MNA member visits White House as part of Heart Association initiative


From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
April/May 2012 Edition

. MNA Photo
. MNA member Carolyn Fahey outside the White House.

Carolyn Fahey, an MNA member and RN at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, recently had the honor of visiting the White House as part of the American Heart Association’s “Million Hearts” program, a national initiative that aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years.

Fahey was one of four AHA volunteers from the Greater Boston area invited to the White House’s monthly “Community Leaders Briefing.” The February briefing focused on cardiovascular health in recognition of American Heart Month.

More than 70 volunteers, advocates and top staffers from the Obama administration participated in the daylong event. Representatives from the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and other national groups focused on heart disease.

“We were really honored that the American Heart Association asked us to go,” said Fahey, who started legislative advocacy work on “Kayla’s Law,” which requires health clubs to have at least one AED on site and one employee/volunteer trained in using it during busi­ness hours. “That law was passed back in 2007, but we choose to stay active with the heart association and continue on with similar initiatives for schools. Heading to Washington gave us an opportunity to share the work we’re doing on the AED front with others, as well as gather information at a national level that will support what we do in our local communities.”

Discussion topics at the program included:

  • Access to quality cardiovascular care
  • Cardiovascular research
  • Tobacco policy
  • Roles of nutrition and physical activity in cardiovascular health

Community leaders briefings, held weekly at the White House, bring together leaders and activists from across the country. They present an opportunity to discuss common challenges and learn how the government can help improve communities. n