American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
We're Feeling Grateful

As AHA Advocacy staff, we get to work alongside the most remarkable volunteers- like YOU! We get to see lives improved and lives saved as a result of the work we’ve done together, and for that, we're grateful.

As You’re the Cure volunteers, you share personal stories of loved ones lost too soon, of survival, or of triumph over heart disease or stroke- all because you know your stories will make a difference in someone else’s life. It is often those stories that convince lawmakers to pass the policies making our communities healthier.

Because of you, more babies are being screened with Pulse Ox and having their heart defects corrected before it’s too late. Because of you, people in communities around the country have been saved by students who learned CPR in school. Because of you, people are getting better stroke care, families have safe places for active play, fewer people are smoking, and kids are eating healthier food at school.  The impact you’re making is incredible, and our communities are better places- because of you.

You make us cry. You share your joy. You inspire us. You amaze us. And we’re just so grateful for all you do.

We’re including YOU as we count our blessings this month, and we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!   

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Youth Summit in Alexandria, La.

About 500 junior and high school students from Central Louisiana attended the Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors held on Oct. 14 at the Riverfront Center in Alexandria, La.  Members of the Rapides Foundation's Youth Advisory Council design and plan the one-day event each year to help students become advocates for healthy choices. This year's theme is "Be a Voice for Change."  "What we're trying to do here is teach teenagers to be advocates for healthier communities and healthier schools," said Trayce Snow, program officer with The Rapides Foundation. Click here to read the entire article from The Town Talk.

 We also encourage you to watch the video from the Rapides Foundation's Youth Summit, by clicking on the image. 

The American Heart Association works with the Rapides Foundation in several projects to make Louisiana a healthier state for all residents. 

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Will We See You at a Heart Walk?

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country's No. 1 and No. 5 killers - heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that's fun and rewarding for the entire family.

This year, more than 1 million walkers will participate in nearly 340 events. Will you participate in one near you?

When you join Heart Walk, you join more than a million people in hundreds of cities across America in taking a stand against heart disease and helping save lives! Walk with friends, family, coworkers or strangers you'll bond with along the way. Any way you choose to do it, your heart will thank you for it!

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Sing to End Stroke

One in three Americans can’t recall any stroke warning signs. What if singing a song could help people recognize a stroke and give someone the power to save a life?

On World Stroke Day, October 29th, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is using music to help people remember the common warning signs of stroke, F.A.S.T. (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1).

Why learn the F.A.S.T song? The quicker you recognize the stroke warning signs and call 9-1-1 for stroke, the better the chances of recovery. 

Here is how you can participate:

So get your vocal cords ready and let's sing to end stroke!


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September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and to help raise awareness with families across the country, the American Heart Association has brought back a fun and easy way to help you with the No. 1 health concern among parents – childhood obesity. Through the Life is Why Family Health Challenge™  families and kids will learn to take control of their health in four weeks by pursuing a different goal each week with activities that are fun, simple, won’t break the bank and can be done as a family! By the end of the month, you might feel accomplished and be better equipped to live a heart-healthy life. There will also be four Life is Why Family Health Challenge™ Twitter Chats every Wednesday in September.

Mark your calendars and get ready to take the challenge in September by visiting - where you will have access to videos, complimentary challenge materials, and the Life is Why Family Health Challenge™ social media group that will help you, and your family, stay on track.  



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Is a Smokefree Baton Rouge on the Horizon?

Dear Editor-

There are more than 7,000 chemical components found in cigarette smoke and hundreds of them are harmful to human health, according to the American Heart Association. Not only is smoking a controllable risk factor for the number one killer in our city, heart disease, but it is a factor that affects more than just the smoker. 

Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard for nonsmokers. Nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have an even greater risk of developing heart diseases when they’re exposed to secondhand smoke.

Hospitality workers are more likely to suffer from bronchitis, respiratory infections, chronic illness, and other lung and respiratory problems when exposed to secondhand smoke at work. No worker should ever have to choose between his or her health and a paycheck.

Thanks to the New Orleans smoke-free law, every New Orleans worker can breathe freely. Shouldn’t we protect Baton Rouge employees from toxic secondhand smoke?

Many of us are protected from secondhand smoke but not all of the Baton Rouge workforce is. Every employee deserves to breathe clean air while earning a living.

Let’s follow the lead of our neighbors and say that secondhand smoke in the workplace needs to be eliminated.

We want clean indoor air for all of our Baton Rouge workforce.

Jay Brooks M.D. FACP 

Baton Rouge

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New Stroke Guidelines Will Change Stroke Treatment in the U.S

Each year, more than 690,000 Americans have strokes caused by blood clots blocking vessels in the brain, called ischemic strokes. Some of the clots can grow large and may require intense therapy to treat.

However, widely celebrated new research reaffirms that large blood clots in the brain are less likely to result in disability or death, if the blockage is removed in the crucial early hours of having a stroke.

Right now the standard treatment is a clot-dissolving drug called tPA. But it must be given intravenously within 4.5 hours to be effective. For people with larger brain clots, tPA only works about a third of the time.

New studies recommend doctors to use modernized -retrievable stents, to open and trap the clot, allowing doctors to extract the clot and reopen the artery nearly every time when used with tPA.

To learn more read “Clot Removing Devices Provide Better Outcomes for Stroke Patients” and visit to learn the warning signs of stroke.

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Looking for More Voices in Louisiana

Across the country, You’re the Cure advocates are speaking up for heart-healthy and stroke-smart policies that help build healthier communities and healthier lives. And here in Louisiana, we have plenty to celebrate.

Recent advocacy successes in Louisiana include:

  • Ensuring all high school students learn CPR.
  • Passing a 100 percent smoke-free ordinance in New Orleans.
  • Increasing the state tobacco tax from 36-cents to 86-cents.
  • Helping ensure that stroke and STEMI patients are taken to the most appropriate hospital when calling 9-1-1.

In order to keep up the great work, we need more people to add their voices to the fight against heart disease and stroke. Please invite your family and friends to join You're the Cure at www.yourethecure.orgAs you know, we'll keep your family and friends informed about opportunities to act on important health issues moving at the local, state and national levels. We look forward to working with you and your loved ones as we advocate for healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Volunteer. Advocate. Take Action. Save Lives.

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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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