American Heart Association Advocacy in Florida

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Influencing public policy through advocacy is an essential strategy used by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association to achieve its health impact goals and programmatic objectives, which include helping all Americans lead healthier lives and reducing the incidence and consequences of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association works across the public policy continuum to influence public policy, including planning, stakeholder and coalition development, policy research and analysis, a comprehensive legislative and regulatory agenda, the creation of media advocacy and grassroots strategies, implementing policy change, and then following through with effective evaluation to assess implementation and the ultimate impact of the law or regulation.

For local information, contact:
David Francis GSA Satff PicDavid Francis, Government Relations Director
Phone: 727-563-8192
Email: david.francis@heart.org








Advocate Resources:

 

Florida Advocacy Successes

More P.E. for Kids

During the 2007 and 2008 Legislative Sessions we were able to ensure that Florida’s children would continue to have access to Physical Education classes so that they could learn how to properly exercise and take care of themselves as they get older. In 2007 we mandated 150 minutes a week of P.E. for all elementary school students in our state. And during the 2008 session we were able to mandate a minimum of one semester of P.E. per school year for every Middle School Student.

During the 2007 and 2008 Legislative Sessions we were able to ensure that Florida’s children would continue to have access to Physical Education classes so that they could learn how to properly exercise and take care of themselves as they get older. In 2007 we mandated 150 minutes a week of P.E. for all elementary school students in our state. And during the 2008 session we were able to mandate a minimum of one semester of P.E. per school year for every Middle School Student.

In 2008 the American Heart Association led the charge to eliminate liability for Good Samaritans who use an AED to help bring Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims back to life. When a person has a heart attack that stops their heart their chance of survival drops by 10% for every minute without a shock from a defibrillator. This law helped to protect not only the user of an AED but the owner of the device as well, who provided this life saving machine for public use from being sued should there be a problem.

2009 saw the passage of a $1.00 increase in the tobacco surcharge for cigarettes and loose tobacco products. This increase has led to a drop in the usage of tobacco statewide, especially with minors. This reduction in tobacco use will make more Floridians healthier far into the future. As a bonus the legislature invested $50 million dollars raised from the increase and used it to fund additional Biomedical Research projects into Heart Disease and Cancer throughout Florida.

Florida’s Agriculture Commission in 2011 made increasing the overall nutritional intake of Floridians a key component of his administration. The first sector of our state the Commissioner sought to improve was our kids. The American Heart Association worked closely to help secure the transfer of the School Food Program from the Department of Education to the Department of Agriculture allowing both agencies to do what they do best, teaching and feeding, respectively. There will now be direct connection between Florida’s farmers and our kids lunch trays.