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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 StrokeAssociation.org to learn the warning signs of stroke.

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A Nickel to Curb Smoking

Great News! Before the Assembly recessed for the summer, they introduced a bill to provide funding for tobacco programs aimed at preventing smoking and helping smokers quit. Smoking is still the #1 cause of preventable death in the state and New Jersey collects about $700 million from tobacco taxes each year, yet not one single cent is spent on tobacco prevention efforts.

New Jersey is the only state that provides no public funding to stop this preventable public health threat, but this legislation would change that! The bill requires that the state set aside 5% of what they collect in tobacco taxes (or a nickel for every dollar) to be used to for tobacco programs-estimated to be about $33 million each year!

The bill is sponsored by Assemblymen Carmelo Garcia, Timothy Eustace, Adam Taliaferro and Raj Mukherji and we thank them for their leadership on this issue. There is no Senate version of the bill (yet!) but I invite you to join with me and other "You're the Cure" advocates throughout New Jersey to advocate for this important legislation.

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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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NJ You're the Cure Advocates Visit NJ State House

On June 18, over 20 advocates from the American Heart Association, YMCA State Alliance and The Food Trust gathered at the New Jersey State House in Trenton to celebrate the introduction of the Healthy Small Food Retailer Act (S3043/A4505).

The bill is being sponsored by Senator Ron Rice and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez in the Senate and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, Assemblyman Angel Fuentes, Assemblyman Daniel Benson and Assemblyman Gilbert Wilson. It would provide state support to the NJ Healthy Corner Stores Initiative. The program has been operating on the local level for several years and provides training, education and resources to small stores that agree to offer healthier products to their customers.

The event at the State House included a press conference with Assemblymen Wimberly and Diegnan to announce the introduction of the bill and highlight the benefits. Advocates then received training on the issue and were able to talk to several other legislators throughout the day.

To learn more about the NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative or to get involved, please visit the website at njhealthycornerstores.heart.org!

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Summer Health Tips

The arrival of summer means days at the pool, family barbeques, picnics, sports and other outdoor activities. Below are a few tips that you can use this summer to keep your whole family happy and healthy.

 

 

Staying active in the summer months

  • Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate! Drink plenty of water before, during and even after physical activity.
  • Protect your family from the sun.
  • Try to avoid intense physical activity during the hottest parts of the day (between noon to 3pm).
  • Dress for the heat.
  • Head indoors when the heat becomes unbearable. There are plenty of indoor activities that can keep you active on the hottest days.

Heart-Healthy Cookout Ideas

  • Go fish!
  • Make a better burger by purchasing leaner meat and adding delicious veggies.
  • Replace your traditional greasy fries with some heart healthy baked fries.
  • Veggie kabobs are a fun and healthy addition to your family barbeque.
  • Try grilled corn on the cob.

Healthy Road Trip

  • Make “rest breaks” active.
  • Pack healthy snacks to avoid the unhealthy foods at rest stops along your way.
  • Pack to play to continue your regular physical activity.
  • Reach for water instead of being tempted by sugary drinks.

Summer Snack Ideas

  • Homemade freezer fruit pops are an easy and fun treat for the whole family.
  • Keep your veggies cool and crisp during the summer months and they becoming a refreshing treat.
  • Fruit smoothies area a healthy way to cool yourself down on a hot summer day.
  • Mix up your own trail mix to take on all of your summer adventures.
  • Just slice and serve all the delicious fruits that are in season during the summer months.

 

Read more about these tips and other getting healthy tips over at www.heart.org/GettingHealthy 

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Liz Seth, New Jersey

A former athlete, Liz Seth was diagnosed with heart block in her twenties and had a pacemaker implanted—but that didn’t slow her down! Since then she has given birth to twin boys, traveled the world, and recently joined the American Heart Association in Washington, DC to participate in her first "You’re the Cure on the Hill" lobby day. Liz jokes with her boys that she is the Bionic Woman, and after undergoing an ablation procedure last year to correct atrial flutter, Liz has renewed energy to continue advocating on behalf of AHA.

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NJ Leaders Tour Healthy Corner Stores

Throughout the months of April and May, the American Heart Association and several of our partner organizations have been touring corner stores throughout the Garden State to educate lawmakers and others in the community about the NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative.

In April and May we visited several markets in Camden, Newark and Vineland. Senator Rice, Assemblymen Greenwald, Fuentes and Wilson, Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, Mayor Dana Redd and Mayor Ruben Bermudez all joined us at one of the visits to hear from the store owners about how participating in the NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative has impacted their businesses. The visitors also toured the stores to see the selection of healthy products that were stocked.

The NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative is an effort to work with corner store owners to help them offer healthier options in their store. Businesses that join the network have access to training, educational and marketing materials and other resources to help them successfully offer healthy products, especially in communities that lack access to supermarkets. Currently approximately 80 stores are enrolled throughout the state, but that number is on track to increase to about 150 by the end of 2015. We hope to expand the program to accommodate all stores that want to attend.

We thank that elected officials that attended one of the site visits for their interest in healthy food access and for taking the time from their day to learn more about the NJ Healthy Corner Stores Initiative.

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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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From the Bottom of our Hearts - Thank You!

National Volunteer Week (April 12-18) is right around the corner and we couldn’t let it pass without saying how much we appreciate all your contributions as a You’re the Cure advocate. It’s advocates like you who give their time, energy, and passion to help create healthier communities across the country.  We are deeply grateful for your commitment and talent as an advocate.

Since staff can’t always shake your hand and say thank you in person we’ve got a brief video to share. When you watch I am sure you too will be moved by all the great work happening in your states and communities and we look forward to more success in the future. Take a moment to check out the video and then encourage other to get involved and join in the fun.

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