Go Red’s BetterU Comes to Huntington Hospital
In conjunction with the American Heart Association’s (AHA) BetterU campaign, The Huntington Hospital Heart and Vascular Center has created its own BetterU program – giving hospital employees a leg up on fitness and heart health. BetterU provides guidance to improve participants’ overall health from the inside out. Participants learn smart strategies and gain new information on improving and maintaining good health, as well as receive encouragement and advice from "coaches" made up of Huntington Hospital clinical staff.
“When I first heard about the BetterU challenge, I was absolutely thrilled!! BetterU brings the philosophy behind the Go Red campaign to a realizable and true-to-life venture. The challenge takes real women in the real world with real jobs and pushes them to rise to the occasion of bettering themselves,” said Vyshali Rao, MD, interventional cardiologist and medical director of Huntington’s women’s heart program.
Huntington Hospital adopted the BetterU program under Dr. Rao’s oversight. Coaches included a nutritionist, a social worker and a nurse practitioner and guest speakers included a psychiatrist and exercise physiologist. Together this team of experts provided invaluable mentoring in a support group atmosphere to nine employees who elected to participate. Each week of the 12-session workshop was dedicated to a different aspect of heart health for a complete "heart makeover." The AHA also provides online support for the program, so anyone can be involved from home.
Karla Marshall of Monrovia joined the BetterU Challenge to address multiple health issues. “I now have a fresh outlook on a healthy lifestyle. I no longer think about dieting. I feel better! I possess the skills and confidence in myself to continue this to reach my personal goals. And I mean for life,” said Marshall.
Another participant, Debbie Wong of Pasadena says, “What woman wouldn’t want the opportunity to look and feel better, younger and healthier? The BetterU Challenge provided the opportunity and the motivation. It helped me look inside myself and my psyche where I found an untapped source of strength. Thank you, Better U Challenge for getting me on my journey of healthy aging.”
Dr. Rao notes, “Through support from other women, each participant was given the opportunity to address a key health problem in her life. Be it weight, blood pressure, the desire to quit smoking or any other risk factor that needs modifying, the BetterU challenge gives women the support and tools needed to achieve goals. I am truly proud of our first set of participants. Each one of these fabulous women truly embraced the challenge – and we all became friends in the process. We realize no woman is alone in her struggle to change her life for the better and we all have each other to count on.”
To find out more about the BetterU Challenge, visit www.goredforwomen.org