By Ben Schmauss, Government Relations Director in Nevada
It has been an incredible 2 years working as the Gov. Relations Director in Nevada for the American Heart Association. I have worked with great people on issues that impact heart disease and stroke for adults and children. Some of those issues include the Statewide Wellness Policy (Passed Summer 2014), Statewide Stroke Registry (Passed Spring 2015) and the $1 increase to the Nevada Tobacco Tax. (Spring 2015)
Each of the public health victories listed above represents countless hours of thoughtful work from survivors, volunteers, staff, coalition members, elected officials and many more. So why do we work so hard? Why do we have such challenging goals? Life is Why!
Yes. Life is WHY!! Last week I was presenting CPR Kits to a school district in Rural Nevada and the Superintendent of the district said to me “you know those AED’s you all worked to get into our schools and buildings, last month one of my Vice Principals used one to save a life.”
The individual’s life that was saved represents more than just a person that was saved. They are a living proof that the work we engage in has a Why. Every time they give a hug , help a friend or say I’m sorry is one time more than they would have been able had it not been for the work we have the privilege to be part of.
As I celebrate my 2 year Anniversary as the Nevada Government Relations Director and 7th year working with American Heart Association I am grateful for the living proof that the work we do makes a difference.
The accompanying picture is with Superintendent Dale Norton, Assemblyman James Oscarson and myself minutes after Superintendent Norton told me the story of the AED Save. The CPR kits in front of us represent the resources needed to train over 6,000 kids in hands only CPR in NYE County Nevada.