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White Plains Hospital Staff Sheds Half a Ton

When Ed Aquino, an operating nurse, found out he beat 100 other White Plains Hospital employees in a 90-day Biggest Loser contest, he was nothing but thankful for shedding 16.5 percent of his body weight.

"“This is the biggest weight loss I’ve ever had and I’m really grateful,” said Aquino, 49, who believes his 31.6 pound weight loss will help him share a longer life with his family. “I would do it again."

The White Plains Hospital celebrated the finale of its Biggest Loser weight loss challenge Tuesday by rewarding winning four-person dayshift and nightshift teams as well as the individual winner Ed Aquino with three-month memberships to the New York Sports Club . One hundred hospital employees collectively lost nearly 1,000 pounds from February to May.

Every Friday morning Sue Liller weighed participating staff members, which helped her glean tidbits about various teams’ attempts to gain an edge.

“Two teams from the recovery room were sending pizza and cookies to the ambulatory service room,” said Liller, the director of occupational health services at the hospital. “We found out the hospital ID’s weigh half an ounce, so everyone took them off. Everyone got really into it.”

Joan Kelly formed the winning “ICU Critical Mass” nightshift team after she noticed the daytime staff participating in the challenge. She thought the night crews could also benefit from the contest.

“On the nightshift we have our own set of issues because we snack to get through the shift,” said Kelly, 42, who works in the intensive care unit. “Everyone was upbeat and it was great to have everyone’s support.”

The hospital-sponsored nutrition lectures, yoga sessions, weekly lunchtime walks and pedometer distributions were so popular that many employees plan to continue the initiative after a short break, according to Liller.

The White Plains Hospital hopes to inspire others and pass along a staple of healthy eating by donating the 1,000 pounds it lost in apples to the White Plains School District .

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