AHA You’re The Cure advocate and stroke survivor Chris McLachlin recently represented Hawaii at the AHA’s National Lobby Day event in Washington, D.C. He joined over 350 other advocates in visiting their Congressional representatives to ask them to support increased funding for NIH cardiovascular research, and to protect current nutrition standards for school meals.
Chris met directly with Senator Brian Schatz (one of Chris’ former students at Punahou School), and Senator Mazie Hirono, as well as staff members of Representatives Tulsi Gabbard and Mark Takai. He also had the honor of visiting and sharing information with another of his former Punahou students, President Barack Obama.
Below Chris talks about his experience:
I have been to a lot of conferences in my lifetime, none more action packed and full than the first day of the Lobby Day event. The extensive training we received helped me feel prepared to be a good lobbyist and advocate when we visited our representatives on the second day. I’m confident that the Hawaii representatives will support the AHA’s legislative agenda.
It was great to visit with my former students, and they both made me feel very welcome despite their busy schedules. The President seemed especially happy to see me, and he listened intently to my presentation about the AHA’s policy interests. He assured me that he would personally read through the information from the AHA I left with him and I feel confident that he will support the AHA’s goals.
The AHA’s work is such a great cause and I met so many incredible speakers, AHA volunteers and staff members. I would welcome the opportunity to participate the Lobby Day again. It’s really a privilege to have been given the opportunity to represent the AHA and Hawaii.