Employee Spotlight – Margaret Novoa

This month we shine our employee spotlight on Margaret Novoa, clerical assistant to the manager of MediSys East New York.

Margaret grew up in South Ozone Park and attended school at St. Teresa of Avila. Her family moved to Brooklyn during her high school years where she attended Erasmus Hall High School and after graduating from high school she went on to study at Linden State College in Vermont.

Margaret began her career at Jamaica Hospital 35 years ago in the Emergency Department before moving on to the Department of Family Medicine and eventually to her current position in MediSys East New York.

In her free time, Margaret enjoys spending time with her son and daughter, her three grandchildren and other members of her family. Many of the people that she has worked with at the hospital over the years have become like family to her and she cherishes these friendships. Margaret enjoys reading, traveling, walking, and cooking. Margaret believes strongly in giving back to the community and she began a charity in honor of her mother, Carmen Novoa, that benefits single mothers and their children.

Margaret takes great pride in working at Jamaica Hospital for many reasons. Having grown up in this community she feels good about being able to give back to the neighborhood that gave so much to her. She feels very fortunate to work with people who look out for one another and from whom she has learned so much. Margaret looks forward to continuing to work at Jamaica Hospital and to contributing to the well-being of others. We are very happy to have her as a member of the Jamaica Hospital family.

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 Obesity Having an Impact on Your Child’s Self-Esteem?

Obesity among teenagers is a growing problem in the United Sates. It is estimated that 31% of teenagers are overweight and another 16% are obese.

Feet on a scaleMany parents and doctors focus on the physical effects of obesity, but what about the psychological and emotional ramifications? Obesity can lead to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, but its depression, low self esteem, anxiety and poor body image that should be the greater concern for most.

Recent studies have concluded that obese teens have considerably lower self esteem than their non-obese peers. The difference in the two groups is most evident among 14 year olds, which also happens to be a critical time for teens because it is when they develop their sense of self worth. It is also an age where peers can be most cruel. Teasing, taunting, and poor treatment from other kids can also contribute to depression and other psychological issues.

Teens with low self-esteem often feel lonely, nervous, or are generally sad. They are also more inclined to experiment with cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. They often become depressed, which causes them to withdraw from social activities with friends and family and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.

There are a variety of factors that have contributed to a rise in obesity among teens. While genetics play a role for some, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle are often the cause for most. Teens today consume too much junk food and sugary drinks and don’t exercise as much as in previous generations. Temptations from television, video games, and computers are often cited as the reasons for a decrease in physical activity.

Professionals suggest that parents of obese teens engage their children in an open dialogue about the issue. Together, parents and teens can work on a plan that is attainable. Efforts to fix the problem should focus on lifestyle issues rather than a calorie count because attempting to impose a strict diet could contribute to the teen’s poor self esteem. Incorporate the assistance of a medical professional, but allow the teen to take charge during visits in an effort to build confidence.  Parents should encourage and participate in improving diet and increasing activity as well.

Jamaica Hospital has a variety of services to help teens facing this issue, including nutritional counseling and adolescent mental health services. Speak to your child’s pediatrician or make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to find the best treatment options for your teen.

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.

STI (STD) Awareness Month

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are spread by sexual contact. April marks National STI Awareness Month, a campaign sparked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an effort to counter the nation’s high rates of sexually transmitted infections. The United States currently has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases among all countries in the developed world. Here are three important facts to remember about the ongoing public health epidemic in this country:

  1. The current epidemic is driven by just two STDs — even though there’s already a vaccine to prevent one of them.

The nation’s STI epidemic is mainly caused by HPV and chlamydia. That’s good and bad news. On one hand, chlamydia is easily cured with antibiotics, and there’s already an extremely effective vaccine to prevent HPV transmission. But young Americans still aren’t getting their HPV shots, even though the CDC urges parents to vaccinate their children — both girls and boys — before they reach their early 20s.

  1. Women disproportionately bear the burden of STIs.

Based on the female anatomy women are actually more vulnerable to contract STDs than men are — but they’re also less likely to notice the symptoms. Signs of an STI are less apparent on female genitalia and women commonly confuse STD symptoms for less serious issues, like a yeast infection. Sexually transmitted infections often have more longer-term consequences for women that can lead to infertility, and pregnant women can pass STDs to their unborn babies.

  1. Having healthcare makes it easier to get tested.

The health care reform law now requires insurance companies to provide reproductive health services free of charge, U.S. citizens are able to receive HIV/AIDS counseling, STD counseling, and HPV testing without a co-pay.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about sex, sexual health, and sexually transmitted infections. The best way to prevent STI’s is to not have sexual intercourse but that isn’t realistic for most. However, knowledge of prevention is the second best option. To prevent the transmission of STIs, people need to be taught how to effectively use condoms.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outlines the steps on their website https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/male-condom-use.html

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.

Burns

Burns are one of the most common injuries to occur in the home.  An estimated 250,000 children under the age of 17 are treated annually in hospitals and ERs for burn injuries.

There are three primary types of burns:

  • First-degree burns- damage is done only to the outer layer of the skin. These burns  can result in minor swelling, blisters or redness
  • Second-degree burns- damage is done to the outer layer and the layer underneath the skin. Skin may develop blisters or begin to thicken
  • Third-degree burns- damage is done to deeper tissue. Skin might appear charred, white or leathery in appearance

When treating minor burns that do not require emergency care such as first-degree burns, doctors recommend:

  • Holding the burned area under cool (not cold) running water or applying a cool compress. Do not apply ice as this can cause further damage
  • Taking over-the-counter-pain relievers
  • Applying an anesthetic lotion that contains aloe vera  to the affected area
  • Applying an antibiotic ointment
  • Bandaging the burn , with a sterile, non- adhesive, gauze bandage (not cotton balls as small fibers can adhere to the burn)

You should seek medical attention if:

  • There are signs of an infection
  • The burn blister is larger than three inches in diameter
  • Pain endures for several hours
  • The burn appears deep
  • The burn affects a widespread area such as the face, feet, hands, groin or buttocks

Burns in the home can be prevented when proper safety measures are practiced.  The National Fire Protection Association offers helpful tips to help keep you and your family safe. Please visit their website https://www.nfpa.org for more information.

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 Coconut Milk

There is always something new coming on the scene that is healthier for you than other choices.  Lately, the buzz is all about the benefit of Coconut Milk.

Coconut milk can be a tasty substitute for cow’s milk.  Coconut Milk is found in the white flesh of fully ripened brown coconuts.  Like, cream, coconut milk has a thick consistency and a rich texture.

Often times, people mistake coconut milk for coconut water.  These two liquids are very different.  In fact, coconut water comes from less ripened green coconuts.

Some health benefits of coconut milk are:

  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Builds muscle and helps reduce fat
  • Is rich in electrolytes and can prevent fatigue
  • Can assist in weight loss
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves constipation

So, if you are looking for an alternative to cow’s milk, try coconut milk in your smoothie or cereal for a healthy change.

 

 

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 Wearing Socks is Important

We are coming in to the warmer months of the year and many of us will be dressing more casually. Either as a fashion statement or as a way to be comfortable, some people will chose to wear shoes without wearing socks. Socks provide a bit of cushioning so that our feet don’t rub directly against the lining of the shoe, and they also help to keep them dry.  When feet are exposed to prolonged moisture, there is a potential for foot fungus to develop. Foot fungus thrives in places that are warm, dark and moist, which is exactly what the environment inside of a shoe is.
One of the easiest ways to prevent foot fungus is to wear socks whenever you wear shoes.  This will help to keep the feet dry. Keeping the feet clean will also help because it will remove any bacteria and dead skin that can potentially lead to an infection.
If you develop a fungal foot infection, especially a fungal infection, it will be important to see a podiatrist who can diagnose the condition properly and prescribe an appropriate medication. To make an appointment with a podiatrist at Jamaica Hospital, 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.

National Healthcare Decision Day

Today, Jamaica Hospital recognizes National Healthcare Decision Day.    On this day, our goal is to help members of our community understand the importance of planning end-of-life-care and providing advance directives.

Although planning end-of-life-care is difficult, it is necessary. Taking the time to prepare for this stage of life can help you and loved ones with making challenging decisions about your care that may arise in the future.

When planning your end-of-life care it is important to consider what your wishes are and how they should be carried out.

Advance directives are legal documents (which includes the creation of a living will and choosing a healthcare proxy) that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.

To receive further information about planning end-of-life care, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Palliative Care Division recommends utilizing comprehensive resources such as The Conversation Project.  The organization provides a starter kit, “a useful tool to help people have conversations with their family members or other loved ones about their wishes regarding end-of-life care.”  For more information, visit www.theconversationproject.org.

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.

Learn the Facts About Oral Cancer

Oral cancer, or mouth cancer refers to a group of cancers that can develop anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, tonsils, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, salivary glands, sinuses and throat.

Oral cancer usually appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away and it can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 51,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2018.

The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:

 

 

  • Swelling or thickening of the skin or lining of the mouth
  •  Development of lumps or bumps on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • Sores that bleed or do not heal
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Numbness or loss of feeling of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat or change in voice
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together

According to the American Cancer Society, men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women. Cigarette smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancers. Those who use chewing tobacco products are 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips. In addition, oral cancers are about six times more common in those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol. People who have a family history of cancer, have a weakened immune system or who have the human papillomavirus virus (HPV) are also at a greater risk of developing certain types of oral cancers.

To avoid developing oral cancer, it is recommended that you stop, or do not start using any form of tobacco, whether it is smoked or chewed, drink alcohol only in moderation, chose a healthy diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants, perform self-examinations of your month once a month, and see your dentist regularly.

As part of your routine dental exam, your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening. This includes feeling for any lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and oral cavity. When examining your mouth, your dentist will look for any sores or discolored tissue as well as check for any signs and symptoms mentioned above.

If diagnosed with oral cancer, treatment options include surgery to remove the cancerous growth, followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Make an appointment with your dentist immediately if you have any persistent signs and symptoms of oral cancer. If you do not have a dentist, make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Dental Center by calling 718-206-6980.

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.

Springtime is Allergy Season

The calendar tells us that Spring is here. Soon the flowers will start to bloom, trees will start to blossom and lawns will be waking up from the long winter.  We will also be spending  more time outdoors. With the beginning of Spring comes allergy season and all the discomfort some of us experience. It is estimated that 30 percent of Americans suffer from allergies.
With the new technology and equipment that is available at Jamaica Hospital, testing of a small sample of blood serum IgE, can determine if a person is allergic to any of the hundreds of known allergens. This quick testing will help to determine what course of treatment to begin.  Another advantage of this testing is that it can be ordered by any physician, as opposed to traditional testing ordered and performed by an allergist.  A correct diagnosis leads to a more accurate treatment plan.
Historically, allergy testing was performed by specialists in the field of Allergy and Immunology. Often times this involved performing skin tests and then monitoring the results. Now this whole process can be performed by a physician through a simple blood serum test and Jamaica Hospital is now one of the few hospitals in New York City that is offering this new and exciting technology.
Often times, allergy symptoms are similar to other health conditions such as colds and sinus infections. Allergies typically do not cause fever but they can cause itchiness, eye discomfort and a runny nose. It is important to determine the causes of these symptom before treating the symptoms. People tend to purchase over the counter medications over the counter to treat their symptoms, but they may not be treating the correct cause of their discomfort.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital to discuss having  allergies, 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.

Lead Poisoning an Ongoing Risk for Children Living In New York City

Lead poisoning is an ongoing risk for children living in New York City. According to NYC Environment & Health Data 2016, 300 children in New York City were found to have dangerously high lead levels in their blood.

While the rate of lead poisoning has generally declined since 2008, it is important to know you and your family’s risk of lead exposure or how harmful it can be to your health.

Lead is harmful when ingested or inhaled. Lead that gets into your body can travel to many organs by the bloodstream It can stay in certain organs for up to 25 years. Children absorb more lead from digestion than adults (up to 70 percent versus 20 percent in adults). Because children have a growing brain they are more prone to develop serious health complications caused by lead. Lead poisoning can lead to intellectual disabilities, decreased IQ, seizure disorders, behavioral problems, peripheral neuropathy (nerve disease), hearing loss and brain damage. These effects go on to adulthood.

Lead poisoning is more common among urban than rural children, low-income than middle-income children, and children who live in older housing. Children with Sickle Cell Disease are at an increased risk for medical problems from lead poisoning.

Lead is a metal present in the environment; it can be found is various places such as:

Lead based paint:  Dust produced as lead based paint deteriorates or during renovations, particularly in houses built before 1978

Water pipes: Decay of old lead based pipes, fixtures or solders connecting drinking water pipes

Places of work:  Parents working in industries such as construction, plumbing, mining, smelting may be exposed to and bring home particles containing lead

Other sources:   Candy, make up, glazed ceramic pots, pewter pots, herbal medicine from other countries

Lead testing is recommended for those who may be at risk for lead poisoning; this includes:

  • All children at 12 and 24 months. (this may change based on local recommendations)
  • All pregnant women (pregnant women exposed to lead may potentially put their unborn child at risk)
  • Children and adolescents between 6 months and 16 years of age who enter the United States as an immigrant or refugee
  • Parents with certain occupations or hobbies (e.g., smelting, soldering, auto body repair)
  • People who live in or visit a home or child care facility with an identified lead hazard
  • People who live in or visit a home or child care facility that was built before 1960 and is in poor repair or was renovated in the past six months.

There are steps you can take to prevent or reduce levels of exposure to lead:

  • Run tap water before drinking or cooking: While the NYC water system from the upstate reservoir is essentially lead-free, older piping and fixtures may put lead into running water. It is recommended to run your tap for at least 30 seconds until the water is cold.
  • Take care to read or research imported consumer products: Take caution with imported toys, jewelry, pendants, skin-lightening creams, camphor, ceramic ware or pottery, cosmetics and religious powders (Kajal, Kohl, Surma, Tiro, Sindoor), Georgian and Bangladeshi spices, as they may not meet the standards set in place by  S. regulatory and health agencies.
  • Make sure your home is safe: Make certain that your place of residence is currently not exposed to lead

According to the New York Department of Health, a new program to test lead in drinking water is now available for New York State residents. To learn more about this program, visit

https://health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/lead/free_lead_testing_pilot_program.htm

If you are concerned about lead exposure for yourself or your family, please make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.

To schedule an appointment with a Family Medicine doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6942.

Yogaalakshmi Sundararajan M.D. Family Medicine

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.