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Quality Physical Education Moves Out of Committee

Great news, our physical education bill was voted out of Committee. This is the quickest we have ever seen the legislature take action on this issue which is exciting! We are working to continue moving it through the legislative process but we will need your help, so stay tuned for next steps!

The bill will help us ensure that our kids are getting exposure to high quality physical education, this is a great first step in our work in making sure that every student in the Commonwealth is having daily PE.

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Critical Stroke Funding Saved!

We were able to secure $500,000 in critical funding for stroke data collection, prevention, and awareness. This is a great first step in ensuring that we are providing access to high quality of care for all stroke patients in the Commonwealth. This has not been an easy budget process and we know that if it wasn't for our dedicated advocates we would not have seen this funding included. We can't thank you all enough and look forward to continuing to work together on improving the stroke system of care in Massachusetts.

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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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Mass DOT Funds Complete Streets Program

We are excited to announce, after a few years of hard work, that Mass DOT will be making use of $12.5 million of transportation-dedicated funds to implement a new Complete Streets program to support cities and towns in the design and construction of roadways that accommodate all users and modes. The Complete Streets program will provide funding for both design and construction, which will allow us to both support those communities that may be challenged to provide design funds and help to create a pipeline of Complete Streets projects that will further our goals for providing more and better mobility options across the Commonwealth. Thanks to our dedicated advocates and partners who have been working to fund projects that that focuses on communities and roadway users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit so we could provide an opportunity for active transit for all, this funding will now make this a reality.

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Together to End Stroke

On May 7th we had over 40 stroke survivors, caregivers and advocates come together at the State House to advocate for a stroke system of care.

Someone struck by stroke should be sent to a hospital that can ensure that properly trained staff, equipment and neurological services are there to treat them.  Quick and attentive care of a stroke victim is the key to determining the quality of the rest of their life. Stroke is the nation's No. 5 killer and a leading cause of long-term disability. It is estimated that 6.6 million Americans 20 and older have had a stroke. Someone in the U.S. has a stroke about once every 40 seconds. About 795,000 people have a stroke every year.  In a study of patients who had experienced a stroke, someone other than the patient made the decision to seek treatment in 66% of the cases, or every two in three.  80% of strokes can be prevented,  by reducing high blood pressure, quitting smoking and participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity. A major advancement in the treatment of ischemic stroke was approved by the FDA in 1996—a clot dissolving drug called tPA. tPA can significantly reduce the debilitating effects of stroke if administered as soon as possible within up to 4.5 hours of symptom onset. However, only 3-5% of victims receive this lifesaving treatment. Patients who receive tPA within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost three times as likely to have favorable outcomes three months after a stroke than those who do not receive tPA. The development of “stroke systems of care”, including the establishment of a primary stroke center, can significantly increase the proportion of patients who receive improved stroke care. Patients admitted to primary stroke centers were more likely to receive thrombolytic therapy and had lower 30-day mortality rates when compared with patients admitted to non-designated hospitals. 

The outcome of Stroke in large part on how and when the patient is treated. And the sooner, the better, since reducing the time between emergency department arrival and IV thrombolysis improves each patient’s odds of a good outcome. The American Stroke Association, is working to prevent stroke and improve the quality of care that stroke patients receive by supporting the development and implementation of stroke systems of care.

 

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Support for Critical Heart and Stroke Funding

The Senate finished up their budget at the end of May and we were able to be very successful thanks to our advocates!  

  • We secured $500,000 in funding for stroke prevention and awareness
  • We secured language around creating a stroke system of care
  • We increased the excise tax on flavored cigars to 210% of wholesale (parity with the tax on other tobacco products)
  • We secured up to $4 million of additional revenues to the tobacco prevention and cessation program. 
  • We secured language that allows the MA Office of Business Development to expend funds on the Food Trust Program.
  • We secured $250,000 for the Mass in Motion program to maintain its current funding level.
  • Unfortunately despite a tough fight by our sponsor we were not able to secure funding for CPR.

We still have more to go in the process to ensure that these critical priorities. I look forward to continue working with you on these initiatives throughout the conference committee process so that we will continue to improve the ideal cardiovascular health of all our residents!

 

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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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May is American Stroke Month

Anyone can have a stroke and everyone should be ready.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke and every 4 minutes, someone dies from a stroke. That is why The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is inviting all Americans to become Stroke Heroes by learning and sharing the warning signs of stroke, F.A.ST. (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1).

Recognizing and responding to a stroke emergency immediately can lead to quick stroke treatment and may even save a life. Be ready!

Here is how you can participate in American Stroke Month

  • Share the F.A.S.T. acronym with your friends, family and loved ones throughout American Stroke Month.
  • Share our F.A.S.T. Quiz to test your stroke knowledge.
  • Download our free Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. mobile app to prepare you in case of a stroke emergency and to have easy access.

Go to StrokeAssociation.org/StrokeMonth to learn more about how you can get involved.

 

 

 

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Healthy Food, Local Jobs, Strong Communities

The American Heart and American Stroke Association was excited to partner with MA Public Health Association as part of the Voices for Healthy Kids Healthy Food Financing Campaign for the “Healthy Food, Local Jobs, Strong Communities” which took place on Tuesday March 31st. The briefing helped provide some education on how our state could benefit from the successful implementation of the Massachusetts Food Trust Program, which was established by the legislature as part of the 2014 Environmental Bond Bill. The briefing featured leaders from across the country who have established similar successful programs and have benefitted from these program, including Sajan Philip of the New York Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund and Dwayne Boudreax of Circle Food Store in New Orleans.

 

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Kick Butts Day

The 84 Movement took to the State House on March 18th as a part of the 20th annual Kick Butts Day. This national day of youth activism mobilized the highest number of Massachusetts youth groups in The 84 Movement’s history.

The day began with an opening session in the Gardner Auditorium at the State House, where youth rallied together and generated excitement about the day ahead. Geared up and ready to go, the youth marched across the Boston Common with bright signs and loud voices chanting “We are The 84, Big Tobacco out the door!” and “Youth youth youth, shout out the truth!”. They sent the message to Boston passersby know that they were headed back into the Massachusetts State House to tell their legislators that Big Tobacco targets youth.

The messages Chapters delivered to their legislators centered around tobacco industry’s marketing tactics: making their products cheap, sweet, and easy to get. Youth explained that the FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes and a significant portion of the state lacks regulations to create a minimum purchase age for e-cigarettes. They also educated their legislators as to the lack of regulation around e-cigarettes in the workplace, wide-ranging flavors of e-cigarettes, and the sale of cigars and cigarillos for under a dollar. Statewide Leaders shared personal stories, legislators shared powerful testimony and commitment to the issue, and we all walked away with a sense of excitement and purpose.

This year’s Kick Butts Day was rich with unparalleled energy, excitement, and enthusiasm for fighting the tobacco industry and for educating MA legislators on their role in that fight. Numerous legislators and public health leaders spoke of their personal connections to this issue and publicly recognized the tremendous work of The 84’s youth. Also present to acknowledge The 84’s accomplishments and hard work was CVS, who removed all tobacco products from their shelves last year in hopes of holding true to their mission of being a wellness retailer.

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