Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New health chief wants healthy habits for Oklahoma

The Tulsa World is reporting that the new Commissioner of Health for Oklahoma wants to improve the health of individuals by addressing key risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Obesity and tobacco use are the two biggest controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic health problems.

Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline said he would like to see better nutrition, more physical activity, and smoke-free workplaces to combat these diseases. From the article:
"These are constants," said Cline, who was appointed commissioner effective June 30. "These are not issues that are created or solved as problems easily or quickly."

Oklahoma has been engaged in a war on tobacco and has made progress, Cline said. But efforts to reduce tobacco use, including making all restaurants smoke-free, will continue, he said. "
The American Heart Association stands ready to promote policies that will reduce obesity and tobacco use in Oklahoma and applauds Commissioner Cline for making these issues a priority. See the rest of the article here

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Man Saved by an AED Reunites with Flight Crew and Doctor

Back in March Mike Upchurch boarded a plane to Colorado to see his son who had just returned from Iraq. 15 minutes into that flight he suffered a severe heart attack. Luckily for Mr. Upchurch the crew was trained in using an Automated External Diffibulator (AED). The flight crew, along with assistance from Dr. Mary Ann Bauman, quickly went into action and took steps that ultimately saved Mr. Upchurch's life.

Coincidentally Dr. Bauman serves on the American Heart Association Board of Directors. We are incredibly proud of the flight crew and Dr. Bauman for their training and professionalism during that medical emergency.

This past Monday Mr. Upchurch was reunited with the flight crew and Dr. Bauman. He was also suprised with a visit from his son who flew in from Colorado. This is truly an inspirational story and a great example of why we at the American Heart Association work so hard at what we do.

Below is a link to the news story from channel 5 in Oklahoma City.


Oklahoma Town Bans Smoking in Public Parks

Another Oklahoma town has taken on the task of banning smoking in their public parks. Norman Oklahoma, a college town with approximately 96,000 residents, has now banned smoking and the use of tobacco products in public parks. Making them the third city in the state with such an ordinance, Owasso and Noble have similar rules.

Members of the Norman City Council unanimously approved the city ordinance on June 23rd. It will take effect on July 23rd.

Councilman Doug Cubberley, who suffers from asthma, has advocated for the tobacco ban in parks for more than two years.

“This is a compromise, but it is a leap forward,” Cubberley said. “Again, it’s not perfect, but what are we going for in this legislation? It’s the public health, and it’s the example that we are teaching our children.”

City officials surveyed residents about the ban and said that 76 percent of those surveyed supported the ban on smoking in the parks.

The American Heart Association applauds the efforts of the Norman City Council and sees this as a small step towards banning smoking in more public areas including all workplaces.

Click here for the Oklahoman article on the ban.

Congress Moves Closer to Increasing Funding for NIH research.

In a July 10 statement, AHA President Clyde Yancy, M.D., commended the a Congressional Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives for approving a 3.1 percent increase ($942 million) in research funding for the National Institutes of Health.

“This increase, during these tough economic times, demonstrates a renewed national commitment to sustained and predictable funding growth for biomedical research. We urge the committee to maintain stable funding for 2011 when the temporary resources from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expire,” Yancy said


What Moves U Challenge receives health information award


The What Moves U Challenge – a joint program of the American Heart Association and National Football League – has been honored with a National Health Information Award. The awards recognize the nation’s best consumer health information programs and materials.

The What Moves U Challenge received a Silver Award in the “Total Health Information Program” category. It was chosen from more than 1,000 entries judged by a national panel of health information experts.

The awards program is coordinated by the Health Information Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for consumer health information programs and materials.

Adult obesity rose in 23 states last year

Adult obesity rates increased in 23 states last year, and didn’t decline in any, according to a new report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

According to the report:

· Mississippi had the highest obesity rate, 32.5 percent, for the fifth year in a row
· Oklahoma ranks 6th most obese at 29.5% for adults.
· The childhood obesity rate is also at 29.5% but that ranks 33 among all states.

According to the report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009,” obesity-related costs to Medicare and Medicaid are likely to grow significantly as the Baby Boomer generation ages, because of the large number of people in this population, the high rate of obesity and obesity’s negative health impact.

See F as in Fat 2009.

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