Stroke Coordinators Apply for Scholarship for NECC in RI

The NECC 11th Annual Summit
October 20-21, 2016
Newport Marriott, Newport, RI

Nancy Kostel-Donlon Stroke Coordinators Scholarship
Call for Applications
Deadline April 29, 2016

Nancy Kostel-Donlon, a stroke coordinator from St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, NY, suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and passed away on September 17, 2010. Nancy was a committed nurse, educator and mentor for the past 30 years. The Nancy Kostel-Donlon Stroke Coordinator Scholarship was created in 2011 to honor the memory of Nancy Kostel-Donlon by recognizing the Stroke Coordinator who best exemplifies her commitment to quality improvement, patient education, and mentorship.

The Criteria for the Nancy Kostel-Donlon Stroke Coordinator Scholarship include:

  • Must serve as your hospital Stroke Coordinator (title may vary)
  • It is unlikely that your hospital will be able to financially support your attendance
  • New to the Stroke Coordinator Role (less than 2 years) OR
  • In the Stroke Coordinator Role for more than 2 years and actively mentor others

In addition to completing the online application, all applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from a peer or supervisor to complete your application. Letters can be sent via email to or fax to 203-303-3346.

Please click on the following link to complete the application form:

The Scholarship Recipient will receive the following:

  • Waived registration fee to attend the 2016 Summit – October 20-21, 2016
  • Travel Expenses Reimbursed
  • Hotel Accommodations at the Newport Marriott

Find out More About This Scholarship and Previous Recipients!

The deadline to submit an application is Friday, April 29, 2016.
All applicants will be notified by May 20, 2016.

To assist you in preparing your application click here for a pdf of the questions asked.
*Please note you must complete the online form to be included in the applications.

Call For Poster Abstracts
Deadline July 11, 2016

Find out More!

Instructions for Submitting an Abstract:

  • Deadline for abstract submission is July 11, 2016.
  • Applicants will receive notification upon receipt of submitted abstracts – sent weekly on Tuesdays.
  • Abstract submissions will be reviewed by The NECC Planning Committee and notifications will be sent to all applicants by August 1, 2016.
  • Expenses associated with the submission and presentation of an abstract are the responsibility of the presenter.
  • Presenting/submitting authors must register and pay for attendance at the conference.
  • Abstracts selected will be published on The NECC website

When you are ready to submit your abstract please click on the following link and complete the required form:

By |April 18th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Yale Health Expert to Keynote Go Red For Women Event May 4th

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 David Katz

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 or by phone at 203-295-2941 or visit

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.

Go red crowd


By |April 18th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Shape of the Nation Report for New York


physicaleducation 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.

 Equality Matters

 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.

By |April 8th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Heart Healthy Thanksgiving Tips from the American Heart Association

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.Heart-Healthy-Thanksgiving-Tips

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

Learn more about a healthier lifestyle at and get free recipes at

# # #

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.

Additional Tips

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.

Nutritional Info

Per serving:
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

By |November 24th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Woman Saved by MLB Umpire Hosts CPR-Training Birthday Party


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.

jane powers

Jane Powers (left), with her mother and MLB Umpire Jim Joyce

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.128%20Hands-Only

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

“Stayin’ Alive.”

Visit to watch the Hands-Only CPR instructional video and share it with the people in your life. You can also find a CPR class near you by visiting



By |November 12th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stroke Healthcare Professionals Attend NorthEast Cerebrovascular Consortium (NECC)

NECC 2015

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, NNECC 2015 SUPER HERO.jpgew 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.

NECC FAST.jpgThis 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. NECC Holloway.jpg

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).

NECC PASSION.jpgThe 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.sing to end stroke image 2015
By |October 23rd, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Deadline Extended for BetterU Applications

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

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.

To download an application, deadline October 16th, visit For more information, contact Teresa Marra at 845-905-2134 or email

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

By |October 13th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Westchester Heart Walk Draws 1,200 in Fight Against Heart Disease & Stroke

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.

Patty Macias team

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

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.Heart Walk 2015

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 sponSubwaystartlineWestchHWsor 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 or by contacting at 203-295-2943. Photos from the event are online at To learn more about the prevention and treatment of heart disease and stroke, visit

By |October 5th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Westchester Heart Walk Event Weather Update


As of today, Thursday, October 1, 2015, the Westchester County Heart Walk is still scheduled to take place this Sunday, October 4th at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla.

We are closely monitoring the weather situation.  The safety of our supporters, teams, volunteers and the community is paramount.  We will continue to update you as needed in the coming days.  In the meantime, however, please check the Heart Walk website, for event updates.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Event Director, Jennifer Gelick at or by calling 203-295-2943 (alternative phone: 203-295-2942).

Thank you for your continued support of and commitment to the mission of the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association.

rain of hearts image copy

By |October 1st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

New York Becomes 26th State to Require CPR Training in School

AHA advocates celebrate NYS 26th CPR state

Joey Mendrick, (standing, wearing his JROTC school military uniform) a 15-year-old from suburban Albany was recognized during the Board of Regents vote yesterday making NYS the 26th state to require CPR training in high school.

Albany, New YorkWith a standing room only crowd of American Heart Association volunteer advocates in attendance, the New York State Board of Regents on Thursday approved a regulation requiring Hands-Only CPR training in high school, making New York the 26th state to do so. More than 1.5 million students will be trained each year in the 26 states, including more than 190,000 high school graduates annually in NYS. This was the final step in a 15-year American Heart Association grassroots effort to get CPR training in high schools in New York State.

“I am truly ecstatic knowing that kids in New York State will all have the opportunity to learn lifesaving CPR skills!” said Linda Cotter-Forbes of Rhinebeck, “This will empower so many young people across our state!”

albany lobby day 2012 may

Three Hudson Valley teens, and their families, advocated for the life-saving CPR in Schools training over the years. All three survived sudden cardiac arrest and are all attending college. 2012 photo.

Her daughter Kaitlin was 15 years old in 2005 when she suffered sudden cardiac arrest during a high school softball game. She is alive today, attending Hunter College, because bystanders started CPR and used AED, or automatic external defibrillator quickly to revive her. She and her mother supported lobbying efforts for the law over the years.

Two other Hudson Valley teens who lobbied in support of the legislation are also alive today because of CPR, and both are college students.

“I am so excited that the Board of Regents passed the bill! Knowing that every student needs to know Hands-Only CPR is very meaningful to me because CPR saved my life,” said Katarina Weigel of Yorktown, a student at Pace University. She suffered sudden cardiac arrest during a high school volleyball practice in 2010. She’s alive because her coaches knew CPR and used an AED.

Annette Adamczak

Annette Adamczak of Akron, NY, spoke yesterday at the American Heart Association press conference to celebrate NYS becoming the 26th state to require CPR training in high school. She has trained 18,000 students in Hands-Only CPR since her 14-year old daughter, Emily Adamczak died six years ago.

“I’m so pleased that our students will all graduate with a baseline knowledge of CPR so they are able to help someone in the event of an emergency. This training will create future generations of life savers,” said AHA volunteer advocate Veronica Barker, formerly of Washingtonville, who used CPR to save her daughter, Brianna’s life after she collapsed at home after a high school dance. Brianna is now a freshman at Penn State. “My daughter might not be here today if I hadn’t learned CPR in high school. This basic life-saving skill is perhaps the most important thing that a student can learn.”

But for the four mothers in attendance who lost their children to cardiac arrest, it was a bittersweet moment. All four have lobbied for the CPR training, as well as formed foundations that have increased the awareness of sudden cardiac arrest – and helped save lives.

CPR moms

Four moms who lost their children to sudden cardiac arrest, celebrated New York State becoming the 26th state to require CPR training as a high school graduation requirement, ending a 15-year journey to get the life-saving training in schools.

“We are so grateful that the New York Regents saw how important this is,” said Melinda Murray of Queens. She lost her son Dominic in 2009 to cardiac arrest, “We are so pleased that the journey has ended in this positive, life-affirming way. After 15 years of advocacy, beginning Oct. 7, Hands-Only CPR will be taught in New York’s schools.”

Since the passage of Louis’ Law in 2002, which called for the placement of AEDs in public places, 87 lives have been saved in New York,” said Karen Acompora of Northport, whose son died after being struck by a ball in the chest, “Nothing replaces our son Louis, who died of commotio cordis when he was 14, but the CPR in Schools Law honors his short life by giving others a chance at life.”

Suzy McCarthy of Evans, who lost her 5-year old daughter, Madison to cardiac arrest 14 years ago, also worked on Louis’ Law, then turned her attention to CPR in Schools. AHA advocate Annette Adamczak of Akron, has trained 18,000 students in Hands-Only CPR since her 14-year old daughter, Emily Adamczak died six years ago.

“The ripple effects of this action will be felt across the state, as we make a difference in the lives of our children,” Adamczak said. “Together, where hands and hearts meet, a life can be saved; one heartbeat at a time.”

Sudden cardiac arrest survivors also attended the Board of Regents meeting, including 15-year-old Joe Mendrick of Colonie, who was 11 when a baseball hit him in the chest and stopped his heart, and Joel Stashenko, also of Colonie, whose son Casey – who had learned CPR in his school – revived him.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the CPR in Schools bill, sponsored by then-Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach and then-Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, into law in October of 2014. The law called on the state Department of Education to ask the Regents for a recommendation on the instruction of CPR in Schools. The Regents recommended that it be included in the curriculum, and directed the Department to draft the rule for public comment. The Board of Regents gave the final stamp of approval to the measure during their meeting on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. Volunteers from around the state advocated for the legislation through the American Heart Association’s online grassroots network at . With New York becoming the 26th state to provide CPR training in schools, it means that 1.5 millionstudents will be trained each year nationally.AHA Volunteers Bd of Regents sept 17 2015

Additional photos from Albany are available at 

By |September 18th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments