Wow—the first half of “Heart Month” has been a whirlwind complete with a blizzard. Just the way I like it. Although (with Cecelia’s help) we dug out from the blizzard, we have not even begun to “dig out” from all the exciting work we have this month.
We started the month with a very successful “Hall of Flags” event at the state house. Volunteers and staff joined me in Augusta to talk to legislators about what they can do to encourage Mainers to live heart healthy. Our amazing volunteers found great new co-sponsors for our Pulse Ox and CPR bills and took legislators’ blood pressure.
Then, last week, 27 women legislators (and 30 others) joined us at the Senator Inn for the women’s heart caucus luncheon. Rep. Helen Rankin and Rep. Linda Sanborn told their amazing story about how their friendship saved Rep. Rankin’s life. There was not a dry eye in the house. They really drove home the fact that women need to look out for each other. Don’t let your friends ignore the warning signs. Get them to the doctor.
On Friday, my husband and I attended the Brunswick Heart Ball—a fantastic night out. I came away with a cute girl’s raincoat and a great deal on a massage. I should be banned from silent auctions. However, I am going to need that massage, because I also ramped up my exercise regime in honor of Heart Month.
This week, the American Heart Association will be testifying at public hearings on three bills. The first seeks to further protect our tobacco settlement funding (support), the second reinstates the critical State Health Plan (support) and the third allows for a tax exemption on tribal members purchasing tobacco products for religious or ceremonial purposes (neither for nor against).
If you have any questions on these or other bills, please feel free to call or email me.