American Heart Association - You’re the Cure
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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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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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Meet Jarrid Garcia: Our Heart All-Star

Jarrid Garcia joined the Little Rock, Arkansas office as an Advocacy Intern in early 2016.  During his time on staff, Jarrid has supported the team at many successful events including the Go Red For Women Survivor Gallery unveiling at the Arkansas State Capitol, Strike Out Stroke Night with the Arkansas Travelers baseball team and a variety of community events.

As Jarrid leaves the AHA to graduate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock we will all miss his commitment to our advocacy efforts at the American Heart Association, and hearing updates on the success of the UALR baseball team, where Jarrid is a rock star pitcher!

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Hometown: Whitehouse, Texas

Current City: Little Rock, Arkansas

Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting

Hobbies: Golf

Pets (ages and names): Brian, Yellow Lab, 9

Role model: My father

Greatest achievement: Playing baseball at Division 1 level

Two celebrities or historical figures you would want to have dinner with (living or not) and why them?
Comedians John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell. These two, in my opinion, make some of the funniest movies together and it would be hilarious to have dinner with them and see how they act.

Why is advocating with the AHA important to you?
I enjoy using my time in order to help the current and future health of the people that live within my community.

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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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Stroke Awareness Month in Wyoming: Can We Share Your Story?

Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke. And one out of six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. But still, the vast majority of Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern. The Wyoming American Heart Association – American Stroke Association is working hard each and every day to eliminate those statistics through education, research and legislation. But we need your help!  Help us raise awareness of our No. 5 killer and leading cause of disability in May as we celebrate survivors and raise awareness during Stroke Awareness Month.

Are you a stroke survivor or know someone who is? We’d love to hear your story of survival and share it with others so that they, too, can survive a stroke. Please contact us at Kristen.waters@heart.org or call 402-960-6078

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Meet Jessica Westerman

Please meet Jessica Westerman, an amazing American Heart Association advocate that commits time and passion to support the Advocacy Team in our Little Rock, Arkansas office.  Most recently as a resident of Bryant, Jessica has been helping on our Smoke-Free Bryant campaign. 

Favorite Movie: The Sound of Music

Hobbies: Spending time with family & friends, traveling, watching & attending Razorback football games

Kids: Addison (daughter-8 )and Mackenzie (daughter-4)

Pets: Mollie (Maltipoo) and Lindsay (Pekingese pug mix)

Two celebrities I’d like to have dinner with: Julie Andrews & Kenny Chesney

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Why is advocating with the AHA important to you?

”Advocating with the American Heart Association is very important to me, because heart disease and stroke have affected my family. My mom had a stroke in 2009 and thankfully fully recovered. My maternal grandmother died after having a stroke and my maternal grandfather had heart disease for 35+ years before he passed away.

Another reason I’m so passionate about volunteering with AHA is that I was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot. Tetralogy of Fallot consists of four abnormalities of the heart; such as a hole in the septum, narrowing of the pulmonary valve, a thick right ventricle and an overriding aorta. I had surgery to correct these abnormalities at birth and 1 year old. I am blessed to be healthy today and haven’t had a valve replacement yet.

I used to be self-conscious about my scar from my open heart surgeries. But, I learned over the years to be proud of that scar. It shows that I am a survivor and it gives me the opportunity to tell my story and bring about awareness of Tetralogy of Fallot. I love volunteering with the American Heart Association and feel like I’m helping make a difference to bring about awareness of heart disease and stroke.”

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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 www.heart.org/sodium 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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WY Advocating For Heart Event Brings Advocates Together

On Tuesday, February 25th, advocates from across Wyoming came together for an Advocating for Heart breakfast in Cheyenne to recognize Wear Red Day and the fight against the number one killer of women - heart disease, by advocating for heart healthy and stroke smart policies.

After enjoying breakfast together, advocates and staff from the American Heart Association discussed the policy goals moving forward for Wyoming, shared a variety of ways advocates could engage with the AHA throughout the year and networked with one another.

We're grateful to have these advocates join in our efforts to build a healthier Wyoming, but we still need help. If you are interested in joining our advocacy efforts in Wyoming please contact Kristen Waters at Kristen.Waters@heart.org or Allison Hogue at Allison.Hogue@heart.org.

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Meet Christa Coleman

We're pleased to introduce you to You're the Cure Advocate, Christa Coleman, from Lonsdale, Arkansas.

Christa recently attended our Go Red For Women Survivor Gallery Unveiling at the Arkansas State Capitol. Her family had spent the past week at Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) with her daughter, Adyson, after she had open-heart surgery to repair a congenital heart defect (CHD). Their support team of parents and ACH staff shared with them that an American Heart Association event was taking place across the street at the Capitol where survivors, just like Adyson, were being honored. Christa and her husband made their way over to the Capitol where they were moved by the many stories of survival and the large group of supporters present. Shortly after the event, Christa felt that the AHA was the right place for her to share her passion for advocacy with others. We are now thankful to have Christa as a volunteer, and most recently worked with her at an event in her hometown to spread awareness about the public policy efforts of the American Heart Association in Arkansas.

A huge thank you to the Coleman Family for being so amazing! For this volunteer spotlight we would like to share a photo Christa and Krista Thornton. They both supported AHA advocacy outreach efforts on Saturday, February 27th at Saline Memorial Hospital's The Beat Goes On 5K.  The second photo is Christa's daughter, Adyson.

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Legislative Session Starts in Wyoming

The gavel is down and the 2016 Legislative Session has officially started. We are excited and eager to work with our state legislators on policies that will help make Wyoming healthier!  Over the next several months you will receive emails providing updates on the progress of these issues, as well as giving you the opportunity to take action via email, phone calls, and visits to legislator offices. Just know that your voice is incredibly important to the work of the American Heart Association at our state Capitol.

Click here to let legislators know how the decisions they make will impact the health of their constituents.

We have found that effective grassroots campaigns are vital to making positive changes to health policy in the state of Wyoming. We can’t do this without you!

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