At the end of June, more than 330 American Heart Association volunteers and staff from 46 states, including New Mexico, 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 New Mexico advocates, who traveled over 1,882 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 New Mexico lawmakers.
Ashley is from Albuquerque, New Mexico and has been on the State Advocacy Committee for the past 3 and a half years. Ashley attends the University of New Mexico. She has raised awareness about heart disease and CPR to the state of New Mexico by going to schools and the Boys and Girls Clubs to educate students on heart healthy activities and healthy choices. She is looking forward to increasing awareness about heart disease and stroke and to support priority issues.
Gina is from Albuquerque New Mexico, and the mother of fellow advocate Ashley. Gina works for a health services organization as an outreach and community relations manager. She has been a member of the New Mexico State Advocacy Committee since 2015. She has supported National Red Day's to raise awareness for heart health and has been active in the past three legislative sessions with the American Heart Association. She’s looking forward to learning valuable information on the Hill, that will allow her to continue to be an advocate for women in New Mexico.
Danila is from Santa Fe, New Mexico and works as an Early Childhood Education Policy Analyst and freelance writer. She has been volunteering with the American Heart Association for over a year. Danila believes in creating sustainable systems of care that will have a positive impact on children and their families. Based on her experience, Danila has seen that high-quality early childhood education, access to healthcare, and nutrition are all key to building healthy lifestyles.