American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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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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A New Test Could Soon be Required to Ensure VT newborns Go Home Heart Healthy

Before a baby leaves a hospital, pulse oximetry screening – a simple clip on the toe – helps identify congenital heart defects.  The American Heart Association has been working to ensure that babies in every state have this screening before they go home from any birthing facility.

Currently, this screening isn’t required in Vermont. But, the Vermont Department of Health will begin a rulemaking this month to enact new regulations that could require this screening at hospitals in Vermont.

Please let the health department know this is something you strongly support so parents don’t take a baby home with an undetected heart defect. The proposed regulation will be available here once posted for public comment. Speak up to ensure Vermont babies get a heart healthy start on life.

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Comment on Vermont's Tobacco Plan

The Vermont Department of Health is updating the Vermont Tobacco Control Plan and wants input from Vermonters!

As the new plan is developed with updated goals through 2020, the health department and the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board (VTERB) would like to gain input from tobacco control stakeholders on the goals, objectives and strategies set forth in the five-year plan.  Please let them know what you think.  A series of public meetings will be held to provide opportunity for agencies, programs, organizations and individuals working in tobacco control or with populations disparately impacted by tobacco burden to provide input to the draft plan.  

Meeting Schedule:

Wednesday October 28th, 2015 at 3:00pm to 5:00pm, via Vermont Interactive Television

            Vermont Department of Labor Building, 5 Green Mountain Drive, Montpelier, VT 05602

            Brattleboro Union High School, 131 Fairground Rd, Room 125, Brattleboro, VT 05301

            Senior Citizen's Service Center, 124 Pleasant Street, Bennington, VT 05201

 Wednesday November 18th, 2015 at 2:00pm to 4:00pm

            Agency of Human Services, Conference Room A, 208 Hurricane Lane, Williston, VT

These meetings are open to the public, and registration is not a pre-requisite, but for planning purposes, please click here to indicate which date/location you will attend.

Overview of State Tobacco Control Plan

The Vermont State Tobacco Control Plan will include strategic goals, objectives and activities that will be carried out by public- and private-sector partners in Vermont to collectively address tobacco burden and control throughout 2015-2019.  It is essential to include input from the many partners and stakeholders working on tobacco control in Vermont, as the plan is intended to inform and guide the work of the Vermont Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program over the next five years.

The Vermont State Tobacco Control Plan strategic goals and objectives will include evidence-based environmental, policy, and systems strategies to reduce tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure, tobacco-related disparities and associated disease, disability, and death in Vermont.

The five-year comprehensive state tobacco control plan will build on the current Tobacco Control Work Plan (2014-2017), and will:

  • Serve as a framework for decisions on annual programmatic direction for all stakeholders, programs, and organizations working to address tobacco control in Vermont,
  • Provide a foundation for the development of annual work plans that include evidence-based strategies or interventions to support the outcomes/objectives defined in the plan
  • Identify and provide support for addressing areas of tobacco-related disparities and health equity.

For more information:

Kathryn O’Neill | Administrator | Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board | Vermont Agency of Human Services | 208 Hurricane Lane, Williston, VT | 802.503.2745 | 

Click here to visit the VTERB website.

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Lots of Support for Vermont Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Summit

Organizations across Vermont gathered on September 25th for a Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Summit to pledge to ensure that Vermont kids have access to healthy eating and physical activity in early care and afterschool programs.

Organizations including the YMCA, Vermont Afterschool, Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Department of Children and Families, Vermont Birth to Five, Building Bright Futures, Hunger Free Vermont, Vermont Association for health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and many more spent the day planning how best to share their commitment to building a healthier present and future for Vermont’s children by creating environments rich in opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.

Research shows that children’s proper brain development, lifelong ability to learn, and physical and mental health, depend upon daily access to quality nutrition and physical activity.

Keynote speaker Jessica Donze Black, a child nutrition expert with the Pew Charitable Trusts, encouraged organizations to do all they could to get kids starting healthy habits early, noting that the weight of a child at age 4 is predictive of the weight of that child over his/her lifetime.

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Advocacy Volunteers Rock the Walk

Thanks to our advocates who turned out to talk about the need for healthy restaurant kids meals to walkers at our Vermont Heart Walk on Saturday, September 26th.  Members of our board and advocacy committee including Jane Kolodinsky, Kim Evans, Mary Cushman, Jennifer Nachbur, Michelle Johnston and Christina Cahill joined volunteer survivor Payton Jones in urging people to sign our petition supporting nutrition standards for kids meals sold at restaurants including removing sugary drinks from kids menus. There was lots of great conversation about helping kids develop healthy eating patterns early! With a sunny day, fresh apples, and lots of walking, it was a great example of making the healthy choice the easy choice!

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Payton Jones is Helping Other Kids Get a Healthy Start

There’s more to Payton Jones than meets the eye! This vibrant 14 year old is a survivor. After suffering a cardiac arrest at a swim meet three years ago as a result of an undiagnosed rare disease, Payton has been committed to helping fight heart disease.

She has formed a walk team and walked each year since her event in the American Heart Walk to help raise funds for life saving research.

Now, she’s joining forces with the AHA again to help kids get an early start on being healthy by helping us ensure that restaurants meet nutrition standards in their kids meals and eliminate sugary drinks from kids meals.

Come visit Payton at the advocacy table at our American Heart Walk at Oakledge Park on Flynn Avenue in Burlington from 8:30-11:30am on Saturday, September 26th and sign a petition urging state leaders to require nutrition standards for restaurant meals that are marketed to kids.

For more information on the walk go to:

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Help Kids Be Healthy for Years to Come!

Obesity has tripled among children and adolescents in the last 30 years.  It’s time to act! Establishing strong obesity prevention programs in child care settings is a great place to start.

The Vermont Child Development Division is currently updating its licensing regulations for child care centers across Vermont and is seeking public comment from Vermonters on its proposed regulations. We need to ensure that strong nutrition, physical activity and screen time standards are included.

Take a minute now and click on the following link for a letter you can print and send in as your comment supporting the American Heart Association’s recommendations for the child care setting.

Your support can make a difference!  Because children develop food preferences within the first years of life, exposing them to healthy diets early can have an immediate benefit but also reduce chronic disease risk for years to come if these healthy habits are continued into adulthood. The same holds true for physical activity.

The AHA is recommending the child care regulations follow the nutrition standards set by the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program and the physical activity and screen time standards set by YMCA’s Healthy Eating Physical Activity Standards. Lend your voice of support today for a healthier generation of kids!

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Smoke Free 10 Event Brings Support for Addressing E-Cigarettes

The American Heart Association and the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont celebrated 10 years of smoke-free bars and restaurants in Vermont on September 1st with a celebration of public health groups, patrons and lawmakers and called on the crowd to support the inclusion of e-cigarettes in Vermont’s clean indoor air laws.

Commending the decade of smoke free success in Vermont, Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen urged the crowd gathered at the Double Tree in South Burlington to continue to be vigilant as the tobacco industry continually comes up with new products to addict kids and adults, including e-cigarettes.

Dr. Jan Carney, AHA Board member and Professor of Medicine at University of Vermont School of Medicine, reiterated the importance of addressing e-cigarette use before the problem became more serious, noting, “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.”

The American Heart Association and Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont will be launching 2016 campaign to include e-cigarettes in Vermont’s Clean Indoor Air Laws. Our concerns include the following:

  • Allowing e-cigarette use in public and work places normalizes smoking behavior and is a real risk to public health.
  • It’s a logical next step to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes where smoking is prohibited so the norms we’ve worked so hard to establish aren’t eroded.
  • Children who see e-cigarettes used in public places may perceive them as regular cigarettes, threatening to re-glamorize the act of smoking.
  • Allowing the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace also discourages quitting tobacco use by offering smokers an alternative way to get nicotine when they cannot smoke.

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Celebrate Ten Years of Smoke Free Restaurants and Bars in Vermont on September 1st!

Vermont has been enjoying smoke free bars and restaurants for some time thanks to advocates like you so come and celebrate with us!

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years but on September 1, 2005, Vermont eliminated a large loophole in the 1993 Smoking in Public Places Law that allowed smoking in all bars and many restaurants.

This so-called Cabaret Exemption exposed hundreds of Vermont workers to dangerous levels of secondhand smoke, while most other Vermont employees were protected from secondhand smoke by the 1987 Smoking in the Workplace Law.

By passing this law, the Vermont Legislature made a strong statement that every Vermonter should be able to earn a living without risking their health.

This public health success didn’t happen on its own. It was due to the work of a vast and strong coalition of advocates, health professionals, restaurant and bar employees, lawmakers and YOU! Celebrate with us!

Please help us celebrate this major victory for public health on Tuesday, September 1st, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Burlington.

This event is being sponsored by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the Doubletree by Hilton Burlington and the University of Vermont Medical Center. It is supported by the Vermont Department of Health.

Please RSVP if you'd like to attend by contacting Ron Douglass at 876-6860 or by August 26.

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