Discussion Forum
A place for registered ACHA members to discuss issues with other members of the ACHA community and provide and receive support.
Leadership Update: The Season of Hearts

This is the leadership update from February's e-newsletter.

Hearts, hearts everywhere, but not one of them looks like what beats in the average chest—let alone what’s hard at work inside congenital heart survivors. This season of hearts presents a tremendous opportunity to get the word out about the real hearts and lives affected by this country’s #1 birth defect: CHD. In honor of CHD Awareness Week, throughout February ACHA invites all congenital heart patients, their families, and healthcare providers to participate in our “I’m #1” campaign. It’s easy – just go to our Facebook Page, click on Photos, then Albums, and download the pictures that are right for you. You can then upload these images onto your own page, and invite your community to “like” them and help spread the word. Each image states that CHD is the #1 birth defect and that CHD patients need special care throughout their lives. In addition to “I’m #1,” you can choose, “My son is #1,” “My patients are #1,” even “My girlfriend is #1.” In all, nearly 40 different varieties are available. If you have questions, or need assistance downloading images, please email tschaefer@achaheart.org.  

In addition to your friends and family, we hope you will sign up now to join us in Washington, D.C. on March 18-19 to help educate Congress about the unmet needs of CHD patients. Advocacy Day 2013 will again bring together adult CHD patients, families of CHD patients of all ages, and CHD care providers to let our lawmakers know that we need them to take action now to improve the health and well-being of our community. Can’t come to D.C.? Email advocacy@achaheart.org to join our advocacy mailing list—all members on it will be receiving advocacy alerts and be invited to contact your lawmakers by email and/or by scheduling a visit in your own area. For more information about Advocacy Day, see below.

There is one final way we hope you will support the CHD community this February: By making a donation. The Meil Family Foundation has generously offered a 50% match to every donation made in the month of February. This means that, for instance, your $50 donation will result in $75 going to ACHA to support our programs and activities. I hope each of you read Barry and Wendy Meil’s compelling story about their son Jason’s challenges finding answers to his health problems, and how ACHA helped him find the answers and get the care he needed. Jason’s story is just one example of the hundreds of CHD survivors ACHA helps every day. We are grateful to the Meil Family Foundation for their commitment to helping ACHA continue to help every CHD survivor thrive.

Hope each of you enjoys a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!

Amy Verstappen
ACHA President/CEO

Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013