3AWA_7849 Debra Halbert, John Tortorella, Terry Thompson, Howard Bluver, Meredith Cohen, Elaine Hammond

Glitzy Hamptons Heart Ball Kickoff Readies Crowd For Summer

Pictured: Debra Halbert, John Tortorella, Terry Thompson, Howard Bluver, Meredith Cohen, Elaine Hammond.

The theme of this year’s American Heart Association’s 19th Annual Hamptons Heart Ball is “Glitz & Glamour” and that is exactly what stood out at the kickoff event.  Held at the Martha Washington Hotel on March 24th, more than 200 people gathered to celebrate the upcoming event that is taking place on Saturday, June 13th at the Hayground School in Bridgehampton.

Those in attendance were treated to entertainment by DJ Cash and flapper tap dancers that went along with the theme of the evening. In attendance were Steven Victor, Anna Rhodes, Jon and Joanie Gruen, John Tortorella, Debra Halpert, Allen and Arlene Lazare, Allan & Joy Marks, Merv Matheson, Rocco Ancarola, Jane Pontarelli, Dean Christiansen, Judy Gilbert, Consuelo Costin, Robin Cofer, Randi Schatz, Andrea Wernick, Lucia Hwong Gordon and Nicole Noonan and Stephen Knobel.  Regional Director Barbara Poliwoda said “The event is forecasting to be very well attended and I am expecting it to break all fundraising records in its 19 year history.”

This year’s Hamptons Heart Ball will be chaired by Meredith Cohen. Cristina Civetta, heart survivor is Jr. Chair. The American Heart Association is proud to honor Howard Bluver, CEO, Suffolk County National Bank with the Distinguished Leadership Award. David H. Adams, MD, Cardiac Surgeon-in-Chief, Mount Sinai Health System and President, Mitral Foundation will receive the Distinguished Service Award.  Chris Wragge, News Anchor, CBS 2 News will emcee the event.

For more information about the 19th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball, to buy tickets or to get involved, please visit www.hamptonsheartball.heart.org

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Long Island Mother Marks 15th Anniversary of Her Son’s Death by Calling on Regents to Implement CPR in Schools

Fifteen years ago today, 14-year-old Louis Acompora died of sudden cardiac arrest on a lacrosse field.

Today, his mother sent a letter to every member of the New York state Board of Regents asking them to implement CPR in Schools. April 19 will mark 180 days since the CPR in Schools law went to the state Department of Education. By then, State Ed must make a recommendation to the Board of Regents to include Hands-Only CPR instruction in the curriculum.

“Louis was playing in his very first high school lacrosse game,” Acompora said. “We watched proudly on the sidelines. After he blocked a routine shot, we saw Louis collapse. Paramedics arrived almost 15 minutes after Louis collapsed but were too late. Louis went into sudden cardiac arrest and passed away. He was 14 years old.

“It seems unimaginable that my blue-eyed teenage boy would now be 29,” Acompora said. “Since that time, I’ve worked to help spare other families from this type of tragedy.  We passed Louis’ Law so that all schools in the state are equipped with AEDs.  I’m proud to say at least 86 lives have been saved.  And together we passed CPR in Schools legislation and convinced the Governor to sign the bill.  It has been a long journey…the final step is approval from the Board of Regents.”  It seems unimaginable that my blue-eyed, teenage boy would now be 29-years old. Since that time, I’ve worked with many of you to help spare other families from this type of tragedy. We passed Louis’ Law so that all schools in the state are equipped with AEDs. I’m proud to say at least 86 lives have been saved. And together we passed CPR in Schools legislation and convinced the Governor to sign the bill. It has been a long journey…the final step for CPR in Schools is approval from the Board of Regents.

Today, for Louis’ anniversary, will you join me? Please send a message to the Board of Regents to ask for their support for CPR in Schools.

Given right away, CPR doubles or triples survival rates. And everyone deserves a fighting chance. It’s time for New York State to have more lifesavers in the community.

In memory of Louis, please join my family to tell the Board of Regents: It’s time for New York to be CPR smart.

Acompora’s call to action to ask people to contact the Board of Regents is also posted on the American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools facebook page. As of 10 a.m. on Louis’ anniversary, March 25, 7,000 people had viewed it.

“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,” Acompora said.

“Losing Louis was tragic,” said Bob Elling, chair of the New York State Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association. “Karen has worked tirelessly to get AEDs into public places, and to get CPR in Schools. CPR is easy to teach and easy to learn.  That’s why 21 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. Let’s honor Louis by passing this law.”

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National Walking Day – April 1st

Adults are spending more time at work than ever before and an unfortunate side effect is that as a nation we are becoming more inactive. Physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease. The good news is it is a problem you can fix by encouraging your community and company to take part in the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 1st.

On National Walking Day, Americans are encouraged to lace up their sneakers and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It’s a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to get your family, friends and co-workers started on a healthier way of life. Statistics shows that people stick to walking plans more than other form of physical activity. And walking is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers.

Simply walking has many health benefits, which makes National Walking Day the ideal time to kick-start your physical activity routine. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, while kids should get 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Physical activity can relieve depression, improve your memory and lower your blood pressure.

In addition to taking 30 minutes out of your day to get up and walk, there’s another way you can participate in National Walking Day. We’ll be hosting a Physical Activity Post Stroke and Heart Attack Conversation on the Support Network, April 1, from 10 a.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET. Topics for the all-day come and go event will   include all things physical activity, from cardiac rehab, stroke rehab, walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, and much more. To participate visit, http://supportnetwork.heart.org/NWDregistration.

A different medical professional will participate for every hour of the chat, answering questions related to physical activity and recovery. Join the Support Network, take part in the chat and get your 30 minutes in for a successful National Walking Day.

American Heart Association’s 52nd Annual American Heart Association Long Island Heart Ball May 8th

The American Heart Association’s Long Island Annual Heart Ball will be celebrating its 52nd year on Friday, May 8, 2015 at a new venue: the Museum of American Armor – Old Bethpage Restoration Village. The Long Island Heart Ball is an annual social event held to celebrate outstanding accomplishments of individuals and companies in the area of cardiovascular science and leadership in wellness.

This year’s event will be chaired by Allan H. Cohen, Esq., Managing Partner, Long Island, Nixon Peabody LLP. The 52nd Annual Heart Ball will honor Scott L. Schubach, MD, FACC, Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery, Winthrop-University Hospital. Dr. Schubach will receive the 2015 Cardiovascular Science Award. Joseph R. Ficalora, President & Chief Executive Officer, New York Community Bancorp, Inc. will receive the 2015 Corporate Leadership Award.  Clay Darrohn, Chief Executive Officer, Fishbat will receive the #HeartBall #Honoree award.

The American Heart Association promises that we will have an extraordinary impact on your life by empowering you and your loved ones to save lives, live healthier and enjoy more peace of mind about cardiovascular disease. Our goal by 2020 is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20%, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20%. Why? Life is Why!

The Heart Ball is expected to have more than 500 attendees from the Long Island medical and corporate community.  The evening will include dinner, dancing and a silent auction offering an exciting assortment of generously donated items. This year’s Heart Ball Sponsors include; New York Community Bank Foundation, Richmond County Savings Foundation, Scott L Schubach, MD, Winthrop-University Hospital, Castagna Realty, Goldman Sachs, Nixon Peabody and Astoria Bank.

Leviton Manufacturing Company, St. Francis Hospital, Heart Ball media sponsors include; WBAB-FM 102.3 and WBLI-FM 106.1.

Tickets are $500. Young Professionals: $275.  Cocktail Hour starts at 7:00 p.m. followed by the program, dinner and dancing at 8:00 pm.  This year’s music will be provided by Times Square Orchestra. “Dress Like Your Favorite Celebrity” is the theme of the After Party priced for Young Professionals. For more information, tickets or for sponsorship opportunities, visit nassaucountyheartball.heart.org or call 516-450-9129.

Public Health Groups Applaud Caucus for Recommending $15 Million Boost to Healthy Food & Healthy Communities Fund

The fund is a good step toward ending food deserts – and creates jobs. 

The American Heart Association, the Alliance of New York State YMCAs, the Food Industry Alliance, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Diabetes Association and other supporters applaud the New York State Assembly’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus for recommending funding for the state’s Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund (HFHC Fund). The Caucus is calling for a $15 million increase to the HFHC Fund.

“Kids and families can’t eat healthy if they don’t have healthy choices,” said Julianne Hart, New York State Government Relations Director of the American Heart Association. “By replenishing the public-private HFHC Fund, New York legislators will ensure that healthy food retailers can open their doors in New York’s food deserts – communities where fruits, vegetables and other healthy fare are difficult to find.”

“Opening a full service grocery store can be an expensive and lengthy process which can make the task near impossible for many interested operators.  Replenishing the Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund will make it possible for stores to enter underserved communities which desperately need full service supermarkets,” said Michael Rosen, president of the Food Industry Alliance.

The YMCA is dedicated to help families learn, grow and thrive.  We are committed to initiatives that prevent chronic disease and encourage healthy living.  The Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus recognizes the need to give New Yorkers healthy food choices by sustaining the Healthy Food Healthy Communities Fund.  The Y believes that the choices people make are the choices that people have, and further expansion of the Healthy Food Healthy Communities Fund gives New Yorkers the opportunity to make the healthy choice,” said Kyle Stewart, Executive Director of the Alliance of NYS YMCAs.

“Obesity and diet are leading causes of cancer and this partnership to expand access to fresh foods is a key part of a coordinated strategy to reverse these trends in low-income areas,” said Michael Burgess, New York State Director of Advocacy for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

“Eating a healthy diet is important for people with diabetes and for people at risk for Type 2 diabetes,” said Stephen Habbe, Advocacy Director for the American Diabetes Association.  “The Association applauds the Caucus for their support for improving access to healthy foods in underserved communities, many of which have disproportionately high rates of diabetes.”

Not being able to get fresh, healthy food has been linked to chronic disease and poor health in these underserved areas, including high rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Six out of 10 adults and one-third of students in New York are considered overweight or obese. Obesity-related medical expenditures in New York total approximately $11.8 billion each year, according to NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

To date, the HFHC Fund has funded five projects in New York City and nine projects have been funded or approved in other communities, including Buffalo, Rochester, Poughkeepsie, Syracuse, Mount Vernon, Red Creek, Highland Falls, Conklin and Broome County. These public/private projects have brought markets to areas that previously lacked healthy food options.

Women-Know Your History

The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association encourage you to learn your family health history this March, during Women’s History Month.

Women have played a vital role in our history.  They’ve lead nations, inspired art, invented modern technology and conquered obstacles once thought impossible. We each have a direct link to the women who have come before us—their strength, their love, their legacy.  But we also have a link in a different way.  Just like you didn’t choose the brown hair you inherited from your mother or the blue eyes you inherited from your father, you can’t choose the genes that increase risk for heart disease and stroke.  Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women each year in the U.S., but with early screening and detection, as well as healthy lifestyle changes, many of these diseases may be treated or prevented.

“Risk of heart disease, stroke and related risk factors are strongly linked to family history,” says the American Heart Association. “It is important to know your family history in order for your doctor to better assess additional risk factors.”

While celebrating Women’s History Month, the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association encourage women to learn their family health history.  If your father, mother, grandparent or other relative experienced cardiovascular disease, you are more likely to be at risk for a similar disease.  If you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, it’s especially important to monitor other key health indicators, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and blood glucose.

While you can’t counteract your genes, you can lower your risk by changing behaviors that can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.  Studies suggest that up to 80 percent of heart disease and stroke may be prevented by healthy lifestyle modifications, such as eating a heart-healthy diet, maintaining regular physical activity and quitting smoking.

Why is it so important to learn your family history and monitor risk factors?  Your future is why.  Whether it’s planning your next trip, earning your degree or buying your first home, you want to stick around for all your future plans.  By learning more about your family’s health history, you can make healthier choices and prevent heart disease and stroke from getting in the way of your future.  The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association want you to be around for more of life’s precious moments.  Why?  Life.  Life is why.

To learn more about lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke, visit www.goredforwomen.org.

American Heart Association Announces First Battle of the Bands Event

Long Island, NY – The American Heart Association is proud to announce their first ever Battle of the Bands event. This year’s exciting event will be held at Mulcahy’s Concert Hall in Wantagh on Thursday, April 23rd from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

This exciting event will feature live music by some of Long Island’s top bands including “Six Degrees”, “Behind Closed Doors” and “Harmonic Asylum”.

The Battle of the Bands event will also recognize Long Island & Queens Young Professionals and rising stars under the age of forty as well as feature CPR training, fantastic auction/raffle items, great food/drinks and many other heart pumping activities.

Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the world and the leading cause of death in the United States, killing over 375,000 Americans a year? Someone in the U.S. dies from heart disease about once every 90 seconds. By supporting American Heart Association events like the Battle of the Bands, you can help fund research and education to fight these diseases.

To learn more about sponsoring, ticket sales, getting involved or nominating a young professional or yourself, please contact Meredith McCaslin at 516-450-9131 or Meredith.McCaslin@heart.org

Please visit battleofthebands.ahaevents.org for additional information.  Special thank you to our Cities Go Red Sponsor, the North Shore-LIJ Health System.


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