"Excellent Program. It taught me a lot of things I didn’t know that can cause a heart attack and heart disease. We must not abuse our body temple. This class made me more cognizant of how to take care of my health. "
"My knowledge changed because at the end of the ten weeks I know if your heart is smart your heart will also be happy. I am now living a healthier lifestyle and as a result have lost weight and thrilled about it. I exercise and am more health conscious. "
" The class lectures are very informative for me, happy for this program, wish it could continue because learning is wisdom, and I would like other people who I know to get on this program and be healthier. The way they lectured was excellent. The lecture was presented excellently, the lecturer was on time, and always prepared, and answered questions with clarity."
" The HeartSmarts program is a very good class. If I did not take this class I would not know half of the things about the heart and heart disease right now. The HeartSmarts classes was worth the sacrifices I have made to attend each one. The value obtained is priceless because of the benefits I derived from the simple changes I have made. I would not change the format of the presentation in the text used because of its simplicity in getting the content across in understanding such complex health disciplines."
Congratulations to HeartSmarts ambassadors Jean Guichard Francois and Nicole Conze for completing a successful HeartSmarts class in Haiti! Chronic illness is on the rise in developing countries like Haiti as people adopt more of an American diet and lifestyle. Therefore, programs like HeartSmarts are needed to provide health education to individuals living in these countries. Through this class, participants have stopped eating pork, hot dogs, and imported chicken, and are now consuming more fresh foods that are grown by local farmers. Students have been sharing the information they have learned regarding cardiovascular health with their parents and teachers, which has led to additional changes in their communities. With rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity on the rise in developing countries it is important to continue to spread the message about making healthy lifestyle choices.
“I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me”
Proverbs 14:30 – A Heart at Peace gives Life to the Body!
I want to Thank our Wonderful Instructor, Dr. Cheryl James, Ambassador & Facilitator for the Heart Smarts Education Program for bringing us this great workshop. We have all heard the information before…but it’s so much better with an instructor to guide us, inform us, answer our questions, share and to interact with us. Dr James helps to bring it all together! I also thank all our participants, especially my fellow Wonders of Wisdom Retirees Ministry (WOW) who gave up our time slot to learn this valuable information.
So, like in previous years about this time, I continue eating the holiday goodies & treats, slowly feeling the calories increase and the doldrums begin. I start exercising, but still eat & eat & eat! Got to lose that weight! I was very excited about starting the Heart Smarts Program in September as I knew it would give me a headstart to losing all the weight I needed to lose and look svelte, curvy & Great by January, my birth month! The education I received was more than about just losing weight! The program is a trusty guide, a supplement, a tool that I can rely on towards a healthy nutritious lifestyle change! From week to week I listened and realized that I should think more about what I am putting into my mouth! Read the Food Labels! Be physically active! Make Colorful Food presentations on my plate (I learned from Mom)! Less Sugar! Less Salt/Sodium, Less Fat! Know My Numbers! More Veggies/Fruit! Less Meat! Make Better Food Choices! I loved the simple tips & suggestions (boiled parsley, ginger/garlic, lemon, etc.) offered by Dr. James. This program is Spiritually Based for we need to be informed as to what God said if we are under His authority. I need to take care of my body with good nutrition, so I can go out and Do God’s work! My doctor was so impressed when I spoke to her about this program. I am gradually educating her about a few things. I will no longer accept from her, “Your lab work is good.” I will say to her, “What ARE my numbers.” And the best part I am proud to say is that from now on, I Will Know My Numbers! My family history includes, Hypertension, Diabetes & High Cholesterol! A Heart Attack claimed my father at age 51! That is too young to die! I did lose a few pounds and a few inches off the waist! I am here to proudly say because of my participation in the Heart Smarts Education Program, my posttest readings & all my lab work were normal or near desirable! What a Wonderful Testimony!
So now, let us continue to share this valuable information we all learned in the past 12 weeks! Just as we continue to grow in our relationship with God, we must also equip ourselves with knowledge & skills to live our BEST Life!
Thank You, Gayle Simmons, First Lady, St Albans Congregational Church, December 11, 2019.
The longer I sat and listened to Mr. Brian Figeroux of The New American Chamber of Industry and Commerce (NACC), the more I realized that he is a man of vision and one who would help all people and especially people of color to accomplish their dreams wherever he can. It was in one of his lectures in paralegal studies that he made mention of the HeartSmarts program and Dr. Naa-Solo Tettey. What was this all about? Well, I learned that the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center had introduced this program that brings together science and religion. It was one that recognized that Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and Dr. Holly Andersen and Dr. Naa-Solo Tettey had come together to create a unique program. I needed more information but wanted to be counted in, after all I am an educator and especially trained in Special Education with a major in science.
I signed up for the 10-week Certificate Program where I was soon paying good attention to Philippians 4: 13. -I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me- one of the themes of a lecture. Yes, the program uses holy scripture to educate trainers how to teach church members the benefit of living a heart-healthy lifestyle and as Dr. Andersen has stated, “It really is about prevention, and teaching them to live healthier.”
Dr. Tettey has used the program to work with churches as a good way to help underserved communities. She has taken actual lines from the bible and used them to teach secular health lessons- “if your body is an instrument of righteousness, then you should take care of it.” I completed the 10 week course and am delighted that I did. The course has caused me to truly recognize that the greatest asset that one can have in the world is one’s health. It is necessary to guard your heart with physical activity, stress management, and healthy diet, which is good for the heart and your overall health. I am proud to be a HeartSmarts Ambassador. I would like to be able to introduce this course in the West Indies/Caribbean and help individuals there who are of strong faith to become healthier. As a HeartSmarts ambassador I conducted a class recently. They expressed their joy and contentment in having the opportunity to complete the course. I look forward to continuing as HeartSmarts ambassador and be able to help others in the process.
HeartSmarts Ambassador/New American Chamber of Commerce
My experience and journey through the HeartSmarts program was a unique and life altering journey. I felt the urge to attend the HeartSmarts Ambassador training program when I first learned about in 2014 while working as a counselor at The Bowery Mission Women’s Center. What motivated me to attend was the fact that my father suffered a massive heart attack and subsequently passed away in the summer of 2012. I saw this opportunity as a wakeup call and an intervention to help me to make better choices to have a healthier heart. That is exactly what I was able to learn from this program. I learned the value of eating a well-balanced and healthy diet along with daily exercises to combat cardiovascular disease. I learned about some of the major risk factors for heart disease and how that related to my family history, culture and lifestyle. I really valued and appreciated the incorporation of a faith based component to this training and the fact that I could utilize biblical scriptures along with this great information to empower myself and others to see change as not only a hope but a real possibility.
Upon completing the Heartsmarts Ambassador training, I was able to teach this incredible 10-week program to the students residing at the Bowery Mission Women’s Center residential recovery program. The students were able to receive this information in the form of a booklet that they were able to read, review and begin to implement this information into their daily lives. As we went through the program I could begin to see small but noticeable changes in the women from week 1 to week 10. Some of the women lost 2 or more dress sizes, many reduced their sugar and salt intake, and some chose to quit drinking coffee and soda, while others chose to incorporate more daily exercises into their normal routine. Some of the challenges faced by the students were the fact that many were restricted to the food provided to them by the program which was not always a well-balanced/healthy diet so their food options were somewhat limited. Other challenges included having enough time and access to incorporating daily exercises into their class schedules. It’s hard to say just how many changes were made collectively as many of the women have moved on from the program but they were able to take this valuable knowledge and information with them.
I personally have lost over 50 pounds since starting this program and continue to make strides towards a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family. With the incorporation of a healthier balanced diet and increased exercise my LDL levels have been lowered, my HDL has increased, my blood pressure has lowered and my overall heart health is much better. The HeartSmarts Program has had a profound impact on my life personally and professionally. I hope that this life saving information continues to be shared and taught to people around this nation to help in combating the fight against heart disease.
Tanesha Hutton, MSW, CASAC-T