University of Utah will receive $3.7M for children’s heart health

The University of Utah will receive $3.7 million in research funding over four years as part of a new AHA children’s research network announced last week. The network will focus on improving children’s heart health, investing almost $15 million in work at four institutions. The Utah study aims to prevent or predict congenital heart disease and improve decision-making between parents [...]

Seattle passes tax on sugary drinks

Two great advocacy stories in one week! Thanks to the incredible work of the Seattle Healthy Kids Coalition, the Seattle City Council voted to adopt a 1.75 cents per ounce tax on sugary drinks that will increase funding for healthy food access, public health, early learning and education programs for communities most affected by the obesity and Type 2 diabetes [...]

Competitive Foods are Winning!

Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Education Oregon just became the third State in the Affiliate obtain a Competitive Foods goal win by aligning their school nutrition standards of beverages and snacks sold at school, with the Federal Smart Snacks guidelines. “Competitive Foods” are snacks and beverages available to kids at school outside the USDA’s school meal programs. By aligning the state’s [...]

American Heart Association 2, Obesity 0

What a remarkable week for our Advocacy team – and everyone living in the states of Washington and Utah. I’m pleased to share that Washington’s obesity prevention program appropriation ($15.3 million for walking/biking infrastructure) has been confirmed as a goal win. Congratulations to all of our volunteers and staff for their tireless work to secure this funding. The team in [...]

Working for California’s children and families

A diverse coalition of health groups, led by the American Heart Association, stated its case yesterday at a sugar-sweetened beverage fee press conference at the Sacramento Capitol. WSA Vice President, Advocacy and Government Relations Eric Batch (pictured at podium), gave an impassioned plea to protect the health of California’s children and families. On stage were representatives from Choose HEALTH California [...]

Oregon steps up… For Every Kid

Last week in Portland, OR, community advocates from across the metro region were joined by Milwaukie Mayor Jeremy Ferguson, public health leaders, and parents as they announced a new effort to improve the health and safety for kids in the tri-county area. Metro-area kids who most need opportunities for physical activity often don’t have the necessary safe infrastructure—sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike [...]

Election Day secures landmark legislation to help fight diabetes and heart disease

Congratulations to advocates and volunteers in Berkeley, CA, who passed a $.01 cents per ounce tax on sodas and other sugar sweetened beverages! We applaud this initiative as a key breakthrough in the fight against America's diabetes and heart disease epidemic. The tax will raise an estimated $1 million to $3 million annually, applying to sodas, iced tea and energy drinks, the largest [...]

Congratulations, Marklem Valdovinos!

It is my pleasure to announce that Multicultural Initiatives Director Marklem Valdovinos has won the prestigious American Heart Association Rome Betts Award. Marklem Valdovinos has consistently demonstrated outstanding results through implementation of programs that help to leverage and engage volunteers and address building a culture of health with our focus areas in hypertension, healthy eating/nutrition and obesity. She has a [...]

Alaska advocacy adds another a big win!

A big congratulations to our Advocacy team for their ninth policy victory! Like the rest of the nation, Alaska is facing an obesity epidemic.  Approximately one out of every three Alaska adults are overweight or obese and three out of ten high school students are overweight or obese. In addition, the economic impact on the state is estimated to be $459 [...]