Guest Blogger: Stephanie Tama-Sweet, Government Relations Director
“Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.”
In the world of advocacy, it’s sometimes difficult to see how one action can make a difference. The process can seem complex, or scary. There are other times, however, when all the seemingly small actions add up to make a Big Difference. This is one of those times. Through literally thousands of emails, phone calls, legislative visits, testimonies, and conversations with the media – You’re the Cure Advocates are changing policies and saving lives.
This year we are closing out the session with tremendous success and momentum. Here are some of the highlights:
Pulse Oximetry Screening – Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the number one birth defect and the number one cause of death in the first year of life. With passage of SB 172, all newborns in Oregon will be screened for CHDs with a pulse oximetry test giving every baby a chance at a healthy start.
Stroke Care – Passage of SB 375 established a Stroke Care Committee and Stroke Registry to collect and track stroke data and improve outcomes. These efforts will help treat and prevent stroke, the number one cause of preventable disability in our state.
Tobacco Prevention – Oregon’s leaders took a big step forward in the fight against tobacco by dedicating $4 million of Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (TMSA) funds towards tobacco prevention. This is the first time any TMSA funds have been dedicated to tobacco prevention and will provide the state with critical resources to protect kids from tobacco and help current smokers quit.
Obesity Prevention – Advocates were successful in securing $4 million for physical education grants. These funds will be available to all schools to help train and fund PE teachers, helping provide more children with quality and adequate physical activity throughout the school day.
While our CPR bill did not move forward this session, YTC advocates also made great progress on our legislative efforts to train all high school students in CPR. We’ll be back next session to try and move this forward!
Thank you for being courageous by sharing your voice, your stories and your passion. Your efforts are saving lives!