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Building a culture of health in the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Whether it’s the Mardi Gras season, the summer beach scene, or the holidays, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is always bubbling. We’re a community rich in culinary innovation, musical influences, noted artists, and grandiose architecture. But we’re also a diverse community that struggles with many of the factors that lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Mississippi still ranks among the nation’s worst states in obesity rates, tobacco use, and physical activity. But we are not afraid to take control of our destiny. More municipalities are parting ways with tobacco use. There are more walking paths, biking trails, and green spaces than ever before. There’s a renewed emphasis on locally-grown produce, and sourced food from Gulf of Mexico that keep our hearts strong. A new day is dawning on our horizon, and that day brings hope for longer, healthier lives. Join us and become a part of a movement that will change lives in a positive way for those who call the Coast “home.”
“I’m a stroke survivor. I was one of 10 children, and of the 10, six of us have heart disease to some degree or another. It’s an important issue not just for my family, but for many families on the Gulf Coast. My participation in the Heart Walk(link opens in new window) comes from my desire to use my experiences with heart disease to help others avoid what I went through. I believe that this commitment is part of a bigger movement towards improving heart health, and since it’s the leading killer of Coast residents, that can make a huge impact right here. It’s something we have to do together as a community, and I’m just doing my part.”
–Butch Oustalet, Gulf Coast stroke survivor
Heart-Healthy Teaching Garden
Teaching Gardens are funded by local donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other community-based organizations. Students learn about the garden, the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, and why they're so important. The Anniston Elementary garden (pictured) was made possible by Hancock Bank.
Life is hard, but you're not alone. We're all in this together, right? Learn from locals like you or help others going through a tough time. Explore the chat forums, read survivor stories, seek and receive support. Because it's okay to lean on others who have been there too.
Check. Change. Control.
Stress on your blood vessels from high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and other serious health threats. Use our free Check. Change. Control.™ online tool to track your readings and maintain a healthy heart!
The AHA and AMA joined forces with the launch of Target: BP™ to support physicians and care teams. We can track and maintain blood pressure goals for our patients by offering access to the latest research, tools, and resources.
Closing Equity Gaps
EmPOWERED To Serve™ is a movement inspired by our multicultural volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice in their communities. These committed ambassadors are impacting gaps in health equity through advocacy, policy, education and social change.
Focus on Quality
When medical professionals apply the most up-to-date evidence-based treatment guidelines, patient outcomes improve. There are six Get With the Guidelines hospitals along the MS Coast (Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Singing River Health System, Ocean Springs Hospital, Merit Health – Biloxi, Garden Park Medical Center, and Hancock Medical.
State Policy Win
Early childcare centers now provide Mississippi kids with at least 60-minutes of daily play for full-day programs or 30-minutes for half-day programs. This is on top of the healthy food options and limited screen time already provided!
Scientific Research Is the Core of all Our Efforts
Breakthroughs. Innovation. Millions of lives saved. That is American Heart Association funded research. From the first successful pacemaker to new techniques saving newborns with congenital heart defects to drug-coated stents, we fund bold ideas that transform health care.
“Pop-Up CPR” demos are conducted around the Mississippi Coast to help teach the Hands-Only CPR™ technique to people in 60 seconds or less. Booths are presented in high traffic areas, and participants are solicited to learn the process and practice it on a mannequin.
CPR in Schools Kits™
Staff members from Mississippi Gulf Coast High Schools took an important step forward to arm students with a lifesaving skill that can potentially save sudden cardiac arrest victims. The Mississippi Healthcare Alliance partnered with the American Heart Association to purchase CPR in Schools Kits for ALL Mississippi high schools who did not already have one.
Healthy For Good
You don’t need a guilt trip. We know you know. You want to be healthy... for good. And we’re here to help inspire you to create lasting change in your health and your life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well. Get Healthy For Good.
Across the Magnolia State, communities are building a healthier infrastructure and tackling inequities for hearts of all ages. The challenges are great, but together our future is greater.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Heart Gala
Business, medical, and other community leaders unite to celebrate the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association. Don't miss this unforgettable evening of inspiration, entertainment and hope as we build a healthier Gulf Coast!
Gulf Coast Heart Walk
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Let's get HeartWalking, a movement to move more. Heart Walk is a festival of one million hearts in 300+ communities nationwide beating healthy for good. Join us in Gulfport! Walk in memory of someone you love, or create a team.
Jackson County Heart Walk
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Pascagoula Beach ParkLet's get HeartWalking, a movement to move more. Heart Walk is a festival of one million hearts in 300+ communities nationwide beating healthy for good. Join us in Gulfport! Walk in memory of someone you love, or create a team.
Email us for more information on giving
Why I Support the AHA
“The work of the American Heart Association universally helps people from all walks of life and economic situations improve their daily lives. It brings me great pleasure to know that my volunteer and financial support efforts with the AHA over the past decade are helping to break the silence about the devastating impact heart disease and stroke is having on our families and our communities.”
–Martin Davis, an American Heart Association donor
Mississippi Gulf Coast Leadership Committees
Mississippi Gulf Coast Heart Walk
Mississippi Gulf Coast Go Red For Women
Mississippi Gulf Coast Heart Gala
Harrison Heart Ball