Every year at this time of holiday cheer, we read articles in the newspapers and magazines about heart disease. I find these articles extremely interesting because some holiday articles warn against shrugging off chest pain, forgetting or skipping medications, eating heavy meals, too much salt, too much alcohol and too much fatty foods with high cholesterol, sugar and hydrogenated ingredients. How would you like to be more positive by joining a program called the Heart Series program, which will give you the tools to change your lifestyle and save your heart?

My name is Richy Feinberg. I was born on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan 80 years ago. My mother was a heavy woman and one of her greatest pleasures was eating out. At 15 years old, I had eaten an unbelievable variety of food that my mother served, such as ham, sausage, liver, lamb chops, veal cutlet, bacon and eggs, meat balls, and fresh kosher chicken plucked from a store down the block. 

On the morning of my 50th birthday, I told my wife that I’m going to start to take better care of my self because I wanted to live longer and healthier, so I threw out my weed and my cigarettes and stopped smoking them cold turkey. I took vitamins, stopped eating eggs, less meat and worked out. I thought that was enough. 

In 1998, I had a heart attack. A week later, I had quadruple bypass surgery and two months later, I had another heart attack. So that’s why articles concerning heart disease on holidays capture my attention. The 21-year-old Heart Series program is led by Dr. Charles Katzenberg, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and Edna Silva, R.N., a cardiac rehabilitation nurse and founder of the T’ai Center of Tucson. The Heart Series is operated through the non-profit Foundation for Cardiovascular Health and is Arizona’s first intensive cardiac rehabilitation program. 

The Heart Series was recently selected as the winner in Influential Health and Medical Leaders for Achievement in Wellness Programs.

The aim of the 12-week, program is to improve the quality and length of life by teaching skills that will lead to health and happiness through the prevention and reduction of illness, hospitalization and medications. 

The Heart Series is offered twice each year. Spring sessions begin Feb. 2 and end April 19. Classes are offered from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays. The cost is $300 per individual or $500 per couple.

Space is limited. For information, call Richy Feinberg, at 797-2281 or visit

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