NYM Educates Teachers on the Risks of Heart Disease

Feb 12, 2007

February 12, 2007

NYM Educates Teachers on the Risks of Heart Disease



In New York State, 28 percent of children are estimated to be overweight; in New York City, the estimate is even higher. This epidemic is of great concern to health care professionals because children who are overweight are at high risk of developing hypertension, diabetes, asthma and heart disease, among other complications.

In an effort to address this alarming issue, New York Methodist Hospital recently partnered with the New York City Department of Education''s Region 8 to host five seminars aimed at educating physical education teachers on the importance of nutrition, physical exercise and on the risk factors for heart disease.

The lecture series, which lasted over a period of four weeks, included health information and talks by physicians at the Hospital. Diabetes, nutrition, exercise, heart health and childhood obesity were among the many topics covered. "Educational opportunities like this are very important because these teachers are at the front of caring for the students'' health and well being," said Asjad Khan, M.D., chief of pediatric endocrinology at NYM, who participated in the series. "If the teachers are provided with the necessary resources and knowledge to teach the students about proper health and exercise, our society has a better chance of battling the current childhood obesity epidemic," he said.

Along with Dr. Khan, Anthony Tortolani, M.D., chairman of cardiothoracic surgery; Leonard Lee, M.D., director of cardiothoracic surgery; Manoj Chhabra, M.D., chief of pediatric cardiology; Mary Nestor, R.N., C.D.E., diabetes educator; Dyan Hes, M.D., director of the pediatric weight management program; and Charles Oribabor, M.D., cardiac surgeon, spoke during the series.

"Hearing from the Hospital''s medical professionals empowered the physical education teachers with a renewed sense of purpose in helping the students to fight heart disease," said Virginia Matthews, regional instructional specialist of physical education for the New York City Department of Education, who added that more often than not, the period that a child participates in physical education at school is the only opportunity he or she will have to be physically active for the week.

"The information I obtained from this seminar will assist me in preparing my lessons to motivate and educate students on the importance of eating healthy food and exercising daily, both at school and at home," said Juanita Baker, a teacher at Middle School 88.

New York Methodist Hospital offers a variety of educational programs to elementary, secondary and adult education schools in the community. The NYM SchoolTours Program consists of tours to specific areas or units of the Hospital. The SchoolTalk Program offers workshops, demonstrations or lecture discussions, which can be given at the Hospital or at the school. Topics include careers in health, the risks of smoking and second hand smoke and helping children stay fit, among others. For more information, please call the Department of Public Affairs at 718.780.5367.



From left, Anthony Tortolani, M.D., chairman of cardiothoracic surgery; Charles Oribabor, M.D., cardiac surgeon; Asjad Khan, M.D., chief of pediatric endocrinology; and Manoj Chhabra, M.D., chief of pediatric cardiology, spoke during the education series.


Leonard Lee, M.D., director of cardiothoracic surgery, stands before a group of Region 8 physical education teachers at a recent seminar aimed at educating teachers on the risks of heart disease.