March 03, 2016 Healthy Living

Join Us for the 33rd Annual Capital Region Heart Ball

If you’re looking for a fun, elegant way to spend a Saturday night that also happens to benefit a worthy cause, might I suggest the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Heart Ball on Saturday, March 5? I’m honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to chair this special event, and I hope that you’ll join me in celebrating the accomplishments of an organization that’s near and dear to my heart. Even if you can’t attend the ball as a guest, several opportunities for showing your support are available, including volunteering, making a donation, and becoming a sponsor.

CDPHP clinical account executive Sarah Johnson and friend Nick Fenlon smile for the camera at last year’s Heart Ball.

Held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy from 6 p.m. to midnight, the Heart Ball is a chance for local business owners and those in the medical field to gather and help fund the AHA’s research and programs. Currently, the Capital Region receives about $2 million in research funding. The event also celebrates the AHA’s work and mission, its donors and volunteers, and the many lives saved and improved thanks to its supporters’ unwavering commitment. Last year, the Heart Ball campaign raised a little more than $51 million nationwide, which enabled the AHA to contribute more than $123 million toward research and programs across the country and in our community.

Some Humbling, but Avoidable, Statistics It’s no secret that the risks heart disease and stroke pose are significant. In fact, they kill more than 786,000 Americans each year and are the No. 1 and No. 2 causes of death in the world. What’s equally worrisome is some form of cardiovascular disease affects more than one in every three adult Americans and can cause severe disabilities. As a former practicing cardiologist, all too often I would see the toll heart disease took on my patients and their families. It’s a terrible affliction and one that, to this day, I feel passionate about and for which I’m striving to raise awareness and support.

Some encouraging news is heart disease and stroke are, for the most part, preventable. The AHA prescribes Life’s Simple 7 for lowering your risks, and frankly, I couldn’t agree more with their recommendations. They include:

I can add managing stress, seeing your doctor on a regular basis, limiting your alcohol consumption, and, if you’re on medications, taking them as directed by your doctor to that list.

Now, Let’s Celebrate Without the AHA, the advances we’ve made in treating and preventing heart disease and stroke would be severely limited or non-existent. They’ve had a huge impact on many people’s lives and I’m privileged to be a part of their cause. I look forward to seeing you at the Heart Ball and sharing in the AHA’s many achievements.

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP
About the Author

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP, is president and CEO of Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP), an award-winning, physician aligned, not-for-profit health plan based in Albany, NY. Bennett has held the position since 2008 after serving more than 10 years as chair, vice chair, and board member for CDPHP. During his tenure, CDPHP has been ranked among the top-performing health plans in New York and the nation, most recently named #1 in Customer Satisfaction in the 2023 J.D. Power Member Health Plan Study. Under his leadership, CDPHP has also become known as a model employer regionally and nationally and was recently named among the top five Best Companies to Work for in New York by the Society for Human Resource Management, as well as Forbes Best-in-State Employers 2022. Prior to joining CDPHP, Bennett served as founding member and CEO of Prime Care Physicians, PLLC. During his tenure, he co-led a team of 25 cardiologists and helped grow the practice to a 100-physician multi-specialty group. Bennett is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine, with subspecialties in internal medicine and cardiology. He earned his medical degree at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, and a Bachelor of Science degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bennett completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Albany Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians. Bennett is currently board chair for the Center for Economic Growth and the Capital Region Chamber, and vice chair for the Palace Theatre. Bennett also serves on the boards of the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Russell Sage Colleges. Bennett is a member of the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council where he helps shape decisions related to New York State's public health and health care delivery system. Well-known locally and nationally for advancing health care innovation, Bennett was recently named to Crain’s New York Business 2021 Notable in Health Care, as well as the Albany Business Review’s Power 50 list.

Comments are closed.

Get our favorite local activities, health tips
and more, each month.