Fit Friendly Symposium Discusses Healthy Work Environments

More than 50 corporate leaders joined UHealth and the American Heart Association at the 2014 Miami and Broward Fit Friendly Symposium, held at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center on April 22. The purpose of the panel event was to share health data and exchange tips for creating healthy work environments.

Welcoming the group was Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., Executive Dean for Clinical Affairs and CEO, UHealth Clinical Practice, Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, and professor of radiology, neurological surgery and ophthalmology.

Facilitating the panel discussion was Ralph Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Olemberg Chair of Neurology, and past National President of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

Dr. Sacco shared some sobering statistics with the group:

• One in three residents in Broward and Miami-Dade counties has had some form of heart disease or has had a stroke.
• 63 percent of adults in Florida are overweight or obese.
• 31 percent of Floridians have high blood pressure, and 44 percent have high cholesterol levels.
• Health problems cost corporate America nearly $312 billion each year in productivity losses.
• The cost of treating heart disease and stroke is expected to reach $1 trillion by the year 2030.

But, he added, there is some good news: 80 percent of cardiovascular disease is preventable.

A panel of medical experts and corporate leaders provided insight into health tips and initiatives for encouraging a healthier work force and answered questions from the audience. Included on the panel were UHealth faculty members Mauro Moscucci, M.D., M.B.A., professor of medicine, Interim Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Chief of the Cardiovascular Division, and John E. Lewis, Ph.D., physiologist and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Corporate leaders included Richard Luceri, M.D., Vice President of Health Care Services at JM Family Enterprises, Inc., and Kate Stemle, Wellness Manager at Citrix.

Dan Thorpe, Executive Director at the American Heart Association (AHA) of Greater Miami/Fort Lauderdale, recognized local companies, including the University of Miami, which have received Fit Friendly designation by the AHA for creating a culture of physical activity and health in the workplace.

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