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Cardiovascular disease getting help from Lansing

June 17, 2012       Leave a Comment
By: Stacy Sawyer

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Thanks in part to American Heart Association volunteer's tireless efforts this spring two important measures in fighting heart disease on the legislative front have been achieved. The association and its volunteers have worked endlessly informing and educating Michigan law-makers on the importance of two important funding issues during the state budget process which has led to the success in gaining new dollars that will help fight cardiovascular diseases and the smokefree air law staying as is.

First, the state budget will include $2.25 million in new money for Michigan's 4x4 Health and Wellness plan. This is a new community-based public health program that will address obesity and focus on four healthy behaviors including a healthy diet, regular exercise, getting an annual physical exam and avoiding tobacco use. The program encourages Michiganders to know four key measures - BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, and your blood glucose. The budget also provides one million dollars for a new initiative to address childhood obesity with a before-and after-school physical health pilot program.

Plus the budget also retains the cardiovascular funding in the Healthy Michigan Fund at the same level as last year. You can read more about the new Michigan 4x4 plan by visiting

Secondly, the Smokefree Air law remains as originally passed. The Department of Community Health budget did not include language that weakens the smokefree air law. While this is great news, there are still other exemption bills that may be considered when the legislature returns in the fall. Be sure to send a message to your lawmakers to let them know you're happy that the law was not changed during the budget process and you want them to ensure that it will not be weakened in the future!

Though we have a moment to celebrate some successes, we still have strides to make. To help, join the You're The Cure network, the Heart Association's network that fights heart disease by sharing your thoughts on heart disease and stroke issues with our law makers by sending an email, making a phone call, writing a letter to the editor, or even attending an in-district meeting. Visit to join.

Stacy Sawyer
Communications Director -- American Heart Association 989-225-7513 (cell) 517-349-3240 (fax)

I invite your questions and feedback

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Stacy Sawyer

Stacy Sawyer is the Director of Communications for the American Heart Association. She can be reached at (989) 225-7513.

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