At the end of June, more than 330 American Heart Association volunteers and staff from 46 states, including Arkansas, traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for federal research support and key legislation that will benefit Americans with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The advocates urged their members of Congress to prioritize National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for heart and stroke research and to support bills that would expand access to stroke telemedicine (telestroke) and cardiac rehabilitation. They also encouraged their lawmakers to oppose the American Health Care Act or any Senate substitute that reduces access to affordable and adequate health care coverage.
Each volunteer had a unique story and perspective to share, and we are grateful for our Arkansas advocates, Keturah and Tina, who traveled over 1100 miles to Washington D.C., to advocate for heart-healthy and stroke-smart policies. On the Hill, they had a chance to share their unique perspectives with our Arkansas lawmakers.
Tina Winham is from Rogers, Arkansas. A native to Northwest Arkansas, Tina has always had a strong desire to give back to her community through volunteerism. Tina volunteers her time as a passionate supporter for improving the lives of women and children in Northwest Arkansas.
Keturah White is from Bentonville, Arkansas, where she works as an educator. When Keturah was 26, she had 3 strokes in 24 hours and was told that due to lesions on the brain, it appeared that she had a history of stroke. This cause is so dear to her because heart disease and stroke runs in her family. Keturah is currently a volunteer advocacy spokesperson, on the Northwest Arkansas Grassroots Action Team, and a social media ambassador. She is a single mother to three boys. Her sons and her mother, who passed away from cancer when she was 3, are why she advocates.