American Heart Association - You’re the Cure
WELCOME! PLEASE LOGIN OR SIGN UP

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
SIGN UP
Mass DOT Funds Complete Streets Program

We are excited to announce, after a few years of hard work, that Mass DOT will be making use of $12.5 million of transportation-dedicated funds to implement a new Complete Streets program to support cities and towns in the design and construction of roadways that accommodate all users and modes. The Complete Streets program will provide funding for both design and construction, which will allow us to both support those communities that may be challenged to provide design funds and help to create a pipeline of Complete Streets projects that will further our goals for providing more and better mobility options across the Commonwealth. Thanks to our dedicated advocates and partners who have been working to fund projects that that focuses on communities and roadway users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit so we could provide an opportunity for active transit for all, this funding will now make this a reality.

Read More

My 'Why' - Kayla Bashe

Here's the latest blog post from our summer intern, Kayla Bashe -

During my gap year, I wanted to learn something useful, so I received training in first aid and CPR. Our instructor, a full-time EMT, told us about people whose lives could have been saved if only someone on the scene knew what to do, or about people who arrived at the hospital already dying because they hadn't known they were having a heart attack until it was too late. There was something incredibly empowering about receiving my little cardboard CPR certification card in the mail. I knew if I saw someone having a cardiac emergency, I would know what to do.

There's this saying that if you save someone's life, you save the entire world. Knowing that you're basically capable of doubling an entire world's chance of survival? There's nothing like it.

My father has been involved with the American Heart Association since I was an embryo. For a while, it was just 'That Thing My Dad Did', like watching cheesy comic-book movies or blasting religious techno music. But the more I learned about the AHA, the more I wanted to help. And when I realized I had a few free months during the summer, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Recently, I helped out at the advocacy table at our gigantic, record-setting CPR event in Times Square. We had a huge variety of participants - every type of person from the Naked Cowboy and the owner of Marnie the Dog to a grandmother visiting from Australia and a seven-year-old girl in a Frozen T-shirt. So many of those people will probably go on to teach CPR to others. Some of them might even save lives.

Volunteering at the AHA is basically the gift that keeps on giving. I get to help write press releases that teach people about the signs of a stroke or heart attack and send letters to legislators explaining why CPR should be taught in New York City schools. Everything I do, sitting here at my laptop, ripples out to have an impact I can't even imagine. I guess you could say I 'heart' being involved with this organization.

Read More

Study Brings Healthy Drink Changes to UVM

A study by UVM Professor Rachel Johnson has found that a ban on bottled water at the university has actually increased sugary drink purchases.

The ban was implemented in 2013 as a way to reduce pollution from plastic bottles. But it has had negative consequences according to the study. These include making students and faculty more likely to purchase sugary drinks when water isn’t available in vending machines, no reduction in the bottle waste and a significant increase in sugary drinks shipped to the campus.

Professor Johnson is an AHA volunteer who has championed the effort to decrease sugary drink consumption to lessen obesity. Though Johnson’s study found negative impacts from the ban, the release of the study has brought some positive changes to the school.

UVM is now requiring that at least half of drinks offered must have 40 calories or less. Drink dispensing machines will have water options added with free cups and the school will start monitoring the number of unhealthy vs. healthy drinks sold.

Read more about the study here. http://www.vtcynic.com/?p=11132

Read More

Volunteer Peter Evans Found Writing a Letter Makes a Difference

As the old adage says, “It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.” Advocacy helps us to speak up and out about issues that are important to us.  The more we do, the more our message spreads. As volunteer Peter Evans found out during our sugary drink campaign, speaking up, even on paper, can have an impact.

Evans wrote a letter to his local paper the Brattleboro Reformer emphasizing the importance of passing an excise tax on sugary drinks that would reduce consumption of these drinks and help fight the obesity crisis.

"We have only a few real options," Evans wrote. "Continue on our current course and let the cost of obesity continue to spiral, or take tangible, evidence-based steps towards improving healthcare through policy and prevention."

The paper agreed and wrote an editorial supporting the effort, “Sugary Drinks: Tax the heck out of them.” You can read it here. http://www.reformer.com/opinion/ci_27585726/our-opinion-sugary-drinks-tax-heck-out-them  And Peter’s message spread to hundreds of Vermonters.

You too can be a catalyst for change. Though the sugary drink excise tax did not pass this year, obesity is still a crisis and sugary drink consumption is far too high. Help us continue to spread the word by writing a letter to your own newspaper. 

Tell them a new study by the University of North Carolina reported this month that sugary drink sales dropped 6% on average after a sugary drink excise tax was implemented in Mexico. We should give it a chance here. Click here for a list of Vermont newspapers and the emails where you can submit your letter.

Read More

NJ You're the Cure Advocates Visit NJ State House

On June 18, over 20 advocates from the American Heart Association, YMCA State Alliance and The Food Trust gathered at the New Jersey State House in Trenton to celebrate the introduction of the Healthy Small Food Retailer Act (S3043/A4505).

The bill is being sponsored by Senator Ron Rice and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez in the Senate and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, Assemblyman Angel Fuentes, Assemblyman Daniel Benson and Assemblyman Gilbert Wilson. It would provide state support to the NJ Healthy Corner Stores Initiative. The program has been operating on the local level for several years and provides training, education and resources to small stores that agree to offer healthier products to their customers.

The event at the State House included a press conference with Assemblymen Wimberly and Diegnan to announce the introduction of the bill and highlight the benefits. Advocates then received training on the issue and were able to talk to several other legislators throughout the day.

To learn more about the NJ Healthy Corner Store Initiative or to get involved, please visit the website at njhealthycornerstores.heart.org!

Read More

End of Session Update on the Texas Grocery Access Program

During the 84th Texas Legislative Session, the Voices for Healthy Kids Texas Campaign led efforts in support of the Texas Grocery Access Investment Act (HB 1485 and SB 1590), which would have provided grants and low interest loans to retailers to open new stores or renovate existing stores in low and moderate-income urban or rural areas. The goal of the bill was to improve the health of Texans without access to healthy food by addressing the lack of grocery stores in underserved communities throughout Texas. To learn more about why grocery access is so important to Texas’ health and economy, please read this article authored by American Heart Association volunteers.
 
The bill would have created a financial tool, the Texas Grocery Access Program, for grocers to construct, refurbish or expand stores in areas of the state where better access to healthy foods is needed. The program would have worked in collaboration with the private sector to increase healthy food options and create local jobs. This public-private partnership would have been based at the Texas Department of Agriculture, which would contract with a non-profit or community development financial institution to administer the program.
 
This legislation was championed by authors Representative Eddie Rodriguez of Austin, Representative Patricia Harless of Spring, Representative Jason Isaac of Dripping Springs, Representative Borris Miles of Houston, and Representative Chris Turner of Grand Prairie. In the Senate it was authored by Senator Judith Zaffirini of Laredo and Senator Royce West of Dallas.
 
The House version of the bill (HB 1485) passed out of the Economic and Small Business Development Committee and was amended during second reading. Unfortunately, HB 1485 as amended narrowly failed to pass the Texas House in third reading. The Senate version of the measure (SB 1590) was referred to the Agriculture, Water, and Rural Affairs Committee, but the legislative session ended before the bill was heard in committee. The legislation’s budget rider, at its final request amount of $5 million, was not included in the budget passed by the House and Senate.
 
The momentum created by You’re the Cure volunteers helped move this legislation far in the process, raise awareness for the issue of access to healthy food options, and garner new supporters in the Capitol. Beyond the 84th Legislature, the Voices for Healthy Kids Texas Campaign will continue fighting to bring healthy food options to all Texans, and is grateful for your continued support!


Back to Closer to My Grocer home page

Read More

NYC Council Hearing on the PE Reporting Bill

Welcome another blog post from our summer intern, Kayla Bashe!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This past week, the American Heart Association participated in a hearing for the PE Reporting bill in front of the NYC Council Committee on Education.

Just before the hearing began, we had a press conference on the steps of City Hall. The AHA and members of our Phys Ed for All coalition spoke about why city students need physical education. We care about kids' health and academic success.  And most schools in NYC aren't meeting the minimum standards for PE that are required by state law.

The American Heart Association was represented by Yuki Courtland, a member of our Advocacy Committee here in New York City.  Yuki had several opportunities throughout the day to address the impact that physical education can have on children's health and habits.

Inside, the City Council members heard from representatives of the NYC Department of Education, who spoke about their concerns in the bill. However, Council Member Dromm, a former teacher and Chair of the Education Committee, pointed out the discrepancies between their comments and the majority of collected research.

In one example from the testimony, an elementary school provided students with only one half-hour PE lesson per week.  And on that day, their teacher always noticed a huge improvement in their concentration and performance.

I learned that one of the biggest roadblocks to giving our city's students appropriate PE is that too many schools are forced to share the same areas, thereby making scheduling difficult. For example, six schools might have to use the same gym. Programs incorporating physical activity into classrooms can help bridge the gap, but to provide an effective solution, parents and advocacy groups need more and better information.

So before you switch off your computer and get moving, exercise your typing skills and make sure your city representatives support the PE reporting bill today!

Take action here:  http://yourethecure.org/aha/advocacy/composeletters.aspx?AlertID=36879 

Read More

AHA Statement on Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s Announcement

The State of Texas has long been a leader in school nutrition policy by limiting the use of deep fat fryers, carbonated beverages, and unhealthy food fundraisers in our schools. Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced updates to Texas’ school nutrition policy, which roll back years of progress in the work to reduce childhood obesity by allowing these items back in our schools. The American Heart Association (AHA) is disappointed that Commissioner Miller has chosen not to uphold these standards.  On behalf of Texas students, we ask him to reconsider this decision and be a leader in safeguarding the health of all school children.

 

Commissioner Miller’s attempt at addressing childhood obesity is well intentioned, but it fails to align with evidence based policies that are supported by the AHA and have been a main component in reversing this epidemic such as keeping fried foods and sodas out of reach from our children.  Local districts have embraced the previous rules established by the State of Texas, and we applaud their foresight in keeping schools healthy. We appeal to these local school districts and ask them to maintain proven public policies that ensure our students are healthy, focused, and ready to learn in school and in the future.  Easy access to high-calorie, low-nutrition foods and beverages at school will not move Texas in the right direction. 

 

Strong education standards go hand-in-hand with a nurturing, safe and health promoting environment. Given that many students consume almost 50 percent of their daily calories during the school day, Texas must ensure that students have access to healthy foods to nourish their minds and fuel their pursuit of excellent educational outcomes.

 

Additionally, most parents favor nutrition standards for all food served in schools. In a national poll, 72 percent of parents favor nutrition standards for school meals and school snacks.[1] Parents trust that schools will complement and support their efforts to promote healthy habits and appreciate schools’ efforts to create and maintain healthy school food environments.



[1] The Pew Charitable Trusts, Kids’ Safe and Healthy Foods Project. “Parents Support Healthier School Food Policies by 3-to-1 Margin.” Available at: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/news-room/press-releases/2014/09/08/parents-support-healthier-school-food-policies-by-3to1-margin. Accessed on June 17, 2015. 

Read More

PE Reporting Bill Makes Progress!

Great news! New York City Council has scheduled a hearing for the PE Reporting Bill!

This long-awaited legislation will help to address a systemic concern in NYC schools - too few of them are meeting the state requirements for physical education.

According to American Heart Association research, the majority of city schools only offer PE one or two days per week in 45-minute sessions, which comes nowhere close to meeting recommended national guidelines.  Students deserve better, especially with their health on the line. That's why the PE Reporting Bill is needed.  It will require the NYC Education Department to disclose information on each school's PE program, allowing parents and groups like the AHA to know which schools may need additional assistance.

For many students, physical education is the best opportunity to pursue physical fitness. It shouldn't matter which school you attend - every student deserves quality PE. Physical education is the best equalizer - instilling a lifelong appreciation for exercise and healthy behavior. But many children are deprived of this valuable learning experience.  It is simply unfair that this inequity is permitted in our city schools!

The American Heart Association believes that healthy hearts are just as important as healthy minds, and we're optimistic that city lawmakers will agree.  Stay tuned for an action alert on this legislation in the next few days!

(This blog post was composed in part by Kayla Bashe, a new volunteer who will be helping the Advocacy Department in NYC this summer.  You'll see her name on our posts here occasionally.  Welcome, Kayla!)

Read More

Federal Lobby Day: Step Up to the Plate

Recently, Greater Phoenix Division Board Member Dr. Adriana Perez, attended the American Heart Association’s Federal Lobby Day.  The theme for this event was “Step Up to the Plate.”  Dr. Perez, along with our Government Relations Director, Nicole Olmstead, met with staff from both Senator Flake and Senator McCain’s Office, as well as staff from Representative Sinema and Salmon’s Office.  The highlight of the trip was the meeting with Representative Raul Grijalva. 

Dr. Perez advocated on behalf of the AHA for increased support of NIH Research funding, especially around heart disease and stroke research, and also emphasized the need to reauthorize the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act in its entirety.  During the event, Ms. Olmstead, Dr. Perez and the other nearly 400 volunteers enjoyed a heart healthy school lunch to support how easy and tasty it is to stick to the school lunch guidelines.  Dr. Perez was a strong voice for the needs of all Arizonans and we would like to thank her for her support.

Read More

[+] Blogs[-] Collapse