American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
Find the Heart Walk Near You

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premier community event, helping to save lives from heart disease and stroke. More than 300 walks across America raise funds to support valuable health research, education and advocacy programs of the American Heart Association in every state. Our You’re the Cure advocacy movement – and our public policy successes along the way – are all made possible by the funds raised by the Heart Walk. Whether it’s CPR laws passed to train the next generation of lifesavers or policy to regulate tobacco products and prevent youth smoking,  together we are building a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The Heart Walk is truly a community event, celebrating survivors, living healthy, and being physically active. We hope you’ll join us and visit the site today. If there is not a walk listed in your area soon,  it may be coming in the spring season or you can join a virtual event. And don’t forget to connect with your local advocacy staff and ask about your local Heart Walk day-of You’re the Cure plans - they may need your help spreading the word. Thanks for all you do, and happy Heart Walk season.

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Study: Increasing number of U.S. adults living with congenital heart defects

According to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, more adults are living with congenital heart defects in the United States, creating the need for more health services and tracking systems to collect data across all ages, not just at birth. 

A new study estimates that about 2.4 million people – 1.4 million adults and 1 million children – were living with these medical conditions in the United States in the year 2010.  Nearly 300,000 of them had severe heart defects.  Compared with the estimates for the year 2000, these figures represent a 40 percent increase in the total number of people living with congenital heart defects in the United States and a 63 percent increase among adults. 

Click here to read more!

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Share Your Story: Shelley Wyant

Shelley Wyant - Michigan

May 8, 2013 started out like any other day.  I got up, felt fine, went to work and spent my lunch hour at the mall shopping with a friend.  I had a 1 p.m. meeting with a colleague and that's where it happened; I experienced sudden cardiac arrest.  I don't remember it happening, but I'm told I grabbed my head and then collapsed.  Fortunately for me, my colleague knew CPR.  He started chest compressions and shouted for someone to call 911.  My place of employment was equipped with AEDs and employees had been trained in how to use them.  I was shocked twice before the paramedics arrived.  I was taken to the hospital and was in a coma for a few days.  The doctor had no idea what caused my sudden cardiac arrest because I had no symptoms and no warning signs.  I was healthy and exercised regularly. I didn't have any blockages, didn't have high cholesterol, didn't smoke,  and didn't have any diagnosed heart disease and no family history of heart disease.  My family had no idea if I would come out of the coma, and if I did, if I would have any brain daage.  I was in the right place at the right time.  The combination of CPR and the use of an AED saved my life.  Sudden cardiac arrest is just that -- sudden -- so it is vitally important to be prepared by knowing CPR and having AEDs in public facilities and people trained to use the.  So learn CPR, even Hands-Only CPR.  You will never regret knowing how to save a life!

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Help Protect PE for Kids Like Me!

Guest post from Reagan Spomer, 6th grader Alliance for a Healthier Generation Youth Advisory Board Member & You’re the Cure Advocate

I have two words for you… scooter hockey.  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?  That’s because it is!  Scooter hockey, along with cage ball and 3-way soccer are some of my favorite activities in gym class, which I have a few times a week.

I’m glad I have physical education for a number of reasons.  It keeps me active and teaches me to try new things.  It helps me focus on my school work.  It relieves my stress.  And most of all, it makes me feel great! 

But I know a lot of schools don’t have regular PE like my schools does.  That means a lot of kids are missing out on the benefits of being active during the school day.  I think this needs to change.   

Will you help?  As part of the nationwide campaign to protect PE in schools, Voices for Healthy Kids has created a photo petition map to show how many people across the country love PE like I do.  As people share their pictures, the map will change colors.  I’ve added my “I heart PE” photo for South Dakota.  Will you do the same for your state?  It’s really easy:

  1. Print an “I heart PE” sign (or make your own!)
  2. Take a picture of yourself holding the sign.
  3. Click on your state to share your photo.

Thanks for helping to protect PE for kids like me!

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CPR in Schools Grant Announced

Great news from Green Bay!  Cooperative Educational Service Agency #7 (CESA 7) is pleased to announce that they have received a grant from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment to help schools statewide implement robust CPR training programs for students. The 2 year, $491,269 grant will work with educators from schools across the state to implement a CPR program, provide schools with manikins and other training materials, and connect schools with local community resources.

CESA7 will lead this project, in coordination with the American Heart Association and Medical College of Wisconsin. They have also partnered with the Office of Rural Health, WI Emergency Medical Services Association, WI Fire Chiefs Association, Professional Firefighters of WI, WI Professional Police Association, Project ADAM WI, Marshfield Clinic, Northern Highland Area Health Education Center, WI Association of School Nurses, and the WI Medical Society. Additional partners continue to be recruited.

"It is a pleasure to partner on this project," said Nicole Hudzinski with the American Heart Association. "The first few minutes of a cardiac arrest can mean the difference between life and death. In order to increase survival, we need to increase the number of laypeople trained to perform CPR. This project will do just that."

This program will ensure that at a minimum, 350 schools implement annual high-quality CPR education with state-of-the-art training materials, hands-on practice, and community involvement. Ultimately the tools and best practices will be shared with all schools in Wisconsin, creating an army of students who are ready and willing to act in the face of a cardiac emergency.

To learn more about the project, visit us on Facebook at

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Will you help influence scientific research?

We need to hear from consumers like you as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) partner together on the future of research. Your experience could lead to the next research study to improve heart disease and stroke treatment.

As an advocate we’ve asked you to speak out for increased funding for medical research and you’ve answered by contacting lawmakers and sharing your personal stories as survivors, caregivers, and loved ones touched by heart and stroke disease. Now we invite you to share your experience, the decisions made in determining your or your loved one’s treatment plans and the factors that influenced those decisions. If we better understand your experience it can help guide the research that will lead to better care tailored to the specific needs of patients.

If you’ve had a heart attack, suffered a stroke, or you know a loved one who has, your unique understanding could help guide research to solve un-met care challenges faced by individuals like you and improve heart and stroke treatment.

Here are the details:

  • We are focused on un-met challenges faced by patients and caregivers like you. 
  • To join this challenge, you’ll be asked to provide a written submission of your first-hand experience after a heart disease or stroke event.
  • The story and description of the concerns you faced and the decisions you made should be personal and not a general case.
  • A team of scientific professionals and patient representatives with expertise in heart disease and stroke will review your story. Learning more about issues and concerns important to your decision-making can help them improve experiences and outcomes for patients in the future.
  • If your submission is chosen, you could win $1,000 and possibly help shape the future of cardiovascular research.
  • All submissions must be received by June 8, 2016.

Please take this important challenge and share your insights. Your story matters. Take the challenge today!

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CPR in Schools - it's official!

On Tuesday, April 26th, Governor Scott Walker signed Wisconsin’s CPR in Schools legislation into law, making Wisconsin the 31st state to ensure all students learn compressions-only CPR.

The American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools campaign began in earnest in August of 2015 when key AHA advocates and board members started to meet in-district with their legislators. Our grassroots efforts continued into the fall with a successful lobby day, bringing 120 people from every corner of the state in Madison to lobby legislators. During this time we also built a significant stakeholder coalition and released a promotional video starring three CPR-trained teenagers and the heart attack victim they helped save. 

In December our media advocacy efforts increased, resulting in significant print, radio and TV coverage. In early January we had public hearings in both the Senate and the Assembly, and AHA Board members joined advocates and experts from around the state in testifying. Full floor votes were soon after, with the Assembly passing the CPR in Schools bill on February 9th and the Senate following suite one week later.

Wisconsin’s CPR in Schools law takes effect in the 2017-2018 school year and will add over 58,000 CPR trained youth to local communities each year, thus bringing the total number of students trained every year to 1.8 million in all 31 states.

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AHA President Says: The Science is Clear on Sodium Reduction

Check this out! In a new video, the President of the AHA, Dr. Mark Creager, explains that the science behind sodium reduction is clear. He says that robust evidence has linked excess sodium intake with high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. And, he points out that you can do something about it: join AHA’s efforts to demand change in the amounts of sodium in our food supply.

“Nearly 80 percent of the sodium we eat comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods” says AHA president Dr. Mark Creager. The video shows the 6 foods that contribute the most salt to the American diet: breads & rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup, and sandwiches."

To see the video, head over to our Sodium Breakup blog!

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CDC releases new study about school lunches

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new study entitled, “Improvements and Disparities in Types of Foods and Milk Beverages Offered in Elementary School Lunches, 2006–2007 to 2013–2014,” by Lindsey Turner, Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Lisa Powell and Frank J. Chaloupka. 

In this study, researchers analyzed survey responses from 4,630 public elementary schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. The survey evaluated disparities and changes in school lunch characteristics from 2006-2007 to 2013-2014. A report evaluating the changes in school lunches was published last year by Bridging the Gap, a nationally recognized research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This latest paper evaluates the disparities findings of the research.

Check out the rest of the story on

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The healthy difference a month can make

March is Nutrition Month, and a perfect time to get more involved with the AHA’s ongoing efforts to promote science-based food and nutrition programs that help reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Every day, we’re seeing new initiatives: to make fruits and vegetables more affordable; to reduce the number of sugar-sweetened beverages that our kids are drinking; and of course, to ensure students are getting the healthiest school meals possible, all with the same goal: to help families across the country lead the healthiest lives they possibly can.

It’s also a great opportunity to lower your sodium intake. The average American consumes more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day – more than twice the AHA-recommended amount. Excessive sodium consumption has been shown to lead to elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Visit for tips on to lower your intake and to get heart-healthy recipes.

However you choose to celebrate, Nutrition Month gives us all the chance to take control of our diets; to recommit to eating fresh, healthy foods; and to remember all month long that you’re the cure.

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