American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
Meet Dr. Steven Houser - New President of AHA

We’re excited to introduce the new AHA President, Steven Houser, Ph.D., FAHA. He not only serves as President but is the senior associate dean of research at Temple University. Most importantly Dr. Houser in a veteran You’re the Cure advocate having testified before Congress and has participated alongside fellow advocates in lobby days at our nation’s Capital. Watch this short video to learn more about Dr. Houser and why he volunteers for the AHA and read more about him here.

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You’re the Cure volunteers from across the country have started sitting down with lawmakers for the August legislative recess, and they’re making sure heart healthy policies are at the top of the agenda.

They’re explaining why healthy school meals are critical to ensuring our kids can succeed in the classroom. They’re asking to change a key Medicare provision so that more victims of cardiac events will be able to take advantage of rehabilitation programs that can dramatically improve recovery. 

They’re pointing out that even with a recent increase in federal research funding, we still need to deepen our commitment to finding the cures that could one day end heart disease and stroke. They’re sharing the good news about how telemedicine services can make a huge impact with stroke patients.

And the best part is that it’s not too late to step up and take part! Fill out this quick survey and we’ll follow up to help get your meeting scheduled. And be sure to share your experience on your social networks so your friends and family know that this August, you’re on a #RoadTripWithHeart.

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Remarkable Success

Each summer at the American Heart Association, we pause to reflect on all we've accomplished over a year. You're the Cure advocates are working hard, and they're truly changing their communities for the better!

In the past year, our volunteers, staff and partners helped pass 74 state and local laws or regulations that help Americans enjoy longer, healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. Here are a few highlights of the exciting progress we've made together:

  • More than 400,000 people gained access to health insurance coverage through the expanded Medicaid program in 2 states. Advocates are hard at work to increase access in the remaining 19 states that have yet to expand their Medicaid programs.
  • Four states and Washington, D.C. passed measures to screen infants for critical congenital heart defects — meaning an additional 208,000 babies in those states and more than 1 million babies across the country will be screened each year. The simple, inexpensive, lifesaving pulse oximetry test is now required in 45 states.
  • States, cities, counties and communities across the country dedicated funding to enhance roadways that make it safer and easier for more than 21.2 million people to walk and ride bicycles.
  • New York City approved more than $9 million in funding for physical education, impacting more than 416,000 elementary school students in the city.
  • Thanks to laws passed this year requiring CPR training in 10 states and a handful of large counties or school districts, more than 740,000 additional students will graduate from high school with the skills to save lives. This brings the total to more than 2 million students in 35 states who will be trained in CPR every year before high school graduation!

I hope you'll take a moment this summer to truly appreciate the impact you're making on our communities as a You're the Cure advocate. Success this big deserves a celebration!  

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Research your candidates

Patients, advocates, and all those who care about heart health know that robust investments in research paired with policies that support medical innovation are key to finding new cures and treatments. With heart disease and stroke being the No. 1 and No. 5 killers in America, it’s surprising that candidates running for national office have not shared their detailed plans for accelerating medical progress.

To elevate the importance of research during this election season, The American Heart Association has once again partnered with Research!America, a non-profit advocacy alliance, on the non-partisan voter education initiative, Campaign for Cures: Vote for Medical Progress! Through strategic communications, grassroots, and on-the-ground activities, the initiative will educate voters and candidates about the health and economic benefits of public and private sector research.

The Campaign for Cures website features an interactive U.S. map with hundreds of quotes on medical progress from candidates across the political spectrum running for national office. Visitors also have the option to contact their candidate directly through the website and take the campaign pledge. The Campaign for Cures blog, managed by former USA Today senior editor and health reporter Janice Lloyd, includes election news, survey data, commentary and analysis of Presidential and Congressional races in key states on topics relevant to medical progress.

To learn more about the initiative, visit, “Like” the initiative on Facebook and follow the conversation on Twitter @Campaign4Cures .

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Federal Appropriations Update

As Congress prepares to move forward on the spending bills necessary to keep the federal government running, we’re on the lookout for policy language that would run counter to our ongoing mission to reduce and someday end cardiovascular disease and stroke.

In the House, the agriculture spending bill passed in mid-April would take several steps backward when it comes to making sure our kids are getting the healthy school meals they need to succeed. Unfortunately, some of these we’ve seen before, including a waiver for the current requirement that schools serve whole grains, and a delay in implementing much-needed sodium reduction standards. Outside the school cafeteria, the bill would also delay the recently-announced nutrition facts label overhaul that will finally include information on added sugars. For these and other reasons, we opposed the bill shortly after it was introduced.

When it comes to tobacco, we have just as many reservations. After the FDA finalized a rule last month giving the agency much-needed oversight over e-cigarettes, cigars, and other harmful tobacco products, the House spending bill would completely exempt certain types of cigars from regulation, and include a provision that would essentially exempt e-cigs, cigars, and other tobacco product that are already on the market from undergoing critical FDA review. At a time when high school students are smoking cigars at a slightly higher rate than cigarettes, we can’t allow these carve outs to become law.

The good news is that the Senate appropriations bills are in far better shape, and will hopefully lead to final spending bills that don’t include these harmful measures. As these bills move forward throughout the summer, we’ll follow up with more information on how you can let your representatives know that protecting our families’ health must be a top priority.

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High School Graduates Prepared to Save a Life

It's graduation season, and the American Heart Association and You're the Cure couldn't be more excited to celebrate this year's high school graduates. These bright young people not only bring fresh energy and ideas to our communities, workplaces and universities; in 32 states, they are prepared to save a life if someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest.

We've been working to pass laws around the country that require students be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before high school graduation. Check out the map below to see where your state stands. Are you in one of the 32 states already teaching this life-saving skill? If not, visit to pledge your support and get involved in a local campaign.

We're already seeing 1.8 million lifesavers graduate each year! Who will put us over the 2 million mark? Maybe your state will be next!

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Serving up anything but science

We’ve written before about the record number of students participating in the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs, and about the laudable compromise reached by the Senate earlier this year that would keep nutrition standards strong so our kids can keep getting the healthy meals they need.

Unfortunately, there are some House members who clearly haven’t gotten the message. The bill they recently introduced would halt the progress made by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (with which 98.5% of schools nationwide are now in compliance). Worse, it takes what has long been a bipartisan issue – ensuring students are served nutritious meals that allow them to excel in the classroom – and instead puts ideology over our kids’ health.

If passed into law, the bill would dismantle nutrition standards for school fundraisers, reverse the progress we’ve made on sodium requirements, and give no direction to schools on how best to teach our kids about the importance of healthy eating. We can’t go back: please tell your representative to reject the House bill and give our kids the healthy futures they deserve.

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White House releases rules to protect public from tobacco

Big news, You're the Cure Advocates!

After a two year delay, the White House finally gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over all tobacco products, including cigars, hookah, and e-cigarettes, in a move that protects both kids and adults across the country from taking up a life-threatening nicotine habit.

This means big changes are coming!

  • Product manufacturers must now register with the FDA, provide ingredient lists, and obtain approval to market new tobacco products.
  • The rule stops the use of misleading terms such as “light”, “low”, or “mild,” bans free samples, and prohibits sales to anyone under 18, as well as most vending machines.
  • Packages and advertisements must include health warnings.

Thank you so much for your relentless work holding the Administration accountable to protect public health. Your actions have made a huge difference and we couldn’t be prouder!

Now let’s celebrate this victory together by sharing on Facebook and retweeting the good news! Also, check out AHA CEO Nancy Brown's opinion on her Huffington Post blog.

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Advocates to Congress: Act FAST!

Last month, 34 You're the Cure advocates came to Washington, D.C. to meet with their Senators and Representatives to discuss why they need to cosponsor the FAST Act. First, watch the powerful video below that explains why telestroke care is personal to them and so many like them across the country. Second, contact your legislators and urge them to support the FAST Act today!

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You've spoken loud and clear

Just a couple months ago, thousands told us what you thought of the You’re the Cure advocacy program. You didn’t hold your opinions back…but that is exactly what we wanted and needed to hear.

So, what did you tell us and what are we going do about it? Here are our top 3 takeaways.

  • Our Website: It’s 2016, but seemingly not so on You bluntly said you don’t visit the site often and have found it less valuable over the years. Although tough to hear, we heard it loud and clear. Expect some major changes in the fall that will elevate our program.
  • Our emails:  You are getting more email than you know what to do with and only want to see messages that you care about. Whether it is childhood obesity, stroke, heart disease or another issue, we know you only want to see messages that mean the most to you. Over the next 6 months, we will work to improve our outreach to help tailor our communications to the causes you're most passionate about.
  • Mobile: A majority of you only read email and check websites via your phone or tablet. It’s time to deliver content in a format that works for you. We are going to change all of that in the near future.

Thank you for your input. We cannot wait to show you the new You’re the Cure in the next months. 

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