The American Heart Association announced the new chair for the 16th Annual Westchester Go Red For Women Luncheon set for Friday, May 31st at the Hilton Westchester. Judy Melillo, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation, will lead the Go Red campaign efforts to help raise awareness and funds to fight the number one killer of women: heart disease.
Judy Melillo will lead fundraising and community outreach for the Go Red For Women Luncheon and year-round campaign, including National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 1st. The Go Red Luncheon event includes a health and wellness exposition, local health experts, and a PURSEonality auction featuring stylish handbags, wallets and more. Event information is online at http://westchestergored.heart.org.
The American Heart Association states that more than 80% of coronary events in women may be prevented with simple lifestyle changes, but prevention is hindered by the fact that many women do not realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women—more than all cancers combined. For 15 years, the Go Red For Women movement has worked to close this knowledge gap and provide women with tools, resources and inspiration to build a healthier life. Women can access free resources at www.goredforwomen.org.
Judy Melillo joined Valhalla-based Fujifilm in 2005 and has served as General Counsel since 2013. Judy has been instrumental in building a corporate governance structure that can address the challenges of a dynamic and expanding global corporation. Her teams generally manage the legal, compliance and environmental, health and safety affairs of the corporation and its 21 North American and Latin American subsidiaries.
She earned her B.A. in political science from Boston College, and graduated as valedictorian of her class from Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. Prior to joining Fujifilm, she was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in New York City. Judy, her husband Mike and their two sons are longtime residents of Westchester County.
“For this campaign, my goal is to help women learn the importance of taking care of ourselves,” said Judy. “In 2017, an article in WorldBank.org written by Patricio V Marquez and co-authored by Melanie Walker was titled Healthy Women are the cornerstone of healthy societies. And it’s true. The only way we, as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, friends and co-workers, can continue to take care of others is by prioritizing our own health and wellbeing. Our lives depend upon it, and our families, friends and co-workers depend upon us.”
Judy Melillo will lead the Go Red For Women Executive Leadership Committee whose members include Maureen Adams, Director Clinical Operations, Internal Medicine, WESTMED Medical Group; Kaitlin Triano, Director Commercialization, New Payment Flows, Mastercard; Grace Ferri, VP of Marketing & Development, United Hebrew; Terri Ferri, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; and Dawn French, VP of Marketing & Development, White Plains Hospital.
Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by CVS Health. Greenwich Hospital is the Signature Sponsor. Check. Change. Control. Local sponsor is White Plains Hospital and media sponsors include 100.7 WHUD, Examiner News and Westchester Magazine.
American Heart Association introduces opioid education courses for healthcare providers and lay responders
In a direct response to the ongoing national opioid crisis, the American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, will provide two courses to educate both lay responders and all levels of clinical healthcare providers and emergency responders on delivering immediate treatment and care for opioid overdose victims. The online courses, Opioid Education for Healthcare Providers and Opioid Education for Non-Clinical Staff and Lay Responders will quickly and effectively teach the public and healthcare professionals about the opioid epidemic and what they can do to help someone who has had an overdose. Both courses are available now online at https://elearning.heart.org/courses.
Deaths from opioid overdoses – a direct corollary for respiratory and cardiac arrest in these patients – have reached crisis proportions and created the urgent need for science-based, standardized education. The American Heart Association trains more than 22 million people globally every year by educating healthcare providers, caregivers and the general public on how to respond to cardiac arrest and first aid emergencies.
These new courses for healthcare professionals and bystanders, coupled with the existing resuscitation training from the recognized leader in resuscitation science and training, provides more comprehensive preparation for the general public, healthcare providers and emergency responders.
The self-directed bystander course will discuss the recognition and treatment of opioid overdose including the use of high-quality CPR and reversal agents as appropriate. The healthcare provider course will also provide detailed information about the opioid epidemic, opioid-use disorder, pathophysiology of pain and opioids that lead to addiction, as well as provide an overview of complementary therapies. The course, intended for EMTs, paramedics, nurses, physicians and additional mid-level healthcare providers, will enable providers on the front lines of this medical crisis to improve patient care and save more lives.
“As the provider of resuscitation training for more than 90 percent of U.S. hospitals, the American Heart Association is stepping into this crisis and filling the need in standardized education for healthcare professionals,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., MPH, the Association’s chief medical officer for prevention. “Arming as many people as possible with up-to-date, practical knowledge on what to do – both immediately and as follow up – is imperative to saving lives and improving outcomes.”
In February, the American Heart Association CEO Roundtable, a leadership collaborative of 40-plus members who collectively represent more than 10 million employees and their family members to tackle the biggest workforce health challenges, pledged to tackle the opioid epidemic with a statement calling on workplaces to partner with health care plans, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers to create new policies and solutions, including defining what appropriate use looks like. The development of the opioid education courses echoes the commitment by the Association and the CEO Roundtable.
About the Opioid Crisis
The toll of increasing prescription and illicit opioid abuse, addiction and overdose has devastated communities across the United States and has reached crisis proportions, taking a tragic toll on countless individuals and our society. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse an estimated 115 die daily from respiratory and cardiac distress resulting from an opioid overdose, often attributed to the misuse of prescription pain medication. Meanwhile, approximately 100 million Americans experience pain every day and, for many, this pain interferes with their physical and mental health, work productivity, social interactions and activities of daily living.
The American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, announced the finalists for the 2019 Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards, sponsored by Marathon Oil Corporation. Representing the nation’s best in college football, these coaches will compete for the highly-coveted and final title of the season: the 2018 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award. The winner will be announced live on Jan. 9, 2019 during the awards dinner and ceremony at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston.
The 2018 award finalists are:
- Bill Clark – University of Alabama-Birmingham
- Josh Heupel – University of Central Florida
- Brian Kelly – Notre Dame
- Jeff Monken – Army West Point
- Nick Saban – University of Alabama
- Dabo Swinney – Clemson University
- Jeff Tedford – Fresno State University
Coach Frank Beamer is the recipient of the 2019 Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award and will also attend the dinner in January. Beamer coached the Virginia Tech Hokies for 29 years, retiring in 2015.
Now in its 33rd year, the Coach of the Year Award recognizes the country’s top college football coach for their contributions both on and off the field. The award is the only college coaching honor selected after all bowl games are concluded and is voted on by the National Sports Media Association.
Behind the scenes, the award is much bigger than a season’s success. It is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on heart disease and stroke – the nation’s no. 1 and no. 5 health threats. Since the adoption of the name, the Bryant Awards has raised over $9.8 Million for the American Heart Association, funding research, education and advocacy efforts and saving countless lives. “Bear” always talked about being bigger than something other than himself. The Bryant Awards offer an opportunity to do just that — to join the American Heart Association in the fight against heart disease and stroke and help save lives.
Fans can take part in the online silent auction benefiting the AHA. Items are available for bidding online now at https://BearBryantAuction2019.ggo.bid. Notable auction packages include: a 15-day Grand European River Cruise for two; tickets to the Master’s Tuesday Practice Round in Augusta, Georgia for four; a suite at the Toyota Center to see the Houston Rockets take on the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, March 22, 2019; and autographed sports memorabilia from the Houston Astros, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and more.
Marathon Oil Corporation has served as the presenting sponsor of the Bryant Awards for the past ten years, underscoring the Company’s commitment to health and wellness. The Company strives to partner with local organizations to recognize and advance important public health initiatives in the communities where it operates.
Lee Tillman, Marathon Oil president and CEO, says the finalists are each remarkable. “These distinguished coaches are leaders on and off the field, and we’re honored to welcome them to this elite group,” Tillman said. “They represent Paul “Bear” Bryant’s belief in excellence and support the Bryant family’s commitment to the American Heart Association’s mission of building a world of longer, healthier lives.”
To purchase tickets to the Bryant Awards, contact 832-918-4009 or visit www.bryantawards.org.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
About Marathon Oil Corporation
Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) is an independent exploration and production company based in Houston. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.marathonoil.com.
The 11th Annual Dutchess-Ulster Go Red For Women Luncheon, was held on Friday, November 9th at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie. More than 360 women attended the event the luncheon–the American Heart Association’s signature event to help raise awareness and funds to fight women’s number one killer—heart disease. Donations are being accepted at http://dutchessulstergored.heart.org for those who could not attend.
A morning educational session on high blood pressure in women was led by Dr. Amit Patel from The Heart Center, in the Health Quest Affiliate. According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. When left untreated, the damage that high blood pressure does to your circulatory system is a significant contributing factor to heart attack, stroke and other health threats.
“Women need to know about high blood pressure. I ignored it and if it weren’t for my sister convincing me, I might not be here today,” said Maureen Kangas, Chair of the Go Red For Women Luncheon. Kangas, Manager of The Grand Hotel, and other local heart health advocates shared their stories at the event to demonstrate the American Heart Association’s dramatic impact on the health of the community.
Ten years ago, Kangas had her blood pressure taken at a trade show just for fun. It was so high she was told to seek immediate medical attention. She waited, went back to her busy job, and it wasn’t until she told her sister, Nancy Ricci, a nurse, about the high 190/90 reading that she sought medical help. The AHA’s guidelines put her in the hypertensive crisis level—a level which can result in stroke. Today, Kangas takes high blood pressure medicine and she exercises regularly by dancing. Her dance instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Wappingers led a dance demo during the event.
Susan Dallies of Hyde Park said she’s adopted a heart-healthy lifestyle. Her daughter Madison’s survived three open heart surgeries to repair a congenital heart defect. Madison also added her support for the AHA, “I love to be very active and have even participated in the Kids Heart Challenge when we did it at my elementary school. I have walked in the Heart Walk every year since I have been able to walk and was even one of the honorees in 2017.”
Sally Hallenbeck, 76 from Rhinebeck, shared her story of survival from a heart attack and cardiac rehab experience along with Melissa Poland, RN, coordinator of cardiac rehab at Northern Dutchess Hospital. Poland, inspired by her patients, took up a fitness regimen and lost 20 lbs. this year.
Veronica Barker shared how she saved her daughter Brianna’s life with CPR when she was a child. Brianna, now a healthy, happy senior at Penn State, appeared by video to encourage the audience to support the AHA. Emily Smith from Mobile Life Support Services gave the EMS point of view of saving a life from sudden cardiac arrest using the AHA’s CPR guidelines and protocols, which doctors, EMS and bystander use. She encouraged everyone to learn CPR and emphasized that Brianna wouldn’t have survived if her mother didn’t perform CPR before the ambulance arrived.
The Go Red Luncheon event included a health and wellness expo, an inspiring luncheon program, and PURSEonality auction featuring sophisticated handbags, wallets and more. Q92’s Joe Daily and Michelle Taylor returned as event emcees. Denise Doring VanBuren was announced at the Chair of the 2019 Go Red For Women Luncheon event. She challenged everyone to walk a mile a week from now until the event next fall for an accumulated goal of 30 million steps.
The 13 participants in the BetterU Challenge, sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, were celebrated at the event. Emily Darrow won the BetterU “Spirit Award” and a free year’s membership to Gold’s Gym.
Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and CVS Health, and locally by The Heart Center, Health Quest, Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, Gold’s Gym, the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Bonura Hospitality Group, Hudson Valley Magazine, and Q92. Learn more about preventing women’s number one killer at www.goredforwomen.org. #GoRedHV #HVBetterU
A BetterU Blog from EMILY!!!
This is the most difficult of the four blog posts I was assigned to write to document my #HVBetterU journey. Why? Because it’s the final one.
In eight days, our BetterU team will have our “graduation celebration” at the Hudson Valley Go Red for Women luncheon at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie. We’re all looking forward to it and have shopped for our red dresses. But I know I’m not the only one who’s feeling very sad that this amazing program is concluding. But when I feel like that I remind myself that only the formal program is winding down. Many of have already signed up to become independent members of Gold’s Gym and will continue our fitness regime into the future.
Carolyn asked all of us to list the single most important thing that we achieved during this time and I honestly can’t come up with just one thing. There have been so many!
While this program is not really just about losing weight, I have to say my body’s transformation can be viewed in the selection of BetterU tees. From a 2X to an XL to a L (that is now becoming wonderfully loose), My body is becoming my own again and it feels wonderful. I’m so happy that the dress I’ll be wearing at the luncheon is five sizes smaller than one that I wore when I began the program!
I can shout out “No Surgery Necessary!” as the radial tear of the meniscus that was the final straw of my body’s downward slide and was what inspired me to finally apply for BetterU…it is now 90% healed.
I never dreamed that a misfortune could lead to such a true life changing endeavor. But it did. I still remember sitting at the computer and praying before I began to answer the questions on the application. Somehow I knew this could be a turning point in my life, but had no idea how important it would be.
And it is important. Meeting the program alumna and speaking about their experiences, I realized that my sistas were not alone in the feeling of such positive transformation. And it’s the alumna who’ve been cheering us on. Sharing their stories. Sharing recipes and the realities of how to incorporate this change into a forever lifestyle. Our Facebook group is one that I find inspiring and humbling on a daily basis.
I remember saying to Sean Murphy, the great Gold’s Gym team trainer in Fishkill, that I needed to strengthen my left arm when it seemed so much weaker than my right the first time we hit the machines. I should watch what I say as the next week I tripped over my dog and broke my right shoulder. Now when we do weight training, my left arm is as strong as my right! That’s thanks to Sean, because throughout the entire time my arm was in a sling, he continued to train me, modifying the exercises and movements when necessary. He also researched and found evidence that by doing weight training with my left arm, there was some phantom limb (beneficial) effect for my right arm. I think he’s right as my orthopedist is amazed at the speed of my recovery and range of motion. Again, thanks to #HVBetterU and Gold’s Gym.
Discovering I have spinal stenosis and now the knowledge yesterday that there is not one pinched nerve, but three, I have to admit to being depressed last night. But thanks to an amazing doctor, I was able to balance that with the knowledge that the training I’m doing through this great program is actually what he would order to help repair my spine. As he said, he’s so happy I’m not someone who is just lying in bed not moving because of the pain, but moving. Training. Stretching. I can’t imagine not being active and that’s a return to the old me. The one I’m familiar with.
A gift BetterU gave me that is probably beyond any other was the realization that the relationship I had been in for the past 16 years probably was the cause of many of my problems. When Dr. Somjee spoke about different causes of high blood pressure, weight gain, etc. – all things that effect your heart health – one of the triggers she mentioned was being in difficult relationships/marriages. Why? Because this stress raises your cortisol levels, which in turn will have a devastating long-term effect on your body. A lightbulb went off at that point as I had been in what could politely be described as a difficult situation – more accurately an emotionally abusive one – for 16 years (even with a separation), up until this April 2018. My weight in 2001? Probably around 135-140. When I started BetterU, 240. That’s 100 pounds of unhappiness over 16 years.
But it wasn’t just that. I had truly gone inward in a protective sense. My weight became almost a protective armor. Each week, because of my BetterU sistas, the armor started to fall off, just as the pounds did. I became more like the Emily I remembered, when I had been nicknamed Julie the Cruise Director year’s ago. At work, I could feel a confidence and assurance returning. I hadn’t realized they’d been lost, but they had. And finally I felt open to other people in a way I had forgotten to be. I had become so accustomed to hiding, being silent, that I’d forgotten how wonderful it was to just engage with others.
So to my BetterU sistas. Thank you. This journey would not have been possible without you. If I felt like it could be too much of a struggle at times, I just looked at all your posts and said, I’m not a quitter. I can do this. Even when I lay on the mat at Gold’s practically crying as my back was in spasms, I knew that being there was the best thing. And thanks to Janine, I didn’t stay on my back too long, but got up and started peddling on the recumbent bike, ironically the activity that helped me the most to release the nerve pressure.
I’m so grateful that both I and all my sistas have been given this amazing opportunity to reclaim ourselves. It’s truly one of the most amazing gifts ever. The American Heart Association and the sponsors, including Central Hudson, Gold’s Gym, Health Quest and others have made this transformational program possible for the past nine year. Throughout the Hudson Valley there are women who are BetterU alums. Each of these women have learned the benefits of nutrition, spiritual and mental as well as physical health, and are determined to spread the word. That’s really important when you consider that Heart Disease and Stroke are the number 1 killer of women. While I go pink in October, I also go red, as my family has battled both diseases.
I’ve done this program with the knowledge of friends who’ve survived crippling strokes in their early 30’s, heart attacks in their 40’s and my dad’s nephew (the marathon runner) who had a debilitating stroke more than 10 years ago and is still recovering. In fact I’m doing it for them in a way as they’ve spoken to me about their health and how important it is to be in the best possible shape, paired with the diagnosis of other silent triggers like high blood pressure.
On November 9th, we’ll be celebrating the completion of what is to me the most amazing 15 weeks ever. But that’s not the end. It’s just the beginning for our new life as BetterMe’s. Thank you for your support of the AHA, which makes this program possible.
Today’s BetterU blog is from…Emily!!
As we enter our 12th week of #HVBetterU, I’m taking stock of where I started and where I am now. On Monday, July 23rd, a few days before our BetterU class began, I made the decision to keep a food diary and be mindful of what I eat. At that time, my scale read 240 pounds. Today, 12 weeks later the numbers are 213 and I’m not stopping. But that’s just the most easy measurement to note.
This doesn’t begin to measure the feeling of camaraderie that we BetterU sisters share. Not just my 13 amazing colleagues, but all the alums of the program who share their knowledge and support with us. I’ve been at many events the past three months and practically every time I meet another BetterU sister alum who shares her journey.
Their stories of how the program made a difference to them, how they find it integrated into their life even now (sometimes 9 years later) resonates with me. This isn’t a program with an end date – although even now each of us is counting down to November 9th. HVBetterU is a life changer.
When I entered HVBetterU one of my immediate goals was to lose weight and become heart healthy, but another goal was to strengthen my right leg so knee surgery would not be necessary. A week ago, when I saw the doctor he said my knee was now about 90% and surgery would not be necessary. I’d stopped wearing the knee bands about 6 weeks ago – just before I fell and broke my shoulder.
Yes, I’ve also had to persevere through injuries. First the radial tear of the meniscus that led me to BetterU, then the broken shoulder, then, thanks to my enthusiastic joy of riding a stationary bike for less than 6 minutes in team training, a pinched sciatic nerve. I never thought I’d be grateful for that broken shoulder, but it prevented me from taking RPM, which was on my to do list. Unfortunately I’ve discovered that I have spinal stenosis of my three lumbar discs, but that’s okay. I know now. And my doctor is amazing as we spoke about how continuing to strengthen the core will help support and strengthen that area. He recommended the rowing machine, which as he said engages 88% of your body. I’m on it!
Yes, everyone from the American Heart Association, to the trainers and instructors at Gold’s Gym, and most of all my BetterU sisters have been great about working with me as I worked through each of these injuries. Routines were modified. I felt supported in my decision to ‘soldier on” as my grandmother would say. And I’m really happy I did.
I feel healthier. I feel more confident. And I can honestly say I feel happy and secure in myself for the first time in about 16 years. There were many life changes this year and one major one really gave me the freedom to enter this program full out. And that’s something I think is really important. This program is truly a gift to each of us. As we’ve said, we’re each of us winners for being in it. But it demands a 100% commitment. Looking around the room, I know my sisters have incredibly demanding jobs. Busy, busy lives. But each of us has made the room for the lifestyle changes that the program demands.
I want to say thank you to the American Heart Association and the women who’ve provided support through this journey – Danielle, Carolyn, Allison and Ann. To Central Hudson and Denise Doring VanBuren who have supported this program since it’s inception and made it possible. To everyone at Gold’s Gym who’ve taught us gym neophytes that the gym is actually a great place to be – and we love it. To Dr. Page at HealthQuest who not only provides our pre and post physicals, but also gives great advice. And to all my friends and colleagues who have cheered me on and supported me through this time. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible.
Right now, I’m not just a person who’s lost 27 pounds and 17 inches, but someone who’s found her inner core. Thank you #HVBetterU and I’ll be treasuring each of the remaining weeks until we celebrate our graduation together!
Wilton, Connecticut resident, Selina Santos, 42, completed the Chicago Marathon Saturday, her heart beating strong with every stride in the 26.2-mile race. Finishing a marathon is no small feat for any runner, but for Santos, a heart disease survivor, crossing that finish line meant so much more.
Santos served as a 2016 Faces of Heart Ambassador at the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon, sharing her story to raise awareness for women’s number killer—heart disease. She encouraged women to take charge of their health, know the warning signs of heart disease and get help if symptoms are present.
“Congratulations to Selina for her incredible achievement. She is truly an inspiration,” said Carolyn Torella, American Heart Association spokesperson, “She showed that not only can you survive heart disease, you can thrive.”
The Chicago native said she experienced heart symptoms when she exerted herself, even as far back as her teens and 20’s. Her symptoms included palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain and headache.
“I was always told the same thing. You’re too young. You’re a woman. It’s stress. So, I ignored the symptoms until 2010. I was sitting at work and I couldn’t stand it anymore, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I excused myself and went to the urgent care. I was finally referred to a cardiologist,” she said.
After extensive testing, her doctor finally pinpointed the problem–heart valve insufficiency and tiny holes her heart. Her heart valve was leaking, compromising her heart’s ability to circulate blood properly. Her choices were surgery or lifestyle changes. She chose spin classes over scalpels, first with just one class per week, then daily classes. She eventually became a spin instructor at JoyRide Cycling and Fitness in Wilton, and recently began the long haul of training for the marathon. Doctors said she couldn’t run the marathon because of the stress on her heart. That made her fight harder.
Her training regimen started at 5:30 AM on some days with spin class, then cross training and running with recovery days interspersed. She tried to keep her heart rate down to reduce stress on her heart. In the past four months, she has finished four 5K’s, two 10K’s, four half marathons and one full marathon.
“Being able to run Chicago after believing I couldn’t, gives me new purpose, not just for me but for those who have heart disease and for everyone who has be told they can’t,” said Santos.
“From that first diagnosis I made it a point to put my health first – I had a family to be strong for – a life worth living. And it took years for me to get to this point so once I got that clearance from my cardiologist I took it. It felt like a second chance and an opportunity to show others living with heart disease to make that lifestyle change.”
With her finish at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, she hopes to inspire others to strive for more, saying, “It’s possible to conquer a new goal at any stage of life, no matter the setback.”
Despite hamstring cramps and her heart monitor failing at mile 19, she and her strong, healthy, beating heart ran across the finish line, victorious, with an official time of 5 hours 11 minutes. Though overjoyed to finish to Marathon she reflected on her run time, and admitted, her time could’ve been a bit better.
That’s the heart of a true marathon runner.
For more information about women and heart disease, and healthier lifestyles, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org.
Marathon photos by Sybil Santos-Burgan.
Go Red For Women photos by American Heart Association.
The American Heart Association offered praise to Putnam County Legislators for passage of Tobacco 21 legislation Tuesday night. The legislation calls for increasing the sales age of tobacco products, including cigarettes and vaping products, from 18 to 21 years of age. Putnam became the sixth Hudson Valley county to pass Tobacco 21 legislation in the past year. In the Hudson Valley, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester Counties now have similar laws. To date, roughly 75% of New Yorkers are covered by a Tobacco 21 law.
“The American Heart Association is thrilled with the outcome of this vote because of what it will do for the health of Putnam youth. A big thanks to the leadership of Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra who sponsored this bill,” said Caitlin O’Brien, American Heart Association Government Relations Director. “We hope state legislators take notice of the widespread support rolling through New York and act on a statewide bill this year. All residents of New York need to be protected.”
“This legislation will save lives and improve the health of Putnam County residents. Tobacco use causes chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and other forms of cancer. We look forward to County Executive O’Dell’s signing Tobacco 21 into law for a healthier Putnam County,” she said.
In New York State alone, more than half a million people currently have a disease caused by smoking, resulting in about $10.39 billion in health care expenditures annually.
Tobacco 21 has already proved effective in the more than 300 localities nationwide that have enacted this legislation. In 2005, Needham, MA voted to raise and enforce the minimum tobacco sales age of 21. In 2006, before full enforcement, the town had a youth smoking rate of 13% compared with 15% in the surrounding communities. By 2010, the youth smoking rate in Needham was down to 6.7% while the surrounding communities’ rate only decreased to 12.4%. The percent decline in youth smoking in Needham was nearly triple that of its neighbors.
For more information about the American Heart Association’s You’re the Cure grassroots action network, visit www.yourethecure.org. To find free resources to quit smoking, visit www.heart.org/quitsmoking or the NYS Smoker’s Quitline at https://www.nysmokefree.com/ or 1-866-NY-QUITS.
Today’s BetterU blog is from….Janna!
And, suddenly it’s Week 10….I have no idea how it went so quickly!
When I started the program, I worked with a great trainer who told me that when I found the exercise I loved. It wouldn’t be hard to keep up a fitness routine. I’ve been on the lookout for the activity I loved for the last ten weeks. I have tried nearly everything that Gold’s Gym offers and I have found some things I really like and some that I love.
I took dance class for 12 years growing up and I immediately felt at home in Barre Fusion. What a great workout, and the best part is I’m having such a good time I don’t even notice. I’ve also tried Sh’Bam, which is a hip hop style class, and Zumba. I like them both as well. Some of my favorites have been the Team Training Classes. They are boot camp style classes that usually have about 5 or 6 people in them. You get to know the trainers pretty well, and also the other people taking the classes. I’ve met a lot of great people (including a few past BetterU participants) and it definitely makes the hour go faster! Years ago, I went through a Tae Bo phase and got in pretty great shape. I’d been wanting to try boxing but hadn’t had the chance. I was dragging a bit when I arrived at my training session Monday night…but then Mike, my trainer, suggested we try boxing. I loved it! It was an incredible work out and I felt so amazing when it was over. I came home and started shopping for purple boxing gloves online. Tomorrow, I am going to get to cross two other things off my list – kayaking and clay shooting.
Today I had the opportunity to speak to the associates at Macy’s in Poughkeepsie and tell them about why I decided to apply for the BetterU program. I shared how great the program has been for me. Macy’s is a National Sponsor of Go Red For Women. Macy’s Thanks for Sharing takes place across the country from NOW to December 31 and a portion of the proceeds raised directly benefits the Go Red For Women campaign. If you are shopping in Macy’s, please consider participating. Every little bit helps to make sure this amazing program can continue to help others.