The inaugural class of the Leaders With Heart Policy Academy is nearing the end of the program as they settle on a policy to adopt. Leaders With Heart is a new initiative of the American Heart Association, with the pilot happening in Austin. This academy seeks to train advocates in order to raise up the communities they live in.
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The goal of the academy is to maximize leaders and help them better understand policy and how it affects Austin residents. During the course of the academy, these leaders develop tangible policy recommendations and launch a community initiative in Austin. The cohort is made up of a diverse group of Austinites. You can learn more about them here.
The Academy has met several times this year to learn more about some of the issues facing Austin residents, including the inequity around healthcare and access to care. Participants heard from leaders in the community including representatives from the City of Austin, Travis County, and groups like Bike Texas, Goodwill Industries and many more.
The cohort joins a larger group of You're the Cure advocates in Texas. Recently, the You're the Cure Advocacy Team worked on policy surrounding issues like Access to Care, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Obesity and more. In the last year, they have passed over 30 smoke-free ordinances in cities across Texas, increased funding for obesity prevention in Austin and advocated for the passage of bond measures that will increase biking and walking funding throughout Travis County.
Keep an eye out for the next invitation to join the Leaders With Heart Policy Academy. You are invited to join the larger You're the Cure advocacy network any time! As an advocate, you will be invited to volunteer opportunities like the heart walk, local events and be kept abreast of what we're up to in cities and towns across the state. Join here!