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Will you advocate for stroke victims?

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association will be holding our first ever Stroke Awareness Advocacy Day in Albany on May 27th to raise awareness of stroke.  ASA will set-up meetings and provide a training for all.  Participants will then meet with lawmakers and staff to discuss:

  • Stroke Incidence and Mortality
  • Stroke Disparities
  • Stroke Warning Signs and Treatment                   

If you would like to attend, register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T6GGPZX

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New Leadership in Albany

This week we saw a major shift in leadership at the state's Capitol. Senator Dean Skelos stepped down as New York State Senate Majority Leader amidst rising pressure from lawmakers and good government groups.

New York State Senator John Flanagan was selected by his colleagues as the new Senate Majority Leader.  Senator Flanagan was first elected to represent part of Suffolk County in 2002.  Prior to serving in the Senate, he served for 16 years in the New York State Assembly.  The American Heart Association worked closely with Senator Flanagan in our efforts to get students trained in CPR prior to graduation.  And we look forward to working with him to combat heart disease and stroke, the state's No. 1 and No. 5 killer of New Yorkers.

Please join us in welcoming Senator Flanagan to his new position and ask him to help in the fight against heart disease and stroke by clicking below:

http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=36732

 

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GRA VOLUNTEERS MAKE IMPACT AT YOU'RE THE CURE ON CAPITOL HILL

Earlier this week, hundreds of You’re the Cure advocates from across the country flooded Capitol Hill urging their lawmakers to step up for heart health. Forty-three of those advocates were from the Great Rivers Affiliate. 

Two longtime GRA volunteers were among four recognized nationally on Monday at the You're the Cure Heroes luncheon in Washington, D.C. From Pennsylvania, Theresa Conejo, RN, received the You're the Cure Volunteer Advocate Award for her relentless activities in support of AHA priorities at the local, state, and federal levels. Theresa is a GRA board member, a former national Advocacy Advisory Committee member, and was recently named as a Stroke Fellow. Her work has also included outreach to priority populations: Access the 2015 Volunteer Advocate Award video here.

From Ohio, Jim Bischoff was presented with the You're the Cure Survivor Advocate Award. As a former affiliate board chair and current national and affiliate committee member, Jim brings his years as a former school superintendent and heart survivor to his impassioned arguments in favor of AHA's public policy priorities. Access the 2015 Survivor-Advocate of the Year video here.

We've made a huge impact, but we need to keep it up. It’s not too late to take action to support healthy school meals and medical research funding. Ask your lawmaker to stand up for heart health! The health of their constituents depends on it.

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#StepUp4HeartHealth

Hundreds of You’re the Cure advocates are in Washington, D.C. today!   And we have a great group of NYers making the trip!  So what's everyone talking about?

Advocates will be telling lawmakers to support healthy school meals - Kids don't need junk food in schools. 

And we'll also be fighting for funding for medical research - it has the power to save lives.

You can help our advocates gathered in Washington, D.C. today in delivering a strong message to Congress – we can’t afford cuts to National Institutes of Health research. Take action here: http://p2a.co/9aEU5aY

Lets all #StepUp4HeartHealth

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A Winning Game for School Lunches and Research Funding!

At You’re the Cure on the Hill 2015, more than 380 AHA advocates and staff from all 50 states, plus DC —and thousands more back home—stepped up to the plate for healthy school lunches and medical research funding. This year, our Hill day theme was built off the great American game of baseball, something that could resonate with advocates and lawmakers alike and give them a rallying cry for the event: Step Up to the Plate! It was an invitation from advocates to lawmakers, asking them to get off the bench and into the game. And they knocked it out of the park.

It was one of our most exciting days on the Hill with a combination of passionate advocates meeting face-to-face with their lawmakers and thousands of supportive voices from around the country who backed them up with phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts. Together, our voices hit a home run for healthy school meals and heart and stroke research funding.

Advocates conducted 293 meetings with lawmakers, asking them to protect the progress made by the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act and support school nutrition standards. At the same time, advocates asked lawmakers to make heart disease and stroke research a national priority by increasing the budget of the National Institutes of Health.

Meanwhile, advocates back home around the country jumped in as pinch hitters to call and email their members of Congress and ask them to Step Up to the Plate. Capitol Hill received over 6,218 messages from constituents back home.

Throughout the day, we had so many all-star advocates who made the views, passions and needs of constituents known to their lawmakers in new and compelling ways. On top of that, we had two Congressional Award Winners who rounded out the team: Sen. Crapo (R-ID) and Sen. Mikulski (D-MD). They received the American Heart Association’s National Public Service Award, which has been granted biennially since 1982 to members of Congress who have actively promoted our mission. We are so thrilled to have their support!

Below is a snapshot of our day!

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Published in TribTalk: Bringing Texans closer to their grocer

Tania Boughton and Dr. Stephen Pont write in TribTalk, a publication of The Texas Tribune, on how Texas Grocery Access Investment would create jobs, save taxpayers millions in health care costs, and improve quality of life in rural and urban communities. Check out the May 8 article here! 

Tania Noelle Boughton and Stephen Pont, MD, MPH, FAAP, both serve on the American Heart Association-SouthWest Affiliate Texas State Leadership Council for Obesity Prevention.

 

Back to Closer to My Grocer home page

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AHA Board Member Debra Rectenwald's Letter to the Editor

AHA-Twin Cities board member Debra Rectenwald writes in a letter to the editor in Sunday’s Pioneer Press that Minnesota lawmakers have the unique opportunity this session to lay the groundwork for a modern transportation system by including "greater investment in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure…" ‪#FundBikePedinMN   Check out the letter below!

3M: bicycle friendly

I am proud that my company, 3M, is one of the 58 Bicycle Friendly Businesses in Minnesota. As part of our culture of wellness, I encourage my colleagues to walk and bike to promote camaraderie among our team and overall health. We know that people who are more physically active have fewer health problems, greater productivity and can help us reduce health care costs, which have grown sharply.

However, more must be done in our communities to make it safer to walk and bike. With just weeks left in the Legislature's session, lawmakers have a unique opportunity this year to chart a new course and lay the groundwork for a modern transportation system -- one that provides real transportation choices. I support greater investment in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure throughout our communities to make walking and biking more accessible for my colleagues and all Minnesotans. I truly hope the Legislature feels the same.

Debra Rectenwald, Inver Grove Heights

The writer is vice president and general manager of the Abrasive Systems Division at 3M and a board member of the American Heart Association-Twin Cities.

 

See it online here

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Upper Midwest Obesity Rates Trimmed by Minnesota!

Check out this press release from the Minnesota Department of Health! Way to go Minnesota!

Minnesota has outperformed nearby states by being the only one of its neighbors to bend the curve on obesity rates, according to a recent MDH analysis of CDC data.

Minnesota’s adult obesity rates have held constant since 2008, while rates continued climbing nationally and in nearby states. Minnesota was the only state in the region, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa, to succeed at bringing its obesity rate below 26 percent. Minnesota’s rates have stayed below 26 percent since 2010, while according to the most recent 2013 CDC data, neighboring states have seen their rates climb to the range of 29 to 31 percent.

In addition, the number of Minnesotans at a healthy weight in 2013 has increased by more than 60,000 compared with 2010. This is more than 11 percent higher than the U.S. as a whole. By keeping obesity rates flat in Minnesota, MDH estimates savings of $265 million in statewide obesity-related medical expenses incurred as of 2013.  Continue reading here

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