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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 Stroke Story

About 800,000 American adults have a first or recurrent stroke each year.  Almost 136,000 Americans of all ages died of a stroke in 2007.  The estimated direct and indirect cost of stroke to the United States for 2010 was $53.9 billion.

But what is stroke?

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain.  It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (ruptures).  When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, and brain cells will die.

Have you or a loved one survived a stroke?  Share your story here!  We want to hear your story and share it with lawmakers and other advocates.  If you’re unsure of where to start, focus on your diagnosis and journey to recovery, how it changed your life and what you think everyone should know about surviving a stroke.

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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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Big News from the Big Easy!

On January 22, the New Orleans City Council unanimously voted in favor of a 100% smoke-free New Orleans as proposed by Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed the ordinance into law the following week. With smoke-free bars and casinos, New Orleans now has one of the strongest smoke-free ordinances in the South. The American Heart Association honored Councilwoman Cantrell for being a champion for Smoke-Free NOLA on February 6 at the New Orleans Go Red For Women Luncheon. 

However, our work isn't done. The council is considering amending the ordinance to exempt casinos. We need your help to keep the ordinance strong! Stay tuned for how you can support Smoke-Free NOLA. Follow us on Twitter (@YouretheCureLA) and like us on Facebook. 

 

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New Orleans is set to go smoke-free!

Great news from the Big Easy! New Orleans, a popular U.S. meeting and travel destination, is set to go smoke-free.

This morning in a packed chambers, the New Orleans City Council voted 7-0 in favor of a citywide ordinance that makes most indoor public places, including bars, restaurants and casinos, smoke-free. The ordinance improves on the 2007 Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act and will protect the health of residents, workers, musicians and tourists alike. Smoking will still be permitted on Bourbon Street and at cigar lounges, hookah bars and tobacco shops that have been operating before 2015.

During the vote, Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who proposed the ordinance, stated, "Today we are making history. We are doing it together - as a council and a community." The American Heart Association applauds the New Orleans City Council for their leadership in protecting all workers from secondhand smoke and hopes other Louisiana communities - and even states - will follow New Orleans' lead.

A special thank you to all You're the Cure advocates who made this victory possible.

Read more about this exciting vote on blog.heart.org.

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Smokefree New Orleans Efforts Heat Up!

On January 7, the New Orleans City Council's Community Development Committee held a public hearing and vote to discuss the hot topic of a smokefree city. Over 250 people attended.

According to nola.com, "the haze that still swirls through many New Orleans bars became the spark igniting a fiery debate before the City Council Wednesday whether to outlaw smoking in most businesses and public spaces across the city. Musicians, some bar owners and several health officials decried the damage of second-hand smoke to bar and music venue customers and employees alike. Other bar owners, patrons, restaurant industry reps and casino operators warned of the damage the city's economy -- and therefore, its tax base -- would face should any ban come to pass. And proposal had the trappings of government over-reach, they said. Another contingent lobbied for a third way: some reprieve in the proposed law for those former tobacco smokers who had switched to electronic cigarettes or nicotine vaporizers. The proposal would outlaw these devices as well as smoking marijuana in most public places." 

The council approved the ordinance and sent it to the full council for a vote on January 22. You may also follow the daily timeline of these efforts by visiting: www.facebook.com/SmokeFreeNOLA or http://smokefreenola.org.  

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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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Letter to the Editor Supports Smokefree NOLA

Nola.com published the below letter to the editor by Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in support of the proposed smokefree ordinance for New Orleans.

No one should have to risk her health to earn a paycheck. Nor should someone have to sacrifice his right to breathe clean air to enjoy a night out. Unfortunately, many residents and visitors of New Orleans face those choices every day.

Bars and casinos remain exempt from the state's smoke-free law. As a result, tens of thousands of workers, tourists and residents remain subjected to hazardous secondhand smoke. The City Council is getting ready to consider a citywide smoke-free law, which will protect everyone in New Orleans by eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke in all public and work places. This issue is about public health. It is time that all workers, including those in casinos and bars, have protections from secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke is unquestionably dangerous to nonsmokers. It contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of them toxic and at least 69 of them cancer-causing. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and respiratory problems, sudden infant death syndrome and more in infants and children.

Click here to read the rest on Nola.com!

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held this Wednesday, January 7, at 10 AM at New Orleans City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street. We invite all You're the Cure advocates in New Orleans to help us pack the house. With your support, we can help protect employees and patrons from the harms of secondhand smoke.

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Help Us Pack the House, NOLA!

On Wednesday, January 7, the New Orleans City Council’s Community Development Committee will vote on Councilwoman Cantrell’s comprehensive smoke-free ordinance. This ordinance will help protect NOLA employees and patrons from the harms of second hand smoke.  

If you live in New Orleans, we invite you to join us at the hearing. To RSVP, please email Stasha.Rhodes@heart.org.

What: Smoke-Free Ordinance Vote
When: January 7, 2015, 10:00 am
Where: New Orleans City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street, New Orleans 70112
Click here for a map!

It is essential that supporters of the ordinance attend the hearing and show the council that residents of New Orleans want a cleaner and healthier city. We hope to see you Wednesday! Email Stasha.Rhodes@heart.org if you plan to attend.

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You're the Cure Year End Successes, Let's Celebrate!
It was another banner year for You’re the Cure advocates championing heart and stroke policy change across the country. Year end is a time to look back at what we achieved in states, think ahead to the work still to do, and celebrate the power of volunteers.
 
What did we accomplish last year?
 
 
Below are just three of many victories that made 2014 so successful.  

 

  • 35 states now have laws protecting our littlest hearts. Pulse oximetry, a simple detection screening for heart defects gives newborns a chance to survive thanks to early detection.
  • We reached a major milestone in ensuring all students learn CPR before graduating from high school. Now more than 1 million students, in 20 states, will graduate each year with this lifesaving skill.
  • 6 states increased funding for heart disease and stroke prevention programs.

 

Want to see more accomplishments? Check out the video below.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These are just a few highlights and for the full story be sure to check out the state by state wrap-up online. We couldn’t achieve these great accomplishments without the power of YOU our advocates. Your work to educate lawmakers, recruit family and friends, and share your story and expertise are what makes change happen. So from your AHA staff partners a big, Thank You!
 
P.S. – You can help inspire others to join the movement by sharing our accomplishments highlight video.

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