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Phelps Cardiologist Awards First “Chief’s Challenge” Awards
(May 6, 2014) Over 400 members of 43 local police and fire departments throughout Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and New York City competed in the 2013 “Chief’s Challenge.” Developed by cardiologists at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center and Club Fit in Jefferson Valley and Briarcliff Manor, the program is designed to improve the health and wellness of public safety personnel.
The Yonkers Police and the New York City Fire Department showed the highest level of participation in the challenge by their members. They each recently received a check for $1000, donated by the Heart and Health Education Foundation, founded by members of Phelps Cardiology in Briarcliff: Franklin Zimmerman, MD, Arthur Fass, MD and Dina Katz, MD.
The program was insp ired by research conducted by Dr. Zimmerman, Senior Attending Cardiologist at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center. Dr. Zimmerman is a nationally recognized researcher in the field of the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease in public safety personnel. His findings were presented at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual meeting and included in the recently published book, Dying For The Job, edited by former New York State Trooper, John Violante, Ph.D.
“My research shows that law enforcement personnel have a high risk of heart disease and cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, obesity and metabolic syndrome,” said Dr. Zimmerman. “In addition, there are occupation-specific risk factors unique to first responders, including shift work and psychological stress. Police officers, firefighters, and other public safety personnel need to be particularly vigilant in controlling cardiovascular risk factors, beginn ing with a regular exercise program such as the one offered at Club Fit.”
The 2014 Chief’s Challenge is underway, with high hopes for an even bigger turn out of public safety personnel this year. Club Fit offers a free, 3-month membership to all police officers and firefighters, allowing them to continue their membership at half-price thereafter.
For more information about the 2014 “Chief’s Challenge,” call Laura Crowe at Club Fit Jefferson Valley at 914-250-2722 or Joe DaRonco at Club Fit Briarcliff Manor at 914-250-2783.