ERHS Community Service Fair

On  February 24 2015, we had a wonderful time participating in the 14th Annual Community Service Fair at Emerald Ridge High School! This event was designed to assist students in gaining firsthand information about local community service opportunities. We are pleased to say that many of the  students were already informed about the fact that Heart Disease is the #1 killer of Americans.  We would like to thank teachers and the families of these students for educating our nation’s youth about the dangers of poor health.

We are hopeful that these enthusiastic and promising young students will take the knowledge that they have learned about the risks of cardiovascular disease and use that information to contribute to a healthier society.  It will make a significant change in our country for the better when younger generations realize the importance of healthy lifestyle choices now and share their awareness with friends and family as they continue to grow into health-conscious adults.

We appreciate everyone who attended this event and heavily encourage additional High Schools to establish community service curriculum and opportunities for their students.



Hypertension Guideline Writing Process Underway

Hypertension Guideline Writing Process Underway

(Feb. 17, 2014) — A multi-disciplinary writing panel led by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association has begun work on a new guideline for the management of hypertension to update 12-year-old recommendations.  Nine additional medical societies have signed on as partners in the effort.

The writing process will include the use of a separate evidence review committee that will develop a systematic review on specific critical questions, which will inform recommendations in the 2016 Guideline on the Management of Hypertension.

The document will update the 2003 guideline, officially the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, known as JNC 7, which was empaneled by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. In 2013, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology assumed responsibility for leading the writing of updates for a suite of cardiovascular prevention guidelines formerly developed by NHLBI writing groups.

Partners in developing the new hypertension guideline are the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Geriatrics Society, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Hypertension, the American Society of Preventive Cardiology, the Association of Black Cardiologists, the National Medical Association, and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.

The American College of Cardiology is a 47,000-member medical society that serves as the professional home for the cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, clinical standards and practice guidelines. The College operates national registries and also provides professional medical education and disseminates cardiovascular research . For more information, visit

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.

Happy Valentines Day!

Your sweetheart may have the key to your heart, but eating healthy and being physically active can be the key to a healthier heart. This Valentine’s Day, indulge your sweetheart with a heart-healthy gift or date.

Heart-Health Valentine’s Day Tips

  1. Rather than tempting your beloved with sweets, consider a gift that has more permanence. Search for a poem that describes your feelings and write it on beautiful paper for a handmade Valentine. Or visit for gift ideas that benefit the American Heart Association.
  2. Quality time is one of the most meaningful gifts. Bundle up and plan an active outing such as sledding, ice skating, gathering wood for a fire, or if you’re feeling adventurous, visit an indoor rock wall.
  3. If your kids are having a Valentine’s Day party at their school or day care, instead of sending candies, consider raisins, grapes, whole-grain pretzels, colored pencils or stickers as tokens of their friendly affection.
  4. Cooking at home is an excellent way to control what and how much you eat. Take a date to a local cooking class to practice your skills or learn a new technique.
  5. Prepare a romantic candlelit dinner at home using one of our heart-healthy recipes.
  6. Give to one another by giving back. Ask a date to volunteer with you at a local organization. Giving back is a healthy habit that can boost your mood and help beat stress.
  7. Use this day as an opportunity to tell your loved one how important they are to you, and share ways that you can support each other’s health and wellness. Get started by taking the My Life Check Assessment.
  8. Craving something sweet? Gift a beautiful fresh fruit basket to your loved one instead of giving sweets with added sugars.
  9. Sharing is caring – if you go out for a romantic dinner date, order one entrée to share. Many restaurant servings are enough for two – splitting will keep you from overdoing it.
  10. Don’t forget to love Fido, too! Give your pet a Valentine and remember to walk or exercise them daily –getting active with your pet will benefit your health and your bond with your pets.
  11. Take it slow – if you receive a luxurious box of chocolates from your sweetie, stick it in the freezer and enjoy in moderation over the next several weeks.
  12. Take a long, romantic walk with your beloved – and try to make it a regular habit. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week to help keep your heart healthy. You can reach this goal by walking briskly for at least 30 minutes five days each week.
  13. Check out our tips for healthier preparation methods for cooking.
  14. Rekindle an old flame – try preparing one of your sweetie’s favorite recipes in a healthier way. Thesehealthy substitutions can help you cut down on saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium), and added sugars, while noticing little, if any, difference in taste.

American Heart Month: February 2015


February is a special time of year because among other major national observances, it is also recognized as American Heart Month. We would like to encourage our communities to invest some extra time during this month to remind yourselves and those around you about the risks of heart disease. Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

Fortunately, heart disease is often preventable when people manage their health conditions and make choices that can lead to a healthier life. Please take this time to read about our Life’s Simple 7 steps to healthier living:

1. Get Active

2. Control Cholesteral

3. Eat Better

4. Manage Blood Pressure

5. Lose Weight

6. Reduce Blood Sugar

7. Stop Smoking

We also encourage you to become familiar with how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T: Face Drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficuly, Time to call 9.1.1.

Our interactive library is another excellent resource to learn about heart risks, so please check it out:

In observance of American Heart Month, we ask that you help us spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart healthy lives. Take action: Be the cure! External Links Disclaimer Logo Join the American Heart Association’s national movement in support of healthier communities and healthier lives.

Optic nerve may help predict stroke patient death risk.

American Stroke Association Meeting Report Abstract W MP83

Study Highlights: 

  • The diameter of the sheath that encases the optic nerve may help indicate which stroke patients are at highest risk of dying within six months.
  • For every added millimeter of optic nerve sheath diameter, risk of death was four to six times higher.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 11, 2015 – Using optic ultrasound to measure the sheath of a nerve that connects the eye and brain can help identify acute stroke patients most at risk of dying within days or months, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2015.

The new study aimed to quickly and noninvasively identify stroke patients who are at risk from increased pressure inside the skull – which is thought to reflect stroke severity and is the major cause of death. Measuring the thickness of the optic nerve sheath may be a simple test for increased intracranial pressure, said Vishnumurthy S. Hedna, M.D., lead researcher and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, Fla.

“Ultrasound on the optic nerve can be used to test your brain for swelling, which sometimes occurs after a major stroke,” Hedna said. “This can be done by looking at the nerve diameter behind your eye with ultrasound images, since it is thought that when your brain swells, pressure gets transmitted towards your eyes,” Hedna said. “This would help doctors treat your stroke with medications that would reduce brain pressures.”

The study involved 86 patients at the University of Florida’s Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., who were suspected of having a buildup of pressure in the skull after their stroke. Researchers used ocular ultrasound (ultrasound assessment of the eyes) to measure the sheath that encases the optic nerve.

For patients who later died of a stroke due to a blood vessel blockage, average diameter of the nerve sheath was 5.82 millimeters, versus 5.33 millimeters in those who survived. In patients with a bleeding stroke, average diameter was 6.23 millimeters for those who died, versus 5.72 for survivors.

For every millimeter bigger the nerve sheath diameter was, the risk of death within six months was four times as high in patients whose stroke was due to a blood vessel blockage, and six times as high in patients who had a bleeding stroke. Most of the deaths occurred within a month of patients’ hospitalization. The study also suggested that the larger the nerve sheath measurement, the more disabled a patient was likely to be six months later.

Optic ultrasound is a safe, routine bedside test that is performed using gel and a device placed on closed eyelids, Hedna said. “Optic ultrasound is easy to do, and has been described in many studies as easily teachable. Other methods are invasive, involve radiation, and are not cost-effective.”

Currently, intracranial pressure is monitored directly from within the skull or with a spinal tap. In the future, the findings could help doctors assign risk levels to patients during their initial exam without performing invasive testing, and when needed, act earlier to monitor intracranial pressure, give medicine to diminish it, place a drain in the head to reduce fluid buildup, or otherwise change management of the patient, Hedna said.

The researchers measured two dimensions of the nerve sheath in each eye on both the first and second day a patient was hospitalized after a stroke, totaling eight measurements for most patients. The study based its estimates of death risk mainly on measurements taken on day two, but for patients who soon died or were quickly discharged from intensive care, only one day’s measurements were available. The researchers are still studying whether differences in optic nerve sheath diameter from day one to day two were related to patients’ risk of death or disability.

The team plans to study whether treating patients for fluid buildup on the brain based on an abnormal neurological exam plus a bigger nerve sheath affects how they fare, compared with patients who have usual care. The most severely impaired patients “are probably the ones who would get medications to decrease brain edema later in the course of their illness anyway,” Hedna said. “We feel the optic nerve sheath diameter would just help the clinician make the decision sooner.”

The ultrasound test is likely to be useful in stroke care only when given soon after stroke injury, he said. “Brain swelling after stroke usually peaks between three to four days, hence its use in the acute stroke setting.”

Co-authors are Vaibhav Rastogi, M.D.; Emily Weeks, M.P.H.; and Rohit Pravin Patel, M.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract. No outside funding reported.

Additional Resources:


Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at

Presentation time is: 6:05 p.m. CT/7:05 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, Hall D, Poster Board: MP83.

Check out: Brew for the Heart- Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Brew For The Heart

Wednesday – FEBRUARY 18, 2015
Business Network Tour Social for the HEART!

Please join us at our Women’s Resource BNT – Beer for Heart event.

(Yes, beer IS good for the heart!—in moderation, of course).

This month we are asking ALL GUESTS to pay $20 for your BNT event ticket. Your ticket will include one beer or soda, plus appetizers.  Additional drinks on own.

100% OF ALL PROCEEDS will be donated to the American Heart Association – Go RED for Women.

Location:  Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. Tacoma

Address:  610 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA  98402

An evening of  socializing, networking, mingling, and having a beer for your heart!

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Click HERE to buy your ticket!

PARKING:  Street parking up on Commerce Street, also a parking lot across from the Pacific Brewery in a parking lot located under the bridge across the street from brewery.  Street Parking, and same pay lots around the area.


Lobby Day Recap: February 3rd, 2015

Yesterday was a day of immense excitement and great progress as wonderful health advocates and members of the American Heart Association met with legislators to discuss three important concerns:

  • Newborn Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Screening: Briefing by Representative Marcus Riccelli, Sponsor HB 1285
  • Safe Routes to School: Briefing by Vic Colman, Executive Director, Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition
  • Tobacco Prevention Funding: Briefing by Paul Davis, Manager, Tobacco Prevention and Control, WA Department of Health

CHD Screening:

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the U.S and the leading killer of infants with birth defects. Pulse oximetry is a quick, painless, non-intrusive, and inexpensive screening procedure which allows hospitals to detect more than 90% of heart defects in newborns before the infant is even discharged. Many hospitals already have mandatory policies to perform these screenings in over 30 states, but it is not yet a requirement in Washington State and that is what we are fighting for.  Heart defects affect 1 in every 100 babies and so we believe that all hospitals really should be required to perform Pulse Ox.

Safe Routes To School:

In 1969, 50% of children walked or biked to school, compared to just 13% of today. Nearly 25% of all morning traffic is comprised of parents driving their kids to school. This is an important problem because the childhood obesity rate is increasing drastically due to lack of physical activity. 1 in 4 young people are overweight which leads not only to a child’s physical health, but also their emotional wellbeing. Physically active students statistically tend to have higher academic performance and healthier self-esteem, both of which are critical to the future of our society and generations to come.  For these reasons we are seeking sustainable funding that will enable the re-engineering of our communities with a focus on providing infrastructure that better supports safe pedestrian travel.

Tobacco Prevention Funding:

More than 1 in 6 adults in Washington State still use tobacco and it remains the number one cause of preventable death. Tobacco can cause cancer, heart disease, and stroke; but that fact alone is not enough to deter some people from becoming addicted. Some communities have higher tobacco retailer density, and are disproportionately targeted by tobacco industry marketing. To make matters worse, 9 out of 10 adult smokers started at a younger age and were addicted by the age of 18. A major factor that influences the reason why people smoke is the fact that the tobacco industry spends a million dollars every hour on marketing. Considering that heart disease accounts for 1/4 of the deaths in Washington State, we believe that it’s vital that more measures are taken to significantly reduce or eliminate the use of the tobacco. Our advocates fought for more funding for a comprehensive state tobacco prevention and cessation program for our state.

Even if you missed the Lobby Day event, we would still appreciate your support by getting involved with our “Take Action” resource at the following url:


American Heart Association, Eastside High School, and fellow health advocates