POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- State Sen. Sue Serino knows exactly what health officials mean when they say a little commonsense can head off that old silent killer, stress.
The Hyde Park representative was hospitalized last year with blood pressure issues that, she said, if left untreated, had the potential to change her “entire life.”
Saying women especially have to be vigilant when listening to their bodies, Serino announced in Poughkeepsie on Friday, March 11, that she, and the American Heart Association, are teaming up to launch a unique women’s health initiative – “Don’t Mess With Stress.”
The initiative, she said, is “all about awareness and reminding women that no matter how healthy you may be, the fact remains that heart disease is the number one killer of women.”
Serino spoke at a press conference alongside Kristin Judd, executive director of the American Heart Association; Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro; representatives from the county and local women’s organizations; and health care professionals.
Under the “Don’t Mess With Stress” initiative, workshops will be made available to women’s and professional groups.
The aim is to help women recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, learn about the long-term health repercussions of unchecked stress, and develop a list of simple changes they can make in order to better manage that stress, Serino said.
Judd said that 80 percent of heart disease can be prevented by changing things that are under our control.
“When stress is excessive, it can contribute to everything from high blood pressure to digestive issues,” Judd said.
Dutchess has already held a workshop for county employees.
The free workshops will be run by cardiologist Dr. Ronald Tatelbaum, and Shelley Tatelbaum, a counselor who specializes in mindfulness-based stress reduction.
Lea Bishop, of the Women’s Professional Network, an educational and networking organization, will host a workshop linking stress management to professional development.
Organizations interested in hosting one of the workshops can call Donna Reyer, a Serino aide, at (845)- 229-0106.