Prevention and Awareness is why
hero_image_alt_text===Photo of Ruth Tewes
thumbnail_alt_text===Photo of Ruth Tewes
What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?
When I was pregnant with our first born, we had complications that put us both at high risk for heart attack, stroke and sudden death. Shortly after his birth, I had the privilege of working with the AHA and learning firsthand about all of the important work they do as well as seeing the affects their life-saving research has, and have been a passionate supporter ever since.
What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?
I am passionate about all of AHA’s legislative and regulatory priorities representing the best opportunities for Americans to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke: research, prevention, quality care and access to care. As an asthma sufferer and mother to an asthmatic daughter, I would have to say the preventive measures aimed at improving cardiovascular health of all Americans through tobacco prevention and education, and air pollution, are the nearest to my heart.
What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?
My favorite advocacy experience was being a part of the lobbying efforts and success of the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008, requiring indoor workplaces in Nebraska to be smoke-free. Secondhand smoke is a known cause of heart disease, lung cancer, chronic lung ailments such as bronchitis and asthma, as well as other health problems. It means the world to me that my children and I are able to go anywhere without having to worry about being exposed to second hand smoke while eating at a restaurant or seeing a show.
What is your favorite way to be active?
My family and I love going for walks and taking bike rides. I start every day with yoga and a walk. Taking care of myself first thing in the morning allows me to take care of everything else in a better state of mind and health.
What is your favorite fruit or vegetable and any tips for how you serve or prepare it?
Zucchini is my favorite vegetable – prepared as zucchini bread, muffins, pasta and chips. I love using zucchini chips as a healthier alternative to fries or potato chips with my meals. Thinly sliced, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and sprinkled with oregano and parmesan.
Photo Acknowledgment to Alan Jackson of Jackson Studios, Inc.