Advocating For Heart in Arkansas

The American Heart Association’s Approach to Advocacy

We advocate for federal, state and local policies that help to build healthier lives and communities, focusing on legislative and regulatory priorities that help to prevent heart disease and stroke risk factors and protect survivors across the state. 

Join us as we Advocate for Heart!

The You're the Cure Network is a place where advocates from all walks of life can help us advocate for life-saving legislation right from their phone or computer! We need your voice to make a difference! Join us and register to be a You're the Cure Advocate at HTTPS://WWW.YOURETHECURE.ORG/JOIN

Advocacy Saves Lives 

Girl holding balloonsKennedy Allison, a 15-year-old at Pea Ridge High School, experienced sudden cardiac arrest at school on Jan. 11, 2019. Quick thinking by a school nurse and a coach – paired with the use of an AED in the school – saved Kennedy and enabled her to return to a relatively normal life just two months later.

An AED is a portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The coach and nurse performed CPR on Kennedy, but both agree that it took the AED to restore her heartbeat.

The Arkansas Automatic External Defibrillator Act of 2007, supported by the American Heart Association, requires that AEDs be placed in all public and private schools and institutions of higher learning where funds are available. In 2009, the passing of “The Antony Hobbs III Act” required AEDs in each school and that school personnel be adequately trained on their use. It also requires that AEDs be available for other school-related activities, such as athletic events.

Antony Hobbs III was a 17-year-old Little Rock basketball player who collapsed and died while playing in a basketball game in January 2008. If an AED had been available on the premises, his chances for survival may have improved.

In 2012, the American Heart Association’s advocacy efforts led to a $200,000 expenditure for AED placement in schools.

Historic Advocacy Victories in Arkansas

2007     Required Automated External Defibrillators in schools.
2009     Increased the tobacco tax to help reduce smoking rates.
2013     Passed a requirement for CPR training for students prior to graduation.
2013     Passed a law ensuring all newborns are screened for Critical Congenital Heart Defects before leaving the hospital.
2016     Enacted healthy food and beverage vending standards on public property in Springdale, Fayetteville and Little Rock.
2018     Secured funding for Stroke & Heart Attack registries, ensuring important data is collected that can help improve outcomes.
2019     Passed additional Medicaid benefits for tobacco cessation services

You can help us achieve even more advocacy victories to make Arkansas a healthier place to live, work, and play! Join the You're the Cure Network today and let your voice be heard!