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Wyoming advocates at the Capitol

You're the Cure advocates gathered at the Capitol in support of our top public policy priorities and National Wear Red Day. The morning began with an advocacy training followed by visits with legislators about Mission: Lifeline Wyoming and strengthening our coordinated systems of care. Afterward, You're the Cure advocates had the opportunity to meet with Governor Mead as he signed a proclamation declaring February 6th as National Wear Red day throughout the state of Wyoming!

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Wear Red Day in Colorado

You're the Cure advocates gathered at the Capitol in support of National Wear Red Day. The morning began with advocates meeting with legislators about our top public policy priorities. American Heart Association advocacy staff then conducted an advocacy training in which advocates heard from State Advocacy Committee Member Sherri Foote on why she became involved with our efforts over the years. Afterward, You're the Cure advocates the had the opportunity to go to the House of Representatives and Senate chambers to receive a resolution declaring February 6th as National Wear Red day throughout the state!

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Governor Dalrymple Proclaims Heart and Stroke Day in North Dakota

Governor Dalrymple met with AHA volunteers, survivors and staff on Monday, February 9th and proclaimed it Heart and Stroke Day in North Dakota.  Heart and Stroke Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and stroke, and to bring attention to opportunities to improve health and well-being through legislative policy.  During his remarks, Governor Dalrymple reminder legislators and other visitors to the Capitol that while we have made significant strides in improving outcomes for heart disease, it is still our state's number one killer of adults. The Governor also noted that stroke is the leading preventable cause of disability and eighty percent of cardiac events can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle. 

We are proud of the work that has already been done to improve cardiac and stroke care in North Dakota. The Governor noted that North Dakota has championed improved emergency response and newborn screenings for congenital heart defects and has set a standard for other states to follow on strong stroke and cardiac systems of care. 

The Governor concluded his remarks urging all citizens to recognize that living healthier leads to longer, fuller and more active lives with less disease care in the later years and to call 9-1-1 at the first signs of heart attack or stroke symptoms. 

 

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Advocacy Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Spring Events

 Advocacy Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Spring Events in Your Area


The Advocacy Department needs 4-6 volunteers for our upcoming Spring 2015 events listed below. We will need help throughout the day working at the advocacy information table, collecting petition cards and recruiting new advocates for the You’re the Cure network. All volunteers will receive a You’re the Cure t-shirt.

Please let us know if you’re interested or if you know friends and family members that are interested in helping volunteer for this event by contacting Rae O’Neill at rae.oneill@heart.org

Please include the event name, volunteer’s name, t-shirt size, and cell phone number.

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 
South Central Illinois Heart Walk
Veterans Memorial Park, Mount Vernon, IL
Volunteers needed from 8am to 11am

Saturday, April 25th, 2015 
Most Powerful Voices Gospel Concert
House of Hope, Chicago, IL
Volunteers needed from 4:30pm to 10pm


Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 
Springfield Heart Walk
Southwind Park – Hope’s Pavilion
Volunteers needed from 8:30am to 12pm


Saturday, May 16th, 2015 
Quad Cities Heart Walk
The District of Rock Island
Volunteers needed from 8am to 11am  

Saturday, May 30th, 2015 
Northern Illinois Heart Walk
Rock Valley College
Volunteers needed from 8am to 12pm


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Sen. Altman Sponsors CPR in Schools Legislation

We’re thrilled that Senator Thad Altman from Melbourne has agreed to sponsor our CPR in Schools legislation. Senate Bill 328 is now ready to move through the committee process. Please call or email your Senator, asking for his or her support so we can train generations of life savers in Florida.

Click here to find your Senator’s name and contact information.

Nearly 424,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital every year, but only 10.4%survive, most likely because CPR is not administered soon enough. Isn't it time for the Florida Legislature to make sure all high school students learn CPR before they graduate? It’s one of the best ways to add more lifesavers to our communities.

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Gadsden is Officially Smoke-Free

In June of 2014, Gadsden City Council passed an ordinance protecting citizens and workers from secondhand smoke. In December, our coalition learned that Gadsden was going to delay implementation. As such, advocates from across the Gadsden area called city council members and the mayor in January, encouraging them to stick with their plan to make Gadsden smoke-free. Thanks to the grassroots support, the Gadsden City Council decided on January 20 to stick with their original vote from June and implement the ordinance.  

A smoke-free Gadsden would not have been possible without help from You're the Cure advocates. As we strive to make Alabama smoke-free, we need to continue to grow our You’re the Cure network. Please invite a friend to join our cause at www.yourethecure.org as we fight to cure cardiovascular disease and stroke in Alabama.   

 

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Does Your Voice Matter? Proof It Does!

American Heart Association Ambassador and long-time You’re the Cure advocate, Kimberly Goodloe, attends as many events as possible at the Georgia Capitol to advocate for the wide variety of policies that improve heart health.

Early in January, You're the Cure advocates in Georgia received an alert welcoming their legislators back to the State Capitol for the start of the legislative session. Shortly thereafter, Kimberly attended a Day at the Capitol that focused on advocating for the funding of rural hospitals. She was able to meet with her senator, who is brand new to the legislature. He immediately remembered her name from the alert she sent, and she was able to share both the advocacy message of the day and her own personal survivor story with her senator.

A few weeks later, Kimberly attended the National Wear Red Day event at the State Capitol and once again met with senator. She thanked him for his support of raising awareness of heart disease in women. He remembered her from both the action alert and her visit, and recounted her survivor story.

So if you ever wonder if your voice is truly heard, the answer is YES! And alerts are only one way to have communication with your lawmakers. Most of them now have Facebook pages, Twitter handles, and Instagram accounts. These also are important media from which you can share your advocacy efforts!

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Tennessee Legislature Says No to Insure Tennessee

On February 2, 2015, the Tennessee Legislature convened for a special session to consider Governor Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” proposal. The session was expected to last at least a week, but ended on February 4 when the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 7-4 against the proposal. 

 If passed, “Insure Tennessee” would have provided more than 275,000 working, low-income residents with the opportunity to see a doctor regularly and receive timely preventive screenings, such as tobacco cessation services and stroke screenings. The program would have rewarded healthy behaviors, prepare members to transition to private coverage, promote personal responsibility and incentivize choosing preventive and routine care instead of unnecessary use of emergency rooms.

As a member of the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee, the American Heart Association urged the Legislature to improve access to health care through “Insure Tennessee.” The American Heart Association will continue to support meaningful health reform that helps ensure affordable, quality health care for all Americans, regardless of race, gender, age, or ethnicity, in order to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases.

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Idaho Youth Lobby Day 2015 - What An Amazing Day

Guest Blogger: Erin Bennett, Idaho Government Relations Director

On January 29, 2015 the American Heart Association created a buzz in the Idaho State Capitol with the 5th Annual Youth Lobby Day. The AHA Youth Lobby day brings together student advocates with legislators to discuss what can be done at the local level to improve heart health, and how we can work with younger audiences to focus on prevention efforts.

With approximately 40 students and volunteers, youth advocates were able to meet with over 25 legislators at the Capitol, focusing on physical education standards and requirements in school, as well as introducing legislators to new ideas regarding nutrition and Smart Snacks in schools. During a breakfast reception student lobbyists taught legislators, capitol staff, and visitors easy physical activities they could do throughout the day to help improve their own heart health, as well as teaching them hands-only CPR.

The students were also given recognition on the floor of the Idaho House of Representatives, for their commitment to the American Heart Association and dedication to improving health and reducing risk of heart disease and stroke. Youth advocates were able to have great discussions with many legislators and helped build support for AHA priorities in Idaho. The students were well received and provided insight to many legislators new to the Capitol as well. The 5th Annual Youth Lobby Day at the Idaho Capitol was a great event that helped further the mission of the AHA thanks to the amazing students and fantastic volunteers!

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A Powerful Day in Olympia

Guest Blogger: Kami Sutton, Grassroots Coordinator

On February 3, a group of nearly 40 volunteers and 20 AP Government students from Eastlake High School in Sammamish gathered at our State Capitol for our 2015 American Heart Association Lobby Day. The morning started with informative presentations by Lindsay Hovind, our Government Relations Director and Mike Shaw, a contract Lobbyist with the American Heart Association, who went over the current climate in Olympia including budget progress and what is expected during this year’s legislative session.

While our adult volunteers were being briefed by Lindsay & Mike, our student advocates were already busy advocating for Safe Routes to School out on the front lawn of the Capitol. They held signs, and gave speeches on the importance of safe walking and biking paths for students to use to get their daily exercise while walking and biking to class. Along with our partners at the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition (COPC) the students did a great job getting our message out there of the importance of funding these projects that provide the necessary improvements for the students to get to school safely.

Back in the training room our students joined us for presentations by Representative Marcus Riccelli who sponsors House Bill 1285 which will mandate Pulse Oximetry Screening as part of the Newborn Screening panel to help detect Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHDs) in newborns in hopes of saving tiny lives. Joining us in Olympia were several CCHD survivors including 3-year-old Carissa Henderson and her family who helped make a powerful statement as to why this is such important legislation.

Our final presentations, made by Vic Colman, the Executive Director of COPC, gave us more details on the Safe Routes to School program and what funding by the legislature could do to help our communities make these vital improvements with sidewalks, crosswalks and proper signage to make this “healthy choice, the easy choice”. Our other legislative ask of the day was Tobacco Prevention and Control funding, which last year we were successful in securing $1.5M for the program, but with tobacco use still being the number one cause of preventable death, we need more funding to keep cessation programs alive and ready for citizens to use.

We had a quick question and answer session which made for great discussion with the presenters including Representative Riccelli who answered questions for the students about his advice on getting involved with state government and the importance of staying in touch with their lawmakers.

After a great morning training and a wonderful heart healthy lunch, each group got together to prepare for meeting with their lawmakers and planned out introducing our three agenda items to their Representatives and Senators. Each group spread out across campus to attend the meetings and we gained a lot of support for the issues at hand.

All in all this was a wonderful day with great volunteers and the training of many future advocates and possibly even some future lobbyists or lawmakers! Everyone had a great day and we rallied some amazing support from our Washington State Lawmakers that will boost our issues to the forefront of the chambers discussions in the future.

To stay up to date and involved with our 2015 legislation, don’t forget to visit www.yourethecure.org regularly and take action.

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