Guest blogger: Nicole Olmstead, Arizona Government Relations Director
Being a Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, I have the opportunity to work on very important pieces of legislation every day. From increasing access recreational facilities to improving systems of care, the work we do truly helps improve the health of my community. Every once in a while, I get the chance to work on our most vulnerable population, babies.
During this legislative session, we have had the opportunity to work on House Bill 2491 which will require that all newborns are screened for congenital heart defects using a simple, inexpensive, non-invasive test known as pulse oximetry.
At this point in the legislative session, we have had a few volunteers testify on this issue at the Arizona capitol, including one of our youngest volunteers, William Mueller. William, a 9 year old born with 5 congenital heart defects, has spoken in both the Senate and House Health committees asking the Legislature to protect Arizona newborns by voting yes for this legislation. We think he might have a future as a lobbyist for the AHA. Please see his interview here. Go William!
Currently, House Bill 2491 is in the final stages of becoming a law. Please visit here to support requiring pulse oximetry as a screening requirement to ensure its passage. Your legislators want to hear from advocates like you!