Press Releases & Announcements

Spirit of Women Day of Dance Adds New Twist Aimed at Energizing Healthy Lifestyles

Thursday, February 09, 2012 - Danbury, CT

Western Connecticut Health Network Spirit of Women Day of DanceDanbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital, affiliates of Western Connecticut Health Network, invite the community to the Third Annual Spirit of Women Day of Dance on Saturday, March 3, 2012. The fun-filled Day of Dance takes place at the Ethan Allen Hotel, 21 Lake Avenue Extension in Danbury, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

For nearly a decade, Spirit of Women hospitals across the country have been joining together to take a stand against heart disease through Day of Dance. Western Connecticut Health Network’s heart-healthy day combines physician-led education classes, dance demonstrations, and health screenings throughout the day.

The day begins with welcoming remarks by Shohreh Shahabi, MD, FACOG, Chair, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology and Chair, Reproductive Tumor Biology Research Laboratory, followed by heart health discussion titled “Pump Up Your Heart” presented by Susan Mani, MD, Medical Director, Women’s Cardiac Program, The Praxair Regional Heart and Vascular Center at Danbury Hospital.

Physician-led Interactive Sessions

  • Fitness: A Family Affair – Endocrinologist Rita Landman, MD, Carolyn Couture, MD, internal medicine, exercise physiologists Molly Gill, MS, CES, and Doug Ballard, speak to and demonstrate how to stay active within your daily routine. Get ideas for safe and fun activities that you can do at home and at work to burn calories.
  • No Bones About It - Preventing Osteoporosis – Rick Pope, MPAS, PA-C, and Lisa Lee Norte, Strong Women, Strong Bones instructor, discuss ways to prevent osteoporosis, including calcium supplements and weight-bearing activities to keep your bones healthy.
  • Sexuality & Hormones – Mark Leondires, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine, talks about hormones and sexuality for women of every age. At the end of the session, attendees will participate in an energizing fitness routine with Zumba instructor Roxane Angotta.
  • Genetics and Jeans - One Size Does Not Fit All – Shohreh Shahabi, MD, FACOG, Chair, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, and Chair, Reproductive Tumor Biology Research Laboratory, Valerie L. Staradub, MD, FACS, Medical Director, Breast Care Program, and genetics counselor Shannon Morrill-Cornelius, MS, CGC, discuss how genetics is a uniquely personal fit in terms of your health. Understanding your family history can help you minimize your risk for disease. Attendees at this session will learn about controversies surrounding women’s cancers, and what research is being conducted for a promising future. Fitness instructor Roxane Angotta teaches participants a Zumba fitness routine.
  • Shaping Up for Financial Fitness – Other things aside, money and finances can cause a great deal of stress and health related concerns. Join financial counseling experts Carolyn Silliman and Dave Zavarelli as they provide tips on managing finances to keep you and your family’s stress levels low. In addition, an integrative medicine approach on how to develop a relaxation routine will also be offered.
  • What’s Up Down There! (Urology/Gynecology) – For most women, urinary incontinence of some form is a common concern. That’s why urogynecologist Jeanette Rivera, MD, and internal medicine physician Kavita Joshi, MD, talk about some of the causes and the most recent advances available to eliminate these symptoms.
  • Sleep … The Impossible Dream?Jose Mendez, MD, regional director for Sleep Medicine, and Joseph Fawley, RRT/RPSGT, sleep study technician, talk about common causes of sleep disturbances versus sleep disorders, and when it’s time to consider a sleep study.
  • Integrative Medicine - General surgeon Kirstin Pilchard, MD, Sasha Chalif, MS, MP, and Peggy O’Shea, RN, discuss the benefits of integrative medicine in the healing process. A guest speaker presentation on “Laughter – A Good Exercise for Your Heart” with Joe Gillotti, Certified Laughter Yoga Instructor, explores how a healthy lifestyle can be a fun and energizing experience.

The event is free to Spirit Members. If you’re not a Spirit of women member yet, sign up now by going to or to begin enjoying all the benefits that include great giveaways at events like this.

To register for Day of Dance, call 1-800-482-1387, or go to

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is a patient-centered health care organization established in 2010 by two nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and their affiliated organizations, to provide the highest level of care to patients throughout Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. In addition to the two hospitals, other network affiliates include:

  • An integrated physician practice with primary and specialty care expertise
  • An agency for home care and community health services
  • A full-service retail pharmacy located at Danbury Hospital
  • Emergency medical services
  • An occupational wellness and medicine program, providing services for business and industry

Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in Women’s, neonatal, cardiovascular and cancer services; weight loss and orthopedic surgery; digestive disorders and radiology and diagnostic imaging. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management.  Both hospitals also maintain active clinical research programs, offering clinical trials for patients with cancer and other health concerns.

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About Danbury Hospital

Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with the University of Vermont College of Medicine, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center.  The hospital is nationally recognized as a tertiary health care center with an innovative high-tech, high-touch environment and is also a member of the Planetree organization. In addition to offering the latest robotic and minimally invasive surgical and imaging technology, it was the first hospital in Connecticut to adopt electronic health records systems. It offers a Level II Trauma Center and Level IIIb Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Medical staff members are board-certified in their specialties, and most serve as faculty members of the nation’s finest university medical centers offering a higher level of experience. 

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About New Milford Hospital

New Milford Hospital is a Planetree organization dedicated to patient-centered care that nurtures every patient's body, mind and spirit.  The Hospital has an extraordinary tradition of warm and caring personal attention backed by top-notch physicians, world-class technology and the newest, most advanced diagnostic and treatment options available. Your healthcare team of highly trained physicians, nurses, technicians and administrators is determined and committed to improving the health and quality of life of those we serve.

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