Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

What a month for You’re the Cure Advocates!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

What a month it’s been for August recess visits! All in total, we have sent over 7000 messages to Capitol Hill urging Members of Congress to protect medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from the upcoming budget cuts, or sequester, coming up in January.

In addition, You’re the Cure Advocates from across the country have been speaking with their Members of Congress in their district offices.

Have you sent your message yet? If not, there is still time! Here is how you can get involved:

Sending a quick email to your lawmakers right now in support of protecting funding for the NIH!

• Using Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about how critical research is to preventing and treating heart disease and stroke. Share this video with friends, family, and lawmakers today!

Contacting your local AHA advocacy staff partner to learn about ways you can get involved offline, such as sharing your Research Saves Lives story or meeting with your elected officials.

Advocates meet with California Congresswoman Susan Davis.7-time heart attack survivor Steve Irigoyen meets with Congressman Ken Calvert.

7-time heart attack survivor Steve Irigoyen meets with Congressman Ken Calvert.

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Budget Cuts to NIH Will Result in Job Loss

Friday, August 17th, 2012

We are sure that you have heard about the upcoming budget cuts (or sequester) that are coming in January if Congress does not stop them. These cuts could have disastrous effects on medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and could delay many important breakthroughs in health research.

However, medical research also provides jobs in local committees. Whether it’s researchers, lab technicians, or those who work in universities, NIH funding equals jobs. The folks at United for Medical Research have put together a map that visually shows the amount of jobs that could be lost if these automatic budget cuts happen.

So go ahead and click the map below and see the impact on your state. Don’t like what you see? Go to Research Saves Lives and urge your member of Congress to protect NIH from these budget cuts today!

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Sen. Mark Kirk’s Recovery “Excellent” After Stroke

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

On January 21st, Senator Mark Kirk from Illinois had a stroke at the age of 52. Only 15 weeks later, his recovery has been described as “excellent” by his doctor in an article in the Chicago Tribune. Sen. Kirk’s ongoing recovery shows how important medical research is to stroke recovery.

Sen. Kirk also penned a letter-to-the- editor describing his stroke and recovery. 

“Early detection is key to survival,” said Kirk. “My staff and I are working on a legislative package to help with early detection and prevention programs.”

Check out his amazing video below, go the full story , and read Sen. Kirk’s letter in the Chicago Tribune.

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Your Story Could Save Lives

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

At the American Heart Association, one of our key priorities is to help protect and support the life-saving heart and stroke research done at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We share statistics and facts about the people who are impacted – and the lives that are saved – through medical research.

But as a You’re the Cure advocate, you know that medical research is about more than just numbers. It’s about the lives forever impacted by research. Whether you are a survivor who is alive today because of a procedure, device, or medication discovered through research, or a researcher on the front lines of discovering innovate ways to treat and prevent these costly diseases, your story can make a real difference as Congress considers cuts to NIH funding.

This summer, we’re planning to knock on the office doors of our elected officials – in Washington, D.C., and at home – to deliver personalized You’re the Cure scrapbooks that show just how crucial support for medical research is. But first we need to pack the scrapbooks with stories of the real people who can help bring the facts to life– stories like yours.

Please visit and help us protect NIH research funding by adding your story to our scrapbook.

Your story can be a powerful tool in influencing elected officials as they make critical decisions about medical research funding. Take a moment to share it today.

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AHA President Warns about the Danger of NIH Budget Cuts

Monday, April 9th, 2012

AHA President, Dr. Gordon F. Tomaselli, recently wrote an article in Science Progress about the dangers of the pending budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health in 2013.

“Next January, unless Congress and the White House take action, the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, and the critical medical research it supports will face an uncertain future. Under current law, most domestic spending, including every NIH institute and center, will be subject to a mandatory cut of at least 7.8 percent.

The cuts—which will go into effect January 2—are the result of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction’s failure to come up with a plan that would reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. The debt limit deal, which created the committee, established a backup “sequestration” procedure as a mechanism to encourage compromise. Sequestration is a form of automatic budget cuts that are applied across the board.

Military programs are also on the chopping block, and the defense establishment has made it clear that it will fight these cuts to the bitter end. Supporters of domestic programs, however, have been silent. Thankfully, advocates for the NIH refuse to remain quiet and complacent. We believe there is simply too much at stake.”  Read the full article…

Join Dr. Tomaselli in urging Congress to protect NIH research funding today!

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CEO Nancy Brown Participates in Panel Discussion on Medical Research Innovation

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

On March 14, American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown joined leaders in government, industry, the media and other patient advocacy organizations for Research!America’s 9th annual National Health Research Forum in Washington, D.C.

The event, “World Class to Second Class? Confronting the Risks to U.S. Science and Innovation,” generated discussions on key medical, health and scientific research topics concerning all Americans. The event was moderated by Richard Besser, M.D., chief health and medical editor for ABC News. Panelists, including Brown, engaged with audience members on the significance of health and medical research to our nation’s economy and global competitiveness, and the roles of non-profit, public and private sectors in advancing health research.

Brown emphasized the power of working together with other health groups to share messages about the common components between conditions. She also touched on the association’s effort to advocate for more research advances to improve our nation’s health.

“We need to change our mindset now, and develop a new appreciation for research. In the aggregate, research is a sure thing, because in the aggregate, research has always increased our knowledge, and thus has improved our lives,” said Brown.

You can view discussion highlights and access transcripts by visiting:


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Nancy Brown Gives Keynote Address at eHI Conference

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown gave the keynote address at the annual eHealth Initiative’s (eHI) 2012 Annual Conference, held January 11-12 in Washington, D.C. Her speech examined the positive impact of technology on cardiovascular health and stroke care and how the AHA is involved.

“I’m proud …that the American Heart Association and its scientific volunteers have played a key role in a wide range of eHealth advances…” said Brown.

Specifically, Brown spoke about the American Heart Association’s initiatives, such as Get With the Guidelines and other programs that aim and improve patient care.

“At the American Heart Association, we’ve seen how the technological component of initiatives like Get With The Guidelines is making a significant and documentable difference in the quality of care and patient outcomes. Around the world, others who’ve embraced technology are experiencing similar results. The bottom line is better patient care and better outcomes,” said Brown.

Brown also spoke about the importance of telemedicine in stroke care and the up-and-coming use of Telestroke Centers in rural and remote locations.

The eHealth Initiative is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to drive improvements in the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare through information and information technology. Other notable speakers at this year’s conference included Carolyn Clancy, M.D., director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Jack C. Lewin, M.D., chief executive officer of the American College of Cardiology and Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., M.A.C.P., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

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NIH to Receive an Almost 1% Increase in 2012

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Small Boost in NIH Funding Appreciated, But More Support is Needed, Says American Heart Association President Gordon Tomaselli

December 16, 2011

“While compromise on Capitol Hill has been a struggle recently, the American Heart Association is encouraged that Congress was able to set aside partisan differences when it came to funding the National Institutes of Health. We hope the Senate follows the House’s lead and approves the omnibus spending legislation that includes a 2012 increase in NIH funding. Although the increase is smaller than we had hoped for, our health, economy and ability to compete globally in the research arena will still benefit from this support.

NIH-funded research helps combat two of the nation’s costliest killers — heart disease and stroke. Research advances have helped control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and dissolve deadly blood clots to help prevent these diseases. Even more importantly, federally funded NIH research has been directly and dramatically connected to declining death rates for heart disease and stroke.

This critical research also promotes economic development and innovation. In 2010 alone, the NIH helped drive the biomedical research sectors of our economy by supporting nearly half a million jobs. In addition, NIH-funded research often leads to groundbreaking advances that create new technologies, help our nation stay competitive as the world leader in biomedical research and provide future opportunities for talented young investigators. 

In the current economic environment, even small steps in the right direction are appreciated and we are glad that Congress did not cut federal support for research this time. The American Heart Association hopes that in the new year, Congress will make NIH-funded research a priority because it is an investment we must make for the nation’s health and prosperity.”

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State Legislative Wrap-Up!

Friday, November 4th, 2011

You’re the Cure advocates are making a difference in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by advancing policies promoting heart-healthy and stroke-smart communities.  Our 2010-2011 successes are profiled in the new State Legislative Wrap-Up.

Check out the report to learn about local and state policy advances in tobacco control, nutrition, heart and stroke public funding, stroke systems of care, physical education, acute events and access to quality of care.  Congratulations to all our advocates and thank you for all your hard work!

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You’re the Cure in Your State

Monday, August 1st, 2011

With all 50 states and DC having active legislative sessions over the last year, You’re the Cure advocates and staff have been working hard to achieve legislative and regulatory policy victories before many state sessions concluded this summer.  Check out a few of the highlights:

  • Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and South Carolina enacted policy which will strengthen their respective stroke systems of care.
  • Arkansas, Delaware and Cleveland, OH moved to reduce the use of trans-fats.
  • Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota and Tennessee passed joint use laws which will expand opportunities for physical activity in communities across those states. 
  • North Dakota was successful in increasing funding for state heart disease and stroke prevention programs.
  • Anchorage, AK passed an increase to the local tobacco tax and dozens of local communities including Bismarck, ND, San Antonio, TX, Jefferson City and Fulton, MO; and Florence and Spartanburg, SC, adopted strong smoke-free ordinances.

While we saw great success during the past year, advocates and staff are now turning their attention to planning for the new sessions.  We are hard at work evaluating which issues will become the top state and local priorities for 2012 and holding meetings with state advocacy committees, coalition partners, and legislative champions to craft plans.  It looks like 2012 will be another active and exciting year, with several popular areas of focus including:

  • Requiring CPR for graduation from high school;
  • Strengthening school nutrition and improving access to healthier foods;
  • Creating stroke registries and setting up primary stroke center accreditation processes within states;
  • Expanding community access to school site recreational facilities by strengthening joint use agreements;
  • Improving Medicaid patients’ access to tobacco cessation and preventative benefit services; and
  • Expanding the number of statewide and local smoke-free ordinances and securing tobacco tax increases.

To learn more about how you can step-up your involvement in our state and local advocacy efforts, contact your advocacy staff partners today

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