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Healthy Hearts on the Hill "Biggest Winner" to be Announced

5,000 Grand Prize Awarded Jan. 28, 3-6 p.m., First Church in Albany

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150



Healthy Hearts on the Hill lunch

Healthy Hearts co-chair Lisa Ferretti, center, and community members celebrate the April 2009 Biggest Winner kick-off. The project was conceived to motivate community members to make healthy choices, seek health care, and increase exercise. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 22, 2010) -- The UAlbany-sponsored Healthy Hearts on the Hill Coalition will name its Biggest Winner from among eligible West Hill community members who participated in the lifestyle improvement program last year.

The Coalition will name the $5,000 Grand Prize winner at a ceremony and drawing to be held Jan. 28, 3-6 p.m., at the First Church in Albany, 110 North Pearl Street.

More than 20 participants in the Biggest Winner Project are potentially eligible for the Grand Prize drawing of $5,000 and more than 60 participants are eligible for other prizes. 

"We are so pleased for our Biggest Winner Project participants," said UAlbany Public Service Professor Lisa A. Ferretti, co-chair of the Healthy Hearts Coalition. "These folks have worked hard for more than six months to improve their health by increasing their physical activity, making healthy food choices and seeking routine medical care for their chronic health conditions.  And now one of them will be awarded $5,000 for their efforts and share their inspiration with this community.”

Recognizing the high levels of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions among residents in Albany's West Hill neighborhood and surrounding communities, and the difficulties residents have in accessing health insurance, screenings and routine health care, community members came together in April 2009 to form the Healthy Hearts on the Hill Coalition. The Coalition has organized health screenings, community dinners, walking clubs and health education programs throughout the neighborhood. The Biggest Winner Project was conceived to motivate and encourage community members to take steps toward making healthy choices, engaging in healthy behaviors, seeking health care, increasing exercise, and reducing glucose and cholesterol levels.

Among those eligible for the Grand Prize are community members whose lives and health changed dramatically throughout the course of the contest, which ended Dec. 31, 2009.  The Biggest Winner announcement will feature these stories, including the development of a community champion for health and a participant losing nearly 100 pounds.

Eligible participants earned points for healthy activities they reported during the project and for demonstrating a sustained effort.  For every point earned, a raffle ticket will be entered into the Grand Prize Raffle Drawing to be drawn at approximately 5 p.m. during the Jan. 28 ceremony by a local guest celebrity (invited) and Lisa A. Ferretti.

In addition to drawing the grand prize, the ceremony will also serve as the venue to announce the winners of five mini-grants to local community based organizations seeking to create Healthy Spaces for community residents to increase their physical activity.  The effort is funded through a grant from the New York State Department of Health’s Healthy Eating/Active Living by Design projects.  The focus of these funds in West Hill and surrounding communities is to increase physical activity in residents to recommended levels by investing in community level and environmental policy changes. 

For more information on the Healthy Hearts on the Hill Coalition and the Biggest Winner competition, contact Lisa Ferretti, (518) 442-5779 or

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