Guest Blogger: Lucy Asdourian, Government Relations Director
My fellow advocates: I am excited to share I have accepted a new position with the American Heart Association’s national office as a State Advocacy Consultant. In my new role I will continue to work here in Washington, but will be advising our advocacy staff across the country on how to pass policies related access to care and health equity. I hope to remain an active You’re the Cure volunteer in Washington state for years to come.
While I am thrilled for this new opportunity in my career, I am sad to move on from my work in Washington state. I feel lucky to have worked with so many incredible volunteers and am proud of all we’ve accomplished. As I reflect back on the six years I’ve lobbied for AHA in Olympia, and my eight years with the organization all together, I am amazed at all we have to celebrate. On the tobacco prevention front, we saw WA become the 10th state to go smokefree and over the last 3 years have fought hard to keep the smoke out. We passed a law and secured funding to ensure Medicaid enrollees would have access to cessation coverage and we banned internet and mail order sales of tobacco. We raised the tobacco tax by $1, making WA the 3rd highest tax in the country, and raised all other tobacco products to equitable levels, ensuring cheap, candy flavored products would be priced too high for youth. I am so proud to say that we created the Washington Emergency Cardiac and Stroke system – ensuring that when minutes matter, every patient, no matter where they live, will receive the right care, at the right place, in the right time. We worked closely on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, building our state’s Exchange and ensuring quality health benefits for all Washingtonians. We passed a bill to create the Safe Routes to Schools Program at WSDOT and worked to protect funding for the program. We fought repeated efforts to reduce the amount of PE taught and allow junk more junk food back in schools. Just a few months ago, we had a huge victory when Governor Inslee signed our CPR in schools bill into law. I am so honored to have worked on these efforts to make Washington a more heart-healthy place to live. Thank you for your time and dedication to this cause.