Throughout the year, our blog will feature AHA volunteer stories of survival and hope. We know there are thousands of stories like these - thats why we want to say “Thanks” to all of you for giving your time and sharing your lives with us. You can’t spell CURE without U! Thank you for all you do to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. YOU’RE THE CURE!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

AHA volunteer's letter published in Star Tribune!

State Advocacy Committee member and great AHA advocate submitted a letter to the editor to the Star Tribune regarding the report of Minnesota's dropping heath rating. Thanks, Courtney!

Minnesotans' health: Make it a priority, and state will save money

That Minnesota's health ranking dropped from No. 2 to No. 4 according to United Health Foundation's report (Star Tribune, Dec. 4) is sobering, especially because this does not need to be the case.

The Minnesota Health Department has a Heart Disease Prevention Unit that has spent several years creating a comprehensive plan to prevent costly heart disease and stroke by reducing obesity, diabetes, smoking and health disparities. Unfortunately, the funding has yet to be approved to enact this prevention plan. The $250,000 per year it would take is far less than the billions of dollars the state spends each year on treating heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Furthermore, the state would have to spend little money to simply bring back physical education standards in our schools ensuring that preventative health starts with our children before bad habits are formed -- especially since a recent American Heart Association study showed that obese children have the arteries of middle-aged adults!

And finally, while the state made great strides last year in approving $47 million for public health programs, we will all need to ensure that funding is protected during the upcoming legislative session. Investing in prevention today is necessary to secure our financial and physical well-being in the future.


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