American Heart Association - You’re the Cure
WELCOME! PLEASE LOGIN OR SIGN UP

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
SIGN UP
Have you checked out the AHA store lately?

T-shirts, measuring bowls, jewelry and everything in between. This summer you can “Shop Heart” choose the best of AHA swag like cookbooks, apparel, and accessories.

You can help spread our message of heart health when you wear an American Heart Association t-shirt, jacket, lapel pin, or tie. In addition to great gear we also stock educational materials so you can share important heart and stroke prevention advice with family and friends. Best of all when you "Shop Heart" money spent supports the mission of the American Heart Association.

Check out the latest merchandise in the store and show your support for the AHA today. 

P.S.  – There is a limited edition You’re the Cure T-shirt in the store. But hurry, only a couple dozen remain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Illinois Legislative Year End Wrap-up

As we close the books on the American Heart Association’s fiscal year and inch closer to the end of the General Assembly’s 2015 overtime legislative session. Let’s take a look back at the progress we’ve made on systems of care in Illinois. We’ve made huge strides, but there’s plenty left to do and we’ll need your help.

Stroke System of Care

On August 18th Governor Quinn signed landmark stroke legislation. Currently, we are on track to have the final Administrative Rules for the 2014 stroke law approved by this fall. The rules will allow for the state designation of Comprehensive Stroke Centers and Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals, as well as the creation of a state stroke registry. 

Lauren’s Law: CPR in Schools

Efforts to implement the 2014 Lauren Laman CPR and AED training law have also progressed. We continue to work with the IL State Board of Education on their promised, though not yet released, Advisory Document to help ensure schools comply with the new law. 

STEMI Heart Attack Legislation: HB 4121

This legislation is on hold in the House pending further negotiations, we hope to move forward soon as this fall during the annual legislative veto session. 

Strengthening Illinois EMS

We have continued our work with the Illinois EMS Alliance to help fight potentially devastating cuts to the EMS Medicaid reimbursement rate. These cuts would put emergency medical care for heart attack and stroke patients at further risk.

Physical Education

There were numerous threats to Illinois’ daily physical education requirement this year. But, because of our strong network of advocates we were able to stop each attempt! There were four bills that threatened the health of Illinois’ kids, including; allowing waivers for students who enroll in AP classes and proposing to eliminate physical education completely. We won another battle on the P.E. front, but will continue to need your voices to fight and protect the long-term health of all Illinois kids. .

Tobacco Control Policies

This year we worked hard to defend Illinois’ Comprehensive Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law from drastic changes. Thanks to our advocates and strong partner organizations, we were able to keep the law intact. Additionally, we worked to support the IL Smoke Free Campus Act which took effect on July 1, making all state campuses smoke free!

HEAL Act: Sugary Drinks Tax

With the legislature in overtime and no budget in sight, our proposed penny-per-ounce sugary drinks tax is still in play as a popular way to raise revenue for the state, restore Medicaid funding and help fund health programs. According to a recent public opinion poll, 65 percent of Illinois voters support a proposal to enact a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks and to use the proceeds to improve Illinoisans’ health. The voters of Illinois are willing to pay a tax on sugary drinks in order to curb obesity-related chronic illnesses. This would be a BIG WIN for health and a HUGE LOSS for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. These chronic diseases cost Illinoisans over $6 billion a year in unnecessary health care costs. A penny-per-ounce sugary drink tax is expected to generate more than $600 million dollars a year. These dollars could be used t in communities across the state to expand opportunities for healthy eating, physical activity and restoring Medicaid.

There are many ways you can lend your voice to this campaign TODAY! Please take a minute and complete each action:

1. Sign our petition here:

https://www.change.org/p/support-a-sugary-drink-tax-as-part-of-illinois-budget-solution-and-help-illinois-kids-be-healthier

2. Call key legislators or the Governor and ask them to support the sugary drink tax. Dial 844-325-5900 and you will be connected with the key lawmakers or governor to express your support for the tax!

You can stay up-to-date on the campaign by visiting

www.HEALtheBudget.org

 

Read More

Meet Illinois Advocacy Staff: Julie Mirostaw

What brought you to be an advocate/staff for the American Heart Association?

I have worked in the advocacy, okay lobbying, arena for almost ten years. I want to put the skills I have acquired and my experiences to use for an organization whose mission is to save lives and make the world a healthier place. I hope to be a part of the solution.

What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?

Access to quality health care for everyone is a top priority for me. Unfortunately, we live in a society where there are barriers, geographically, economically or otherwise, to quality health care. Whether it is making sure a heart attack patient in a rural area has access to the best care possible or educating kids about ways to eat healthy and stay active, everyone deserves equal access to care. I have seen first-hand the effect that access can have on a person, it can be life-changing and life-saving.

What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far with the American Heart Association and what made it great?

Since I just started with the AHA, I will refer to a past experience. One in particular comes to mind. I worked with Illinois Unites for Marriage, the umbrella organization for gay marriage, in the months leading up to the vote in Springfield. One day, after an event, I was walking home wearing an Illinois Unites for Marriage t-shirt. Several strangers walked up to me on the street to thank me for my support. The legislation hadn’t passed yet and these people had no idea who I was or what I did only that I was a supporter, and that meant a lot to them.

What is your favorite way to be active?

Running

What is your favorite fruit or vegetable?

Fruit: Bananas, raspberries, pineapple

Vegetable: Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus

Read More

Go Red for Women Community Expo

On Friday, May 29th, Illinois Advocates asked the crowd at the Go Red For Women Community Expo to support the progress made by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. These amazing You're the Cure volunteers collected over 300 petitions in support of healthy school meals. This free event included heart-health screenings and consultations; exercise, cooking and CPR classes; healthcare panel discussions; and valuable take-home resources.

Read More

You're the Cure Hero: Bob Biggins

What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?

I had my stroke in 2003 while serving in the Illinois legislature. I'd already been working with the American Heart Association on health care issues so after I was able, I became a visible advocate for heart healthy issues.

What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?

Now retired, I continue to address heart healthy matters as I serve on a study group established by the legislature to continue work begun for stroke survivors. Our work product is shared nationally with the neediest populations affected by stroke.

What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?

I work with a stroke advocacy group called SSEEO. We've initiated a new survivor- to- survivor program that has been received very positively by both providers and recipients.

What is your favorite way to be active?

I exercise at my local health facility three times a week but also keep physically busy with eight of our grandchildren living in the same house.

What is your favorite fruit or vegetable?

Banana fresh off the tree!

Read More

Illinois Advocates Traveled to D.C. for National Lobby Day!

On May 11 and 12, the Midwest Affiliate joined more than 380 advocates in Washington D.C. for You’re the Cure on the Hill national lobby day. We had 53 volunteers 10 of which were youth advocates, 20 staff representing all 11 states in the affiliate who stepped up to the plate for healthy school lunches and medical research funding. We had 13 volunteers representing Team Illinois: Lisa Bartlett, Bob Biggins, Lynne Braun, Danielle Cortes Devito, JR Dietl, Kirk Disrude, Angela, Donnie and Madison Feick, Karen Larimer, Scott Saxe, Brian Shields, and Carrie Skogsberg. In all, the entire event conducted 293 meetings with Capitol Hill lawmakers, asking them to protect the progress made by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and support school nutrition standards, and also to make cardiovascular disease and stroke research a national priority by increasing the budget of the National Institutes of Health. We were able to meet with staff and several Members of Congress throughout the day. Team Illinois meet with Senator Mark Kirk, stroke survivor for more 30 minutes to talk about the importance of research funding as it relates to stroke and stroke rehabilitation. The Midwest Affiliate made a huge impact in D.C. in just two days, but the fight isn’t over. You can support our work by contacting your own Members of Congress here.

Check out more photos from this great event!

Read More

The Go Red For Women Community Expo

American Heart Association | American Stroke Association

Presents

The Go Red For Women Community Expo

Union Station’s Great Hall

500 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago

Friday, May 29th

8:30 am to 2 pm

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, killing one woman every minute. An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease, and it is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. But with the right information, education and care, heart disease in women can be treated, prevented and even ended.

We invite you to join us for the 4th annual Go Red For Women Community Expo on Friday, May 29th at the Great Hall in Union Station from 8:30 am to 2 pm! This free event will include heart-health screenings and consultations; exercise, cooking and CPR classes; healthcare panel discussions; and valuable take-home resources.

Register at www.chicagogoredforwomen.org (under "Events").

Read More

Lobby Day MVPs in the Spotlight

There were SO many amazing stories surrounding this year’s Hill Day that it was hard to narrow down our annual lobby day award winners. Not a bad problem to have! Please join us in congratulating these You’re the Cure MVPs, and then learn more about their stories in this video.

 

  • Science Advocate of the year – Dr. David Yu-Yiao Huang: Dr. Huang has been involved with AHA advocacy since 2003. From submitting expert written testimony and attending in-district meetings, to speaking before lawmakers, his passion for policy and his belief in the positive change policy can achieve has contributed significantly to big wins in North Carolina.
  • Volunteer Advocate of the Year – Theresa Conejo: Theresa has been one of the key proponents of Pennsylvania’s comprehensive smoke-free law. Last year, she signed a smoke-free op-ed which was picked up by major news outlets across the state. She also aggressively advocated for the proposed Clean Indoor Law. In addition, she recruits new You’re the Cure advocates at every opportunity. In fact, just recently, she signed up an additional 35 volunteers to join her in Pennsylvania’s smoke-free fight.
  • Survivor Advocate of the Year – Jim Bischoff: Jim’s own struggle with heart disease, as well as his experience with his son-in-law’s stroke, gives him a unique perspective to share during state and federal lobby days and meetings with lawmakers. His family history inspired him to provide leadership on stroke systems of care legislation. He also dedicates his time to tobacco issues, and attends in-district meetings with his lawmaker to discuss both of these important issues.
  • Youth Advocate of the Year – Cassidy Collins: Cassidy uses her story as a congenital heart survivor to illustrate the importance of AHA’s policy issues. At the age of 16, her resume is already quite impressive – she’s met with U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin to advocate for tobacco control funding; she has been a top fundraiser for the Roanoke Heart Walk for two years; and she has applied to work as a youth advocate for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Check out a video below highlighting the award winners!

Read More

Advances in Stroke Treatment Just in Time for Stroke Month

Check out this great article from the Chicago Tribune on the advances in stroke treatment, just in time for Stroke Month. Based on findings from recent studies, stroke patients will benefit from advanced treatment offered by comprehensive stroke centers across the nation.

Hospitals in Illinois and across the country are changing the way they treat strokes after a battery of recent clinical trials found that swift surgical intervention improves the odds that patients will function normally again.

Instead of trying to break up the clots that cause strokes using only intravenous medicine, hospitals are increasingly offering a surgery along with the medicine while also speeding up treatment to reduce brain damage.

In the most recent of a half-dozen studies published in the past six months, 60 percent of patients who received both the surgery and the medicine regained the ability to walk, talk and live independently, while just 35 percent who received only the medicine recovered to the same degree, according to an article published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Continue reading here

Read More

How to Keep the Winning Game Going

You're the Cure on the Hill isn’t the only opportunity to connect with members of Congress! As their constituents, you have the power and the RIGHT to tell them at any time to step up to the plate on the heart and stroke issues you care about most.


Here are some tips for getting your lawmaker off the bench and into the game:

 

  • Follow them on social media and send them messages on issues you care about.
  • Sign up for their e-newsletters on their websites. This is a great way to learn about events where you can meet the lawmakers in person and stay informed.
  • Work with your local AHA advocacy staff to schedule an in-district meeting. Members of Congress come home throughout the year on recess breaks, so they use this time to meet with constituents back in the district. Take advantage of their time at home and schedule a meeting to discuss the heart and stroke issues that matter to you and your family.
  • Most importantly, take action year round. Watch your inbox for calls to action from You’re the Cure and continue engaging your lawmaker through emails, phone calls and tagging them in your social media posts.

We had a real impact this week, but we need to keep the momentum going. Let's keep reminding our members of Congress that they need to step up for heart health all year round!

Read More

[+] Blogs[-] Collapse