American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
Back to School With the Zoo Crew!

Schools across the nation are gearing up to GO WILD for Heart Health this year! If you hear someone in Youth Market say It’s a JUNGLE Out There- they are not kidding!  With the help of the ZOO CREW, Youth Market Directors will guide students, staff and families through the WILDLY adventurous and rewarding Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart school programs starting in September. 

Through Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart, students at participating schools learn about the importance of taking care of their heart and how it works. They also learn the value of helping others and working together for a school goal, often built around how many potential lives can be saved with their donations. The school in turn receives educational resources and certificates to use for PE equipment so we can keep our kids MOVING! 

The Zoo Crew characters help the students connect with these heart healthy messages:

  • Lion: Rory McFiercely III inspires us to help others
  • Elephant: Mr. Tusker encourages 60 minutes of Physical Activity every day
  • Zebra: Savanna Bolt urges us to drink more Water and avoid sugary drinks
  • Panda: Jade Shoots eats more fruits and vegetables-so should we.
  • Monkey: Jenny Kicks says watch out for salty foods and KICKS them away.
  • Penguin: Finley Chillerton asks us to avoid cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

Students who collect donations can earn the Zoo Crew characters on a lanyard as a thank you for supporting the American Heart Association.

Read More

Advocate Spotlight: Angie Jorgensen

Angie Jorgensen Nebraska

My wonderful husband, Jon and I together have 4 great children—Alexis, now 21; Garrett, 19; Josh, 15 and Justin 12.  Our daughter is working and planning for more school.   All 3 boys are currently playing football, and we are going to be cheering at lots of games this Fall!  We have a busy family life and feel enormously blessed.

In addition to being a wife and mother, I work full time as a Sales Director and I have instructed group fitness classes for over 25 years.  I’ve run 8 marathons.  I feel like I’ve taken great care of my health through the years, though I admit to embracing chocolate as the 5th food group :)

On December 7th, 2012, I woke up feeling awful.  I thought I had the flu, but soon I had a feeling of thunder and lightening going through my chest, and I was fighting to breathe.  My husband followed me into the bathroom where I had sank down on the floor and perhaps would have stayed.  Thankfully, my husband had cancelled a hunting trip at the last moment…the first of several divine moments to come.  Jon drove in the ditch around morning rush hour traffic in order to get me to Lakeside hospital.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, my vitals proved something was terribly wrong.  My husband told me that before he knew it several doctors were caring for me, trying to determine the problem. After some time I coded twice, once for approximately 15 minutes before being revived with CPR.  I had gone into cardiac arrest, and at that point I had about 5% heart life, and was not expected to live.  My family was allowed to see me to say their good bye's before I was life flighted to Nebraska Medicine, in an effort to get me to higher care.  My daughter, Alexis, upon leaving the room, told my Mom not to worry because an angel told her I would be all right.  I was not expected to make the flight, but by the grace of God, I did.   

As soon as I arrived at UNMC, I was hooked up to ECMO (ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) and to another machine for kidney dialysis.  ECMO takes the place of the heart and lungs while they hopefully can recuperate, or as the bridge to a heart transplant or implementation of a device that helps the heart function.  My family was told that I could be on the ECMO machine for 2-3 weeks.  Throughout the week, the doctors searched for heart viruses, believing that was the problem.   They were evaluating for a potential heart transplant.  My organs failed, and I had at least one stroke.  

On Dec. 12th, 2012, ( yes 12-12-12!!!) my heart came back fully functional.  A ct scan of my heart and several bouts with very high blood pressure led the Doctors to see a tumor on my adrenal gland.  The tumor was feeding on the adrenal gland, basically spiking my adrenaline to 500 times the normal level a person should have, which is what threw me into cardiac arrest.  Pheochromocytoma was the medical diagnosis, which is a rare tumor of the adrenal gland.  

I woke up on December 14th, and was quite overwhelmed to hear of the events that had transpired the previous week.  I started out as an invalid, with broken ribs and a cracked sternum from the CPR.  But I was alive and right away I knew that was a miracle.  I remember my first thought was being so thankful that I was alive to go to my daughter’s upcoming graduation.  

I had pneumonia, and a blood infection.  I had another instance of blood pressure in the 270 range while awake and nearly coded again.  Each day presented challenges, but each day had a victory as well. Each day I chose to focus on the good things, rather than the negative.  

The pilots who had flown me to higher care, came to see my husband and me at NE Medicine.  They told us that they always followed up on patient flights, and had been watching for my name in the obituaries.  After they were not seeing my name there, they came to find out that I had survived and were elated to see us and tell us thank you for making their Christmas.  I told them the thank you, as I would not be here without them!

As I focused on the victories, each day got better and better.  One step turned into 5, then 10.  I regained use of my hands.  My progress surpassed the doctor's expectations.  They had told us to expect to be in the hospital at least a month.  My husband and I returned home on December 28th, 3 weeks to the day after everything had occurred.  I wore a defibrillator vest for a few months and went through cardiac rehab until I became strong enough to have surgery to have the tumor removed.  Thankfully, the tumor was benign.

I am back to my active life…. Wife, Mother, Christian, working in sales, instructing a couple of fitness classes a week, running, and cheering at lots of football and basketball games!  I have also had the privilege of being able to help out wonderful organizations like the American Heart Association.

I am forever grateful to my husband for first saving my life and for getting me to the hospital on Dec. 7th.  I am so thankful for my large medical team of Doctors, for my family, our Church, and for friends who helped support us with prayers, meals, and so much more. 

I am a blessed and grateful woman and I just want to express my abundant thanks!  My advice to pass on—

Your body is the first place that you live.  Honor it by taking care of YOU, because you can make a better difference by being healthy.   Be aware of the warning signs for heart attack and stroke.  Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women.  The doctors told me that because my good state of health was a large reason I was able to survive such a traumatic health event….that and a miracle.  Live each day fabulously and embrace it for the beautiful gift that it is! 

Read More

For Kids, What is Ideal Heart Health?

The road to cardiovascular disease begins in childhood, and it’s a road many American children are on, based on a new report from the American Heart Association that indicates very few kids meet all the criteria for ideal heart health.

Many are overweight or obese. Others don’t get enough exercise or have picked up smoking. But the biggest disqualifying factor was diet: Less than 1 percent of children ages 2 to 19 meet the criteria for an ideal diet, according to federal data from 2007 to 2008.

That troubling reality led the AHA to issue Thursday’s scientific statement that provides the first detailed look at ideal heart health for kids: no tobacco use, a healthy weight, at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, a healthy diet score and normal blood pressure, total cholesterol and blood sugar.

Pediatric cardiologist Thomas R. Kimball, M.D., was “shocked” when he heard so few U.S. children meet all seven criteria for ideal heart health.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

Read More

The Jig is Up on Added Sugar

ICYMI - which means "in case you missed it" ... new scientific evidence reveals the dangers of too much sugar for our kids.  New recommendations by the American Heart Association are as follows:  Experts recommend that children ages 2-18 consumer less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.  Also recommended is limiting sugary beverage consumption to no more than one 8 ounce serving per week.  The recommendations also advise that children under the age of two should not consumer any foods and beverages with added sugars. 

According to the statement by the AHA, eating foods high in added sugars throughout childhood is linked to the development of risk factors for heart disease, such as an increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure in children and young adults.

“Children who eat foods loaded with added sugars tend to eat fewer healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products that are good for their heart health,” said Miriam Vos, M.D., Ms.P.H, lead author, nutrition scientist and associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

The likelihood of children developing these health problems rises with an increase in the amount of added sugars consumed. Overweight children who continue to take in more added sugars are more likely to be insulin resistant, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, according to the statement.

“There has been a lack of clarity and consensus regarding how much added sugar is considered safe for children, so sugars remain a commonly added ingredient in foods and drinks, and overall consumption by children remains high – the typical American child consumes about triple the recommended amount of added sugars,” said Vos.

For more on this story, as shared on Good Morning American, CLICK HERE. 

Read More

Join us for "Back to School, Back to Good Health" Twitter Chat

Where did the summer go?  School supplies in the stores and fall sports schedules means it’s time to think about back-to-school.  And we want to help!  We invite you to join us for a “Back To School, Back To Good Health” Twitter chat hosted by the American Heart Association’s 11-state Midwest Affiliate. The chat is Aug. 23 from 7-8 p.m. CT/8-9 p.m. ET using #MWAHeartChat.

We will be discussing four key topics, and would love to have your expertise. The topics include: getting active; healthy lunch and snack ideas; preparing for busy school nights (including eating out); and getting involved in the school year.  Within a week of the chat, we will try to provide at least one question from each category to give you a sample of the conversation from each category. 

@AHAMidwest will be moderating. The chat will use #MWAHeartChat so be sure to include that in all of your tweets so our moderator can retweet you.

Here’s the details:

When:                 Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 7-8 p.m. CT/8-9 p.m. ET

Hashtag:              #MWAHeartChat

Topic:                    Back to School, Back to Good Health

Who:                     American Heart Association representatives from across the Midwest will participate in the chat. Representatives come from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota  and South Dakota.          

Format:                @AHAMidwest will ask questions, you answer. Interact with other volunteers, experts and American Heart Association accounts.

Incentive:           All participants will be registered to win an American Heart Association cookbook. Four random winners will be selected by @AHAMidwest and announced at the end of the Twitter Chat.  


Please let me know if you have any questions! If you’re free on Aug. 23, we hope that you’ll join us.

Read More

Advocate Spotlight: Michelle Nielson

Michelle Nielson Nebraska

Meet Michelle Nielson! Michelle is the new Senior Community Health Director out of the Omaha office.  Michelle returns to the AHA after serving as the Director of State Health Alliances for AHA from 2008 to 2009.  Michelle brings an enthusiastic attitude and says she is looking forward to continuing the lifesaving efforts that AHA is focused on. 

Between 2009 and 2016, Michelle served as the Operations Director for the online nursing programs with Nebraska Methodist College and a Clinic Manager for two specialty physicians groups.  Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in Health Administration and a master’s degree is in Education Administration.  She and her family and moved to North Platte in 2013 and returned to the Omaha area in May of 2016. 

Michelle shared, "It is going to be a very exciting year working with all of the internal and external partners and taking our big steps towards the 2020 health goals of the American Heart Association!"

Read More

High-tech Simulators Will Allow Rural Emergency Techs to Practice Trauma Treatment Thanks to $5.5 Million Grant

At a time when rural emergency medicine is facing shortages of volunteers, equipment and funding, Nebraska’s rural EMS system has received a significant investment from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center received a three-year, $5.5 million grant for four trucks and 20 simulators — mannequins that mimic patients — to help train rural EMTs and small-town hospital personnel.

The program will enable training to take place in towns across Nebraska so that volunteers don’t have to travel to Kearney or Omaha, where such continuing education for EMTs typically takes place.

The program gives support to a diminishing breed. Information distributed by UNMC said that between December 2013 and April 2016, the number of licensed emergency medical service providers in Nebraska dropped 18 percent, from 8,436 to 6,959.

The Helmsley grant also bolsters UNMC’s commitment to simulators, which enable students and practitioners to work on their skills without the risk of injuring real patients. UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey Gold is a proponent of the concept and aims to build a major simulation facility on his campus.

The simulators acquired through the Helmsley grant will be based in Scottsbluff, Kearney, Norfolk and Lincoln, where UNMC has nursing programs. The units are expected to be delivered in January. EMTs and other medical workers will have the chance to practice on trauma cases and catastrophic illnesses that they don’t normally see, said Shelley Stingley, director of the Helmsley Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE



Read More

Expert will visit Omaha to Discuss Benefits of a Walkable City

Jeff Speck, author of “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save American, One Step at a Time”  will visit Omaha next month to tour the city on foot and by car, meet with area officials and address the Heartland 2050 summit.

The summit, coordinated by the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, will be held August 2 at Creighton University’s Harper Center.  It is free and open to the public.  To attend, please register at

Karna Loewenstein, Heartland 2050’s coordinator, said the summit is about planning for the future and ensuring that, 34 years from now, the Omaha area will be a “wonderful place to live.” Achieving that involves planning for smart land use, transit options and walkability, Loewenstein said.

“Policymakers and employers, take heed: It’s difficult to attract people to relocate unless you can offer them a bustling downtown core, Speck said.

For more on this article, CLICK HERE.

Read More

New Study: E-cigarettes could cut smoking-related deaths by 21 percent

E-cigarettes could lead to a 21 percent drop in deaths from smoking-related diseases in those born after 1997, according to a study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

The study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network, found that under most plausible scenarios e-cigarettes and other vapor products have a generally positive public health impact. For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

Read More

Pokémon Go Brings Video Games Outside

Pokémon Go is getting players physically moving in the real world, a change from the stereotypical stationary screen time usually associated with gaming. The app works by allowing GPS to track the gamer’s location, which in turn moves the player’s avatar the same distance on the in-game map.

“There is already clear evidence that people are walking more each day while using it,” said Wei Peng Ph. D, an associate professor at Michigan State University, who studies the potential benefits in using video games and interactive media to promote health.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

Read More

[+] Blogs[-] Collapse