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lifestyle

Support Network Looks Out for Your Health

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a tight knit community of women and men who regularly looked after each other’s health and wellness? And what if group members were keyed into networks with hundreds of local health practitioners -- from allergists to work/life balance specialists?

Such a community does exist. It’s called Here’s To Life Now! (HTLN), a website that “allows people to experience health and wellness services provided by highly recommended practitioners, and then also allows them to share their experiences with other users.” This is how its founder, Westport resident Susan O’Halloran, describes it. She adds, "HTLN is an innovative, healthy living company." She primarily works with women, who are often more pro-active than men when it comes to making short- and long-term plans to maintain good health. Small and medium-sized companies come to her as well. For them, she holds workshops for employees who want to improve their health and wellness.

Since th e Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reports healthcare expenditures are nearly 50 percent greater in those reporting high levels of stress, Susan believes preventing it is an important strategy. Because unchecked, stress is a contributing cause of chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, she points out. “We know stress leads to illness so our goal is to get people to think about their health and what is happening in their lives so they can take steps to reduce it. Once they get to this point, HTLN connects them to resources in their healthcare plans or in the community, which helps keep them motivated to live healthfully.”

Women in particular, Susan believes, value getting their health information from people they trust. “I’m the ‘ Angie’s List’ of local healthcare!” she says. “I only recommend practitioners who have been recommended to me -- and more than one time at that.” She’s excited, she says, to be able to provide a stable of local practitioners who have all stood out as preferred providers in traditional and holistic healthcare. And the community aspect is especially appealing to women, who seem to thrive on the support of a group dynamic.

A married mother of three children, Susan has lived in Westport for almost five years. She knows how to motivate people, having worked for the past 20 years on women’s health issues and as an international health consultant. In addition, she has a master’s degree in public health from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  So when it comes to watching out for your health, HTLN provides not only a supportive community but also a real pro, Susan O'Halloran, who has your back as well.

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