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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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Meet Dr. Brian Eble, Our Heart Hero

Name: Dr. Brian Eble

Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas

Profession: Pediatric Cardiologist, Arkansas Children’s Hospital

AHA Role: President of the Central Arkansas AHA Board

Dr. Brian Eble was a key player in efforts to ensure that Arkansas newborns are screened for critical congenital heart defects. By using a test called pulse oximetry, doctors can detect low oxygen levels in the blood, which is a significant indicator of heart issues in babies. Pulse Ox testing was signed into law in Arkansas by Governor Mike Beebe in April 2013. In addition, Dr. Eble traveled with a group of Arkansas advocates to Washington, D.C. in May 2015 and stepped up to the plate for healthy school lunches and medical research funding. Our advocates made the views, passions and needs of Arkansas constituents known to their lawmakers in new and compelling ways. In his true to character form, Dr. Eble presented a red lunch tray to each Arkansas Member of Congress on Capitol Hill visits to leave behind a tangible reminder of our federal advocacy priorities.

The AHA Sweetheart Program has also benefited from Dr. Eble’s volunteerism. The Sweetheart program is a fundraiser for the Central Arkansas Heart Ball. It is designed to teach young women about heart disease and stroke. This year, the Sweethearts received a history lesson about major strides in the field of cardiology from Dr. Eble. He talked about the first heart catheter, heart bypass, and echocardiograms.

Most recently, Dr. Eble supported our AHA Advocacy Team in a Sip & Chat event at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where staff and physicians were engaged on the topic of SmokeFree Little Rock over hot chocolate and coffee. The event provided our staff with the opportunity to recruit grassroots support for the campaign to create a healthier city by making all public indoor work areas smoke free.

**Photo courtesy of April Zamora

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Advocate for Heart at the New Mexico Capitol!

You're invited to join us at our state Capitol on Tuesday, February 2nd as we recognize National Wear Red Day and the fight against the number one killer of women - heart disease, by advocating for heart healthy and stroke smart policies. 

  • What: Advocating for Heart at the Capitol 
  • When: Tuesday, February 2nd 
  • Where: Governor’s Inn (101 W Alameda St, Santa Fe, NM 87501) and The New Mexico Capitol 
  • Why: To recognize National Wear Red Day and support the American Heart Association’s legislative agenda. 

Please click here to RSVP. 

Our Advocating for Heart event will include:

8:45 am – 10:00 am (Governor’s Room located at Governor’s Inn)

Enjoy breakfast with fellow You’re the Cure advocates. We’ll also provide and issue overview of our top legislative priorities and advocacy training to prepare you for legislative visits

10:00 am – 1:00 pm (New Mexico Capitol, 411 State Capitol, Santa Fe)

We’ll then head to the Capitol for the memorial presentation and then break into groups for visits with legislators and staff members. 

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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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Meet Petra Colindres, Member of the Grassroots Action Team
We're so excited for you to meet Petra Colindres, member of the Grassroots Action Team! Petra lives in Oklahoma and is a leading You're the Cure advocate. Get to know her and learn of her motivation to volunteer with You're the Cure.
 
Name: Petra Colindres
Occupation: RDN/LD, IBCLC – State Wellbeing Program Coordinator
How long have you been volunteering with the American Heart Association?  2-3 years
Why do you advocate to build healthier lives and communities, free of heart disease and stroke?
My heart belongs to children, that they lead healthier lives with better opportunities and health outcomes than we do currently. That’s why I advocate- these kids don’t have a voice or are allowed to make their own choices due to age, location, education. By helping change policy and addressing access issues helps redistribute disparities within our population. 
What is something in your life that you love? 
I love my family, my friends, and having purpose in my life and career. However, I especially love my newest addition, my son Bodie. 
What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off? 
There’s such thing as time-off? Ha! But, when I do have downtime I enjoy hosting cooking classes for kiddos, reading, and exploring the world with my family. Also, it’s a must that I have 30 minutes to hour of “me” time daily and do some exercise. Otherwise I go bonkers.
What excited you most about joining the GAT?
What the GAT is doing lines up right with my passion of early childhood nutrition. By addressing easier access to more nutritious food sources we can alleviate some of the poorer food options kids choose that lead to long-term health problems. 

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Join the Movement to Ensure the Next Generation of Lifesavers

You have raised your voice in support of newborns being screened for critical congenital heart defects, and having those defects addressed before it’s too late. You’ve also made it possible for New Mexico residents to receive faster and better quality heart and stoke care. The impact you’re making is incredible, and our communities are healthier and safer because of you.

There is another opportunity for which your support can save a life.

Students, teachers, and organizations are joining forces to make CPR in schools a priority, helping to prepare thousands of qualified lifesavers in communities across our state. The American Heart Association will be working with advocates and lawmakers to build support for funding to train 7th – 12th grade students with lifesaving CPR skills.

Will join the movement to prepare the next generation of lifesavers?

Click here to let your state representative and state senator know that you support CPR in Schools! Want to learn more about our campaign efforts? Please email Erin.Hackett@heart.org.

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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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Don Bremner Takes His Message Across the Pacific to New Mexico

Don Bremner is a Kiwi in New Mexico. Not the fruit, but a term of endearment after New Zealand's national bird.  Don has brought the message of healthy heart management across the Pacific to the New Mexico State Legislature as a member of the State Advocacy Committee.

“I'm passionate about using my 3 heart experiences to help educate others", said Don. "I was very fit and healthy with no visible or medical risk factors. Like many others I had a strong dose of 'my lifestyle is so different to my Dads before he died from a heart attack' so I didn't believe the invisible hereditary risk factor would impact me. I found out how strong this factor is in my first event aged 51" said Don.

"Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the USA but for way too many people, their heart is out of sight, out of mind," he said. "A healthy heart beating around 100,000 times a day, 35 million times a year, is put under pressure by being overweight, smoking, lack of exercise, stress and other common risk factors."

Don encourages people to visit their Doctor, to know their numbers, then listen to and act on their advice.

“I hope that in bringing these issues to the attention of respected legislators will help generate policy and education opportunities that encourage people to live healthier and longer" he said.

At the New Zealand Heart Foundation, Don gave over 40 presentation to service and business groups on heart health. For him, reaching out to help people and their families, understand the dynamics of the heart and risk factors for cardiovascular disease is a lifesaving activity.

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Streets Made for Everyone

The American Heart Association recommends getting the equivalent of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Walking, jogging and regular cycling are great ways to reach this goal. It helps to improve your heart and brain health and reduce your stress level. When city planners and government officials are looking to build and upgrade streets in New Mexico, we want to make sure that they consider everyone using our streets, including pedestrians and cyclists. Cardiovascular disease continues to be the number one killer of Americans, and one of the easiest ways to fight heart disease and stroke is to create environments that help us to be more active.

Complete streets are a vital part of active living. Everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race, or ethnicity, ought to have safe and comfortable access to transportation – whether walking, driving, bicycling, or taking public transit. But too many of our streets are designed only for cars and not active living.

Let's make streets for everyone a reality. Share your support and let your local leaders know that safer bike routes and sidewalks should be a priority in your community.

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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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