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!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Senator Torres-Ray Receives 2008 Legislator of the Year Award!

The American Heart Association recognized Sen. Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-36) with the Legislator of the Year Award at its annual Heart on the Hill event, March 11, which took place at Concordia University, St. Paul. The association honored Torres Ray for her leadership in heart disease and stroke prevention.

According to the American Heart Association, Sen. Torres Ray led the charge last year on health care reform as co-chair of the Health Care Access Commission’s Public Health Working Group which secured $47 million over two years in the new Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP).

“This was the single greatest investment Minnesota has ever made in tackling obesity prevention and curbing the use of tobacco through community-based initiatives,” said Rachel Callanan, Minnesota senior advocacy director with the American Heart Association. “Not only will lives be saved through this measure, but significant cost savings will also be realized.”
This year, Sen. Torres Ray is the chief author of the Women’s Heart Health Promotion Act which would provide as many as 15,000 low-income women with the heart disease risk screenings they need to take charge of their health. She has also helped champion legislation to strengthen physical education in Minnesota schools.
Sen. Torres Ray is the first and only Latina elected to the Senate in the state of Minnesota. She was elected in 2006 by 81 percent of the vote. She has been a strong advocate for low income people, children, and immigrants. Before being elected to the Senate, she worked in social services for 18 years voicing concerns about health and education disparities at all levels of government. She received her undergraduate in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota and her master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute.

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