Community Health Notes for people & pets


Salvador F. Solá, MD, with yours truly.




Because critical and unique health issues, including hepatitis, diabetes, asthma and obesity, plague our Hispanic and African American communities—affecting children and adults alike, especially in our inner citiesI have decided to expand the scope of  Viva La Música NY Style….Y Más® to include information and resources relating to these problems.

I dedicate this page to my late father, Salvador F. Solá, M.D., a proud Puerto Rican and dedicated physician who gave of himself tirelessly and who taught his children respect for ALL life.

—Vicki Solá, Publisher & Editor in Chief


 ….and for a child to die.




Courtesy of Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter

It’s a tragic fact that when pets are advertised "Free to good homes" on Craigslist and in newspaper ads, they are snatched up by dog fighters, Class B Dealers who sell them to labs for research, and also individuals who torture and kill them.  These animals are actually better off being brought to shelters.  Please take the time to educate your family members, friends and others about this.  Thank you.



Building a Stronger Life



Stronger Life, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation organized to educate, encourage and empower seniors to improve their quality of life through nutritional education and regular exercise. Trained professional fitness and nutrition experts provide counsel, direction and supervision that teach seniors how to function and live at an optimum level throughout their retirement years.  


To read more about Stronger Life, Inc. and Tony Lorrich, its Founder, CEO, Executive Director & Chairman of the Board, check out our new page: 


                                        Building a Stronger Life 






Educating About Animal Cruelty



Turn Back Blow, a book written by Roger Williams, is the tale, set in rural Jamaica, of a group of stray animals who enlist the help of a ten-year-old handicapped boy to fight animal abusers in their community.


Roger Williams is the first Jamaican author to advocate for animal rights and bring awareness to animal cruelty via a book.  He is a U.S. Army veteran, author, and actor, born and raised in a rural area of Jamaica.  When he penned the book, he lived in Los Angeles but relocated to New York, where he currently resides.  

After watching a YouTube video, back in 2011, where a group of people in Jamaica used a live dog as bait to capture a crocodile from a river, Williams decided that Jamaicans needed to be educated relative to the issue of animal cruelty.  He dedi- cated two years of his life to writing Turn Back Blow, first published in 2013, and republished by a larger publisher in March 2015.  Since its release, the book has opened the eyes of many in Jamaica and other countries about animal cruelty.  It is currently being read by people of all ages, races and nationalities.  Top universities such as Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Oxford (UK), Dalhousie (Canada) and the University Of The West Indies in Jamaica have cataloged the book in their libraries. Williams’ mission is to educate not only the children of Jamaica, but also those in the rest of the world about cruelty and to help them develop compassion for animals.  Williams says that he could have dedicated the book to a loved one—a family member or friend—but chose to dedicate the book to "all mistreated and abused animals in the world" because they need a voice.  

Roger Willliams





Turn Back Blow is available on Amazon in paperback, hard cover, and on Kindle. You may visit the book’s Facebook page for more information.  Anyone wishing to assist Williams with his mission may email him or send a message via the book’s Facebook page. ◊ ◊ ◊



November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  This insidious disease runs rampant in our inner cities and Latino and African American communities, affecting not only adults but children, causing amputations, blindness, and heart and kidney failure.  Several members of my own family, including my son, suffer from diabetes.  According to the American Diabetes Association:


        Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.

        Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk  for developing type 2 diabetes.

        The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.


Prevention is paramount, as is dealing with the condition through proper nutrition, exercise, monitoring blood glucose levels and ketones, taking prescribed meds and treatments faithfully, and following up with medical professionals on a regular basis.


Further info is available at:



El Museo Del Barrio’s website has information for helping East Harlem residents affected by the March 20th explosion:


Anyone needing help with #pets affected by the #Harlem explosion should call the #NYC Disaster Relief Pet Hotline at 866-816-4804.

With as many as 10 million Latinos eligible for enrollment in Obamacare before enrollment ends March 31, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz  wants to make sure the community knows there are resources in English and Spanish to #Asegurate





Check out our new column,

Health & Fitness Thru Dance - Jersey Style

by fitness trainer & dancer

Donay Wilford


To promote safety, pet wellbeing and to prevent dog bites:

For enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace:

Open enrollment ends March 31st.

For enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace:

By Angela Boettcher

Founder of Dance for Life & Certified Health Coach

In remission since May 2007, Acute Large B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma


Three years ago, I teamed up with some friends to create Dance for Life, an event that would celebrate survivorship while raising funds for better treatments and a cure for cancer. When my doctor diagnosed me with Acute B-cell Lymphoma seven years ago, he reassured me that I had nothing to worry about.…I was young and that if I was going to get cancer, I got the one you want. In other words, he was saying that I was lucky enough to have a cancer that was essentially curable. His words proved true, and I was declared in remission a short six months later, and have remained there for six years. Yet, I was still filled with grief, guilt and frustration whenever someone shared a story of a loved one they lost, or of someone who was struggling with recurrence, or how they themselves were just diagnosed.


I was determined that being a survivor would not define my life, and that I would honor myself by celebrating my life. I began taking salsa classes to get my mind off what I had just overcome, and I was hooked. Classes twice a week, clubs every night. A short year later, Dance for Life was born. Our mission is to fight cancer through our love of dance. I truly believe that the innovative treatment that I received is what saved my life. This is why the Dance for Life team is committed to having all of our funds raised go directly to support cancer research initiatives.  Dance for Life is proud to partner again with the Gateway for Cancer Research and the Demand Cures Today campaign where 99 cents of every $1 raised goes directly toward ground-breaking research and new and improved cancer treatments. Please join us on November 29th, 2013 for our 4th Annual Dance for Life event. For more information and tickets, please visit or donate directly to the Demand Cures Today campaign at


Here are some simple guidelines for reducing your cancer risk:


  1. Avoid tobacco. Get support to quit if you use tobacco and avoid second-hand smoke.
  2. Eat a healthy diet.  Include lots of fruits and vegetables, limit fat, and if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.  A simple 30 minute daily walk can reduce your risk. Or, you can always dance with us!!
  4. Protect yourself from the sun.  Wear sunblock and avoid over-exposure.
  5. Get regular medical care.  This is the one that saved my life! See the doctor regularly, listen to your body, and communicate with your physician about any concerns.


Celebrate life every day. Love generously. Dance for Life! Everyone is affected by cancer. Please help us celebrate survivors, support those in treatment, and honor our loved ones who have passed. Thank you in advance for your support!


Dance for Life

November 29th, 2013


Stepping Out Studios

37 W. 26th St. (between 5th & 6th)

New York, NY

Like us on Facebook! ◊◊◊





An exclusive workshop slated to take place in downtown Manhattan this

past October 2nd  from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at 26 Federal Plaza  will be rescheduled, due to the government shutdown. 


We will keep you posted so that you will have an opportunity to learn the basics of Medicare, as well as an overview of what you must need to know about New York’s new health insurance marketplace, New York State of Health.  You will also be able to receive updates on all of the latest outreach resources and CMS program changes for 2014.  There will be fact sheets, cheat sheets, translated materials, Medicare & You Handbooks, and more.





Bilingual is geared toward Latinos and covers a wide range of topics—healthy living, fitness and food, health conditions from A-Z, natural health, and women’s, men’s, children’s and family health. Other sites of interest are www.BlackDoctor.Org, with its listing of black doctors for the African American community and, a Spanish language resource focusing on parenting and pregnancy.

For information about the New York Donor Network or for questions relating to organ donation and transplantation:

July 28th, 2013  is World Hepatitis Day, a date chose in honor of the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Baruch Samuel Blumberg, discoverer of the hepatitis B virus. According to the World Health Organization (, the date is set aside to focus on “strengthening prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis and its related diseases; increasing hepatitis B vaccine coverage and integration of the vaccine into national immunization programs; and coordinating a global response to hepatitis.”

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and May 15th is National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day. 

Hepatitisinflammation of the liver that can lead to cirrhosis (scarring), cancer and even the need for transplantsis often triggered by a group of viruses.  The disease can also be caused by alcohol and drug usage, exposure to toxic substances, or by infections and autoimmune disorders.

Hepatitis can be treated with drugs, and certain viral forms such as hepatitis A and B may be prevented by vaccination.  Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. 


Hepatitis may disappear on its own or may be chronic, lasting a lifetime. Some people are asymptomatic and others experience jaundice, loss of appetite and severe digestive distress and malfunction.


Hepatitis C is the virus type most widespread within our community and is actually the number one blood-transmitted disease in the United States, affecting more than four million people.  The disease is four times more prevalent than HIV.  It is not detectable in routine blood testing.


For New York City residents, free blood testing for hepatitis and free hepatitis B vaccinations are available.  Call 311 for further information.


 Listed below are resources that should be helpful to those seeking answers.  I’d like to thank my dear friend Susan Pagan, Certified Hepatitis Educator, for providing such invaluable information.  We will feature more information on this topic in coming issues.


GO LIVER 800-465-4837, part of the American Liver Foundation, is bilingual and enables callers to have one on one conversations with a specialist.  provides a wealth of information relating to living with Hepatitis C. another great resource.





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