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From the Bottom of our Hearts - Thank You!

National Volunteer Week (April 12-18) is right around the corner and we couldn’t let it pass without saying how much we appreciate all your contributions as a You’re the Cure advocate. It’s advocates like you who give their time, energy, and passion to help create healthier communities across the country.  We are deeply grateful for your commitment and talent as an advocate.

Since staff can’t always shake your hand and say thank you in person we’ve got a brief video to share. When you watch I am sure you too will be moved by all the great work happening in your states and communities and we look forward to more success in the future. Take a moment to check out the video and then encourage other to get involved and join in the fun.

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Event wrap-up: Hoosiers for a Healthier Indiana Advocacy Day at the Statehouse

We are glad to have so many wonderful advocates, volunteers, lawmakers able to join us for the Hoosiers for a Healthier Indiana Advocacy Day at the Statehouse last month!  With over 100 attendees, we know many conversations occurred with our lawmakers about the importance of increasing the price of tobacco products.  Check out these great pictures from the event!

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Share Your Story: Mary Ames

Mary Ames Indiana

Mary's children describe the “old” Mary as a 40-year smoker who was exhausted all the time and ate anything but healthy food. Mary had a wake-up call last June when she needed double-bypass surgery to remedy 100-percent blockages in two arteries in her heart.

She embraced the experience as a chance for a new start and has made the most of it. She began walking on a treadmill, lifting weights to add strength, and riding a bicycle. She changed her diet, eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer sugary snacks. She also quit smoking. Ames is now a transformed woman, full of energy to enjoy her daily life and play with her grandchildren.

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Help secure funding for this life-saving AED program today!

This is a critical time in Congress. Lawmakers are deciding on their funding priorities and the next round of budget negotiations are beginning. Even in this difficult economy, there are several federally-funded programs that are vital to the heart community, and we need to let our lawmakers know they must be a priority.

One such program helps buy and place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in rural communities. The program also trains first responders and others in the community to use and operate these devices. The Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program ensures those who live in rural areas or small towns have access to the tools they need for the best chance of surviving a cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, the program currently only has the resources to operate in 12 states.

Please contact your lawmaker today and ask them to prioritize funding to save lives from cardiac arrest!

People in every state should be given the best shot at surviving a cardiac arrest. Communities with aggressive AED placements have increased survival rates from about 11% to nearly 40%, which is an incredible improvement. But 38 states are still waiting for funds for this life-saving program.

Deadlines in Congress are looming, so please contact your elected officials TODAY!

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Share Your Story: Stephanie Belesky

Stephanie Belesky, Indiana

At her heaviest, Stephanie weighed 386 pounds. Although there were several red flags in her life, the impetus to change came when she witnessed her grandmother's difficult recovery from hip surgery.  Stephanie set a big goal - running a marathon - but also set many smaller goals that she could attain and measure her progress. She began walking on a treadmill and using an elliptical at the gym. She also learned about healthy eating and adopted those habits into her diet.  Stephanie's journey began three years ago, and in that time she has participated in more than a dozen 5K runs as well as the 2014 Indianapolis Mini Marathon. She has lost 115 lbs. and is an inspiration to those around her.

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The American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2015 Livestream

Join us for this exclusive virtual event where top designers and celebrities demonstrate their support for women's heart health during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Heart disease is not just a man's disease. Each year, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke. We can change that--80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Help break barriers against heart disease and stroke by joining us for the Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2015 live online at GoRedForWomen.org/RedDressCollection on Thursday, February 12 at 8 p.m. Eastern. See you there!

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Join us for the Hoosiers for a Healthier Indiana Advocacy Day!

Did you know:

  • Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in Indiana. More than 9,700 Hoosiers die from their own smoking every year.
  • Indiana taxpayers foot the bill for $2.18 billion ($570 per household) in annual health care expenditures directly caused by tobacco use.
  • Increasing the cigarette tax by $1.00 would reduce youth smoking by 13.3%, save the lives of 32,500 Hoosiers from premature smoking-caused death, and result in $2.08 billion in long-term healthcare savings.

You're invited to join us on Thursday, March 12 at the Indiana Statehouse to discuss the importance of increasing tobacco prices in Indiana by $1 for the health of all Hoosiers with our lawmakers!

Please register to attend below, and we will provide you with updates as needed before the date. Lunch will be provided!

 To register online, please visit this link!

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Share Your Story: Stephani Remetta

Stephani Remetta Indianapolis, IN

Stephani was born with a congenital heart defect that went undiagnosed until she was 27. Told she had a heart murmur, the more serious condition was finally diagnosed after the birth of her son. The diagnosis, accompanied by the news that she would not be able to have more children, led to a dark time for Stephani that included depression and weight gain. In 2012, she made the decision to get healthy in body and mind.  She began eating a healthier diet, drinking more water and committing to exercise. She ran her first 5K in 2012 and is training to run her first half-marathon in 2015.

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Op-Ed: Why Indiana should increase cigarette tax

Check out this excellent editorial from former Indiana state health commissioner Dr. Richard Feldman:

"A state legislative proposal to raise the cost of cigarettes is overdue. Additional state revenues from a $1-a-pack increase could be used to improve Indiana’s miserable state of health, which should be an embarrassment to state elected officials.

Indiana ranks 41st worst in overall health among the states, 42nd in cancer deaths, 39th in cardiovascular deaths, 43rd in obesity, 40th in diabetes, 45th in infant mortality, 40th in the adult smoking rate and 48th in public health funding."

Read the full article here: http://www.indystar.com/story/opinion/2015/01/20/indiana-increase-cigarette-tax/22044875

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Meet the New Surgeon General

Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December to serve as the next surgeon general of the United States. The surgeon general is America’s top public health official, and his responsibilities range from managing disease to promoting prevention and a healthy start for our kids.

At 37, Vivek Murthy is the youngest person and the first Indian-American to hold the post of Surgeon General.

Since this position was created in 1871, just 18 people have held the job. Dr. Murthy, the 19th, replaces an Acting Surgeon General who has filled the role since 2013. Dr. Murthy’s confirmation was delayed for nearly a year due to political issues, but in that time he received the endorsement of more than 100 public health groups, including the American Heart Association.

Dr. Murthy has both business and medical degrees from his studies at Harvard and Yale. He completed his residency at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he most recently served as an attending physician. He has created and led organizations to support comprehensive healthcare reform, to improve clinical trials so new drugs can be made available more quickly and safely, and to combat HIV/AIDS.

His resume is remarkable, and we look forward to working closely with Dr. Murthy to improve the health of all Americans.

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