You see Katie at all Maine AHA events. Find out what she does behind the scenes.
hero_image_alt_text===An image of Katie Rooks.
Katie Rooks has worked for the American Heart Association for 15 years. Over this time, she has impacted all of us through her amazing fundraising abilities and big heart. The money she has helped raise has funded research, education and advocacy work. She has taught Hands Only CPR to thousands of Mainers. She speaks eloquently about the mission of the American Heart Association and her enthusiasm brings donors along for the ride. She is one of the most caring people I have ever met. When we need her to reach out to policymakers, she jumps at the opportunity. She has attended face-to-face meetings, come to the state house for lobby day, sent letters and emails and made phone calls.
Katie supports all that we do, but there are a few of AHA’s policy priorities that really hit home for Katie. Her grandmother died from years of smoking and she is increasingly concerned about the effects of nicotine addiction caused by e-cigarettes on our kids. She will do whatever it takes to make sure today’s kids don’t suffer like her grandmother.
She was adamant that Maine pass legislation that required all hospitals to perform a simple pulse oximetry screening on all babies born in Maine. She has 4 cousins with congenital heart defects, so she knew that early detection can make the difference between life and death. She was thrilled when the law went into effect and proud of her role in securing such a great victory.
Earlier this month, Katie told me: “It is my civic duty to be advocating for things I believe will help the health and hearts of my family and other families in Maine. It is a “no-brainer” to use your voice. I may not be able to afford to support politicians or all the causes I believe in, but my voice is free. Through the years, I have been able to see ideas put into bills and now actually saving lives. It is validating and positive to see the process from start to finish.”
I consider myself lucky to work with such an amazing co-worker and advocate. Next time you see Katie at one of her many events, thank her for striving to make Maine the healthiest state in the nation.