The MediSys Health Network Recognizes The Accomplishments Dr. Sabiha Raoof During Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month.  In recognition of this special observance, the MediSys Health Network would like to honor a woman who is very important to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Sabiha Raoof.

Dr. Raoof began her career at MediSys as an attending physician in 1997 after completing her radiology fellowship training. According to Dr. Raoof, “I was young and full of energy, but I was also a mother of two young children, and that aspect of my life has always been very important to me. Working for MediSys allowed me to maintain a balance between my professional goals and my role as a mother.  I never had to compromise my priorities and that gave me the opportunity to grow and thrive professionally. “

After working for a few years as an attending physician, Dr. Raoof was appointed as the Chairperson of Radiology at Jamaica Hospital in 2000 and then at Flushing Hospital in 2001.  Dr. Raoof added “I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to build the department and I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve together.” Under her guidance, the Radiology Departments at both hospitals have earned the Diagnostic Centers of Excellence designation from the American College of Radiology.

Through the years, Dr. Raoof has taken on many additional roles in the healthcare industry that has brought a great deal of positive visibility to the network.  She currently serves as the Vice Chair for the American College of Radiology’s Quality Experience Committee and is a member of their Commission on Clinical Decision Support. She has also been working with CMS for the last four years, initially serving as a national faculty member for the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative and now serves as one of the Clinical Champions for the Quality Payment Program.

Providing the highest quality care to our patients has always been a major focus for Dr. Raoof, so when she was appointed as the Chief Medical Officer for MediSys in 2017, her main goal was to use the position to improve the quality of care throughout the organization and to do so in a patient and family centered approach to keep patient safety in focus. AS CMO, she has been the driving force behind many initiatives designed to improve the patient experience.

 While Dr. Raoof appreciates the opportunities she has been given in the MediSys Health Network, she realizes that many other women are not as fortunate. “Even today, we have under-representation of female physicians in leadership positions in the healthcare industry. I feel lucky to work for this organization and I commend our administration for being so forward thinking and allowing the most qualified people to progress to leadership roles throughout the organization without any bias against gender, culture, religion or ethnicity.”

Women’s History Month is very important to Dr. Raoof. It not only allows her to thank the many women in her personal and professional life who have supported and been an inspiration to her, but it also serves as an opportunity for her to encourage her female colleagues to step up and be willing to lead.  According to Dr. Raoof, “Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the tireless half of our population. Women are our future leaders, innovators, and peace-makers. This is a month to celebrate our progress in the face of historic challenge and to dream of our future. “

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 Medical Center Announces Partnership with LegalHealth to Provide Legal Services to Our Patients

On a daily basis New Yorkers, especially low-income residents, face challenging financial and social issues. These factors can negatively impact their lives in many ways, most notably their physical and mental health. Lack of access to adequate housing, food, or safe and secure employment can impede their ability to seek and receive appropriate healthcare services for themselves and their families.  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is working to remove these barriers by offering free legal services to its patients.

Every week an attorney from LegalHealth, a division of the New York Legal Assistance Group, comes to Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center to provide legal counsel to hospital patients on issues relating to government benefits, housing, workplace conditions, and immigration and credit problems. LegalHealth also assists patients and families develop advanced planning directives, wills and legal matters affecting families.

It is well established that unmet social needs have a direct correlation with poor health.  Social factors, such as food insecurity have been closely linked to higher risk of chronic conditions. Studies show that those who lose their jobs are 83% more likely to develop stress-related health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Jamaica Hospital made the commitment to fund the LegalHealth clinic knowing that addressing these issues will ultimately improve the health of its patients and potentially reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions.  According to Dr. Alan Roth, Chairman of Family Medicine at Jamaica Hospital, “By understanding these social determinants that our patients encounter on a daily basis and providing a resource to have them addressed, Jamaica Hospital and LegalHealth can remove many of the obstacles that prevent our community from improving and maintaining healthier lives.”

LegalHealth is also providing ongoing training to Jamaica Hospital’s providers to equip them with the necessary tools to help them identify any social, financial or other problems patients are experiencing which can be addressed with legal support.

The Legal Health clinic opened at Jamaica Hospital in January 2019 and is on site weekly.

Patients who utilize LegalHealth services are assured of complete confidentiality and services are completely free to Jamaica Hospital 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.

March is National Nutrition Month

March has been designated as National Nutrition Month –  an annual nutrition, education and information campaign that focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.  In honor of this special observance, Jamaica Hospital would like to share with our community the important role our Registered Dieticians (RDs) play in helping our patients meet their nutritional goals.

What is a Registered Dietitian?

A Registered Dietitian is a trained nutrition professional who has met the strict educational and experiential standards set forth by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

They  can be employed in a variety of areas including hospitals, outpatient clinics, corporate wellness programs, food service operations, universities, research, or private practice, just to name a few.

RDs advise and counsel others on food and nutrition. They explain nutrition issues to their patients, develop meal plans for them and measure the effects of those plans.

To become an RD, you must:

  • Complete a Bachelor’s degree with coursework approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Complete a 1200 hour dietetic internship which is an accredited, supervised practice program at a health care facility, community program or a food service corporation
  • Pass a national registration exam
  • Complete continuing professional education credits.

At Jamaica Hospital, dietitians are available for the following services: nutrition assessment, diet instruction, recommendations for enteral and parenteral support, staff in-service, food and drug interactions, and nutrition counseling in the outpatient setting.

Jamaica Hospital would like to thank our Registered Dieticians for the very important job they do every day. Their hard work help our patients and community live a much healthier lifestyle.

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.

When is it Okay to Request a Second Opinion From Your Doctor?

Receiving news that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious or rare medical condition can be very overwhelming and scary. While it is important to listen to and follow your doctor’s instructions, it is also appropriate in these situations to seek the advice of other professionals and request a second opinion.

Unfortunately, less than half of the people diagnosed with a serious or life-threatening disease request a second opinion. The most frequent reasons individuals cited for not doing so include: feeling an urgency to seek treatment right away, lack of access to experts or centers of excellence, fear that their insurance carrier would not cover the cost, and concerns about offending their doctor.

In most cases, these reasons are unmerited; in reality, many conditions do not require immediate treatment and most physicians welcome a second opinion. In addition, many insurance providers allow for second opinions and can even help identify local experts that participate in your plan.

So, when is getting a second opinion a good idea? According to WebMD, the following circumstances are appropriate:

  • Where the treatment is very risky or toxic
  • Where the diagnosis is not clear, the treatment is experimental, or there is no established consensus or Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment
  • If you’re considering participating in a trial for a new drug
  • If you’re considering some new experimental approach or a procedure that involves using experimental instruments or devices.

In many cases, second opinions are very beneficial.  In fact, a recent study highlighted their potential value.  Researchers found  that as many as 88% of those who sought a second opinion for a complex medical condition had a new diagnosis that changed their treatment plan, and 21% received a completely different diagnosis.

If you would like to seek a second opinion, but are unsure of how to start the conversation with your doctor, try some of these tips.

  • Tell your doctor you want to be sure that you explore all your treatment options. This may include looking into several surgical and non-surgical interventions.
  • Let your doctor know that you always talk to more than one expert when you need to make an important decision, whether it’s a medical, financial, or personal decision.
  • Explain to your doctor that a second opinion would give you peace of mind that your diagnosis and treatment plan are the best option for you.

Even if a second opinion doesn’t change your diagnosis or treatment plan, you can feel satisfied that you made a well-informed decision.

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.

How to Treat Your Baby’s Diaper Rash

Ask any new mom or dad what their least favorite part about becoming a parent is and the answer you will most often get is changing their baby’s diaper. It is a task that no one loves, but it is important because parents must be aware of the development of diaper rash.

Diaper rash occurs when the skin on your baby’s bottom, thighs, or genital area becomes inflamed. The result is the appearance of a patchwork of bright red skin or scales. While diaper rash can be alarming to parents, it is actually fairly common among babies.

In addition to the physical signs of diaper rash, your baby may also display a change in their disposition. Babies with diaper rash are uncomfortable and will generally seem fussier. They will also most likely cry more during diaper changes.

Diaper rash grows in warm, moist places and the most common cause for its development is when a baby’s diaper isn’t changed frequently enough. When a diaper isn’t changed often, the exposure to stool or urine can cause irritation.

Other causes of diaper rash can include:

  • Sensitive skin
  • Allergic reaction to the diaper
  • Introduction of new foods
  • Diaper being placed on too tight, resulting in chaffing
  • Bacterial or yeast infection

Diaper rash is more likely to develop when babies get older (9-12 months old) and are more mobile and begin a diet of solid foods. Sleeping in dirty diapers can increase your baby’s chances of developing diaper rash.  Taking antibiotics and having diarrhea can also be contributing factors.

If your baby develops diaper rash, be sure to change their diaper frequently. Try dressing them in loose, breathable clothing and even allow them go diaper free for as long as possible.  When cleaning your child, gently pat the infected area and avoid wiping or rubbing. Use water when changing, but if a more thorough cleaning is required, only use mild soaps and avoid any products with fragrances or alcohol.  Parents can also use paste or barrier creams that contain zinc to soothe the skin and prevent contact with feces or other irritants. Avoid using baby powder as it can harm a baby’s lungs.

In most cases diaper rash will clear up on its own when the above techniques are followed, but you should contact your pediatrician if the rash fails to improve or gets worse within 2-3 days, if you notice yellow, fluid-filled bumps, or your baby develops a fever. These may be signs of an infection.

To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician 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.

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month.

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Jamaica Hospital would like to join the national effort to increase awareness about birth defects and what can cause them.

While not all birth defects are preventable, there are certain healthy behaviors that can be practiced to increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following tips for preventing birth defects:

  • Take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Folic acid is important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. Most vitamins contain the recommended amount of folic acid, but women should check the label to be sure it contains 100% of the daily value (DV) of folic acid.
  • Speak with your healthcare provider before you begin or stop taking any medicine. If you are planning to become pregnant, discuss your current medicines with a healthcare provider, such as your doctor or pharmacist. Creating a treatment plan for your health condition before you are pregnant can help keep you and your developing baby healthy.
  • Remain up to date with all vaccines, including your flu shot. Vaccines help protect you and your developing baby against serious diseases. Get a flu shot and whooping cough vaccine (also called Tdap) during each pregnancy to help protect yourself and your baby.
  • Attempt to reach a healthy weight before getting pregnant. Obesity increases the risk for several serious birth defects and other pregnancy complications. If you are overweight (or underweight), speak with your healthcare provider about ways to maintain a healthy weight before you become pregnant.
  • Avoid harmful substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy can harm the developing baby and can cause certain birth defects. Alcohol can also cause problems for a developing baby throughout pregnancy. Using certain drugs during pregnancy can cause health problems for a woman and her developing baby.

By following these recommended tips, you will be doing what is best for you and your baby.

Speak to your doctor about other ways to increase your chances of having a healthy baby. To make an appointment 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.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic bowel disease that affects the large intestine, or colon. People with UC experience inflammation of the colon, which is typically marked by swelling and irritation that eventually leads to the development of ulcers (open sores) that produce blood, pus, and mucus. There is currently no cure for UC so those with the disease usually have symptom flare-ups off and on for life.

Ulcerative colitis occurs when the immune mistakenly identifies food, good gut bacteria, and the cells that line your colon as intruders. When this happens, the white blood cells that usually protect us, attack the lining of our colon instead, which causes inflammation and ulcers.

While doctors don’t know definitively what causes UC, some believe that both genetics and environmental factors may play a role in the development of the disease for some. While other factors such as food and stress don’t cause UC, they can trigger a flare-up of symptoms.

The main symptom of u ulcerative colitis is bloody diarrhea. Other problems may include:

  • Crampy belly pain
  • Sudden urges to empty your colon right away
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling tired
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Feeling like you haven’t completely emptied your colon after you use the bathroom
  • Not being able to hold your stools in

Your doctor will use different tests to determine if you have UC or another type of gut disease. Tests typically include stool and blood samples, x-rays, or a flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy where tubes containing cameras are used to view the inside of the colon and take a biopsy of its lining.

If UC is confirmed, your doctor will work with you to address your symptoms and prevent future flare-ups. This may include altering your diet and prescribing certain medications to reduce inflammation and stop your immune system from attacking your colon. In severe cases, a surgical procedure to remove your colon (colectomy) may be required.

If you are experiencing symptoms of colitis, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. If you do not have one, Jamaica Hospital has qualified physicians that can diagnose and help you manage this condition. To make an appointment, 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.

The Benefits of Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

If you were to look in a textbook for a description of a pediatric dentist, you would read a definition that states “the branch of the dental healing arts that focuses on the condition of children and associated structures of the oral cavity.”  However, if you ask a pediatric dentist to define what they do, you will get a much different answer. The truth is a pediatric dentist is so much more and there are many benefits to having a pediatric dentist treat your child.

One of the biggest advantages of choosing a pediatric dentist is their gentle nature. Going to see the dentist can be overwhelming for many adults, so imagine how a young child must feel. Pediatric dentists are aware of these common concerns and because they have the training and skills to manage them, they are best suited to make your child feel comfortable and at ease once they are in the dentist’s chair.

While having a dentist who makes your child feel comfortable is important, it is equally as important to make sure that the person taking care of them is well qualified; this happens to be another advantage of selecting a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists receive an additional two years of formal training to focus on the growth and development of a child’s oral cavity, from birth through the teenage years. Since pediatric dentists specialize in caring for children’s teeth, they are naturally better equipped to address the many potential problems that may occur, such as a delayed loss of baby teeth or the development of cavities and tooth decay.

Pediatric dentists take a holistic approach to providing care to children and work with parents to identify environmental factors that may contribute to poor dental health, such as dietary choices and the potential risks associated with habits such as thumb sucking, teeth grinding or the use of a pacifier.  These interactive opportunities serve to empower the entire family to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Statistics indicate that pre-school children are getting more cavities than ever before, with one out of every four children having one by the age of four. In addition, children miss more time from school due to tooth aches than they do from the flu. Due to these alarming facts a pediatric dentist will practice developmentally-based dental care by focusing a great deal of time during your child’s initial visits on teaching them about good dental habits, such as how to properly take care of their gums and teeth.

The pediatric dental team at Jamaica Hospital is dedicated to treating all children, from the time their first tooth erupts through their high school years. They believe the world is a happier place when it is filled with smiling children and they take pride in maintaining those smiles.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Dental Center, please call 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.

Today is the Great American Smokeout

Today is the Great American Smokeout, an annual event when the American Cancer Society encourages everyone to quit smoking. This event helps to make people aware of the dangers of using tobacco products as well as the tools that are available to help them quit smoking.

The Great American Smokeout started in 1970 in a small town in Massachusetts. People were asked to give up smoking for one day and to take the money that they would have spent on cigarettes and donate it to a local high school scholarship fund. The event spread to other cities both large and small and eventually led to legislation that bans smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and other public spaces both indoors and outdoors.

Smoking  is responsible for one in five deaths in the United States today. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Smoking is also the cause of cancer of the larynx, mouth, sinuses, throat, esophagus, and the bladder. The number of people who smoke has dramatically decreased in the United States since the anti-smoking campaigns began. In 1965 it was estimated that over 40 percent of the population were smokers and today that number is around 18 percent.

Smokers have the best chances of quitting if they use at least two of the following methods:

• Smoking Cessation Groups
• Nicotine substitute products
• Support from family and friends
• Telephone quit lines
• Counseling
• Prescription medications that help to reduce the urge to smoke

If you would like more information about quitting smoking please call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital to discuss smoking cessation, please call 718-206-8494.

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 Celebrates Infection Prevention Week

October 14th marks the beginning of Infection Prevention week, an annual effort to highlight the importance of infection prevention among healthcare professionals, administrators, legislators, and consumers.

Over the past 32 years, infection prevention week has gained a great deal of recognition around the world and patients are now benefiting from the safer healthcare practices that are shared during this week-long observance. The theme of Infection Prevention week this year is Protecting Patients Everywhere. 

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center supports the prevention of infection among our patients, visitors, and staff. To help eliminate the spread of bacterial infection we urge every person who steps foot inside our hospital to learn about the best ways to protect themselves and others.

Below is a list of ways patients can reduce the risk of infection provided by the Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APIC):

  • Speak up for your care
  • Clean your hands often
  • Ask about safe injection practices
  • Ask to have your room cleaned
  • Ask questions about your medications
  • Ask if you should shower before having surgery
  • Ask each day if you still need a catheter
  • Ask about vaccinations so you stay healthy
  • Learn about healthcare associated infections

Jamaica Hospital is proud to share that we have made great strides in our infection prevention and control initiatives.  We are currently at 97% hand hygiene compliance, which has led to very low hospital-acquired infection rates including urinary catheter infections, surgical site infections, and bloodstream infections.

Jamaica Hospital knows that by practicing good hand hygiene and adhering to other patient safety initiatives as well as continuing to educate our patients, we are creating an even safer environment for our patients, staff and visitors.

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.