Cayuga Center for Healthy Living
Guides People through Change
By Geoff Moore, MD, FACSM
Four key lifestyle factors raise
the risk of developing many serious health problems and account for about 75
percent of all health-care costs. These lifestyle risk factors are stress,
diet, exercise, and smoking. And while most people know what the facts are
regarding healthy choices to reduce their risk factors, many are not
emotionally ready to make changes.
A program developed through Cayuga
Medical Center and the Cayuga Center for Healthy
Living (CCHL) provides guidance to people who want to make difficult changes in
their lives. Located at the Island Health Center, CCHL is integrated with the
local medical community and offers comprehensive support for lifestyle change.
What is the Healthy Lifestyle
The goal of this program is to help
redirect people away from unhealthy living to a healthier lifestyle. Poor
eating habits, sedentary lives, stress, and cigarettes are major risk factors
for heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in this country.
Making sustainable changes in the way we conduct our lives can be difficult in
today’s fast-paced, stressful environment. At CCHL, we have created an
easy-to-use program that is individually tailored to the specific needs of each
person who seeks our help.
Who is the program right for?
We particularly can help two groups
of people: those with heart disease, and those with other chronic health
problems that are related to lifestyle risk factors.
If you have had cardiac-related
chest pain, a heart attack, angioplasty, surgery to repair or replace a heart
valve, heart bypass surgery, or a heart-lung transplant, you may benefit from
cardiac rehabilitation. Our cardiovascular disease prevention program, which
includes supervised exercise components and nutrition awareness, is designed to
help people with cardiac disease make lifestyle changes. Working under my
supervision, the Healthy Living treatment team includes Deborah Noonan, RN, an
experienced cardiac nurse who conducts the exercise sessions, and registered
dietitian and nutritionist, Megan Moran, RD.
The second group
of people who can benefit from the Healthy Living Program at the Cayuga Center
for Healthy Living include individuals who have chronic health problems (other
than heart disease) that are related to lifestyle risk factors. These chronic
health problems include conditions such as high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, diabetes, weight-related health problems, arthritis, and back
What are the benefits?
If you want to lose weight, become
more active, manage a chronic condition such as heart disease, learn to reduce
stress, or quit smoking, we can help you reach your goal. An experienced team of lifestyle management
professionals (physician specialists, cardiac nurses, registered dietitians,
and diabetes educators) provides education, guidance, and support in helping
you make the changes you need to make
for yourself. Many programs are focused on one aspect of lifestyle, but we
recognize that everyone has their own unique life and individual combination of
inter-related risk factors. We help you understand how these risk factors
affect your health, and work with you to improve your lifestyle risk factors.
Where is this program offered?
The program is based at the Cayuga
Center for Healthy Living, on the 5th floor of the Island Health
Center, 310 Taughannock Boulevard, which is located at the corner of Route 96
and Route 89 in Ithaca’s West End.
Will my insurance cover this?
Most health insurance does cover
these services, as long as you have a chronic health problem that is related to
one or more of the lifestyle risk factors. We recommend that you check directly
with your insurance carrier about your specific coverage. People for whom this
may not be covered are young, healthy individuals who have one or more of the
risk factors, but otherwise don’t have a chronic disease, i.e. a young but
healthy person who is overweight. Participation in the program does not require
health-insurance coverage: self-pay patients are also very welcome in the
Healthy Living Program.
How do I get started?
With the prospect of chronic
disease shortening our lives, and with health-care costs skyrocketing, you may
decide that disease prevention and health promotion is the best investment in
your health. Ask your doctor about the Healthy Lifestyle Program to see if it’s
right for you, or call (607) 252-3590 for more information or to schedule an
appointment. While a physician’s referral is not absolutely necessary for the
Healthy Living Program, we do prefer to share information and work
collaboratively with your primary care giver.
Geoff Moore is the director of the Cayuga Center for Healthy Living. He is a
member of the medical staff of Cayuga Medical Center and is a Fellow of the
American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Moore is an adjunct assistant
professor in the Department of Exercise Science at Syracuse University.