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.
Last week the Western States Affiliate Board met in Sacramento. In addition to meetings with local volunteers and staff, they also visited the state Capitol to advocate for statewide policies that promote heart and brain health. The Board met with 16 key legislative offices to build support and momentum for tobacco control, obesity prevention and water access policies. Our volunteers shared crucial insight from their experiences as physicians, survivors, caregivers and community leaders.
Congratulations and a big thank you to our Sacramento Division staff for being warm and welcoming hosts, and making sure our volunteers had a meaningful experience while in Sacramento.
A STEMI carries a substantial risk of death and disability and calls for a quick response on many fronts. It can be quickly recognized using a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). In 2014, The Helmsley Charitable Trust gave the American Heart Association a $4.6 million grant to improve care for acute heart attack patients in Montana. The grant enabled the Western States Affiliate Mission: Lifeline team to purchase 12-lead EKG machines for ambulances across the state and provide STEMI education to more than 80 EMS agencies. This helped reduce mortality rates by nearly 4 percent!
Throughout the United States each year, nearly 931,000 people suffer heart attacks. About 250,000 of those patients suffer a severe type of heart attack (an ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI) caused by the sudden, total blockage of a coronary artery. According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Montana Hospital Association, 1,799 people were hospitalized in Montana for acute heart attack in 2012, and of those, 777 were STEMIs.
The passage of the STEMI Registry bill will help Montana continue to save lives and reduce disability from these deadly heart attacks – and it ensures another policy victory for our amazing Western States Affiliate Advocacy Team!
Seattle Seahawk Bobby Wagner gave an interview to KOMO TV about his mother’s stroke and how it has affected his family. A short feature ran on KOMO News last week, with a longer segment on TV newsmagazine Seattle Refined. Bobby also cut a stroke PSA educating viewers about F.A.S.T, which will air throughout the year.
In April at the Seattle gala, Bobby gave two autographed footballs to two boys who saved their grandpa with CPR. He recorded a congratulatory video that was shown at the event. Amazing volunteer engagement — nice work, Team Seattle!
Our Western States Affiliate Advocacy Team helped lead the way in securing this important win. Local volunteer leadership and countless others also played a key role. This is a huge win for the state of Nevada and will empower students with the tools and confidence to start CPR in an emergency.
Nevada becomes 37th state to require Hands-Only CPR training prior to high school graduation. This win means that over 48,000 Nevada students will be trained each year. (It’s also the 20th policy victory of the year for the Advocacy Team.)
Way to go, Team Nevada!