Heart Disease and Stroke (HDS) Task Force 

The goal of the HDS Task Force is to reduce deaths from heart disease and stroke and improve overall cardiovascular health among Arkansans.  The purpose is to implement heart disease and stroke prevention interventions to reduce morbidity, mortality and related health disparities.  Since its inception in 2002, members have developed two state plans, one in 2004, “Small Steps, Great Strides toward a Healthier Arkansas” and another in 2011, “Cardiovascular Health: More than Just Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke. Task Force members worked to implement the five year goals of the 2004 state plan and are working toward implementing the goals of the five year 2011 state plan which includes a focus on the ABCS (Aspirin therapy, to prevent and control blood pressure and sodium reduction, to prevent and control cholesterol and smoking cessation and referral).  The HDS Task Force supports the CDC’s Million Hearts Campaign.

Task Force member organizations legislative accomplishments include:

  • Act 663 of 2005 established an AR Acute Stroke Care Task Force
  • Act 724 of 2005 provides incentives for the Improvement of State Employee Health
  • Act 8 of 2006 (Clean Indoor Air Act) prohibits smoking in worksites and in public places
  • Act 13 of 2006 bans smoking in all motor vehicles carrying a child less than six years of age and in 2011, Act 811 raised the age to 14
  • Act 1598 of 2007 established the State Board of Education to require schools  to have automated external defibrillator
  • Act 180 of 2009 increased the tax on cigarettes and certain tobacco products
  • Act 855 of 2011 requires health benefit plans to provide coverage for the treatment of morbid obesity

See: Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Information