Friday, February 24, 2012

Breaking News: White House Event Live Streaming TODAY

TODAY, some 70 AHA volunteers from across the country are at the White House Community Leaders Briefing on Cardiovascular Health. There are 14 volunteers from the Midwest attending this exciting event. In addition, AHA volunteers are joined by volunteers from partner Women Heart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and other groups committed to improving cardiovascular health totaling some 150 participants.

Event participants will engage in a thoughtful dialogue with administration officials and discuss the concerns and challenges facing heart and stroke patients and those at risk. The day will consist of panel discussions, break-out sessions, and a town hall forum with administration leaders.

We just learned some great news from the White House – they are streaming it LIVE NOW. The morning portion can be viewed from 9am to 12pm EST tomorrow. To watch this event live, visit
www.whitehouse.gov/live.

You can also follow updates and join in today’s discussion through Twitter and Facebook:

1) Follow the
@AmHeartAdvocacy Twitter feed and share your own thoughts and comments using the #HeartAtTheWH hashtag. From 3:30-4:15, Jon Carson (@JonCarson44), Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement will host a Tweet-Up with AHA volunteer-advocates to answer questions, so be sure to join us!
2) Follow event highlights through posts, pictures, and videos on the
You’re the Cure Facebook page. Comment, share, and post your own thoughts about this special event.
Looking for more information about the event? Read the
You’re the Cure blog for updates and profiles of volunteers attending today’s event.

Thank you for your continued passion for the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.

You’re the Cure!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

CPR and AED Awareness Week - Got a Minute?

Got a minute? Then you can learn how to save someone’s life during CPR/AED Awareness Week which starts today!


CPR saves lives, it's that simple. If someone you loved suddenly collapsed and needed CPR, would you know what to do?

Simply put: The life you save with CPR is most likely to be someone you love. Sadly, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. This alarming statistic could hit close to home, because home is exactly where 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur.


While we hope you never have to use it, it is good to know you could respond in an emergency if necessary. After you click on the Action Alert above, please take a minute to visit www.heart.org/CPR and learn how to perform Hands Only CPR. Once you have learned CPR, give 5 people you care about the power to save lives by sharing the video with them.

It could save the life of someone you love.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Please Join Us! FREE CPR Training Event in Celebration of National CPR & AED Awareness Week

In celebration of National CPR & AED Awareness Week (June 1-7), the American Heart Association is proud to announce that Kansas Heart Hospital and Cardiovascular Consultants of Kansas, P.A. will present a free community-wide CPR training event designed to save lives. The event will include training stations focusing on basic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for adults and infants, Hands-Only CPR, the appropriate response to an adult and infant choking victim, and the proper use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

In addition to lifesaving skills, this unique opportunity will provide a fun environment for families, featuring tips on how to create easy and healthy meals and snacks. Children will have an opportunity to meet officers from the Wichita Police Department, practice calling 9-1-1 by using a simulator, and see the inside of a working ambulance and fire truck. Sandwiches from Jimmy John’s will be provided for lunch.


Saturday, June 4, 2011 – 10 a.m. to 12 noon

Cardiovascular Consultants of Kansas, P.A.

9350 E. 35th St. N. – Wichita, KS 67226

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. About 80% of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in private residential settings, so being trained to perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death for a loved one. Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after cardiac arrest can double a victim’s chance of survival. If more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved.

To learn more about this event or to access a flyer to distribute please visit www.heart.org/wichitaCPRevent. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kansas Legislative Update

2011 Legislative Session Overview

The budget shortfalls in the current fiscal year as well as the projected shortfall in the coming fiscal year remain the biggest topics of conversation in Topeka. Strong philosophical differences exist, so bringing these views together to create and approve a final budget has proven tricky.

While budget negotiations continue, the American Heart Association advocacy team is hard at work monitoring legislation, lobbying for policies that positively impact our mission and keeping an eye on legislation that could negatively impact the American Heart Association and those we strive to protect. Below are details on three issues that have captured a lot of our attention this session. While working on these issues we are also continuing to look for opportunities around other priorities including stroke and STEMI systems of care, CPR, AEDs and a host of other topics vital to our life-saving mission. Thanks to the support of You’re the Cure advocates like yourself, we have been able to make progress on many fronts this session!


Kansas House Votes to Strengthen Statewide Smoking Law

After 3 hours of debate the Kansas House of Representatives voted 97-26 to eliminate the exemption in the current law that allows smoking on casino floors. Multiple amendments that would have otherwise weakened or gutted the existing law were rejected sending a clear message that the current law has strong support. One very limited exemption was approved and while the AHA doesn’t support this exemption we are still pleased the bill was approved in the House.

The bill will now go to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. Limited time remains in the legislative session for considering the bill and lawmakers must still develop and approve a budget before adjourning. Ultimately the strong vote of support for this bill shows that lawmakers understand how popular the new law is with Kansans of all political ideologies. Recent polling shows that 77% of Kansans support the new clean indoor air law. A special thanks to all You’re the Cure advocates who responded to our action alerts on this topic. Keep an eye out for an upcoming Action Alert that will give you the opportunity to thank the House Representatives that voted to protect the law.


Senate Approves Money for Coordinated School Health

Governor Brownback recommended elimination of this vital program and the House concurred but thanks to the Senate Ways and Means Committee $145,000 was approved to keep the Kansas Coordinated School Health program alive. This amount is a significant cut from funding levels of previous years, but securing any funding in a tough economic climate should be viewed as a victory.

The Coordinated School Health program originated as a way to combine resources of the Kansas Department of Education and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to promote physical fitness and health education in our schools. Today the program assists grantee schools in achieving high levels of success in meeting the State’s wellness guidelines as outlined in the School Wellness Policy Model Guidelines. Last year 64 schools in 39 Kansas Counties shared more than $234,000 in grant funds.

Senator Laura Kelly (Topeka) has been a long-time supporter of the program and was largely responsible for securing the funding. Kelly recently told the Kansas Health Institute, “Anything we can do that focuses not only kids’ attention but families’ and schools’ attention on healthy lifestyles – increasing physical activity, better nutrition – we should do. The Coordinated School Health program is one way to use that school community to at least get out the values, skills and knowledge that we used to do with physical education and health curriculum.”

You’re The Cure advocates responded to the call and helped bring this victory about through contact with their legislators. The budget must now be reconciled with the House version of the budget before it goes to Governor Brownback so a lot of work remains to keep this line item alive.


Sales Tax Exemption

As the State continues to wrestle with its budget numerous proposals have surfaced regarding tax policy. These discussions have looked at everything from tax rates, to general tax policy including how sales tax exemptions are granted. Currently the American Heart Association has a tax exemption from the State of Kansas that allows us to put more of our donor dollars into research and education instead of the State’s general fund. From our calculations the value of what we offer to the State far exceeds what the State loses in revenue.

For legislators looking at tax policy, however, they are increasingly concerned that current tax policies are not uniform. In Kansas not all not-for-profits have a tax exemption and not all services at taxed equitably, for example. During theses larger discussions the American Heart Association’s advocacy team has been actively monitoring these deliberations to keep track of what impact those discussion would have on our exemption. To date, no action has been taken that impacts the AHA but we continue to monitor legislation as events can turn quickly in the closing days and weeks of session.


Help Us Build Our Advocate Network!

We are always needing more advocates like yourself to help us reach out to legislators. It is so important that they are hearing personal stories from their constituents! Please consider telling a friend to join our You're the Cure Network!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

77% of Kansas Voters Support Keeping State’s SmokeFree Law

Even 54% of smokers favor law protecting people from secondhand smoke

Topeka, KS (February 9, 2011) – A new poll released yesterday by a coalition of public health groups finds 77 percent of Kansas voters support the state’s recently passed smokefree law. The poll shows broad support for the law including large majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters across Kansas.

“Clearly Kansans are showing strong support for clean indoor air,” said Kevin Walker, Regional Vice President of Advocacy for the American Heart Association. “We know that support has grown since the law was enacted and that should send a clear message to lawmakers considering efforts to weaken the law.”

The survey also found among Kansas voters:

  • 59 percent are less-likely to vote for candidates who want to repeal the law
  • 84 percent view exposure to secondhand smoke as a health hazard
  • 54 percent of people who smoke like the state’s smokefree law

The survey of 500 likely Kansas voters was released by a coalition of public health groups. The polling firm Public Opinion Strategies conducted the survey January 11-12, 2011. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.38 percentage points.

In February 2010, Kansas became the 28th state to pass a smokefree law that protects workers and the public from the serious health hazards of secondhand smoke in public places and hospitality venues. The law went into effect on July 1, 2010.

The need for protection from secondhand smoke in all workplaces and public places has never been clearer. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 69 carcinogens. The evidence is also clear that smokefree laws protect health without harming business. As the U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona concluded in 2006, “Evidence from peer-reviewed studies shows that smokefree policies and regulations do not have an adverse impact on the hospitality industry.”

The coalition of public health groups releasing and funding the poll includes the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Sunflower Foundation, Oral Health Kansas, Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition, Clean Air Kansas and Wichita Medical Research Education Foundation.