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News : Health Mar 17, 2014 - 5:14:09 AM

Fairfield County Women Selected for BetterU Health Challenge

By The Westchester-Fairfield American Heart Association

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The American Heart Association BetterU participants were introduced at Stamford Hospital. The 11 women will take part in a 12-week healthy lifestyle challenge to reduce their risk for heart disease—women’s number one killer. Seated (L to R): Karen Knight, Sandra Greer, Margie Pace, Eden Huang Standing: Judy Campisi, AHA Executive Director; Mary Ann Dunnell; Susan Gerulis; Julie Alswanger; Deb Miller; Gabriela Bravo-Diaz; Veta Ferguson; Michele Martinich, Dr. Michael Coady, Stamford Hospital Chief & Program Director of Cardiovascular Surgery (contributed photo)
STAMFORD, CT - The Westchester-Fairfield American Heart Association will conduct the BetterU Makeover Challenge program to assist eleven local women on their journey toward improved heart health through lifestyle changes. The 12-week BetterU program is being sponsored by Stamford Hospital. The program’s goal is to remind all women of the need to make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent their number one and three killers – heart disease and stroke.

The eleven women selected for the Challenge were introduced at a kick-off event at Stamford Hospital’s Tully Health Center. They are: Mary Ann Dunnell, Karen Knight, Michele Martinich, Gabriela Bravo-Diaz, Eden Huang and Julie Alswanger of Stamford. Susan Gerulis and Sandra Greer of Norwalk, Margie Place from Darien, Deborah Miller from Bridgeport and Veta Ferguson from the Bronx.

Each of the women will receive a three-month membership to Stamford Hospital’s Health and Fitness Institute, including baseline and 12-week medical readings, culinary and nutrition classes, heart health seminars and group workouts, all supported by specialists from Stamford Hospital. Participants will share their personal stories on a dedicated blog for the program and they will be celebrated at the annual Go Red for Women luncheon on May 30, 2014 in Greenwich.

"It is important to continue raising awareness of heart health - particularly for women - so we are pleased to support the Better U Nutrition and Fitness program and work with this group of women who will not only benefit directly, but will also demonstrate that even small lifestyle changes can improve heart health in a big way,” said Kathleen Silard, RN, Executive Vice President and Chief Operation Officer, Stamford Hospital. “Being the cause partner of the Go Red for Women campaign in Fairfield and Westchester Counties is a key component to Stamford Hospital’s commitment to women’s heart health and we encourage all women to participate and learn how to prevent their number one health threat – heart disease.”
The American Heart Association BetterU participants take a tour of the Tully Health Center as part of their 12-week heart health challenge, sponsored by Stamford Hospital. (contributed photo)
All women are invited to join online to learn about their risk for heart disease and takes steps to improve their heart health. Heart disease takes the life of one in three women -- almost one woman every minute. Studies show that 80 percent of cardiac events in women are preventable with simple lifestyle choices involving diet, exercise and smoking.

The BetterU 12-week program begins March 14th and runs through early June. All participants will be celebrated at the annual Go Red for Women Luncheon on May 30th in Greenwich, CT. Follow their progress online at or on Facebook at and on Twitter @HVHeartAssoc.

For tickets or information about the Go Red For Women Luncheon, please visit . Go Red For Women is nationally sponsored by Macy’s. Local sponsors include Cause Sponsor Stamford Hospital, Westchester Medical Center, Morgan Stanley, Webster Bank, and media sponsors Westchester Magazine and 100.7 WHUD. For more information about Go Red For Women in Westchester/Fairfield, contact or by phone at 914-640-3261.

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