With the August Congressional recess winding down, Maine’s Congressional Delegation will be headed back to Washington DC to deal with budgets and zika funding. However, before they leave this beautiful state and return to the hot and muggy weather of early fall in the nation’s capital, the American Heart Association volunteer, Sarah Porter wanted to assure that Senator Collins and Congresswoman Pingree know how important NIH Funding and school nutrition are to her.
Sarah is originally from Presque Isle, went to UMaine at Orono and received her Master’s in Public Health from Columbia. While at UMaine, at the age of 20, Sarah suffered a stroke. Luckily, despite an initial misdiagnosis, she made a full recovery. This stroke (and a subsequent stroke and brain surgery) inspired her career in public health as well as her advocacy on behalf of the American Heart Association. Sarah wants to help all Mainers have long and healthy lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Sarah (pictured here in the red dress) spoke with Senator Collins’ State Office Representative Kate Norfleet about the importance of NIH funding of heart and stroke research. In Maine, cardiovascular disease and stroke are tied with all cancers combined as the #1 killers. However, only 4% of the NIH budget is dedicated to heart disease and only 1% to stroke! This is despite the fact that every $1.00 spent on cardiovascular research has a return on investment of $30.00. Nearly 44% of the U.S. adult population is projected to have some form of cardiovascular disease by 2030. Obviously, there is a huge discrepancy between the toll of cardiovascular disease and the funding directed to CVD research.
Also, Sarah made a plug for the bi-partisan Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016. This bill would preserve the sodium reduction and whole grain standards in school foods. These standards are crucial to making sure that when the bell rings in Maine’s schools, kids are getting healthy meals.
Sarah will be delivering her message to Congresswoman Pingree later this week. If you’d like to be part of meetings with Sarah, on behalf of the American Heart Association, please let me know. [email protected]