Honoring A Son’s Legacy

Jamaica hospital hospice One day in 2016, Jacqueline Messina received a phone call no mother wants to receive.  Her son Anthony was in the ICU and she needed to come to Jamaica Hospital.

When she arrived she couldn’t believe her eyes. Anthony was sedated and on a ventilator. He was not the 24-year-old boisterous young man she knew; he was unresponsive. While they hoped and prayed daily with Father Andre that he would wake up and return to his family after rehabilitation, the prognosis grew worse as the days past.  His brain injuries were escalating versus improving.  The hospital’s Palliative Care team came to visit her in the ICU and she completely went silent.  Jacqueline had no idea what the words “palliative care” even meant.

“It was an extremely difficult moment for our family. Who anticipates palliative and hospice care? We sat his brothers down and explained the next steps, but in our hearts, we were still confused about how his life was ending, a parent never imagines this.” One additional factor was Anthony’s grandmother.  “They were so close and she was diagnosed with breast cancer the day of his accident,” shared Jacqueline.  “I remember us trying to be strong for her despite my heart breaking because I was worried about how losing Anthony would affect her health and upcoming treatment.”

“I am not sure we could have endured this experience on our own. Thankfully we had the support of everyone on Jamaica Hospital’s hospice unit. They did so much to help my husband and boys as well as Anthony’s grandmother. They made sure the rest of our family and friends were well cared for,” she said.

Hours before his passing, Anthony was admitted to Jamaica Hospital’s Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care after being transferred from the ICU.  Jacqueline did not know what to expect,   “I was anxious at first.  I must have asked a million questions.”

Jacqueline’s anxieties subsided when she was greeted by a warm staff that addressed her concerns and treated her with compassion. They ensured her that Anthony was in good hands and they would do everything they could to make him comfortable. “The level of service we received was outstanding. The staff did more than what was needed during his time with us and after. They were amazing,” said Jacqueline.

Jamaica Hospital Hospice

Jacqueline Messina

The staff’s devotion to Anthony and his family inspired Jacqueline to give back. She donates to the hospice every year in honor of her son’s legacy.  “When Anthony died, I wanted to make sure others had the same comfort that he did.  This is why I work hard every year to accumulate volunteer hours of which my company Bloomberg L.P.  converts into funds for charity.  The program is called “Dollars for Your Hours” and I proudly support the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care with this gift,” shared Jacqueline.

The Ferrara Family for Hospice Care provides comfort care for those with life-limiting illnesses. Great pride is taken by their staff in providing patients and families with quality medical services as well as the emotional and spiritual support needed to help them through a challenging time.

To donate to the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/ways-to-give/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Your Kitchen Sponge Absorbing More Than Soap?

dirtysponge, bacteria, e.coli, salmonella, cleansponge

Did you know that your kitchen sponge can harbor more bacteria than your toilet bowl?  Well, it can.

As food particles in your sponge begin to decompose, the sponge may smell sour or like mildew. When there is an odor, it is a sign that a bacterium is more than likely present.

Since one single bacteria cell can become more than 8 million cells in less than 24 hours, it is safe to assume that your wet, dirty kitchen sponge may quickly become a breeding ground for E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter bacteria, which can cause mild to serious illness.

Therefore, keeping your sponge clean is an important component to minimizing the growth of bacteria.

There are many ways to cleanse your sponge such as, placing the sponge in the microwave for one to two minutes, running it though the wash cycle in your dishwasher or soaking your sponge in white vinegar for five minutes.  Although all these methods profess to kill at least 99% of bacteria, the most effective way to kill bacteria in your sponge is with bleach.

Start by mixing ¾ cup of bleach in one gallon of water and soaking your sponge for five minutes before rinsing, studies have shown that this method of cleaning will kill 99.9% of the three bacteria strains from sponges.

Keep in mind that no matter how meticulous you are about keeping your sponges clean, you should change your sponge every two to three weeks.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Shining the Employee Spotlight on Yanina Levanidova

This month Jamaica Hospital is proud to shine its employee spotlight on Yanina Levanidova, a nurse in the Emergency Department who has been with the hospital for ten years.

Yanina is originally from St. Petersburg Russia and came to New York in 1994. Prior to leaving Russia, she graduated from college in St. Petersburg with a degree in computer science. Yanina received her nursing degree from Molloy College in 2001 and received her Nurse Practioner degree from Stony Brook University in 2006.

Yanina currently lives in Queens and enjoys the diversity of the different neighborhoods that are in the borough.

She enjoys going to the movies, going out to eat, and visiting museums. Her favorite artist is Salvador Dali. Yanina says her favorite way to spend her free time is visiting new places. She loves to travel and she tries to do it as often as possible. Her favorite destinations to travel to, besides her native St. Petersburg, typically have a beach and an ocean.

Being a nurse in the ED can be very challenging, but it has many rewards as well. Helping people who are very sick who come in to the Emergency Room to feel better is a very satisfying. Yanina says that working at Jamaica Hospital is like being with family. Ever work swell together. We are very fortunate to have Yanina as a member of our team.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital First In Queens To Join HealingNYC’s Relay

The opioid epidemic continues to plague New York City communities.  According to the City’s Department of Health, there were 694 confirmed overdose deaths from January to June 2018, and a fatal drug overdose reported every six hours.

More New Yorkers die as a result of a drug overdose than homicides, suicides and motor vehicle accidents combined.

In Queens, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center which operates one of the City’s busiest emergency departments, has experienced firsthand the detriment the epidemic has caused.  Last year, Jamaica Hospital’s emergency department treated over 200 patients for opioid drug overdoses.

“Over the years, we have seen the numbers continue to increase significantly. This epidemic has profoundly affected many individuals and families. Opioid addiction has impacted all genders, ages, ethnicities and those of all socioeconomic backgrounds,” explained Dr. Geoffrey Doughlin, Chairman of Emergency Medicine.  “No group is untouched.”

“At Jamaica Hospital our goal is to improve the health of our community in all aspects. We are committed to doing all that we can to combat the opioid crisis,” shared Dr. Shi-Wen Lee, Vice Chairman of Emergency Medicine.  In addition to providing life-saving treatments in the emergency department, the hospital is the first in Queens to participate in New York City’s Relay program.

The Relay program, which was launched in 2017 under HealingNYC, targets survivors of opioid overdoses who are at high risk for a future, fatal overdose.  According to New York City’s Department of Health, “In the hours after someone survives an opioid overdose, a trained Relay “Wellness Advocate” meets with the survivor in the hospital emergency department to offer overdose risk reduction counseling, overdose rescue training, and an overdose prevention kit containing naloxone. Participating hospitals can contact Relay at any hour of the day or night, on every day of the year, and a Wellness Advocate aims to arrive within the hour. Wellness Advocates stay in contact with overdose survivors for up to 90 days and connect them to appropriate services”

“Jamaica Hospital is proud to work in collaboration with Relay. Since the program’s inception in August 2018 at this facility, our emergency department has made over 50 patient referrals,” said Joshua Sclair, Emergency Medicine Administrator.  The hospital’s participation in the initiative offers the community resources that can potentially reduce the number of overdose deaths and provide access to supportive services.

Any person in need of treatment for their addiction can come to the emergency department at Jamaica Hospital and receive help. The hospital has designated detoxification beds and staff that are specially trained to help patients with their treatment.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight Shines on Crystal Faninn

This month we shine our employee spotlight on Crystal Fannin, Emergency Department Registrar Supervisor. One of the many things that make Crystal special is that she has been working in the same department for over 39 years. Jamaica Hospital has been her only job and she is very proud to tell that to everyone she meets. She is very proud of the fact that she signed one of the bricks that was used to build the new main building and was also one of the people who got to sign the last steel beam placed in the new Trump Pavilion.

Crystal was born in Brooklyn and moved to Queens when she was 11 years old. She attended Andrew Jackson High School and currently lives in the St. Albans area. She has two children, a son and a daughter and two grandchildren. Her children and grandchildren were all born at Jamaica Hospital so she has experience on many levels of the quality care people receive.

Though Crystal spends much of her time at work, she does have a variety of things that she enjoys in her free time. She loves to cook, all types of food but her favorite is soul food, especially ribs and cornbread. She enjoys all kinds of music, in particular funk and jazz, and at one time she even played the drums. One of her favorite activities is going to the racetrack. Crystal says you only live once and you have to have fun. To prove her point, she has gone skydiving twice.

Over the years, Crystal has done just about everything an emergency room registrar can do. She knows many of the patients by name because she has seen them so many times. She can be described as a real people person. Everyone who meets her feels her sincerity and compassion. Jamaica Hospital is like a family to her and that is why she enjoys coming to work every day. Crystal feels very strongly about giving back to the hospital and the community. She and her mother raised money, much of it their own, to buy toys for the children during holiday time.

She is truly an important part of the Jamaica Hospital family and we are happy to be able to shine the spotlight on her this month.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight on Samantha Nunez

This month we shine our employee spotlight on Samantha Nunez an Administrative Assistant in the Department of Ambulatory Care at Jamaica Hospital. Samantha has been working at the hospital for the past two years, and prior to that she was at  Flushing Hospital.
Samantha is a native of Queens, having grown up and attended school in the South Ozone Park and currently resides in St. Albans.  She is a graduate of Martin Van Buren High School and is now studying for her degree at Nassau Community College. Samantha has been greatly influenced by her work in the health field and her future plan is to obtain a master’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in the health professions.
In her free time Samantha enjoys going to concerts, movies, spending time with family and friends, and traveling whenever she has the opportunity. She enjoys all four seasons but the one she likes the most is Spring.
Samantha is very close with her family, especially her grandmother who she tries to see as often as possible. She has a very strong relationship with her two sisters and is surrounded by a very nice group of friends that she also likes to spend time with. Samantha has two puppies, Simba and Bambi that she absolutely adores.
Samantha enjoys the diversity of the people she works with at Jamaica Hospital. She finds her colleagues to be very much like a family, and everyone helps one another to provide a very high level of care to our patients. Samantha has learned a lot by working at Jamaica Hospital and it has definitely influenced her long term goal of being involved in healthcare.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight – Yolanda Torres Jacobs

This month we shine our employee spotlight on Security Officer Yolanda Torres Jacobs.
Yolanda is a true New Yorker who finds the city a great place to live. She grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn and attended Grover Cleveland High School. Her home now is in Queens Village which is both convenient to travel to work and also close enough to many of her family members. She grew up in a very loving family, with two brothers , a sister and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Yolanda has been working in the security field for 25 years. She has been at Jamaica Hospital since 2014 and prior to that she worked in security at JFK and LaGuardia Airports. She also has several years of experience working in customer relations positions which taught her many lessons that she uses when dealing with the public. Yolanda enjoys her job and finds it rewarding being able to interact with our patients, visitors and staff. She brings a positive approach to her job and does her best to make sure that everyone she encounters has a pleasant experience.
Yolanda grew up with many kinds of pets. She has had dogs, birds and even snakes. She and her husband  have a beautiful aquarium in their home and she finds it very relaxing to watch the fish.
In her free time, Yolanda enjoys spending time with her family. Whenever she gets a chance she enjoys traveling with her husband to places near and far. She also enjoys cooking, eating in all kinds of restaurants, bike riding, going to the movies, dancing, and spending time with her family who she adores.
Yolanda credits her family with giving her an outgoing personality and the enjoyment she gets from interacting with people in a positive way each and every day.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is There a Benefit to Wearing a Fitness Tracker?

Generally speaking, if you are inactive your risk of  experiencing obesity, low energy, diabetes and hypertension is higher.  To combat these health issues, you can incorporate a brisk walk or run into your weekly activity.  The addition of this type of movement to your day may prevent or, in some cases, reverse health issues.

One of the ways some are finding it beneficial to keep track of their activity level is by wearing a “fitness tracker.”  Surprisingly, one of the first reports you may receive from your tracker is that you are not as active as you thought you were.

Most fitness trackers are a good way of monitoring your steps, calories, distance travelled, caloric intake, as well as your heart rate and sleep patterns.  They can be viewed as your “conscience” for personal accountability and motivation for a relatively low cost.

Some of the benefits of a fitness tracker include:

  • Encouraging physical activity – If you check your tracker and see that you are behind in your steps for the day, you may “step” up your game a bit and take a walk.
  • Measuring your heart rate – This feature can give you hard data on the effort you exert while doing a particular workout and/or task. It can give you a hint on the condition of your cardiovascular system by allowing you to see just how quickly your heart rate increases.
  • Providing insights on your sleep patterns – Sleep has a definite influence on your overall health. Fitness trackers that log sleep activity can help you address whatever is lacking in your sleep cycles.
  • Encouraging healthy eating – Fitness trackers can come equipped with apps that help you track your food and may help with weight loss.
  • Promoting interaction – Some fitness trackers allow the user to interact with other users, create group challenges and receive rewards for meeting goals.

There really isn’t a downside to tracking your activity, unless you take your fitness tracker off and it remains lost at the bottom of a drawer.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Bobby Serina, RN

The entire staff of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Emergency Department is critical to treating hundreds of patients every day. For over twenty years, one of the people who has dedicated his career to taking care of patients is Bobby Serina, RN.
Bobby grew up in the Philippines where he attended Liceo De Cagayan College of Nursing. He graduated in 1979 then started working at Doctor’s General Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City in 1980 as an ER/OR nurse. Bobby furthered his education during this time and obtained his BSN Supplemental in 1981. In 1985 he decided to go abroad, traveling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he worked at the 1400 bed Riyadh Central Hospital in the emergency room.
While Bobby was working in Saudi Arabia he met his beautiful wife Menchi who is also an ER nurse. They are blessed with three beautiful children and two grandchildren. He worked in Saudi Arabia for ten years and had the opportunity of a lifetime when he went to work in the Royal Palace clinic in Riyadh. In the years that Bobby spent in Saudi Arabia he learned the culture of the country and the Arabic language which he still speaks very well. In 1983 Bobby’s wife came to the United States and shortly afterwards, he followed.
Bobby has been working at Jamaica Hospital for twenty years and he describes his experiences at the hospital as amazing and would not trade it for anything.  He feels that he learns something new every day which he feels is so important. He enjoys working with the wonderful people at the hospital who come from so many different parts of the world. Bobby describes the ER as a collaborative effort between the EMS responders, PCA’s, PAR’s, transporters, PA’s, physicians and hospital administration. The camaraderie amongst the staff and the fact that they share a common goal of helping our patients is why they work together so well. Bobby really enjoys making a big difference in patients’ lives and he says, no matter how stressful each day can be, at the end of the day he says he feels a great deal of accomplishment.
Bobby is dedicated to his profession and to providing patients with the highest level of care and compassion. When he isn’t working, he enjoys running, working out, playing tennis and basketball. What is especially important to Bobby is his family and he enjoys spending time with them as often as possible.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What’s Bugging You?

Summer usually means picnics and family reunions, but it also means a reunion with insects that can wreak havoc on outdoor activities. Follow these tips to minimize the potential for bug bites and bee stings.

When outdoors – especially in wooded areas – wear long sleeves, pants, and socks to help protect your skin from insect bites. Be aware that insects may be drawn to scented soaps and perfumes. Also, cover food and drain or dump standing water, which attracts most insects.

Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy, they can also make you really sick. Using insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself and your family, especially when traveling overseas. Repellent is the best way to prevent diseases like Zika that are primarily spread by mosquitoes.

Treating Bites and Bee Stings

If a sting occurs, remove the stinger as soon as possible by scraping the area with your fingernail or something with a flat surface, such as a credit card. For bee and wasp stings and non-poisonous spider bites, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and apply ice to reduce swelling. Continue to wash two or three times daily until the skin has healed.

Severe Reactions

If you are stung in the mouth, seek medical attention immediately. Severe swelling occurs quickly in oral mucous membranes and can block airways, making breathing difficult or impossible.

If you have a severe reaction to a bug bite, go to the nearest hospital Emergency Room or call 911. Otherwise Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center is available to help, to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

For more hospital events, highlights, health and  fitness tips, visit us on 

Facebook.com/JamaicaHospital and follow us on Twitter @JamaicaHospital !

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.