Westchester American Heart Launches Community Impact Committee

The American Heart Association announced the launch of their Community Impact Committee which is goaled with building a culture of health in the Westchester community while improving cardiovascular health for all. The Community Impact Committee, or CIC, is a standing committee of the Westchester American Heart Regional Board and responsible for advising the Board on local and statewide health issues related to cardiovascular disease, and on programs it supports or initiates.

After completing a local needs assessment, based on the Association’s health priorities, the CIC will create a comprehensive plan with recommendations to fill in the gaps and health needs in the market. Some initial projects will address high blood pressure control, healthy food access and increasing physical activity opportunities for residents.

Dr. Gutnick

“The AHA is dedicated to orchestrating transformative change in communities that aligns with our goals to reduce death from heart disease and stroke while improving cardiovascular health for all,” said CIC co-chair Dr. Damara Gutnick, Medical Director, Montefiore HV Collaborative, “We look forward to convening local health partners and fostering collective action to help improve the quality of life for all of our neighbors.”

Dr. McIntyre

“The AHA’s Community Impact Committee has brought together the brightest minds in the county to collaboratively address food insecurity, access to healthy foods, and to share and adopt best practices in blood pressure control. There is an African proverb that says ‘if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ The members of the CIC understand the value of bringing to bear the individual and collective expertise, resources and community insights together with the input of the residents of the community to ensure a healthy Westchester,” said CIC co-chair, Sophia McIntyre, MD, MPH, MBA, FAAFP, CPE. McIntyre is the Chief Medical Officer, Hudson River Healthcare, Inc.

CIC volunteer members are leaders from a wide range of public and private health organizations and include: Dr. Sherlita Amler, Westchester Health Department Commissioner; Renee Recchia, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Administration, Westchester Health Department; Leslie Gordon, President and CEP, Feeding Westchester; Mary Molina, Founder, Owner, Lola Granola; Dr. Daren Wu, CMO, Open Door; Shauna Porteus, Community Librarian, Yonkers Public Library; Deborah Viola MBA, PhD, VP, Data Management and Analytics, WMC Health Network; Zachary Swierat, Program Director, YMCA White Plains and Yonkers; Francine Carl, Director of Westchester Comm College Extension Center, Mount Vernon; and Dr. Markos Asamenew, Medical Director, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center.

To learn more about American Heart Association events and programs in the Westchester area, contact Jennifer Miller at Jennifer.miller@heart.org or 914-806-0962. Visit www.heart.org for information about healthy lifestyles, and www.heart.org/HudsonValley for local information.