Be careful shoveling!

The American Heart Association says that for most people, shoveling snow may not lead to any health problems. However, the association warns that the risk of a heart attack during snow shoveling may increase for some, stating that the combination of colder temperatures and physical exertion increases the workload on the heart.

People who are outdoors in cold weather should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snow drifts can strain a person’s heart.

Those who are sedentary, or people with existing heart conditions like heart failure, high blood pressure or cholesterol, the increased workload on the heart from activities such as shoveling of heavy snow, can put them at higher risk for heart attack—where a clot blocks blood flow to a heart artery causing the heart muscle damage or tissue death. This is a life-threatening medical emergency.

To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association has compiled a list of practical tips.

  • Give yourself a break. Take frequent rest breaks during shoveling so you don’t overstress your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal prior or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
  • Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
  • Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1.
  • Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold.
  • Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition, don’t exercise on a regular basis or are middle aged or older, meet with your doctor prior to the first anticipated snowfall.
  • Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. To prevent hypothermia, dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation. Wear a hat because much of your body’s heat can be lost through your head.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where it is clear what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Call 9-1-1 emergency medical services (EMS) for rapid transport to the emergency room and treatment when they arrive on the scene. Don’t drive yourself–have someone drive you to the hospital right away.


Heart attacks can cause sudden cardiac arrest, where the heart stops beating, or beats irregularly, failing to pump enough blood. If a victim is unresponsive, not breathing or only gasping, quick recognition and fast action are the keys to saving a life.

Bystanders can help cardiac arrest victims survive, if they act fast. First, call 9-1-1 and start CPR right away. Then, if an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available, use it as soon as possible. If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.


Hands Only CPR is effective in saving lives during cardiac arrest. Hands-Only CPR has just two simple steps. If you see a teen or adult collapse,

(1) Call 9-1-1; and

(2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song “Stayin’ Alive” (100 beats per minute) until help arrives.


To learn more about CPR or find a local class, visit www.heart.org/CPR .


30 years of Jump Rope for Heart


Alithea Athans, left, youth market director of the American Heart Association, presents Albany School of Humanities P.E. Teacher Leslie Bogucki with an award during the school’s sixth grade graduation ceremony.

 Albany, June 22, 2017 – Thirty years ago, Leslie Bogucki began teaching Jump Rope for Heart as part of her P.E. curriculum.

TODAY, THURSDAY, JUNE 22, at 9 a.m. at Albany School of Humanities, 108 Whitehall Road, Albany, The American Heart Association and the City School District of Albany honored her  for 30 years of teaching Jump Rope for Heart. The recognition preceded  the school’s 6th grade graduation.

“We can’t thank Leslie enough for her commitment to the children in the ASH community,” said Kathy Lanni, chief community officer at SEFCU and chair of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association. “One-third of New York’s children are overweight or obese, putting them at high risk for heart disease or stroke later in life. By engaging them in a fun activity like jump rope, Leslie has taught generations of children that exercise is fun, increasing their chances of living longer, healthier lives.”

“Like all great teachers, Leslie Bogucki makes learning fun. She gets even the most reluctant students excited about exercising and being healthy, and her work with the Heart Association is just one example of how she motivates kids to help the community while they help themselves,” said Kimberly Young Wilkins, interim superintendent of the City School District of Albany. 

“Leslie Bogucki is a fixture at Albany School of Humanities, and her passion to engage students in health and fitness permeates everything she does. Jump Rope for Heart is one activity that Ms. Bogucki always finds time to champion, and the school community looks forward to it every year. Ms. Bogucki leads the charge to inform students of healthy practices and encourages them to help others,” said C. Fred Engelhardt Jr., principal at Albany School of Humanities.


State Assembly Health Committee’s Passage of Tobacco 21 Could Save Lives, Money

Public health groups call on full Assembly and Senate to pass ‘T21’ before the session ends

 Today’s passage of Tobacco 21 (A273) in the state Assembly’s Health Committee was a positive step forward in preventing New York’s youth from becoming addicted to tobacco, the No. 1 preventable cause of death in New York and a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease, diabetes and asthma, according to public health groups who have been advocating for this measure.

Several organizations applauded the Health Committee, and sponsor Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan.

According to the organizations:

The health committee took an important step today by approving Tobacco 21, and we applaud their action on behalf of all of New York’s youth. Smoking kills 28,200 New Yorkers, and costs the state $10 billion in health-care expenses every year. Ninety-five percent of smokers begin before they are 21. The tobacco industry is on the record saying if they don’t have a committed smoker by 21, chances are that person won’t be a life-long customer. And people 18 – 21 years old often provide cigarettes to younger kids. Today’s vote is an important step toward getting Tobacco 21 passed into law – and protecting kids and saving lives – before the Legislature adjourns next week.

From the health committee, Tobacco 21 goes to the Assembly Codes Committee.

Tobacco 21 is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.

Public health groups applauding the Assembly Health Committee, and advocating for passage of Tobacco 21, include:

American Heart Association

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American Lung Association

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

March of Dimes

Medical Society of The State of New York

New York Chapter American College of Physicians

New York State Association of County Health Officials
New York State American Academy of Pediatrics

New York State Association Family Physicians

New York State Public Health Association

Roswell Park Cancer Institute




AHA, health groups call on NY Legislature to pick a side


Will Legislators pick the side of Public Health or Tobacco and E-cigarette Interests?

 With the clock ticking on the New York State legislative session, groups representing children, public health organizations and medical professionals have joined forces to kick off a campaign calling on both houses of the state legislature to “Pick a Side” on the issues of  e-cigarettes and raising the age for the sale of tobacco products to 21. Will the legislators and their leaders be on the side of public health and kids?  Or on the side of e-cigarette and tobacco companies?

Over 20 percent of high school students in New York now report using e-cigarettes yet the New York State Senate continues to stall on legislation (S2543) to add e-cigarettes to the Clean Indoor Air Act. In addition, 15.2 percent of adults are still smoking and the advocates are urging passage of legislation (S3978/A273) that would raise the age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 (Tobacco 21).

The New York State Assembly has already passed the e-cigarette loophole bill three times. The groups are asking Senate Leadership to decide if they will be on the side of children and public health or be on the side of tobacco and e-cigarette companies by holding up the bill and putting the health and lives of their constituents at risk. Members of both houses of the legislature are also being asked if they will be on the side of tobacco companies or protecting the public’s health when they decide on the Tobacco 21 legislation. Approximately 95 percent of adults who smoke started before the age of 21. A report by the Institute of Medicine predicts raising the national minimum age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 will likely lead to a 12 percent reduction in smoking prevalence.

As part of the “Pick a Side” campaign, volunteers from numerous organizations will be contacting their lawmakers by, among other methods:

  • Dropping off hundreds of petitions in support to member offices.
  • Phone calls to targeted legislators.
  • Calling on their legislators on social media to take a stand.

New York State expanded the Clean Indoor Air Act in 2003 to include all indoor workplaces.

E-cigarettes were not included as the products didn’t exist at that time. Now that these products are widely used, the Clean Indoor Air Act must be amended through this legislation to ensure the air that children, families and workers breathe in public places is clean.

“It’s unbelievable that Big Tobacco and e-cigarette companies hold such power in New York. Tobacco and e-cigarette companies are benefiting at the expense of our kids. It’s time for senators to put kids and the public’s health before e-cigarette company profits,” said Julie Hart, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) New York director of government relations.

“Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. It’s imperative that the state Legislature prevent kids from picking up this deadly habit by raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21. E-cigarettes are currently the most common nicotine product used by high school and middle school kids, and we must close the e-cigarette loophole by including those products in the Clean Indoor Air Act. Passing both pieces of legislation also protects bystanders – who have chosen to avoid smoking and all tobacco products – from the contents and health consequences of all tobacco products,” said Kristin Salvi, Government Relations Director for New York State for the American Heart Association.”

“The importance of closing the loophole in New York’s smoke-free air law cannot be overstated. New York’s smoke-free law was a monumental measure to protect our kids when it was passed over a decade ago. To continue that success, the law must be modernized to reflect the vast increase in e-cigarette usage. All New Yorkers deserve the right to breathe clean air, the Senate must act,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.

“Including electronic cigarettes in the state’s Clean Indoor Air law will further the fundamental purpose of the law – to protect everyone’s right to breathe clean air in workplaces and public places. New York’s comprehensive smoke-free law covering all restaurants, bars and other workplaces, has been in effect since 2003. We need to prevent e-cigarettes from undermining this important public health protection. Smoke-free laws create an environment that encourages smokers to quit and discourages kids from smoking. This legislation will preserve these benefits,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, Director of Advocacy, Northeast Region, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

“These are common-sense policies, supported by evidence, that will advance public health and benefit both individuals and communities We have a significant opportunity to save lives by reducing tobacco use, particularly among children, and to ensure that everyone can breathe clean air in public spaces,” said Andrew Hyland, PhD, chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  

“We know that approximately 90 percent of addicted adult smokers experimented with or began smoking before age 18. We also know that tobacco companies spend millions of dollars marketing their products in stores that children and teens frequent. Raising the age of purchase of tobacco products to 21 makes it less likely that our youth will become addicted to nicotine. This change in the law is an evidence based prevention strategy that works and we need to implement it statewide, now,” said Carol M. Smith, M.D., M.P.H., President, New York State Association of County Health Officials.

“We support every effort to reduce young people’s access to tobacco products, and every initiative to reduce their exposure to second hand smoke. Therefore, we call upon the State Senate to pass legislation adding e-cigarettes to the Indoor Air Act now. In addition, we call upon the legislature to pass Tobacco 21 before this session ends. Any delay in moving this vital public health initiative forward increases life time health risks to more and more young people who start smoking as teens and suffer significant health complications as adults. There is no defense for the tobacco industry in New York, our children should come first!” said Elie Ward, Director of Policy & Advocacy NYS American Academy of Pediatrics.

“There are numerous and well documented dangers to using tobacco including electronic cigarettes at any age and all the dangers are increased when use begins before adulthood. Given the known toxins, chemicals and metals in electronic cigarettes, we must take immediate action to include them in the state’s clean indoor air law to ensure that children, pregnant women, workers and others are not exposed to their aerosols in public places. Also since the drinking age was raised from 18 to 21 there have been national decreases in overall consumption of alcohol, drunk driving, and motor vehicle accidents among young people, serving as further evidence that a similar law for tobacco products would be just as successful. Family Physicians throughout the state urge our senators to do the right thing and pass this legislation this session,” said Robert Ostrander, MD, President of New York State Association Family Physicians. 

“Eleven out of 58 counties in New York State have adopted the Tobacco 21 ordinance. We urge the legislators to follow Hawaii, and California, who have already passed state-wide Tobacco 21 laws. Adding Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) to the Clean Indoor Air Act is the next logical step to maintain the health of our constituents,” said Susan M. Franko, PhD, RRT, President, New York State Public Health Association.

Legislation to close the e-cigarette loophole has already been passed and enacted in eight New York State Counties and New York City as well as 10 states. Tobacco 21 laws have already been enacted in New York City as well as nine other counties and two localities.

The United States Surgeon General reported that youth use of nicotine in any form, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. Studies have concluded that e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless and it is not merely water vapor. E-cigarette aerosol contains fine particles of liquid, solids like harmful metals, or both. One study found up to 31 constituents in the aerosol, including nicotine, acetaldehyde, and diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease.

The e-cigarette loophole legislation will protect New Yorkers from secondhand exposure to nicotine and other known toxins found in e-cigarette aerosol. It will also help ensure that the public health benefits of smoke-free laws are not undermined.






American Heart Association Advocates Meet With Lawmakers Today

1 - Tobacco21 NYThey come from different parts of the state, and they’ll all be dressed in red. Advocates with the American Heart Association will hit the halls of the Capitol buildings today, MONDAY, MAY 1, to ask their representatives to raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

“Smoking is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” said Dr. Mandeep Sidhu, cardiologist at Albany Medical Center and president of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association. “Ninety-five percent of smokers began before they were 21. Nobody should smoke, but we especially want to protect our youth from potentially shortened, unhealthy lives.”

Tobacco 21, (S3978/A273), is sponsored by state Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island and state Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan. Savino and Rosenthal will meet with the American Heart Association advocates in Meeting Room 2 of the Empire State Plaza before they begin their legislative visits at 11:30 a.m.

Nine localities in New York, and 226 across the country, have already passed Tobacco 21.

American Heart Association advocates will be joined by representatives from the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and the New York State Public Health Association.


Adult Survivor of Congenital Heart Disease Speaks With Cardiac Kids

Deb close up

Deborah Flaherty-Kizer, in red, talks with the Cardiac Kids and their families on Saturday, April 29 at the American Heart Association.

When Deborah Flaherty-Kizer was born nearly 60 years ago, her parents were told, “Your baby might not live.” She was blue and only weighed 4 pounds. After her admission to the US Naval Academy was rescinded due to a “heart issue,” she was diagnosed with Ebstein’s Anomaly. She had her first open-heart surgery two years ago.

On Saturday, April 29, Deb joined the Cardiac Kids Paint Party at the American Heart Association to share her story. The Cardiac Kids are children born with a congenital heart defect, and their families, who meet regularly.  

“We are looking forward to meeting Deb,” said Jennifer Corcoran Conway, a partner at Tully Rinckey, member of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association, and parent of 5-year-old Aedan, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. “We attend the Capital Region Heart Walk because we have a long journey to walk with our children, and want to be sure that scientific advances can be made to help them live long and happy lives. Meeting a CHD survivor who has lived a full and happy life is so encouraging.

“My goal has always been to thrive, not just survive,” said Flaherty-Kizer, who has written a book called A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart Disease. 

Growing up, I often felt alone and isolated with my disease, not knowing what the extent of it was and why I couldn’t keep up with the other children,” Flaherty-Kizer, who is also a member of the American Heart Association’s BetterU 2017 class, said. “I’m so grateful that The American Heart Association has a Cardiac Kids group so no child or family will ever feel alone living with congenital heart disease. I’m honored to share my story with this very special group.”

You can meet The Cardiac Kids at the June 3 Capital Region Heart Walk and Run. Sign up now at CapitalRegionHeartWalk.org!

Beacon Health Options is the sponsor of The Cardiac Kids.



MVP CEO to chair Capital Region Heart Walk & Run

Denise Gonick

Denise Gonick

Fighting heart disease and stroke has added a new component in 2017: a 5-kilometer run as part of the American Heart Association’s largest fundraising event, the Capital Region Heart Walk and Run.

“I’m honored to chair the 2017 Capital Region Heart Run and Walk, and excited that, for the first time, the event will feature a 5K,” said Denise Gonick, president and CEO of MVP Health Care.

The Capital Region Heart Walk and Run will take place on Saturday, June 3 at the University at Albany. Activities and registration begin at 8:30 a.m., the Run begins at 10 a.m., and the Walk steps off at 10:05 a.m. 

“Supporting the American Heart Association’s mission to end cardiovascular disease and stroke is important to me as a health care leader, and to MVP Health Care, because the AHA reaches so many people with their critical message of education, empowerment, and prevention,” Gonick said. “We know that if people eat well, know their numbers – like blood pressure and cholesterol – and stay active, we can prevent heart disease and stroke. The Heart Walk helps the American Heart Association continue to fund research and reach people at the Walk and throughout the community.”

This is the second time that Gonick has served in a leadership role with the American Heart Association. In 2012, along with Lynn Oliker, she chaired the Go Red for Women Luncheon.

“I am chairing a second event and continuing my involvement in a leadership capacity with the AHA because this work aligns perfectly with MVP’s commitment to healthy communities,” Gonick said. “Heart disease and stroke, up to 80% of which are preventable by lifestyle modifications, are responsible for the deaths of about one in every three Americans. We simply cannot achieve our vision of healthy communities if heart disease and stroke deaths continue at their current rate.” 

Gonick is working with an executive leadership team to make the Capital Region Heart Walk a success. Its members are Ellen Sax, MVP; Barb Hess, SEFCU; Karen Magee, NYSUT; Dr. Suzie Mookherjee, Albany Medical Center; Lee McElroy, RPI; Paul Milton, Ellis Medicine; Daniella Bigalli, Homestead Funding; Harold Iselin and Jennifer Gomez of Greenberg, Traurig, LLP; Peter Connolly of Keeler Mercedes; and Rob Lamoureux.

Gonick has been president and CEO of MVP Health Care since 2012. In that position, she oversees a company with 700,000 members and 1500 employees. Before becoming president and CEO, she was executive vice president of administrative services and chief legal officer at MVP. 

Gonick is a native of Long Island and a graduate of Hofstra University and Albany Law School. She and her husband Steve live in Guilderland with their two daughters. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Business Council, The Capital Region Chamber, The Center for Economic Growth, and for Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. In January 2017, the Capital Region Chamber named her chair of its board.

“Whether or not you’ve been directly impacted by heart disease or stroke, I’ve encouraged everyone at MVP – and I encourage our whole community – to participate in or donate to this year’s Heart Walk,” Gonick said. “You never know, the life you save may be your own.” 

“Denise Gonick has been a leader in the health care field in the Capital Region for a long time,” said Kathy Lanni, chief community officer at SEFCU and chair of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association. “Her commitment to prevention matches the American Heart Association’s commitment to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Denise’s leadership of the Heart Walk means that we will be able to improve the health of our community members. We’re fortunate that she took on this critical role.”

The Capital Region Heart Walk and Run is set for Saturday, June 3, at the University at Albany. Activities and registration begin at 8:30 a.m. The 5K run will begin at 10 a.m. and the Walk will start at 10:05 a.m. Denise Gonick, president and CEO of MVP Health Care, is chairing the Capital Region Heart Walk and Run. Rosalyn Wallace is the Stroke Ambassador and Ryan Galvin is the Heart Hero. Cody Holyoke of CBS 6 and Sean McMaster of B95.5 will co-emcee the Heart Walk. There will be health screenings, a Kids Zone, a tribute to survivors, and a Memory Lane to honor lost loved ones. Subway is the national sponsor of the Capital Region Heart Walk. Local sponsors include MVP Healthcare, CSEA, Ellis Medicine, Homestead Funding Corp., St. Peter’s Health Partners and SEFCU. Albany Medical Center is the Life Is Why sponsor. Media sponsors are All Over Albany, B95.5, CBS 6 and the Times Union. For information, visit CapitalRegionHeartWalk.org, or contact Kim Sheedy or Jessica Pettengill at Kim.Sheedy@heart.org, 518.626.8757, or Jessica.Pettengill@heart.org or 518.626.8768.


Woman’s Day Editor in Chief to give keynote address at Go Red for Women Luncheon


Susan Spencer

The American Hearst Association announced today that Woman’s Day Editor in Chief Susan Spencer will give the keynote address at the 2017 Go Red for Women Luncheon, the 13th annual gathering of Capital Region women committed to fighting the No. 1 killer of women, heart disease. The luncheon will be held Thursday, May 25, at the Albany Marriott.

As Editor in Chief of Woman’s Day magazine, in 2013 Susan led the creation of the Live Longer & Stronger Challenge, a heart health–focused editorial franchise that puts a spotlight on women’s heart health by inviting five women to improve their health over the course of eight months. The magazine showcases their progress to its readership of 22 million, and at their annual Red Dress Awards, significantly raising awareness of heart disease in women.

“Woman’s Day has been a champion of heart health awareness for over two decades and I’m honored to share how making time for oneself can truly have a profound impact on the way women manage their health,” said Susan Spencer, Editor in Chief of Woman’s Day.

“We are so excited that Susan Spencer will share her insights at the Luncheon,” said Theresa Petrone Butts, project manager at CAP COM Federal Credit Union and co-chair of the 2017 Go Red for Women Luncheon. “Our theme this year is ‘It’s Your Time,’ and I know Susan will inspire our attendees to live the healthiest lives they can.”

“Not one of us is unaffected by cardiovascular disease,” said Leah Slocum of the Peak Residential Partners Team at Realty USA and co-chair of the Go Red For Women Luncheon. “Susan spearheads the fight through Woman’s Day and the Red Dress Awards, and we are grateful that she is bringing that fight to the Capital Region.”

“Susan’s passion to fight heart disease is palpable, and her ability to truly bring that message to her readership in such a real way is inspiring,” said Kathy Lanni, chief community officer of SEFCU and chair of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association.Woman’s Day was a trailblazer and put a stake in the ground long ago to educate women about their risk factors for heart disease and how to make changes in their life to be heart healthy. Her ‘Live Longer & Stronger’ program is an inspiration for all women to take control of their lives and reduce their risk factors. Just like our BetterU program, when you see the changes these women have made, it gives you goose bumps.  I am honored that she is coming to Albany and share her passion with us as we work to end heart disease as women’s No. 1 killer.”

Prior to joining Hearst in 2012, Spencer was executive editor of All You magazine, published by Time Inc., and held senior editorial positions at Child and Diversion magazines. She also worked for Time Inc. Strategic Communications, Time Inc.’s custom publishing unit, producing magazines for corporate clients including Pfizer and American Express. Spencer graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in French and European History. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.

The 2017 Capital Region Go Red for Women Luncheon is set for Thursday, May 25, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Albany Marriott. Theresa Petrone of CAP COM Federal Credit Union and Leah Slocum of the Peak Residential Partners Team at Realty USA are co-chairs. Benita Zahn of WNYT is the emcee, and Susan Spencer, editor-in-chief of Woman’s Day magazine, is the keynote speaker. There will be health information, health screenings and a silent auction featuring “Purse-Onalities” donated by local businesswomen. The 2017 BetterU class will be introduced. Albany Medical Center is the Life Is Why sponsor. Sponsors include CAP COM Federal Credit Union, Ellis Medicine, SEFCU, CDPHP, Crisafulli Bros., CapitalCare Medical Group, The Golub Family Foundation, St. Peter’s Health Partners and the Capital District YMCA. Media sponsors include All Over Albany, The Albany Business Review, WNYT and B95.5. Women@Work is the media sponsor of the BetterU. For information, visit CapitalRegionNYGoRedLuncheon.heart.org or call 518.626.8759.

About the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Woman’s Day

Woman’s Day empowers 22 million American women to enrich their lives with joy, purpose and positivity. WD is her compass, helping her navigate both short-term goals—like producing a delicious dinner on a moment’s notice or sneaking 10 minutes of exercise into her day—and her long-term aspirations for a healthier lifestyle. We engage her with easy, wallet and time-friendly solutions that are both actionable and attainable, delivered in a relatable voice. Above all, WD celebrates and speaks to our readers’ deep commitment to family, community and faith by showcasing uplifting stories and introducing her to women like her who are living their values. We help make every Woman’s Day count. Woman’s Day is published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. With 21 titles in the U.S., Hearst is the leading publisher of monthly magazines in terms of total paid circulation (AAM 2H 2014), reaching 78 million readers (Spring 2016 MRI/GfK at 79.5 million) and 54 million site visitors each month (comScore), with a social media following of 115.5 million. Follow Woman’s Day on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Keep the funding for public health programs!


The state Legislature is talking about cutting state funding for public health programs by 20% as part of a state budget deal. We can’t jeopardize important hypertension, obesity prevention and other chronic and infectious disease prevention efforts for underserved New Yorkers.

Please call the leaders of the Legislature today. Here are their numbers and suggested script.

It literally only takes a minute or two.

Assembly Speaker Heastie: 518-455-3791

Senate Majority Leader Flanagan: 518-455-2071

My name is [_____], from [CITY]. I am calling to strongly oppose any cuts to the state health department and public health funding. Public health programs save lives. You cannot negotiate away critical prevention programs for those who need them most. Thank you.

You will likely just be asked for your name and leave a message. Your voice can save lives!!!


Empire State Trail would provide health, economic benefits

Bob and Kristin

Bob Elling, left, chair of the New York State Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association, and Kristin Salvi, New York government relations director of the American Heart Association, strategize about ways to get the Empire State Trail funded in New York.

National outdoor co-op REI, the American Heart Association, and the Healthcare Association of New York together announced their support today for the Empire State Trail, a proposal in Governor Cuomo’s executive budget to complete the nation’s longest multi-use trail in the next three years. The trail will serve as a “spine” connecting multi-use trail systems across the state, from New York City to Plattsburgh and Buffalo to Albany.

“Our members across the state of New York are passionate about multi-use trails and eager to get out on this new recreational gem,” said Kurt Feilke, REI Retail Director for the northeast district. The company is the largest specialty outdoor retailer in the country. “The outdoors is a place in which we can all can come together regardless of party affiliation. We hope the governor and legislative leaders work together to begin work on the Empire State Trail in 2017,” he added.

“The Empire State Trail is a great investment in the health of all New Yorkers,” said Bob Elling, chair of the New York State Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association. “Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of all Americans, yet 80 percent of those disease are preventable. By providing a safe and attractive place for people to bike, hike, push strollers, and engage in any kind of exercise, the state can improve the health of its residents.”

Bea Grause, President of the Healthcare Association of New York State said: “I’m pleased to be part of the growing coalition in support of the Empire State Trail. This trail leads through open spaces and scenic vistas to a fitter, healthier and more active New York.”

The Empire State Trail will create the nation’s premier multi-use trail – a full 750 miles of off-road trail and safe on-road connections – by finishing the Erie Canalway Trail, and connecting New York City to the North Country via the Hudson River Valley Greenway and State Bike Route 9 in the eastern Adirondacks. The initiative will secure New York’s place as a destination for outdoor recreation and heritage tourism, and contribute substantially to New York’s economy, public health, and environment.

Much of the trail is already built, and initial work will be focused on closing gaps in the Erie Canalway Trail and Hudson River Valley Greenway this year. The Erie Canalway Trail is 80 percent complete, the Hudson River Valley Greenway is 60 percent complete and the connection to Canada is 30 percent complete.

Along its extent, the new trail will connect popular state parks and historic sites such as Walkway Over the Hudson, FDR National Historic Site, Saratoga Battlefield National Historic Park, Fort Stanwix National Monument, Green Lakes State Park, and Ganondagan State Historic Site, among many others, to millions of New Yorkers and out-of-state tourists.

Click here to let your legislator know that you want the Empire State Trail! http://act.yourethecure.org/GgnbL6R