American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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Tulsa Takes New Strides to Improve Health

Healthy vending machines give employees and families’ access to healthier choices

Great news! City of Tulsa adopted a new policy that ensures that if vending machines are located on city properties that are visited by the public, such as public libraries, parks, nature centers, the convention center and community centers, they will meet recommended nutrition standards to provide patrons with healthier options.

In addition, Tulsa’s 3,500 city employees will benefit from healthier choices in vending machines where they work, including City Hall, police and fire departments. With a population of more than 395,000, including approximately 100,000 children, this is a critical step in building a culture of health for all Tulsans.

The American Heart Association advocates for healthier options in all worksite cafeterias and vending machines and applauds the City of Tulsa for leading the nation on this important effort to ensure access to healthy options for those that live, work, and play in Tulsa, Oklahoma.















***** Resources are available to help companies develop their own policies and tips to make a workplace healthier in the Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit.

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Advocates in Action

Healthy meals help students live and learn better. Studies show that kids who are served nutritious meals at breakfast, lunch, and throughout the school day perform at a higher academic level. Under school nutrition standards passed in 2010, kids are eating 16 percent more vegetables and 23 percent more fruit, and surveys show more than 90 percent of parents support requiring schools to include a serving of fruits or vegetables with every meal.

Oklahoma State Advocacy Chair Amy Baden and You're the Cure Advocate Amanda Rowell, along with AHA staff Terri Bailey and Lori Costa, met with Congressman Cole to ask that he support strong child nutrition standards. It's visits like this that make all the difference to combat childhood obesity. To learn how to get involved, please email for more information!

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Meet Amy Baden

Name: Amy Baden

Volunteer Role: State Advocacy Committee Chair

Occupation: RN, Oklahoma Network Director of Cardiovascular Services for AllianceHealth.

How long have you been volunteering with AHA? Not sure…at least 5 yrs.

What motivates you to advocate for heart healthy and stroke smart policies? There are several things that motivate me: I have a positive family history for heart disease and stroke. I have lost several loved ones from complications associated with both. My children motivate me. The patients I have cared for as a cardiac critical care nurse and their families also motivates me. Heart disease has an impact on all of us each and every day.

Fun Fact: I recently graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Health/Health Care Administration/Management from Southern Nazarene University.

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New Stroke Guidelines Will Change Stroke Treatment in the U.S

Each year, more than 690,000 Americans have strokes caused by blood clots blocking vessels in the brain, called ischemic strokes. Some of the clots can grow large and may require intense therapy to treat.

However, widely celebrated new research reaffirms that large blood clots in the brain are less likely to result in disability or death, if the blockage is removed in the crucial early hours of having a stroke.

Right now the standard treatment is a clot-dissolving drug called tPA. But it must be given intravenously within 4.5 hours to be effective. For people with larger brain clots, tPA only works about a third of the time.

New studies recommend doctors to use modernized -retrievable stents, to open and trap the clot, allowing doctors to extract the clot and reopen the artery nearly every time when used with tPA.

To learn more read “Clot Removing Devices Provide Better Outcomes for Stroke Patients” and visit to learn the warning signs of stroke.

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Nancy Birnbaum

I recently met You're the Cure advocate Nancy Birnbaum, a registered nurse who resides in College Station, Texas at the Advocating for Heart event at the Capitol. I loved the passion and enthusiasm she showed for the AHA mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. I chatted with Nancy to learn more about her and why she Advocates for Heart. 

Here's what she had to say:

I do what I can with the time that I have. What I love about the American Heart Association is that there are a lot of avenues to finding your fit. I started volunteering with the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Luncheon in College Station and found it especially easy and convenient to respond to action alerts. I like how easy it is to personalize the letter to the lawmaker and I make sure to include a comment as a nurse and a mother. As a mother of 4 grown daughters and grandmother of 9 children, I am passionate about fighting childhood obesity and keep school nutrition standards strong and healthy! I'm a proponent of healthy living so I wanted to get more involved with AHA's advocacy efforts. I decided to take a trip to Austin to participate in Advocating for Heart. Everyone I met was friendly and made it easy to visit with lawmakers and staff. 

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Stroke Smart Legislation Signed by Gov. Mary Fallin

On June 10th, Governor Mary Fallin held a ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 1463, by Representative Elise Hall and Senator Jason Smalley. This bill updates the current statute regarding the development of a system of a care for stroke in Oklahoma to include evidence-based recommendations, such as EMS protocols, that will help get stroke patients the quality care that they need more quickly. 

This ceremonial bill signing served as an opportunity to celebrate this achievement and recognize those that were involved in many steps of the legislative process.  Such individuals included Dr. Anna Wanahita, Co-Director of St John Health System’s Stroke Center and Oklahoma State Advocacy Committee Member, Richard Boone President of St. John Health System Foundation,  and Justin McLaughlin ,Vice-President of St. John Health System Foundation,  as well as Dr. Carolyn Synovitz, Physician and President of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. 

Additionally, the impact of this legislation was felt as stroke survivors and advocates, Donna McDannold, Donna Roy, and Kaven Kendrick and his wife Debbie Kendrick, were also in attendance to thank Governor Fallin for her support of stroke care.  Central Oklahoma Sweetheart and Jr. Miss Indian Oklahoman, Faithlyn Seawright, also in attendance, spoke to how stroke has impacted her family. Americana Heart Association (AHA) staff in attendance included, Senior Government Relations Director, Naomi Amaha-Gollnick, Quality and Systems Improvement Director, Katie Butterfield, Senior Executive Director, Debbie Hite, Communications Director, Calley Herth, Heart Walk Corporate Market Director, Emily Wade, and AHA contract lobbyists, Michelle Sutton and Jeramy Rich.

Prior to the bill signing, stakeholders and volunteers participated in a small reception and talked about their respective experience with stroke. Prior to the ceremonial signing and group photo, volunteers and advocates had an opportunity to meet with Governor Mary Fallin and thank her for her support for improving stroke care.

Once Governor Mary Fallin “signed” the bill into law, a group photo was taken. Before our group’s departure, Rep. Elise Hall and Sen. Jason Smalley were thanked by the group for their support and leadership on House Bill 1463. 

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Happy Heart Hour in OKC!

On Thursday, June 18th the Voice for Healthy Kids, Oklahoma City team held a Happy Heart Hour with the hopes of deepening the involvement of existing volunteers and creating some excitement around the campaign for a healthier Oklahoma City! 

They ran an approximately 20 minute program to include an AHA/Advocacy overview, an overview of the Healthy Corner Store campaign, and a wonderful short speech on the impact of volunteering by former AHA employee and lifelong Oklahoman, Jennifer Seal. 

At the end of the program it was announced that if anyone was interested in meeting one-on-one over coffee to discuss future involvement, that they could drop their business card in a coffee mug on the sign-in table, and several attendees did.

To learn more about the event and how you can be involved, please email

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Advocates Turn the Hill Red!

Over 380 advocates met in Washington, DC for You're the Cure on the Hill to step up for heart health. Our group of dedicated advocates met with 293 legislative offices throughout the day to advocate for increased research funding and healthy school meals. Advocates mingled with YTC networkers from throughout the nation and participated in an all day advocacy training and Heroes Luncheon. 

We know that as constituents, you truly make difference when you share your story and encourage our federal lawmakers to take action on critical health priorities. You drive our mission forward in building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. 

Check out a recap video of You're the Cure on the Hill 2015! 

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Announcing Leading Oklahoma Advocates!

We would like to recognize our Aces, Champion, and Hero advocates for their continued dedication in the fight against heart disease and stroke! Your time, energy, and passion has made all the difference in advancing our mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The below advocates have taken action by responding to action alerts, visiting legislative offices, participating in advocacy trainings, and signing petition cards, just to name a few. 

You can find your current ranking on the Community website under your profile. Check out our menu of activities here and see exactly how you can earn more points.


Haley Allen
Naomi Amaha
Julie Avants
Julie Avants
Amy Baden
Kristen Baggerly
Terri Bailey
James Baker
Claudia Barajas
MaryAnn Bauman MD
Krissy Belyeu
Samantha Bender
Vivian Bingman
Lisa Blackburn
Lawrence Brewer
Patricia Brogan
Katie Butterfield
Darry Carlstone
Shannon Clarke
Petra Colindres
Harvey Conner
Rachel Crawford
Mechele Cruz
Marilyn Davidson
Julie Elerick
shante Fenner
Brandy Flewellen
Kerrie Frazier
Nancy Grayson
Barbara Hannah
Lindsey Hansen
Ashton Hardison
Joyce Hepler
Debbie Hite
Pamela Hollie
Misty Hsieh
Bill Humphrey
Chrissie Johnson
Carolyn Jones
Shelly Jordan
Jane Krizer
Mercedes Lackey
Michael Laird
Britni Lauzon
Karina Lora
Brandon Maples
Monica Martin
Lea May
Donna McDannold
Toni McGee
Calley McGehee Herth
Mark Meadors
Grace Medina
William Miller
Patrick Milligan
Gloria Moore
Steve Nguyen
Patricia Norris
Kevin Nowak
Mary Payne
Jennifer Phenix
Lyle Price
James Proszek
Melissa Ramirez
Georgina Riggs
Amanda Rowell
Fred Schmidt
Jennifer Seal
Christina Shay
Linda Slawson
Kathy Smarinsky
Michael Spain
Janet Spradlin
Amy Steelman
Carol Sterling
Jan Stevenson
Sherri Stewart
Robyn Sunday-Allen
Justin Thankachan
Elizabeth Tork
Anna Wanahita
Shelly Warren
Teresa Whited
Cindy Wilcox
Brenda Wiseman

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