8 Presentations on Improving Heart Health in Harlem


harlem-heart-health-women-heart-attack-symptoms On May 2, the Colin Powell Center hosted Heart-2-Heart: Improving Heart Health in Harlem and Winning the Million Hearts Campaign. The conference brought together medical practitioners, educators, community professionals and other influencers in Upper Manhattan to work on reducing the devastating rates of heart attacks and strokes in Harlem and New York City. Alwyn Cohall, M.D., director of the Harlem Health Promotion Center and a New York Life leader in residence, conceived and co-planned the event, working closely with Center deputy director Nora Heaphy. Partners included regional administrators at Health and Human Services. For those who couldn't make it or it would like to take a look back at the conference, we've compiled eight presentations from the day's events.

F. Bruce Coles, M.D. - Creating Change through the Million Hearts Campaign

The conference's keynote speaker, Coles, medical director for the NY State Department of Health, offered an overview of the cardiovascular health crisis facing the United States, and of how poverty magnifies the problem in under-served communities such as Harlem. He presented the efforts of the Million Hearts Campaign, a national initiative to prevent one million strokes and heart attacks over the next five years.

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Darwin Deen, M.D. - The State of Heart Health in Harlem and New York City

Darwin Deen, of CCNY's Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education presented compelling data showing the impact of unhealthy lifestyle choices, and the startling results of a study that found that healthy lifestyle changes benefit heart health virtually equally despite whether study participants are normal weight, overweight, or even obese.

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Sidney Hankerson, M.D. - Healing Depression Is Key to a Healthy Heart

Dr. Hankerson, a psychiatrist at Columbia University, linked the especially pervasive and severe levels of depression among African-Americans to high rates of heart disease. He argued that psychiatrists should fight the stigmatization of mental illness by promoting treatment that is respectful of spirituality and prayer, and involving local churches and leaders in the effort.

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Kari Auer - Using Social Media to Help Smokers Quit

Auer, the online communications coordinator at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, presented on the use of social media and technology in helping smokers quit. She focused on Facebook, Twitter and NYC Quits, an interactive cessation-support Web app.

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Patricia Butts & Elizabeth Cohn, D.N.S. - Make the Call. Don't Miss a Beat.

Patricia Butts, the first lady of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, works with Elizabeth Cohn, from the Columbia School of Nursing, on "Make the Call. Don't Miss a Beat." The campaign is an effort by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Womens' Health that encourages and educates women and their families to recognize the signs of a heart attack, and to seek medical help.

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Crilhien Francisco, MPA - Fresh Bodegas

Fresh Bodegas aims to increase New Yorkers' access to fresh, locally grown produce by providing free refrigerators at corner stores and bodegas. Crilhien, a community organizer at the NYC Strategic Alliance for Health, spoke about the past year's pilot program and how Fresh Bodegas plans to move forward.

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Jody Ouziel - The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program

Ouziel, the senior executive director of strategic initiatives at the YMCA of Greater New York, presented on the YMCA's innovative behavior change model that aims to reduce the level of chronic disease, especially diabetes.

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Dr. Alwyn Cohall, M.D., —GetHealthyHarlem.org

Dr. Alwyn Cohall, M.D., a New York Life Leader at the Center, cohosted Heart-2-Heart.

Dr. Alwyn Cohall's presentation focuses on the development and implementation of GetHealthyHarlem.org, a community-based health information Web portal, developed with colleagues and community partners, to provide information in a culturally relevant context.

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