Hundreds of “hearty” volunteer supporters braved Sunday’s steady rain to support the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk event at Lake Welch Beach at Harriman State Park. Many local companies’ teams walked to support the AHA’s mission of saving lives from heart disease and stroke—leading killers locally and nationwide.
The Heart Walk included fun activities for children, entertainment by the Nyack High School “Red Storm” marching band, health information and vendors. Blood pressure screenings gave walkers these critical numbers and raised awareness on this first day of May/American Stroke Month. Learn how to be a Stroke Hero for American Stroke Month at www.StrokeAssociation.org/strokemonth.
Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness programs that help save lives from cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke – the number one and five killers in the U.S. The American Heart Association’s funding for cardiovascular disease, as well as pediatric cardiac research, is second only to the federal government.
Two local residents were honored for sharing their stories of survival from heart disease to raise awareness and inspire the community to support the AHA’s mission. Their stories inspired others to support the American Heart Association’s research. AHA-funded researchers developed cardiac cath and drug-eluding stents.
In November 2004, Wallkill resident, Leone Semerano, RN, thought was experiencing food poisoning but as symptoms got worse, she knew it was her heart. She had cardiac catheterization and two stents inserted into her blocked heart arteries, and returned back to work one month later. She was only 51 years old.
On September 30, 2015 Luciano “Luch” Licursi arrived to work at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital and started to feel sick with sweating, tightening of the chest, and overall discomfort. He knew this feeling all too well, having had a heart attack in 2004 at the age of 39, that resulted in 50% loss of heart functionality. He had lifesaving emergency angioplasty and spent four days in the intensive care unit and is now back to work full-time.
Ray Sharo, a 2015 Honoree, ran the route this year. He’s now running half-marathons since recovering from his 2012 open heart surgery. He had no symptoms prior to open heart surgery–just a routine EKG led to finding four artery blockages. Sharo, exercises most every day, including leading kayak tours on the Hudson River.
While research and advancements in treatments can save many lives, many more lives can be saved with simple lifestyle changes like eating healthier and walking 30 minutes every day.
To make a donation online visit www.tricountheartwalk.org or call Jo Ann Parker, Heart Walk Director at 845-542-4580.
The Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway, and locally by My Heart. My Life. Sponsor, Bon Secours Charity Health System; National Eating Healthy Day Sponsor, Orange Regional Medical Center; Nice-Pak, PDI, the National Walking Day sponsor; as well as other local sponsors, Crothall Healthcare, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, and our new “Active Kids Challenge” Sponsor, Active International, kids’ obstacle course sponsor. Townsquare Media is the radio media sponsor.
NORWALK, CONNECTICUT – This year’s American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon is focusing on building healthier families. The women’s heart health awareness and education event is set for May 4th at the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa. Tickets are available online at http://westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org.
This year’s keynote speaker is Connecticut-based David Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, who is recognized internationally as an authority on evidence-based, integrative medicine. Dr. Katz is a clinician, researcher, author, novelist, inventor, poet, journalist, and media personality. He is recognized globally for expertise in nutrition, weight management and the prevention of chronic disease. He has appeared on national television and radio programs and has been acclaimed by colleagues as the “poet laureate of health promotion.” His focus in the areas of lifestyle interventions for health promotion; nutrient profiling; behavior modification; holistic care; and evidence-based medicine has made him one of the most influential people in health and fitness in the U.S., with a social media reach of over half a million followers.
“The facts are clear: heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action,” said Katz.
“It’s important that women learn about preventing heart disease, the number one killer of women. They need to take care of themselves first and then they will be healthy enough to take care of their families. It’s just like what they say on the airplane—put your oxygen mask on first, then help others. It’s the same thing,” he said.
“We want women to take advantage of the Well-Woman Visit, an annual check-up that can provide personal health information and help assess risk factors for heart disease and stroke before they happen,” said Katz, “Don’t wait. Work out a prevention plan with your doctor. That appointment will be easier than the one with the emergency room doctor.”
The Go Red For Women Luncheon event is set for May 4th at the Stamford Marriott. For luncheon ticket or sponsor information, please contact Deena Kaye, Go Red For Women Director at Deena.email@example.com or by phone at 203-295-2941 or visit http://westfairgoredluncheon.heart.org.
Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and locally by Stamford Hospital, Signature Sponsor; and White Plains Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Fuji, and Morgan Stanley; and media sponsors WHUD, Westchester Magazine, WestFair Communications, Buzz Creators, and Westchester Healthcare Newspaper.
Buzz Creators, a new media sponsor for Go Red, will be hosting a social media booth at the Luncheon where guests can be photographed and share their images with the hashtag #WFGoRed to help share the lifesaving messages of Go Red For Women with their friends on social media.
Macy’s, the founding national sponsor of Go Red For Women, is the presenting sponsor of the Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection. Macy’s has raised more than $55 million through the generosity and commitment of Macy’s associates and customers, which has helped fund women’s heart health research and education.
The American Heart Association and SHAPE America released 2016 Shape of the Nation on the state of physical education in each state. While each state has a different set of standards for keeping kids active at school, here in New York we know our kids are not exercising as much as they need to stay healthy—and that can affect their hearts and minds.
Despite research that shows physical activity improves brain function and student achievement, school systems across the nation have reduced time in the gym learning critical skills and participating in physical education.
“Teaching children the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of exercise through physical education is vital to a heart-healthy life,” says Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO. “The research is as clear as a school bell that quality time being active also improves kids’ performance in other classes. Getting fit and fitting PE into the school day are non-negotiable.”
“We know that prevention is the best way to fight heart disease,” said Bob Elling, chair of the New York State advocacy committee of the American Heart Association. “A robust PE program is the best way to instill healthy habits in children, which they will hopefully carry throughout their lives. Daily PE is also a great way for our children to improve their immediate health.”
Shape of the Nation shows how New York is measuring up to national recommendations to keep kids physically active and healthy. The real impact of these findings will be how they influence the health and well-being of our students in ways many parents and schools do not yet realize.
Key Findings in New York
Quantity Matters: Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and physical education should provide about half of that time in addition to teaching them lifelong skills to be active. The American Heart Association and SHAPE America recommend states require elementary students receive 150 minutes per week and middle and high school students receive 225 minutes per week of instructional physical education.
- New York requires just 120 minutes of physical education each week – which is less than 40 minutes a day – for elementary school students.
- New York requires just 90 minutes of physical education each week, not less than three times per week in one semester and two times per week in the other, which is less than 20 minutes a day – for middle school/junior high and high school students.
Quality Matters: A range of factors improve the quality and effectiveness of a physical education program – from training of the teacher to curriculum standards to funding– and this impacts each student’s readiness for a lifetime of fitness and heart-healthy living. National recommendations support state policies for all of these factors to ensure high-quality physical education programs are in every school.
- New York law currently only requires certified PE teachers for secondary schools. This short-changes the quality of physical education for our youngest students. It’s time to close that loophole.
- New York’s physical education curriculum hasn’t been updated for decades, before many of our current students were even born. The state’s plan must be updated more routinely.
- An increase in dedicated funding for PE improvements is also necessary. Many schools struggle with access to teachers and equipment. Future capital funding can assist with disparate burden to appropriate gym and recreation space.
Shape of the Nation provides our communities with a better understanding of what is expected of schools across our state. In addition to the measures of quantity and quality of our state program, ensuring equality is addressed in our physical education programs will benefit students’ the most. Research shows that active kids learn better, so it is important that all children participate in physical activity every day, regardless of student fitness or ability and regardless of race or gender.
Kids shouldn’t miss out on the benefits of physical education just because of their zip code. Heart disease and type 2 diabetes have a greater impact on communities of color, and longstanding racial inequities and socio-economic challenges leave many schools without the resources to provide physical education classes. The benefits of improving the school physical education curricula are realized across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, among boys and girls, elementary- and high-school students, and in urban and rural settings.
Kids shouldn’t miss out on the benefits of physical education just because of special needs either. Active kids learn better, so it is important that all children participate in physical activity every day, regardless of student fitness or ability. National recommendations include individualized plans for students with disabilities and emphasize that physical education is focused on both physical activity and health education. Limiting access to physical education for specific students has consequences in the day to day academic environment and for their long term well-being.
Shape of the Nation is supported nationally by SHAPE America and Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The American Heart Association and SHAPE New York are working to protect physical education to ensure our children get the day to day physical activity they need for strong healthy hearts and have the skills and knowledge to prevent chronic disease and be healthy adults.
Mashed potatoes with cream. Stuffing made with sausage and butter. Candied yams with caramel sauce and marshmallows. Pies, cakes and cookies. It’s a Thanksgiving buffet of our dreams. But over-indulging in these beloved holiday foods can derail your healthy eating habits, causing dreaded holiday weight gain. And that’s weight we don’t lose over the course of the year.
Nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese. Being obese increases th
e risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.
According to the American Heart Association, more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented with simply lifestyle changes like exercising 30 minutes most days of the week; eating a healthier diet filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains; and limiting sodium, saturated fats and added sugars.
Enjoying time with our family and celebrating with traditional foods we know and love doesn’t have to be unhealthy. To keep your diet, and health, in check over the Thanksgiving holiday, try these healthy tips from the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign, including ways to minimize stress and smart substitutions for your holiday meals.
Try healthy recipe substitutes to make your favorite holiday recipes better for heart health.
- Instead of butter, substitute equal parts cinnamon-flavored, no-sugar-added applesauce.
- Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
- Instead of whole or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or skim milk.
- Instead of using only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
- Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.
- Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.
- Use vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter (even in your mashed potatoes).
- Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt.
- Use whole-grain breads and pastas instead of white.
- Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
- Instead of whole milk or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or fat-free/skim milk.
Prepare healthy vegetables, eat a balanced meal
Now that you’ve prepared some of your Thanksgiving meal with healthy substitutes, prepare yourself a balanced plate of all your favorite holiday foods, starting with a salad and vegetables. Eating your veggies will ensure you get the nutrients you need and will help fill you up so you don’t overload on the foods your body needs less of, such as rolls, stuffing and pie.
Increase physical activity
The American Heart Association advises increasing physical activity over Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season to combat the extra calories and additional stress. Go for a family walk after each meal or gathering. Play catch with your kids or walk your dog the long route. Take just 40 minutes and go to the gym to release endorphins your body needs to stay healthy.
Keep stress to a minimum
There’s so much to do at the holidays. Taking care of family, cooking, cleaning—Thanksgiving can involve a lot of activities that not only keep you busy, but can also increase your level of stress. Keep stress to a minimum with stress management techniques. The AHA recommends:
- Planning ahead to help you with time management
- Focusing on one thing at a time
- Taking time to relax & not sweating the small stuff
Get enough sleep
Part of living a heart-healthy lifestyle means getting enough sleep. Why? Because your quality of sleep can impact your heart health. The American Heart Association recommends adults get six to eight hours of sleep per night. Over the holiday, get into bed early to give yourself enough time to wind down after your day and to fall asleep faster and more soundly.
For more tips, download the AHA’s free Holiday Healthy Eating Guide at http://bit.ly/AHAHolidayGuide2015.
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Try this quick, Simple Cooking with Heart recipe for using holiday leftovers anytime you’re craving Thanksgiving flavors. It’ll be a nice change after a heavy meal.
Festive Turkey Rice Salad
Presented by: Walmart – Simple Cooking With Heart
Serves 6 – 203 Calories – 25 mg Sodium
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 1/2 cups cooked wild or brown rice
1 1/2 cups chopped, boneless, skinless, cooked turkey breast
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 bunch chopped green onions (1/2 cup)
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, oil, honey and ginger; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the rice, turkey, cranberries and green onion. Toss with ginger dressing. Refrigerate until serving.
You can also toss leftover peas or your veggies of choice into the salad. Make this delightful salad year round using Rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken breast. Use quick-cooking couscous instead of rice.
Kids in the Kitchen: Have the kids help you measure out the ingredients and pour into the bowl.
Calories Per Serving 203
Total Fat 2.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 29 mg
Sodium 25 mg
Carbohydrates 30 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugars 9 g
Protein 15 g
Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 1/2 lean meat
It’s been just over three years since Arizona resident Jane Powers’ life was saved by Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce. He witnessed her collapse from sudden cardiac arrest in the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium tunnels and responded immediately using CPR skills he learned in his youth working as a lifeguard.
Her life was saved August 20, 2012 and since then, Powers has made it her mission to train people in CPR so that more lives can be saved. Instead of having a traditional birthday party for herself, she hosts CPR training parties.
“These CPR birthday parties started as a result of my cardiac arrest. When I was home recuperating in my condo, neighbors came over to see how I was doing. There were 35 people in my living room and I asked everyone in the room if they knew CPR,” she said.
“The answer from every single person was ‘no.’ This was right before my birthday, so I decided to change my birthday celebrations into CPR training parties. My brother, John, attended with his family, he was the first person to use his training within six months of being trained at a construction site in downtown Phoenix.”
The parties have evolved since, she said, and traveled around from Phoenix, to Florida where Jeff Urgelles from the Marlins taught the class. Urgelles, an off-duty paramedic and Marlin’s catcher coordinator at the time, assisted Jim Joyce with CPR for Powers. The next stop for her CPR birthday party is St. Augustine’s Church hall in Highland on Thursday, November 12th at 7:00 PM.
Why Highland? Her fath
er was the volunteer treasurer for the American Heart Association in the Hudson Valley back in the 1970’s and this was a way to honor his service. She plans to train members of the St. Augustine Knights of Columbus, family and friends from Millbrook, where she grew up.
Powers invites people to learn Hands-Only CPR, recommended by the American Heart Association since 2008. Hands-Only CPR has just two easy steps: If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, (1) Call 9-1-1; and (2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song
The 10th anniversary NorthEast Cerebrovascular Consortium, or NECC, summit is being held this week in Newport, RI. NECC was established as an independent organization in 2006 to improve stroke care in an 8-state region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey). The NECC developed recommendations based on the Stroke Systems of Care Model (SSCM)1 with the goal of implementing the recommendations and assessing their impact. The bottom line: stroke professionals care about the best treatments to help stroke victims.
Stroke superheroes stormed the audience at the opening yesterday to a record attendance of over 400 stroke professionals. It reminded attendees that everyone can be a Stroke Superhero when they act F.A.S.T. to aid a stroke victim.
This year the summit celebrates a decade worth of accomplishments in stroke care and focuses on helping attendees learn how to improve patient care from stroke onset to discharge for optimal patient care.
Discussions were held on the role of EMS, rehabilitation and improving patient treatment time in order to save lives from stroke–stroke pros know that ‘time lost is brain lost.’
Many professionals agreed that there is still room for growth when it comes to changing the overall mentality that stroke IS a medical emergency. One stroke coordinator noted that it was his hop
e that, “One day stroke is understood to be as severe of an emergency as a heart attack.”
Participants also joined in for a group sing of the AHA/ASA’s new F.A.S.T. song.
Attendees enjoyed the first-ever CeraBallum dinner and dancing reception which recognized two outstanding medical professionals for their contributions and dedication to stroke care. Mary George, MD, MSPH, Deputy Associate Director for Science & Senator Medical Officer, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia was the recipient of the American Stroke Association Community Conscience Award.
Robert G. Holloway, MD, MPH, Edward A. and Alma Vollerston Rykenboer Professor and Chair, Neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY received the distinguished C. Miller Fisher, MD Neuroscience Visionary Award (pictured above).
The room was brought to silence as passion presenters Sonya Arguijo-Frederick, BSN and Erik A. Frederick, MHA shared their personal experience with stroke. Sonya’s father suffered a debilitating stroke when she was just a child, her father did not have access to proper stroke care that is available today. Left with physical and mental deficits, her father did not let the stroke define him.
FACTS about stroke:
- Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 Someone dies from one every 4 minutes.
- Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the U.S., claiming nearly 130,000 lives per year.
- About 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year.
- Stroke is the leading preventable cause of disability.
- African Americans have nearly 2x the risk for a first-ever stroke than white people, and a much higher death rate from stroke
- 8 percent of Americans can identify each letter in the F.A.S.T. acronym for stroke.
- Among the words in the stroke acronym F.A.S.T., “Face” has the highest recognition (42%), followed by “Arm” (36%), “Speech” (33%), and “Time” (27%).
- 1 in 3 people cannot name at least one sign of stroke.
- Most people say they would call 9-1-1 for stroke, but fewer people are arriving at the ER by ambulance after suffering stroke symptoms.
Deadline Extended for BetterU Applications – Applications will be accepted through October 16th.
Applications are available for the 5th Annual BetterU Challenge, sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation. The American Heart Association invites local women from Dutchess & Ulster counties to apply for the 12-week program designed to improve cardiovascular health through simple lifestyle changes.
Applications are being accepted now through October 16th to be one of the twelve women participants. Download the application at the http://dutchessulstergored.heart.org.
BetterU is a free health, nutrition and fitness program that can help all women make better lifestyle choices. Each week focuses on a different area of heart health and provides step-by-step guidance to help women transform their overall health through small lifestyle changes.
The 12 women selected for the program will receive a three-month membership and personal training at Gold’s Gym, medical evaluation from Health Quest Medical Practice, and free health seminars from local health experts. The BetterU participants will chronicle their journey on a special blog, and be celebrated at the annual Go Red for Women luncheon on February 26, 2016.
“For five years, Central Hudson has been committed to women’s health in the Hudson Valley through the BetterU program. Though there have been declines in heart disease deaths in the past 30 years, recent research demonstrates that death rates in young women under 55 only fell one per cent since 2000. There is more work to do on the prevention side,” said Denise Doring VanBuren, Vice President at Central Hudson.
According to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, deaths from heart disease have declined dramatically over the last few decades but young people, particularly women, are not sharing equally in that improvement. Researchers believe a lack of effective preventive strategies for young people, particularly women, is to blame, and they call for more research into non-traditional risk factors for this understudied group, like stress and obesity.
“Far too many women are still unaware that they can prevent heart disease and stroke. BetterU’s goal is to educate and empower women to live healthier,” she said.
Elizabeth Donahue from Poughkeepsie participated in the BetterU program last year and lost more than 30 pounds, crediting BetterU’s healthier lifestyle and regular exercise recommendations.
“The Better U program kick-started a life-changing experience for me! I am so grateful for the structure and support of the program that gave me the incentive and motivation to put myself first and work towards my health goals,” said Donahue, who, after BetterU competed and placed second in a national fitness challenge with Gold’s Gym, “Every woman should feel like they’re worth the time and effort to make healthy, positive changes towards a better version of themselves.”
Heart disease and stroke takes the life of one in three women — almost one woman every minute. More women than men die of heart disease and stroke. Research shows that 80 percent of cardiac events in women are preventable with simple lifestyle choices involving diet, exercise and avoiding smoking.
BetterU is sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Gold’s Gym, Health Quest Medical Practice, the Poughkeepsie Journal and Q92.1 FM. Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and locally by Health Quest, The
More than 1,200 Westchester area residents participated in the Westchester American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, October 4th at Kensico Dam in Valhalla to help raise awareness and funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the number one and five killers.
Many teams and individual walkers walked for their own heart health. But many walked in honor of loved ones who survived a battle with heart disease or stroke, or in memory of those lost to cardiovascular diseases.
Patty Macias of New Rochelle, NY (in red) served as Heart Walk Honoree this year to raise awareness for heart disease, and life-saving research. Two years ago, she experienced what she called a sharp shooting pain in her head on her way to work. It went away, but when climbing the stairs at the train station, she felt severe chest, back pain and jaw pain. She attributed the symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath to being out of shape. She thought the nausea, sweating and rapid heartbeat she had in the weeks prior were symptoms of a panic attack.
Her sister convinced her to go to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with multiple, bilateral pulmonary emboli—or a sudden blockage of lung arteries by clots. An interventional radiologist performed a Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis, removing the clots through a catheter. She was also put on t-PA, a clot-busting drug. She was only 46 years old. Macias walked with her sister and family at the Heart Walk event and was recognized in the opening ceremony.
“I’m alive today because my sister recognized the warning signs of a heart attack,” she said. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Women can learn more about their risk at www.goredforwomen.org.
One of the largest teams with more than 115 participants, Team Monie, walked in memory of Eugenia Sumone Taylor from New Rochelle, who died suddenly of a heart attack this past March at the age of 44. Dozens of members from the New Rochelle Cheer squad, part of Team Monie, cheered for walkers on the route.
Lisa LaRocca, News 12 Westchester reporter, served as emcee for the event. LaRocca told the crowd that she lost her own father, Anthony LaRocca, to heart disease. He was the Principal at William E. Cottle Elementary School in Tuckahoe.
The Heart Walk is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser that promotes physical activity to prevent heart disease and stroke, while raising funds for life-saving research. American Heart Association-funded research has yielded important discoveries such as the heart-lung machine, CPR, life-extending drugs, pacemakers, bypass surgery and surgical techniques to repair heart defects.
Hands-Only CPR training was provided at the event, sponsored by Westchester Medical Center. New York Medical College students provided blood pressure screening to combat the “silent killer” which affects one in three Americans.
The Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway, and locally by Signature and Regional Chain of Survival Sponsor, Westchester Medical Center, National Walking Day sponsor New York-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, White Plains Hospital, Fuji Film, Merit Direct and Stop & Shop, and media sponsors Examiner Media, Westchester Magazine, News 12 Westchester and The Peak 107.1 radio.
Donations are still being accepted online at www.westchesterheartwalk.org or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org at 203-295-2943. Photos from the event are online at www.facebook.com/americanheartnewyork. To learn more about the prevention and treatment of heart disease and stroke, visit www.heart.org.