Friday, June 24, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Keith has advocated for smoke-free regulations, bans on trans fats, and other nutrition issues within his state- and in April, he came to Washington, DC to lobby for NIH research funding and the FIT Kids Act. He has even taken his advocacy efforts 35,000 feet in the air! While on his return flight to Nevada from DC, he recognized Representative Shelley Berkley on his plane and took the opportunity to share his story and ask for her support for our issues.
Ask Keith which of the advocacy campaigns he’s been involved with that he thought was most significant and he says, “That’s a really tough question – there have been so many! Giving testimony to the Nevada Assembly. Standing in front of the Capital with my arms raised, knowing that we were there to deliver a message. They’ve all been important. The advocacy in the moment is the most important thing. It could seem big or little at the time but there’s always so much potential.”
In addition to influencing lawmakers, Keith also inspires his peers to take action, whether it is through his work as an author, motivational speaker and fitness trainer, or virtually through social media.
As Keith says, “You may not think you are an advocate, but chances are you are if you’re paying attention to the issues. It’s just a matter of how soft or how loud you want your voice to be. You’re the Cure is the best vehicle for a small person to let their voice be heard very big. It empowers you to go to a level you never thought possible.”
Monday, May 23, 2011
Our 2009-2010 Advocacy Online Annual Report -- Progress in Policy won two Honorable Mention awards for "Annual Publication" and "Internal Publication".
We also received an Honorable Mention in the “Event PR” category for the 2010 Scientific Sessions in Chicago.
We are very excited AHA has been recognized among a distinguished circle professionals and nonprofit organizations and thank all You're the Cure advocates who helped give us victories to report out about!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown says CDC Report on Children’s Food Environment Underscores Need for Strong Public Policies
Parents, schools, child-care facilities and communities have the potential to improve the health of young people by providing the tools they need to learn lifelong healthy behaviors. By strengthening nutrition standards in schools, pre-schools and day care settings, we can help limit kids’ exposure to unhealthy options. We must also support measures to reduce sodium and eliminate trans fat in the food supply, increase community and school gardens, reduce children’s exposure to marketing and advertising of unhealthy foods and require calorie information to be displayed on menus and menu boards in all restaurants.
Strong public policies and community programs to increase access to healthy foods will help children develop heart-healthy eating habits that could significantly reduce childhood obesity rates across the country. To access the report, go to www.cdc.gov/obesity/downloads/ChildrensFoodEnvironment.pdf
Monday, April 25, 2011
You’re the Cure advocates contributed over 24,000 messages, asking the agency to approve standards that would require school meals to include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting the amount of unhealthy fats and sodium. Thank you to all of our advocates who participated!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The CDC report, State Smoke-free Laws for Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars - United States, 2000-2010, indicates approximately 88 million Americans are still exposed to secondhand smoke and several states have exemptions that put too many nonsmokers at risk. This remains a hurdle that must be addressed with passage of strong legislation to close loopholes. Elected officials, particularly those in the south, must do more to enact comprehensive smoke-free laws and give citizens a greater opportunity to breathe clean air.
For more information, visit the CDC website.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
The FIT Kids Act would encourage quality physical education and activity during the school day, and the Safe Routes to Schools program promotes the development of walking and biking paths for schoolchildren.
Currently, NIH invests only 4 percent of its budget on heart research and a mere 1 percent on stroke research. "These funding levels are simply not enough to advance research and bring us closer to a cure," said AHA President Ralph L. Sacco, M.D.
In addition to the action on Capitol Hill, over 12,000 emails were sent and nearly 200 phone calls were made by advocates across the country, who participated in the event virtually. Thanks to these active advocates, our message of prevention was delivered to 530 congressional offices!
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, (R-Ga.) and Rep. George Miller, (D-Calif.) received the association's Congressional Public Service Awards for their leadership in the passage of the Child Nutrition Act- and four outstandig volunteers were awarded with the Association's Advocate of the Year awards, including Dr. Stephen Cook (NY), Cindy Flynn (PA), Newt Williams (TN), and Abby Michaelsen (CA).
Star Jones of "The Celebrity Apprentice" also participated in the event sharing her journey of recovery from heart disease with fellow advocates and legislators alike.
For more information and event pictures, visit www.heart.org/yourethecureonthehill
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
2011 Science Advocate of the Year- Dr. Stephen Cook
Dr. Stephen Cook from Fairpoint, New York “embodies the ideals of translational research”. He was instrumental in developing the Healthi Kids initiative in Monroe County and its policy agenda to reverse childhood obesity. This coalition involved community, government and academic sectors to increase physical activity and improve nutrition for children. Dr. Cook is also the Chairman of the childhood Obesity Committee for the New York State chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; serves on state and national committees of the American Heart Association; and is a member of the National Advocacy Task Force of The Obesity Society.
2011 Survivor Advocate of the Year- Cindy Flynn
Cindy Flynn from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania has actively and enthusiastically participated in association events and has been an unstoppable advocate for heart and stroke issues. As a four-time stroke survivor and a passionate You’re the Cure advocate, she has established strong relationships with lawmakers to help advance heart disease and stroke legislation. She takes her role and responsibilities as a Pennsylvania State Advocacy Committee Field Representative very seriously and reaches out to advocacy staff regularly with updates about the work she is doing. She has also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the association’s Great Rivers Affiliate and been recognized for her efforts to engage federal and state officials in Go Red for Women activities and policy issues.
2011 Volunteer Advocate of the Year- Newt Williams
In addition to his passion, Newt Williams of Nashville, Tennessee has brought his extensive knowledge of the legislative process and relationships with key officials to his work as a You’re the Cure advocate. He played a key role in the passage of local menu labeling regulations and has actively advocated for accessible and affordable health care for all Americans. He has served as a spokesperson and a media advocate- and takes every opportunity to educate others on our issues and recruit new advocates.
2011 Youth Advocate of the Year- Abby Michaelsen
Abby Michaelsen of Newport Beach, California has been a role model to other young people in her community and has demonstrated amazing leadership in educating and helping others live healthier lives. After losing her father to heart disease, Abby became an advocate for the association to help prevent heart disease in her community. In 2009, she founded Newport Harbor High School’s first Heart and Health Club and since then over 50 students have regularly organized community events including a Heart Month health fair and the Great American Smokeout. She has mobilized her peers to get the message out on tobacco-free legislation and testified to policymakers to support smoke-free parks. Abby has even developed a “Start Your Own Heart Club Toolkit”, so that students at other local schools can start and run their own clubs.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
The FIT Kids Act, H.R. 1057, renews the emphasis on physical education in schools. The Act would work to ensure kids are active during the school day and are given opportunities that promote overall health and wellness. The legislation would engage parents and the public by requiring all school districts and states to report on students’ physical activity, including the amount of time spent in required physical education in relation to the recommended national standard. The Act would further ensure appropriate professional development for health and physical education teachers, fund research to examine the link between children’s health and their academic achievement, and recommend effective ways to combat childhood obesity and improve healthy living and physical activity.
“This bill gets to the simple truth: in order to develop a healthy mind, you need a health body,” said U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), co-chair of the Congressional Fitness Caucus. “Providing increased physical education in public schools will give every child an opportunity – regardless of their background – to learn healthy habits and get moving. We will see the benefits in their math and reading test scores, get to the root of the obesity epidemic, and get kids on a healthy path early in life. I hope that Congress can consider the importance of physical education in our schools when they take a closer look at education reform later this year.”
“To ensure that our kids will lead healthy and active lives, we need to help them develop good habits early on,” said Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “This bill would combat rising rates of childhood obesity, which have become a pressing public health crisis that we must address. Kids who get more exercise throughout the day are more fit, more focused in the classroom, and get better sleep – also a welcome benefit for their parents! This bill empowers schools, teachers and parents to help improve our kids’ health.”
“With childhood obesity rates that have tripled over the last few decades, we must make every effort to help children reduce their risk for heart disease, stroke and other life-threatening illnesses,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of American Heart Association. “More than 80 percent of adults support daily physical education yet such programs have been on the decline in many school districts. The FIT Kids Act would help educate parents about the quality and quantity of physical education in their child’s school.”
“America’s children receive too little opportunity to be physically active, and that is a major contributor to the nation’s obesity epidemic, said Penny Lee, Executive Director of the Campaign to End Obesity Action Fund. “Lack of physical activity for children has a negative effect on our military preparedness, their ability to learn and their overall wellness. Now is the time to drill down on solutions which is what this legislation provides. It allows for more information to parents, educators and communities so they recognize the gaps in activity and have the opportunity to address them -- a major step in the right direction.”
“The National Association for Sport and Physical Education commends Senator Harkin and Congressman Kind on introducing the FIT Kids Act which will strongly support our common goal of increasing the quality and quantity of physical education opportunities in the U.S.,” says NASPE President, Lynn Couturier of State University of New York at Cortland. “Physical education, an essential component of a quality, well-rounded education, not only teaches students how to achieve and maintain lifelong healthy habits but contributes to their academic success.”
“We are proud to support Senator Harkin and Congressman Kind on their reintroduction of the Fit Kids Act,” said NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. “This legislation furthers our shared goal of eliminating childhood obesity and encouraging children to lead healthy lifestyles.”
The FIT Kids Act has been endorsed by the following organizations: The American Diabetes Association, The American Heart Association, National Association for Sport and Physical Education, Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Football League, Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, YMCA.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
NCPPA President Laurie Whitsel states: “This is a great opportunity to begin collecting all of the exciting stories about the different ways organizations, communities, and passionate advocates are making the National Physical Activity Plan a reality and hearing how people across the U.S. are making physical activity a regular part of their day.”
Unite forces with American Heart Association and the NPAP to Make the Move in your business or at home today! Learn more at http://www.ncppa.org/ or to get involved visit www.facebook.com/PhysicalActivityPlan
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The good news is that women today have greater access to the kind of care that can help prevent heart disease.
In the past, the high price tag on even a routine doctor’s visit could keep women from detecting heart problems early. Now, thanks to the health care law, the Affordable Care Act, women who join new health insurance plans and those on Medicare can get free preventive care, including screenings that detect raised levels of cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.
One of the best ways to take control of your heart health is by keeping track of these important health indicators. The health insurance reform law makes this easier than ever.
But prevention cannot stop at the doctor’s office door. Most of us know how important it is to eat right and exercise. But when we’re in a hurry, it can seem easier to get a burger from the local drive-thru than to prepare a healthy meal at home. After a long day at work, the couch may be more appealing than the treadmill. And these choices make a big difference: if you do just four simple things—eat right, be physically active, don’t smoke, and keep a healthy weight—you can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent.
Together, we are committed to helping women make these healthy choices. As part of the health law, we have redoubled our efforts to help state and local governments and community organizations reduce risks for heart disease, like obesity and tobacco use.
We’re supporting programs that bring fresh fruits and vegetables to neighborhoods where healthy food is hard to find or too expensive for low-income citizens. We’re making calorie information available on many restaurant menus and vending machines. And we’re working to increase the number of tobacco-free workplaces.
In addition, we are reaching out directly to women to make sure they have the information they need to live a healthy life. For example, access to emergency care within the first hour of a heart attack can help avoid lasting heart damage or death. But many women do not recognize the warning signs or symptoms of heart disease and delay seeking care.
That’s why, earlier this month, with the support of the American Heart Association, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, and more than a dozen other groups, the Department of Health and Human Services launched the Make the Call, Don’t Miss a Beat campaign. This program will help women recognize the seven warning signs of a heart attack and encourage them to call 9-1-1 as soon as any of these symptoms occur.
While government and health organizations have a responsibility to educate the public, we can’t solve this problem alone. The people who can help America make the biggest gains in the fight against heart disease are women themselves.
Women need to have frank conversations with our doctors about our heart health. You can learn more by consulting websites like HealthCare.gov, hearttruth.gov, womenheart.org, and goredforwomen.org. These sites have everything you need to get started towards a healthier heart, from online profiles that determine your risk to healthy recipes and tips to keep your heart healthy. WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease also provides on-line and in-person support networks for women living with heart disease.
For your own sake and for the people you love, take control of your heart health and make sure you’re treating your heart right. It’s the only one you’ve got.
CEO, American Heart Association
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
To view event photos, visit our AmHeartAdvocacy Flickr page.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
We also wanted to draw your attention to some of the outstanding resources mentioned on the call. First, we heard from Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh about the improvements being made through the Affordable Care Act to ensure women and their families are able to access affordable, quality care. We encourage you to learn about the new law and the options that may be available to you at www.heartsforhealthcare.org or www.healthcare.gov.
Additionally, Dr. Lori Mosca, lead author of the AHA’s new Guidelines on Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women, shared an overview of the new recommendations. More information on these important updates can be found on the AHA’s website.
Dr. Suzanne Haynes from the HHS Office of Women’s Health also spoke about a new campaign- Make a Call. Don’t Miss a Beat- which encourages women to learn the signs and symptoms of heart attacks and take immediate action if they experience them.
And as always, the AHA’s Go Red for Women movement continues to be a great source of helpful information to aid in the fight against heart disease in women, including recipes, tools and tips for improving your heart health.
Friday, February 11, 2011
WHAT: A conference call with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh, a leading cardiologist, and fellow survivor-advocates to learn about some of the latest women’s heart health news, a new campaign aimed at raising awareness, and changes to the health care system that could affect you and your family.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
‘Let’s Move!’ has made a concerted effort to engage Americans where they live, work, learn and play- and has been successful in bringing citizens, communities, businesses, government officials and public health groups together around the shared mission of turning the tide on childhood obesity.
Read AHA CEO Nancy Brown's full statement about the Let's Move one-year anniversary-http://bit.ly/e5iyGt
Monday, February 7, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
“Training of all secondary education students will add a million trained rescuers to the population every few years,” said Mary Fran Hazinski, R.N., M.S.N., co-author of the advisory and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tenn. “Those students will be ready, willing and able to act for many years to come, whenever they witness an emergency within the community.”
Last school year, 36 states had a law or curriculum standard encouraging CPR training in schools- and a number of states are pursuing legislation this year. In New York, for example, advocates, including paramedics, survivors, CRP instructors, and families of those affected by sudden cardiac arrest, are leading the charge to advance legislation that will ensure all students in the state receive CPR training prior to graduation. They have collected 1500 petition signatures so far and will be taking their message to the state capital in March to meet with lawmakers.
In Tennessee, advocates will be working with state lawmakers and the Department of Education to strengthen their existing law. Currently, CPR is taught as part of the lifetime wellness curriculum, but the AHA is pushing for hands-on-practice during this instruction for all students.
And in Iowa, advocates will be playing defense to protect their law which requires students to be trained in CPR before graduating. Some legislators, concerned with the time and cost the existing law requires, have suggested repealing it. However, the AHA is actively promoting the immeasurable benefits by sharing personal stories from students who have saved a life.
For more information on the new advisory, click here.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The Obama Administration is committed to taking proactive measures to reduce the risk factors creating heart disease. Efforts to eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, limit sodium consumption, exercise regularly, avoid tobacco, and moderate alcohol intake will reduce the life threatening factors leading to heart disease.
The need for prevention is recognized by the Obama Administration, the Affordable Care Act is one live saving mechanism that enforces all news individual and group health plans to provide recommended preventive care and services without a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible. Also, First Lady Michelle Obama has implemented the Let’s Move! initiative to begin prevention against heart disease early in life by combating childhood obesity.
President Obama also encourages all Americans to show their support of women’s heart health by wearing red or the campaign’s Red Dress Pin on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 4. This day increases awareness of heart disease among women.
February is a time to rededicate ourselves to raising awareness for heart disease and improve our own heart health and the heart health of those we love by committing to efforts of prevention.
To learn more about risk factors, prevention of heart disease, and to increase the awareness of women’s heart disease visit: www.CDC.gov/HeartDisease and www.HearthTruth.gov
Thursday, January 27, 2011
During her keynote, Brown discussed Life’s Simple 7 (mylifecheck.heart.org), seven key health factors and behaviors that the association believes are essential for successful prevention including physical activity, proper diet, abstinence from smoking, weight management and control of blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar. She also mentioned the effect these diseases and costs have on many Americans who have limited health insurance coverage. Brown shared a compelling story about Frank Amend, an underinsured heart survivor whose family was impacted by huge medical costs for his treatment.
Paul Heidenreich, MD and Justin Trogdon, PhD, two members of the report’s expert panel, commented on the methodology of the findings and remarked that despite the successes in reducing heart disease, we still face an enormous financial burden in medical costs. Members of the media including CNN, Reuters, National Journal, Congressional Quarterly and Politico were in attendance along with representatives from various health organizations.
View video highlights of the event and the full report!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
On January 5, members of the 112th Congress were sworn in on Capitol Hill, beginning the first session of the new Congress. This marks a change in power in the House of Representatives and the start for 13 new Senators in the Senate.
As we prepare to influence this new group of lawmakers to prioritize our nation’s health, it is particularly important for advocates to pay close attention to the 2011 congressional calendar. In-district work periods, or recess breaks, are a prime opportunity to meet with your legislators about the issues that matter most to you. So, mark your calendars and stay tuned for opportunities to help deliver the You’re the Cure message when your Members return home.
Have you visited www.yourethecure.org lately? Go ahead and take a look!
We have just updated our action center to help provide you with the tools you need to stay informed, get involved, and take action in the fight against heart disease and stroke. Whether you take action on our action alerts, share your story, register for an event, or recruit others to the cause, you can have an impact. Make sure to bookmark the site on your computer and check back often!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
When legislatures reconvene this year, the political landscape will look significantly different in many states. As a result of the November 2010 elections, 13 state legislatures changed party majority and 29 new Governors will be place. These changes will result in many legislatures reorganizing and we are sure to see new committee structures, chairs and legislative leaders in place in 2011. These changes will make for an interesting and exciting 2011.
For 2011, states are prioritizing a variety of heart disease and stroke related issues, ranging from requiring high school students be taught CPR prior to graduation to developing telemedicine systems that will assure those in the most remote locations will be able to receive critical specialty care. The issues which are being addressed most widely are: promoting physical education programs in schools; creating or strengthening stroke system of care; securing or protecting tobacco prevention funding; and establishing strong secondhand smoke policies. Each of these policy issues are on the legislative agendas in more than 30 states.
Of special concern for states will be significant state budget deficits. According to a recent report, jointly released by the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), fiscal conditions will remain a major challenge for state budgets and state will continue to face slow revenue growth, increased spending demands and the end of the stimulus funds provided to state buy the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
State budget deficits provide an opening for staff and volunteers to establish the benefits of a tobacco tax increase. The AHA supports tobacco excise tax increases because of the many well-known health benefits however they can also provide much need fiscal resources to state coffers. At least nineteen state advocacy teams crafted strategic plans around a tobacco excise tax increase for their state. State budget deficits also make the plans our state teams carry out around increasing and protecting heart disease and stroke prevention funding even more critical.For more information about the state policy agenda in your state please contact your local state advocacy staff.