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Winthrop-University Hospital Partners with AHA and Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness to Help Local Community Members Improve Cardiovascular Health - Archived
December 15, 2011

As part of its mission to help improve the health and wellbeing of the community, Winthrop-University Hospital recently partnered with Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness in Garden City and the American Heart Association to launch BETTERU – a 12-week fitness and lifestyle-intensive program aimed at improving individuals’ overall cardiovascular health.

This unique program, made available to 15 participants who were selected from over 300 applicants following an in-depth interview process, included individuals at various stages of risk for cardiovascular disease. All of the participants were struggling with weight and/or challenges with their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Participants included:

John Baque of Farmingdale

Jovette Blango of Mineola

Michael Broschardt of East Meadow

Alison Carnacchio of West Babylon

Joseph Dardano of Lindenhurst

Eve Dorfman of Glen Head

Lucy Jensen of West Islip

James Lodato of Garden City Park

John Majewski of Levittown

Jennifer Makaw of Northport

Nick Preziosi of Garden City

Barbara Senia of Westbury

Maryann Senia of Westbury

Anthony Teska of Dix Hills

“Both personal struggles and family histories of cardiovascular disease and other diseases were among the most common reasons that participants were eager to commit to the program and to making lifestyle changes,” said Matti Hasselmann, MPA, CPC, Administrative Director, Department of TCV at Winthrop, who played a lead role in coordinating the program.

The free program featured membership at Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness for 12 weeks as well as two one-hour coaching sessions per week with Marlene Mignano, a premier trainer from Healthtrax, who played an instrumental role in the program and invested great time into helping the group achieve their health goals. Weekly nutritional education, emotional and motivational support, as well as complimentary blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index (BMI) screenings were also included.

At the conclusion of the 12 weeks, 14 out of 15 individuals successfully completed the program. Among the group’s remarkable achievements were:

  • A total weight loss of 202 pounds
  • 47.5 inches lost
  • Improved BMI for 13 individuals

What’s more, significant improvements were observed in participants’ blood pressure and lipid levels.

“Since I began the BETTERU program, so much has changed!” exclaimed one participant, Nick Preziosi, who lost 14 percent of his total body weight. “I’ve lost over 35 pounds, my blood pressure medications have been cut in half, and I no longer suffer from sleep apnea and acid reflux. I feel so much better!”

What’s more, another participant achieved such great success that, with her physician’s approval, she was able to stop taking her insulin medication.

“The idea is simple – take steps to improve your health by increasing your fitness level and eating better. Think of it as a lifestyle – not a program. Take steps to a BETTERU,” added Ms. Hasselman.

Winthrop-University Hospital has long been respected for its outstanding cardiac care, which includes advanced diagnostics, disease prevention and treatment programs in the full range of cardiac services including interventional cardiology, electrophysiology and cardiac surgery. For more information about cardiac care at Winthrop, call 1-866-WINTHROP.

Contact: Leanna Cherry
Publications Specialist
(516) 663-2234
Winthrop- BETTERU1.JPG
Following the completion of the 12-week program, BETTERU participants joined with their trainer, Marlene Mignano, Director of Fitness & Coaching at Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness in Garden City, (third from left) at the American Heart Association’s 2011 Start! Long Island Heart Walk.