Archive for July, 2012

CPR in Schools Victory in North Carolina!

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Thanks to the tireless efforts by and AHA volunteers and staff, we are pleased to announce that North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed House Bill 837 into law on July 26, 2012. The law requires all students to be trained in CPR as a graduation requirement and will take effect in the 2014-2015 school year.

At the signing, Governor Perdue underscored her enthusiastic support for the bill saying, “I can think of nothing that we’ve done this year that has any more profound and long lasting effects on the health and wellness and survivability in North Carolina from any kind of heart attack or incident.”

The law will ensure that high schools students become proficient in CPR and subsequently, will be able to save a life if the need for lifesaving assistance arises. Representative Becky Carney, who was herself the recipient of CPR from a trained bystander CPR, added, “Providing our youth with the power and confidence to save a life when it matters most maybe the most valuable lesson a student can learn.”

To make sure that the program is properly implemented in schools, the North Carolina Board of Education will work with the AHA and other affiliated national organizations. Last year alone, the AHA trained more than 12 million people in CPR worldwide.

Is your state CPR Smart? Find out now!

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Updated! 57 Co-sponsors for the HEART for Women Act. Can we get to 100?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Check out the list of current co-sponsors of the HEART for Women Act. These Members of Congress have taken an important step in demonstrating their support for improving the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease and stroke in women.

Have your legislators joined the fight against our nation’s No. 1 killer of women yet?

Help us reach 100 Congressional supporters of the HEART for Women Act by asking your elected officials to co-sponsor the bill today!

Current Co-sponsors:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR-04)

Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA-23)

Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA-43)

Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA-36)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-09)

Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA-37)

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA-39)

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA-12)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-35)

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA-06)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT-04)

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-AL)

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL-03)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-20)

Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA-03)

Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL-13)

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL-02)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09)

Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL-10)

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN-06)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07)

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)

Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA-07)

Rep. James McGovern (D-MA-03)

Rep. John Olver (D-MA-01)

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI-13)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-14)

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-04)

Rep. William Clay (R-MO-01)

Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO-03)

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ-13)

Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-NY-05)

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-18)

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-17)

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY-27)

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY-02)

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-14)

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY-28)

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)

Rep. David Price (D-NC-04)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09)

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA-06)

Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA-19)

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)

Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX-20)

Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX-16)

Rep. James Moran (D-VA-08)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05)

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI-04)

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Are you a Caregiver? Tell us your story!

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Are you a caregiver, who helps support someone in your family dealing with heart health issues? Please tell us your experience and you could win a prize! But hurray, you only have until August 31st!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Million Hearts Campaign have partnered to create the Million Hearts Caregiver Video Challenge, which launches today! The challenge offers a unique chance for caregivers, who help loved ones maintain a healthy heart, such as preventing or controlling blood pressure, to create compelling personal videos about their experiences in caregiving. The videos should last less than 2 minutes and should provide helpful hints about how they help their loved one to stay heart healthy, including tips about how to keep blood pressure under control.

The challenge aims not only to engage and recognize those individuals who work tirelessly to provide care for friends and family but also to provide other caregivers around the country with inside knowledge and tips about how to keep a loved one heart healthy. The caregivers’ original videos will offer insights on how to prevent heart disease, including dietary, exercise, and other lifestyle changes; preventing and controlling blood pressure; and adhering to medical regimes. Videos can be submitted until August 31st.

Want more information? Visit the Caregiver Video Challenge site today!

The American Heart Association has been a strong supporter of the Million Hearts Campaign and its goal is to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the next 5 years. We encourage every caregiver to share their story and look forward to hearing about your experiences! Good Luck!

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Help Save the Fresh Fruit and Veggie Program for Our Kids

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Do you know what jicama is?  Or how pineapples grow?  If you ask a student who participates in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), chances are they’ll be able to tell you.  This successful federal program provides daily fresh fruit and vegetable snacks to more than 3 million elementary students, increasing their intake of fresh produce and providing important nutrition education.

However, despite the effectiveness of the FFVP and its popularity among students, teachers, food service staff, administrators, and parents alike, the program faces significant threats in the U.S. House of Representatives as Congress works to pass the 2012 Farm Bill.  Proposals include slashing funding for the program by 1/3 and allowing other types of snacks to be served through the program.

With votes planned soon, we must speak-up now to urge the House to follow the Senate’s lead and protect the funding and integrity of the FFVP for our kids’ health!

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Watch our Volunteers Protect NIH Funding!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Last month, over 40 volunteers and staff took to Capitol Hill to urge Members of Congress to protect funding for medical research. We recently created video capturing the day and the great volunteers who participated. Watch the video below!

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AHA CEO Expresses Disappointment with Transportation Bill

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Washington, D.C. – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement today on the latest version of the transportation legislation approved by Congress last week: 

“The transportation legislation passed by Congress today jeopardizes the safety and health of kids all across America. 

Under this current bill, funding for biking and walking projects would be cut by 60 to 70 percent. Dedicated federal support would be eliminated for Safe Routes to Schools, a popular and cost-effective program that makes walking and biking to school safer. Additionally states would be allowed to allocate this funding for other purposes, which would weaken local control. 

Since 1980, the number of children and adolescents who are overweight or obese has grown to nearly one out of three. Because of the numerous chronic diseases associated with obesity, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, today’s children are on a path to becoming the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. 

The Safe Routes to School program can help reverse this terrible trend by bolstering physical activity to keep our kids healthy. Research indicates that children who walk or bike to school are not only more active and maintain a healthier weight, they also perform better in school and have less truancy and disciplinary problems. 

In a recent report, the Institute of Medicine made five recommendations for preventing and solving the nation’s obesity crisis. The first recommendation is to integrate physical activity into people’s daily lives by providing opportunities to walk and bike. This aligns with the American Heart Association’s recommendations of regular physical activity to help everyone live a heart-healthy life. 

The American Heart Association is disappointed that the current transportation legislation cuts dedicated funding for Safe Routes to School, along with the funding for walking and biking paths around the country. These funds are essential to tackling the nation’s obesity problem and supporting physical activity for America’s children.”

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