My name is Jane Cleaves, I am a "mostly" retired nurse from Yarmouth, ME. I am also a board member and current advocacy committee member of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in Maine.
I have been volunteering for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for over 20 years. I was also a nurse at Maine Medical Center for 32 years. Over the past 3 + decades I have seen the effects of poor diet, lack of exercise, and tobacco use on my patients’ hearts. Time and time again, I saw patients with congestive heart failure. We would patch them up the best we could, educate them in the short time we were together, and send them on their way, only to see them back in the hospital with a relapse. This revolving door is incredibly expensive to Maine’s health care system.
I know, from my personal experience, that preventing these cardiac events is our only way to get health care costs under control and to allow the people of Maine to live healthy and productive lives. We need to change the way everyone in Maine thinks about tobacco, poor nutrition and exercise. I volunteer my time with the American Heart Association’s advocacy committee because they are leading the charge to make this change. Won’t you join me?