Happy, Healthy New Year, Ohio!

On behalf of your Ohio American Heart Association Advocacy Team, we wanted to wish you a Happy, Healthy New Year! We also wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the amazing things we've accomplished along with our You're the Cure advocates, and what we'll be working on--with your help--in 2022.

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We know that telehealth can greatly improve access to care, lower costs, and increase flexibility for patients and providers. Thanks to your ongoing outreach to lawmakers, we're excited to share that the Ohio Senate recently passed House Bill 122, legislation that would expand telehealth services. This important legislation will help remove barriers to continued quality health care at home and deliver care to Ohioans with limited access to health care services, especially in our rural communities. At the local level, we've worked in communities, like Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Youngstown, to create a healthier future for Ohio's kids by ensuring that restaurant kids' meals serve water, milk or 100% juice as the default beverage options. 

In addition, we're currently engaged on two state-level policies that will improve health in our communities. House Bill 431, sponsored by Reps. Jean Schmidt and Beth Liston, will codify (place into statute) the current use of a statewide stroke registry program. Ohio currently receives funding for this program from the CDC but participation in the registry is not a required practice for all stroke-designated centers. This legislation would require that all stroke-designated facilities participate, thus providing a fuller picture of stroke care in Ohio and ensures the continuation of this program. Please urge lawmakers to support House Bill 431. 

House Bill 445, sponsored by Reps. Rick Carfagna and Kent Smith, will overhaul Ohio's 9-1-1 system and create a NextGen system across the state. This new system requires all dispatchers in the state to be trained in Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD).  This training includes telephonic instruction to bystanders for a variety of cases, including telephonic CPR instruction.  This requirement will help to save the lives of those that fall victim to cardiac arrest by providing CPR as soon as possible before medics arrive. Send your message now urging lawmakers to support House Bill 445 when it comes before them. 

We look forward to another successful year working with you to create a healthier Ohio. As always, please let us know if you have questions or need additional information. We're happy to chat!

With Heart,

Dustin Holfinger, Ohio Government Relations Director
American Heart Association



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