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!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Need help with the state budget?

Don’t we all? Luckily there are some great resources to help us figure out it all out. Below are a few resources you can check out to learn more about the state of Minnesota’s budget.

Minnesota Budget Project
A program of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Minnesota Senate Budget Discussion

Friday, January 23, 2009

Community Action Grants Available!

Midwest Affiliate Community Action Grant
2009 Application
American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin

The purpose of the Community Action Grant initiative is to improve the cardiovascular health of the communities we serve and advance our 2010 Impact Goal. The programs must meet the goals and mission of the American Heart Association strategic plan.

The following program focus areas may be directed at the public or health professionals and meet the requirements for application of these funds:
  • Women and Heart Disease
  • Cultural Health Initiatives
  • Stroke Prevention and Education
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Physical Activity
  • Grassroots advocacy in support of AHA policy priorities
  • Community CPR

Submit applications electronically. Applications will go through a first-round review by a volunteer board of directors or task force for your metro market or region. The top five applications from each market/region will be forwarded to the Midwest Affiliate health strategies committee for the final review.

Application Due: Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 5:00 PM CST

Click here to download application

Submit electronically to: Lisa.Wilson

Summaries of 2008 projects

All applicants will be notified by June 15, 2009. Funding will begin July 1, 2009.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Letter to the Editor in Duluth: Physical education standards vital for students

Linda Hoffman, the past president of MN-AHPERD, had this letter to the editor published about the importance of physical education! Way to go, Linda!

Physical education standards vital for students
Duluth News Tribune
January 22, 2009

All teachers know fit kids get better grades. The Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Tim Pawlenty need to be convinced.

During the past few years, a measure was introduced to create statewide physical-education standards and reinstate physical education as a graduation requirement. Our kids deserve to learn lifelong healthy habits. We have seen what happens when physical education programs decline.

Let’s do the right thing for our schools, our kids, and the health of our state. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Linda Hoffman
Two Harbors

View letter online

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Menu Labeling Comes to Philadelphia!

The strongest menu labeling law in the country will take effect in Philadelphia beginning January 1, 2010. The law will require calories to be posted on menus, menu boards, drive thrus, and take-out orders of fast food and chain restaurants in the city. All fast-food and chain restaurants in the city with 10 or more locations across the country will be required to comply.

The legislation was introduced in March 2007 and after a long fought battle was passed on November 6, 2008. You’re the Cure advocates, partnering with volunteers from other community groups, met with City Council members to gather support for the measure. With word of a possible delay of the vote, advocates turned out to attend the council meeting the day the vote was scheduled to take place. Thanks to their presence and last minute conversations, the vote occurred and the bill passed.

Congratulations to Philadelphia for leading the way and demonstrating that perseverance pays off! Our You’re the Cure network salutes you!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

AHA Lobbyist Needs Your Help!

My name is Rachel Callanan. I am the American Heart Association Senior Advocacy Director in Minnesota. During the legislative session I spend most of my time at the capitol speaking directly with legislators about our bills, like the physical education bill. I am committed to fighting for laws that prevent heart disease and stroke across Minnesota. But I need your help! Every day legislators tell me they need to hear from their voters.

Tell your legislator you support the prevention of heart disease and stroke - through strong phy ed programs, state funding, tobacco tax and efforts aimed at women.

I am going to have a tough year at the capitol. The economy is on everyone's mind and we need to demonstrate how prevention programs are good for Minnesotans' physical *and* financial health. I need your commitment to help me convince legislators about the importance of these programs. Can I count on you?

Thanks for being an American Heart Association advocate! Together we can improve the health of our state!

Rachel Callanan, JD
Senior Advocacy Director

P.S. Will I see you at Heart on the Hill? Register today!

Learn more about SHIP funding

The Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) was developed in response to the 2007 MN State Legislature’s request to develop a plan for statewide health promotion to address the rising cost of health and health care in our state. SHIP, which is an expanded version of the Steps to a HealthierMN model, will help Minnesotans live longer, better, healthier lives by reducing the burden of chronic disease.

Save the date! We'll be hosting a working conference on March 17-18 in Bloomington, Minn., for community health boards and tribal governments that plan to apply for SHIP funding.

Visit MDH's website for more information.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Two Birds with One Stone

A Solution to Two Big Problems in Minnesota

The Minnesota state budget is in bad shape. We have a huge deficit yet many important programs that need to be funded to prevent heart disease and stroke. This means that state legislators need to find opportunities to raise more revenue if we want programs to remain funded.

The Minnesota House of Representatives is asking Minnesotans for ideas on how to fill the budget gaps. The American Heart Association has an idea: increase the tobacco tax! Increasing the tobacco tax would raise funds that could be dedicated to programs like the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Unit and to fund the Minnesota Women’s Heart Health Promotion Act. It would also saves lives through those who would quit smoking and preventing people from starting. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death.

Please share this idea with the Minnesota House of Representatives!

Shoot me an email to let me know you submitted an idea so we can track our effectiveness!

To learn more:
Tobacco use in Minnesota
How increasing the tobacco tax raises money and saves lives