Healthfirst Hosts Health And Wellness Expo Series Kickoff With Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Prominent Medical Experts and Elected Officials Unite in Bedford Stuyvesant to Address Diabetes and Mental Health Awareness

NEW YORK, NY, June 18, 2014 –Top New York City health experts and local elected officials will lead a health panel breakfast on diabetes and mental health awareness at the Healthfirst Health & Wellness Expo series kickoff on Saturday, July 12 at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton Street in Brooklyn. The breakfast will be held from 8:00am-11:30am and will be followed by a free health fair open to the public from 11:00am-5:00pm featuring free health screenings, giveaways and a host of activities for children.
Keynote speaker Congressman Hakeem Jeffries will kick off the breakfast moderated by Marcia Bayne Smith, PhD (Professor, Queens College). Panel participants include Susan Beane, MD (Healthfirst Vice President and Medical Director) and Ian Shaffer, MD, MMM, CPE (Healthfirst Vice President & Executive Medical Director, Behavioral Health). Invited guests will include Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy, Assemblywoman Annette Robinson and additional special guest speakers. The discussion will focus on the rise of diabetes and mental illness in African-American communities and how to identify, manage and incorporate healthy lifestyle changes to help reduce their prevalence.
The Health and Wellness EXPO continues in the afternoon in the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza courtyard with activities for families to enjoy. A Health and Wellness Pavilion will feature health screenings, massage therapists, manicures/pedicures, cooking demonstrations and fitness workshops. The Kids Zone will feature face painting and entertainers from the New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo, and the Brooklyn Museum.
“We want to make sure our communities are well-informed on prevention measures for diabetes and mental illness to decrease its prevalence, especially within the African-American and Hispanic populations,” said George Hulse, Healthfirst Vice President of External Affairs. “We are proud to host the Healthfirst Health and Wellness EXPO with our sponsors, community leaders and health providers to offer this important information promoting the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.”
Additional sponsors of the Health and Wellness EXPO include Children’s Defense Fund and Carib News. The Healthfirst Health and Wellness EXPO will continue through August 2014 in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan (dates listed below):

  • Brownsville, Brooklyn: Saturday, August 2
  • Claremont Village, Bronx: Saturday, August 9
  • Harlem: Saturday, August 23

For more information on Healthfirst and the Health and Wellness EXPO series, please visit
About Healthfirst
Healthfirst is a not-for-profit managed care organization with more than one million members of the diverse communities of downstate New York. We are ranked the #1 Quality Medicaid Plan in NYS. We treat our Medicaid, Family Health Plus, Child Health Plus, Medicare Advantage, and Managed Long Term Care members with the same care and attention we would want for our own families. We are also a proud participant in NY State of Health: The Official Health Plan Marketplace. For more information, visit the company’s websites at and
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