As published in the Staten Island Advance — Looking for tips to live a healthier lifestyle: Maybe author Lisa Oz, wife of Oprah alum Dr. Oz, or Joseph T. Bonanno Jr., known as “America’s Greatest Firehouse Chef,” can help.

The two will be the celebrity keynote speakers at the Staten Island Economic Development Corp.’s 2nd annual Health & Wellness Expo, which will be held on Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield.

Mrs. Oz will give an inside look into her latest book, “Us: The Art of Relationships,” and Bonanno, who became certified as a fitness trainer and nutritionist during his 21-year FDNY career, will preside over the Fire Drill Cooking Contest and host a cooking demonstration.

Both will be available for meets and greets with their fans.

“People think firefighters to a higher degree than regular New Yorkers take better care of their bodies but that’s not necessarily true,” said Bonanno, on hand at Staten Island Corporate Park in Bloomfield today to help the SIEDC announce the conference schedule.

Bonanno, who retired shortly after Sept. 11, recalled firefighters needing to catch their breath while running up the stairs in a burning building.

“I never wanted to have someone lose a life because I couldn’t make it up,” he said. “One of the scariest statistics I read is that the average firefighter doesn’t live 10 years past the day the retires.”

The conference — sponsored by Councilman James Oddo (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) and the Northfield Bank Foundation — will also feature cooking and fitness demonstrations and seminars on a host of topics, including emergency preparedness, men’s health, women’s health, living with disabilities, fall prevention, wellness for homebound older adults, healthy eating, substance abuse among adolescents, advanced care directive and estate planning, Cooley’s Anemia, understanding health care reform, Medicare and Medicaid, smart choices for college students, exercise and better preparing autistic children for visits with doctors and dentists.

Also offered will be free health screenings, including mammographies, glaucoma screenings, HIV/Hepatitis C and diabetes screenings, hearing exams, blood pressure screenings and Peripheral Artery Disease/Metabolic Syndrome Screening.
Raffles will be drawn at each seminar.

The full schedule of activities is available at

To register, call 718-477-1400. The first 50 people to register will receive free copies of Lisa Oz’ book.

by Stephanie Slepian

This story originally appeared in the Staten Island Advance on Friday August 27, 2010 and is reprinted here with permission.

NOTE: College of Staten Island President Tomas D. Morales is the Health & Wellness Expo Ambassador for the Staten Island Economic Development Center. CSI and the CSI Alumni Association will have tables at the event. St. John’s University and Wagner College will also be represented at the Expo.