American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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Jane Kolodinsky - Good food sells!

Telling legislators that french fries are the most common vegetable served to toddlers, AHA volunteer Jane Kolodinsky urged Senate Health and Welfare Committee members at a recent hearing to implement nutrition standards for restaurant kids meals.

Jane, the chair of UVM’s Department of Community Development and Applied economics, has published research on childhood obesity. Among her findings?  Going out to eat isn’t just a treat for families anymore. Away-from-home food accounts for nearly half of all food dollars spent. Improving the nutrition of that food can make a difference in the fight against obesity.

And does good food sell? You bet. Jane reported to the committee that a recent survey conducted about the nutrition improvements that were made in the food service at the UVM Medical Center found that the hospital now gets 14% of its business from people coming from outside the hospital just for the great food!

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E-cigs - Creating a Whole New Crop of Smokers

A whole new generation of smokers may be on the horizon thanks to e-cigarettes.

More and more youth are turning to e-cigarettes and studies show that when they do, they are also likely to turn to traditional cigarettes.

The use of e-cigarettes by kids tripled last year and new data from Vermont shows that more than 30% of high school students have tried e-cigs with 15% now using them regularly. In fact, more Vermont kids are now using e-cigarettes than are smoking. But the e-cigarette use could start to bump smoking levels back up.

Given new studies, including one from Dartmouth, showing kids who vape are also much more likely to smoke -- even kids who said they would never try it -- Vermont should act to prohibit vaping in the same places where smoking is prohibited. Protecting the social norms we’ve created about the dangers of tobacco is important if we want to protect our kids.

Take action today to urge lawmakers to support including e-cigarettes in Vermont’s clean indoor air laws.

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Act Now Before Vermonters Grow Any Bigger

When obesity is costing Vermont more than $290 million annually to treat the chronic diseases it causes, it should be a crisis deemed big enough for legislators to take action.

The Robert Wood Johnson Annual State of Obesity report shows Vermont’s 38,000 cases of heart disease will climb to 190,000 in the next 15 years if we don’t act now.  The 50,000 cases of diabetes will rise to 77,000 and obesity-related cancer cases will increase from 10,200 to 27,700 cases. These are sobering projections of a dramatic decline in the wellness of Vermonters, but we can reduce these numbers significantly if we act now.

We’re urging lawmakers to help make the healthy choice the easy choice by requiring nutrition standards both for restaurant kids’ meals and for food sold and served by state government.

You can help. Contact the members of the House Human Services Committee where these bills sit and tell them you want action today before obesity has a chance to grow any further in Vermont.

Here are the members. Just click on a name and tell them it’s important to act, and act now.

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Dr. Jan Carney - Educating About the Dangers of E-cigs

Strong clean indoor air laws are the most effective way to prevent second hand smoke exposure. In addition to conventional tobacco products, exposure to aerosol from electronic cigarettes presents a potential threat to public health while normalizing smoking behavior.

Dr. Jan Carney will be joining the American Heart Association and the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont in educating lawmakers at a legislative luncheon on e-cigarettes on February 19th about the importance of prohibiting the vaping of e-cigarettes in the same locations where Vermont currently prohibits smoking.

Dr. Carney warned lawmakers at Smoke Free Vermont's Smoke Free 10 event this fall that e-cigarette use by high school students has tripled in a single year and
U.S. sales are projected to rise almost 25 percent each year

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A New Year's Resolution that Matters

This year, why not make a resolution that matters and is really easy to keep?

We have a number of legislative priorities we’ll be promoting at the Statehouse to help Vermonters live healthier lives. Pick one or two and make a pledge to be a champion. If one of them passes, you’ll feel like a rock star, guaranteed!

Make a vow to make a phone call to a legislator, write a letter to the editor or attend a legislative breakfast in your community and let your lawmakers know the issue is important to you. I’ll provide whatever help you need! Just pick an issue below and make a difference! Contact me at

Improve Nutrition in Restaurant Kids MealsEnsure all restaurant meals marketed to children meet nutrition standards. Remove sugar-sweetened beverages from all restaurant kids’ meals.

Congenital Heart Defect Screening – Require all Vermont birthing facilities to screen for congenital heart defects in infants using pulse oximetry screening.

Tobacco Control Program Funding – Protect and increase public funding for state tobacco prevention and cessation programs to the 2014 funding level of $3.9 million.

E-cigarettes – Include e-cigarettes in Vermont’s clean indoor air laws, ensuring that electronic cigarettes are not used in any place of business that is accessible to the public.  In addition to conventional tobacco products, exposure to vapor from unregulated tobacco substitutes such as e-cigarettes presents a potential threat to public health while normalizing smoking behavior. 

Obesity Prevention – Require nutrition standards for food purchased or sold by the State of Vermont. Fund obesity prevention efforts. Require road construction and reconstruction create complete streets that are safe and convenient for all users and all modes of transportation.

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We've Saved Over a Billion Dollars Thanks to Reductions in Smoking in Vermont!

A new report shows that reductions in adult smoking since Vermont’s tobacco control program began have resulted in over $1.4 billion dollars in savings in health care spending!

The "Independent Evaluation of the Vermont Tobacco Control Program: 2015 Annual Report" by independent evaluator Research Triangle found that due to reductions in smoking in Vermont since 2001, smoking-attributable health care costs were nearly $185 million less in 2014 than they would have been had smoking remained unchanged over this period.  And from 2001 to 2014, Vermont realized a savings in smoking-related health care costs of $1.43 billion!

That’s great news! Thank lawmakers for investing in the program and urge them to bring the program’s funding back up to its 2014 funding level of $3.9 million in order to have continued success. Click on the following link to take action today!

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Help Vermont's Little Hearts

Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) accounts for 27% of infant deaths that are caused by birth defects - the most common birth defect in the U.S.  Early detection is key, which is why we need your help ensuring a simple, life-saving test for all newborns is required in Vermont. 

Pulse oximetry screening is a low-cost, highly-effective, and painless bedside test that can be completed in as little as 45 seconds at less than $4 per baby.  The Vermont Department of Health has proposed infant screening regulations that recommend health care providers screen for congenital heart defects, but don't go far enough. Please urge the Department of Health to join the 43 other states that currently REQUIRE this screening to ensure that no parents leave a hospital without knowing the heart health of their little one.

Take action now as the public comment period will soon come to a close. Click the following link to send a letter to the Health Department today.]


If we can save a child’s life, shouldn’t we? 

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Thank you for all you do!

Now that we are officially in the throes of the Holidays, I wanted to stop and take a moment to thank you. Many lives throughout Vermont and across the country have been saved thanks to your passion, commitment and action on important health issues. Because of advocates like YOU, countless families are thankful to be spending the holidays together.

I would like to express my gratitude for all that you do to support the American Heart Association every day. The actions you and your fellow You're the Cure advocates take promote heart health in Vermont and beyond, and help improve care for patients with heart disease and stroke. Many people are alive today and will be spending the holiday with their families because dedicated volunteers like YOU are passionate about advocating for change.  

Please make sure to take some time to celebrate the difference that you make in the world.

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Marc Kutler - Saving Lives with CPR and AED Awareness

If there is one thing Marc Kutler does well, its saving lives. And he thinks more people should too.

Marc, an ER doc at Northwestern Medical Center, has a passion for encouraging a strong chain of survival. He oversaw the CPR and AED training at The Edge fitness centers that led to five lives saved.

He also helped the American Heart Association pass legislation in 2012 requiring Hands-only CPR training at Vermont high schools as part of comprehensive health education.

Now he’s working with the AHA again to make sure schools are following through with the CPR training and that more Vermont cities and towns become Heart Safe Communities – working in a coordinated effort to ensure the best chance of survival for cardiac arrest.

Help us in this effort by sharing the Heart Safe Community information packet below with your town’s leaders.

(Please visit the site to view this file)

And make sure your school is teaching CPR to help create a new generation of life savers. The Info sheets below make it easy!

(Please visit the site to view this file)

(Please visit the site to view this file)

Help us in our fight to save lives and you can be a lifesaver too!

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Working to Improve Restaurant Kids Meals

You might remember Kim Evans as a panelist at last year's Go Red For Women Luncheon.

Now Kim, a dietician with Whole Health Nutrition, has joined the AHA's Vermont Advocacy Committee to help us ensure there are nutrition standards for restaurant kids meals in Vermont. Kim joined the crew in promoting the issue at our fall Heart Walk and urging walkers to sign our petition.

You can do your part too. Sign our petition in support of this effort and email it to Just click on the blue text below to open the petition.

 (Please visit the site to view this file)

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