Advocate Spotlight: Jolene Keplin

My Father and My Community is why

hero_image_alt_text===Picture of Jolene Keplin
thumbnail_alt_text===Picture of Jolene Keplin

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

I lost my father to a sudden heart attack. His heart attack may have been prevented if he would have taken his medication to keep the fluid from surrounding his heart. I need to advocate for our community members to please follow doctor’s orders when they prescribe the medication for a healthy heart. Also, exercise and eat healthy for your heart.

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

We have numerous heart patients in our community. I would like to have our own heart specialist located at our Quentin Burdick Health Facility in Belcourt, ND. The state has gas cards for cancer patients, I hope we may have funding available for heart patients.

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

The American Heart Association provided a Meet and Greet social with the legislative members. It was a very well organized networking group of people who discussed the hardships of the miles our rural people had to travel to and from Heart appointments. The legislators were informed of the difficulties of policy and procedures which need to be addressed.

What is your favorite way to be active in advocacy?

My favorite activity is visiting with the legislators and their staff members. It’s important to let the members know what community you are representing and to discuss heart-related issues with the legislative staff.  Legislators rely on us to inform them of the bills that are important for heart and stroke care. 

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

All fruits are my favorite. I love making the fruit bowls for family gatherings. We prepare the fruit by washing all of it and cut it up and mix it all together. Cut up apricots, musk melon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and mix in the raspberries and the blueberries. Same with vegetables. I cut up carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green peppers, tomatoes, and celery sticks. They make a tasty vegetable tray. 

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