At the end of June, more than 330 American Heart Association volunteers and staff from 46 states, including Wyoming, 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 Melody Bowar, of Casper, Wyoming, who traveled over 1800 miles to Washington D.C. to advocate for heart-healthy and stroke-smart policies. On the Hill, Melody had a chance to share her unique perspective with our Wyoming Senators.
Melody works as the Stroke Coordinator for the Wyoming Medical Center. She has been a member of the SouthWest Affiliate Stroke Advisory Committee for four years. As a nurse and stroke coordinator, she sees the effects that cardiovascular disease has on her community. Melody believes everyone should have access to excellent stroke care. In rural Wyoming, this access is limited, and she has witnessed the ways in which the American Heart Association is helping to improve care throughout the country to ensure everyone has access to excellent care.