We are where you live, work and play.
Creating a Culture of Health
We are working to weave healthy living practices and opportunities into our community. From teaming up with city leaders throughout the state to support more walking and biking routes, to driving initiatives that make healthier food options available in all neighborhoods, to providing our kids with more opportunities to be active in school – we are making it easier to be healthy where we live, work, and play in Illinois.
Focusing on the Need
There is no quick fix, no one way to solve complex health issues that are affecting this generation and generations to come. That’s why we’re focused on the areas within communities where there is an opportunity to make the greatest impact. Because at the center of it all, we have Illinois at Heart.
Improving Quality of Life
Living healthy and free of disease makes a critical difference in quality of life. In Illinois, life expectancy can vary 15 or 16 years depending on where you live in our state. That's why we are working to raise awareness about the vital effect lifestyle has on health, especially poor nutrition and inactivity, and to help children form healthy habits that will last a lifetime by removing obstacles to making healthy choices.
Ensuring Healthy Environments
Being a Illinoisan should help our health, not harm it. We're working to increase opportunities for people to incorporate physical activity into their everyday lives and to make nutritious foods more accessible and affordable for all. We’re working to change the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 and trying to reduce consumption of unhealthy, sugary drinks.
Strengthening the Economy
A community's well-being is directly related to the health of its local economy. The American Heart Association is helping reverse the tax burden from obesity and disease-related healthcare costs by increasing taxes on items that contribute to disease, like sugar sweetened beverages. We're also encouraging businesses to create comprehensive workplace wellness programs that help people get active on the job.
With human ingenuity, we can prevent heart disease and stroke — and care for people who suffer from these devastating diseases. We are fueling discovery in Illinois, funding $33,189,530 in research from 2012-16 at institutions like Southern Illinois University and University of Illinois. We are also working with medical professionals to apply the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines through Get with the Guidelines and Mission: Lifeline.
Policy has the power to protect our health, improve communities and drive lasting change. The American Heart Association empowers citizens to take informed action on local and state policies because we can all benefit from things like smoke free laws and Complete Streets. In 2015, we helped Illinois become the 27th state to require CPR training for before high school graduation.