The American Heart Association’s Equity-Focused 2022 Public Policy Agenda Builds on Health Impact in 2021

Every day, Americans’ lives are touched by heart disease and stroke. Whether it is our own health that is impacted or the lives of family members, friends, or co-workers, there is a lot at stake when it comes to fighting our nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers – cardiovascular disease and stroke. As a champion for health equity in the Greater Washington Region the American Heart Association (AHA) will advance cardiovascular health for all by supporting legislation that removes barriers to health care access and quality, improves access to nutritious food and water and strengthens funding for community and family programs.

The AHA Greater Washington Region recently released its 2022 public policy agenda.

“The proposed priorities build on the community-based health impact of recent

Dr. Asch
Dr. Federico Asch, president of the Board of Directors, American Heart Association Greater Washington Region

years and seek to promote health equity across Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland,” said Dr. Federico Asch, president of the American Heart Association Greater Washington Region Board of Directors and cardiologist at MedStar Health. “In 2022, the AHA, its You’re the Cure advocates and coalition partners will tackle a variety of urgent community needs including food security, tobacco control, health equity, and emergency response.”

Highlights of the policy agenda include:

  • Implementing and funding DC’s flavored tobacco sales restriction law passed in 2021.
  • Ensuring all 911 call takers are trained to teach CPR over the phone
  • Expanding access to water and reducing sugary drink consumption in schools
  • Creating heathier kids’ meals menus at restaurants
  • Increasing access to healthy and affordable fruits and vegetables
  • Identifying funding for health equity programs
  • Expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months

This equity-focused 2022 agenda builds on important health impact in 2021, which included legislation that:

  • Restricts the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and menthol in Washington, DC. (only the 2nd state to do so).
  • Requires restaurant kids’ meals in Prince George’s County to meet healthier nutrition standards for both the food and beverage (the nation’s only such policy).
  • Doubles DC’s investment in Produce Rx, allowing more  under-resourced residents to access affordable and nutritious food.

By convening advocates and community partners, the AHA makes a difference by putting forward policies that help build healthier communities and healthier lives. For more information and to get involved, sign-up at:

Click here to view the entire 2022 DC Policy Agenda.