Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Apply Today for BetterU Challenge

2015 Dutchess-Ulster BetterU Makeover Challenge
Sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S., taking the life of one in three women – almost one woman every minute. However, research shows that 80 percent of cardiac events in women are preventable and linked to poor choices involving diet, exercise and smoking. That’s why the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women® is helping women speak up for their hearts and change this statistic by offering a free 12-week makeover, Go Red BetterU.

Locally, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is the proud sponsor of the BetterU Challenge, a 12-week lifestyle change program. Twelve lucky participants will be selected to participate in the 12-week challenge. Each participant will receive:

• Baseline & 12-week medical readings by Health Quest Medical Practice
• 3-month membership to Gold’s Gym – LaGrange
• Personal training with Gold’s Gym
• Nutrition advice from a medical professional
• Supermarket shopping outing
• Group support from other BetterU participants
• The power, resources and tools of

Participants will be photographed before and after the 12-weeks, interviewed by media, asked to write about their experiences on the Poughkeepsie Journal’s BetterU Blog and help us celebrate the program by attending as our guests at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on February 27, 2015.

With Go Red BetterU, you’ll learn smart strategies and gain new information on improving and maintaining your health, along with the encouragement and advice of local coaches. Each week will focus on a different area to follow for a complete heart makeover. Live longer and stronger by taking 12 weeks to invest in your health!

Apply today for the BetterU Challenge!
Complete the application by October 12th. To download a copy visit or call 845-905-2134.

Sponsored by:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

American Heart Association in the Hudson Valley

Our new fact sheets are ready! See the incredible reach and impact the American Heart Association has in your community! Click the fullscreen icon to read more or click "Download" to save or print this PDF to share with your family, friends and colleagues. Saving lives in the Hudson Valley is why we do what we do!

Learn more and join our mission!

AHA Pok HV fact sheets 2014.pdf

Friday, August 1, 2014

Life Is Why!

You may have noticed our banner art this week! The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association's new brand tagline is “Life Is Why.” The phrase, which began appearing with the logo on on August 1st, is much more than a slogan. It’s the singular idea that stands behind all the lifesaving work the AHA has carried out for 90 years – and it’s the very basic idea that people should be healthier so they can enjoy their lives more.

We want people to experience more of life's precious moments. It's why we've made better heart and brain health our mission. And until there's a world free of heart disease and stroke, we'll be there, working to make a healthier, longer life possible for everyone. Why we do what we do? Life is why. #lifeiswhy 

What is your why?

Learn more at 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Deborah Marshall to Chair TriCounty Go Red Campaign

We're happy to announce that Deborah Marshall, Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing & Strategic Planning at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, will serve as chair of the 2014 TriCounty Go Red for Women campaign and luncheon! 

The luncheon is set for Thursday, October 30th, at West Hills Country Club in Middletown, NY.

Marshall is a member of the Executive Team of Bon Secours Charity Health System. She has over 25 years of experience in public relations, administration and general operational management. She is a published author, recipient of the 2006 Woman of the Year award by the Business and Professional Women’s Association, the Rockland County Community Crown Award, New York State Supporter of the Arts Award, and in 2008 she received special recognition from the Washington Press Club for outstanding service in the field of Public Relations.

“I’m honored to lead the American Heart Association’s Go Red campaign to fight women’s heart disease in our region,” she said, “Heart disease is women’s number one killer but so much of it can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes. I hope all women join Go Red For Women to live a healthier life.”

Under Deborah's leadership, Go Red For Women will raise awareness among women and provide them with tools to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke - the number one and three causes of death among women. 

recent study by Yale University showed the young women ages 30-54 and black women do not fare well after a heart attack. Risk factors like high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes need to be controlled in young women to prevent heart disease, according to the researchers, and women to need to get help at the first sign of heart attack.

Heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the number one cause of death in American women, claiming about 432,000 lives each year, or nearly one death each minute. CVD kills more women than the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer.

The half-day Go Red luncheon event includes morning educational breakout sessions, an interactive heart check-up and silent auction. Funds raised support the AHA’s awareness programs and research.

The Go Red For Women Luncheon is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and presented locally by the Signature Sponsor, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Bon Secours Charity Health System. Local sponsors include Active International, Nice Pak/PDI and media sponsor WHUD radio.

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, please visit  or call Gia McCormack at 845-905-2127 or by email to .

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Weather Can Be Hard On Your Heart

Summertime often means afternoon strolls, bike rides, baseball, swimming and other outdoor activities. And while the sunny days may make for great beach weather, the American Heart Association warns that extreme heat can be hard on the heart.

“As temperatures rise, so can your risk for suffering health issues like heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said David Violante, AHA Board Member and Arlington Fire EMS Assistant Director, “So it’s important that people take simple steps to protect their hearts while in the heat.”

Infants, young children, heart patients, those older than 50 or people who are overweight are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses. Certain medications or illnesses can also raise the risk.

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms when you may be experiencing too much heat.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

• headaches
• heavy sweating
• cold, moist skin, chills
• dizziness or fainting (syncope)
• a weak and rapid pulse
• muscle cramps
• fast, shallow breathing
• nausea, vomiting or both

If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and cool down immediately by dousing yourself with cold water and rehydrating. You may need to seek medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke:

• warm, dry skin with no sweating
• strong and rapid pulse
• confusion and/or unconsciousness
• high fever
• throbbing headaches
• nausea, vomiting or both

If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Staying physically active all year long is imperative to good heart health. The American Heart Association reports that physically active people can reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease by nearly 30%. So during the hot summer months, it’s important that you take the right precautions:

• Follow the doctor’s orders. If you are a heart patient, over the age of 50, overweight or just starting an exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor for your best exercise routine.

• Try to watch the clock. It’s best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (about noon to 3 p.m.) because the sun is usually at its strongest, putting you at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.

• Get off on the right foot. You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.

• Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a newer fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours.

• Drink up. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. It’s important to stay hydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty.

• Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.

People can adapt their normal exercise routines when the heat is on. Walking inside air-conditioned buildings, going for a swim or using exercise videos at home are great substitutes for outdoor exercise.

For more information, tips and advice on how to take care of your heart, visit or call 1-800-AHA-USA-1

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gain Your Independence from Unhealthy Lifestyles!

According to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), adults who watch TV for three hours or more each day may double their risk of premature death compared to those who watch less. The American Heart Association wants Americans to gain independence from unhealthy lifestyles this long July 4th weekend by increasing physical activity and adding a few healthy recipes to your holiday party menus.

Studies show that half of U.S. adults are leading sedentary lives and less than 1% of Americans have an “ideal diet.” The American Heart Association states that more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices including walking 30 minutes or more daily, eating mostly fruits and vegetables and avoiding tobacco products.

“Changing your lifestyle is really a choice you have control over, unlike family history of heart disease. You can break free from unhealthy behaviors with small, simple changes like adding physical activity, avoiding long sedentary periods, and reducing television watching to no longer than one to two hours each day,” said James Lyons, MD, FACC, FACP, Heart Failure Program Director at the Hudson Valley Heart Center and AHA Board President.

The AHA recommends that if you are currently living a sedentary lifestyle, add activity in small increments like 15 minutes of walking four days per week, then slowly increase it to 30 minutes. If you are active already, add 15 minute intervals and strength and resistance training. The AHA recommendation is 150 minutes per week of vigorous activity. 
It can be difficult to schedule workouts between job schedules, social commitments and your kids’ activities. Jeanette Jenkins, a.k.a. The Hollywood Trainer to the stars, is fond of morning exercise routines and created a 15-minute wake-up workout routine perfect for busy people. The workout is online at the Go Red For Women Web site at .

James Lyons, MD
The workout includes simple movements like jogging in place, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups and squats, and it can be done while watching your favorite television show to avoid the “sitting disease.”

“Start today with achievable goals and a few small, simple changes to your diet and lifestyle and before you know it, you’ll be on the road to a healthier heart and a longer life.” said Lyons.

The American Heart Association offers these heart-healthy recipes and tips to keep your mealtimes cool and healthy this summer.

·         Start the day right: Try simple peanut butter on wheat toast, high-fiber/low-sugar cereal, low-fat milk or yogurt and fruit for breakfast.
·         Go fish! Fish, especially salmon, trout and herring, are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and cook in minutes.
·         Choose skinless chicken breasts instead of the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs).  Skewer cubed, marinated chicken for fast and healthy sandwiches.
·         Grill chicken or white meat turkey burgers or sausages, and add diced onions and peppers for another layer of flavor and vitamins.
·         Eat the rainbow! Go green and red, orange, yellow, purple and more.  Serve green leafy salads or fruit salads (or a combination of both, like baby spinach with strawberries or mixed greens with orange slices) instead of mayonnaise-based salads.
·         Dress salads lightly with low-fat dressing or just a drizzle of balsamic, fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
·         Add some crunch – and healthier fats – with some toasted walnuts or almonds.

Keep snacks, drinks and desserts healthy:
·         Get your crunch fix from raw veggies and low-fat dip not fatty fried chips.
·         Drink water or flavored seltzer. Regular sodas are loaded with sugars and calories.
·         Choose 100% fruit or vegetable juices (low sodium) – not “fruit drink” or “punch.” 
·         Limit alcohol consumption and have a poolside “mocktail” – juice mixed with seltzer water, garnished with cut fruit.
·         Try a smoothie with luscious, fresh fruit in season, fat-free vanilla or lemon yogurt and a touch of honey makes a healthy, refreshing dessert alternative.
·         Cut back on commercially baked foods, like cookies, pies and cakes.  Remember that most store-baked goods are made with egg yolks, butter or shortening and other ingredients that are high in saturated fat and/or trans fat. Try a low-fat angel food cake with fresh fruit, or better yet – just fruit!
·         Enjoy seasonal fruit! It’s inexpensive, vitamin-rich and low in calories.
·         Try grilling fruits like pineapple slices, nectarines, peaches or plums to enhance the natural sugars.
·         Layer fresh cut fruit with lemony yogurt and low-fat granola for an elegant, but light parfait.

For more recipes and tips from the American Heart Association on healthy eating, visit online at .

Try healthier recipes today! .

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union Members Honored for Saving a Life with CPR

The American Heart Association and Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union honored Daniel Savage of Fishkill, and Salvatore Provenzano of Beacon, for their efforts in saving the life of fellow Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union member Dale Geis who collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest during a visit to the Fishkill branch. The three were reunited at a recent award presentation at the branch.

On June 4th, Geis, 58, of East Fishkill, was visiting the credit union to do his banking when he suddenly collapsed behind Daniel Savage who was banking at a teller window. Savage and Provenzano, another HVFCU member, rushed to Geis’ aid. After realizing he had no pulse, they started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR while HVFCU employees quickly called 9-1-1. The two bystanders continued CPR until emergency services responders arrived. Two shocks were delivered by EMS’ automatic external defibrillator and Geis was transported to nearby St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh. He was released days later.

The American Heart Association presented Heartsaver Hero awards to the hometown heroes for their quick action in the saving of a life. HVFCU leaders presented the heroes with gift cards as a small gesture of thanks for their willingness to help someone in need. Mr. Geis also received a gift card from HVFCU.

In honor of Mr. Savage’s and Mr. Provenzano’s life-saving efforts, HVFCU donated $500 to the American Heart Association to fund local CPR training for others in the community. “HVFCU is so pleased that this story had a happy ending,” said Lisa Morris, Director of Marketing. “Our hope is that this donation helps the Heart Association reach more people in our community with the vital Hands-Only CPR training that can save lives, as evidenced by Mr. Geis’ situation.”

Savage had prior CPR training as part of his security job requirements and Provenzano was a former EMT with the Hopewell Hose Fire Company. But the AHA wants everyone to learn CPR.

“Without immediate bystander intervention, cardiac arrest victim survival rates drop dramatically. Today, we honored these Heartsaver heroes, but all Hudson Valley residents can easily become tomorrow’s heroes by knowing to call 9-1-1 and being ready to perform CPR.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in New York State and the nation. Nearly 360,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States and survival depends on getting CPR immediately from someone nearby. Sadly, 70% of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they’re afraid of hurting the victim.

According to the AHA, if you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse from sudden cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 and begin Hands-Only CPR by pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song, “Stayin’ Alive” until EMS arrives. Watching a one-minute Hands-Only CPR video can increase a person’s confidence to perform CPR, according to the AHA. The video is online at or through an app for Android or iPhones.
The American Heart Association is currently advocating for a New York State law that will ensure that all students are trained in life-saving CPR before they graduate from high school. Currently, 16 states have passed similar laws. The NYS Senate and Assembly passed the CPR legislation last week and the bill is awaiting Governor Cuomo’s signature. Local residents can find information about supporting the legislation online at