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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Louisiana Achieves Legislative Wins

The 2015 Louisiana Legislative Session ended on June 11 and proved quite successful for the American Heart Association.
 
First, the Legislature passed HCR 92 that directs the Department of Health to adopt rules requiring EMS authorities to develop and implement transportation protocols for acute stroke and STEMI patients. Now, ambulance providers will take stroke and STEMI patients to the most appropriate hospital rather than the closest hospital, so patients can receive the right care at the right time.
 
Second, the Legislature passed HB 119 that was amended to increase the state tobacco tax by 50-cents. Although the American Heart Association originally advocated for $1.18 increase, we are still incredibly proud of the work we’ve done this session with coalition members, advocates, and legislators. Prior to this session, Louisiana was one of five states that hadn’t increased its tobacco tax since 2002. Now at 86-cents, Louisiana has the 35th highest tobacco tax in the nation.

Thank you to all You’re the Cure advocates who made these successes possible!

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Louisiana Advocates Want Their State to be Stroke and STEMI Ready

On May 13, close to 40 advocates gathered at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. for the American Heart Association’s Annual Louisiana Lobby Day. This year, the event focused on HCR 92 by Rep. Tom Willmott that ensures stroke and STEMI patients receive the right care at the right time.

Over the course of lunch, attendees heard from Kitty Kimball, former Louisiana Supreme Chief Justice and stroke survivor.  They also celebrated the following award recipients:

  • Advocate of the Year Award: Chad Major, Professional Firefighters of Louisiana, for his assistance with passing CPR in Schools legislation in 2014
  • CPR Life Saver Award: Bo Myers, 17-year-old student, for saving his nephew’s life after learning CPR at school.  Read his story.
  • Legislator of the Year Award: Rep. Tom Willmott, for being a true champion for the American Heart Association.

Next, attendees took a trolley to the State Capitol to meet with Sen. Greg Lafleur, Rep. Patrick Williams, Rep. Tom Willmott, and Rep. Ebony Woodruff.  Then, they proceeded to the House Chambers where the House of Representatives recognized them for their work, and Bo for saving his nephew’s life as a result of the CPR in Schools legislation passed in 2014.

 For more information, contact Stasha.Rhodes@heart.org.

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Summer Health Tips

The arrival of summer means days at the pool, family barbeques, picnics, sports and other outdoor activities. Below are a few tips that you can use this summer to keep your whole family happy and healthy.

 

 

Staying active in the summer months

  • Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate! Drink plenty of water before, during and even after physical activity.
  • Protect your family from the sun.
  • Try to avoid intense physical activity during the hottest parts of the day (between noon to 3pm).
  • Dress for the heat.
  • Head indoors when the heat becomes unbearable. There are plenty of indoor activities that can keep you active on the hottest days.

Heart-Healthy Cookout Ideas

  • Go fish!
  • Make a better burger by purchasing leaner meat and adding delicious veggies.
  • Replace your traditional greasy fries with some heart healthy baked fries.
  • Veggie kabobs are a fun and healthy addition to your family barbeque.
  • Try grilled corn on the cob.

Healthy Road Trip

  • Make “rest breaks” active.
  • Pack healthy snacks to avoid the unhealthy foods at rest stops along your way.
  • Pack to play to continue your regular physical activity.
  • Reach for water instead of being tempted by sugary drinks.

Summer Snack Ideas

  • Homemade freezer fruit pops are an easy and fun treat for the whole family.
  • Keep your veggies cool and crisp during the summer months and they becoming a refreshing treat.
  • Fruit smoothies area a healthy way to cool yourself down on a hot summer day.
  • Mix up your own trail mix to take on all of your summer adventures.
  • Just slice and serve all the delicious fruits that are in season during the summer months.

 

Read more about these tips and other getting healthy tips over at www.heart.org/GettingHealthy 

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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 this video below highlighting the award winners!

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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!

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Louisiana Twitter Chat, June 2nd

To celebrate National CPR Awareness Week and the one year anniversary of the Louisiana CPR in Schools bill, the Burke Cobb Act, the American Heart Association is hosting a statewide Twitter Chat on June 2 at 10 a.m. CST.

The Twitter Chat is an hour virtual conversation centered on CPR. It will feature a question and answer session between the host Twitter handle, @HeartNOLA, and any participants. The goal of the conversation is to bring awareness to the benefits of Hands-Only™ CPR, the need for more bystanders to be CPR trained and to celebrate the first graduating class in Louisiana under the Burke Cobb Act.  You can participate in the conversation using the event hashtag #LACPRWeek.

R.S.V.P. today at twubs.com/LACPRWeek. We hope you'll chat with us on June 2nd!

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Campbell Martinez, Louisiana

Campbell Martinez, Louisiana

Campbell was diagnosed with Tetrology of Fallot the day she was born.  On March 2, 2011, at the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, she had open heart surgery at only 6 months old.

Campbell is almost 2 years old now and she’s doing great!  She loves coloring, drawing with chalk and playing with her twin sister and two older sisters.  She has been an absolute trooper and a blessing to our entire family. We feel very blessed and privileged that God gave her to us!

My family and I are thankful to and support the American Heart Association because without them, the technology and studies for heart disease and stroke would not be as advanced as they are today.  I believe that because of the American Heart Association, our sweet Campbell will have a healthy life just as the rest of us do!

I will continue raising money each year for babies born with TOF and other heart conditions because every child deserves a great life.  Through the American Heart Association, we are several steps closer each day to making this happen.

UPDATE: This post was originally written in December 2013, and we'd like to update you on how Campbell is doing today.  "She is doing amazing!  She is currently playing Wee-Ball with her twin, Carrington, and has more energy than all three of her sisters put together!  She is very outgoing and keeps me on my toes.  We still have visits to her cardiologist every 6 months. For now, she is doing awesome and I can only pray that she stays healthy and keeps going in the right direction!  Campbell will be 4 years old in August."

-Written by Trisha Martinez

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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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Smoke Free New Orleans: Cleaner Air for All on April 22

New Orleans is on the verge of something great!  On April 22, New Orleans will become 100 percent smoke free.  This means that the city council has put the health and wellness of the community first by taking a stand against smoking in all workplaces, including bars and casinos.

Our state loses over 10,000 people each year to heart disease and stroke, and smoking is a large risk factor.  By eliminating smoke from all workplaces, the American Heart Association hopes that number will soon decrease.  Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States, doubling the risk of heart disease and stroke for those who smoke and those exposed to second-hand smoke.

Smoke-free New Orleans is a step in the right direction for a healthier and stronger community in which to work and live.  The City of New Orleans will now be looked to as a leader for health outcomes in the South.

A number of risk factors for diseases and illness are uncontrollable, which makes it even more imperative to address and prevent the risk factors that we can control, and smoking is one of them.  But there is still work to be done as we need to preserve the importance of clean air in all workplaces for all New Orleans workers by ensuring the casino remains smoke free.

Show your support for a healthier community by:

- Attending the New Orleans City Council meeting on April 9 at 10 am to show your support. You might want to arrive early for a parking spot and a seat!     

- Calling your council member to share your support for a completely smoke free New Orleans.  Click here for a list of council members!

Let us know your thoughts.  Are you ready for New Orleans to be 100 percent smoke free on April 22?

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