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Mississippian, Ollie Galloway, Advocates at the White House

On September 9, 2016, I had the honor to be one of nearly 200 American Heart Association volunteer advocates at the Obama administration's "Making Health Care Better Series: Cardiovascular Health."

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With a room full of members of heart disease and stroke patients, caregivers, and experts, the event focused on more to learn, more to research. The entire forum series from the introduction by Dr. Tom Frieden Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the closing remarks by Dr. Rob Califf, Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was informative, educational and enlightening. Everyone had a personal story, volunteer mission or medical career that made them a spokesperson for better health care in our communities.

Better health care will save lives. Our son, E.J., is a survivor of cardiac arrest and because of medical research advancement, CPR saved his life. Continued progress in research is the key to making health care better for our families and communities.

The open communication, survivors' stories and the medical professionals’ feedback, in fact outline the state of our current health care system. Our work is not over! Moving forward, we must continue to gain funding for research. Our health care field must continue to have research, access and overage for progression. The conversation on cardiovascular health for everyone must go to a deeper level, with more preventive and proactive measures. The current initiatives we have in place now are working well. Reaching the masses, patient to patient communities, preventive measures and access to more health care benefits, are crucial to the success of this forum. Thus, more communication and information shared with patients, caregivers and medical professionals will continue to save lives.

Life is why we are committed to better health care. Medical research funding and better health care will save lives.

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