Our 2018-19 Mississippi Advocacy Committee is composed of individuals from across the state who have a great interest in advocating for policy change for heart-health issues. Throughout the year, we will introduce some of our members. Today, we'd like you to meet Ron Schnoor of Ocean Springs.
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Occupation: Currently retired
Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. What is your WHY? My why begins with my family which includes: my wife, Debbi, my two sons, Ryan and Zach, Ryan's wife, Melissa, Zach’s wife Ali, and my grandchildren, Jack Thomas, Luke, Wyatt, and Mary Ryan.
How long have you volunteered with the AHA and in what ways? My relationship with the AHA began with the Jackson County Heart Walk. I was a member of the Executive Committee in 2011, and was the Chairman of the Walk in 2012. I'm proud to say that we raised more donations that year than any previous years. I believe that donation record still stands today. In 2015, I was asked to serve on the AHA state advocacy committee and have served on the committee ever since then.
People often choose to volunteer for the AHA because they’ve been impacted by heart disease or stroke. If you have a personal connection to our nation’s No. 1 and 5 killers, please tell us about it. My father had a quadruple bypass surgery when he was in his mid-sixties. He also had pulmonary problems and both of these issues stemmed from many years of heavy smoking. He did give up smoking and his health improved, however he did die from heart failure at the age of 81. I've always believed in the mission of the American Heart Association, and it is my passion to do whatever I can to join forces with the AHA in conquering heart disease.
What interests you about advocating for policies that help create healthier communities and protect heart disease and stroke patients? Heart disease is our nation's number one cause of death, and the wonderful state of Mississippi has consistently been ranked near the top of the leader board for the highest mortality rate because of heart disease. I have motivation to improve the ranking and lower our ranking.
Which health policy issue that the AHA is involved in are you most passionate about? Ultimately, I would like to help improve the overall health of Mississippians.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Now that I'm retired, I enjoy spending more time with my family, being more involved with my church, doing projects around my home, and simply relaxing.
What are your favorite ways to live a heart-healthy life? I enjoy staying active, exercising, managing my weight and blood sugar since I am a Type 1 Diabetic, and eating healthy foods (most of the time).
Is there a special moment that really made you feel proud to be a volunteer and advocate of the AHA? As the 2012 Jackson County Heart Walk Chairman, I am proud of leading fundraising efforts that hit our goal of raising the most donor dollars in the history of the Jackson County Heart Walk.
Check out this great video from the Invest in a Healthier Future coalition and learn why Ron, as an advocate who quit smoking 23 years ago, after 25 years of heavy smoking, wholeheartedly supports a $1.50 per pack increase in the state cigarette tax.