Wednesday, November 5, 2014

National Eating Healthy Day at Fairway Market

We have the great #NationalEatingHealthyDay recipes from Fairway Markets in Pelham and Stamford, CT! Thank you to Fairway and Chefs Jesse Jones and Al Riesenburger for preparing delicious and healthy foods for customers to try and enjoy!

Moroccan Quinoa Salad and Butternut Squash Salad

Friday, October 31, 2014

43-year old Heart Attack Survivor Reminds Women To Take Care of Their Hearts

Pam Dymond, guest speaker at Thursday’s Tri-County Go Red For Women Luncheon at West Hills Country Club, had a message for the 220 women in the audience, “Take time for yourselves…listen to your body, and never, ever take one single beat of your heart for granted!”

The Accord resident was the guest speaker at the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon, an education and fund raising event focused on preventing women’s number one killer—heart disease.

Dymond had a heart attack at age 43 with no prior risk factors except inactivity and being overweight. Sudden chest pain and profuse sweating landed her in the emergency room, and a cardiac catheterization revealed a 90% blocked coronary artery. A stent was used to open the artery. Since her heart attack, she has lost more than 50 pounds and has embraced healthier eating and exercise into new lifestyle.

“It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change,” she said, “My daughter is why I keep trying to be healthy.”

Event Chair, Deborah Marshall, gave Dymond's daughter, Elise, a Red Dress necklace to match her mother's, saying that the girl reminds us all of the reasons why we have to be healthy.

Dymond asked women to take care of their own hearts and also help other women by supporting the American Heart Association’s (AHA) research and efforts through the national Go Red For Women campaign. She added, “I am here today because of research breakthroughs and science. The stent that was used to save my life was developed by an American Heart Association-funded researcher,” she said, “We need more research funding so more lives can be saved.”

During the morning educational session, women learned facts about women and heart disease and information on heart murmus from  Dr. Amala Chirumamilla, cardiologist with Bon Secours Charity Health System. 

Leading health and nutrition authority, Joy Bauer, nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show and a #1 New York Times bestselling author, added to the healthy living theme and offered her four steps to a healthier heart. They include knowing cholesterol and blood pressure numbers, exercising 30 minutes every day, managing weight, and eating super-heart healthy foods like nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin and berries. At the close of her speech she asked the audience to keep active and then invited guests up to the stage for a spirited dance-off.

The inspirational and informational event was chaired by Deborah Marshall, Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing & Strategic Planning at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. The event is part of the AHA’s national campaign to raise awareness among women and provide them with tools to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke - the number one and four causes of death among women.

Heart disease and stroke claim the lives of one in three women -- about 432,000 lives each year, or nearly one death each minute. More women than men die from heart disease and stroke.

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.

To make a donation to support Go Red For Women, please visit online or call Gia McCormack at 845-905-2127 or by email to

Thursday, October 30, 2014

National Eating Healthy Day is Wednesday, Nov. 5

National Eating Healthy Day is Wednesday, Nov. 5, and the American Heart Association wants people to listen the advice of generations of mothers: Eat your vegetables…and fruit.

Americans typically consume about half their recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. For an average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily, that means about 4 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables a day.

“Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and low in saturated fat and calories,” said Carolyn Torella, AHA spokesperson, “Most fruits and vegetables also have no or very little sodium, and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure.”

“Add vegetables to lunch or dinner or snacks by topping sandwiches with spinach, lettuces, cucumbers and tomatoes. Have a hearty salad with chicken or tuna for lunch or dinner. Eat veggies or fruits as snacks," she said.

While heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death and disability for all Americans, more than 80 percent of risk factors for heart disease and stroke are preventable through behaviors like making better food choices, getting regular exercise, keeping a healthy weight and not smoking.

In Middletown, the American Heart Association is celebrating with Orange Regional Medical Center, local sponsor of Healthy Eating Day. Orange Regional is planning healthy activities for employees and visitors.

The AHA is offering a free fruits and vegetable resource guide to help people incorporate more fruits and vegetables in their diet. For more information on National Eating Healthy Day, to download the resource guide or to find recipes and other nutrition information, visit

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fairfield County Heart Walk Celebrates 20th Anniversary - Honors Local Survivors

The American Heart Association’s Fairfield County Heart Walk was held on Sunday, October 26th at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to raise funds and awareness to fight heart disease and stroke—the number one and four killers in Connecticut. Nearly 1,000 people attended the event.

Participants walked the three-mile route for heart health and raised funds with their company and community teams. Three local heart disease survivors were honored at the event.

Rocky Harwood, 71, had his first heart attack in 1992 at age 50. Last summer he felt discomfort across the chest when he was walking. After an angiogram, doctors found his right coronary artery was almost completely blocked. Since his open heart surgery, he has been walking up to five miles a day with his wife.

A passing comment to his heart surgeon that his wife Katie, 66, had felt a strange pressure in her chest while walking resulted in her seeing a cardiologist. An EKG and a stress test showed she had a 95% arterial blockage. She had triple bypass surgery in August.

“I told the doctors at the initial exam that there was nothing wrong with me. That it was just a little pressure when I walked, a little shortness of breath. I ignored all of it,” she said, “Even though I heard statistics that heart disease is the number one killer of women, I still believed it was a man’s disease…until now.”

Heart disease can hit men and women at any age--even a 46-year old Zumba instructor like Lydia Winsor, from Stamford. She first experienced slight discomfort in her arm and mild pressure in her chest, and thought it was a simple muscle strain. But during a trip to Mexico for a family reunion, Winsor had a routine physical examination and further tests that showed the cause of her discomfort was a leaky heart valve, a heart murmur, and an enlarged heart. In autumn 2012, she had aortic valve replacement surgery performed at Stamford Hospital. Winsor and the Harwoods were honored for helping raise funds and awareness for heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women. More women than men die of heart disease and stroke. As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely to experience the other symptoms, mild chest pressure, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. But more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented by lifestyle changes like eating healthier and exercising vigorously 30 minutes a day for most days of the week.

Though medical advances and early action can save many lives from heart disease, it is simple lifestyle changes, like walking 30 minutes daily, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables and quitting smoking that can help prevent more than 80% of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

To honor those who have made significant lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease, the American Heart Association presented the 2014 Lifestyle Change Award, to Claude Edkins from Greenwich, CT.

Knowing his weight was unhealthy, putting at higher risk for heart attack, Edkins tried many times to lose weight. He lost over 75 pounds by exercising and eating right, and he also quit smoking.

To learn more about preventing heart disease and stroke, visit To make a donation to the American Heart Association, please visit

The Fairfield County Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway and presented locally by Cause Sponsor, Stamford Hospital and Regional Hands-Only CPR Sponsor, Westchester Medical Center. Media sponsors include The Hour newspaper, Hearst Media, The Fox 95.9FM radio, and News 12 Connecticut. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Today Show's Joy Bauer to Keynote TriCounty Go Red Luncheon in Middletown

Leading health and nutrition authority, Joy Bauer, has been announced as the keynote speaker for the American Heart Association’s TriCounty Go Red for Women Luncheon. The luncheon is set for Thursday, October 30th at West Hills Country Club, 121 Golf Links Road, Middletown, NY.

As the nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show, Joy shares reliable, practical, and straightforward advice that helps millions of Americans eat better and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. She also hosts the program’s popular “Joy Fit Club” series, which celebrates determined people who have lost more than 100 pounds through diet and exercise alone and recently debuted in the new PBS special, Joy Bauer’s Food Remedies.

Bauer is also a monthly columnist for Woman’s Day magazine and a #1 New York Times bestselling author with 11 books published. She is the nutritionist for the New York City Ballet and wide range of celebrity clients and Olympic athletes.

Passionate about delivering scientifically sound health information, Bauer received the 2010 National Media Excellence Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the 2012 American Society of Nutrition Science Media Award.

“We know Joy strongly believes that it’s never too early or late to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and so does the American Heart Association,” said Deborah Marshall, Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing & Strategic Planning at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, and chair of the 2014 TriCounty Go Red for Women campaign and luncheon, “We know she will inspire women in our audience to start, or continue, their healthy journey.”

The luncheon is part of the AHA’s campaign to raise awareness among women and provide them with tools to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke - the number one and four causes of death among women. The half-day wellness event includes morning educational breakout sessions, an interactive heart check-up and silent auction. Funds raised support the AHA’s awareness programs and research.

Heart disease and stroke claim the lives of one in three women -- about 432,000 lives each year, or nearly one death each minute. More women than men die from heart disease and stroke.

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 event info, please visit  or call Gia McCormack at 845-905-2127 or by email to .

Media, please call 845-905-2123.

World Stroke Day October 29 - Stroke Affects Younger Women, Too

Monica Garrigan of Yorktown Heights resembles many working moms. She is busy, tired, running around with errands, work and children’s school and sports activities.

In June of 2012, when she experienced seemingly benign symptoms like fatigue, vision problems and ear tinnitus, she passed them off as the by-product of a too-busy life. When two red flag symptoms – arm weakness and memory loss – caused a fender bender while she was driving to work, her friend, an eye doctor, told her to get to the hospital right away because she was probably having a stroke.

Her friend was right. A CAT-scan showed she’d had a stroke. She got help immediately when symptoms occurred. But far too many women don’t recognize the signs or don’t take action quickly enough to avoid permanent disability, like paralysis and memory loss, or even death.

“I didn’t fit the profile. I live a fairly healthy lifestyle, eat healthy food and I’m active. But I had a 70% blocked artery in my brain,” said Garrigan, adding, “I considered myself one of the luckiest people alive. It’s incredibly important to know the symptoms. Getting help fast can increase survival and reduce permanent disability.”

Worldwide, one in six people will have a stroke. For women, that figure is one in five.

Supermodel and Actress Claudia Mason is helping the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association raise awareness on World Stroke Day, Oct. 29. 

“I never thought something like this could happen to a healthy, young adult,” Mason said. “I always thought strokes were something only senior citizens with heart disease had.”

Mason didn’t think anything of her sore neck the day after a vigorous dance class, until a severe headache coupled with faulty vision alerted her that something was very wrong. She had suffered a tear in her vertebral artery that lead to an ischemic stroke.

“People are often surprised to learn that young people suffer strokes and even more shocked that women are more likely to have a stroke than men. In fact, women are more likely to have a stroke than to be diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Carolyn Brockington, M.D., American Stroke Association national spokesperson and director of the Stroke Center at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.

“Cerebrovascular disease doesn’t get the attention it should here or abroad. Talking about stroke is an important conversation for everyone because recognizing a stroke and getting treatment quickly may save a life,” Brockington said.

The American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, which is nationally sponsored by Covidien, teaches the acronym F.A.S.T. as an easy way to recognize the most common stroke warning signs and what to do if you suspect someone is having a stroke. Stroke warning signs are important for everyone to know because bystanders need to be able to recognize when someone is having a stroke and call for help for the victim.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F - Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • A - Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S - Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • T - Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Additional stroke signs include: Sudden severe headache with no known cause; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; or sudden confusion or trouble understanding.

“When you call 9-1-1 at the first sign of stroke, the patient has a greater chance of getting to an appropriate hospital quickly and being assessed for treatment options like a clot-busting drug and other medical devices,” said Brockington.

Mason also models the Stroke Solidarity String, the worldwide symbol for stroke, in a new print PSA available this fall from the American Stroke Association.

There are lesser known risk factors for stroke in women. They include migraines, birth control pills, history of preeclampsia, hypertension, hormone replacement therapy, autoimmune diseases and clotting disorders.

The World Stroke Organization established World Stroke Day in 2006 to increase global stroke literacy and prevention. In the United States, stroke is the No. 4 killer and the leading preventable cause of long-term disability.

For more information visit

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CPR in Schools Bill Signing - Looking Back

Hi! It's Carolyn Torella, Regional Communications Director for the American Heart Association sharing my look back at the CPR in Schools bill.

When I started working at the American Heart Association in May of 2008, my first day on the job was at something called, "Lobby Day" in Albany.

I was totally overwhelmed at the prospect of working full-time after being home for years with my children as a stay-at-home mom. That first day was a whirlwind of legislative visits with Assembly and Senate representatives, a brief tour of the Capitol and sprinting from photo opp to photo opp--I was handy with a camera! I definitely worked up a sweat and learned what they meant by "wear comfortable shoes."

I met so many enthusiastic and passionate volunteers that day, and I continue to meet more every year. They all had that "can-do" attitude. Many had survived cardiac arrest. Some had lost loved ones to it. All were so inspirational. I couldn't have picked a better day to start at the AHA.

Here it is, six years later in 2014, and that bill that we literally gave our sweat, and in some cases, tears for, is finally signed. Although it's not a done deal yet, we still need the Commissioner of Education and Board of Regents to sign off, I think it's a great time to look back at all the people who helped get the bill to the Governor's desk.

The bill signing is all about a small group of people in New York State coming together to help the lives of all New Yorkers. It's about a dedicated group of survivors and families of those lost to cardiac arrest rallying for the good of everyone. It's really a case study in how the power of grassroots activism can help save lives. It's about all those phone calls, emails, visits and Tweets that said, "Please pass the CPR in Schools bill!"

I salute all the You're the Cure advocates from the Hudson Valley and around the state for working so hard for so many years to get this bill to this point! We're so close!!! Great work, everyone!

Check out photos from over the years of some of the great volunteers who helped get this bill passed!