February was a very busy month at the Ohio Statehouse, with American Heart Association volunteers stepping up to the plate for three big hits to help advance legislation that will help to bring awareness to our mission.
Dr. Vidu Garg, of Columbus, Ohio, provided testimony for the Congenital Heart Defect Awareness bill (SB 11- Sen. Andy Brenner (R-Powell)) and Dr. Joshua Joseph, of Columbus, Ohio, provided insight for committee members to the connection between diabetes and heart disease (SB 42 – Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster)). Mark Matasic, a NE Ohio volunteer, also submitted testimony in support of SB 21, Ohio's Stroke Transport Protocol bill.
In addition, several volunteers joined us in attending virtual legislative meetings where we outlined our State Operating Budget requests that include increased funding for the Tobacco Use Prevention Fund, the SNAP double up program (Produce Perks and the Produce Prescription Program). The American Heart Association is also advocating for policies that would create a statewide stroke registry, implement Telephonic CPR instruction requirements for all 9-1-1 dispatchers, and legislation that would increase access to clean water for school children by requiring new-build schools to install bottle filling stations on each floor and in cafeterias.
We would like to thank our amazing AHA volunteers and staff for making the month of February truly Heart Month across the state and in the Statehouse. Your passion and dedication helps ensure every Ohioan has an opportunity to live a longer, healthier life.
Dustin Holfinger, Ohio Government Relations Director
American Heart Association