Jamaica Hospital Makes America’s 250 Best Hospitals List

There are over 5,000 hospitals in the United States, so to be listed as one of the top 250 in the country is quite an accomplishment.

Healthgrades, a leading resource that connects consumers, physicians and health systems, announced its list of America’s 250 Best Hospitals for 2020 and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center was one of only a select few in New York City to be recognized.

This accomplishment places Jamaica Hospital in the top 5% of hospitals in the nation, demonstrating the hospital’s commitment to delivering superior patient care outcomes year after year.

To determine America’s Best Hospital recipients, Healthgrades analyzed the performance of all participating hospitals nationwide. Clinical quality outcomes for 32 conditions and procedures, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, respiratory failure, sepsis and stroke were evaluated over a three year period. Healthgrades recognized only those hospitals that “consistently exhibit exceptional, comprehensive quality care.”

Healthgrades has concluded that hospitals receiving this award provide significantly better care and, the most important measurement of any hospital, superior outcomes to its patients.

In addition to the recognition as one of America’s Best Hospitals, Healthgrades also awarded Jamaica Hospital with the following:

  • America’s 100 Best Hospitals For Coronary Intervention Award – 2020
  • America’s 100 Best Hospital for Stroke Care Award – 2020
  • Neurosciences Excellence Award – 2020, 2019
  • Patient Safety Excellence Award – 2018, 2017

“We are honored to be recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s Best Hospitals. This achievement signifies Jamaica Hospital’s commitment to delivering the highest quality care to our patients,” stated Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. “Over the years we have initiated many programs and services that focus on providing patient-centered care to our community, knowing that it would ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.  This acknowledgment by Healthgrades reaffirms that we are on the right path to becoming a high-reliability organization.”

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.

Q&A: Can wearing earbuds increase my risk for an ear infection?

Can wearing earbuds lead to ear infection

Wearing earbuds for hours on end can increase the risk of an ear infection because our ears should not be clogged or obstructed for extended periods of time. Extensive wear of earbuds can prevent wax from exiting the ear canal and create buildups that can lead to infection. Additionally, the surfaces of earbuds are prime environments for dirt and bacteria to accumulate. Inserting earbuds that are unclean can introduce these elements into the ear canal where they can flourish.

To reduce the risk of developing painful ear infections, you should sanitize earbuds on a regular basis by wiping them down with alcohol pads or recommended cleaning solutions.  Store earbuds in a clean case, if they are stored loosely in a bag or drawer they can pick up bacteria and debris. Minimize the amount of time that you wear earbuds.  Most importantly, do not share them with anyone, sharing increases your risk of exposure to bacteria.

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.

Why Is My Vision Blurry ?

Many of us have experienced blurry vision at one time or another. Our vision may have been blurred in both eyes or in one eye only. In some cases, our inability to see clearly was sudden and temporary because the problem resolved on its own. In other instances, blurred vision may have developed and worsened over a period of time.

Despite the circumstance, changes to our vision should not be ignored as it is often an indication of a health issue.

Sudden and temporary blurred vision may be caused by digital eye strain, dry eyes, certain medications, conjunctivitis or fatigue. Blurry vision that occurs suddenly can also serve as a warning sign for serious health conditions that require immediate medical attention such as a detached retina, stroke, optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve) or transient ischemic attack.

When blurry vision gets worse over time, it is usually caused by a chronic medical condition, such as glaucoma, diabetes or macular degeneration.

Treatment for blurry vision is dependent on the cause. Any condition that leads to blurry vision should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. While some of these conditions may resolve on their own, other situations may become worse and lead to blindness.

To schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5900 or go to an emergency room if it is urgent.

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.

The Benefits Of Using A Primary Care Physician

Your primary care physician (or PCP) is typically your first point of contact when you needed non-emergency medical treatment. They are trained to treat most conditions and if they can’t provide care, they can help you find a specialist best suited to help you.

Unfortunately, fewer people today are utilizing the services of a PCP.  Studies have determined that the rate of American adults with a primary care doctor has steadily declined over the last decade. The most recent data suggests that one quarter of Americans currently do not have a primary care physician.

jamaica hospital primary care physician

There are multiple factors that can account for this trend. One reason is our ability to research and self-diagnose illness on the internet. Another factor is the recent proliferation of ‘urgent care centers” where individuals can seek convenient care. While both of these advents do have their benefits, neither should take the place of a primary care physician.

There are many benefits to having a primary care physician, including:

  • Familiarity – Simply put, your PCP knows you best. Through regular appointments, they will get to know you, understand the intricacies of your health, and develop a trust that will foster communication and allow them to provide more personalized care.
  • Comprehensive care– Your PCP is usually your first point of contact for care. They are familiar with your medical history and know what questions to ask to ensure that you receive appropriate care.
  • Prevention and management – Your PCP is not only responsible for treating you when you are sick. By conducting routine screenings, they can monitor for the existence of any potential chronic conditions or diseases and help you manage and treat them once detected.
  • Coordination – While a PCP is trained to manage most physical and mental health conditions, they also understand when specialty care is necessary.  They can provide referrals to experts and serve as a hub to ensure that information is appropriately shared between providers.

It has been found that those who have a PCP receive more preventative screenings and better management of chronic conditions. They also require fewer visits to the Emergency Department, are hospitalized less and generally live longer, healthier lives. 

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician at Jamaica Hospital’s Family Medicine Center, please call 718-206-6942.

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.

This Month We Shine Our Spotlight on Ray Fredericks, Jr.

This month we are proud to shine our Employee Spotlight on Ray Fredericks, Jr.  Ray has been with the hospital for close to thirty years. He is a familiar sight on both campuses as well as our facility in Melville.

Ray grew up in Bethpage Long Island. He graduated from Plainedge High School and then went on to BOCES Tech where he obtained his degree in Printing in 1986. He currently lives in Orange County New York.

One of the most important aspects of Ray’s life is spending time with his very close knit family. He has a fourteen year old son who he enjoys spending time with and they share many of the same interests. They often have air hockey tournaments at home and Ray enjoys watching his son participate in Pokemon competitions. To Ray, family is everything. His family spends a great deal of time together and of course,  enjoys celebrating holidays and other special events with one another. They have also traveled together as a family.

Ray loves the outdoors and enjoys partaking in all kinds of outdoor activities, especially hiking and fishing. He enjoys playing  the drums, and dancing. Ray’s other interests include reading, (especially about history), and going to the movies. He is an avid photographer also.

Ray is very proud to be a part of the Jamaica Hospital family. In fact, three generations of his family work either at the hospital or the MediSys Network. He enjoys the comraderie and the sense of belonging to a wonderful organization that does great things for our patients.  We are very proud to have Ray working with us and we look forward to him being a part of the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and MediSys Network for many more years to come.

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.

Strep vs. Sore Throat

We all develop a sore throat from time to time. There are many reasons for this. It might be due to a viral infection, an allergic reaction, or hoarseness from overuse.  In some cases, however, a sore throat can be a symptom of strep throat, which is a bacteria that if left untreated can lead to serious complications.

Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils. You can get the infection from someone who is sick with it or is a carrier of it. Like other infections, it spreads from person to person or by touching objects that are contaminated and then touching your own eyes, mouth or nose. Strep throat is most common in children, but anyone can get it.

In addition to a sore throat some other symptoms of strep throat include:

  • A fever of 101 F or higher
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White patches in the throat
  • Tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth
  • Appetite loss
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Rash

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and can administer a test to confirm if you have strep. There are two ways to test:

  • A rapid strep test can identify a case in just a few minutes. The doctor will gently hold down your tongue with a depressor. Then, use a cotton swab to take a little bit of mucous from the back of the throat.
  • A throat culture is performed by rubbing the sample from the throat swab onto a special dish. If you have strep throat, the streptococci bacteria will grow in it. It usually takes about two days to get results from a throat culture.

If you have strep, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria that caused the infection. Most treatments last for about ten days. The medicine can make your symptoms go away faster and help prevent complications. It is important to take the full the dose of antibiotics. Stopping the medicine too early can leave some bacteria alive, which can make you sick again.

Other things you can take to treat the symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen to bring down a fever and ease pain.
  • Throat lozenges or piece of hard candy to soothe a sore throat.
  • Liquids such as tea and broth or something cold such as an ice pop.

The best way to prevent getting strep is to practice good hygiene. Don’t share cups, dishes, forks, or other personal items with someone who’s sick and wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer many times daily.

If untreated, strep can lead to scarlet fever, inflammation of the kidney, and rheumatic fever; a serious inflammatory condition that can affect the heart, joints, nervous system and skin.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect that you or your child has strep throat. If you do not have a doctor, please call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001.

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.

NYPD Recognizes Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Trauma Service

Last month, the NYPD Patrol Borough South recognized the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Trauma Department for its many years of service to the community and to the NYPD.  A plaque of appreciation was presented to the hospital by Assistant Chief Ruben Beltran the new Commanding Officer of  Patrol  Borough Queens South and his predecessor Chief David Barrere. Both Chiefs lauded the hospital’s personnel for their unyielding commitment to serving the public and the men and women of the NYPD. Chief Barrere stated “I’ve been at this hospital for officers with ankle injuries and wrist injuries and I’ve also been here for officers with gunshot wounds to the head. There are officers who are walking around today and who are still serving as police officers because of the work you do here.”

Accepting the award on behalf of Jamaica Hospital were Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO and Dr. Katherine McKenzie, Medical Director of the Trauma Department. Mr. Flanz stated “ I’ve been working at the hospital for 44 years and throughout that entire time the collaboration we’ve been doing with the police department is just second to none. Everybody, our entire team is privileged to serve you and what you do every day to keep us all safe is just amazing and words cannot adequately thank you and your team.” Dr. McKenzie commented that “It is not only our great privilege to care of police officers who become our patients but to also care for patients that are victims of crime and we frequently interact with the police department here in providing care for those patients.”

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.

Should You Speak to a Genetic Counselor Before Getting Pregnant?

Choosing to start a family can be a complex decision for many. You need to balance your desire to have a baby with an assortment of real-life concerns about raising one. For some, a real concern is the risk of passing on a genetic disorder to their child. If this is an issue for you, a genetic counselor can be helpful.

Genetic or “hereditary” conditions are diseases that run in families. If you or your partner has a parent or grandparent with one of these types of conditions, there is an increased chance that your baby is predisposed to developing it as well. 

couple meets with a genetic counselor at Jamaica Hospital

Genetic counselors are specialists that can help you understand the causes of genetic conditions, what types of screenings and diagnostic tests are available to you, and what your chances are of having a baby with a genetic condition. In addition, genetic counselors can help potential parents deal with how genetic conditions can affect your family emotionally.

Genetic counselors can help determine the likelihood of your baby developing a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Single gene disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease or hemophilia
  • Chromosomal abnormalities that can lead to conditions such as Down syndrome
  • Complex disorders such as heart defects, spina bifida, or cleft palate which can be caused by a combination of genetic predispositions and environmental factors

There are multiple factors that can increase a person’s risk of passing along a genetic disorder, including:

  • A family history of a genetic disorder
  • A prior child with a genetic disorder
  • One parent with a chromosomal abnormality
  • Advanced maternal age (35 or older)
  • Advanced paternal age (40 or older)
  • Multiple miscarriages or prior stillbirth

To help prepare for your appointment, a genetic counselor may ask you to collect the medical histories of you and your partner’s parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings, including a history of birth defects in your family. You may also be asked to provide a history of all other known medical conditions in your family, the age at which your family members were diagnosed and of any deaths resulting from these conditions.

If you are planning a pregnancy a genetic counselor can help you assess your risk-factors, review testing options, provide education and resources, and help you make informed decisions.

To make an appointment with a genetic counselor at Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center, please call 718-291-3276.

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.

Do People Really Sleepwalk?

We have seen people who sleep walk in movies but how many of us have actually seen it in person? Probably not many of us have. Sleepwalking, or as it is known in medical terms, somnambulism, actually does exist. It is more common in children, but adults can experience it as well.

Most people won’t remember when they were sleepwalking. This is because sleep walking typically occurs during a deep stage of sleep.

A few of the causes of sleep walking are:

  • Stress
  • Fever
  • Change in sleep schedule
  • Lack of sleep
  • Substance abuse
  • Taking certain medications
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Medical conditions that can lead to sleepwalking are:

  • Nighttime seizures
  • Migraines
  • Heartburn
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Restless leg syndrome

Diagnosing sleepwalking starts with doing a physical exam which may be accompanied by a sleep study in a specialized lab. Sensors will monitor breathing patterns oxygen levels, brain waves, eye and leg movement.

Treating sleepwalking is based upon the cause and may include antidepressants, as well as adjusting prescribed medications that the patient is taking already. People who sleep walk should avoid drinking alcohol, be in a stress free environment and  get a good night’s sleep.

If someone you know tends to walk in their sleep it is a common misconception that they shouldn’t be awakened. It is important to make their environment safe so that they don’t hurt themselves and doors and windows should be locked.

If someone you know tends to walk in their sleep it is important to make the environment safe so that they don’t hurt themselves. They should also be as stress free as possible, have a relaxing routine prior to going to sleep, and they should not drink alcohol.

To schedule an appointment with a sleep disorder specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.

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.

Signs and Symptoms of Colic

Colic is diagnosed when a healthy baby cries or fusses frequently for a prolonged period of time and cries for more than 3 hours a day. This behavior usually starts a few weeks after birth and is generally worst between 4 and 6 weeks of age

According to the Mayo Clinic symptoms of colic may include the following:

  • Intense crying that may seem more like screaming or an expression of pain
  • Crying for no apparent reason, unlike crying to express hunger or the need for a diaper change
  • Extreme fussiness even after crying has diminished
  • Predictable timing, with episodes often occurring in the evening
  • Facial discoloring, such as reddening of the face or paler skin around the mouth
  • Bodily tension, such as pulled up or stiffened legs, stiffened arms, clenched fists, arched back, or tense abdomen

Since the cause of colic is unknown, it is difficult to treat. However, there are some foods you can avoid, especially when breastfeeding, to help your baby digest better such as cow’s milk, nuts, wheat, soy, eggs and fish. When formula feeding, your baby may experience colic if they have an allergy to milk or lactose intolerance.

Some home remedies you can use to sooth your baby if they are experiencing symptoms of colic are:

  • Lay your baby on his/her back in a dimly lit quiet room.
  • Swaddle your baby snugly in a blanket.
  • Lay your baby across your lap and gently rub his/her back.
  • Put a warm water bottle on your baby’s stomach.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier to suck on.
  • Soak him/her in a warm bath.

If your baby’s colic persists with out relief, you may want to seek the advice of a doctor. If you’d like to make an appointment with a Pediatrician at Jamaica Hospial’s Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-206-7001.

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.