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Life is Why - What's yours?


Guest Blogger: Sarah Higginbotham, Oregon Government Relations Director

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association unveiled this month Life Is Why, a new way of expressing our message to the public and to decision makers. Life is Why is a concise answer to the question of why we do what we do: We believe everyone deserves to live a healthier, longer life. Why? Life. Life is why.

Life Is Why represents a strategic shift for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.  It’s designed to help us reach our goal of dramatically improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 2020. The supporting campaign was created to make a more personal connection with the public, volunteers, employees and partners, while strengthening AHA’s visibility and impact.

The Life Is Why is a national campaign, including digital, print, television, social media and public relations. The reveal of Life Is Why began with a video announcement in Times Square in New York City, culminating a two-week teaser campaign. I hope you’ll take a moment now and watch it here.

Nancy Brown, the CEO of the American Heart Association, had this to say: “The very essence of the campaign is personal and evokes an emotional response. We wanted people to be able to be able to share with others the reasons for embracing a healthy lifestyle in heart and mind.”

Here in Oregon, we kicked off this exciting new conversation with our own staff. We shared the moments, the people, the places that we believe make life worth living. I was so touched to hear about what drives my colleagues to do the inspiring work of making Oregon a safer and healthier place to live. 

 Laughter is why.

Adia is why.

Nature is why.

Hugs from my dad is why.

The good life is why.

Personally, fairness is why for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to quality health care, nutritious food, physical activity—the opportunity to be healthy so I could get down to the business of living life. I believe in AHA’s mission and I work every day because I believe everyone deserves this chance—and unfortunately, we have a long way to go in Oregon to make that a reality. Efforts like CPR in Schools, Safe Routes to Schools, and tobacco control policies all help ensure that all Oregonians can lead healthier lives.  

Direct citizen engagement and social sharing is a big part of the Life Is Why campaign. A microsite,, features a toolkit designed to give you the ability to customize and share your personal Whys.

So I invite you to share your personal Why with us! Visit and let us know why you care about the important work of the AHA. We know our work touches your life and the lives of others every day and we know there’s more work to do. Why do you care?

I can’t wait to hear from you and start sharing your Whys with our staff, our volunteers, and decision makers right here in Oregon.

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