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Crownover honored as health advocate

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Staff report

The American Heart Association presented state Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, with the "Heart of Honor" award Friday for her leadership and commitment to public health issues, according to a news release from Crownover's office.

The Heart of Honor recognizes distinguished advocacy by elected officials and is awarded by American Heart Association volunteers.

"The American Heart Association is a wonderful organization that has truly helped improve the health of all Americans," Crownover stated in the release. "I am humbled to receive this award from the AHA, and I am honored to work with such a fine group of dedicated people."

During her tenure as a state representative, Crownover has worked on a number of public health issues, and she has focused on issues that will save lives and reduce health care costs, according to the release. Myra Crownover

In 2003, Crownover passed legislation expanding the number of genetic disorders all Texas newborns are screened for at birth. Since that time, more than 500 Texas newborns have been successfully diagnosed and treated for disorders that, undetected, could have caused significant health problems or even death, the release stated.

In 2007, Crownover filed legislation to protect Texas workers from secondhand smoke in the workplace. Crownover passed the legislation in the Texas House then, and again in 2011, but the bill has failed to gain traction in the state Senate.

In 2009, Crownover secured funding to add cystic fibrosis to the newborn screening panel. Since screening for the disease started in December 2009, 93 children have been diagnosed.

"I am proud of my work on health issues," Crownover stated. "In Austin, it is easy to lose focus on the big picture, but I believe I have a responsibility to address the issues that will truly improve the lives of all Texans, long after I am gone."

Crownover has represented District 64 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2000. House District 64 includes Denton, Lake Dallas, Corinth, Shady Shores and Hickory Creek, and in 2013, District 64 will also include the northwest part of Denton County and Krum.