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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 www.yourethecure.org. 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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It's time to fight for the NIH

Not only does March kick-off the start of the NCAA basketball tournament, but also our push for more funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Last year, we achieved a major win when Congress gave the NIH an additional $2 billion in funding. But we cannot be satisfied with just one victory. As long as heart disease and stroke continue to kill too many Americans, we cannot stop fighting for a cure.

Join us as we begin our journey for more NIH funding by contacting your lawmakers today!

Yes, this is a long journey and the first step is for legislators to submit their funding priorities to the Appropriations committees. With all the different projects, programs, and agencies vying for attention, we must fight to make sure NIH is on top of the list. 

As we learned last year during this multistep process, nothing is final until the last votes are tallied and we expect many twists and turns along the way. We will keep you updated on the appropriations process and let you know how you can make sure NIH gets the funding it deserves.

Thank you and make your voice heard today!

Need a refresher on why NIH is important? Check out the video below.

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FAST Act Hill Day Wrap-Up

Earlier this month, 34 You’re the Cure advocates and over 180 neurologists from across the country flew into Washington, D.C., joining together in support of the FAST (Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine) Act. This bill would expand coverage of telestroke services, regardless of where a patient lives. Expanding access to this vital resource would result in the greater use of the clot-busting treatment tPA (alteplase), less disability from stroke, and lower costs by reducing the need for long-term rehabilitation care in hospitals and nursing homes.

Advocates on the ground shared their stories to raise awareness and educate lawmakers on the importance of having access to high quality stroke care at every hospital.

But don’t worry that the event is over—YOU can still join us in support of timely, quality care.

We know there is strength in numbers. So, in order to make sure every leader in Washington hears our call, we need your help to keep our message strong. Take a moment to send a letter to your legislator urging them to co-sponsor the FAST Act today!

We have the technology to save lives and greatly reduce the risk of disability in patients who experience a stroke. Let’s ensure we use it.

It only takes a minute for a stroke to drastically change a patient’s life. In the same amount of time, you can send a message to your lawmakers expressing the urgent need for their support of the FAST Act today.

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Three to Watch for in 2016

With lawmakers back in Washington, we’ll be watching and working on three key issues to help improve the heart and brain health of every American:

• Healthy school meals. As negotiations on a child nutrition bill get closer to the finish line, we’re enormously grateful to the tens of thousands of You’re the Cure advocates who have stood up to urge lawmakers to keep school nutrition standards strong. Since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed in 2010, our kids are getting healthier meals, which have been shown to help improve academic performance and teach students the healthy habits they need to succeed. To learn more about the importance of keeping school food healthy, watch (and share!) a video we recently posted here.

• National Institutes of Health funding. With Congress passing an additional $2 billion in NIH funding at the end of last year, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the impact You’re the Cure advocates had on this critical issue. Hundreds visited Washington to share their stories and push for life-saving research funding, with tens of thousands more weighing in with e-mails to lawmakers and petition signatures. But it’s also critical that we continue the fight: as this video demonstrates, the money we devote to heart and stroke research has led to some of the most important medical innovations of the past few decades, from blood pressure pills to automatic external defibrillators.  

• Access to telestroke care. The Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act is gaining co-sponsors quickly, with more and more lawmakers realizing that increasing telestroke access is vital to reducing stroke fatalities. Doing so will allow doctors to diagnose patients and prescribe the care they need, all with hundreds of miles separating the two. Stay tuned for updates on the You’re the Cure advocates from across the country who will be in Washington on March 1st, urging lawmakers to pledge their support for the FAST Act.

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You're the Cure Advocates' New Year's Resolutions

It’s that time of year when we all make resolutions to get healthy, and for many of us, eating better is on the top of our list. As you plan healthier meals for your families, don’t forget the importance of the healthy meals your kids should be eating at school each day.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) established new school nutrition standards in 2010. The standards added more whole grains, fruits and vegetables to school meals, while cutting excess sodium and unhealthy fats. These standards and the majority of schools who have adopted them are at risk.

The law that sets the standards for foods in schools is up for consideration, and we need your support more than ever. So step up to the plate and help to protect the standards from the HHFKA.

Remind your lawmaker that healthy meals for kids is important to you and encourage them to support healthy school meals today!

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