For March, our Casual Friday efforts raised $100, which the agency matched for a total donation of $200 to the Southern New England Chapter of the American Heart Association.
Once, those with heart disease were either doomed to spend the remainder of their life in bed or their death was considered imminent. Fortunately, that changed. From 1924 onwards, doctors began to conduct more studies on heart disease to improve treatments, prevention, and to hopefully find a cure.
By 1948, the association transitioned from a professional society to a nationwide voluntary health organization. This allowed them to help more people, raise awareness, and ultimately save more lives.
The Rhode Island chapter is dedicated to the creation of a world free of heart disease and stroke. Their initiatives are all-encompassing and include:
Striving to Improve Rhode Island’s Quality of Life
A healthy lifestyle has a direct impact on health. Consequently, the organization works hard to raise awareness about healthy eating, exercise, sleep, practicing mindfulness, managing stress, connecting socially, and more.
Providing Equal Care for All
Every person on Rhode Island should have access to the highest standard of health care available. As a result, the AHA created the Northeast Healthy Equity Consortium to ensure this happens, regardless of community, race, ethnicity, or background.
Connecting with Business
Comprehensive workplace health programs can help workers stay active on the job. This improves overall health and strengthens the community.
Strengthening Systems of Care
Patients are only served well when health systems coordinate. The Lifeline Program helps experts connect and collaborate for the most efficient and effective care possible.
Advocating for Policy Change
Policies must reflect the needs of the community. Consequently, the American Heart Association champions effective policies and laws that protect our health, drive lasting change, and strengthen our communities.
Regrettably, heart disease remains the number one killer of Rhode Islanders. Stroke ranks number six in the state. About 65% percent of Rhode Island adults at risk are also overweight or obese which leads to high LDL, the bad cholesterol. According to the CDC, 47% of Americans have at least 1 of 3 key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
Clearly, the battle against heart disease and stroke is far from over. Genetics, family history, and race are factors that still need extensive research.
The American Heart Association has propelled scientific breakthroughs for over a hundred years. Their One Brave Idea challenge partners them with others to pursue unconventional scientific approaches for major advances in the fight against coronary heart disease.
They’ve also created The Institute for Precision Medicine to tap into the power of technology and big data to identify safer and more effective treatment and prevention strategies. The AHA Research Program is one of the largest and most trusted research programs in the nation with $4.5 billion invested.
If you would like to donate to your local chapter, you can do so here.