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Take Action for Corner Stores Today

We would all like the option to make a healthy choice, right?  We need your help now to speak up for the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Legislative session is moving fast and the NC House will be debating the state budget next week. It is important that the $1 million appropriation for Healthy Corner Stores is included.

Ask your legislators to fully fund the Healthy Corner Stores in the state budget.

Over 1.5 million of our North Carolina neighbors live in communities where healthy foods aren’t affordable or accessible. The Healthy Corner Store Initiative can help change that by bringing healthy, local foods into small stores in neighborhoods that need them most.

We all deserve the right to make a healthy choice. Tell your lawmakers today that you want all North Carolinians to have that right and ask them to include full funding for Healthy Corner Stores in the state budget.

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Nevada do you know what F.A.S.T stands for?

May brings the opportunity to discuss and educate on an issue that is more common than we want it to be – stroke. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in Nevada yet only eight percent of those recently surveyed in the American Stroke Association/Ad Council Stroke Awareness Continuous Tracking Study could identify each letter in F.A.S.T., an acronym of the most common stroke warning signs.
F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Learn the F.A.S.T signs and share them with your friends and family. When you are done quiz each other by taking the F.A.S.T quiz!

Teaching people how to recognize a stroke and respond quickly is a primary goal of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, sponsored nationally by Medtronic. So let’s educate and hopefully minimize the damage stroke does in our communities.

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WE ARE THE CURE for cardiovascular disease and stroke

Guest Blogger: Marc Watterson, Utah Government Relations Director

Each May we have an opportunity to celebrate and educate on an issue that is close to all of us – Stroke. As we have shared in the past Stroke in the fourth leading cause of death in Utah – and it doesn’t have to be. With your support we have improved the systems of care in Utah for how stroke patients are treated in our local hospitals. The success stories that we hear about are remarkable and it is all thanks to you!

One of the things that we have seen real movement on is the recognition of stroke signs in the community. FAST, can you name them?

  • Face droopiness, numbness and weakness
  • Arm numbness and weakness
  • Slurred speech or trouble speaking or understanding
  • Time to call 911 if these or other symptoms occur

More and more Utahns are becoming aware of these signs and acting accordingly when they seem them in themselves or others. But more can be done. Nationally, nearly one third of all Americans don’t know the signs. So, to celebrate our successes, familiarize ourselves with proven stroke prevention, educate the public on FAST signs – and have a little fun – we have been partnering with University of Utah Health Care in our “Together to End Stroke” community education program.

We are hosting several events in Salt Lake this month in hopes of creating “Stroke Heroes” among us!

  • Stroke Support Group – May 17th, 5:00 - 6:30 pm @ AHA|ASA Salt Lake Office (465 S 400 East, Suite 110)
    • For survivors, friends and families affected by stroke. This is an opportunity for individuals to share their successes and challenges, connect with others, and realize that you’re not alone! Caregivers are welcome to attend this group meeting as well. This month’s guest speaker will be speaking about Occupational Therapy. 

 

  • USOAR – Utah Stroke Outdoor Activity and Recreation, May 18th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm @ Liberty Park, Northeast Corner (600 E 900 S)
    • The University of Utah Health Sciences Program is having their kickoff event for this program. Activities will focus on ways to help stroke survivors adapt to outdoor activities and how these can help with rehab. Activities like biking, golfing, rafting, bowling, and more will be showcased!

 

  • Striking Out Stroke, May 25th, 11:30 -1:30 pm @ City Creek Shopping Center (40 East South Temple)
    • The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association, in conjunction with our “Together to End Stroke” community partner, University of Utah Health Care, will be putting on a special event downtown. We’ll have a pitching area for participants to show off their pitching skills, an on-site vehicle from 101.5 The Eagle to share some tunes, and heart-healthy snacks for all to enjoy!

 

  • Savings Strokes – June 17th, 10:30 – 1:00 pm at Nibley Park Golf Course (2780 S 700 E, Salt Lake City)
    • A free opportunity for stroke survivors and their caretakers to participate in golf for pleasure as well as for physical rehabilitation. This year’s event is sponsored by University of Utah Health Care and will feature a free lunch for participants.

If you would like more information on these events or would like to volunteer to help us out please contact Lavinia Sasaki with the AHA|ASA at Lavinia.Sasaki@heart.org.

Together, with your help, WE ARE THE CURE for cardiovascular disease and stroke!

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Tobacco 21 Passes in Albany County!

Today is a great day to live in Albany County. Last night the Albany County Legislature voted to pass Local Law C, which would raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. The vote was 24-13.

It was inspiring to see the work of the legislature at it's finest. While some legislators still argued against it, the number of legislators who spoke in favor of it was overwhelming.

These individual's gave their "Why". Because they are parents and want to see their children grow up without an addiction to tobacco. Because they themselves smoked and saw firsthand how easy it is for youth to get their hands on cigarettes. Because they themselves are dealing with the consequences of smoking. Because they have lost someone they love to one of the many tobacco-related health conditions.

The next step is to urge Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy to sign the bill into law. It's unclear how he will act, so the pressure is on to make sure he knows how important this legislation is and the impact it will have on Albany County's youth.

Stay tuned for more developments!

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Join Us, Wyoming: Advocacy Chat with Kristen & Allison

May is Stroke Awareness Month, and we want to talk to you! Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke. One out of six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. Still, the vast majority of Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is working hard each and every day to address those statistics through education, research and advocacy. 

Join us, Thursday, May 19 at 12:00 p.m. as we recognize Stroke Awareness Month during a 30-minute Advocacy Chat with Wyomingites, discussing the disease that claims the lives and independence of nearly 800,000 people each year.

We’ll talk about stroke risk, the signs and symptoms and how to take appropriate measures. We will also talk about the grassroots opportunities available to our advocates to get involved with stroke-related policy change in Wyoming.

Join the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and folks from across the state of Wyoming in an effort to raise awareness and make an impact on the health of our great state! Please RSVP for this Advocacy Chat by CLICKING HERE.

*If you have any questions please feel free to contact Kristen Waters at kristen.waters@heart.org or call 402-960-6078.

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Washington Do you know what F.A.S.T. stands for?

May brings the opportunity to discuss and educate on an issue that is more common than we want it to be – stroke. Stroke is the 6th leading cause of death in Washington yet only eight percent of those surveyed in the American Stroke Association/Ad Council Stroke Awareness Continuous Tracking Study could identify each letter in F.A.S.T., an acronym of the most common stroke warning signs.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Learn the F.A.S.T signs and share them with your friends and family. When you are done quiz each other by taking the F.A.S.T quiz!

As part of stroke awareness month we also want to recognize the many Stroke Heroes in our communities. A Stroke Hero is a survivor who overcomes a stroke; a caregiver or healthcare worker goes above and beyond to help others recover; a community member inspired to improve the health of others. This May – American Stroke Month – we invite you to honor a Stroke Hero by submitting an inspirational story for a Stroke Hero Award. Please send details and a photo by June 15, 2016. Nominees will be featured on local and national social media. For submission details click here.

Teaching people how to recognize a stroke and respond quickly is a primary goal of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, sponsored nationally by Medtronic. So let’s educate and hopefully minimize the damage stroke does in our communities.

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Advocate Highlight - Craig Miller

My adventure with cardiac disease is not one that everyone reading this will experience. It's 2016 and looking back I truly feel like a survivor. I have had seven stents, one robotic bypass and suffered a Transient ischemic attack (TIA). 

I have had eleven angioplasties’ to either place stents or look at the status of my cardiovascular disease. In 2011, after suffering yet another event I was approached by UC Davis Medical Center to have a new robotic surgery procedure that is a less invasive bypass surgery. After the ten hour surgery was completed I was told that it took so long because there was a lot of scar tissue that made it difficult. Within six weeks I was ready to return to work as Operations Manager for an armored transport company in the Bay Area. My hours were long and the responsibilities and dangers were stressful. In July of 2011 I collapsed at work and they discovered the bypass had failed.  I was told that doctors placed a stent in the artery however it was just a matter of time before it would also be rejected by my body. I was told not to return to work and that I needed to avoid stress and over exertion all together.

Depression set in after being unable to work. I was given social security disability that barely covered the basic necessities. My family filed for bankruptcy and I knew our life needed to change.  My daughter and her family lived in Meridian, Idaho and my wife Sally and I decided that Meridian is where we wanted to go. We sold everything we could to new start and in December of 2011 we moved.          

Our move meant I needed to find a new cardiologist. After experiencing several cardiologists I was getting pretty good at knowing who fit me well. I found Dr. Bass at St. Luke’s and the first thing he suggested was to do an angioplasty to see what was going on so he could properly help me.  The angioplasty confirmed what the previous cardiologist had diagnosed, I had congestive heart failure. 

Dr. Bass felt that cardiac rehabilitation may help me and he was right.  The program of personalized exercise along with diet and heart education was making a difference, however my depression was not improving. Counseling was suggested and with the support from all of the wonderful health professionals I started feeling more positive. I realized that I had a choice; I could continue down my path of feeling sorry for myself or pick myself up and start over. I joined Mended Hearts Chapter 380 and found that by helping others I also helped me. 

In 2013, I was going to cardiac rehabilitation three days a week.  One morning as I got ready to go I felt out of sorts and by the time I got to “rehab” I was a little disoriented and very weak. As I walked into “rehab” I was approached by Amber an educator and RN. Amber saw that something was wrong and after evaluating me called for an ambulance because she recognized I was having a stroke. Amber saved my life because of her quick and knowledgeable reaction!

So here I am in 2016, the President of Mended Hearts. I have without a doubt the best people to work with, and can never thank my doctors, nurses, health professionals, family and friends enough.

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The Fight is Not Over

LEGISLATIVE RECAP: You've been with us each step of the way, from sending emails to lawmakers to attending advocacy events at the capitol. You brought smiles to our faces during this challenging legislative session.

We want to thank you for your dedication to advocating for improvements to heart attack care across Colorado. While House Bill 1357 failed to pass out of the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee, our fight is not over.

We will continue our advocacy throughout the interim, and we want you to join our team to help get HB 1357, and other heart healthy policies, passed into law!

Email Erin.Hackett@heart.org to learn more about our advocacy efforts in Colorado!

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Capital Region NY Stroke Ambassador Kicks of American Stroke Month!

On May 5th, 2016 Stroke Ambassador Paula Symanski was joined by her New York Assemblymember Carrie Woerner as she rode her bicycle through the streets of Albany, NY -  arriving in front of the State Capitol to cheers of her friends and supporters!     May and June marks the height of the state legislative session and AHA is pushing for passage of legislation to improve stroke care in New York State.  More to come....

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Making Connections for Maine Survivors

Last week, the American Heart Association in Maine hosted our first ever survivor gathering at OceanView at Falmouth.  It was a resounding success.  Approximately 50 heart disease and stroke survivors were able to network and hear the amazing Pat Kirby tell her story of surviving misdiagnosis, numerous complications and learning to be her own best advocate. Pat is the inspiration behind Clarisse in Silence of the Lambs—the first female profiler in the FBI. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, go!

A blogger from the Bangor Daily News was also there and she wrote this excellent piece about the event.

http://twicesoldtales.bangordailynews.com/2016/04/28/home/survivors-of-heart-disease-stroke-gather-to-share-stories/

If you are interested in attending future events, please visit heart.org/Maine or find us on Facebook at American Heart Association in Maine.

Survivors are also some of our best advocates at the State House, town councils and in Washington D.C.  Without survivors telling their stories of why access to health care is important, why healthy eating, avoiding tobacco, and exercise have improved their lives, and why we need to fund public health programs, we could not be successful.

Thank you to all the survivors out there who answer the call and talk to their policy makers about the American Heart Association and all we do.  If you would like to be involved, email me at:  Becky.Smith@heart.org

Becky

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