Advocate Spotlight: Janna Pietrzak

Timely Care for Rural ND is why for new ND Mission: Lifeline Stroke Quality System Improvement Director

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What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?

I became involved with the American Heart Association during my previous role as a Cardiac Program Coordinator.   I was an advocate for the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) initiative here in ND.  Mission: Lifeline focuses on helping communities and regions form effective coalitions of hospitals, ambulance services, emergency communications centers, local government and media. An effective, efficient system of care saves and improves lives. I have now joined the American Heart Association as an employee and serve as the ND Mission: Lifeline Stroke Quality System Improvement Director. 

What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?

As a ND farm girl at heart, I have a special interest in improving access to timely cardiovascular and neurovascular treatment in rural areas in the event of a heart attack or stroke.  Where you live should not determine if you live!

What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?

Being part of the ND Mission: Lifeline STEMI project is certainly my favorite advocacy experience thus far.  Because of this program we saw great improvements in how quickly patients suffering from a heart attack received emergency care.  North Dakota is the first state in the nation to undergo Mission: Lifeline Stroke, and I have no doubt this will be just as successful!

What is your favorite way to be active?

I have always enjoyed sports and being physically active.  Getting out in the fresh air for a jog is beneficial in both body and mind.  In recent years I have incorporated weight training as well, and find (HIIT) high intensity interval training to be highly effective.  A bonus is that it allows you to work out for a shorter amount of time and still get results!

What is your favorite fruit or vegetable and any tips for how you serve or prepare it?

Fruits of any kind are a great way to satisfy cravings for sweets.  Watermelon, grapes and apples are at the top of my list.  As an adult I have grown to love veggies as well.  Asparagus or brussels sprouts cooked with olive oil and garlic salt/pepper have become a favorite side dish. Adding a small amount of parmesan or mozzarella cheese make them even tastier.  

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