Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Texas Lobby Days


       Texas Lobby Days
    SouthWest    Affiliate
83rd Regular Session


September 20
Newborn Screenings
October 24
Budget & Stroke/STEMI
November 15
Smoke-Free Workplaces
December 10
Newborn Screening
January 30
Legislative Preview
February 14
Go Red for Women
March 12
Obesity Prevention
April 22
May 9

Please contact Brian Bowser to RSVP or for more; 512-338-2404

*More information will be provided once session is underway. Some issues, locations and times cannot be determined until a legislative calendar is set by leadership. 

All Lobby Days will consist of a 30-45 minute advocacy training and a discussion of the issue for the day.  The training will be followed by legislative meetings and drop-by visits.  All trainings will occur inside the Capitol and specific room numbers will be provided prior to the event.

Parking is recommended at the Capitol Visitors Garage located at 1201 San Jacinto.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Weight of the Nation

Have you seen the recent HBO documentary "The Weight of The Nation"? This film, explores the growing obesity epidemic in the United States and what we have to do to reverse this trend.

Consequences” is part 1 from the 4 part series. Other three are: “Choices”, “Children in Crisis” and "Challenges". We encourage you to watch all 4 videos and make comments below. We will discuss part 2-4 in our further blog posts.

“Consequences” demonstrates the impact of obesity on overall health and a strong connection between being overweight/obese and heart disease.
There are several individuals and families highlighted in this part and here are a few of their stories.
The first character we meet is Cindy.  She was born and raised in Bogalusa, Louisiana and is a mother of grown sons. Cindy discusses her struggle and painful things in life she is facing because of obesity. During a potluck organized at Cindy’s house the film clearly shows the challenge most of us are likely to know: eating in moderation. There are traditions we enjoy but overall the overeating contributes to our waistline and national weight problem.
Kathy, a teacher at Bogalusa Middle School, recently learned of her high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. Her doctor advised her to improve her diet.
Joe, the police captain knows he has hypertension. He not only has to lose weight but also has to be on medication as Dr. Berenson tells him.

Dr. Donald Lloyd- Jones and Dr. Jon Lomasney of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine display and discuss hearts and blood vessels removed during autopsies to show the impact of obesity deep in our bodies. One of the cases is an enlarged heart of 500 pound man in his fifties. His heart has small cavities for pumping blood and extremely thickened walls.
The heart continually pumps blood into our bodies. And the older we get our hearts have to work harder to keep blood circulating. That is a big reason being obese or overweight highly increases the chance of developing a heart disease or getting a stroke.

As the film takes look at the communities across the country – from New York City to Santa Ana, California it becomes clear that that the nation is getting heavier. But the problem does not affect all the communities equally. The obesity rates are higher in some ethnic communities and lower-income states. According to CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) data nine of the ten states with the highest rates of obesity are also poorest states in the nation.
I can’t wait to continue watching part 2 of this series and hope you will join me. Please comment below if you have watched  "TheWeight of The Nation".

Thursday, July 19, 2012



Join us next Tuesday for the July You’re the Cure Lobby Day at the Texas Capitol. Help us  engage lawmakers and educate key committee staff on our legislative priorities for the upcoming 2013 session.

American Heart Association Lobby Day
Texas Capitol: Room E1.022
Tuesday, July 24

As always, we will provide an advocacy training to start the event and review our talking points for the day. For this lobby day we will focus on two issues: including CPR training in high school curriculum and Heart Disease screening for newborns.

Please RSVP if you are interested in attending. Also, if you would like more information on helping advance our mission by joining our Grassroots Action Team please let me know. This team will help us plan and execute future lobby days. recruit more grassroots advocates, and engage elected officials on heart and stroke issues.

Brian Bowser- Grassroots Director
10900-B Stonelake Blvd. Suite 320

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We Need Your CPR Stories


Nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually—with less than eight percent of those victims surviving, largely because bystanders are unable or unwilling to perform CPR.

But effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. And since 80% of cardiac arrests occur in a home setting, the life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you love.

In an effort to train the next generation of lifesavers, the American Heart Association will urge the Texas Legislature during the 83rd Regular Session to add CPR training to required school curriculums.

A 30 minute CPR training can fit comfortable into existing PE or Health courses.  But the long term effects of an entire generation of Texans will be far reaching.

You can help! If you or a loved one has been saved, or saved the life of another through the use of CPR, please submit your story to Include a brief summation of your story, as well as your name, they city you live in, and return contact information (email or phone). Also, please let us know whether you would be willing to share your story on camera for use to advocate lawmakers on behalf of this issue.

Help us train the next generation of lifesavers. Tell us your story! Entry deadline June 18, 2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

CenTexas AHA - Get Involved!

Go Red For Women National Wear Red Day

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

The first Friday in February (Feb. 3, 2012) is National Wear Red Day. Women and men everywhere are encouraged to wear red to raise awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, and to make a donation to support the American Heart Association. In Austin, this signature day will kick off activities surrounding the new “Austin Beauty Week,” which benefits the Go Red For Women movement and raises awareness about women’s heart health.

For more information, visit or contact:
Taylor Engel 512-338-2442

Go Red For Women Summit
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
8:30am -- 1:30pm

Hilton Austin
500 East 4th Street,
Austin, Texas 78701

Chair: Kerry Hall, President, Texas Capital Bank, Austin

Join the American Heart Association and City Goes Red sponsor St. David’s HealthCare for the Go Red For Women® Summit. Hear inspiring stories from brave women, and learn about risk factors, warning signs and the measures you can take to prevent heart disease and stroke, the #1 and #4 killers of women in the U.S.

Registration begins at 8:30am, followed by educational breakout sessions, a vendor boutique and networking. The morning concludes with a heart healthy lunch and dynamic keynote speaker.

For more information, visit or contact:
Taylor Engel

San Marcos Heart Walk
Saturday, March 24th, 2012
Registration 8:00am,
Heart Walk at 9:00am

Location: Track & Field Stadium
Texas State University
San Marcos, TX

The annual 5K non-competitive walking event is designed to bring public awareness to physical activity and a heart-healthy lifestyle, while raising the critical dollars needed to fund heart disease and stroke research and educational programs in the Central Texas region. Teams are made up of employees from local companies, along with friends and family members of all ages.

In addition to serving as a celebration of healthy living, the Heart Walk is one of the American Heart Association’s primary fundraisers in the fight against heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 4 killers of Americans.

For more information on how to participate, visit or contact:
Amy Sawvell

National Start Walking Day
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

National Start Walking Day is a nationwide call-to-action for Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Your company can help employees take the first step in becoming more active by participating. Join thousands across the nation as they wear their sneakers to work on April 4, 2012, and pledge to start a healthier lifestyle as part of this annual event.

For more information on how to participate, visit or contact:

Amy Sawvell

Vestido Rojo
Saturday, April 14th, 2012
8:00am – 1:30pm

Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel
6121 North Interstate Highway 35,
Austin, TX 78752

The Vestido Rojo women’s conference is held in conjunction with Go Red Por Tu Corazon, the American Heart Association’s nationwide movement that celebrates the energy, passion and power of Hispanic women to band together and wipe out heart disease. The free event features health screenings, workshops on heart healthy cooking and nutrition, physical activity and diabetes prevention, as well as a heart healthy lunch and keynote presentation on heart disease prevention.

Latina leaders in our community will serve as “Madrinas,” hostesses for tables of ten to help spread awareness to their friends, family and co-workers in the Hispanic community.

For more details, visit, or contact:
Dusty Young

Heart Ball of Austin
Saturday, April 28th, 2012
6:00pm -- 11:00pm

Location: Hilton Austin
500 East 4th Street,
Austin, Texas 78701

Chair: Barry Burgdorf, Vice Chancellor & General Counsel, University of Texas System

The Heart Ball brings together Austin’s most influential leaders from the corporate, philanthropic and medical communities to raise funds and promote the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association. The evening’s black-tie festivities will include dinner, entertainment, dancing and an exciting silent and live auction.

The funds generated at the Heart Ball will support American Heart Association-funded cardiovascular disease research and educational programs to improve the lives of women, children and families in our community. The 2012 Heart Ball of Austin focuses special attention to the accomplishments made in the field of cardiovascular care through research, and will feature a special tribute to Dr. Kenneth Shine, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Texas System, a former AHA President and current member of the Capital Area Board of Directors, for his dedication to the field of cardiology.

For more details, visit, or contact:
Taylor Engel

Most Powerful Voices Gospel Concert
Spring 2012
Time, Date TBD
Location: TBD
Admission: TBD

The “Most Powerful Voices Gospel Tour” presents an evening of empowering music fused with healthy lifestyle messaging. Grammy Award-winning Gospel artist Kirk Franklin will headline an all-star lineup of performers for this inspirational event.

Thousands of concert-goers will hear an empowering message through the music, and will be urged to make a declaration to take control of their health, learn the warning signs and reduce their risk for stroke, the third-leading cause of death and a leading cause of long-term disability among African-Americans.

For more information, visit or contact:
Dusty Young

Austin Heart Walk Saturday, Oct. 27th, 2012
Registration: 8:00am
Event Start: 9:00am
Location: S. 1st Street Bridge

The Heart Walk is an annual non-competitive 5K walking event designed to bring public awareness to physical activity and a heart-healthy lifestyle, while raising critical dollars needed to fund the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association. Walkers come out to support the fight against our community's leading cause of death-- heart disease.

Participating in the Heart Walk is as easy as tying your shoes! Walk as part of your company team, or form your own team with family and friends. By participating in the Heart Walk, you are helping to save the lives of the ones you love.

Prior to the walk, visit informational booths, enjoy live entertainment and activities for kids and pets. Top walkers, companies and teams will be awarded in ceremonies following the walk.

For more information, visit or contact:
Amy Sawvell

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kylee and Co. Make the Today Show

If you’re a visitor to this blog you’ve heard the story of Kylee Shea. Now hear it in her own words. Kylee along with her family and new extended family (the teachers that saved her life) visited the Today Show. Check it out!


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