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 Day (April 1).

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. 

How will you get moving on National Walking Day? Use the hashtag #AHALaceUp and let us know!



American Heart Association To Honor Scott L. Schubach, MD At Long Island Heart Ball

The American Heart Association is pleased to announce that Scott L. Schubach, MD, is the Chairman of the Department of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery at Winthrop University hospital will be the honored at the 52nd Annual Long Island Heart Ball.  In his role as Honoree, he will assist in raising support and creating awareness about heart disease and stroke as it pertains to the Long Island community. The 52nd Heart Ball will take place on Friday, May 8, 2015 at the Museum of American Armor at Old Bethpage Restoration Village.

Three years ago, Dr. Schubach was asked to join the Board of the American Heart Association and now is Vice President of the Long Island Chapter. He is proud to be a part on one the most productive AHA boards in the country.

A Long Island native, Dr. Schubach grew up in Long Beach, NY. After graduating Long Beach High School, he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, graduating Cum Laude. He then attended Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX graduating with honors and becoming a member of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), the honorary medical society.

Dr. Schubach is Board Certified in General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery and Critical Care. Dr. Schubach is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, American College of Cardiology and American College of Chest Physicians. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery at The State University at Stony Brook School of Medicine. Dr. Schubach plays in integral role in the Academic Programs at Winthrop, as Winthrop is a Clinical Campus and the major Academic Affiliate with the Stony Brook School of Medicine.

Dr. Schubach lives in Old Brookville on Long Island with his family.

Tickets are $500.  Cocktail Hour starts at 7:00 p.m. For more information, tickets or for sponsorship opportunities, visit or call 516-450-9129

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

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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,

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 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.