the beginning of a new school year.

This year was a completely new one for me as a parent as our oldest daughter began kindergarten! It was a bittersweet moment as we helped her get ready that first morning and watched her board the bus for her first day of school. Her excitement was contagious as she anxiously got to her seat and began waving to us through the school bus window. We continued to wave as the bus pulled down the street and out of sight.

I can only imagine how many times this same scene played out across the state as many of you watched children or grandchildren leave for school.

As parents – or even relatives – to these young children, we want the very best for them. We want them to grow up in a world full of opportunities, where they can fulfill their dreams and aspirations. Whatever the situation, wherever they might be, we want to make sure that children are provided with the best, and safest, environment possible.

This became very apparent to me this past year as – like many of you – we heard tragic stories of young children who were hurt or killed on their way to and from school. The stories pull at our heartstrings as we realize how important safe routes to school are and just how fragile life can be. It is the recognition of the importance of life that fuels us as advocates for the American Heart Association. Together, we have done amazing things!

Just last year we rallied together to encourage the Department of Health to create a new recognition system that identifies those hospitals in the state who strive for the very best in patient care when it comes to treating those who suffer a stroke. Many of you joined with us at the state capitol for our annual Heart on the Hill day where we successfully lobbied our state legislators to restore funding to the CPR and AED in Schools Training Program. Because of you, every sophomore in Utah will have the chance to be trained in CPR and how to use an AED as part of their Health class! Together, we have laid the framework that will help create a generation of lifesavers for years to come!

And while it would be easy to sit back and count our victories, there is still so much more that can be done here in Utah. This year, we set our sights on improving the health of all Utahns – especially our children.

The American Heart Association|American Stroke Association is teaming up with the Utah Department of Transportation to encourage our state and local elected officials to ensure our children have a healthier, more walkable pathway to school. We are asking all of you to join us as we encourage policymakers to increase funding for the state’s Safe Routes to School program. This program provides funding for schools and local cities to come together and identify areas of need in their communities. The Safe Routes to School program helps improve sidewalks, create crosswalks, and provide signage that help to keep kids and drivers safe. The AHA|ASA supports the funding of this program because of the potential safety and health impact this could have on our children and communities – all in the goal of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans!

As part of our efforts we will be hosting a booth at our upcoming Heart|Stroke Walk & Run 5K. We would love to have you stop by and sign a postcard in support of the Safe Routes to School program. We will be delivering these postcards to policymakers across the state! You can also click here to volunteer to help us at the event as we work to raise awareness of this issue amongst the thousands of Heart|Stroke Walk attendees!

As parents and those concerned about the children in our community we have many things that we worry about with our children; the last thing we should have to worry about is if our children have a safe route to travel to school. Please support us as we strive to create healthier, more walkable communities throughout the state!

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It's fall and that means it's Heart & Stroke Walk season!

Labor Day has come and gone and the kids are back in school. Both of these are signs that fall is just around the corner but there is another sign of fall in Washington and that is the American Heart Association Heart & Stroke Walks.

Washington has three Heart & Stroke Walks so we hope you are able to join us at one near you.

Spokane Heart & Stroke Walk/5K – September 13th at Riverside Clock Tower

South Sound Heart & Stroke Walk – October 4th at Cheney Stadium

Puget Sound Heart & Stroke Walk – October 11th at the Seattle Center

The Heart & Stroke Walk celebrates those who have made lifestyle changes and encourages many more to take the pledge to live healthier lifestyles while raising the dollars needed to fund life-saving research and initiatives.

In 2011 12,996 people in Washington died from heart disease and stroke. We, the American Heart Association, want to lower that number and that is why we work to raise awareness and money for research. This event is free but donations are always welcome.

Be sure to stop by the advocacy booth and sign a postcard in support of funding the Safe Routes to School program in our state.

We hope to see you at the Heart & Stroke Walk!

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Advocate Spotlight: Jacob's Heart

Jacob's Heart, California

Nicole Dinubilo-Wells is the mother of twins—Julianna and Jacob—who were born five weeks early on June 3, 2004. Jacob Ryan Wells was born with a critical congenital heart defect (CCHD) called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. With this CCHD, the left side of Jake’s heart–including the aorta, aortic valve, left ventricle and mitral valve—was underdeveloped. Since birth, Jake went through six open-heart surgeries, a few medi-flight helicopter rides to Stanford, and a few other gastrointestinal surgeries, as well as surgeries that were not even FDA approved. According to Nicole, his little, brave life endured much triumph, pain, trials and struggles. Through it all, and during the long hospital stays, he had such a strong spirit, always having a smile on his face. He was the happiest little boy you could ever know, with only half a heart, his mom says.

Sadly, Jacob lost his battle to his heart disease on April 26, 2011, at the young age of six years old after having complications from another corrective heart surgery.

Since Jacob’s passing, Nicole has been an active supporter of the American Heart Association, raising funds for Heart Walk and sharing her son’s story to help pass pulse ox legislation in California. She and Jacob’s father, Bryan, have been involved with the San Joaquin Heart Walk since 2011 and formed the team “Jacob’s Heart” in his memory.

Jacob was such a true inspiration to so many people and touched so many hearts during his short little life,” said Nicole. “My intent is to keep Jacob’s memory alive and make ‘Jacob’s Heart’ a recognizable icon in our community. My hope is that being involved in raising funds for the American Heart Association will help make a difference.”

To help with fundraising efforts, Nicole recently held a shrimp feed at the Italian Athletic Club and the second annual Jacob’s Heart memorial bowling tournament at Pacific Avenue Bowl while Bryan held the second annual Jacob’s Heart memorial golf tournament at the Elkhorn Golf Club, all of which they said were great successes. So far, their combined efforts have raised over $15,000 for this year’s Heart Walk.

My son Jacob had such a huge spirit which has impacted me and so many others,” said Bryan. “I am honored to keep his memory alive by raising money for the American Heart Association. I know he is looking down on us and smiling.”

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Utah Heart/Stroke Walk & Run 5k

Guest Blogger: Marc Watterson, Senior Government Relations Director, Utah

The American Heart Association|American Stroke Association here in Utah is excited to announce our upcoming Heart|Stroke Walk & Run 5k on September 21st at Sugar House Park!

Three years ago, the AHA|ASA set an impact goal: By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all American by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent. Your efforts as a Heart Walk participant help get us achieve that goal.

By signing up to walk, run or volunteer you are helping us achieve our mission of improving health and saving lives! The donations we receive through this event support our mission by funding research that explores the No. 1 and No. 3 killers in Utah – cardiovascular diseases and stroke respectively – and seeks to find new solutions in our fight against these preventable diseases!

Volunteers are an integral part of the success of this event – we simply cannot do it without your help! To sign-up for the walk/race or to register to be a volunteer click here or e-mail Marc Watterson if you are interested in helping out with our “You’re the Cure” table and events. There are several ways to help out before, during, and after the event. We would love your support and look forward to seeing you there!

If you have questions about any of our event volunteer opportunities, please contact the Heart|Stroke Walk & Run 5k Team at (801) 484-3838 or e-mail Rebecca Sciarrino.

By the way, did you know that this year alone researchers from multiple universities here in Utah received over $1 million in research grants from the AHA|ASA? It is the generous donation of your time and money that helps us accomplish these types of achievements. Thanks to your efforts, You’re the Cure for heart disease and stroke!

Thank you again for your participation! We are looking forward to another great year working to make our community a healthier place to live!

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