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.
I could not be more proud of our Greater Bay Area division and the work they are doing to make an impact with our organization. This amazing team is on their way to raising $1 million NEW dollars through their fall Heart Walk season.
Here are just a few of the extraordinary accomplishments this team has achieved so far:
- Home to the WSA’s No. 1 Walk team (Oracle) and No. 1 fundraiser (Oracle’s Thomas Kurian) — $342,000 and counting!
- Achieved a major national benchmark: a $250,000+ walk team – the Greater Bay Area’s first
- Leading nine companies to their BEST YEAR EVER! AT&T, Caltrans, Deloitte, KPMG, Oracle, Provident Credit Union, Union Bank, Virgin America, and Wells Fargo all had record-breaking years.
- Adding Deloitte to our Circle of Excellence companies! They increased from $47,762 last year to $108,495 this year!
- Recruiting 26 new Walk teams, including seven that raised over $10,000 in their first year – Accenture, Chevron, Equinix, Informatica, Rapid Displays, Splunk and Trace3
- Leading Chevron to raise $44,000 (and counting) in their first year
- Securing nine new sponsors at the $10,000+ level
A heartfelt thank you to this exceptional team of volunteers and staff for executing four back-to-back events with grace, skill and a can-do attitude! Excellent work!
The fabulous Las Vegas was the setting for our fourth annual Flavors of the Heart (FOTH) brain and heart-healthy culinary event – with more than 400 people attending to raise awareness about healthy eating.
This engaging event helped us raise more than $20,000 to continue supporting local Las Vegas division programs. About 23 chefs and suppliers showed their support by creating delicious, heart-healthy recipes. Our volunteers worked diligently with the chefs to make sure that recipes met our AHA healthy eating guidelines.
This year’s event showcased four of Las Vegas programs: Teens Cook with Heart, Go Red por tu Corazon, Check Change Control and Together To End Stroke. Four Heart chefs were selected to be part of the FOTH committee to support and raise money for the program of their choice. Chef Damon Workman, Chef Leticia Mitchell, Chef Beni Velazquez and Chef Phillip Dell are the 2014 Heart Chefs.
During the event each participant had the opportunity to vote for their favorite savory and dessert recipes. Over half of the attendees voted for their favorite recipe choosing Chef Leticia in the savory category and Chef Phillip for his dessert as the People’s Choice winners.
Volunteers also promoted our sodium pledge – with some 175 participants taking action! Cookbooks with all the recipes of the night were also available. Please take a moment and watch the video from this out-of-the-box event… I think this is one I’m just going to have to get to next year!
While in Dallas a few weeks ago, I was so honored to be able to join our WSA Senior Vice President of Health Strategies Lisa Jones Barker in accepting an award for exceeding our Hands-Only CPR training goal.
During the last fiscal year we trained over 2.7 million people to save a life. That is a VERY large group of lifesavers now empowered to help a victim of cardiac arrest! And, it represents 114 percent over our excellent goal – and 22 percent over what we achieved the previous year.
Teaching quality CPR is one of the many things for which our organization is well known – and achieving this goal took the hard work and dedication of many. From the great leadership of our Emergency Cardiovascular Care team to our training centers in the field to our division staff – everyone came together to support this goal.
Special thanks to our Community CPR Managers Maria Sweeten and Sylvia Beanes, and all of the volunteers and staff who helped us achieve this outstanding goal.
Fantastic news from our advocacy team in Nevada!
I am happy to announce that our Advocacy team scored a huge win when the State of Nevada became the first state in the country to establish policy around “Competitive Foods in Schools” and “Junk Food Marketing in Schools.” Ben Schmauss, our Nevada government relations director, worked directly with the Department of Agriculture on the School Wellness Policy taskforce, to revise the state’s School Wellness Policy.
Teaching our kids good eating habits is an important part of helping them grow up healthy, and passage of this policy will ensure schools in Nevada provide kids an environment for healthy eating. Our goal for “Competitive Foods in Schools” is to increase the number of states that have policies for schools to serve foods that have whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables or protein foods as their main ingredients.
Passage of this policy in Nevada will encourage food and beverage companies to advertise only their healthiest products to young people — assuring that unhealthy foods or beverages are not advertised on school grounds.
Congratulations to Ben and our grassroots team members who helped support and pass these important policy victories!