Eight local non-profits receive Community Impact Grants to fund heart-healthy programs

Beyond Soccer participants learn how to make a heart-healthy snack to help fuel their play!

Beyond Soccer participants learn how to make a heart-healthy snack to help fuel their play!

The American Heart Association has awarded eight Community Impact Grants totaling$125,000 to local non-profit community groups and organizations for programs aimed at combating childhood obesity and improving family health.

The recipients for this year’s Community Impact Grants are: Playworks – Developmental Sports League, Beyond Soccer – Health Kicks!, Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Teen Heart Health and Wellness Program, East Boston YMCA – Ashley Street Community Wellness Program, Harbor Health Services – Building Blocks of Health, Healthworks Community Fitness – Fitspiration, and Vineyard Community Offerings – North Cambridge Fit. An additional Go Red For Women focused grant was awarded to Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Wellness Department.

“Each of these community groups and organizations share a mutual passion with the American Heart Association in building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and in particular, a dedication to combating childhood obesity and improving family health,” said Penny McGuire, Director of Community Health for the American Heart Association.“ This funding will help provide each recipient with the opportunities to ensure meaningful activities continue and that new, creative projects are developed.”

Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. If current trends continue, today’s kids could be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. Parents and caregivers are essential decision makers when it comes to the nutrition, physical activity and health needs of children. This group of both new and continuing partners will provide invaluable resources and education to the communities most in need in the fight against childhood obesity.

The Greater Boston Division of the American Heart Association has recognized the need to support community-based activities that address our mission to build healthier lives and fight heart disease and stroke. In addition, as the American Heart Association focuses its attention on systems change, it will be important to continue to balance our work with programs in the communities we serve. For more information regarding the Community Impact Grant program, please go to www.heart.org/BostonCIG.

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O’Bryant School Recognized with Heart Saver Hero Award

Members of the O'Bryant School Community are recognized with the Heart Saver Hero Award, presented by American Heart Association President-elect, Dr. Elliott Antman. Pictured from L-R; Nakeo Murray, Headmaster Steve Sullivan, Assistant Headmaster Bettie Nolan, Railin Castro, Zi Liu, Joan Eacman, Claire O'Connell, Carrie Bell Peace, Elizabeth Eacman and Dr. Elliott Antman.

Members of the O’Bryant School Community are recognized with the Heart Saver Hero Award, presented by American Heart Association President-elect, Dr. Elliott Antman. Pictured from L-R; Nakeo Murray, Headmaster Steve Sullivan, Assistant Headmaster Bettie Nolan, Railin Castro, Zi Liu, Joan Eacman, Claire O’Connell, Carrie Bell Peace, Elizabeth Eacman and Dr. Elliott Antman.

When Joan Eacmen, a teacher at Roxbury’s O’Bryant School of Math & Science collapsed in front of her classroom earlier this spring from cardiac arrest, students and colleagues sprang into action. Their quick thinking and combined efforts to call for help, administer CPR and use the school’s AED are credited with saving Eacmen’s life. Today, as part of National CPR & AED Awareness Week, the American Heart Association recognized the heroic actions of the students and staff at the O’Bryant School with the Heart Saver Hero Award.

Members of the school community including students; Zi Liu, Nakeo Murray, and Railin Castro; school nurse, Carrie Bell Peace and assistant principal Bettie Nolan, are credited with saving Eacmen’s life on March 31, 2014. Recognizing their teacher was in need of immediate medical help after collapsing in the midst of instruction, the students took charge, clearing the area and summoning their school nurse and assistant principal who then performed CPR and used an AED until Boston EMS arrived.

“When we look at what a heart saver is we think of someone who acts quickly in the face of a shocking and traumatic event like a sudden cardiac arrest,” said Allyson Perron, Senior Director of Government Relations at the American Heart Association. “The students and staff who jumped into action and recognized that their teacher needed help are most certainly heart savers and tremendous examples to the greater community of the importance of knowing how to respond in the event of cardiac emergency.”

National CPR & AED Awareness Week, celebrated annually during June 1-7, highlights how lives can be saved by learning CPR and how to use an AED. Each year, more than 420,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby, which if performed immediately, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. Unfortunately, statistics show that most Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they’re afraid of hurting the victim.

“We know from both Boston EMS and the physicians at Brigham and Woman’s hospital that if immediate CPR and an AED were not used, the outcome of this situation could have been tragic,” said Perron. “The American Heart Association applauds Boston Public Schools for making a commitment to protect the community by ensuring that AEDs are available at all times in school facilities and that school personnel and students have the opportunity to learn the lifesaving skill of CPR.”

The American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools efforts have contributed to laws requiring students in 16 states across the country, to learn CPR as a graduation requirement. As a result, one million new, qualified lifesavers will be added to our communities each and every year.

Boston Public Schools started their commitment to strengthening the chain of survival in 2002 when the first AED was placed at Boston Latin School and in 2006 when CPR training was introduced to school staff and students. The American Heart Association continues to work with schools across Massachusetts to encourage them to teach students CPR, a move that could save thousands of more lives. In fact, creating the next generation of lifesavers has been made easy with the American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools Training Kit, a simple and portable kit that contains everything needed to train 10 students at once in CPR. The process, which includes a 30-minute CPR lesson where students or faculty practice on a manikin while watching skills performed correctly on the DVD, can then be repeated to train a class, a grade – or even an entire school!

During National CPR & AED Awareness Week, the American Heart Association encourages everyone to watch and share the 60-second Hands Only CPR demo video by visiting heart.org/handsonlycpr. Taking one minute to learn the two simple steps of Hands Only CPR could help save a life.

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Joseph A. Maiella to Lead American Heart Association|American Stroke Association in Greater Boston

Joseph A. Maiella

Joseph A. Maiella

The American Heart Association has named Joseph A. Maiella, of Southborough, Senior Vice President of the American Heart Association in Metro Boston. In his new role, Maiella will focus on advancing the mission of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, building healthier lives, through the planning, management and implementation of health initiatives and fundraising campaigns.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Joe’s caliber leading the efforts of the American Heart Association here in Boston,” said Rich Adduci, Chairman of the American Heart Association’s Boston Board and Chief Information Officer at Boston Scientific. We are confident that Joe’s distinguished record of performance in both leadership and business development roles will help further our success in the fight against heart disease and stroke.”

A highly respected business executive, Maiella is widely known throughout Massachusetts as the Founding President of the Massachusetts Production Coalition, where Joe led a Board of Directors, development initiatives and volunteer committees that grew the organization into the leading voice for the industry. Maiella also led the coalitions’ legislative committee responsible for engineering incentive legislation that generated over 1.5 billion of new direct spending over a three year period.

Maiella has served as an entrepreneur, co-founder and chief marketing and sales officer of two media-targeted talent and crew payroll and recruiting firms including his most recent role as Vice President of Sales at Media Services. Prior to venturing into the film and media services industry, Maiella served as Director of Sales with Convergent Media and as Assistant Vice President of Corporate Communications at The New England.

Throughout Maiella’s tenure in his full time private sector roles, he doubled up as inspirational and effective volunteer leader of non-profit professional and trade organizations integral to the advancement of film & television production industry including roles with the United Way, the Webb Foundation and The International Television Association (now MCA-I).

Maiella is a graduate of the College of Holy Cross where he received a Bachelor of Arts and Boston University where he received a Master of Science.  He is expected to complete a certificate in marketing strategies in May 2014 from Cornell University, Johnson School of Management.

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Celebrating Living by Giving – Medford resident to celebrate 28th Birthday at Heart Challenge

A shirt Sarah Peacock decorated highlights more than just her anticipated accomplishment of participating in the 5K on May 10th.

A shirt Sarah Peacock decorated, highlights more than just her anticipated accomplishment of participating in the 5K on May 10th.

A year ago, Medford resident, Sarah Peacock was recovering from her fourth open-heart surgery. Now, the congenital heart disease survivor, is training to take part in the American Heart Association’s Heart Challenge 5K Obstacle Trail Run, on May 10th, while celebrating her 28th birthday.

Peacock was born with truncus arteriosus, a congenital heart defect in which the heart only has one large artery instead of two separate ones to carry blood to the lungs and body. She spent much of her childhood treated at Boston Children’s Hospital where she’s undergone a total of four open heart surgeries. Peacock describes her experience living with congenital heart disease as a bit of bumpy road but credits her doctors and advances in cardiac research and care for saving her life.

“The Heart Challenge is the perfect opportunity for me to celebrate surviving 28 years of heart disease, by helping to further the efforts of the American Heart Association and ultimately save more lives,” said Peacock.

The Heart Challenge is the American Heart Association’s first, adventurous 5K obstacle trail run. The exciting new event, designed to be completed by anyone that can run a 5K, will help support the mission of the American Heart Association while challenging participant’s strength, agility and balance as they make their way through the obstacles and rugged terrain.

Heart Disease is the No. 1 killer and stroke is the No. 4 killer of all Americans. Physical inactivity significantly increases ones risk of heart disease and stroke.   The American Heart Association is working to help Americans live healthier lifestyles by focusing on healthy living and creating healthy mindsets through a range of education, advocacy, and community efforts that reinforce the value of eating well and being physically active. The Heart Challenge will help the American Heart Association to reach their 2020 impact goal of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke in all Americans by 20 percent.

The Heart Challenge will be held on Saturday, May 10th at Prowse Farm, 5 Blue Hill River Road in Canton. The event will begin at 9am with heats going off every 15 minutes after that. A post-race celebration for all participants and attendees will include live music by rock cover band, Usually Normal and picnic catered by Del Frisco’s. For more information, please visit www.heartchallenge.org or contact Lauren Ritchie at 781-373-4537 or lauren.ritchie@heart.org.

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Boston Cardiologist to Receive 2014 Paul Dudley White Award

Dr. Gary Balady of Boston Medical Center

Dr. Gary Balady of Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine.

On May 3rd, hundreds of the city’s most prominent philanthropists, physicians and community leaders will come together at the American Heart Association’s Annual Boston Heart Ball to honor Gary J. Balady, MD, Director of Preventative Cardiology and Director of the Non Invasive Cardiovascular Laboratories at Boston Medical Centerand Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean of Admissions at Boston University School of Medicine with the Paul Dudley White Award. The esteemed Paul Dudley White Award is named in honor of one of Boston’s most revered cardiologists, Dr. Paul Dudley White, founding father of the American Heart Association.  This award epitomizes the organization’s most prestigious tribute and has been bestowed annually to a Massachusetts physician for 40 years.

“Dr. Balady has made significant contributions to the American Heart Association and the field of cardiology,” said event co-chair, Lawrence H. Cohn, MD, Hubbard Professor Emeritus of Cardiac Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Division of Cardiac Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a past recipient of the Paul Dudley White Award. “We are pleased to be able to recognize his achievements with this year’s Paul Dudley White Award.”

A resident of Wellesley, Dr. Balady is a fellow of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. In 1985, he established the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention Program at Boston Medical Center, which has since served nearly 4,000 patients.  Dr. Balady’s research interests focus on exercise testing and training of cardiac patients, with a particular emphasis on the physiologic changes that occur in the cardiovascular system with regular exercise, as well as assessment of outcomes after cardiac rehabilitation.

Dr. Balady has graciously served the American Heart Association both nationally and locally, for 20 years in various capacities including past Chairman of the American Heart Association’s Council on Clinical Cardiology and past President of the Greater Boston Division and Founders Affiliate boards. He has also either chaired or been a member of several writing groups of the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, which generate guidelines regarding exercise testing and training, and preventive cardiology. Dr. Balady serves as an associate editor for the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation and is past Editor in Chief for the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

The Heart Ball is an elegant, black-tie celebration bringing together more than 500 of Boston’s most prominent business, health care and community leaders for an inspirational evening of dinner, dancing, live entertainment and live and silent auctions. The Heart Ball is the premier social event benefiting the American Heart Association in its mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

This year’s Heart Ball, which aims to raise $1 million to help fight heart disease and stroke, will be co-hosted by Tom Riles, Audience Warm-up Comic for the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Anna O’Donnell, a 12-year-old congenital heart disease survivor. Euro-Pro is the signature sponsor of the Heart Ball. Additional sponsors include; MFS investment Management, Stephanie & David Spina Family Foundation, The Dennis Family, Cardiovascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Scientific, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Partners Healthcare, Philips, Steward, The Kraft Group, and Suffolk Construction’s Red & Blue Foundation. For more information, visit http://bostonheartball.ahaevents.org.


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