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Take the You're the Cure Advocate Survey

2015 was a great year for You're the Cure advocates and the many policy efforts that you work on. We have big plans for 2016, and we want to hear from you and what you want to see in the future for You're the Cure.

So take the survey now and let your voice be heard.

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New Hampshire Coalition to fight for Healthy, Active Kids

I am very pleased to announce that New Hampshire has received a grant from Voices for Healthy Kids to establish a coalition to bring partners together around policy solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic in the Granite State. These funds will enable the AHA and our partners to build advocacy capacity to develop and execute a multi-year policy agenda to address several policy priorities regarding physical activity and healthy eating. The first policy goal is to prohibit junk food marketing in schools, to support school nutrition leaders and parents in instilling healthy eating habits in children.  The long term goals are to work to improve community environments, to enable more safe and convenient opportunities for physical activity and more access to healthy food and beverage choices for children and families.  A campaign coordinator has been hired to lead the formation of this statewide coalition and other staff will be brought on to serve as a grassroots organizer of community members and groups with experience working with NH’s diverse and underserved communities.

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Join us on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 5

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women are asking for your support by participating in National Wear Red Day® on Friday, February 5, 2016 and donating to help fund research during American Health Month.

Why Go Red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. That’s why this year we are asking that you wear red on National Wear Red Day® and donate to Go Red For Woman. By doing so you help support educational programs to increase women’s awareness and critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health. 

And don’t forget to make your heart health a priority. Schedule your Well-Woman Visit, a prevention check-up to review a woman’s overall health so her doctor can measure blood pressure, check cholesterol and look for signs of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses. Then encourage others through your social channels to do the same.

We couldn’t make positive changes without the support and donations by individuals like you.

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Support Heart Healthy Policies in New Hampshire this New Year

January kicks off the 2016 legislative session in New Hampshire.  Hearings will begin soon on hundreds of bills including the American Heart Association’s policy priorities.  Each year the AHA presents a robust policy agenda for our lawmakers to support that will focus on building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke in our state.  As a You’re The Cure Advocate, please keep a watch on Action Alerts and updates you will receive in the coming weeks and months on policy issues to help make our communities healthier and safer, including:

  • Encouraging schools to ensure healthy nutrition environments by protecting our children from unhealthy food and beverage marketing on school property;
  • Putting thousands of trained lifesavers in NH communities every year by seeing that all students receive hands-on training in CPR prior to their graduation from high school;
  • Creating a Complete Streets policy for NH communities that provide safe and convenient roadways for all modes of transportation including bicyclists and pedestrians; and,
  • Protecting kids from Tobacco by raising the age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21.

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Get Social With Your Members of Congress

Will you be on Facebook or Twitter today? Your Members of Congress and their staff will be, and it's a good place to reach them according to a report released in October by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF).

The CMF report, #SocialCongress, says Congressional offices are listening to social media chatter and it takes relatively few posts or comments to get their attention. That's good news for us!

So, how can you use the Facebook newsfeed or Twitter timeline to get the attention of lawmakers and help pass heart healthy policies?

  • Follow your members of Congress, as well as state and local elected officials on Twitter. ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ their pages on Facebook.
  • Tweet about our health policy issues, tagging the appropriate legislators by using the @ sign and their Twitter handle. For example: I’m from Pennsylvania, so I’d tag my U.S. Senators by including @SenBobCasey & @SenToomey in my tweet.
  • If they allow it, you can post about our issues directly on the Facebook pages of elected officials. Frequently, that feature is disabled but you are able to comment on their posts. According to #SocialCongress, Congressional offices typically monitor those comments for a limited period of time. Your best bet is to comment within the first 24 hours after a post.
  • Rally your friends and family members to tweet, post or comment about an issue on a single ‘day of action’. CMF’s survey data shows just 30 or fewer comments can be enough to make a legislative office pay attention.
  • Be sure to use the campaign hashtag if one has been created by your advocacy staff partners. The #hashtag allows all the relevant posts to be woven together to tell our story, and makes your post searchable by others interested in the issue.    

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Complete Streets are Safe and Convenient for All Users

When the NH Legislature reconvenes in January, the American Heart Association will be ready to advocate for policies which help create healthier environments for residents and visitors to the Granite State. Legislators will consider one such policy that will have long-term benefits to improving the health and vitality of our communities. Complete Streets is a term to describe projects which create roadways that are safe and convenient for all modes of transportation, including bicycles and pedestrians. A Complete Street approach supports good practices to designing roads that incorporate accessible sidewalks, bike lanes, safe street crossings, and other features that will encourage more physical activity. In fact, people living in walkable communities are shown to get 35 to 45 more minutes of moderate physical activity per week than low-walkable neighborhoods. Other benefits of Complete Streets are reduced traffic injuries, improved access to downtown shopping areas and parks and other economic gains for cities and towns.

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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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New Hampshire seeks to raise the tobacco sale age to 21

The American Heart Association has long supported evidence-based policies to reduce the rate of tobacco use among adults and youth. Eliminating the public’s exposure to second-hand smoke, with smoke-free workplaces, restaurants and bars has proven very successful and a policy that has been embraced by the public and lawmakers alike in New Hampshire. Increasing the price of tobacco by raising state excise tax has met limited success in NH, but also accompanies a drop in tobacco use by young people. However, NH still has the highest youth smoking rate in the Northeast. We know 95% of adult smokers began before the age of 21. The Institute of Medicine released a report in March which found raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21 would reduce youth access to tobacco. The rationale, much like it was for reducing alcohol use, is to create more social distance between those under age 18 and those legally able to purchase tobacco. Raising the legal age to 21 will reduce tobacco use among youth, save lives and reduce healthcare costs attributed to tobacco related illness. To learn more, find the IOM report online:

http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2015/TobaccoMinimumAgeReport.aspx

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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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How Can NH Graduates Be CPR Smart?

There are now 27 states that require students receive training on how to properly administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation!  Many high schools in NH teach students CPR, but not ALL students are receiving hands-on training in schools across the state. The AHA wants New Hampshire to adopt the requirement that all students graduate high schools having been trained in CPR. When we do, Granite-staters will have ever-increasing odds that someone nearby will be able to respond with this life-saving skill. This school-year our decision-makers, from legislators down to local school boards, need to hear from advocates like you that CPR taught in schools will result in thousands of new lifesavers in our communities every year. Please join the movement by visiting www.BeCPRSmart.org to learn more about the American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools program.

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