Health Symposium at Weill Cornell Medical College
disease is the number one killer of men and women,” said Dr.
Lisa Callahan to an auditorium full of women at the 21st Annual
Women’s Health Symposium in New York. “If you are not worried
about the disease, take a look at your family tree.” Thus was
launched the Symposium, an educational outreach program to
provide a forum for women to increase knowledge about health
wellness. This year it was titled: Stress: RX for Relief,
and included a discussion of how stress affects weight loss,
sleep, and the importance of exercise.
Founder and Medical Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine
Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Assistant Professor
of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, continued,
stressing that exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease
by 40 percent.
is good for everything,” said Callahan. “You cannot come up
with a disease that exercise is not good for.”
and President and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital Dr.
Herbert Pardes said stress is a central issue because of our
fast moving society, terrorism threats, security, SARS and
additional concerns. “Information is the number one tool to
make choices about our health,” said Pardes.
Orli Etingin, Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine at
New York-Presbyterian Hospital said “chronic stress has major
health effects on all of us.”
always under a lot of stress,” said Carol Willumstad who attended
the symposium. She said she is stressed because of lack of
time and everyone pulling in different directions. “I come
every year and I feel whatever the topic is, there is always
something for everyone. They are not an overview, you always
get hands on, useful information.”
Louis J. Aronne, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at
Weill Cornell Medical College, has done 17 years of research
on the difficulty of losing weight. “This is not just bad behavior,” said
Aronne. “There are physical and physiological reasons. Just
telling someone to go on a diet and exercise is not the answer.
It’s what kind of diet and what kind of exercise. It is important
to choose an exercise you enjoy. Exercise is not about being
thin; it’s about taking care of yourself.”
Neil Kavey, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of
The Sleep Disorders Center at Columbia College of Physicians
and Surgeons discussed the importance of getting enough sleep. “Sleep
is an active, complex, physiological and biological process,
essential for survival.” Kavey said not having enough sleep
puts the body and brain under stress. He said catching up on
sleep during the weekends is good, but it is important not
to ignore the need for sleep during the week.
attendees had various reactions to the presentations. Elba
Montalvo felt the speakers “presented it [information] in a
way that spoke to me as a working woman.” She said she really
appreciated the connection between the three lecturers. “It’s
not just exercise and eating right,” said Montalvo. “It’s exercise,
eating right and sleeping.”
Susnjara said the program changed her way of thinking. “I am
going to carve out some time to do exercise in the morning.
I think it is very important and I think this might just give
me the incentive.”
Kekst said she enjoyed the speakers. “We are lucky that so
much more research allows us to know so much,” said Kekst. “Now
I have no excuse—I need to take charge of my day and take charge
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