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  • Blog Post: Katie Towle - Supporting Families and Pushing for Critical Heart Tests for Kids

    Katie Towle knows there are two things that can help a child when they are born with a heart defect – a life-saving test that can help detect it, and the support of other families with children who also have heart defects. Katie helped promote the need for mandatory pulse oximetry testing for...
  • Blog Post: Erin E. Herring, CT

    November 18, 1998 was the day Erin E. Herring started on her journey into the world of physicians, hospitals and fear; that was the day her son Gavin was born. He was diagnosed with aortic stenosis and would have to have surgery before is two week birthday. And so it began… After a year and...
  • Blog Post: Tatum Weishaupt, New York State

    My name is Tatum Weishaupt and I joined the AHA in April 2016 as the Mission Lifeline Director of the Capital Region of New York State. Before I tell you about myself, let me share a little bit about Mission Lifeline. The American Heart Association developed Mission: Lifeline to transform heart attack...
  • Blog Post: Shantha Diaz, Rhode Island

    I lost both my parents to heart attacks. They were in their 70’s and I thought it was the norm. 5 years ago I lost my brother to a heart attack. He was only 56 years old. This was my wake up call. Based on my family history my doctor ran some tests. The result was not pretty. The results indicated...
  • Blog Post: Hailey Auster, New York

    Hi, my name is Hailey Auster and in September I will be in 6 th grade at Van Antwerp Middle School in Niskayuna, NY. I believe the quest for health in New York State is very important and on July 5th, I testified before the Schenectady County Legislature to support increasing the tobacco purchase...
  • Blog Post: Helping Us Fight the Silent Killer

    High blood pressure is called The Silent Killer for a reason. It has no symptoms, so you may not be aware that it's damaging your arteries, heart and other organs. When left untreated, possible health consequences can include heart disease, heart attack, stroke and congestive heart failure. But...
  • Blog Post: Callie Ponder, Rhode Island

    Callie Ponder began working with the American Heart Association at the end of May 2016. Her role with the organization is an Associate Regional Campaign Manager for the Pawtucket/Central Falls ANCHOR (Accelerating National Community Health Outcomes through Reinforcing Partnerships) grant, funded by the...
  • Blog Post: Catherine Zalewski, New Jersey

    Catherine Zalewski is a mother of 2, a certified personal trainer, a former Mrs. New Jersey and a stroke survivor. She suffered her first stroke at the age of 28, about 6 months after giving birth to her daughter. It was discovered that she had a hole in heart which was repaired through surgery. She...
  • Blog Post: Dina Plapler, Connecticut

    Dina Plapler has been an advocate and supporter of the fight against heart disease and stroke for much of her professional career. Serving as the AHA’s Executive Director of the CT and Western MA markets for the past two years, and now taking on a new role of a Senior Advisor, Mission Advancement...
  • Blog Post: LeanBox: Making Heart-Healthy Food Available in the Workplace

    The following blog post was submitted by LeanBox, a company providing a collection of services that improve workplaces through food and beverage culture. LeanBox has been a partner in our advocacy efforts to pass the “healthy vending” bill, which would require healthy options to be added...
  • Blog Post: UVM Student Research Aids Restaurant Kids Meal Effort

    An important part of advocacy is knowing the current environment surrounding an issue. Thanks to research conducted by UVM medical students this past year, we have great data to help us in our efforts this summer and fall to promote nutrition standards for kids meals at Vermont restaurants. As part...
  • Blog Post: Meredith McNeil, Maine

    On July 9, 2014, I suffered a stroke. I was as healthy as one could be, a triathlete and marathoner in the middle of training for my 5 th marathon. When I arrived at hospital, I experienced first-hand how a hospital handles a stroke victim.  It was remarkable to witness and I am happy to say I have made...
  • Blog Post: Sharon Mierzwa, Connecticut

    Access to healthy food can be challenging in any environment, but particularly difficult for families with young children, teen residents and seniors living in high poverty areas of Connecticut. Many urban neighborhoods meet the definition of a food desert: low-income areas without ready access to fresh...
  • Blog Post: Jennifer Quigley Harris, Rhode Island

    GUEST BLOG: Active Kids Learn Better By Jennifer Quigley Harris, Providence Public School District’s Wellness Coordinator I was waiting at a traffic light when a group of middle school students stepped into the crosswalk in front of me. It was the end of the school day and the kids were a...
  • Blog Post: Capital Region NY Stroke Ambassador Kicks Off American Stroke Month!

    On May 5th, 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...
  • Blog Post: Representative Prasad Srinivasan, Connecticut

    Dr. Prasad Srinivasan, an allergist, is a long time resident of the town of Glastonbury, and is currently serving his third term as the town’s state representative. He is a member of the General Assembly’s Public Health; Finance Revenue & Bonding; and Planning & Development committees...
  • Blog Post: Yuki Courtland - PE Advocate in NYC!

    Yuki Courtland is an advocate. She sees something wrong in her world and pushes to make the necessary change to help. As the chair of our Advocacy Committee in New York City, she has been leading the way to help make sure every student, regardless of where they go to school, learn how to embrace physical...
  • Blog Post: Little Tikes with a Big Message

    Sometimes it doesn’t take much to get the message across. Sawyer Daniels and Jack Towle stole the show at our April legislative reception. Sawyer is here today because his heart defect was able to be detected early thanks to a pulse oximetry test given shortly after birth – a defect that...
  • Blog Post: Danny Mackenzie, Rhode Island

    I am a 40 year old, healthy active adult as well as a cardiac arrest and heart attack survivor. It was a Saturday and I remember waking up in a hospital bed feeling tired and groggy. My heart attack happened on a Saturday but I did not wake up until a week later. My mind and body had been put through...
  • Blog Post: Leigh Pechillo, Connecticut

    Leigh Pechillo brings an extraordinary level of commitment and passion to her work as a volunteer for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Leigh suffered a massive heart attack on Mother’s Day in 2014 and was saved by her husband, Tom, who performed necessary lifesaving CPR...
  • Blog Post: ReneMarie Testa Adams, New Jersey

    RenéMarie suffered a major stroke on April 8, 1989 while coaching a softball game and is afflicted with aphasia as a result. However, RenéMarie does not let this slow her down. She views her stroke as a call to action and uses her experience to raise awareness and inspire others by sharing...
  • Blog Post: Meaghan O'Brien, Massachusetts

    Meaghan O’Brien is 25 years old young working professional with a full-time job, she is a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend, She is a world traveler, a thrill-seeker and A STROKE SURVIVOR. She grew up in a small town on the South Shore with her parents and two younger...
  • Blog Post: Bob Elling, New York

    Bob Elling is a career paramedic, but has many other “jobs,” including educator, author, and four decades of service as a very passionate American Heart Association volunteer. Bob has served in a number of capacities: Founder’s Affiliate board member, Albany Regional Board of Directors...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...