Saturday, February 26, 2011

National Wear Red Day another success!

Once again, Go Red For Women celebrated National Wear Red Day and American Heart Month with great success! February media impressions stand at 338,520,285 and counting! Top print, online and broadcast media encouraged women to Make It Their Mission to fight heart disease.

The airwaves went red with heart-health news stories, celebrity and survivor interviews, and anchor/talk show hosts decked out in red. Notable broadcast placements included two segments on NBC’s TODAY Show featuring interviews with celebrity spokesperson Cheryl Hines and Go Red For Women survivor spokespeople. Go Red For Women secured a first-ever guest appearance on CBS’ The Talk, with the entire cast and studio audience going red on February 4.

Go Red For Women appeared on NFL Total Access with spokesperson Dallas Clark of the Indianapolis Colts sharing his personal experience with heart disease in honor of his mother. Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw wore red on air in support of National Wear Red Day and called on viewers to support the movement, providing information about the AHA’s mission to fight heart disease in women. And finally, Shaun Robinson, co-host of Access Hollywood wore the Go Red For Women Macy’s red dress on air in support of the movement.

The evening before National Wear Red Day, the American Heart Association hosted its second Go Red Grand Salon that included a panel discussion moderated by Joan Lunden as well as a preview of the updated Women’s Treatement Guidelines. Later in the month on February 15, the updated Women’s Treatment Guidelines were released (see story in sidebar) giving Go Red continued coverage after National Wear Red Day. As that story gains traction, Go Red For Women continues to gain impressions every day. Look for a full recap in next month’s Go Red Insider!.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Action Alert

We need your help to make sure tobacco prevention remains strong in Arkansas. Right now there is an attempt to steer funding away from successful anti-smoking campaigns to other projects.

Click here to take action! Tell lawmakers to keep tobacco funds where they belong – fighting tobacco use.

The “Tobacco Proceeds Initiated Act of 2000” was established to reduce smoking in our state. It funds successful community based programs that have proven to reduce smoking, especially among our youth.

But now there will likely be a proposal that would raid this fund and steer dollars to other projects. Smoking costs us thousands of lives and millions of dollars in medical costs. With Arkansas already spending far less than the recommended levels on tobacco prevention, we can’t afford to go backwards.

Please send this message today to your legislator to ensure they understand the cost of moving these funds from tobacco cessation and prevention. Click on the link above to take action today!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Make a Difference!

Yesterday the American Heart Association released the 2011 Women's Treatment Guidelines. This will help teach women about their risks of heart disease and educate healthcare providers about women and heart disease.

This is just one example of the type of science, research and education the American Heart Association is conducting daily to save lives.

But to keep funding this type of lifesaving science, we need your help today. Please donate through our Go Red and Give campaign . Donations support the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement and our efforts to educate everyone about heart disease risks, as well as breakthrough scientific research.


Make it your mission
to save lives.

Donations support medical research, awareness, education and community programs to help people live longer, heart-healthy lives.


Chances are, heart disease has already touched you or someone you love, so help us save a life today. Make it your mission to stop the No. 1 killer. Please give a gift today.

Please give a gift today.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to save lives.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What a way to start the year!

So far February has been a great American Heart Month. We've been celebrating our fight to conquer heart disease nationwide, including National Wear Red Day when thousands of Americans wore red to show unity in this fight.

But National Wear Red Day was only one day. And we still have so much to do to defeat this deadly disease. Now it's time to Go Red ... and Give! Our goal is to raise $100,000 to fight heart disease by the end of February. Will you help us save lives?

Chance are, heart disease has already touched you or someone you love, so help us save a life today. Make it your mission to stop the No. 1 killer in America.


Make it your mission
to save lives.

Donations support medical research, awareness, education and community programs to help people live longer, heart-healthy lives.

Today, an American dies every about once every minute from heart disease. It simply does not have to be that way. At the American Heart Association, we work every day to fund research and fight this killer so that more women, men and children can be saved. But we need your help.

Think about how your gift can help put information in the hands of the people you love - information that can save their life, like how to eat better, how to recognize the warning signs of heart attack or, and even how to talk to a doctor about critical health choices.

But we can't continue our lifesaving research and educational efforts without your help. Give a gift today to support these crucial programs.

Thank you for supporting this important Go Red and Give campaign.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One Cigarette=One too many!!

A new report from the U.S. Surgeon General has been released on the health effects of cigarettes. The conclusion was clear: cigarettes are still a deadly threat and even small amounts of smoke can have serious health effects.

Please share this new study with lawmakers and ask them to support tobacco prevention in your state!

With this recent report on tobacco smoke it is more apparent than ever that we need to take steps to reduce smoking in our state. The study talked about the biology behind how smoking and exposure to smoke actually causes disease.

According to the Surgeon General even limited exposure to smoke can have serious health risks. "That one puff on that cigarette could be the one that causes your heart attack," Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said. Or it could be the one that damages someone else's heart: "I advise people to try to avoid being around smoking any way that you can," she said.

The American Heart Association is working to reduce tobacco consumption across the nation and our state. We are proud to support smoke-free workplaces, well funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs, and strong enforcement of youth access to tobacco products.

Please share this report with lawmakers and ask them to join us in our fight against tobacco use. FYI you can read the Surgeon General's report here:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fast Food Ads Target Children

Researchers at the Rudd Center at Yale University have reported that one-third of children and teens eat fast food at least once a week. The Rudd Center compiled data over a one year period on 12 of the nation's fast food restaurants.

Teens get 16 percent to 17 percent of their calories from fast food restaurants. Of critical concern is the finding that teens order 800 to 1,000 calories in a single meal with 30 percent of those calories coming from saturated fat or sugar at those fast food restaurants. Those numbers represent about half of the recommended daily calorie intake.

Researchers reviewed 3,039 possible meal combinations designed for children such as the McDonald's Happy Meal and found that only 12 met the nutritional criteria for preschoolers and 15 met the nutritional recommendations for adolescents.

Subway and Burger King were the only restaurants offering those 12 - 15 meal combinations that would meet nutritional recommendations for children and adolescents. Meals included the Veggie DeLite at Subway and mac and cheese at Burger King.

Marketing plays a major role in increased consumption of fast foods. Surveys of parents reveal that 40 percent say their children ask to go to McDonald's a least once a week. A whopping 84 percent of those parents, in turn, had taken their children to a fast food restaurant in the previous week. Despite claims of reducing marketing to children, the Los Angeles Times reported from 2007 to 2009 preschoolers saw:

* 56% more ads for Subway
* 21 % more ads for McDonalds
* 9 % more ads for Burger King

Children ages 6 to 11 see even more ads:

* 56% more for Subway
* 26 % more for McDonalds's
* 10 % more for Burger King

For more information on this remarkable survey, see:

In Houston we are working to get more nutritional content on menus so people know what their ordering. You can check out our blog at

Stay Healthy this Holiday Season

They say that during the holiday season people are more likely to pack on the pounds than during other parts of the year. Treating yourself a little expected, but be careful of overindulgence. The American Heart Association would like to share with you our Nutrition Center.

You can go here for all types of information including healthy recipes, heart smart shopping, and things to consider when dining out. Learn more.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Healthcare reform, and what it means for you

If you’re like most Americans, you have questions about how the new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, will affect you and your family. The American Heart Association has produced a series of brief videos with questions from real consumers and responses from experts about how the new law will impact patients with heart disease or stroke. Learn more by visiting:

Here are some videos that you may find helpful:

"Will health care reform make coverage more affordable for families like mine? How will it work?"

“How will healthcare reform address the needs of patients like me, who have lost their jobs and employer insurance?”

"Will the new health reform law make prevention and preventive coverage an integral part of health care and place more emphasis on preventing disease, rather than treating it?”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Arkansas Receives National Attention!

Efforts to put AEDs in all Arkansas schools were recently highlighted in the American Heart Association's annual Advocacy Pulse. We are so proud of this accomplishment we want you to tell your lawmakers about it. They deserve recognition for providing these lifesaving tools for all Arkansas students.

Click here to share this news with your lawmakers.

The Advocacy Pulse highlights the great progress that AHA volunteers and staff have accomplished over the past year. Arkansas has made great strides in AED placement and our recent press event is highlighted. Over 11,000 students across Arkansas supported this effort by signing petitions and completing coloring sheets that were delivered to Governor Beebe.

To view the issue of Advocacy Pulse yourself click here and go to page 22:

We thank all of the students and volunteers that helped raise awareness about the need for AEDs and CPR in schools. With your help we can continue to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Thanks!

Barbara Kumpe
Government Relations Director

Heart Disease and Stroke. You're the Cure.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Breaking News!

BREAKING NEWS - CT Scans Shown to Reduce Lung Cancer Deaths!

The National Cancer Institute released initial results today from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), which compared low-dose spiral CT to standard chest X-ray in the early detection of lung cancer. The trial found 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among those screened with CT compared to those screened with chest X-ray.

“We welcome this announcement of the results from this landmark trial and the important new scientific information it provides about the roles of CT and X-ray in the screening and early detection of lung cancer,” said Joan Schiller, MD, president of the National Lung Cancer Partnership and chief of hematology/oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “We now have a path forward and the evidence we need to advise people about screening – especially those at high risk for this disease. This trial is the first to look at these screening methods in a randomized controlled study, which is considered the gold standard of scientific research.”

The study, ongoing since 2002, included more than 53,000 men and women ages 55 – 74 who were at very high risk for lung cancer. Participants had a heavy smoking history, defined as at least one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years or more.

“This is important new information for people at risk for lung cancer and their health care providers,” said Regina Vidaver, PhD, executive director of the National Lung Cancer Partnership. “Lung cancer is the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. and people are clamoring for guidance on what they can do to find it in its earliest stage when it is more treatable. This data guides our recommendations.”

“Now, more than ever, it’s important for people to talk with their doctors about whether CT screening is right for them,” said Dr. Vidaver. “Each patient deserves an evaluation and recommendation that takes their personal situation into account.”

Additional information from the NCI trial:

* Participants in the trial were randomized to receive either a CT scan or chest X-ray annually for three years.
* 25 percent of the group screened by CT had abnormal findings that required further follow up, such as additional CT scans, lung biopsy and/or thoracic surgery. Further analysis is needed to determine what proportion of those abnormalities were false positive findings.
* An analysis with more detailed results will be prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed journal within the next few months.

“These results give us clear indication how to screen those who are known to be at high risk of the disease. However, the Partnership continues to advocate for research into additional screening methods that will identify other high risk groups without a heavy smoking history,” said Dr. Schiller.

The Partnership also promotes and directly funds needed research into improving our understanding of lung cancer, its basic biology, risk factors, and how to prevent and treat the disease, which kills more people each year than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined.

For more information about the latest in lung cancer research updates, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or visit our website at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Arkansas Advocacy Director Wins Highest AHA Honor!

It has been my absolute honor and pleasure to work for nearly 10 years with Arkansas Advocacy Director Barbie Kumpe. Barbie is the AHA's paid lobbyist, and heads our lay-lobbyist team. In the last few years Barb has spearheaded such life-saving legislation as the BMI Act, the Clean Indoor Air Act, The Antony Hobbs Jr. AED act, the Stroke Registry, etc. The work that Barb has done is almost too much to list, and has saved untold numbers of lives.
Mid last year I was informed by our regional Advocacy Director, Terri Broussard, that Barb was going to be nominated for the national Rome Betts award, the AHA's highest honor for employees. The vetting process for determining the winner is long and arduous. Nominees are sent in from every region of the US, and winning this award is truly a career achievement. I was asked to compile a letter which addresses specifically my experiences with Barbie, and why I, as a member of her team, felt she was deserving of this honor.
A few weeks ago we learned that Barbie had won the Rome Betts, and we were elated! Last week we threw her a bit of a surprise party, with her friends, family and co-workers in attendance, to present her with her award. I was so honored to be able to help present Barb with this amazing accolade, and am even more honored to be able to serve alongside her to save lives in the natural state and across the nation!
Thank you SO MUCH Barb, for all you have done and continue to do!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

News from the Lung Cancer Partnership

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held their 2010 Annual Meeting from June 4-8 in Chicago, IL. Here are a few of the highlights in lung cancer research that were presented at the meeting:

New drug targeting ALK gene shows promise for some advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) patients
Researchers presented encouraging results of a study using a new drug called crizotinib to treat advanced NSCLC patients with an ALK gene fusion. In about 1 out of 20 NSCLC patients, the ALK gene has fused with another gene, which can drive tumor growth. Crizotinib inhibits this process. In the study, crizotinib stopped tumor growth in most patients with the ALK gene fusion, and shrank the tumor in nearly half the patients. Currently, crizotinib is available to patients with the ALK gene fusion as part of a clincial trial.

New agent shows promise for patients with advanced NSCLC
Partnership Board of Directors President Dr. Joan Schiller presented the results of a worldwide study testing novel agent ARQ 197. This agent was found to significantly improve progression-free survival for patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC when added to erlotinib after chemotherapy. Click here to watch a video from ASCO of Dr. Schiller presenting the results. ARQ 197 is available to patients as part of a clinical trial.

Drug combination effective for older patients with advanced lung cancer
A new study shows that a standard chemotherapy treatment currently used for younger patients with advanced lung cancer, a combination of paclitaxel (Taxol) and carboplatin (Paraplatin), is just as effective in patients 70 or older. Patients who received the combination therapy lived about four months longer than patients who received the standard single drug treatment for patients in this age group.

Selenium shown not to prevent a 2nd lung cancer tumor
Researchers presented the results of a study examining whether selenium supplements could prevent a second tumor in people who previously had stage I NSCLC. The study concluded that selenium did not prevent a second tumor. The study was stopped early because patients receiving selenium had a slightly higher risk of developing a second tumor than patients who did not receive selenium.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How healthy are our kids?

Do you know how many kids between the ages of 2 and 19 are considered obese in the U.S.? Or what percentage of American elementary schools provide physical education?

I think you'll be shocked to learn the answers - I certainly was.

Please take our short Healthy Kids Quiz today, and join our fight for healthier kids.

Through the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization, we have a chance to improve nutrition and physical activity in our nation's schools- but only if Congress acts now. Childhood obesity is an epidemic in this country and we can't afford to keep waiting for Congress to make the health of our kids a priority.

Take two minutes today to find out how much you know about our kids' health and what you can do to make a difference. Join the fight for healthier kids today.

Monday, June 7, 2010

WI Passes Bill to Help Educate Students about CPR and AEDs

WI Passes Bill to Help Educate Students about CPR and AEDs
On May 10, 2010, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed a piece of legislation that requires school boards and school operators to provide high school students instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), cardio-cerebral resuscitation (hands only) and information on automated external defibrillators (AED). This life saving legislation will be in effect beginning the 2011 school year.

You’re the Cure advocates were fully engaged in support of the bill, sending nearly 500 messages into their legislator’s offices! Advocate Mike Uttech of Green Bay, WI, played a crucial role in securing leadership for the bill. Mike knows the importance of CPR and AED education, having suffered cardiac arrest while on a treadmill at his local health club. Mike’s life was saved by lay rescuers using CPR and an AED. Thanks to their efforts, he recovered well enough to attend a Green Bay Packers football game three days later! Jack Simono, another You’re the Cure advocate and survivor from Two Rivers, WI, also stepped up to help secure leadership for the bill in the state legislature.

At the public hearing for the bill, Mike Uttech shared his story and was joined by yet another You’re the Cure advocate, Jill Rasmussen, a director at a YMCA , who’s considered a hero for saving a life on a racquetball court with CPR and AED.

You’re the Cure advocates were instrumental in the passage of this crucial legislation. Congratulations to Wisconsin for this outstanding success to help get high school students the education they need to save lives!

Action for Nutrition Education and Wellness in Schools

Action for Nutrition Education and Wellness in Schools

This week, Members of Congress return to Washington, DC, following the Memorial Day recess. You’re the Cure advocates used the recess break to meet with their legislators and deliver hundreds of lunch tray petitions to push for action on the Child Nutrition Act.

Now, we need to continue that push and work to ensure the final bill includes the provisions that will make a difference for the health of our kids.

Strengthening nutrition education in schools, providing school districts with the resources they need to implement their wellness goals, and keeping parents informed and involved in reaching those goals, are all provisions that would be accomplished through the Nutrition Education and Wellness in Schools Act (NEW Schools). But we need your help to build support within the House of Representatives.

Ask your Representative to show their support by cosponsoring the NEW Schools Act today!

Take Action Now

CPR & AED Awareness Week: Are YOU Trained?

CPR & AED Awareness Week: Are YOU Trained?

Getting people to act quickly in a cardiac arrest emergency is critical to a victim’s survival because time is not on their side. Four to six minutes is the window of opportunity for someone to act before it is too late, but fewer than one-third of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from someone nearby.

The American Heart Association wants more people to take action and help cardiac arrest victims. That’s why we’re challenging one million people to learn about CPR and get trained during the month of June. Visit to learn about hands-only CPR, play Be the Beat to learn the correct rate of CPR compressions, or record your CPR & AED training or the training you gave someone else.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Take action on School Lunches

With members of Congress in their home districts until this Friday, the American Heart Association is organizing a week of action to keep the pressure on Congress in our fight for healthier kids.

All across the country, advocates are "serving-up" lunch tray petitions to their Senators and Representatives, to urge them to pass the Child Nutrition Act this year- and we need you to join in the action!

Make sure your legislators are receiving this important message by following the steps below:

DOWNLOAD and PRINT your lunch tray petition!
PERSONALIZE your petition with a note and your contact information
DELIVER a copy of the petition to your Senators and Representative by dropping-by their district offices (you can find the office closest to you by visiting your Members' websites)- OR by faxing a copy into their offices (numbers below).
REPORT BACK to let us know you have delivered your lunch tray petition
SHARE this message with family and friends and urge them to deliver their petition too
Your Targets:

Representative Snyder: (501) 324-6029 (fax)
Senator Lincoln: (501) 375-7064 (fax)
Senator Pryor: (501) 324-5320 (fax)
The health of our kids is too important to accept inaction on the Child Nutrition Act this year. Thank you committing to make this important delivery during the recess period!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Act Now!

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious epidemics in the U.S., yet the unhealthy foods available to our kids and the lack of physical activity provided during the school day hinder their ability to make healthy choices to fight it.

We know this problem is urgent. But as the Senate continues to delay voting on the Child Nutrition Act, we need to make sure they know, too.

Take a moment to send a letter to your Senators to tell them how important it is that we improve the school environment for healthier kids.

The more people our Senators hear from, the likelier they are to feel pressure to push for a vote on this crucial act. By writing to them now, you can ask them to sign on to a letter going to the Senate leadership that calls for an immediate debate on this bipartisan bill.

With the growing threat of childhood obesity and related problems, we are long overdue for a re-vamp of our school nutrition programs. The Child Nutrition Act would provide much-needed support to strengthen the ways in which our schools help promote healthy lifestyle habits, such as proper nutrition and adequate daily physical activity. But we need to act now: the deadline for Senators to sign on to this letter to Senate leadership is May 19.

Tell your Senators to take this first step toward ensuring a healthy future for our kids today.

Thank you for your time---together we can make sure this important act gets passed.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Start Walking!!

From multiple events and National Heart month to the announcement of our new 2020 Impact Goal, it has been a busy spring for the American Heart Association and the South Central Affiliate, and we’ve compiled all the news in the latest edition of our volunteer newsletter. Please take a few minutes to check out this online resource, where you’ll be able to read about recent legislative victories, find out what companies earned Fit-Friendly recognition, see photos from our (Inter)National Wear Red Day, learn why people are choosing cupcakes over cash and discover what motivates fellow volunteers.

Before you click through to the newsletter, let me also invite you to participate in National Start Walking day, this Wednesday, April 7. While I know that many of you support our walking programs through Start! at Work and participate in your local Heart Walk, I’m inviting you to join the thousands across the SCA who will be taking one small step towards better heart health on Wednesday. There are countless physical activities out there, but walking has the lowest dropout rate of them all, so grab your tennis shoes and your co-workers and take a walk around the block that day. Or find a Start! Walking path near you.

And speaking of taking a small step towards better heart health, be sure to take the My Life Check assessment. As part of our 2020 Impact Goal, we’ve produced an assessment tool that helps you identify and improve seven health factors, as well as create a simple action plan to work toward ideal heart health. This is the first step toward meeting our 2020 goal, so please pass the Web site and message to friends, family and co-workers. It will take all of us working together to save lives.

Thank you, and have a great National Start Walking Day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You're the Cure on Capitol Hill

More than 80 American Heart Association advocates donned their red in Washington D.C. on March 10 for meetings with Members of Congress. A mix of heart disease and stroke researchers and survivors asked our nation’s lawmakers to provide significant funding increases for the National Institutes for Health (NIH) medical research. Heart and stroke patients rely on NIH-funded research to develop cutting edge treatment and prevention strategies, and even find cures for heart disease and stroke.

Sadly, our nation’s investment in heart and stroke research continues to fall short. Though heart disease and stroke remain the 1st and 3rd leading causes of death in the United States, NIH invests only four percent and a mere one percent of its budget, respectively, on heart and stroke research.

Research holds our best hope of saving lives that would otherwise be lost to heart disease or stroke. Send a message to your Members of Congress and urge them to provide significant funding increases for NIH heart and stroke research.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Act Now!!

Right now Washington, D.C. is agonizing over ways to put Americans back to work.

We have a simple suggestion for Congress that doesn't just spur economic growth -- it saves lives: investments in job-creating medical research, such as the National Institutes of Health's efforts to combat heart disease and stroke.

Right now, NIH devotes only 4% of its budget to heart research and a mere 1% to stroke research -- and every 38 seconds, someone in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease.

That's why American Heart Association advocates are on Capitol Hill today. From researchers who fight for the cure to patients who fight for their lives, we're urging lawmakers to make these crucial, life-saving investments.

We need you to back them up today!

Tell your Members of Congress to increase funding for NIH heart and stroke research that creates jobs while saving lives. Ask them to appropriate $35 billion for the NIH.

NIH invests resources in every state and each NIH grant generates on average 7 jobs. A projected 50,000 jobs will be created or saved between 2009 and 2010, according to the NIH.

But, more importantly, these investments advance promising science to get us closer to finally finding a cure for heart disease and stroke.

Dozens of AHA advocates are making the rounds on Capitol Hill as you read this.

Now's the time to flex our grassroots muscles to ensure their voices aren't lost in the shuffle -- send a message to your Members of Congress today!

Remind them the cost of delay: one more death every 38 seconds in the United States. That's what's at stake -- and that's why we're in this fight.