Women Selected for 7th BetterU Heart Health Challenge

Seated L to R: Grace Gay, Abby Paul, Gina Bambinelli, Michelle DeMild, Lisa Morris…Standing L to R: Diane Labenski, Kim Kenyon (Gold’s Gym), Amanda Balint, Robin Commerford, Allison Morris, Flossie Burke, MaryK Jones, Denise Doring VanBuren (Central Hudson).

The Dutchess-Ulster American Heart Association announced the 12 women selected for the7th Annual BetterU Makeover Challenge at a kick-off event at Gold’s Gym in LaGrange Friday. Their stories will be featured in blogs and stories in the Poughkeepsie Journal and their success will be celebrated at the annual Go Red for Women luncheon on Thursday, November 9, 2017. The local Go Red For Women Luncheon is celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary this year!

BetterU will assist 12 local women on their journey toward improved heart health through lifestyle changes. The 12-week BetterU program is being sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation. The program’s goal is to remind all women of the need to make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent their number one and five killers – heart disease and stroke.

Each of the 12 women will receive a three-month membership and personal training at Gold’s Gym, a baseline medical evaluation from Health Quest Medical Practice, and nutrition coaching, heart health seminars and group workouts. They will blog about their progress on a special website devoted to chronicling their progress.

The AHA recommends that all women put their health first with a Well Woman Visit. All women should have this annual physical and discussion to help identify serious health concerns before they become life threatening – such as heart disease and stroke. Heart disease takes the life of one in three women — almost one woman every minute.

The BetterU 12-week program begins August 4th and concludes at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on November 9, 2017 at the Grandview. Follow their progress online at http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/blog/betteru/ and on www.facebook.com/AHANewYork and on Twitter @HVHeartAssoc.

For tickets or info on the Luncheon, visit dutchessulstergored.heart.org or call Danielle Schuka at 845-867-5379.  Go Red for Women Luncheon is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and locally by the Heart Center/Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, the Poughkeepsie Journal, and Q92 FM. BetterU is sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Gold’s Gym-Dutchess County, Health Quest Medical Practice, Poughkeepsie Journal, and Q92.

BetterU Participants 2017

Amanda Balint – Carmel
Although I’ve been on statin drugs and beta blockers for decades, through this program I have an opportunity to foster good habits that can improve my health naturally, such as exercising consistently and engaging in a healthy diet.  I also hope to form long-term relationships with my fellow BetterU peers as no doubt many of us must have similar goals.

Robin Commerford –Poughkeepsie
Robin is married with three children and has a family history of heart disease. She wants to start paying attention to her own health—she said she neglects to take care of her own needs and health. She said, “I hope to gain a better foundation surrounding healthy eating habits and exercise that would assist in providing a healthy lifestyle not only for myself but for my family as well.”

Flossie Burke – Glenham
Flossie lost both parents to heart disease—her father died at age 55. Too young. She has battled being overweight her whole life and now has serious health issues. She said, “I must stop abusing my body and my mind with poor choices and gain the strength and knowledge to fight disease and reverse deteriorating health.  I want to accept challenges with confidence rather than anxiety, and get my diabetes and blood pressure under control to get off the meds.”

Gina Bambinelli – Poughkeepsie
Gina has tried different weight loss programs but wants permanent lifestyle change. She said, “During the next 12 weeks, I intend to gain the knowledge I need to change my life. I will transform not only my body, but also my mind so that I can be healthy and strong, no matter what life throws my way. She wants increased strength, stamina, flexibility and weight loss.”

Michelle DeMild – Salt Point
Michelle turned 50 this year (applause!!) and she found her motivation and energy levels declining. She wants to enjoy retirement when the time comes! She said, “I’m looking to learn to make healthy choices to help lose weight, while to finding my motivation and increase my energy levels and to be an example of health for her kids.”

Lisa Morris – Poughkeepsie
You might recognize Lisa Morris from Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union! Welcome, Lisa! Like many women her age, Lisa would like to lose weight. She said, “I’m looking forward to eating healthier to lose weight and gain energy! I plan to fend off the heart disease that runs in my family for as long as I can.”

Diane Labenski – Wappingers
Diane, like many of us has stress in her life! She has risk factors for heart disease and she wants to improve her eating habits and get healthier! She said, “I hope to increase my energy level and stamina through weight loss and better habits so that I can keep up with my grandchildren and be more productive in life.”

Patricia Lucio-Penn – Poughkeepsie
Patricia has a family history of diabetes and heart disease. She works as Director of Human Services and she wants to set a good example and continue to help others. She said, “I hope to increase my core strength and lose weight. I also hope to establish healthier routines to increase my quality of life and strength my heart.”

Grace Gay – Lagrangeville
Grace wants to learn to gain knowledge and experience to make smarter choices and live healthier. She has family history of heart disease that she wants to avoid. She wants to make healthier choices for her parents, who are homebound, and set a healthy example for her children.

Mary Jones – Stormville
Mary said she knows you can do things alone, but with encouragement and support, success can be greater. She grew up in a family with five brothers and three sisters and now she suffers from diabetes like them. Her father, mother, sister and two brothers have passed on due to high blood pressure or complications from diabetes…She said, “My hopes are to recognize that I can be a BetterU if I am mindful enough to boost my well-being, optimism and self-esteem. My family has been a statistic, I don’t want to be.”

Allison Morris – Poughkeepsie
She has always been active but over the past few years, Allison has had tough life changes that have prevented her from taking care of herself. Her maternal family history is filled with stroke—the number three killer of women—and she doesn’t want to be in that situation! She wants healthier habits, weight loss and a healthier mindset!

Abby Paul – Poughkeepsie
Abby is from Poughkeepsie, and has tried many diet plans but nothing is sticking, and she has a family history of diabetes, stroke and obesity. She wants to walk up a flight of stairs with ease. She wants to give her heart a break. “This is an opportunity” she said, “I don’t want to be defined by my family history. I have so much to live for and so much more to do! I look forward to working with an amazing tribe of women who will help hold me accountable to these habits, and hope to inspire others to do the same.”

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