August update from the MAA

Last week’s Mid-Atlantic Affiliate (MAA) All-staff meeting was a huge success. It was great to have our entire team assembled in Richmond to celebrate our accomplishments, share ideas for the new fiscal year and coordinate plans for future success.

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I am excited to share our top advocacy priorities for FY12-13, and to ask your help in moving these and our other policy initiatives forward in your state:

  • In Maryland, we’ll be promoting CPR training as a requirement for high school graduation, as well as advocating for policies that require birthing facilities to screen every newborn in its care for congenital heart defects using pulse oximitry prior to discharge.
  • In Washington, DC, we’ll promote the establishment of a District stroke registry that aligns with the stroke consensus metrics developed and approved by the AHA/ASA, promote policies that formally require and recognize Primary Stroke Centers within the District be based on Joint Commission/ASA certification or an equivalent process, and promote policy that clarifies liability rules for the use of school owned recreational facilities by other government and nongovernmental entities for the purpose of physical activity.
  • In Virginia, we’ll advocate for policies that require birthing facilities to screen every newborn in its care for congenital heart defects using pulse oximitry prior to discharge, and explore opportunities to direct additional fiscal resources toward the funding of 12 lead electrocardiogram (ECG) equipment for Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
  • In North Carolina, we’ll advocate for policies that require birthing facilities to screen every newborn in its care for congenital heart defects using pulse oximitry prior to discharge, support policies that ensure the availability of evidence-based cardiovascular disease preventive benefits consistent with the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations, and advocate for the adoption of statewide policy that ensures the designation of Primary Stroke Centers in North Carolina based on Joint Commission/AHA/ASA accreditation or an equivalent accreditation.
  • And finally, in South Carolina we’ll advocate for policies that require birthing facilities to screen every newborn in its care for congenital heart defects using pulse oximitry prior to discharge, promote CPR training as a requirement for high school graduation, and support tobacco control programs by establishing and protecting sustainable funding for state tobacco prevention and cessation programs through an increase in all tobacco excise taxes.

Please sign up at www.heart.org/yourethecure to become an online advocate and make your voice heard on these and other important issues in your area. On the federal level, we continue to lobby for funds to support research related to cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Share this compelling AHA video advocating for increased NIH research funding on your social media pages and with your community partners. And speaking of social media, be sure to “like” your local AHA facebook page and follow our MAA twitter account @midatlnticheart for the latest news and opportunities to help.

Thanks so much for your support of our mission!

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