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A Covington-based personal training and group fitness studio now offers a wide variety of in-person and live streamed classes that aim to get results while having fun.

A fitness studio in Covington recently rebranded and went high-tech to offer award-winning live streams of workouts in addition to their wide variety of in-person classes. 

“MVMT Cov is a Personal Training and Group Fitness Studio. We are fully committed to creating a space for people to grow and thrive on their fitness journeys with a variety of classes and class times lead by top certified instructors, training methods that adhere to results, individualized attention and an encouraging, supportive and fun community,” says Nicole Abruzzo, Owner of The Movement Studio Covington. “When COVID hit back in March, we took all our regular group fitness classes and live streamed them all via zoom. Since then, we are open to in-studio at a minimum of seven people and our classes are still live streamed, so you can join from the comfort of your living room! We were even listed as ‘Best Zoom-Powered Workout’ in Cincinnati Magazine’s 2020 Best Of Edition!”

Located in the Heart of Covington at 118 W. Like Street, Covington, Kentucky 41011, on the second floor, the studio space has been open since November 2018, but Abruzzo has been a personal trainer since 2012. When she first started, she was completely mobile, meeting clients at their home or in parks.

The business used to be called Nicole Leisen Personal Training and Fitness, until the business recently rebranded. “When I first opened, it was only me, but now there are six other amazing trainers and fitness instructors leading classes. The business also used to be mainly personal training and now it is about 70 percent group fitness classes and 30 percent personal training,” Abruzzo says. “It evolved from just me to a community of instructors and clients who all come together under one roof to move, feel good physically and mentally and have formed genuine friendships. I wanted the name to reflect what it’s become!”

The inspiration behind starting the business came from her personal training. “It was so incredible being able to work with my in-home or park personal training clients, but I wanted to be able to help more people by offering group classes as well,” she says. “It is also great to be a part of the growing Covington community!” 

The name of the business came from Abruzzo’s passion for movement and her clients. “In addition to the exercise routines done in personal training or group sessions, daily life movement outside of our one-hour sessions are so important too,” she says. “We want movement to be a part of a lifestyle and we are here to provide the guidance and recourses for people to do just that.”

There are a variety of services offered through The Movement Studio Covington and they include: 

• One-On-One Personal Training: “Individualized program based on clients’ individual goals,” Abruzzo says.
• Duo Personal Training: “Same as above, but often duos are couples or friends who want the more individualized setting,” she says.
• Group Fitness Classes:
o TRX Suspension Training (main format)
o Boot Camp
o Pilates Boot Camp
o Yoga

The business defines success through keeping her clients on track through going virtual during the pandemic. “Due to our ability to pivot our business model to all-virtual using top notch equipment to livestream our classes with no down time during the COVID-19 shutdown, we have kept our members moving and on track despite the global  pandemic in the past nine months,” Abruzzo says. “That is something we never imagined would happen, but our ability to keep everyone healthy physically and mentally during this trying time, is certainly a success in our eyes!” 

Her vision for The Movement Studio Covington is continuing to offer in-person and live-streamed classes for now on. “2020 has thrown many curveballs, but we’re finding the silver lining is brought with the virtual opportunity and running with it!”

The Movement Studio Covington is unique because of the way they are offering their classes. “We are one of the few studios offering all classes in-person and live-streamed. We do not have an on demand library for the purpose of accountability,” Abruzzo says. “We also use TRX Suspension Training as our main equipment in training sessions and classes and we are the only studio in NKY to offer that and one of a couple in the Cincinnati area.”

The business is important for the community because “We are bringing people together to better their lives through fitness,” she says. Her favorite part of the working for The Movement Studio Covington is “bringing people together to better their lives through fitness,” Abruzzo says.

If you want to keep up with what The Movement Studio Covington is doing, follow them on their websiteInstagram and Facebook.

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Learn about a yoga studio in Anderson helping people experience a healthy body and mind in the midst of the pandemic.

Practice Yoga Cincinnati is a yoga studio and community focused on making steps toward a healthier body and mind with each practice.

The Anderson-based studio was previously called Simply Power Yoga (SPY) Central, but is now called Practice Yoga Cincinnati. “SPY Central was started in 2012 and took over at the end of 2014,” says Bridget Henson, Owner of Practice Yoga Cincinnati. “We recently transitioned names just a few months ago to Practice Yoga Cincinnati.”

The inspiration behind the business came from her being a teacher. “I had just finished a teacher training and was still very nervous about teaching and the opportunity presented itself to take over, or the studio may close. I took a chance and haven’t looked back since,” Henson recalls.

There are many classes offered through Practice Yoga Cincinnati. Classes are offered that are private and public, as well as virtual and in-studio. These classes include:

• Yin Yoga and Restore: “A fun class for all levels with body work, mobility and myofascial release,” she says.
• Flow Classes: “Flow classes may be what someone would think of if they heard “yoga.” Movement and posturing up and down, back and forth on the mat. That being said, we offer faster paced versions called ‘Power Flows” and more subtle classes called Slow Flows.”

There are many health benefits associated with yoga, but one of the main ones Henson said was hydration. “Our bodies are complex, amazing beings and our tissues need to move in order to absorb and hydrate properly,” she says. “It’s not just about drinking water…although, keep up with that, too! At the end of class, there is that mental clarity one gets after practicing that just feels good and that mental ease is such a beautiful gift as well.”

To Henson, success is being able to help people. “If we can help even one person, I feel like we’ve succeeded. The benefits of this practice are long lasting and deep. They can also be profound and temporary,” she says. “I think it all matters and it’s important to note that it can be so much more than a physical practice, but the body is where we begin.”

The pandemic has really affected the vision for Practice Yoga Cincinnati. “Before the pandemic — the week before shutdown — we moved into our new space. My vision was to grow and expand offerings: more classes, Reiki, cupping and other bodywork modalities. What it looks like today is much different. Fewer classes and no face-to-face body workers are scheduled at this time,” Henson says. “Having moved locations a few weeks before having my first kid, we are playing it safe and just going with what is at the moment. I know we’ll get back to it someday soon, but who knows what it will look like! My personal practice is to detach from those expectations.”

Henson says everyone who teaches at Practice Yoga brings their expertise and compassion to the business. “I am really proud of that. What makes us unique is that we are all individuals bringing our experiences and lives to the practice,” she explains. 

Practice Yoga Cincinnati is important for the community because of how it changes lives, Henson says. “The point of this practice is not about looking good in your yoga gear. It can really change people’s lives for the better,” she adds. 

If you want to keep up with what Practice Yoga Cincinnati is doing, follow them on FacebookInstagram and their website. You can also book classes via Mindbody.

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Read about how a little girl volunteers for the Hoxworth Blood Center until she's old enough to donate herself.

At nine-years-old, Alivia Werne is still a few years away from being able to donate blood—but her heart for giving back, and a family legacy of lifesaving, have led her to support Hoxworth Blood Center in a meaningful way. 

Alivia (who goes by Livi) and her mom, Krista, visited Hoxworth Blue Ash over a year ago. While Krista was donating, Livi noticed that the Café area, where donors can relax and recharge post-donation, was noticeably quiet.

“One day, I noticed that no one was here making popcorn and cookies, so I found the sign on the fridge asking for volunteers,” Livi says. “I asked my mom to call the number so we could come volunteer and make cookies and popcorn for blood donors.” 

Now, Livi is one of Hoxworth’s youngest volunteers, running the Café area at Hoxworth Blue Ash one Saturday a month with her mom. According to Krista, “This was all Livi’s idea. Sometimes donors will come up to me and say that it’s so nice that I have a helper, and I have to say, ‘This is all her—I’m just the driver!’”  

Livi often accompanies her mom for donations. Krista, a native Cincinnatian who lives in Loveland with her family, has been a donor with Hoxworth “for years,” in part because her father was a dedicated donor for so long. 

“My dad always donated. When I was little, you could only donate in Clifton down at UC, and we would go with him,” she recalls. “We weren’t allowed to go back when he was donating, so I would just wait and drink these Donald Duck cans of orange juice. My dad was a universal donor, so back then, they used to take his blood in quarter pints so they could go to newborns in these tiny little bags!” 

For Krista, giving back through blood donation, and watching her daughter get involved in Hoxworth’s work, is especially meaningful, though bittersweet.

“My dad had lung cancer,” she says. “Platelets gave us more time with him…so this is really important to us. This is why we’re here and promoting how important it is.”

Livi doesn’t remember her Pop, but she agrees that it’s special to be part of Hoxworth’s lifesaving work. She says that she might be a donor once she’s old enough, but for now, her favorite part about volunteering is “getting to talk to the people, and hearing interesting stories from the donors!”

In addition to her responsibilities at Hoxworth Blue Ash, Livi is a Girl Scout and just finished the Climb For Air to raise money for the American Lung Association. It’s obvious that community service runs in her veins. 

“I’m very proud that my daughter is so eager to give back,” finishes Krista. “Lifesaving runs in the family. It doesn’t cost us anything to help.” 

Written by: Cara Nicolas, Associate Director Public Relations, Hoxworth Blood Center

Here is a list of upcoming blood drives:


12/21/20 –  Downtown Mobile

12/22/20 – Deer Park Library                             

12/23/20 – Mariemont Theater        

12/31/20 – Starbucks on 4th Street, downtown

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See how you can visit and support tons of local restaurants without breaking the bank.

Want to support local restaurants, but on a budget? Need a great gift idea? Want to break out of your restaurant rut and try some new places? Foodie Cincy might be just what you’re looking for.

“Foodie Cincy is a deck of cards, but not just any deck of cards. 2021 Foodie Cincy deck consists of 48 of Cincinnati’s best chef-driven, locally-owned restaurants with each card representing a restaurant,” Gina Barrera, Owner of Foodie Cincy, says. “Each card is $5 or $10 off at the restaurant (with a minimum purchase required) and the card also displays info about the restaurant.”

The deck offers: “$5 or $10 off your food purchase (not tax, tip or alcohol) at 48 local/independent restaurants,” she says. “A unique gift for yourself or a loved one that serves as a guidebook for all the restaurants you should visit in the Cincinnati region. A real incentive for people who need ideas on great restaurants in town to visit. Please see website for more info.”

2021’s deck is the eighth annual deck. Barrera and her husband, Brian Tucker, work on the deck together. “The restaurants included are able to choose to sell decks, if they wish for 50 percent of the profits,” she says. 

The inspiration behind starting the deck came from a desire to support businesses in Cincinnati. “We know how important it is to support small businesses and we love Cincinnati, dining out and supporting local businesses,” Barrera says. “We are entrepreneurs and have a couple of other small businesses that keep us busy, creatively and professionally, and this business fits well within our life and our values.”

With Foodie Cincy, the business defines success by seeing their customers get excited about getting their new decks. “Success is when the deck is released every year and we have happy customers who are excited about supporting local restaurants and saving money. It’s also when we have happy restaurants that are looking for ways to bring people in the door and who participate in the deck, but also know we aren’t going to go crazy and release too many decks on the market where it will flood them in a negative way, we are very conscious of that,” Barrera says. “Brian and I are very simple when it comes to business. We, of course, want to succeed, but we also feel that it’s very important to have a work/life balance to raise our kids and enjoy our time here, so as long as there are happy customers, restaurants and some profit, we’re succeeding.”

The vision for Foodie Cincy is “to continue to support local/independent restaurants every year by spreading the word and getting more folks in the doors of these places or in the case of the pandemic, also ordering more carry out from these establishments… 22+ of the 48 restaurants in the 2021 deck are offering the discount on carry out or delivery orders, as well as dine in, for those who are open for dine in. Please see the CO-VID 19 page on our website for more details,” she says.

Foodie Cincy is a great gift for the holidays. “At a very reasonable price point, it’s the perfect gift for those who love dining out or supporting local businesses. It’s also the perfect and unique gift for someone who already has everything. It’s an ideal stocking stuffer or secret santa present too,” Barrera says. “It will give the recipient something to look forward to as the deck can be used from now until 12/31/2021.” It’s also great for the community because they “donate a portion of every deck sold to the Freestore Foodbank,” she says.

Barerra’s favorite part of her job is the fact that her and her husband truly believe in the product. “We really believe in what we do and don’t take a day for granted,” she says. “We are very grateful to have this little business of ours and support those we can in some small way.”

If you want to keep up with what’s going on with Foodie Cincy, follow them on Facebook and their website.

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Read about how blood donations helped save a local man who was hit by a drunk driver.

A local man who survived being hit by a car in October of 2019 is thanking the community and supporting the local blood supply with a blood drive hosted with Hoxworth Blood Center. 

Noah Stepaniak, a driver for Rumpke, was hit by a drunk driver in the early morning hours of Oct. 2, 2019 while on his route in Delhi.

“The Iliac artery in his left leg was severed in two places and he also had internal bleeding,” recalls Kate Reverman, Noah’s fiancée. “The first responders had to use a tourniquet on his leg to help stop some of the bleeding, the best they could. Once Noah was transported to UC, we were told he was not expected to survive, due to the amount of blood loss.”

Noah spent 26 days in the hospital and had multiple surgeries in the months following the accident, requiring several blood transfusions. He lost his left leg above the knee, suffered kidney damage, a broken arm and an injury to his right knee. 

“The amount of blood they had to give Noah while at UC (26 days), was a lot!” says Kate. “He was in and out of surgery every other day – he had over 10 surgeries, and was needing blood product, during and after just about every single one of them.”

The road to recovery long, but months later,  Noah was able to go home and continue planning a spring wedding with his fiancée. But in addition to their nuptials, Noah and Kate decided to plan a blood drive celebrating his survival on February 15th, 2020. 

“Once I was able to grasp everything that was happening and was able to realize all of the amazing people and blood product that was able to save his life, I knew it was now our turn to show our gratitude and help replenish the blood product that was used to save Noah’s life, in hopes to save others,” says Kate. “It is an absolute honor to be working with Hoxworth, setting up this successful blood drive, to bring awareness to the fact that blood donation is needed. Donating blood saves lives of the people we love.”

Cara Nicolas, spokesperson for Hoxworth Blood Center, noted the importance of community involvement in regards to the blood supply.

“There is no artificial substitute for blood. It has to come from volunteer donors, and we need people to donate regularly so that there is blood on the shelf and ready to go at a moment’s notice,” said Nicolas. “Because of the generosity of local donors, Noah was able to get the blood he needed to survive. Stories like this make the hard work of blood banking worth it!” 

Kate agrees. “I will forever be grateful to the people who donated their blood so my fiancé could get a second chance at life,” said Reverman.

The community has turned out in a huge way for the “Honoring Noah Stepaniak’s Survival” blood drive, with all appointments booked–but you can still help by donating at your local Hoxworth Neighborhood Donor Center.  Donors can schedule appointments by calling (513) 451-0910 or visiting

Written by: Cara Nicolas, Associate Director Public Relations, Hoxworth Blood Center

Here is a list of upcoming blood drives:


12/10/20 –  Main Library drive, downtown

12/21/20 –  Downtown Mobile

12/22/20 – Deer Park Library                             

12/23/20 – Mariemont Theater        

12/31/20 – Starbucks on 4th Street, downtown

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Learn about the local experts that teamed up to offer a new approach to helping you get your form and function back.

Photo: Quidwell

Form+Function Movement Lab has an interdisciplinary approach to getting people moving again.

“Form+Function Movement Lab is a concept that combines the best techniques and tools from chiropractic care, physical therapy, strength training and recovery science,” says Dr. Erik Nabi, Licensed Chiropractor and Certified in Exercise Training. “It’s a place where people can learn how to solve their pain/movement problems and also, train one-on-one with our staff to enhance movement awareness.”

There are two locations for the business. The primary location is in Columbia-Tusculum at: 3913 Eastern Avenue. They have a recovery lab. “A recovery studio where people can receive state of the art passive therapies and learn how to use self-mobility tools (such as massage guns, foam rollers, instrument- assisted soft tissue mobilization, etc.), so they take better care of themselves at home,” Nabi says. The second location is in Blue Ash and is in collaboration with Beat Personal Training. “We opened this office to reach a wider demographic of the Cincinnati region and we did so with Beat because we admire their mindful approach to exercise and nutrition.”

Being around for almost two years, there are currently three employees, Dr. Taylor Swint, their Physical Therapist, Coach Nate Grigsby, their Functional Movement Coach and Nabi.

The inspiration behind starting the Form+Function Movement Lab came from flaws in the rehab industry as a whole.. “Chiropractic offices are notorious for creating client dependency on their care by offering short appointments and ‘quick fix’ remedies that do not educate and help problem-solve the root cause of patient issues, Also, conventional physical therapy is largely underwhelming and fails to offer specific care and progression/integration of the physical therapy that tailors to the individual needs of the patient,” she says. “Thus, I started Form+Function Movement Lab, which is a clinic/gym hybrid model where clients spend more one-on-one time with the doctor, receive very specific care that educates them on how to improve their pain and limitations, enhanced compliance follow-up with app/web-based video programming that progresses every session and direct contact with their doctor through ourapp and phone systems. Our mission is to move the rehab industry forward by providing the care people deserve, as well as empowering them to own their therapy so they are not dependent on us for care and relief.”

The name of the business came from a desire to transform the way clinics are named. They are “typically named after the town of location or name of head doctor. I wanted the name to draw people towards the philosophy we embody,” Nabi says. “Thus, ‘Form+Function embodies the concept of active movement care (patient education and active rehab). ‘Movement Lab’ came from my history as a cancer researcher, prior to becoming a Chiropractor. I worked in a lab where we did in vitro experimentation on populations of prostate cancer cells. ‘Movement Lab’ embodies the experimentation of problem-solving of a person’s movement.”

The Form+Function Movement Lab provides three main toolboxes and they include:

• Doctor: “Consists of dry needling, myofascial release therapy, chiropractic joint manipulation, various soft tissue therapies (vibration/percussion, cupping, instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy ‘IASTM’), active rehabilitation approaches (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization ‘DNS,’ Pelvic Floor Specific Rehabilitation Therapy, McKEnzieTherapy),” she says.
• Movement Coaching: “Consists of basic exercise fundamentals and progressions, barbell coaching for powerlifting and Olympic lifting, kettlebell and dumbbell coaching, callisthenic/body control exercise development (push-ups, planks, inversions, pull-ups, etc.),” Nabi says
• Passive Recovery: “Consists of red light/near-infrared therapy, pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy, pneumatic compression therapy for fluid movement and muscle recovery of both arms/legs,” he says. 

Form+Function Movement Lab offers a space that’s designed to be personalized which, in a COVID world, means distance and safety for clients. “[We have] very low client-volume/traffic and always one-on-one between provider and client,” Nabi says. “The biggest impacts have been raised business costs to improve our sanitization and client separation standards.” They also have no CO-VID 19 cases at their facility. “However, we have had many, many rescheduled clients due to positive COVID contact tracing and/or testing,” he says. “This has impacted our client volume, especially as things have ramped up over the past month. Clients have to quarantine two weeks prior to returning to our building following a positive test.”

Form+Function Movement Lab defines success by helping their clients to better their health. “My favorite thing to hear (which keeps the fire burning for me) is when clients say, ‘I’ve seen multiple chiros/ PTs and never had these results. This is because we listen and take the time to understand what people care about in their life and their goals,” Nabi says. “Then, we take the time to teach people skills/movements/self-care strategies that reflect their goals specifically. It’s so simple, but so many doctors miss this because they don’t take the time to sit and listen.”

He wants the facility to be a “rehab powerhouse” in Cincinnati. “My vision is to build a business that provides the best possible care to human beings in our community. Teaching them that they are not broken people and they are capable of living strong, high quality lives,” Nabi says. “I want to become an educational machine for young doctors. I want to grow Form+Function by bringing in enthusiastic young doctors and helping them become exceptional providers so we can help a larger percentage of our community.”

Their mission is to provide top notch education. They want to “provide exceptional healthcare and self-care education to change people’s lives and do so in a way that breeds independence and self-reliance,” he says. “You deserve the opportunity to learn how to manage your own pain problems and become your strongest self.”

His favorite part of the job is “having people see progress and feel relief when they have lost hope and confidence in our medical system,” Nabi says. “I love the ‘aha’ moments when people connect with some movement or awareness that relieves their problem and they are able to do it on their own without me touching them or cuing them.”

Form+Function Movement Lab is different because their whole staff is passionate about the mission of the business. “We care more about helping people than money, which is a true rarity in our industry,” he says, 

If you want to keep up with what Form+Function Movement Lab is doing, follow them on FacebookInstagram and their website, which is where you can follow their newsletter. “We send content-heavy, high value newsletters that are worth a spot in your inbox,” Nabi says.

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A local pilates studio says finding your purpose through health isn't a stretch. Keep reading to learn all the details.

You can find your purpose through health. That’s the idea behind Madeira-based Purpose Pilates. 

“Purpose Pilates is a boutique studio offering contemporary Pilates on a variety of equipment: reformers, chairs and springboards,” Alisa Slovenski, Owner and Instructor of Purpose Pilates, says. Slovenski defines purpose as “the innate drive to fulfill a mission. In our case, it’s the overall betterment of our clients’ lives, the creation of a caring community and doing good work for good people,” she says.

Purpose Pilates was inspired by Slovenski’s journey with Breast Cancer, where she was diagnosed in 2017. “Pilates had unknowingly gotten me into shape before my diagnosis and surgery and greatly enabled my rehabilitation and recovery afterward, both physically and emotionally,” she says. “I knew that I wanted to create a space where others could experiece the benefits of such an amazing discipline and I wanted to create a community of giving and learning, where my clients could improve all aspects of their well-being.”

After going through her recovery, Pilates became her purpose. “I began training as an instructor and began thinking of my vision for a studio, where everything we do has purpose,” Slovenskisays. “It was a deliberate choice for a deliberate mission for our studio and eveyrthing we do helps to fulfill that purpose.”

The business was supoosed to open on March 30 of this year, but the state of Ohio was starting to shut down, so they ended up opening on June 1 after Governor Dewine gave OK for gyms and fitness centers to open. “In direct response to the pandemic, we have rearranged equipment and reallocated space in order to maintain social distancing guidelines, enhanced our cleaning and sanitization practices and have developed procedures and plans in case of exposure or positive cases in clients/instructors,” she says. “We also believe in transparency and communication with our clients: in the few instances we have had with the virus, I want our clients to know exactly what steps we take and how we continue to try and mitigate risk for them.”

There are four main services offered through Purpose Pilates and they are:

• Group Equipment Classes (Maximum four people): “During each class, clients will receive a full-body workout using a variety of equipment; we target strength, length, stability and mobility in every session,” Slovenski says. “Group classes are offered six days a week, with both AM/PM options available.” The classes last 55 minutes.
• Private One-On-One Sessions: “Offering the same type of service, with the benefit of one-on-one instruction. These sessions are arranged at the mutual convenience of instructor/client and may occur at any time group classes are not in session,” she says. These sessions last 55 minutes as well.
• Semi-Private Sessions: “This service is for the duet, trio or quad of clients who would prefer to workout together,” Slowenski says. These sessions are 55 minutes too. 
• Seminars: “These events are educational in nature and coincide with our quarterly designated philanthropy. All proceeds from the evening are put toward our selected charity,” she says. “We have hosted events with guest speakers and hands-on events and may cover any number of topics.”

Purpose Pilates defines success through small victories: “the client who becomes more confident, the client who does her first ‘teaser,’ the donation checks we send to our philanthropies, the concern our clients have for one another, the friendships we see develop from attended classes, the joy of building relationships and the good we do in the community,” Slovenski says. 

She would love to see the facility be known as the premier Pilates facility in the Cincinnati area. “I would love to be known for the good work we do, the excellent customer service we provide and the good people that call our studio ‘home,’” Slowenski says. Their mission is built on three pillars: fitness, learning and philanthropy. “Our motto is “Moving body, mind and soul” and we strive to accomplish that mission every single day,” she says. 

According to Slowenski, “We are the only studio that I’m awareof that combines these three pillars in the way that we do. We are first and foremost a Pilates studio, but our educational and philanthropic opportunities make us something more,” she says. “I would like to think that this mission and this uniqueness is what draws people in.” 

In the times we are living in right now, Purpose Pilates is a business that people need in the community, “They have a place where they can feel like they belong, where they can escape the world for an hour or two each week and where they can feel better, physically and mentally, every time they visit,” Slovenskisays “Add on our unique opportunities to give back to the community and it makes our studio a very positive place to be.”

If you want to know more about what’s going on with Purpose Pilates, follow them on FacebookInstagram or the website. If you want to check out the facility in person, you can check them out at: “6904 Miami Avenue, in the heart of Downtown Madeira, across from Walgreens in the Hampton Squarecomplex of buildings,” Slovenski says.

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Real-life superheroes saved this local woman's life thanks to their blood donations.

“You don’t have to be rich, well-educated, virtuous, or famous to literally save someone’s life: just GIVE BLOOD and become someone’s hero!”

When a crisis strikes, it is crucial that local hospitals have the blood they need on the shelf and ready to go at a moment’s notice—for a patient undergoing an emergency surgery, their survival can depend on the availability of blood products.

Amy Alexander learned this firsthand after losing almost all of her blood volume following an otherwise routine surgery.

“Three weeks after a hysterectomy in the spring of 2015, I was preparing to return to work as a sixth grade teacher,” Amy recalled. “I went to the doctor for my final check and had no issues, except for a little low back pain that I assumed had developed due to required inactivity following surgery.”

Within a few days, however, that minor pain turned into a life-threatening emergency. Just 36 hours after her follow-up, she woke up in the middle of the night to a true nightmare: She was hemorrhaging blood. 

“I woke up in a bed full of blood, and it was flowing from me like someone had turned on a faucet,” she said.

Fortunately, Amy was able to call 911 from her bed and was transported to the hospital by ambulance, where EMTs frantically tried to prevent her from bleeding to death. ER doctors were able to stop the bleeding temporarily, but the hemorrhage started up again a few hours later.

“The doctors determined that I had developed an infection from the surgery and that was causing the back pain,” she explained. “They surmised that inflammation had caused an artery to rupture somewhere inside me, which triggered the hemorrhaging. My own doctor arrived and performed surgery to locate the artery but couldn’t, so I was taken to the recovery room while the team discussed next steps.”

But the medical team didn’t have much time to plan, as Amy continued to lose precious blood. “It quickly became evident that the surgery caused the bleeding to resume even worse than before, so for a second time in one day, I underwent surgery to try to find the source of the gushing blood,” Amy recalled. “The doctor said I nearly died on the operating table due to catastrophic hemorrhaging.”

Although Amy’s surgeon was finally able to locate the source of the bleeding and repair the damage, she had lost much of her own blood—which, for the average woman, can be 9 to 10 pints. Her survival and recovery depended on the availability of blood from volunteer blood donors.

“During surgery and in the following days, I received lifesaving transfusions—four units of packed red blood cells. My doctor told my family that they were what kept me alive,” Amy said. “He said, ‘You were very lucky to live close to a hospital. In most parts of the world you would have died. You owe your life to blood donors. You would not have survived if we hadn’t been able to access large amounts of donated blood very quickly.’”

Pulled back from the brink of death by her medical team and donated blood, Amy had a long recovery ahead of her. However, throughout the process, she was inspired and motivated by the thought of the donors who saved her.

“I survived a very traumatic episode with what has been a long, challenging recovery; however, my lingering thoughts focus not on that but on the blood donors – the people who voluntarily shared their own life’s blood with me,” she said. “I will never be able to repay the debt that I owe my heroes, but I will do my best to raise awareness for blood donation and will do everything I can to encourage those who are able to DONATE BLOOD! You don’t have to be rich, well-educated, virtuous, or famous to literally save someone’s life: just GIVE BLOOD and become someone’s hero!” 

Written by: Cara Nicolas, Associate Director Public Relations, Hoxworth Blood Center

Here is a list of upcoming Hoxworth Blood Drives: 


12/2/20 – Signature Air (Lunken)

12/10/20 –  Main Library drive, downtown

12/21/20 –  Downtown Mobile

12/22/20 – Deer Park Library                             

12/23/20 – Mariemont Theater        

12/31/20 – Starbucks on 4th Street, downtown

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Read about a local mom whose life was saved shortly after giving birth thanks to blood donors.

For most people, celebrating the birth of their first child is a truly life-changing event.

But for Kendra Stanley, the birth of her daughter Addison was even more momentous, because of the complications she survived thanks to blood donors.

In September of 2019, Kendra and her husband were admitted to St. Elizabeth’s in Edgewood to deliver their first child. Her labor was long and exhausting—“I had been in labor for over 24 hours and had pushed for almost 3 hours when she finally was born,” she recalls.

Kendra and her husband were thrilled to meet their newborn daughter, but their moments meeting Addison were short-lived. Kendra’s drawn-out labor ended with a serious medical emergency when her placenta struggled to detach from the uterine wall.

“Very quickly after her birth, things went downhill,” she says.  “The placenta was still attached to my uterus and was not easily detaching. When it finally detached, I started hemorrhaging. Pieces of the placenta were still stuck in my body, and had to quickly be taken out along with multiple blood clots. This resulted in a major loss of blood.”

Postpartum hemorrhaging affects between 1 to 5 percent of women, and the availability of blood products is critical when it comes to treatment. The excessive blood loss can cause a severe drop in the mother’s blood pressure and may lead to shock and death if not caught and treated quickly.

Kendra’s doctors had to work fast to remove the placental remains, stem the rapid bleeding, and ultimately save her life. Blood donors are one of the only reasons Kendra was able to survive and bond with her daughter.

“I received a lifesaving double blood transfusion later that night,” Kendra says. “I felt like an entirely new person after the transfusion and I am so grateful that it is something I was able to receive when I desperately needed it. I was able to go home shortly after that and enjoy my baby girl all thanks to blood donations!” 

Here is a list of upcoming Hoxworth Blood Drives: 


11/24/20 – Rookwood Commons Hoxworth Blood Drive

11/25/20 – Oakley Community Blood Drive


12/2/20 – Signature Air (Lunken)

12/10/20 –  Main Library drive, downtown

12/21/20 –  Downtown Mobile

12/22/20 – Deer Park Library                             

12/23/20 – Mariemont Theater        

12/31/20 – Starbucks on 4th Street, downtown

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Read on to learn about a locally-based blog that’s now helping thousands of people with Keto-friendly meals.

A blog recently launched by a local woman is now helping thousands of people enjoy Keto-friendly meals one recipe at a time. 

“Yep, It’s Keto is a blog I started in January 2020 to provide meal ideas and guidance to those that enjoy a Keto(low-carb eating) lifestyle,” says Robin Feltner, Creator and Writer of Yep, It’s Keto. 

Robin Feltner

What is Keto? “Our bodies run off of two fuel sources…either carbohydrates or fat. If you opt for carbohydrates, you’ll provide fuel from the foods you are eating, therefore making it hard to burn the fat from your body. When you eat a low-carb diet (25 carbs a day or less), you become ‘Fat-adapted.’ This means that your body is fueled from the fat on your body,” Feltner says. “Your body will use the fat from your body to provide energy. This means you’ll rapidly burn excess fat from your body. This happens relatively quickly — you can become fat-adapted within a week — and this is why we see people lose weight fast on Keto. You are tapping directly into your fat stores for energy and that results in quick weight loss.”

There are many health benefits associated with a Keto diet. “It reduces the inflammation in your body, it helps you to create the ideal body weight for your body, it lowers blood pressure, it evaporates brain fog and provides mental acuity, it provides tons of energy and best of all, it can reverse Type II Diabetes,” she says.

The blog is available on FacebookInstagramTwitter and the blog’s website. The blog has been around since January 2020 and has more than 10k followers. “I’ve had a rapid growth of readers in that time, acquiring about 1000 new readers per month, letting me know I’m right on track with what the public is seeking,” Feltner says. 

Feltner’s 30lb weight loss, thanks to her keto diet

The inspiration behind starting the blog came from health struggles that Feltner was going through. “I started eating a Ketodiet after I had been diagnosed with a severely herniated disc in my back, had high blood pressure and also had excess weight to lose. I learned that the Keto diet was a very low-inflammatory diet. Herniated discs are essentially that… inflamed discs and as I was in excruciating pain, I was willing to try anything to get well,” she says. “I started my keto journey in April 2018, staying under 25 carbs per day and had such amazing success with Keto within six months. I lost 30 pounds, completely healed my herniated disc, normalized my BP and kicked those meds to the curb and became overall ultra-healthy. I started the blog in 2020 because I knew I had to tell others about this incredible life hack. When you discover something incredible, you want to share it with the world. This has resulted in me being in the best shape, mentally and physically, that I’ve ever experienced.”

The name of the business came from a desire to help the Ketocommunity. “We low-carb eating folks are always seeking new things to eat. We are always curious if it’s Keto,” Feltner says. “I would research food and say to myself, ‘Yep, it’s Keto.” The name stuck from there.”


There is a variety of content offered through, Yep, It’s Keto. “Coming from a background in restaurant marketing for the past decade before joining the Northern Kentucky Health Department in July, I have been very passionate about cooking, food and presentation. I knew my restaurant marketing, photography and menu development background would help me communicate with the reader,” she says. “Initially, my blog was regarding all things Keto, including Keto education, workouts, etc. However, it’s transitioned now to a focus on delicious Keto meals that the whole family will eat.”

The blog provides a variety of low-carb recipes and they include:

▪ Meats: Steak, Chicken, Pork, etc.
▪ Vegetables: Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli and Cauliflower
▪ There are also “Sweets that are sweetened with Keto-friendly sweetners, such as erythrotol or Monk Fruit,”Fretner says. 

Feltner’s blog is unique because she brings her decade-worth of experience. “I have been a Food and Beverage Marketer for the past decade and I also grew up in a family that owned a catering business, so I really know food and presentation extensively. This has helped me create restaurant-quality meals that not only taste delicious, but it photographs well and is very marketable,” she says. “My blog is unique in that I have had many years of presenting food and drinks to guests and that has translated well into fantastic engagement with the readers on my blog.”

Yep, It’s Keto is important for the community because it provides awareness of Keto. “Helping readers discover Keto is good for all of us, as this leads to an increase in health overall and wellness for our community,” Feltner says. “The lack of disease and illness and the increase in health and wellness monumentally impacts your community and steers your tax dollars to programs that promote health, not just care for the ill.”

If you want to keep up with what Yep, It’s Keto is doing, follow the blog on FacebookInstagramTwitter and the blog’s website