Legislature(2011 - 2012)

01/31/2012 03:00 PM HSS


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03:05:53 PM Start
03:07:03 PM HCR20
03:34:17 PM Presentation: Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska
04:40:11 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HCR 20-AMERICAN HEART MONTH                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
3:07:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO.  20, Designating February 2012 as                                                               
American Heart Month.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:07:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PEGGY  WILSON,  Alaska State  Legislature,  prime                                                               
sponsor of HCR 20, paraphrased from her sponsor statement:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     HCR 20  raises awareness of the  nation's leading cause                                                                    
     of death,  cardiovascular disease, by having  the State                                                                    
     of  Alaska  join  the  American  Heart  Association  in                                                                    
     celebrating  February  2012  as American  Heart  Month.                                                                    
     This  unfortunate  disease  causes an  average  of  one                                                                    
     American death every 39 seconds  or nearly 2,200 deaths                                                                    
     each day.   It is the costliest disease  in the nation,                                                                    
     with  direct   and  indirect  costs  estimated   to  be                                                                    
     $297,700,000  a year.   Research  shows that  there are                                                                    
     clear preventative and  community based strategies that                                                                    
     can  increase survival  rates from  this disease.   The                                                                    
     American Heart Association's 2020  impact goal seeks to                                                                    
     improve cardiovascular  health of  all Americans  by 20                                                                    
     percent  while  reducing   deaths  from  cardiovascular                                                                    
     disease  and stroke  by  20  percent through  research,                                                                    
     population-level  and   community-level  interventions,                                                                    
     and public health and policy  measures.  The passage of                                                                    
     this  resolution would  join  Alaska  and the  American                                                                    
     Heart Association in raising  awareness of this disease                                                                    
     by celebrating February 2012  as "American Heart Month"                                                                    
     and  promoting education  and awareness  by encouraging                                                                    
     citizens  to learn  the warning  signs of  heart attack                                                                    
     and stroke.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:09:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER  asked if  HCR 20 was  intended to  only be                                                               
designated for this year.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:09:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON, in response, said  that, currently, it                                                               
was just for this year, but that  she would like to see it become                                                               
permanent.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER  expressed his agreement, and  asked if HCR                                                               
20  included  any  planned  programs   for  exercise,  diet,  and                                                               
smoking.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON replied that a  representative from the                                                               
American Heart Association would answer that question.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:10:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HERRON   offered    his   belief   that   annual                                                               
introduction of the resolution "keeps it on the forefront."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:11:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:12:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMIE  MORGAN,  Senior  Government Relations  Director,  American                                                               
Heart Association (AHA), Western  States Affiliate, expressed her                                                               
appreciation  to the  House Health  and Social  Services Standing                                                               
Committee for its  support of HCR 20.  In  response to an earlier                                                               
question by  Representative Miller,  she said  that AHA  had many                                                               
educational  programs   in  the  community,  as   well  as  other                                                               
available resources  and materials  posted on  its website.   She                                                               
urged support for HCR 20.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:13:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB  URATA,  MD,  Family Physician,  American  Heart  Association                                                               
Volunteer, stated  that he supported  HCR 20.  He  confirmed that                                                               
heart  disease  and  stroke  were  a major  cause  of  death  and                                                               
disability.    He  pointed  out  that many  of  the  deaths  from                                                               
cardiovascular disease  could be  prevented by avoiding  key risk                                                               
factors and treating  those which were abnormal.   He stated that                                                               
"maintaining  a  healthy  weight,  blood  pressure,  cholesterol,                                                               
sugar, and  not smoking are key  risk factors that can  lead to a                                                               
longer life."   He  referenced the  National Institute  of Health                                                               
(NIH), stating that  1.6 million lives had been  saved since 1977                                                               
with an estimated 44 percent due  to a reduction of risk factors.                                                               
He reported  that overweight and  obesity was the new  threat, as                                                               
27  percent of  high school  students were  overweight or  obese.                                                               
"This will lead to an  increase in high blood pressure, diabetes,                                                               
and  heart  disease."    He  noted that  although  there  was  an                                                               
increased  awareness  for the  signs  of  heart attack,  only  27                                                               
percent  knew  to  call  911.   He  emphasized  that  "increasing                                                               
awareness of risk  factors and emergency care is a  first step in                                                               
reducing the  risk of  death and  disability from  this disease."                                                               
He offered his support for passage of HCR 20.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:15:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HERRON  reflected   that  the   statistics  were                                                               
sobering.    He  pointed  out  that  food  manufacturers  created                                                               
complex  formulas   to  make  food   taste  better,   though  not                                                               
necessarily healthier, and asked if  AHA was attempting to combat                                                               
this.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:16:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  URATA replied  that AHA  scientists  maintained a  nutrition                                                               
vigil.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:17:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MORGAN, acknowledging the issue,  stated that AHA had not yet                                                               
taken a  position.  She offered  to update the committee  as more                                                               
information became available.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:17:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  opined that  although everyone  liked food                                                               
that  tasted  good, he  questioned  whether  it was  healthy  for                                                               
companies to create  compounds to enhance flavor  solely in order                                                               
to get people to eat more of that food.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:18:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. URATA,  reflecting on the  elimination of salt from  his diet                                                               
in  order to  combat rising  blood pressure,  suggested that  his                                                               
taste  buds had  adjusted to  this change  and that,  after time,                                                               
salty foods began to taste bitter.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:19:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM FOSTER,  Paramedic, stated that  having a month  dedicated to                                                               
cardiovascular   disease  allowed   the   opportunity  to   bring                                                               
awareness to  the epidemic  problem.   He reported  that although                                                               
this was the number  one cause of death in America,  it was not a                                                               
"media event" so it was not recognized.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:20:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:21:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  moved to  report HCR  20 out  of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HCR 20 was reported  from the                                                               
House Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                            

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