NYS Legislative Session is just around the corner...Governor Cuomo will release his budget in January and lawmakers will consider hundreds, possibly thousands of bills. It's time to create a healthier New York...What are the policy priorities for the American Heart Association? Here's a quick peek:
Help residents that need fresh foods: Going to the grocery store is something many take for granted. But for those that live in food deserts—areas where it is difficult to buy fresh food—that trip to grocery store is anything but easy. Low-income zip codes have 25 percent fewer chain supermarkets compared to middle-income zip codes. As a result, families struggle to access fresh produce, dairy and other staples. That's why we are fighting for Healthy Food Financing to provide for grants and loans to renovate and locate supermarkets where we need them.
CPR for graduation. Yes, this remains a top priority, however we are now moving to gain the stamp of approval from the Board of Regents and the State Education Department. That why we are sending the Board a message each week. One minute each week to help us get to the finish line.
Funding for the State’s Tobacco Control Program. Smoking remains a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. That's why it's critical to that we continue to fund programs to help smokers quit and keep kids from beginning this deadly addiction. We know tobacco companies will not be spending less...and we can't spend less if we want to keep New Yorkers healthy and smoke-free.
Obesity Prevention. We can no longer afford to look the other way. It's time to make obesity prevention a top priority. And we can start with our kids. Do you know how many calories are in your child's take-out meal? Let's help kids eat healthier by having healthier kids restaurant meals.
Public Funding for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Programs. If we want to reduce healthcare costs, then we need to make health a priority. It's time to adequately fund the state’s Healthy Heart Program, Office of Minority Health, the Childhood Obesity Prevention Program, the Cardiac Services Program, and other state programs aimed at preventing heart disease and stroke.