Planning For American Heart Association’s 14th Annual Go Red For Women Luncheon Underway

Plans are officially underway for this year’s 14th Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon which will take place on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at the Crest Hollow Country Club.  Pictured are the members of the 2014-2015 American Heart Association Go Red for Women Luncheon Committee Chaired by Teresa Evans, Head of Human Resources Continental Home Loans, Inc. and will honor Howard Stein, Managing Partner of the Real Estate Practice Group Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP and Deborah K. Richman, President and CEO DK USA, Ltd. For more information about the Luncheon or how to become involved in the Go Red for Women movement, contact the American Heart Association at (516) 450-9131 or visit

The Long Island Go Red For Women Luncheon is nationally sponsored by Macy’s. The North Shore-LIJ Health System is the Cites Go Red sponsor.

2015 GRFW Committee Photo

Front Row: Honoree Howard Stein, Auction Chair Michelle Schmitt, Event Chair Teresa Evans. 2nd Row: AHA Regional VP Kathy Munsch, Elana Zolfo, Bill Faggiano, Laura Palacios, Cathy Stein, Tracey Markland, Alan Schoenberger, Ann Boutcher, Michelle  Stieglitz, Gina Eannucci, Nancy Magrini, Vivian Aronica. Back Row: Karen Vito, Veronica Henry, Christine Miller, Nancy Lieberman, Jill Grossman, Brenda Litzky, Randi Lehman, Marilyn Price, Holly Von Seggern, AHA Event Manager Rosanne Goodman, AHA Event Admin Julie Cocheo, AHA GRFW Event Director Meredith McCaslin.  Missing from photo: Honoree Deborah K. Richman, Jean Marie Cacciabaudo, Anna Carusos, Lois Cooper, Lois Cornibert, Sophia DeMonte, Karen Ferenzo, Reva Gajer, Sheryl Giugliano, Theresa Going, Rhonda Green, Sonia Henry, Veronia Henry, Joan Kaye, Ellen Kessler, Ellen Labita, Cindy McLoughlin, Cheryl Mittel, Carmelina Oliveira, Stacey Rosen, Susan Safran, Loriann Shelton, Jacqueline Siegel, Lina Silva & Carol Solomon.

Praise and hope from American Heart Association As Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the CPR in Schools bill

Advocates prepare for the next steps

They have traveled to Albany to meet with legislators; they held a CPR Rally at the Capitol; they have written letters to the editor; they have given countless media interviews; they have tweeted and they have phoned.

Today, after learning that Gov. Cuomo has signed the CPR in Schools bill, six women who lost children to sudden cardiac arrest are optimistic that the New York will join the 19 other states that ensure students learn CPR before graduation.

“My daughter Emily was 14 when she took her last breath in my arms,” said Annette Adamczak of Akron, who, on Sunday, orchestrated a CPR Flash Mob on the fields near where her daughter collapsed. “Governor Cuomo has used his heart in signing this bill, and done his part to make sure all New York students are trained in CPR. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would give my hands the knowledge that could have saved a life – my child’s life.”

“Five years later I still wonder why? With so many people there that that night why isn’t Dominic here?” said Melinda Murray of Queens, whose son Dominic died of sudden cardiac arrest when he was 17. “The answer is clear. No one knew what to do right away. Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for ensuring our next generation knows what to do in the precious minutes it takes to save a life.”

The signed bill now goes to the state Commissioner of Education, who has 180 days to recommend to the Board of Regents that they include CPR and AED instruction in the curriculum. The Regents have 60 days to act after the commissioner’s report.

“My son Louis never had a chance at survival,” said Karen Acompora of Northport, whose son was 14 when he died of sudden cardiac arrest. Acompora was instrumental in passing Louis’ Law, which requires that an AED be on-site in public places where large amounts of people gather. Since that law went into effect in 2002, more than 80 lives have been saved.

“I applaud Gov. Cuomo for signing the CPR in Schools bill, and bringing the state of New York closer to creating a generation of life savers,” Acompora said. “He honors Louis and the other children whose lives were cut short by signing this bill. We are almost there. Now it is up to the State Education Department to do the right thing.”

“My son was 16 when he died of an enlarged heart,” said Audrey Linguanti of Spring Valley. “Since then I have been working hard to pass the CPR in schools bill, in his memory.  Governor Cuomo’s signature on this bill is a good step toward saving so many lives – like Vincent wanted to when he joined the local fire department. Thank you, Governor.”

“The pain we have over losing our children never ends,” said Suzy McCarthy of Evans, whose daughter Madison was 5 when sudden cardiac arrest stole her life. “Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for realizing that time is critical – let’s get the students of New York trained so that we can save, not lose, lives.”

“We will miss Robbie all of our lives,” said Jill Levine of Merrick, whose son was 9 when he died. “It has taken us years to get to this point. Thank you to Gov. Cuomo for signing the CPR in Schools bill. I hope the State Education Department quickly finalizes recommendations to ensure students learn CPR. It is within their power to prevent more senseless deaths in New York.”

“Governor Cuomo’s signature on this bill has the potential to make New York a safer state for all,” said Dan Moran, chair of the New York State Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association. “Most of the 424,000 sudden cardiac arrest deaths that happen each year happen in the home. Having CPR performed doubles or triples the chances of survival for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. All of us applaud Gov. Cuomo for signing this bill, and hope that the Commissioner of Education and the Board of Regents take the steps that will empower our students by teaching them Hands-Only CPR.”

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Governor for recognizing the life-saving potential of this legislation,” said Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, who authored and sponsored the bill (A9298). “This legislation will help ensure more New Yorkers are prepared to perform CPR and by equipping our kids with this knowledge, we can prevent unnecessary deaths.”

Weisenberg was also the sponsor of Louis’ Law.

“Most people are surprised to learn CPR isn’t taught to our kids before they graduate,” said state Sen. Mark Grisanti, sponsor of the bill in the Senate (S7096). “Teaching CPR is just common sense. Schools prepare students with essential life skills, and CPR skills will make our communities safer, year after year. I’m proud to have sponsored the CPR in Schools bill. Nineteen other states have a CPR in Schools law. Let’s get New York in the top 20.”

“One training session, one class period could mean the difference in a life,” said Adamczak. “One life may not seem like much, but to that person’s family, it is the world.”

Why Teach CPR in Schools?

  • Over 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States.
  • Sadly, about 90 percent of victims die most likely because they don’t receive timely CPR.
  • Three to Five minutes – this is the difference between life and death.
  • A victim’s best chance at survival is receiving bystander CPR until EMTs arrive.
  • Given right away, CPR doubles or triples survival rates.
  • Teaching students CPR could save thousands of lives by filling our community with lifesavers.
  • About 80 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home.  The life saved will likely be a loved one.
  • So far, 19 states across the country have already passed laws requiring every high school student to be CPR-trained before graduation, and it’s paying off.
  • Hands-only CPR makes it easy.  Now CPR can be taught in less than one class period.

How to Have a Heart-Healthy Halloween

  • Remember to have a healthy meal BEFORE you go trick-or-treating. This reduces the temptation to “snack” while walking.
  • Make this a fun family physical activity event. Set a goal of how many houses you will walk to and then stick to it!
  • Think about a healthier version of treats to give out at your house: Mini boxes of raisins, 100% juice juice-boxes, snack sized pretzels, pre-packaged trail mixes, pre-packaged dried fruits, crayons, stickers, silly bands, tooth brushes, bubbles, plastic spiders, or coupons to local frozen yogurt stores. Avoid using toys that could be a choking hazard to little ones.
  • Smart safety tips to keep in mind: bring a flash light while walking, only go to houses with the porch light on, inspect candy before allowing children to eat it, and be on your way home before the street lights come on.
  • Remember to stay in groups when trick-or-treating. Don’t allow your child to walk up to a house alone and always keep a watchful eye on where they are headed next. Use sidewalks when available, and use crosswalks when crossing busier streets.
  • Find the right sized collection bag for your child. Steer clear of the pillow case method.Want to avoid candy and masses of kids? Dress your family up in their costumes and go see a movie, go to the toy store and have your child pick out their favorite toy, see if local malls have trick-or-treat within the stores, local police and fire stations may offer this alternative as well.
  • Avoid the urge to buy on-sale candy in the grocery stores after Halloween.

So how do you deal with the excess of candy lying around your house come November 1?

  • Pick out enough candy for one piece a day for 5 days and put those in the fridge. When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some healthy nuts, or celery.
  •  “Buy back” the candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at a local park, going ice skating, or a day at the pool.
  • Some dentist offices have been known to buy back the candy from their patients so be on the lookout for that option!

American Heart Association Urges Cardiovascular Health Awareness During National Hispanic Heritage Month

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer for all Americans and stroke is the fourth leading cause of death. Hispanics and Latinos, however, face an increase incidence of cardiovascular diseases because of higher risk for health issues including high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association is urging families to talk about their risks for heart disease and stroke throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th-October 15th.

Cardiovascular disease is a major concern for the Latino population. With over one-third of the Mexican American populations having cardiovascular disease, it’s vital to learn how to recognize heart disease and stroke while also taking steps to reduce your risk for these deadly—yet preventable—diseases.

Nearly 78% of Mexican Americans, age 20 and older, are considered overweight or obese while over 22% of Hispanics age 18 and older suffer with high blood pressure. Research also suggests that Hispanics are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as compared with non-Hispanic whites of a similar age.

Making simple changes can help you greatly reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. By making healthier food choices, incorporating exercise and scheduling regular check-ups with your doctor, you can be proactive in your and your family’s wellbeing. By taking control of our health today, we can live longer, stronger lives in the future.

The American Heart Association offers these tips to start on the road to heart-health:

  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
  • Eat at least two servings of fish each week.
  • Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans-fat in your diet.
  • Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol.
  • Get active wherever you are. At home, take housework to the next level to get your heart pumping. Added benefit—you’ll be done faster! At work, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Write down a list of questions and bring them with you to your check-up. This way you’ll have a reference and won’t forget something you were meaning to follow up on.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, the American Heart Association suggests that families find time to discuss why they should care about cardiovascular health and find their motivation to be heart-healthy. The American Heart Association wants people to experience more of life’s precious moments. It’s why they’ve made better heart and brain health their mission. For the American Heart Association, LIFE IS WHY.

The Association also urges everyone to learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke and to call 9-1-1 immediately if you or someone around you exhibits any of the following:

Heart Attack Warning Signs:

  • 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. Women may also have a tendency to experience other symptoms including indigestion, a tightness in the jaw or shoulder or an overwhelming feeling of anxiety.

Stroke Warning Signs:

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:

  • F Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
  • 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? Is the person unable to speak or 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 someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

For more information or resources, visit


On Tuesday, September 23, the American Heart Association will host their annual Heart Saver and Board Awards Dinner at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

To begin the evening, the new Long Island American Heart Association Board members and officers will be sworn into office. New members of the board include; Rosevelie Marquez – Morales, Esq., Attorney, Harris Beach, LLP ; Louis Mastrianni, Market President, LI/Queens Middle Market & The Apparel Group, Commercial Banking, Chase, J.P. Morgan Bank, LLC; Martha C. Stark, Group Director & Senior Vice President, Signature Bank and Juan Vides, CEO/President, TechACS Corp.

The Board will take on the enormous task of steering the organization’s life-saving mission and keeping a promise to have an extraordinary impact on the public by empowering individuals and their loved ones to save lives, live healthier and become more educated about cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Newly appointed Chair of the Long Island Board, Marc L. Hamroff, Esq., Managing Partner, Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP will then assist Board President, Dr. Paul Harnick, Cardiovascular Medical Associates, PC along with Karen Acompora, The Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation, will present the Board and Heart Saver awards.

Heart Saver awards are presented to recognize those who’ve saved or attempted to save a life or individuals and organizations that have gone to extraordinary means to strengthen each link in the Chain of Survival. Various other awards which recognize individuals or companies for their outstanding service and dedication to the American Heart Association this past year will also be awarded throughout the evening.

If you would like to become involved with the American Heart Association, please visit

Red Cap” Ambassador Prepares for Long Island Heart Walk

The American Heart Association is proud to have Brian McKee serving as the 2014 Long Island Heart Walk “Red Cap” Ambassador.  This year’s Long Island Heart Walk will be taking place on Sunday, September 21 at Jones Beach.

Brian McKee is a former New York City police officer, a husband, a father of three young children and a survivor of a cardiac arrest.  On March 5, 2013, Brian was working out with his partner in the NYC Police Academy training for a Spartan race at Citi Field.  Part of their workout involved climbing the stairs.   When they reached the basement of the academy, Brian grabbed his knees, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.  His partner immediately started CPR and called for help.

Luckily for him, there was a police officer in the building trained to use an AED which was located in the hallway of the building.  After shocking him 4 times, Brian’s heart beat returned.   Brian considers himself very lucky to have survived and credits that survival to the fact that his partner was trained in CPR and that there was an AED easily available.  The AED that saved his life was only installed 4 year prior, a fact that Brian thinks about constantly.  Brian is proud to serve as the 2014 Long Island Heart Walk Red Cap Ambassador and hopes to help raise awareness and support for CPR training and increased availability of AED’s.  

A “Red Cap” is a red baseball cap featuring the American Heart Association logo.  “Red Caps” refer to survivors of heart attack, cardiac arrest or heart surgery who wear the red caps as a symbol of their survival while walking in the Heart Walk.  “White Caps” will be distributed to stroke survivors the day of the walk.  Pediatric cardiovascular disease survivors will receive red super hero capes to acknowledge their courage.  Hundreds of survivors from across Long Island participate to show that heart disease and stroke can be beaten.

The American Heart Association estimates there are more than 71 million Americans alive with one or more types of cardiovascular disease.

As Red Cap Ambassador for the Long Island Heart Walk, Brian will help create awareness about the importance of survivors participating in the event and to create awareness that heart disease and stroke aren’t “just an older man’s diseases.”

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, join our “Red Cap” Ambassador and thousands of other survivors, families and friends from all over Long Island at the Long Island Heart Walk at Jones Beach, Field 5.

The annual success of the Long Island Heart Walk is due in part to national sponsor, Subway. Local sponsors include TD Bank, Astoria Bank, Vita Coco, Cohn Reznick, EVO Payments Intl., Winthrop University Hospital, Luxottica and Catholic Health Services. Local media sponsors are News 12 Long Island, WBAB 102.3-FM and WBLI 106.1-FM.brian mckee photo

For more information about the Long Island Heart Walk taking place on Sunday, September 21 call the American Heart Association at 516-450-9104 or visit us at

Healthy Eating Tips for College Students

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association encourage college students to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Heading back to school and dreading the all-you-can-eat cafeteria? First year and fearing the “Freshman 15”?  Staying healthy in college is more than just fitting into your skinny jeans—it can seriously help you later on in life.

Why care now, you ask?  The American Heart Association says ‘Life is Why.’ Here’s a lesson you don’t want to forget: nearly 68 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, and obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers.

Check out this ‘study guide’ to help your health exam.

Did you check in?  After you’ve successfully updated your status on your social networks, pop over to this online tool to check your calories.  Managing weight is a simple equation of burning as many calories as you take in.  Use the app, manage your weight and continue to update your status.

  1. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but eat your fruits and veggies.  Mom and Dad were on to something when they taught you to eat an apple a day.  The American Heart Association recommends filling half your plate with fruits and/or vegetables at every meal.  Fruits and vegetables are low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods that keep you satisfied and may help you maintain weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.      
  2. Stay hydrated my friends.  Water is the best way to stay hydrated.  Reach for water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and sports drinks, which add extra calories with little nutritional value.  Plain water too boring?  Try sparkling water or add fruit wedges to jazz it up.
  3. Put down the double bacon cheeseburger.  It sounds like a delicious option after that all-nighter you pulled, but your heart won’t be happy with you.  Instead, reach for a grilled turkey burger piled high with veggies like avocado, tomato, onions and lettuce. In other words, choose lean cuts of meat and poultry without skin and extra fat removed.  Opt for grilled, baked, broiled, poached or roasted (we promise, it’ll still taste delish!)
  4. Something sounds fishy!  We’re talking about that deep-fried, breaded basket that you took in the cafeteria line.  Instead, try baked, broiled or grilled fish (especially the oil kind, like salmon or trout) twice a week.  
  5. Slow down there, slugger.  Let’s just say, drink in moderation.  Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and can have other negative effects on your health.  The American Heart Association recommends no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.  Tiny umbrella optional.
  6. Stuff your face!  With healthy snacks, that is!  In between classes and studying, it’s sometimes hard to find healthy options.  So when you need a bite, stuff your face with fresh fruits and veggies, unsalted nuts and seeds, and low-fat whole-grain crackers.
  7. Strike a (yoga) pose.  Put down the cupcake and fight your stress without food.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try yoga, take a walk, go to the gym or call friends or family.  Remember, you’re allowed to take breaks from studying in order to recharge.
  8. We like to move it, move it.  Cue the dance music, lace up those running shoes or grab a Frisbee.  No matter how you like to move it (move it!), maintaining weight is about burning the same amount of calories as you consume.  Developing a regular exercise routine (at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) is the best way to burn additional calories and manage stress.
  9. Take your phone out.  No, not to tweet.  To check your portions.  One of the easiest pitfalls for college students is all-you-can- eat cafeterias.  Portion control can help you keep track of the foods you are consuming without going overboard.  For instance, a serving of chicken breast (3 ounces) is about the size of a smart phone and a medium banana is about the size of a pencil.  For more portion comparisons, check out

Looking for more tips on maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle?  Visit