There are some incredibly special people in Maryland! This year, the Advocacy Coordinating Committee [ACC] that works with Michaeline Fedder, Director of Government Relations, developed and approved criteria for two annual awards.
One award will recognize a public official, and one award will recognize a You're the Cure volunteer. Awardees must have demonstrated outstanding efforts that have helped further the mission of the AHA/ASA and improved cardiovascular and stroke health of Marylanders.
Following a call for nominations and a thorough review of the submitted nomination forms, the ACC voted to present the awards to the following two recipients.
The 2016-2017 Public Official of the Year is Senator Nathaniel J. McFadden, who is being recognized for his "longstanding commitment to curbing the harmful effects of smoking and other forms of tobacco use." Senator McFadden served on the original "Governor's 1999 Task Force to End Smoking in Maryland," was instrumental in passing the Maryland Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007 and several tobacco tax increases and was the prime sponsor in 2017 of Senate Bill 113, which aimed to increase funding for tobacco use prevention and control programs to the amount recommended by the CDC. His award will be presented at our next state lobby day, in February 2018.
The 2016-2017 "You're the Cure" Volunteer of the Year is Ginny Popiolek, the AHA State Coordinator for Maryland's Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart initiatives for the past three years and, in fact, is the person who brought Jump Rope for Heart to Maryland when the program was still in its infancy 35 years ago. She seeks out opportunities wherever possible to promote the need for increased physical education and heart health education for Maryland's children and she cites AHA as the standard setter for these programs. Venues in which she has taken these messages include Shape America events, MAHPERD annual meetings and workshops and meetings throughout the state with school administrators and faculty. Her award will be presented at the next AHA Heart Walk in October.
We congratulate these two magnificent advocates!