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!!!