June 1-7 is CPR Awareness Week! Sudden cardiac arrest is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia ). With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment. Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death - nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States. By performing Hands-Only CPR to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive,” you can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival. Check out our new “Heckling Fan” Hands-Only CPR PSA and learn the two easy steps to save a life.
May represents the last month I’ll be serving as the MAA Board President. I am truly honored to have served with an amazing group of fellow Board members. I also got to work with some of the very best AHA staff in the country. These individuals bring so much skill, energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to our mission, and together, we have accomplished amazing things over the past year. Here are just a few of the MAA highlights from the past year:
Together, our work has taken us a long way closer to our 2020 goal of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20%.
Finally, I’d like to introduce Wayne D. Rosamond, my successor as MAA Board President. Dr. Rosamond is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in Chapel Hill, NC. While it can be difficult for someone from Duke to compliment a basketball rival Tarheel, I have known Wayne for more than a decade, and I can fully attest to his talents and commitment to the AHA. Wayne is highly accomplished and respected scientist, a true leader and just one of the nicest people you’ll meet. And as past president, I pledge to remain highly committed to the Board and the MAA in the year to come!
Thanks to all for the support! Sincerely,
Eric Peterson, MD, MPH
President, Board of Directors, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate
May is American Stroke Month and we’re calling on everyone to become a Stroke Hero by knowing the warning signs of a stroke and to call 9-1-1 when you believe a stroke is happening.
Meet David Layton from Triad, NC. He is the first Stroke Hero recognized by the American Stroke Association this month! David is a stroke survivor, AHA/ASA volunteer and advocate who has impacted his community through his tireless efforts to spread stroke awareness. Thanks for all you do, David! Head over to the ASA facebook page and share a comment of gratitude for our hero, David. And while you’re there, nominate a stroke hero that you know, to be featured by ASA.
What does it take to be a Stroke Hero? Here are 3 easy ways that you can become one today!
1. Know the warning signs of a stroke and when to call 9-1-1. To help you remember, use F.A.S.T as an acronym:
3. Watch and learn from this powerful PSA
We had a very successful National Walking Day on April 3 with events held across the affiliate. In partnership with AHA, Baltimore Washington International Airport announced a unique way to help keep their 22.6 million passengers active and healthy. During your next visit to BWI Airport, carve out 30 minutes on the new Cardio Walking Trail to exercise your heart and relieve stress while you’re waiting for your flight. You’ll see AHA’s heart health messaging, QR codes and more. In addition to the indoor walking trail, BWI also offers a 12.5-mile scenic outdoor trail around the airport property.
Just in time for the cherry blossoms blooming in DC, more than 300 American Heart Association and American Stroke Association volunteers from across the country descended upon Capitol Hill on April 9th, advocating to restore $32 billion in federal funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The 2013 sequester cut $1.5 billion from the NIH, which will reduce the number of planned grants by about 2,300, cost more than 20,000 jobs nationwide, and reduce new economic activity by nearly $3 billion. The cuts threaten U.S. leadership in medical research, and are delaying important advances in the prevention and treatment of heart disease and stroke. Advocates also asked Congress to allocate $35 million to support the Million Hearts High Blood Pressure Campaign, a public educational campaign targeted at the more than one in three U.S. adults with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
I also had the pleasure of watching North Carolina You’re The Cure volunteers Lee Storrow and Yolanda Dickerson receive two of the four annual advocacy awards from Nancy Brown. Watch this video highlighting these deserving winners.
Two more of our MAA advocates, Amy Edmunds and Juddson Rupp, were featured in full page color ads in Roll Call and Politico while we were there to bring attention to the importance of our issues. It was exciting to hear our volunteers and staff share their stories with their legislators and represent our life-saving work on The Hill. Make your voice heard at www.yourethecure.org.
We’re just a few hearts among many other American Heart Association advocates in Washington, DC today, urging Congress to not to give up on funding for research and prevention for our nation’s #1 and #4 killers, heart diseases and stroke. You can show your support at www.yourethecure.org.
Congratulations to the 241 worksites in the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate that were just named Fit-Friendly Workplaces. Across the United States, over 2,240 worksites were awarded, representing almost 5 million employees. Fit-Friendly Worksites are recognized by the American Heart Association as employers who go above and beyond when it comes to their employees’ health. With your help, your workplace can:
Congrats again to our companies! Is your company a Fit-Friendly Workplace? If not, find out how they can be at ffc.heart.org
For the fourth year in row — The NonProfit Times has recognized the American Heart Association as one of the 50 Best NonProfit Organizations to Work for. Organizations are ranked according to eight core focus areas: leadership and planning, corporate culture and communications, role satisfaction, work environment, relationship with supervisor, training and development, pay and benefits and overall engagement. Our exact ranking and more details will be shared once The NonProfit Times publishes its results in April.
From our CEO, Nancy Brown, “The American Heart Association brand has been named 2013 Health Nonprofit Brand of the Year by the 2013 EquiTrend survey. In its 24th year, Harris Poll EquiTrend® is an annual tracking study that measures and compares the brand health of more than 1,500 brands. EquiTrend determines brand health through a calculation of Familiarity, Quality, and Purchase Consideration, and we have used this survey as a benchmark measure to track our key brand attributes such as ‘name recognition’, ‘being seen as a good fit’, ‘having a bright future’, ‘being a leader’, ‘sense of loyalty to the brand’, ‘having an excitement about it’, and ‘social media fan base’, among many others. Building a credible, engaging brand takes years of strategy and execution. It is a reflection of our visible presence in communities, our nationally recognized campaigns and activities, and strong, steady work in driving towards our Mission and Impact Goal over many years. Claiming the top spot this year speaks to the extraordinary impact we have on people’s lives every day, and the public’s recognition of that.”
Governor McDonnell has signed a bill that will save many lives well into the future, a bill that ensures every student is trained in the life-saving skill of CPR before they graduate from high school. Gwyneth’s Law (HB 2028/SB 986) will create an ever-growing pool of CPR-ready citizens in our communities every single year after it is implemented. Thirteen-year-old Gwyneth Griffin died after suffering a cardiac arrest at school, and her parents and others have been working since to make sure more Virginians get trained in CPR.
Thank your legislators for passing this impactful bill! Almost 90 percent of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die, most likely because they don’t get CPR treatment within the first few precious minutes. Five minutes is the difference between life and death. If no CPR is provided or no defibrillation occurs within 3 to 5 minutes of collapse, the chances of survival drop.
Maryland and South Carolina are looking at similar bills now. Join www.yourethecure.org now to support their passage with a single click!