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Nevada do you know what F.A.S.T stands for?

May brings the opportunity to discuss and educate on an issue that is more common than we want it to be – stroke. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in Nevada yet only eight percent of those recently surveyed in the American Stroke Association/Ad Council Stroke Awareness Continuous Tracking Study could identify each letter in F.A.S.T., an acronym of the most common stroke warning signs.
F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Learn the F.A.S.T signs and share them with your friends and family. When you are done quiz each other by taking the F.A.S.T quiz!

Teaching people how to recognize a stroke and respond quickly is a primary goal of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, sponsored nationally by Medtronic. So let’s educate and hopefully minimize the damage stroke does in our communities.

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Kids Cook with Heart Maui

Over the past 30 years childhood obesity has more than tripled, placing children at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. In order to fight the onset of obesity among children, the American Heart Association developed the Kids Cook With Heart program. Studies show that youth who are involved in preparing their own meals are more likely to eat nutrient rich foods and more fruits and vegetables.

While participating in the program, students learn the basic skills required to prepare their own meals at home, as well as the information they need to make healthier choices.  The classes, taught by AHA volunteers with backgrounds in cooking and nutrition, are fun and educational. This is the first year of the program in Hawaii and we think it was a great success!

The program was offered at Lahaina area elementary, middle and high schools thanks to a grant to the AHA from the Saunder’s Family.

Recently students at Lahainaluna High School completed an eight week “Teen’s Cook With Heart” program that included an “Iron Chef” style healthful cooking competition. During the competition students were presented with a mystery bag of ingredients, and with what they had learned through participation in the program and the help of their chef mentors they prepared a healthful salad, dressing and entrée for a panel of judges. The winning team members won gift cards to a local grocery store.

At the end of the program all of the students received aprons and a cook book with healthy recipes.

We hope to continue this program in other local schools. If you have questions or would like to find out how your school can participate contact Lesli Yano at 808-377-6641.

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WE ARE THE CURE for cardiovascular disease and stroke

Guest Blogger: Marc Watterson, Utah Government Relations Director

Each May we have an opportunity to celebrate and educate on an issue that is close to all of us – Stroke. As we have shared in the past Stroke in the fourth leading cause of death in Utah – and it doesn’t have to be. With your support we have improved the systems of care in Utah for how stroke patients are treated in our local hospitals. The success stories that we hear about are remarkable and it is all thanks to you!

One of the things that we have seen real movement on is the recognition of stroke signs in the community. FAST, can you name them?

  • Face droopiness, numbness and weakness
  • Arm numbness and weakness
  • Slurred speech or trouble speaking or understanding
  • Time to call 911 if these or other symptoms occur

More and more Utahns are becoming aware of these signs and acting accordingly when they seem them in themselves or others. But more can be done. Nationally, nearly one third of all Americans don’t know the signs. So, to celebrate our successes, familiarize ourselves with proven stroke prevention, educate the public on FAST signs – and have a little fun – we have been partnering with University of Utah Health Care in our “Together to End Stroke” community education program.

We are hosting several events in Salt Lake this month in hopes of creating “Stroke Heroes” among us!

  • Stroke Support Group – May 17th, 5:00 - 6:30 pm @ AHA|ASA Salt Lake Office (465 S 400 East, Suite 110)
    • For survivors, friends and families affected by stroke. This is an opportunity for individuals to share their successes and challenges, connect with others, and realize that you’re not alone! Caregivers are welcome to attend this group meeting as well. This month’s guest speaker will be speaking about Occupational Therapy. 

 

  • USOAR – Utah Stroke Outdoor Activity and Recreation, May 18th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm @ Liberty Park, Northeast Corner (600 E 900 S)
    • The University of Utah Health Sciences Program is having their kickoff event for this program. Activities will focus on ways to help stroke survivors adapt to outdoor activities and how these can help with rehab. Activities like biking, golfing, rafting, bowling, and more will be showcased!

 

  • Striking Out Stroke, May 25th, 11:30 -1:30 pm @ City Creek Shopping Center (40 East South Temple)
    • The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association, in conjunction with our “Together to End Stroke” community partner, University of Utah Health Care, will be putting on a special event downtown. We’ll have a pitching area for participants to show off their pitching skills, an on-site vehicle from 101.5 The Eagle to share some tunes, and heart-healthy snacks for all to enjoy!

 

  • Savings Strokes – June 17th, 10:30 – 1:00 pm at Nibley Park Golf Course (2780 S 700 E, Salt Lake City)
    • A free opportunity for stroke survivors and their caretakers to participate in golf for pleasure as well as for physical rehabilitation. This year’s event is sponsored by University of Utah Health Care and will feature a free lunch for participants.

If you would like more information on these events or would like to volunteer to help us out please contact Lavinia Sasaki with the AHA|ASA at Lavinia.Sasaki@heart.org.

Together, with your help, WE ARE THE CURE for cardiovascular disease and stroke!

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You are not alone

Guest blogger: Amanda Cahill, Montana Government Relations Director

The internet has enabled us to quickly become “experts” about most any topic. When it comes to health, most people will “google” symptoms at the first onset. However, this poses a dilemma when it comes to reading information about complex diagnoses like heart disease and stroke.  Too often, we will find people recounting their tales and offering inappropriate advice that does more to scare us than help.  This is where the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association Support Network comes in. 

The Support Network is a new initiative to provide emotional and practical support to people living with heart disease and stroke.  There is something for everyone and different forums dedicated to Stroke, Pediatric Stroke, Rehab and Recovery, Chronic Heart Conditions, Congenital Heart Defects, and even a section for Caregivers.

The Support Network offers an online community, as well as materials for starting face-to-face community-based support groups. The monitored online community is a place for people to ask questions, share concerns or fears, provide helpful tips and find encouragement and inspiration.

Research shows that helping people heal emotionally after a heart attack or stroke can also help them heal physically.

A study just released in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a general lack of social support is associated with poor health and quality of life and depression in young men and women a year after having a heart attack. If you are a survivor or a caregiver know that you are not alone. If you need advice or just want to talk to others that are going through the same thing as you click here and connect.

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Active Communities are Healthy Communities

Guest Blogger: Erin Bennett, Idaho Government Relations Director

For the last 12 months the American Heart Association and our coalition partners have been working diligently on educating legislators on the benefits of investing in the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. Investing in making our communities safer for people to walk and bike is vital to improving our state’s overall health.

During Lobby Day this year, we helped Legislators understand the benefits of Safe Routes, beyond just the increase in physical activity for children. When we invest in making it safer for children to walk and bike to school we make it safer for everyone in the community to get out and get active. SRTS legislation would dedicate state dollars to funding infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects that would make it easier, safer, and help encourage kids to walk and bike to school every day.

We know there are long term benefits to health, education, transportation, the environment, and in communities across the state.

With session over and legislators back in their home districts, we are working to expand the information people have about SRTS and how these programs can improve their communities. We are reaching out to more organizations for support of this work, and to all our wonderful volunteers who know how important physical activity is to children to prevent heart disease and stroke risks.

Our Idaho Heart Walk is on Saturday, May 14th, where we will continue to talk about the benefits of Safe Routes to School, and encourage individuals to sign on to support SRTS funding in the 2017 Legislative Session. This is the perfect opportunity to join us to celebrate heart health and encourage kids to be more active. Please join us by signing up at www.boiseheartwalk.org, and come to the AHA/ ASA booth to learn more about Safe Routes to School, and help support active transportation and improved health!

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Do you know what F.A.S.T. stands for?

May brings the opportunity to discuss and educate on an issue that is more common than we want it to be – stroke. Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in Oregon yet only eight percent of those recently surveyed in the American Stroke Association/Ad Council Stroke Awareness Continuous Tracking Study could identify each letter in F.A.S.T., an acronym of the most common stroke warning signs.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Learn the F.A.S.T signs and share them with your friends and family. When you are done quiz each other by taking the F.A.S.T quiz!

Teaching people how to recognize a stroke and respond quickly is a primary goal of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, sponsored nationally by Medtronic. So let’s educate and hopefully minimize the damage stroke does in our communities.

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Will you help influence scientific research?

We need to hear from consumers like you as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) partner together on the future of research. Your experience could lead to the next research study to improve heart disease and stroke treatment.

As an advocate we’ve asked you to speak out for increased funding for medical research and you’ve answered by contacting lawmakers and sharing your personal stories as survivors, caregivers, and loved ones touched by heart and stroke disease. Now we invite you to share your experience, the decisions made in determining your or your loved one’s treatment plans and the factors that influenced those decisions. If we better understand your experience it can help guide the research that will lead to better care tailored to the specific needs of patients.

If you’ve had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, or you know a loved one who has, your unique understanding could help guide research to solve un-met care challenges faced by individuals like you and improve heart and stroke treatment.

Here are the details:

  • We are focused on un-met challenges faced by patients and caregivers like you. 
  • To join this challenge, you’ll be asked to provide a written submission of your first-hand experience after a heart disease or stroke event.
  • The story and description of the concerns you faced and the decisions you made should be personal and not a general case.
  • A team of scientific professionals and patient representatives with expertise in heart disease and stroke will review your story. Learning more about issues and concerns important to your decision-making can help them improve experiences and outcomes for patients in the future.
  • If your submission is chosen, you could win $1,000 and possibly help shape the future of cardiovascular research.
  • All submissions must be received by June 8, 2016.

Please take this important challenge and share your insights. Your story matters. Take the challenge today!

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Meet Mark, Our Senior Government Relations Director

You're the Cure alerts for Florida will soon come from Mark Landreth, our Senior Government Relations Director in the state. If you haven't met Mark yet, we'd like to introduce you.

Before joining our team six months ago, Mark served as the Executive Director for the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists for five years, where he increased membership by 20 percent and generated a 15 percent growth in conference sponsorships. Prior to his work with FAPL, he was the Director of Legislative Development for eight years and Vice President of Legislative Affairs for two years at the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, where he managed contract lobbyists, grassroots and support staff. He was also the Executive Director for the Florida Optometric Association for twelve years, where among multiple accomplishments he created and implemented a nationwide effort for disaster relief assistance for members devastated by Hurricane Andrew (Project FLOAT). This program later served as a national model for efforts in disaster relief across the country.

Mark has two Bachelor’s Degrees; one in Journalism from UF and another in Political Science from UCF. He is a Certified Association Executive, Graduate, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institutes for Organization Management and a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee. In addition to his long list of professional accomplishments, he has also numerous civic, charitable and professional organizations.

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American Heart Association Heart at the Capitol

Guest Blogger: Ashley Wicklund. Government Advocacy Intern – Sacramento

The AHA hosted Heart at the Capitol, formerly known as Lobby Day, on April 14th this year and it was a great success. As an integral part of the planning team, it is very fulfilling to have seen it go so well. I am a Government Advocacy Intern for the AHA, and I was tasked with setting up all the meetings with the legislators for the event. As you could imagine, sending emails to all the legislative offices and coordinating with legislators or their staff took some time. When I first heard about Heart at the Capitol and began setting up meetings, I don’t think I fully understood the gravity of the event. But after I had confirmed about 85 meetings with the offices of Senators and Assemblymembers, I began to realize just how important this event was.

 

Heart at the Capitol provides an opportunity for volunteers and constituents to come to the Capitol and talk to legislators about the important legislation that the AHA works so hard to pass. The AHA’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. This is why the AHA focuses its energy toward legislation that seeks to require high school graduates to learn Hands-Only CPR (AB 1719) in order to increase the number of people who are able to save lives in the case of a heart attack; legislation that adds a distributor fee onto sugar-sweetened beverages (AB 2782) to invest in communities that are disproportionately impacted by health issues associated with over consumption of sugary drinks; and legislation that would ensure that the Medi-Cal population has access to tobacco cessation programs and resources (AB 1696) to help people quit tobacco use. The AHA commonly uses the phrase “life is why” – life is why the AHA does what it does, to create healthier lives for Californians and Americans around the country.

 

As the event began, more and more people were arriving and checking in, anticipating the exciting day ahead of meeting with their legislators and listening to motivating speakers tell their own stories about heart disease or stroke. From the eyes of an AHA intern, it was great to see the turn-out of constituents and volunteers.  We had a crowd of over 150 attendees from all across California including over 80 students coming from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

 

The level of enthusiasm our advocates had to go in and speak with Senators and Assemblymembers about such important issues was thrilling! Once we got into the meetings, it was clear how much they cared about the topics at hand and how excited they were that legislators and staff shared their enthusiasm.

 

The meeting-filled morning passed by and opened the door to an afternoon of guest speakers. The afternoon kicked off with a press conference from Assemblymember Rodriguez about the CPR in schools bill, who talked about the importance of a bill like this and thanked everyone for coming out for the day. Next, was a very moving story by a man named Steve Griffiths, who survived a heart attack thanks to the actions of his young son and his knowledge of Hands-On CPR. The story was eye-opening and drove the bill home by telling a personal story of how a kid who knew hands-only CPR saved his life. Here’s part of the story.

 

The last speaker of the day was a 9-year-old girl named Savanna Karmue, who wrote her own book titled “Happy Heart.” She learned that heart disease is the number one cause of deaths in America and decided to write her book to spread the word about how to keep a happy heart. Please see her speech here.

 

Reflecting back on Heart at the Capitol, it is easy to see the success it had. The attendees were overjoyed to participate, the legislators had genuine conversations about the AHA’s heart healthy priorities, and the speakers all had personal and inspirational stories that promoted the goals of the AHA and bills. I only hope the participants enjoyed it as much as I did, and that future Heart at the Capitol events will be this successful!

 

To see a glimpse of the experience, please see the photos here.  I’m the one pictured on the left!

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Recap of the 2016 Legislative Session

Guest Blogger: Nicole Olmstead, Government Relations Director - Arizona

The 2016 Legislative Session here in Arizona has finally ended, on May 7, 2016.  During the session, we continued our campaign to have Arizona join the ranks of 31 states across the US that require Hands-On CPR training before graduation.  At the beginning of March, our CPR in Schools Bill, SB 1137, sponsored by Senator Jeff Dial, passed the Arizona Senate with a vote of 22-8 and was sent to the Arizona House of Representatives for consideration.  The bill moved through the House with tremendous momentum and support until the final House floor vote. 

 

Due to unfortunate timing, the legislature shifted focus to the Arizona budget and delayed votes on all other legislation. The Arizona Legislature passed the budget on May 4, 2016 and began the consideration of the remaining bills, including our CPR in Schools bill, before they adjourned for the year. 

 

Shortly after on May 6, 2016 Senate Bill 1137 passed the House Floor by a vote of 34 to 20!

 

The bill has been signed by Governor Ducey on May 12th! Thank you so much for your support this campaign.  We couldn't have passed this lifesaving legislation with you!

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