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Meet Dr. Abinash Achrekar

Dr. Abinash Achrekar has been a volunteer for the American Heart Association for quite some time. He got involved because of his dedication to helping raise awareness around the prevention and treatment of heart disease. For the past three years he has served on the Albuquerque Executive board, and he currently serves as the board President.

In 2015, Dr. Achrekar and his wife dove a little deeper into their volunteer roles and decided to chair the heart ball, a heavy lift for any Volunteer. That summer, Dr. Achrekar and the board also spearheaded an effort to begin figuring out how New Mexico could be the 28th state to add CPR as a requirement for graduation from high school. He decided this was something that he was passionate enough about to try and move at a policy level, even though there had been some challenges around this issue for quite some time within the state of New Mexico. Dr. Achrekar has been involved in multiple meetings focused on CPR in schools at both the Albuquerque and state level, and has offered his expertise as a cardiologist to the effort for the past 9 months. He is excited and hopeful that 2016 will be the year that CPR becomes a graduation requirement in New Mexico for high school students, helping to prepare thousands of graduates with the knowledge and skills to save a life.

Dr. Achrekar has been committed to advocating for AHA because most cardiovascular disease is preventable, whether through policy, programs or best practices. He is committed to a New Mexico free of cardiovascular disease, and he truly believes that a collected well informed voice is the way to achieve that goal.

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The Benefits of Prevention

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes both heart disease and stroke, is our nation’s leading cause of long term disability and death. We need you to educate your legislators on the benefits of CVD prevention efforts.

Click here to educate your legislators on CVD prevention.

Unfortunately, the process related to CVD starts early and can be influenced over time by lifestyle, environment and modifiable risk factors which include smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and physical inactivity among others.

Despite this, we do have some good news to report. In many instances CVD can be prevented if individuals take steps to modify their risk factors. This can be done by eating a heart healthy diet, and making sure you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

A great deal of evidence shows that the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and environment are worth the investment. Studies show that reducing hypertension and smoking results in lower incidence of heart attack and stroke. Research also shows that comprehensive coverage of tobacco cessation programs within Medicaid reduce hospitalizations for heart attack and have resulted in return on investment of a little over $3.00 for every one dollar spent on health care.

Additionally, implementation of community based programs designed to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and reduce tobacco use show a return on investment of $5.60 for every dollar spent within 5 years.

We hope that you will continue to keep CVD issues close to your heart by clicking the link above and educating your legislator on the benefits of prevention.

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Help Secure Investments in Prevention


Throughout this legislative session we’ve asked lawmakers, especially the key budget writers, to invest in prevention. The current budget proposal contains several increases for prevention programs and lawmakers will vote on this budget over the next two days. 

Tell lawmakers to vote YES on SB 1 and secure funding for CVD prevention.

We know that it is much cheaper to prevent heart disease and stroke than it is to treat it. We also know that buy investing a small amount in programs designed around prevention we can save billions of dollars in the long run.

Lawmakers are poised to vote on the state’s budget for the next two years which contains significant increases in heart disease and stroke prevention funding. Here are some of the items in the budget that we support:

-Tobacco prevention and cessation: $29 million
-Fitnessgram assessment funding for childhood obesity prevention: $5 million
-Lone Star Stroke Initiative: 4.5 million
-Heart Attack and Stoke data collection: $500,000
-Center for Eliminating Disproportionality and Disparities: Increase of $975,000

While there is still a long ways to go, the above funding represents a positive move in the right direction. We are encouraging lawmakers to vote YES on SB 1 to secure these critical funds designed for prevention.

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