Thursday, May 14, 2015

May is American Stroke Month - Become a Stroke Hero

This May, for American Stroke Month, we are teaching “anyone can have a stroke, everyone should be ready”.  As a potential bystander, knowing to call 9.1.1. immediately, could potentially save the life of your friend, your grandparent, neighbor or even a colleague. Rapid reaction can make the difference between full recovery and permanent damage. That is why we need you to help us spread  F.A.S.T awareness.

Teach your friends, family and loved ones to be armed with knowledge. Learn  and  share the warning signs of stroke,
F. (Face drooping)
A. (Arm Weakness)
S. (Speech Difficulty)
T. (Time to Call 911). 

By doing this, you and anyone, can become a Stroke Hero, allowing stroke victims to rely on you in case of a stroke emergency.

Are you ready to save someone from stroke? Test your super-power knowledge by taking our F.A.S.T. quiz.  Share your knowledge by sharing the quiz with everyone in effort to increase the amount of F.A.S.T. Heroes in America.  Encourage them to download our free Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. mobile app to use as a helpful resource in case of a stroke crisis and to learn about prevention information. Remember, bystanders rely on you, so let’s make sure everyone is ready!

American Stroke Month is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association annual campaign to increase stroke awareness and to educate Americans that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.  While stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and leading cause of disability in the U.S., many Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern.  We have made a lot of progress, but we still have a ways to go to end stroke and we need your help!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Faces of AFib Campaign Launches During May--American Stroke Month

Darien, Connecticut AFib Survivor Shares Her Personal Story in National Campaign

During American Stroke Month in May, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is launching a campaign to raise awareness about a type of irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation (AFib). More than 2.7 million Americans live with this condition, and are at increased risk of heart-related death and at a five times greater risk for having a stroke. The campaign is made possible by a charitable donation from Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer.

Four Heart Association volunteers share their personal experiences living with AFib: Carl Romero, a high school teacher; Jane Golub, Director of In-store Marketing Programs for Price Chopper Supermarkets; Mary Deas, a retiree and volunteer for both the American Heart Association and Arthritis Foundation; and Karen Christensen, an ice-skating coach and former Ice Capades performer from Darien. Christensen (see above in new AFib awareness campaign ad) previously volunteered for the American Heart Association’s Fairfield Heart Walk as Honoree.

Each survivor has had a unique experience, but all are living life to the fullest. In addition to helping raise awareness about the risk factors and symptoms of AFib, these personal stories are also intended to help reassure those recently diagnosed with AFib that it doesn’t have to impact their quality of life. “The best advice that I would give to somebody who has just been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation is stay positive, take your medication and just live your life each day and enjoy it,” says Karen Christensen.

Their stories are on YouTube, and they will also be featured in public service and social media campaigns.  (Carl Romero, Jane Golub , Karen Christensen and Mary Deas)
      To learn more about AFib, visit To learn more about preventing and recognizing stroke symptoms, visit

     Many thanks to the Stamford Twin Rinks for accomodating the filming of Karen's video and to Joanne Cannale for providing hair and makeup for Karen!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Learn the F.A.S.T Stroke Symptoms This Friday at the Rail Trail!

May is American Stroke Month and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association wants you to learn the F.A.S.T. stroke symptoms to help save lives from the #5 killer--stroke. 

Stop by our tent next to the Manchester Road intersection of the Dutchess County Rail Trail at lunchtime this Friday, May 15th to learn the F.A.S.T. stroke symptoms and you'll receive a free bottled water! You can take a #StrokeMonth selfie to share the stroke symptoms with your friends & loved ones on social media, too!

You can also learn Hands-Only CPR, sponsored by MidHudson Regional Hospital in just one minute!

Take a minute to learn life-saving information and we'll keep you hydrated while you walk, run or ride the Rail Trail for your heart!

See you on Friday!

May is American Stroke Month - Learn the F.A.S.T Stroke Symptoms

If you’re like most Americans, you don’t know the signs of stroke.
            Only 8 percent of those recently surveyed in the American Stroke Association/Ad Council Stroke Awareness Continuous Tracking Study could identify each letter in F.A.S.T., an acronym of the most common stroke warning signs.

            “Anyone can have a stroke and everyone should be ready to identify the signs and act quickly to save a life,” said Kristin Judd, American Heart Association Executive Director, who, as part of American Stroke Month in May, is urging Hudson Valley residents to download a free mobile app to learn how to detect a stroke.
“Learning how to spot a stroke is just as important as teaching your family CPR or what to do in the event of a fire. With stroke — just like a cardiac arrest or a fire — seconds count,” she said.
            F.A.S.T. is:
  • 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.
The free Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. app for iOS and Android is available April 30th in English and Spanish and includes a stroke warning sign quiz, high blood pressure chart and a searchable map of hospitals recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and the nation’s No. 5 leading cause of death.
“Many people think of strokes as a disease of the elderly, but it can happen to anyone at any time, even very young people,” said Judd. “When someone recognizes a stroke and quickly calls 9-1-1, the person has a greater chance of getting to an appropriate hospital quickly and being assessed for a clot-busting drug or other medical devices that may save their life and improve their chances for recovery.”
Teaching people how to recognize a stroke and respond quickly is a primary goal of the American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative, sponsored nationally by Medtronic. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association.
For more information on stroke, and to download the app, visit

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hudson Valley Fit Friendly Worksites

workplace wellness is why 

According to Business Insider, the average American spends 90,000 hours of his or her life at work. Fortunately, the American Heart Association has a number of programs to keep your workplace a healthy place at which to spend them! Information about Walking Paths, Workplace Wellness and even official AHA Fit-Friendly Workplace Certification are all FREE, and just a click away at 

Congratulations to the following Hudson Valley companies for being named Fit Friendly Worksites for 2014-2015:

November 2014:
Alteva - Warwick
Bon Secours Charity Health System
Epicor Software Corp
Jawonio Inc
Laerdal Medical Corporation
Marshall & Sterling Enterprises
Mediacom Communications Corp
Nice-Pak PDI
Saint Dominic's Home
United Healthcare
Wallkill Valley Federal Savings & Loan Association 

April 2015:
Active International
Dominican College
Health Quest
Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
Orange County Community College
Orange County Government
Orange County Trust Company
Orange Regional Medical Center
Orange-Ulster BOCES
Rondout Savings Bank
Sullivan County Head Start, Inc.
The Chazen Companies 

Want to discuss which wellness programs are right for your business? Email Hudson Valley American Heart Association Executive Director, Kristin Judd at .

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lace Up and Move. It’s National Walking Day!

The American Heart Association wants people to lace up and get moving in celebration of National Walking DayApril 1st!

These days, we’re spending more time at work and sitting in front of a screen than ever before. We're becoming less active, which can increase our risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases.

Simply walking has many health benefits. Research has shown that every hour of regular exercise can add about two hours to life expectancy, even if you don’t start until midlife. Plus, physical activity can relieve depression, improve your memory, lower your blood pressure and help prevent obesity.
On the other hand, being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are the nation’s leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability. They account for about one of every three deaths each year and more than $300 billion a year in health-related costs including lost productivity.
Adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, and kids should get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. But 80 percent of Americans don’t make exercise a regular habit, according to a recent American Heart Association survey. Statistics show that people tend to stick with walking more than other forms of exercise. That’s why the association promotes walking as one of the simplest and most effective ways for everyone to get moving. 
The American Heart Association provides a wealth of walking, physical activity and healthy living information online and sponsors local programs and events like the Heart Walk. National Walking Day is sponsored locally by Nice Pak / PDI.
How will you get moving on National Walking Day? Use the hashtag #AHALaceUp and let us know!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

American Heart Volunteers Urge State Ed to Make CPR Part of Curriculum

April 19th marks 180 days since the CPR in Schools law went to the state Department of Education from Governor Andrew Cuomo. The New York State Ed must make a recommendation to the Board of Regents to include Hands-Only CPR instruction in the curriculum by the April 19th deadline.
Kevin Foord's life was saved by his daughter's CPR

 Kevin Foord of Suffern knows the importance of time – when he suffered sudden cardiac arrest in 2002, it was his daughter’s immediate action that saved his life. She started CPR on her father – because of that, he was able to walk her down the aisle.

Foord is one of many American Heart Association volunteers reaching out directly to Acting Commissioner of the state Department of Education Elizabeth Berlin, and to the Board of Regents to tell them that we need all high school students to learn Hands-Only CPR.

“I wouldn’t be here today if my daughter hadn’t learned CPR as a teenager.  I wouldn’t have even been able to walk her down the aisle.  We have been advocating for CPR in Schools for years,” Foord said, “We are closer than ever, and I urge everyone to contact Acting Commissioner Berlin and Chancellor of the Board of Regents Merryl Tisch to tell them how important it is that all high school students learn Hands-Only CPR.”

Kevin Foord lobbied for CPR in Schools in Albany
“CPR is easy to teach and easy to learn.  That’s why so many other states require students to learn this lifesaving skill.  It takes just one class period.  Surely, New York can do the same,” said Bob Elling, chair of the American Heart Association’s New York State Advocacy Committee. “Sadly, about 9 out of 10 victims of sudden cardiac arrest die.  We can change this grim statistic by teaching Hands-Only CPR to students.  The cost is negligible, since a YouTube video gives an overview, and a few manikins let students practice the skill.”

New York would be the 22nd state to include the Hands-Only CPR training to the curriculum. To learn more about CPR in Schools, visit