Our volunteers are our eyes and ears in the community. Help the AHA by identifying your friends, coworkers, neighbors, family members, or community members who may have a story to share related to heart disease or stroke.
It’s important for our legislators to hear stories from or about real Arkansans who would benefit from local smoke-free ordinances, increased access to healthy food, and other policies that can make a positive impact in their lives and communities.
Please consider if you or anyone you know can help with the following:
Comprehensive Smoke-Free Workplaces
Second-hand smoke is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The U.S. Surgeon General’s report states that there is NO risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and any exposure has an immediate and adverse effect on the cardiovascular system. The good news is that secondhand smoke is a preventable risk factor. While many businesses are already smoke-free, too many bars and restaurants are not. All workers deserve the right to breathe smoke-free air, not just some of them. No worker should have to choose between their health and earning a paycheck.
Arkansas currently has the highest adult obesity rate in the nation- 35.9%. We rank fifth in the nation for cases of diabetes, and seventh in the nation for hypertension. These illnesses and other obesity related diseases cost our state $1.25 billion annually, of which nearly 40% is financed by Medicaid and Medicare. Obesity is not only killing our state; it’s bankrupting us too.
To help us combat this problem, we are supporting the Arkansas Freedom for Healthy Choices Initiative. This effort will bring together local leaders to implement minor policy changes to help address our state’s obesity epidemic. This policy area focuses on ensuring there are healthy food items in vending machines located on public property. With this policy, public employees and visitors to government facilities will have access healthier food choices.
Improving emergency care for heart attack and stroke patients
When a heart attack or stroke occurs, everyone should receive the best care possible – from the time they dial 911 until after they are discharged from the hospital. In Arkansas we need to equip more first response vehicles to diagnose and treat heart/stroke patients, and improve consistency in care by gathering heart/stroke data that can highlight successes and pinpoint areas of need in our state. We support efforts at the legislative level to address these key opportunities for improvement.
We look forward to hearing from you! Please contact Allison Hogue at Allison.Hogue@heart.org or 501-707-6593.