American Heart Association

The WSA Exchange

For healthy hearts and minds

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.

Chef Bryce teaches skills to last a healthy lifetime

Chef Bryce leads Teens Cook With Heart Los Angeles

Photo Credit: Diana Parra Garcia Dream Action Photography

In Los Angeles, Kids/Teens Cook with Heart has partnered with the non-profit Mother of Many at Crenshaw High School for a Food/Science series this spring. Chef Bryce Fluellen led students in learning the science of food preparation by utilizing fresh produce from the school garden. Topics included dehydration; dry vs moist methods of cooking; and the function of anti-oxidants. Collard greens went directly from the garden to the sauté pan to meet up with garlic, olive oil and smoked paprika!  What a practical – and tasty — lesson!

WSA staffer Ron Loomis receives National Award

Ron Loomis, Senior Quality and Systems Improvement (QSI) Director in the Phoenix division was recently honored with the prestigious Lee Schwamm Award. This is the highest honor a QSI Director can receive and is presented annually to the one with the highest percentage increase in new and renewal hospitals achieving Target: Stroke Honor Roll. Ron received this honor in Nashville in front of more than 950 attendees. Our Phoenix team continued the celebration when he returned home. Ron Loomis wins National AHA award

Congratulations Ron! 


Las Vegas Red Dress Challenge Winners

Las Vegas Red Dress Challenge
Five months ago, 43 Las Vegas area residents started a Red Dress Challenge to change their lifestyle. Participants monitored their blood pressure, exercised at least one hour three times a week and enjoyed healthy workshops. Out of 10 finalists, two winners were chosen – Ada Fino and Elsa Sicho. They each received a total makeover, a red dress and a free ticket to the Go Red Por Tu Corazon luncheon!

Ada, who said she’d never exercised before, lost 27 pounds and her blood pressure went from 143/96 to 124/87. She said this challenge not only helped her, but her entire family because she is cooking healthy foods at home!

Elsa lost 16 pounds and her blood pressure went from 141/92 to 117/82. She started losing weight little by little and those early results motivated her to continue. Now Elsa likes to prepare healthy recipes, has cut back on sodium and has eliminated sodas and fast foods from her family’s diet.

Thanks to our volunteers who donated their time and expertise – Miss Nevada Latina Directors Sharlene Ruiz and Adrian Calderon; nutritionist Carla Zaplana; health promoter Brenelly Arredondo; hair stylist Cena Jordan; makeup artist Maria Luisa Menchaca; personal trainer Carlos Espinoza and AHA ambassador and Zumba Instructor Betty López!

Fun-loving administrators ruffle feathers for JRFH

JRFH in NorcoIt was a rollicking good time at Norco Elementary School as administrators dressed up as chickens and raced around campus recently. That came after some quality time spent bobbing for ducks in a bucket of water. It was all part of our Youth Market rubber duck fun — celebrating the school’s Jump Rope For Heart success after students raised $6,000!

JRFH at Norco ElementaryThe original plan was for Principal Marcie Brown and Assistant Principal Sandy Verdugo to bob for rubber ducks if students raised $1,000 and chase a chicken around the school if $2,000 was raised. Administrators shared that when they made these incentives for the kids, they really didn’t think it was possible. Concerned that some people might question the humanitarian aspect of chasing a live chicken, the administrators decided to don full-body chicken costumes so students wouldn’t be disappointed. Special recognition went to five-year-old Delilah Shank, a kindergartener, who earned top honors by single-handedly garnering $315 in donations.

Norco is a community in Riverside County, CA, — part of our Inland Empire division. A portion of the funds raised at the school will stay local, providing research grants to Loma Linda University Medical Center and the University of California, Riverside. This is part of the roughly $9 million granted annually by the American Heart Association for research on congenital heart defects.

Thanks to these fun loving administrators who ruffled some feathers in pursuit of JRFH success!