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Roosevelt Island Supports Community CPR Training!

Thanks to advocates Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, Sharon Williams and a great group of volunteers, Roosevelt Island is quickly becoming the safest place to be if you suffer a cardiac arrest!  Lynne and Sharon have helped implement a community training program that prepares New Yorkers to use hands-only CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) in the case that someone's heart stops beating.  More than 300 people have been trained in these life-saving skills as a result of their efforts! 

To learn more information, or to find out about future training dates, visit this link:

We hope that the high school on Roosevelt Island soon starts to train students as well so they can be designated CPR Smart like Port Richmond High School was last week.  If Lynne and Sharon have their way, everyone in this vibrant slice of Manhattan will soon be prepared to help save a life! 

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Thank you, Council Member Crowley!

Following up on the recent introduction of our PE Reporting bill in New York City, Council Member Crowley took to the TV to help advocate for her proposal.  Check out the link here:

Thank you, Council Member Crowley, for sharing our message and promoting the need for improved physical education in NYC!

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Kids can't eat healthy foods if they don't have a healthy choice…

Did you know low-income neighborhoods have 50 percent fewer supermarkets than the wealthiest neighborhoods? 

For millions of people around the country—many of them kids—the fast choice is the only choice when it comes to food.  But things don’t have to be this way.  Healthy food financing initiatives can help...and everyone should have easy access to the fresh, healthy food our bodies need to stay well. 

In New York State, six out of ten adults are considered overweight or obese.  That’s 8.5 million New Yorkers that are struggling!  The state's Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund can help communities across New York by providing the funding needed to create supermarkets and mobile markets. 

Providing healthy food, creating jobs and revitalizing the that sounds like a win for kids and families!

You can help bring healthy food to communities across New York, create jobs and revitalize NY’s economy too—by speaking out in support of  the state's Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund. 

Let's help give kids and families a healthy choice.


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Making Progress on PE in NYC

New York City Council has joined our fight to improve Physical Education in New York City!

At their Stated Meeting on February 12th, legislation was introduced that will help to improve the transparency of how schools are (or are not) complying with the state's PE requirements. The Council's introduction will create a reporting mechanism whereby a school will have to share the framework of their PE program, and that information will be provided publicly to parents, advocates and groups like the American Heart Association.  This data can help us gain a better understanding regarding the obstacles faced on the way to compliance with state law.

You may remember that the AHA's Advocacy Committee coordinated a research project a couple of years ago, in an effort to clarify the status of PE in our city's schools.  The survey looked at how often PE was offered to students, the length of time for each class, as well as other indicators of a quality PE curriculum.  You can review the report here:

Our research was referenced heavily throughout the press event that announced the legislation.  In fact, this graphic showing our results was displayed to highlight the inequity that exists among neighborhoods regarding PE compliance:

Our concern is long as schools are allowed to ignore the state laws regarding PE, this disparity will persist.  Without quality PE, a student cannot be guaranteed an opportunity to embrace the value of sustained, physical activity which is pivotal for long-term cardiovascular health.  If we truly want to address health equity in NYC, then physical education must be a priority for every school!

Thanks to Council Members Crowley, Rosenthal, Johnson and Dromm for their early support of this pivotal issue. With their help, we will achieve our goal...#PE4All

If you haven't already done so, please take action via this link (and please share it widely with all New Yorkers!)  We need your help to gain more Council sponsors in the weeks ahead:

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Fairport Central School District recognized as "CPR Smart"!

Congratulations to Fairport Central School District!  The district recently received the "CPR Smart" recognition from the American Heart Association for committing to prepare their students for an emergency by teaching CPR.

As part of the program, the district will teach students how to identify someone in sudden cardiac arrest, to call 911, to begin performing Hands-Only CPR, and how to use an AED.

Why is Fairport's recognition so important?  More than 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States. Sadly, about 90 percent of victims die most likely because they don’t receive timely CPR.  The community will now have more lifesavers thanks to Fairport Central School District!

The American Heart Association applauds the staff, students and board members of the Fairport Central School District for their CPR Smart School recognition.  

A school can become a CPR Smart School by adopting a written policy that ensures students:

  •  learn how to recognize when someone is in possible cardiac arrest,
  •  learn hands-only CPR and practice compressions
  •  learn the importance and basics of an AED. Student certification is not required.

For an application or more information to become a CPR Smart School contact the American Heart Association’s New York State Government Relations Director Julianne Hart at

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New maps provide insight on access to supermarkets in New York State

For millions of people around the country—many of them children—the fast choice is the only choice when it comes to food.  Newly created maps paint a picture of the problem.  View below to see maps outlining supermarket sales and income data in New York State.  Additional blog posts on outline supermarket sales and income in New York City, Syracuse and Buffalo.



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CPR in Schools Update...

Stay with us... we're getting closer.  As we told you earlier, the Board of Regents held their first public discussion on CPR in Schools at their December meeting . 

The next steps?  

  • The State Education Department (SED) is gathering input from interested parties -  and we're happy they sought input from the American Heart Association. 
  • SED will then issue a report on CPR/AED instruction to the Board of Regents.  The report is due by April 19 however we believe the report may be presented earlier. 
  • The Board of Regents has 60 days to act on the report.

We're almost there...we know the report on CPR/AED instruction is coming...but we don't know what is in it. 

How can you help?

We need your voice.  We recently shared Doreen’s Rowe’s story.  After dinner one evening, Doreen thought she had indigestion.  Turns out, she was going into cardiac arrest. She’s alive because her daughter knew CPR. That’s why Doreen is urging everyone, including students, to learn CPR.  Join Doreen by sending a letter to the Board of Regents.

We’re getting closer to CPR in Schools but still need your help before the State Education Department releases their report.

Schools can create more heroes by teaching CPR to ALL students. 

You can be a hero too.  Thank you for all your work in getting us this far!  Please stay with us until we get to the victory line - Send your message today.

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Advocate, Pam Bonney, Testifies at NYC Board of Health Hearing

Today, the American Heart Association presented testimony to the New York City Board of Health encouraging improvements for the quality of child care facilities in our city. We are truly passionate about obesity prevention in our youngest New Yorkers, and our comments focused on the impact of nutrition and physical activity standards as effective ways to promote health.  Thanks to Pamela Bonney, AHA Advocacy Committee member and registered dietician, who spoke on behalf of our organization and provided an excellent voice for our mission.

Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle should be taught at a young age. We know obesity is a problem...obesity and excess weight cause health concerns such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Because 69% of all US adults are either overweight or obese, it is absolutely necessary that our city’s children learn healthy behaviors now in order to eventually improve our city's health.

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Icy Conditions Freezes 911 Response in NYC

As New Yorkers, we are all familiar with the harsh effects of winter months.  And we’re typically equipped to roll with the punches. However, when our city was hit with a severe winter storm on Sunday, heavy rains and freezing temperatures caused black ice conditions with troubling consequences.

With numerous pile-ups and crashes throughout the city, NYC EMS required the help of over 30 crews from  Nassau and Westchester counties and New Jersey to assist in their efforts; this still was not enough.

That morning, from about 8 am until 10 am, there was reportedly a backlog of 600 emergency calls. At 2:30 pm, 200 calls were still on hold. Despite significant planning and training, mishaps can still be expected to occur. You’ve heard this from the AHA before, but it bears repeating, it’s important that we focus on increasing the number of people who are ready to act when an emergency strikes and calling 911 is not enough. In these situations, every minute matters, and bystander intervention saves lives. Through the CPR in Schools policy, we can ensure that our students have the tools necessary to keep a victim alive until help arrives, regardless of the weather conditions. By supporting the implementation of this policy, you are allowing our city’s students to stop being witnesses and start becoming life-savers.

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