It was a cool, crisp Tuesday morning in Columbus on March 14th when the Ohio AHA Advocacy Committee and AHA staff met at the Ohio Statehouse to advocate on behalf of AHA’s current Operating Budget requests and stroke registry legislation.
Members of the Advocacy Committee spent the day meeting with several lawmakers, including chairs and vice chairs of legislative committees and members of leadership, to discuss the importance of additional appropriations to the Tobacco Use Prevention Fund, the implementation and funding of a statewide NextGen 911 system upgrade, providing funding for schools to ensure the CPR training requirement is being upheld, and to ask for support for House Bill 22, which would codify the current stroke registry in Ohio.
Each meeting seemed to go better than the last with multiple legislators providing support for each measure. The day gave the members of the Committee a chance to see how the budget process works and provide feedback to legislators on the proposed legislation.
American Heart Association volunteers also staffed a blood pressure check table for all passers-by to learn the symptoms and signs of a stroke and how to manage their blood pressure. NBC4 stopped by to interview the volunteers and help raise awareness. The day concluded with volunteers sitting in on a committee hearing on HB 22, the stroke registry bill, where volunteers Dr. B.J. Hicks and Ben Osburn testified in support of the measure.
A big thank you to all the volunteers for taking the day to join us in Columbus to advocate on these issues!
Dustin Holfinger, Ohio Government Relations Director
American Heart Association