When meeting American Heart Association volunteers and advocates, it is not surprising to meet nurses, cardiologists, neurologists and researchers. You may, however, be surprised to find a Certified Public Accountant who gives hours supporting and aiding in the passage of state and local policies that impact heart health. But that’s just what you’ll find in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Roderick Harvey was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale. He left South Florida to attend Florida State University and receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. He went on to get a Master’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Texas-Austin. He returned to Fort Lauderdale to begin his career. He met his wife and now has four kids, ages 27, 13, 9 and 8. He is an avid fisherman who will charter boats down to Key West for saltwater fishing, or he will take his kids out for a day on a lake. As a family, the Harveys enjoy swimming and the local parks.
In the past, Roderick was involved with the Political Action Committee for CPAs. His interest in the legislative process began here and he built many relationships within Florida’s Capitol. While he enjoyed being engaged in the political arena, he wanted to expand his area of focus. He was looking for an opportunity to positively impact his community, as well as his state. As an African-American, Roderick knows that heart disease and stroke disproportionately affect his race. He has seen it first hand with his aunt. She has experienced Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) or mini strokes. These have caused lasting effects on her.
Roderick is excited to work with an organization that has a national, state, and community focus. He knows that the policies the American Heart Association advocates for at both the federal and state level impact his community, and he’s excited to be a part of that.
“Not only am I affecting my close network of family and friends but also my community, state, and nation. I’m impacting the healthy-unknown. I’ll never see them or touch them, but hopefully I’ll affect the situation positively.”
Roderick had a great impact on the American Heart Association’s legislative agenda this year, specifically on legislation that has the potential to have a great impact on stroke care. He was able to assist in securing a sponsor for the Stroke Registry Bill that is awaiting the Governor’s signature. The Florida Stroke Registry Bill will collect data on stroke patients, which will aid in gaining new insight on best practices for stroke care.
When asked about his advice for people thinking about getting involved with the You’re the Cure network, he states “How often do you get a chance to affect legislation in your state? And what issue is greater than heart and stroke?”
We agree. And we agree that because of you, positive change will happen. You’re the cure, Roderick!