Monday, August 24, 2009

Volunteers visit with Senator Mark Pryor On Healthcare Reform


Past President of the Central Arkansas Board of Directors, Dr. Russell Melchert, and Barbara Kumpe, Government Relations Director for Arkansas visited with Senator Mark Pryor during the August Recess for Congress. Dr. Melchert was able to present the Association key messages for Healthcare rreform for the Association. They are:

  • Avalibility - healthcare for everyone

  • Affordable - healthcare regardless of age, gender or any other factors

  • Adequate - healthcare for all Americans regardless of prior health problems

  • Understandable - provide better, more easily understandable information about their heatlh insurance benefits, cost and quality.,

Pryor was also presented messages from volunteers across the state for his support of the HEART for Women Act of which he was a co-sponsor.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Arkansas Celebrate Third Anniversary of Smoke-Free Air!


Barbara Kumpe-Government Relations Director speakers to supporters

On July 21st volunteers from across the state came together to celebrate the third anniversary of the state’s Clean Indoor Air Law. The law was passed in a special session of the Arkansas Legislature and signed into law by then Governor Mike Huckabee in April of 2006.

The law requires all public places to be smoke free. Juniata’s, a local Mexican restaurant in downtown Little Rock hosted the event and according to the manager they have and continue to enjoy a smoke free venue for the employees and customers. The restaurant and bar are a local music venue and from all indications going smoke free has been a good thing for performers, customers and employees.

What is your favorite smoke-free restaurant in the state? Tell us below in the comments section...personally I’m a fan of Just Like Mom’s in Sherwood.

Obesity remains No. 1 health problem for kids in 2009

Childhood obesity outranks all other health problems as the No. 1 health concern for children in the United States, topping drug abuse, smoking and bullying, according to a report by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.This is the first survey year in which obesity tops the list for Hispanics, blacks and whites. In the 2008 survey, childhood obesity was ranked 6th by Hispanics and 3rd by blacks as the biggest child health problem.

Kids and parents are encouraged to visit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation website for fun information and easy ways to improve your health.

But what do you think we can do to get kids more active?

Alliance Recognized by CDC

Speaking of the Alliance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized the Alliance for a Healthier Generation with its “Pioneering Innovation Award” for advancing policies and environmental strategies to prevent and control obesity.

The award was presented July 29 at the CDC’s “Weight of the Nation” Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Alliance was founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation to reduce childhood obesity by 2015 and empower children to make healthy lifestyle choices. The Alliance works to positively affect places that can make a difference in a child's health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor's offices and communities.

Little Rock Parks Go Smoke Free

For the past twenty months or better, the Coalition for A Tobacco Free Arkansas along with American Heart Association worked with the City of Little Rock on a smoke-free parks law. Hooray!! On October 1, 2009 things will change---October 1st is the date Little Rock’s smoke-free/tobacco free policy goes into effect. The entire public, many who suffer from heart and other chronic diseases will now be able to enjoy the great outdoors without concern of secondhand smoke exposure that can trigger a heart attack.

On July 15, 2009, City Manager, Bruce Moore took a giant pro-health step as he approved the proposed departmental smoke-free/tobacco free parks policy for all Little Rock parks. The tobacco-free policy approved by Mr. Moore came via a recommendation from the Park Commission and will reduce exposure of our youth to tobacco products.

Will this make you and your family visit parks more often?

El Dorado Clean Indoor Air Ordinance Tabled

In other smoke-free news, volunteers in El Dorado packed the City Council Meeting on July 23 only to be disappointed. The City Council and the lead sponsor chose to “table” the ordinance that would have strengthened the Clean Indoor Act of 2006 for city bars and restaurants. This means the proposal was not voted on or debated.

Both sides were disappointed that the council did not act on the requirement that would have made all bars and restaurants smoke free in the city limits of El Dorado.

The current state law allows bars and restaurants to allow smoking if they do not at any time allow anyone under the age of 21 in the facility. El Dorado was the first city in the state to move forward with strengthening the state law but the issue will have to wait for another day.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Volunteers Visit with Senator Lincoln on Healthcare Reform

Volunteers Amber and Diana Boulton and Wonder Lowe visited with Senator Blanche Lincoln on Wednesday, August 12th. The visit was conducted during the August Congressional Recess. They were delivering the American Heart Association's message on health care reform which includes the following priorities:

  • Avalibility - healthcare for everyone

  • Affordable - healthcare regardless of age, gender or any other factors

  • Adequate - healthcare for all Americans regardless of prior health problems

  • Understandable - provide better, more easily understandable information about their heatlh insurance benefits, cost and quality.

Senator Lincoln was also presented thank you messages from volunteers across the state. The messages were from participants of the Association's Go Red For Women movement that is designed to impower women to take control of their heart health. Lincoln is a co-sponsor of a federal piece of legislation the HEART for Women Act that will provide screening and educational components for women of all socio-economic populations. The bill is on the current Congressional agenda.

From left to right: Amber Boulton, Diana Boulton

Senator Blanche Lincoln and Wonder Lowe

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care Reform-What to Ask in a Town Hall

With the health care reform debate sweeping the country, many politicians are turning to Town Hall style meetings to answer questions and get feedback from their constituents. This is a great opportunity to voice your concerns on the current state of health care and how it can be improved.

We encourage You’re the Cure advocates to participate in these Town Hall meetings and share how health care reform can improve outcomes for heart and stroke patients. Here are some tips when participating in a Town Hall:

Tell Your Story

First and foremost, you should share your personal story.

• Has a preexisting heart condition or stroke made it difficult or impossible for you
or a loved one to get health insurance?
• Have you struggled to afford health insurance for yourself or your family?
• Have you reached the maximum for your insurance coverage and now struggle to
pay the bills out-of-pocket?
• Do you struggle with complicated insurance forms and processes that make it
difficult to get the care you need?
• Have you been denied treatment that your doctor says is needed?
• Is the cost of necessary medications forcing you to make other sacrifices?
• Do you have difficulty seeing the healthcare provider or specialist you need to
• If you are a healthcare provider, have you witnessed your patients going without
needed care and suffering poorer outcomes because they don’t have health
insurance coverage?

Your story will help illustrate for lawmakers the urgency of our request and the need to do something now to reform our ailing healthcare system.

Ask Your Question

In addition to you personal story, you should ask how the Representative/Senator will
address your struggles with the healthcare system.

• What will you do to make sure people can afford the healthcare they need?
• How will you ensure that all Americans have access to the best care possible?
• What will you do to ensure that quality healthcare is available in all areas of our
country for all Americans?
• How will you ease the red tape, ensuring that people get the care they need
without unnecessary administrative barriers?

Your Conclusion

However you phrase your question- the conclusion of your message should be “Please
move forward on healthcare reform quickly - and in any reform efforts, please correct
MY problems(specify the problem)with the current system”

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