Heart disease is still the number one killer in Rhode Island…but thanks to the commitment of You’re the Cure advocates like you, we continue to make progress in our fight to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke in the Ocean State.
The 2013 Legislative Session wrapped up on July 3 and once again You’re the Cure advocates made their voices heard at the State House! Over the past twelve months, our amazing advocates sent more than 1,600 e-mails to elected officials to promote our lifesaving mission. Many advocates also joined us in-person at the State House – attending RI Lobby Day, meeting with their legislators and testifying on priority legislation. Below are a few highlights from the session:
- CPR in Schools Victory: Legislation was enacted that will require all high school students to receive hands-on CPR training and an overview of automated external defibrillator (AED) use prior to graduation as part of the health education curriculum.
- WISEWOMAN Funding Secured: Advocates secured funding to continue the Cardiovascular Screening and Risk Reduction Pilot Program for low-income, uninsured and underinsured women in our state (modeled on the CDC WISEWOMAN Program).
- Fight Against Big Tobacco Continues: Advocates decisively defeated yet another attempt to cut the state cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack. In addition, the AHA worked closely with our partners at the RI Tobacco Control Network to build support for a significant increase in the cigarette tax with funding dedicated to tobacco prevention and cessation programs in our state – this will remain a top priority in the coming year.
- Momentum Builds on Other Issues: Lastly, advocates kept the momentum moving forward on other important issues including sharing school facilities with the public for recreation and sport to promote physical activity in our communities, and ensuring that all newborns receive a pulse oximetry test prior to discharge from the hospital to screen for critical congenital heart defects. Again, these issues will remain top priorities in the coming year and we’ll need your help to push them through.
Our success at the American Heart Association would not be possible without the dedication and passion of You’re the Cure advocates like you. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for all that you do to help advance our mission!