Welcome to the The WSA Exchange, for healthy hearts and minds. Kathy Rogers, American Heart Association Western States Affiliate Executive Vice President will share stories from across the affiliate.

Happy Holidays and a heartfelt thank you to all of our Western States Affiliate family

Employee Giving Campaing holiday SelfieAs we get ready to depart for a bit of a holiday break, I want to share how thankful I am for our amazing Western States Affiliate family. During a season filled with love and giving – our team stepped up and did exactly that during our recent Employee Giving Campaign.

We had 100 percent participation this year! That means that every single individual in our ten-state affiliate – who already give so much for our cause every day – stepped up and personally invested in our mission. Simply, amazing. I think it speaks volumes to both the quality of individuals we have on our team, and our dedication to winning the fight against heart disease and stroke.

A very special thank you to the amazing co-chairs of the campaign, Eric Batch and Kathy Young, for the creativity and energy that they led with. I know they inspired many, including myself, with their enthusiasm. Also to our Task Force Members: Anders Bollingmo, Cayci Oliver, Eileen Hawley, Joan Que, Lanette Day, Megan French, Rebecca Contreras, Sunni Danielowski and Wendy Zheng. And last, but not least, our Campaign Directors: Megan Millar, Melissa Wanamaker, Katie Moreno, Helen De Young, Zach Janz, Terry Mock, Aja Kusao, Nicole Orr, Carol Rieger, Eileen Hawley, Sarah Higginbotham, Chelsea Berg, Kami Sutton, Miesha Hardy, Amanda Andrews, Jennifer Merback, Denise Medina, Jessica Vasquez, Amy Herringshaw, Leah Elwell, Katie Malone, Valerie Topacio, Claudine Wessel and Lindsay Welch.

I wish you a very happy and heart-healthy holiday season!

EGC - Employee Giving Campaign Happy Holidays

By |December 18th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Kids, Kids, Kids!

I am so glad to see the association’s focus on prevention really targeting our younger generation. It saddens me that nearly one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, causing a broad range of health problems including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. Two activities that took place this week made me smile – and made me very proud of our work.

Kids Cook With Heart Reno Dec 2014In our Kids Cook With Heart program students learn how to prepare simple, heart healthy meals with the help of a skilled chef instructor. This week, third through sixth grade students at Bailey Charter Elementary in Reno, NV, celebrated all they have accomplished in the eight week program by preparing their own homemade heart healthy pizzas. Over the last several weeks they experienced hands-on interactive cooking lessons with chef instructor Shane Valentine. They learned to prepare simple main courses, hearty whole grains, salads and a wide variety of vegetable dishes. In order to best equip students with the life skill of heart-healthy cooking, the emphasis is on smart shopping, cooking skills, nutritional principles and culinary techniques rather than individual recipes. Lessons also include kitchen safety and basic sanitation. Check out the awesome coverage – way to make an impact on the health of this community! I love this program!

NFL Play 60 AZ 1And in Phoenix, we hosted an amazing PLAY 60 Field Day. This program has allowed us to reach 4,300-plus kids over the last month, with over 500 on site for the event! We had 20 schools participate and handed out 600 apples (thanks to local vendor Sprouts for the donation) and I’m happy to report that the kids ATE them!

It takes a lot of work to pull off a program of this magnitude. From our amazing Youth Market team who get local schools to participate and engage to the communications support securing media coverage to the many, many volunteers who dig in and help out — it is an amazing program that gets results. Thanks to all who pitch in and make this such a successful movement.

Youth Market kids Red Out in Arizona


By |December 17th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Our Future is Why

Thanks to our Seattle Division for submitting this picture that is too cute for words…

Seattle - Brooke Fox and Norah Fox MOViN 925 "Our Future is Why."

Seattle disc jockey Brooke Fox is a morning radio host for MOViN 92.5 ALL THE HITS and a Go Red ambassador and volunteer. Last year in our media campaign Brooke was very pregnant in all the promotional photos – and this year, she had little Norah join the campaign as a follow-up.

Brooke’s message and “why” has always been about health – and how it is even more important to her and her family now that Norah is around. She also gets her radio listeners to vote on their favorite outfit from Macy’s to wear on National Wear Red Day.

Thanks Brooke and Norah, keep up the great work!

By |December 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Greater Bay Area volunteer shines

The record wind and rain may have been a hot topic in Northern California this week, but that didn’t stop one of our amazing volunteers from shining through.

Dr. Fung, AHA volunteer extraordinaire, receives awardGordon L. Fung, M.D., is an ex-officio San Francisco American Heart Association Board of Directors member. He started his volunteer work with us in the 1980s with our Chinese Community Cardiac Council. He was recently selected as the 2014 recipient of the California Medical Association Foundation’s Adarsh S. Mahal, M.D., Access to Health Care and Disparities Award.

Dr. Fung is a cardiologist and the Director and Founder of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Asian Heart and Vascular Center (AHVC). A volunteer extraordinaire, he is past president of the San Francisco Medical Society. He was also appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as Chair of the Council of Multicultural Health, which was tasked to develop programs and monitor statewide health activities to decrease ethnic disparities.

The San Francisco Medical Society nominated Dr. Fung for this award for dedicating more than 25 years of his career to addressing disparities and access. The Adarsh S. Mahal, M.D., Access to Health Care and Disparities Award was established by 2007 CMA President Anmol S. Mahal, M.D., and his wife Surjit K. Mahal, M.D., to honor an individual or organization that has demonstrated extraordinary interest and efforts leading to a significant contribution toward improving access to health care or reducing health care disparities in California.

Congratulations, Dr. Fung, we are so honored to be associated with you!

PHOTO CREDIT: The California Medical Association

By |December 12th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments|