Interview with Jan Collins on The Pulse

Our 2015-16 Mississippi Advocacy Committee is composed of 12 individuals from
across the state with different occupations, who have a great interest in advocating for policy change for heart-health issues. Throughout the year,
we will introduce some of our members. Today, we’d like you to meet Jan Collins of Madison.

Occupation: Executive Director of the Madison County Business League & Foundation

How long have you been a volunteer with the American Heart Association? Three years

Who or what inspires you to help and volunteer your time to the work of the American Heart Association? I attended a Go Red For Women luncheon and
was touched by the personal stories of survival and the success of the American Heart Association’s efforts.

What heart-healthy issue is most important to you and why? Raising awareness among women of the warning signs of heart attacks and stroke, and how
they differ from men’s warning signs. My mother, father and mother-in-law all died of heart disease and my husband was diagnosed with two blocked arteries
before his death in a car crash.

What are two ways you stay healthy? I try to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle by working out and regularly exercising. I also have routine
check-ups with all of my physicians and specialists.

In which way is your community healthy that makes you proud? My organization has worked closely with the American Heart Association and partnered
with the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Madison, Yazoo and Holmes Counties to pass smoke free ordinances in all four municipalities in Madison

How do you stay updated on current public policies in your state? The mission of my organization is to unite the leading business owners, CEOs,
presidents (decision makers) with elected/appointed officials on all levels from local to the Miss. delegation in D.C., to discuss topics that affect
economic development such as healthcare, education, infrastructure and quality of life issues.

If you could help advocate for one change in your state, what would it be and why? It’s cultural in Mississippi. Our diet of food that we have grown
up on. Our mothers and grandmothers cooked it! But we love it. We must educate the public to break the cycle!

Do you have a favorite American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association event you annually attend? What is your motivation to participate?
The Go Red For Women luncheon and all the Circle of Red events! I like to be informed so I can utilize my position to educate my family, friends and

What have you learned in your time being a You’re the Cure advocate? That the American Heart Association plays a more prominent role in advocating
for healthy heart issues than the business community and public could ever imagine!

Why would you tell a friend or family member to join You’re the Cure? We have all been touched by heart disease of a family member, friend or co-worker.
Be informed so you can be committed to eating and living a healthy lifestyle, if not for yourself, for your children and family.

Tell us one unique thing about yourself. I am a cancer survivor! I have cancer and heart disease in my immediate family.

This article was originally published on March 8, 2016