Today’s blog post is by Mark Schoeberl, the American Heart Association’s Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Health Quality
I am pleased to again this year present you with our annual report of state and local public policy progress. We take pride in the diligent efforts of our advocates, volunteers and staff who ensure that we remain focused on helping improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans. As you read this report you will quickly realize that we saw unprecedented public policy success across the country during this last fiscal year. The victories you will read about in the following pages have a direct and profound impact on our 2020 national goal: To improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.
As we review our 2012–2013 state and local public policy, we should be proud of our active advocacy presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. We helped support the passage of state laws and local ordinances that impact heart disease and stroke risk factors as well as policies that further protect survivors of heart disease or stroke. Our significant public policy achievements, which you can read about below, include public policies enacted in fifteen states that will assure all newborns are screened for critical congenital heart disease before going home for the first time. Seven states enacted new laws that will assure all students have been CPR trained before they graduate from high school. In the area of encouraging physical activity, two states passed shared use laws that will expand opportunities for physical activity in communities across those states. Six states enacted policy that will strengthen their stroke systems of care and six states moved to strengthen their STEMI systems of care. Four states were successful in increasing their public funding for heart disease and stroke at the state level. Tobacco tax increases occurred in three states and two states moved to strengthen their smokefree air laws.
On behalf of the thousands of You’re the Cure advocates, association volunteers, donors, and staff who have made these successes possible, it is my pleasure to present to you this annual report of state and local advocacy accomplishments. Together, we are the architects of a healthier future.
Click on the image to view the 2013 State Legislative Wrap-Up!
PS- Stay tuned next month for a video highlighting these successes! We’ll need your help to share it with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors to demonstrate the progress we’re making toward healthier communities and healthier lives through public policy changes… and to encourage others to join the You’re the Cure movement too!