Thursday, October 29, 2009

Texas Stroke Act Begins Saving Lives

This is a historic month in Texas as the goals and mission of the Texas Stroke Act become a reality. Thanks to all your efforts as a You're the Cure advocate legislators heard your voice and are implementing the key parts of the Texas Stroke Act.

Tell lawmakers to continue to improve stroke care in Texas

On October 1, the Department of State Health Services began receiving and processing applications for designation of Primary Stroke Centers - one of the major components of the Texas Stroke Act. AHA evidence and research indicates that by transporting stroke patients to a primary stroke center a patients' chance of stroke recovery increases significantly.

As you know when a stroke occurs time lost is brain lost. That is why additional funding was given to the Texas CVD Council that will improve transport protocols and EMS training that will saves lives and raise the awareness about stroke.

Please thank lawmakers that approved this funding and asked for their continued support.

Your message will go to your State Representative and Senator as well as the Chairs of the House and Senate budget committees. While the next legislative session is over a year away these committees meet year round to develop the state budget.

AHA lobbies State Board of Education for Health and PE requirements

Last month we told you that PE and Health courses were in jeopardy in Texas schools. The good news is the State Board of Education met in September and they have the authority to keep PE and Health as requirements in two out of the three graduation plans. We need to keep the pressure on as the Board meets again in November to finalize these requirements.

Tell key members on the State Board of Education to keep PE and Health requirements in schools!

When HB 3 was passed by the Texas Legislature last spring, it had major implications for Texas schools. The law changed what is required for high school graduation. Some of the changes were drastic.

Among the changes were reductions in the amount of PE and Health courses that are required to graduate. The State Board of Education has sorted through these new requirements and is evaluating different proposals for implementing this new law.
While they have the power to keep PE and Health requirements in two out of three graduation plans, we need to make sure they follow through.

Help spread our message that PE and Health courses should not be removed from our schools. Take action today and send a message to key State Board of Education members!

Study: tax on soda, sugary drinks would help in obesity battle

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine says taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and soft drinks would help lower people’s overall calorie consumption while generating revenue that local governments can use for health programs.

The authors say a tax could promote the consumption of no-calorie beverages such as water and encourage manufacturers to reformulate their products to lower sugar thresholds. Also, revenue from these taxes “would be considerable and could be used to help support childhood nutrition programs, obesity-prevention programs, or health care for the uninsured or to help meet general revenue needs.”

See report in New England Journal of Medicine.

Childhood obesity: new parent resource features tips and inspirational stories thanks to the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

“Be Well," a new book from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, features more than 75 tips from moms on tough topics like cutting down screen time, getting kids to eat more vegetables and increasing physical activity. "Be Well" is available (in English and Spanish) at low or no cost online and through local schools and community centers.


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