News Ms. Wilson Goes to Washington -- to Advocate for Heart Health

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AUSTIN, Texas - (March 1, 2012) - When 150 community leaders from across the U.S. gathered at the White House to talk with the Obama Administration about heart disease, Marcie Wilson, RN, BSN, WOCN was front and center.

Marcie is better known within Seton as CVD (cardiovascular disease)/stroke community outreach coordinator at UMC Brackenridge. But she is also chair of the American Heart Association (AHA) Southwest Affiliate for Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming and was selected by AHA to participate in the White House Community Leaders Briefing on Cardiovascular Health.

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Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans - killing more than the leading four causes of cancer combined, according to the AHA. The all-day event on Feb. 24 kicked off with a presentation on "Million Hearts," a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years. Other topics of discussion included access to quality cardiovascular care, research, tobacco policies and health disparities among women and minorities.

Community leaders met with the director of President Obama's Domestic Policy Council and the president's special assistant to the National Economic Council, as well as leaders from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They heard about legislation, regulations and initiatives the administration is supporting and implementing to improve cardiovascular health in the U.S.

"This experience lets me appreciate even more all the work that is yet to be done," said Marcie. She is grateful to the AHA for its "commitment and work … to advance research in heart and stroke, promote health advocacy and to reach out to all Americans … and to those who are at the highest risk of these devastating diseases.

"I am also very proud to work for Seton, an institution with the same principles and same mission and to have the great opportunity I have as CVD/stroke community outreach educator," she said.

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Marcie (fourth from right, in red, in photo above) also was among several attendees who joined Jon Carson, White House director of public engagement, for a "Tweet up" roundtable chat to recount the issues discussed at the briefing and to answer questions.

Community leader briefings are held weekly at the White House to bring together leaders and activists from across the country to address important public concerns. The goal is to provide opportunities to discuss common challenges and learn how the government can help improve communities.

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Marcie also played a role in promoting a free women's health conference in San Antonio on the Saturday following the White House event. That's her on the far left of this billboard ad in San Antonio.

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