Our 2018-19 Louisiana Advocacy Committee is composed of individuals from across the state, who have a great interest in advocating for policy change for heart-health issues. Throughout the year, we will introduce some of our members. Today, we'd like you to meet Lauren Kearley of Baton Rouge.
Occupation: Senior Administrative Assistant
Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. What is your WHY? FAMILY
How long have you volunteered with the American Heart Association (AHA) and in what ways? I am a second generation volunteer. I grew up volunteering at events such as the Heart Walk, Heart Gala, and the Go Red For Women luncheon. For me, it was a natural transition into volunteering as an adult. I now serve as the mission chair and a founding member of PULSE BR, the AHA's young professionals group.
People often choose to volunteer for the AHA because they’ve been impacted by heart disease or stroke. Was that the case for you? My grandfather, Robert Barrett Sr., "Paw," was impacted by heart disease and underwent a triple bypass surgery in 1994. Thanks to the medical advancements, and research partners like the AHA, I was gifted 20 more years of memories with my grandfather.
What interests you about advocating for policies that help create healthier communities and protect heart disease and stroke patients? I enjoy being a part of and supporting an organization that deeply cares about making positive changes in communities; to truly be a driving force for positive change.
Which health policy issue that the AHA is involved in are you most passionate about? Addressing food insecurity and improving healthy food access in Louisiana, especially in food desert areas.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Spending time with family, playing fetch with the dogs, tending to my garden, cooking, and being an active member of PULSE BR.
What are your favorite ways to live a heart-healthy life? I enjoy meal prepping and staying physically active.
Is there a special moment that really made you feel proud to be a volunteer and advocate of the AHA? Yes! On August 9, 2017, the smoke-free ordinance of East Baton Rouge Parish was passed! I was very proud of my city for voting in favor of protecting the health of all employees in the parish by making all workplaces completely smoke-free.