Sarah Porter, A Stroke Survivor with Heart!

On June 25 and 26, Sarah Porter represented Maine at AHA/ASA’s federal lobby day in Washington, D.C. She did an amazing job!  You’re the Cure on the Hill happens every other year, and brings together advocates from all 50 states to raise their voices for policies to help people live healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

hero_image_alt_text===An image of Sarah Porter.

Sarah joined Becky Smith, Government Relations Director for Maine for visits to the staff of Senator King, Senator Collins, Representative Pingree and Representative Poliquin.  She raced up and down Capitol Hill carrying the AHA message with a radiant smile.

There are four issues that Sarah advocated for on Capitol Hill:

  • The FAST Act/Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine: AHA wants more people to benefit from telestroke treatment.
  • Cardiac Rehab: Sarah advocated to change current supervision requirements so that more medical professionals (such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists) can directly supervise cardiac rehab programs under Medicare.  Maine’s rural nature makes this change critical to helping our residents who need cardiac rehab. Sarah’s parents are health professionals in northern Maine and she carried their message to DC.  They see patients all the time who can’t find cardiac rehab when they need it.
  • NIH-Funding: Sarah advocated for a $2 Billion increase to NIH research funding, and that legislators prioritize funding for heart and stroke research. Without NIH research funding, Sarah would not have had the successful brain surgery that allows her to be the radiant, productive woman she is.  Her narrative was very compelling!
  • Affordable Health Care Act: the AHA has three main criteria to measure any health care reform bill – coverage should be accessible, adequate and affordable for all Americans. Sarah was able to thank Senators King and Collins for opposing the Senate bill that did not meet ANY of the above criteria.  In fact, Senator Collins announced she would not support the Senate bill while Sarah was in DC!  We were very pleased and Sarah committed to following up with the Senator to assure she has all the information she needs to continue to support our position.

Sarah is a multiple stroke survivor and has been a powerful advocate for us in Maine, as well as New York and on the national stage as a Go Red for Women national spokeswoman.  We are so glad she is one of our amazing advocates.


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