Advocacy Corner

Advocacy Corner | PCNA eNews June 2013

Advocacy Committee

We have had an exciting time increasing your advocacy awareness and participation. Your overwhelming response to PCNA’s 1st  Virtual Lobby Day exceeded our expectation and we say Thank You!  Please join us in thanking Cindy Lamendola for her leadership and welcome Lynne Braun as the new Advocacy Chair. 

Please stay tuned for future events and alerts and feel free to visit Advocacy Central to read about issues most important to our members or contact your elected officials.

Outgoing Advocacy Chair – Cindy Lamendola, MSN, NP-BC, FAHA, FPCNA

Cindy is a nurse practitioner/clinical research nurse coordinator at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Cardiology in Stanford, California. In her current position, Ms. Lamendola's time is divided between clinical research and clinical practice. Her clinical research focus is on insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and its relationship to cardiovascular disease. Her clinical practice is focused on caring for complex patients with type 2 diabetes. Cindy had chaired the Advocacy Committee for the past 2 years and was an “advocate” for PCNA advocacy. 

Under Cindy’s chairmanship:

  • PCNA acquired a database essential to soliciting congressional support of upcoming legislation.  This database allows members and visitors to our website to send letters or emails; find their representatives; search bills and resolutions; and submit letters to local newspaper editors. 
  • PCNA hosted its first Virtual Lobby Day at the PCNA 19th Annual Symposium. Members sent over 340 letters requesting support of nurse education programs and Million Hearts™ BP campaign.
  • Updates to PCNA position statements on physical activity.
  • Submitted public comments on USPSTF Research Plan for Behavioral Counseling to Promote a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Persons With Known Risk.
  • Submitted public comments on CDC’s Walking as a Way for Americans to get the Recommended Amount of Physical Activity for Health. Comments received will be used to frame an anticipated Surgeon General’s call to action on this issue.

On behalf of PCNA, members, and staff, thank you Cindy for your committee leadership.

Meet your new Advocacy Chair – Lynne Braun, PhD, CNP, CLS, FAHA, FPCNA, FAAN

Lynne Braun is a nurse practitioner in the Rush Heart and Vascular Institute, focusing on preventive cardiology and women and heart disease.  She is also a Professor in the Department of Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing in the Rush College of Nursing.  Ms. Braun has been on faculty and has held a practice position at Rush University Medical Center since 1980.  Her clinical and research interests include cardiovascular risk reduction, exercise, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension management.

Lynne has been an active volunteer for the American Heart Association since 1980 in numerous capacities.  Most recently, she served on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association of Metropolitan Chicago, Medical Leadership Committee for Chicago’s Go Red Luncheon, Illinois Advocacy Committee, and is Chairperson of the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing.  She is a regular speaker at the AHA Scientific Sessions on topics related to cardiovascular disease prevention and she is a co-author of four AHA/ACC Scientific Statements, the AHA/ACC statement on Performance Measures for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, and 2 AHA clinical practice guidelines.

Under Lynne’s leadership, the Advocacy Committee will reach new heights and look forward to helping you advocate for issues that directly impact nursing and disease prevention.  We would love to hear about your community involvement in advocacy activities related to cardiovascular disease prevention.

Remember…Together, we can do more than before.

Advocacy Corner | PCNA eNews February 2013

The HEART for Women Act (H.R. 1032/S.422)

American Heart Month is the perfect time to remind Congress that the state of women's heart health is serious.  Cardiovascular disease (CVD) takes the lives of nearly 420,000 women each year- more than the next three leading causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer.  And 90% of women are currently living with one or more risk factors for developing CVD.

Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) reintroduced the The Heart for Women Act in the House, where it passed last Congress and; Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) reintroduced the Senate bill.  As healthcare professionals dedicated to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, your voices will give the women of your state hope that Congress will step-up to help improve the prevention, treatment and diagnosis of CVD.  It is critical that the bill is passed to help millions of women lead healthier lives by:

  • Requiring  that healthcare data being reported to the federal government, such as clinical trial, drug and medical device approval data, be stratified by gender, race and ethnicity, and that the gender and race-specific information be available for clinicians, researchers, and the public.
  • Requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary to conduct an education and awareness campaign for physicians and other healthcare professionals and to develop and distribute educational materials relating to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases in women.
  • Requiring the Secretary to prepare and submit to Congress an annual report of findings related to the quality of and access to care for women with heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases, including recommendations for eliminating disparities in, and improving the treatment of these women.
  • Authorizing the expansion to all 50 states of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded WISEWOMAN program, which provides screening for low-income, uninsured women at risk for heart disease and stroke.   Please visit Advocacy Central to Speak Up! Speak Out! about this important health issue.  As a convenience, we have prepared a letter for you.  After clicking the Advocacy Central link above, follow these 3 steps to contact your legislators:
  1. Enter your contact information
  2. Review your message
  3. Press Send!

Don’t’ forget to Tell A Friend about women and heart disease!

Welcome Angela Stewart, ACNP-BC, CRNP

Please join the Advocacy Committee in welcoming Angela Stewart as our newest member.  Angela contacted the PCNA office staff to express her interest in PCNA Advocacy activities and her desire to contribute her time to advance issues most important to our mission.  Featured in our Heart Disease Prevention Starts With Us campaign, Angela is actively working with Philadelphia area community groups on patient advocacy issues, particularly diabetes, and was a founding member of the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter.  Her enthusiasm and initiative will be welcomed as our committee moves to further advance our advocacy efforts.

Angela is invited to attend the 2013 Call to Congress: Stop Diabetes event sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, March  5-7 in Washington, D.C.  She and fellow advocates will spend the day on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress and their staff about legislative action needed to stop the diabetes epidemic.  

Like Angela, we would love to hear about your community involvement regarding advocacy activities related to cardiovascular disease prevention.

Together, we can do more.

Advocacy Corner | PCNA eNews, December 2012

Falling off the “Fiscal Cliff”

As we enter the season of celebrations, family gatherings, and glad tidings, our elected government officials are trying to prevent the country from falling off the proverbial “fiscal cliff.”  How will their actions or inaction affect health care, particularly nursing?  If Congress fails to reach a solution, an eight percent cut in automatic spending reductions across many government programs are set to begin in January.  These cuts include Title VIII funding (nursing workforce development programs), National Institutes of Health medical research, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elimination of thousands of highly-skilled public health workers.

Nurses are experts at wellness and collectively are able to influence national health policies and your voices need to be heard.  Please visit your Advocacy Central webpage and tell your elected officials to sustain these important health programs through a balanced approach.

Advocacy Corner | PCNA eNews, November 2012

Joining Forces

As we honor our nation’s veterans, let us remember to show our appreciation to our service members by educating ourselves about the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members, veterans, and their families. 

PCNA is partnering with Joining Forces National Initiative to mobilize all sectors of the community to give our service members, veterans, and their families the support they deserve, particularly when it comes to employment, education, and wellness.  Joining Forces calls attention to the critical issues facing veterans and military families and expands access to wellness programs, and resources for military spouses and families.  Joining Forces provides ways for all Americans to step up and show their gratitude to our service members and their families.

With the end of the war in Iraq and the drawdown in Afghanistan, over one million service members are projected to leave the military in the next five years. While the VA cares for over 8 million veterans, almost half of veterans and many of their family members will seek care in community settings outside the military and VA systems. Because nursing is the largest health care workforce and is present in every community, we care for our military service members, veterans, and their families in every professional setting and know the wounded warriors as our own personal family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Nurses are experts at wellness. Unfortunately, the signature wounds of current conflicts are the invisible wounds, such as depression, PTSD and traumatic brain injury and every nurse should be equipped to understand and recognize the signs of PTSD, TBI, depression and suicide risk and to know where to send our service members and veterans for help. We also know that invisible wounds complicate perceptions of pain and the healing of physical wounds.

To learn more about Joining Forces and what you can do to get involved, please visit www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces. Also, please let us know of your advocacy activities so that we may share with your fellow PCNA members in future newsletters.

Advocacy Corner | PCNA eNews, October 2012

F as in Fat:  How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012, a report published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health, provides a full picture of the nation’s struggle with weight. 

According to the report, adult obesity rates could exceed 60 percent in 13 states by 2030 and all 50 states could have obesity rates above 44 percent. For the first time, the annual report includes an analysis that forecasts 2030 adult obesity rates in each state and the likely resulting rise in obesity-related disease rates and health care costs.  The full report is available at www.healthyamericans.org or www.rwjf.org.

State-by-state obesity rate projections for 2030 are:

1. Mississippi (66.7%); 2. Oklahoma (66.4%); 3. Delaware (64.7%); 4. Tennessee (63.4%); 5. South Carolina (62.9%); 6. Alabama (62.6%); 7. Tie Kansas (62.1%); and Louisiana (62.1%); 9. Missouri (61.9%); 10. Arkansas (60.6%); 11. South Dakota (60.4%); 12. West Virginia (60.2%); 13. Kentucky (60.1%); 14. Ohio (59.8%); 15. Michigan (59.4%); 16. (tie) Arizona (58.8%); and Maryland (58.8%); 18. Florida (58.6%); 19. North Carolina (58.0%): 20. New Hampshire (57.7%); 21. Texas (57.2%); 22. North Dakota (57.1%); 23. Nebraska (56.9%); 24. Pennsylvania (56.7%); 25. Wyoming (56.6%); 26. Wisconsin (56.3%); 27. Indiana (56.0%); 28. Washington (55.5%); 29. Maine (55.2%): 30. Minnesota (54.7%); 31. Iowa (54.4%); 32. New Mexico (54.2%); 33. Rhode Island (53.8%); 34. Illinois (53.7%); 35. (tie) Georgia (53.6%); and Montana (53.6%); 37. Idaho (53.0%); 38. Hawaii (51.8%); 39. New York (50.9%); 40. Virginia (49.7%); 41. Nevada (49.6%); 42. Oregon (48.8%); 43. Massachusetts (48.7%); 44. New Jersey (48.6%); 45. Vermont (47.7%); 46. California (46.6%); 47. Connecticut (46.5%); 48. Utah (46.4%); 49. Alaska (45.6%); 50. Colorado (44.8%); 51. District of Columbia (32.6%).

Note: 1 = Highest rate of adult obesity, 51 = lowest rate of adult obesity. 

In addition, the report includes a series of policy recommendations that you can help implement, such as protecting the Prevention and Public Health Fund by contacting your state and federal legislators, and encourage your patients to take advantage of preventive health care services.

As nurses dedicated to the prevention of cardiovascular disease…together we can do more to preserve the health of our nation.

Advocacy Corner | PCNA eNews, August 2012

On behalf of PCNA, the Advocacy Committee continues to review and decide about supporting legislation or proposed bills that are related to health care in all age groups and appropriate for our members to respond. In addition, PCNA provides responses to requests for public comments from federal agencies on cardiovascular risk factors and disease prevention. 

We have seen an increase in your advocacy efforts through the many letters and emails sent to your congressional representatives! It is important that we continue to add our voice at the forefront of legislation related to CVD prevention and increased funding for Title VIII, nursing workforce development programs.

The following is a sample of PCNA endorsement activities from 2012:

Professional Nurse Coach Role: Defining Scope of Practice and Competencies

Sponsor:  American Nurse Association

Retain Section 908 of the Senate’s version of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187) in the final version of the FDA user fee legislation

Sponsor:  American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

National Nurse Week recognition for Capitol Hill nurses

Sponsor:  Nursing Community

United States Public Health Sciences Track, section 5315 of the ACA

Sponsor:  Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service

Funding for Nurse-Managed Health Clinics (Title III of the Public Health Service Act)

Sponsor:  Nursing Community

House FY 2013 Testimony - HRSA’s Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs and the Nurse Managed Health Clinics

Sponsor:  American for Nursing Shortage Relief (ANSR) Alliance

Sponsor:  Nursing Community

Thank you letters to President Obama, House and Senate for recommending an increase to Title VIII funding for FY2013

Sponsor:  Nursing Community

Heart for Women Act (S. 438/H.R. 3526)

Sponsor:  American Heart Association and WomenHeart

Together, we can do more.

Joining Forces | PCNA eNews, July 2012

PCNA is partnering with Joining Forces National Initiative to mobilize all sectors of the community to give our service members, veterans, and their families the support they deserve, particularly when it comes to employment, education, and wellness.  Joining Forces calls attention to the critical issues facing veterans and military families and expands access to wellness programs, and resources for military spouses and families.  Joining Forces provides ways for all Americans to step up and show their gratitude to our service members and their families.

With the end of the war in Iraq and the drawdown in Afghanistan, over one million service members are projected to leave the military in the next five years. While the VA cares for over 8 million veterans, almost half of veterans and many of their family members will seek care in community settings outside the military and VA systems. Because nursing is the largest health care workforce and is present in every community, we care for our military service members, veterans, and their families in every professional setting and know the wounded warriors as our own personal family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Nurses are experts at wellness. Unfortunately, the signature wounds of current conflicts are the invisible wounds, such as depression, PTSD and traumatic brain injury and every nurse should be equipped to understand and recognize the signs of PTSD, TBI, depression and suicide risk and to know where to send our service members and veterans for help. We also know that invisible wounds complicate perceptions of pain and the healing of physical wounds.

As we celebrate our nation’s independence, let’s us remember to show our appreciation to our service members by educating ourselves about the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members, veterans, and their families.

Learn more about joining forces