Nice words….


This is what Scott Lilley, of Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters said about us:

We invited Gordon and his wife Jill to speak at our Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters annual symposium. Gordon and Jill were engaging and their presentation was incredibly moving. Their story provided such a powerful message to all in attendance as to the importance of why we do what we do within the healthcare industry. Our attendees left the symposium both inspired and reminded about the value that they bring to their customers. It was an honor to have Gordon and Jill there with us to share their story.

Scott Lilley, ChHC® | Underwriting Manager
Delta Dental of Colorado
720-489-4724 Direct

I cried

Baby crying

Do I cry often?  Fortunately no.  I wouldn’t admit if even if I did.

I think every speech is meaningful to me. This one was different.  After I was done, I actually cried.  I know what you are thinking:  “Buck up!”

The person was a young lady who was moved by my talk. She is going thru something similar with her mom.  Jill always knows what to say.  I wish I could remember it (I am blaming the stroke) but she said something very meaningful to her.

I know what you are thinking…again. He is so lucky to have her. I know!  I kiss her every morning and say “this is going to be the best day.”  OK, I do kiss her, but I don’t say it everyday.  That would be creepy.   But I say it to myself…everyday.  I learned to look at everyday as a gift.

Did I get a THUMPS UP??


We just held the event Monday.  I will call this week and let you know how it went and if I got a thumps up. BUT, the feedback I got so far has been positive!

I felt really POSITIVE about the event.  We had some problems in the set up, but fortunately my contact there gave us plenty of time to work things out.  I ended up working for almost an hour to get the program to work properly.   Again, God bless my contact for taking the time to make sure that everything work out.  He was amazing!

And what did the people leaving say?

You will have to wait to here!  I know; how mean is that.

Jill had her books on the table, all signed, ready to give to the people attending.  I took the photo below.  I don’t want to brag, but isn’t she just wonderful!!!


Good time in SF…(that’s San Francisco for those who don’t know)


I think the talk went GREAT!

OK, the first one didn’t go so well, but that one was with my friends.  I feel a little bad because I wanted to give them a good experience. My friends are so fantastic; I messed up MULTIPLE times, but nobody complained. That is true friendship! I feel blessed to have them.

I was ready to give my talk.Then, the next day, I gave my speech at Garre Vineyard and Winery.  I THINK I was awesome…but I will know once my contact does my evaluation. In the process, I always want to get better, so I ask the appropriate questions.  Wish me good luck!

Afterwards, we just hung out…seeing the sites.



Do you want to know the single best thing you can do for your heart?


Walking!  The best ideas are often the most simple. This is true in the case of Nilofer Merchant, a Silicon Valley business innovator, whose TED Talk about walking meetings offered one of the most profound yet straightforward corporate wellness solutions. In a corporate world, where the effects of sitting eight hours a day is compared to those of smoking cigarettes, embracing this simple idea makes perfect sense.

Merchant’s fondness of walking meetings was born out of her own health frustrations. She felt that she couldn’t get enough exercise in her day and often had to choose between getting things done or getting healthier. Employees working at desk jobs all across America share this dissatisfaction – it’s difficult to work eight hours a day and muster up the energy to hit the gym after work or wake up for yoga before sunrise. The walking meeting offers a way to multitask, giving employees the ability to exercise their bodies, minds and spirit while still accomplishing important tasks.

What is a Walking Meeting?

In a nutshell, the walking meeting is an active replacement for the typical one-on-one cup of coffee or conference room chat. Instead of sitting still, the participants are able to add anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour of physical activity to their day simply by taking a stroll.

The benefits aren’t confined to the body, however. Proponents of walking meetings suggest that they enhance creativity and problem-solving skills, resolve conflicts, and build social skills. It allows employees to engage both the body and mind and results in a positive working spirit. The time that staff spends working outside on a walk also saves office resources, putting the business solidly on the path to becoming more sustainable and green.

Consider the current environment format of a typical corporate meeting. Often, they’re held in closed-off conference rooms with fluorescent lighting, a setting that isn’t designed to energize the participants. Employees sit around a table and primarily engage with their smart phones or tablets, sometimes taking notes but often being distracted by the same technology that is supposed to make them more productive. The meeting agenda is loosely followed, conversations are scattered and the participants seem drained and disengaged. With a walking meeting, employees are physically moving in a bright, naturally lit environment. Conversations are shorter and more concise, and participants are engaged in the activity and aren’t sitting and staring at their smartphone screens.

Of course, a walking meeting can’t be all things to all people. It’s likely not the way to go for a yearly shareholders meeting, and is typically much more difficult for larger group sizes. It is, however, the go-to suggestion for one-on-one meetings, status updates, brainstorming sessions and more informal gatherings of small groups.

Tips for Your Next Walking Meeting

  • Use a park or outdoor setting whenever possible.
  • Ask participants to turn off their cell phones before the meeting begins.
  • Consider grabbing coffee to go or bringing a water bottle.
  • Try holding walking meetings in the afternoon, when employees’ energy levels are lowest. The fresh air will revive them!
  • Avoid noisy roads or crowded areas.
  • If the group size of is six or more, participants will likely have to deal with multiple side conversations. This is fine for brainstorming or problem solving, but they need to stop and gather back up as a group to keep the meeting productive.
  • Plan indoor meetings in the office space, or have a local route planned in the event of bad weather.
  • Set a goal for walking meetings each week. Suggest replacing weekly status updates with supervisors with a walking meeting and build up to more frequent strolls.
  • Employees should consider purchasing a pedometer or wearable device to track their steps. They’ll see how much additional physical activity they’ll get just by having a few walking meetings a week!
  • Suggest that workers wear comfortable shoes to work or keep a pair at their desk for impromptu meetings.
  • Plot out a few walking routes that work out to the typical length of company meetings. Consider paths that take 15, 30 and 60 minutes to complete.
  • If the staff spends a lot of time on the phone, suggest that employees forward calls to their cell and use that verbal meeting time to pace/walk around instead of sitting at their desks.
  • As with any meeting, facilitators should still send out a formal agenda to keep everyone on track.
  • If it seems beneficial, suggest participants take a digital recorder (or just use an iPhone app) to tape the meeting.

Regardless of whether walking meetings become a key part of the company culture or just a way for employees to get away from their desk for a few moments, take the first step today and break away from the boardroom.

About the Author

Alan Kohll is founder and president of corporate health and wellness solutions TotalWellness. Contact him at Follow TotalWellness on LinkedIn and Twitter.

iPad Apps for Stroke Patients

iPad Apps for stroke

Article Source:

After an acute stroke it is sometimes hard to rehabilitate, but you can use technology to help you overcome some of your disabilities.  Many iPad apps are out there that are games to waste time with, but some of them can help stroke victims in particular.  If you have an iPad, it may just be in your best interest to download some of these apps to see if they can help you in your everyday life after a stroke.  Some are informational, some are rehabilitative, and some are can make a strong impact in your ability to communicate with others.

iPad Apps

Verbally (FREE)

This iPad app actually gives you a screen of words to choose from, and then speaks whatever you select.  If you are suffering from aphasia after an acute stroke, you likely have trouble saying what you want.  With this handy app, the ability to communicate is just a few taps away.  Instead of struggling to make yourself understood, you can easily enter your ideas into the computer, and it will speak your thoughts in a male or female voice.  It’s an expensive app at just under $100, but it is worth it if you can speak clearly.  You can get the free version, but it does not have the same features as the full version.


In keeping with the communication idea, MyTalkTools is for the stroke victim who suffers from aphasia and is not able to recognize words.  This app displays a picture of the words, and you simply tap the picture to speak the idea.  The screen includes a large green checkmark for yes and a large red x for no.  It also has categories for items such as food, drink, and greetings.  If the stroke victim’s aphasia does not allow them to say or recognize words, they may be able to communicate through the pictures in this app.

MyVoice Communication Aid (NOT FREE)

The MyVoice Communication Aid app is expensive at $189, but it is the most fully functioning communications app on the iTunes store.  In addition to providing type in capabilities and pictographs for items, it will also scan the location you are at and suggest words and phrases that are appropriate to the situation.  For instance, if you are standing in front of a theater, it will display the theater’s name and suggest appropriate sentences.  For those who cannot communicate but are mobile, this app would be a big help.

ComprehensionTherAppy (NOT FREE)

ComprehensionTherAppy is a fun game for anyone who has had a stroke.  The app presents users with pictures of an item.  It clearly announces an item, and the stroke victim has to select the correct picture for it.  Alternatively, it will present you with a word, and you select the picture it indicates.  It has large, clear pictures and keeps a running total of the number of right and wrong answers.  It will even produce a report to give to your therapist to demonstrate your progress with the tool.  This app will definitely help you with improving your communication and language skills after an acute stroke.

My Heart&Stroke Health (FREE)

This app is a great tool for anyone who has had an acute stroke or is concerned about their stroke risk.  You can input your recent blood pressure readings and keep track of them with this handy app.  It also has an area where you can enter all the medications you are on.  This is very helpful when visiting the doctor or upon admission into the hospital.  You can keep the drug names, doses and frequencies at your fingertips.  It also gives you a place to record doctor’s appointments and has a list of low sodium foods to keep your blood pressure under control.

Neurology Book (NOT FREE: $4.99)

If you are interested in the medical side of your condition, this is a book that is aimed at the layman.  It has quite a bit of information about the nerve system of the body, but it has a stroke section to explain the ins and outs of your current condition.  Sometimes medical education can be a bit overwhelming, but this book app takes the time to explain things in easy to understand language.  It can help you understand the pathological side of your condition and help you understand your doctor a bit better.

We are answering your questions…

Why do you speak about such a painful subject?
I won’t lie—talking about the stroke and recovery experience and reliving the pain and emotion is hard.  However, we decided it is worth doing.  Gordon’s options for gainful employment were pretty much taken away by the stroke but doing nothing was not acceptable to us.  At every speech we have given, someone from the audience has shared their own painful experience with us and thanked us for giving them hope and encouragement.  That is reason enough for us.

Why does Gordon only have 2 speeches?
The most stubborn and impactful deficits from Gordon’s stroke are his inability to organize his thoughts and then get the words out.  Because of his cognitive inflexibility, any changes to his fully prepared speeches require months of practice to be able to speak to an audience.  As a result, he sticks to his script.  We have made a few changes over time but right now, Gordon needs consistency to be an effective speaker.

Jill Viggiano