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Share Your Story - Tracy Russell

Meet Tracy Russell, Government Relations Director for Kansas and Missouri.

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What brought you to be an advocate for the AHA?

Heart disease has been my family’s legacy and curse.  My Dad had a quadruple bypass at the age of 60, saving his life.  He continues to thrive today.  I am so thankful for the medical advances that AHA has invested in that advocacy seemed a natural fit.

 

What Issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?

I am passionate about tobacco control and have worked to drive down use rates for a number of nonprofits.  Tobacco use is the single, most preventable cause of death and I will continue to make noise on this critical issue!

 

What is a favorite advocacy memory so far and what made it great?

Coordinating the effort that resulted in a statewide smoke-free law in Kansas is my best memory!  Changing our cultural norms and moving the health needle makes all the work worth it!  After passage, I visited with a waitress in Pittsburgh, KS who said, unprompted, that the smoke free law had so changed her quality of life at work.

 

Favorite way to be active?

I like to walk with friends so I can do as much chatting as walking!  As the mother of two active boys, I am constantly moving!

 

Favorite fruit or vegetable?

I never pass on cherries in the summertime and munch on carrots when I crave a healthy snack.

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