February Heart Health Events Educate Community and Staff

Feb 23, 2016

Today’s "Healthy Heart Fair" in the main lobby capped a month of initiatives by NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital to educate the public on the importance of good cardiac care, including exercise, nutrition and the value of screenings.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. February marks national "American Heart Month," which encourages all to learn more about a healthy lifestyle and to avoid the risks associated with heart disease and stroke. To learn more about signs of a heart attack, click here.

On Tuesday, the hospital’s Main Lobby teemed with more than 130 visitors from surrounding communities to speak with our clinical experts on a variety of topics, get a free blood pressure screening or sleep evaluation, take a seated yoga session, learn more about healthy recipes and enjoy tastings of nutritional food.

"A health fair is more like a ‘family appointment’," said Dr. Surbhi Agarwal of NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group/Hudson Valley, who specializes in internal medicine. "People are in a relaxed environment and can have heart-to-heart talks with physicians, therapists and other vendors, and remember more information. Sometimes the simple things to know about making your heart health better can go a long way."

At a nearby table, Ashley Fleishhauer, RN, BSN, Bariatric Coordinator and Director of the Sleep Center, said interest in the hospital’s Sleep Center was brisk. More than 30 people took free sleep evaluations and she said at least 10 would like to follow up with a formal sleep assessment.

Jimmy McMullen, a paramedic with Cortlandt Regional Paramedics at NYP/Hudson Valley Hospital, said the number of cardiac calls in the area is increasing particularly because of an aging population who reside in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. He praised the work of the hospital’s Emergency Department.

"This ER is amazing. The physicians and nurses, everyone around there, will really consult with us, the paramedics. They want to know what happened and what I found. In other ER’s that I’ve been to, that is not the case," Mr. McMullen said.

Learning more about nutrition from dietitians as well as staff from The Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen drew Lee and Lydia Macci. Long-time residents of the Croton area, they also said they learned more today about signs of a stroke. "We come and talk to people, and it pushes you to take the flyer and learn more," said Mr. Macci. "And to know the resources are here at the hospital," added Mrs. Macci.

Earlier efforts in February to observe "American Heart Month" included an "Ask the Doctor/Lunch and Learn" community lecture on "Women’s Heart Health" by Dr. Alexis Oliveros of NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group/Hudson Valley; a visit to the Buchanan Senior Center by Debbie Petranchik, M.S., M.A.T. exercise physiologist and manager of NYP/Hudson Valley Hospital’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Services; and a special Valentine Farmers’ Markets.

In addition, on February 5th, many caregivers around the hospital and staff wore red to celebrate National Wear Red Day, also sponsored by the American Heart Association.

Stay tuned for information soon about the launch of NYP/Hudson Valley Hospital’s Healthy Heart Program 2016, a free five-month nutrition and fitness program for 10 individuals who qualify.