Members of Hope to Health (H2H) and some of their spouses gathered at Cetrella restaurant in Los Altos on June 7 to hear from aging and longevity expert Walter Bortz, M.D., and to present checks to the women’s giving circle’s 2016 grant recipients. Dr. Bortz, an 86-year-old marathon runner, Stanford physician and blogger for the Huffington Post, said the keys to living healthfully to 100 are diet, attitude, renewal and, most important, exercise. Genes, he said, play a small role, but do not control your destiny. Exercise is “the magic solution,” he emphasized. “It’s never too late to start!”
H2H President Margaret Capriles introduced the organization’s two grantees. “As Hope to Health members, we combine our monies and support projects at El Camino Hospital that make a difference in people’s lives,” she explained. “We are giving our money away but we get the education provided by our recipients back in return.”
Vivian Low, RN, manager of special projects, Patient Care Resources, accepted the first grant on behalf of El Camino Hospital’s Cardiac & Pulmonary Wellness Center. It will fund continued membership with WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, a part of the National Hospital Alliance. This provides access to educational materials and training for both clinicians and women heart disease survivors who become volunteer community educators, national spokespersons and advocates for women living with the condition. The work with WomenHeart, begun with an H2H grant last year, is helping El Camino Hospital determine what ongoing strategies are most useful for serving women with coronary artery disease. One result is the hospital’s decision to establish a specialty clinic in 2017 that will offer lifestyle management and education.
“We can’t thank you enough for jumpstarting all this important work and helping El Camino Hospital define what would be most meaningful and useful in trying to level and improve the playing field for preventing heart disease in women,” Vivian told the women’s giving circle.
Athena Lendvay, RN, program coordinator of pelvic health/GYN surgery, and Judy Leydig, director of Rehabilition Services, accepted the second grant. It will underwrite advanced training and certification in women’s health for the hospital’s physical therapists and enable the hospital to offer a two-part class that teaches pregnant women how to prevent abdominal muscle separation. “This condition, which can lead to more difficult labor, a weakened abdomen, pain, urinary leakage, and a lasting rounded belly, is preventable,” said Athena, “but most women don’t know about it. With your grant, we can teach women about posture, show them exercises that strengthen their abdominal core, give them postpartum exercises and provide physical therapy that can help.”