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  • Blog Post: CT Needs State-Wide Hospital Stroke Designation Program

    In Connecticut, stroke has been one of the top 5 leading causes of death and the leading cause of disability. An abundance of medical literature demonstrates that stroke patients receive better care, have better outcomes, and have less treatment related complications at centers equipped to treat stroke...
  • Blog Post: New USDA Rules to Improve School Health Environment: What They Are and What You Can Do to Get Involved.

    Teaching children healthy eating habits is critical to their long-term health. Parents strive to instill healthy habits at home, and schools have worked hard to improve the nutritional quality of school meals, snacks, and beverages sold in schools. Schools, especially, play a critical role in promoting...
  • 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: 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: Learning CPR in Schools

    Nearly 383,000 people have cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year, and only 11% survive, most likely because they don’t receive timely CPR. Given right away, CPR doubles or triples survival rates. Teaching students CPR could save thousands of lives by filling our community with lifesavers...
  • Blog Post: First Major City To Pass Sugary Drink Tax Is..

    Earlier this month, Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to pass a sugary drink tax, scoring a significant win for kids and public health- while defeating a very formidable opponent, Big Soda, which spent millions of dollars trying to defeat the proposal. The City Council has approved a budget...
  • Blog Post: Unhealthy Food/Beverage Marketing In Schools

    Parents know from experience that food marketing works. Cartoon characters on cereal boxes and toy giveaways with restaurant kids’ meals appeal to children and influence which foods they ask for and are willing to eat. When you send your children to school, you expect them to learn in an environment...
  • Blog Post: FDA Agrees To Regulate E-Cigarettes

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently took a critical step to protect our kids from a new generation of tobacco products by issuing a rule that establishes FDA oversight of electronic cigarettes, cigars, hookah and other previously unregulated tobacco products. Concerned public health advocates...
  • 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: Tough Session So Far...

    The 2016 legislative session began in January and ends on May 4 th , 2016. It has been a session that has largely been overshadowed by a significant multi-year budget deficit and legislators that are also focused on their upcoming November elections. This, however, has not prevented the American Heart...
  • 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: They Want to Hear From You!

    Even though Connecticut is indeed a small state, it still consists of no fewer than 169 towns and cities. Within those towns and cities are 151 state representatives and 36 state senators, all of whom are re-elected every two years. You are a constituent to one particular state representative and state...
  • 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: Dedicated Advocates Save CPR Training!

    During the 2015 legislative session, AHA advocates worked hard to pass legislation making CT the 24 th state to require CPR training in the public school curriculum. At the same time, a High School Graduation Task Force was formed to review recent changes to the state’s high school graduation requirements...
  • Blog Post: CT Considers Increasing Tobacco Purchase Age

    An issue that has begun to pick up traction nationally is increasing the tobacco purchase age to 21. Currently only Hawaii has passed such a law, but numerous states, including CT, have considered it during their current legislative sessions. The American Heart Association, along with other groups...
  • Blog Post: Healthy Vending and Marketing Bill in CT

    The American Heart Association was successful in having a bill raised in the Public Health committee that seeks to require a study of food dispensed in vending machines maintained on state property, with the goal of ensuring that the machines eventually offer plenty of healthy choices to the consumer...
  • Blog Post: CT Considers Raising the Minimum Age to Purchase Tobacco Products

    On Wednesday, March 2nd, the Public Health committee held a public hearing on a number of bills, one of which was a proposal to raise the minimum purchase age to 21 for tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and vapor products. The American Heart Association and other health advocacy groups testified...
  • Blog Post: Meet Our New Team Member

    My name is Jim Williams, and I am your new CT Director of Government Relations. I’m very excited to hit the ground running during the legislative session, which began Wednesday. For the past 10 years I worked as the Government Relations Director for the CT State Dental Association. I have also...
  • Blog Post: Help Us Stop Our Schools from Marketing Unhealthy Foods to Our Kids!

    Thanks to the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, 88% of Connecticut school districts are successfully serving healthy meals that meet strong nutrition standards. However, the food industry is still allowed to market unhealthy products in our schools. This sends a mixed message to our students. It is also...
  • Blog Post: A New Year in Connecticut

    The legislature is getting ready to go back to work and I am excited about all the great policies we are going to be working on. We have made great progress on ensuring that our schools aren’t serving unhealthy foods, so why are they allowed to advertise them in schools? We think that schools should...
  • Blog Post: Thank you...

    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 Connecticut 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...
  • Blog Post: Safer Streets for Connecticut...

    We are pleased to announce that we have received confirmation that the American Heart Association secured a $9.8 million appropriation of bonded funds to support bike and pedestrian transportation projects. These dollars will help CT residents have access to safer bike and pedestrian transportation opportunities...
  • Blog Post: Charles Wira MD, Connecticut

    We’re fortunate to have Dr. Charles Wira as the Chairman of our Stroke Task Force. Dr. Wira brings a wealth of knowledge to the group that will help them produce the best recommendations possible for improving stroke systems of care in Connecticut. Dr. Wira is board certified in Internal Medicine...
  • Blog Post: Voices for Healthy Kids Conference in New Orleans

    I’m excited to be writing this update from smoke free New Orleans. Over the course of the week I’ll be meeting with advocacy staff from the American Heart Association and Voices for Healthy Kids to discuss how we can be more effective advocates in the fight against obesity. Over the course...
  • Blog Post: Legislative Agenda Summary

    It’s an exciting time in the Connecticut General Assembly and the advocacy world. We have begun to finalize our legislative agenda and the legislature is beginning to shift gears for the start of the 2016 session. We have an ambitious agenda full of great proposals that will help save lives...