My name is Sara McMullen. I am the mom of beautiful 18-month-old daughter and I’m currently expecting my second child. As a mom, there are so many policy issues that the American Heart Association is working on that are important to me. First, I want to make sure that all newborns in Rhode Island receive a pulse ox test prior to discharge from the hospital to screen for critical congenital heart defects. This simple and non-invasive test has already saved many precious lives across the country – and I want my baby and all babies in Rhode Island to receive this lifesaving screening. I also want to make sure that my children grow up in a healthy environment – and I know that the AHA is focused on ensuring strong school nutrition standards, quality physical education and opportunities for physical activity at school and in our communities.
My advocacy journey started by becoming an online advocate through You’re the Cure. It was so easy to respond to the email action alerts and I was pleasantly surprised that my state representative actually took the time to respond to my notes! I later learned that he is a public health champion and shares a lot of my interests and concerns.
In May 2013, I decided to take my advocacy to the next level and I attended my first Lobby Day at the Rhode Island State House. I was nervous at first, but we received a lot of guidance and staff was on hand to walk me through the day. I had the opportunity to meet my state representative face-to-face and I also spoke with my state senator. Our message was focused on the CPR in Schools bill – which ultimately became law and my rep and senator voted in favor! The legislative process can seem so big and complex at times, but on that day I truly felt like my one voice made a difference. Your voice can make a difference, too! I hope you will consider taking your advocacy to the next level like I did. You’re the Cure!