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.

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.

The Benefit of Exercise for your Child

The incidence of childhood obesity in the United States continues to be on the rise.  As a result, chronic disease, musculoskeletal issues and self-esteem issues are also on the rise.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), it is recommended that physical activity in children and adolescents consist of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day to help promote muscle and bone development.

There are various types of exercise that will benefit your child or adolescent.  Some of the more accessible types of exercise are:

  • Outdoor games, such as tug-of-war or relay racing
  • Walking to and from school (when possible)
  • Bicycle riding
  • Jumping rope
  • Martial arts
  • Sports (soccer, hockey, basketball, swimming, tennis, baseball)
  • Skiing
  • Dancing
  • Rollerblading
  • Skateboarding
  • Walking the dog
  • Aerobics
  • Gymnastics
  • Push-ups (modified with the knees on the floor)
  • Using resistance bands while exercising
  • Playground activities (swings, slides, etc.)

Too often children and adolescents are sedentary; spending too many hours a day on their smart phones, game stations, tablets or in front of the television.

Regular exercise promotes healthy bone growth, strength and mass, as well as raising your heart rate.  In fact, studies have shown that children and adolescents who exercise daily are prone to stronger muscles and bones, have  loser body mass index, are less likely to become overweight, have a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and have a better outlook on life.

So dust off the dance shoes, tie up your sneakers, take the bike out of the garage, put the dog on a leash and begin to get healthy!

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.

High Blood Pressure? Check Your Salt Intake.

In the United States, one out of every three adults has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. It is a symptomless disease and is known as the “silent killer.” One step you can take to avoiding or controlling high blood pressure can begin with your diet.

A high sodium diet increases blood pressure in many people. Based on the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the amount of salt intake in your diet should be no greater than 2,300 milligram per day, which is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of salt. This can be easily consumed if you are not watching what you eat. You may be consuming them every day without knowing its potential to harm you, or your family, in the long run. Many convenience foods can be a culprit of containing high sodium content.

Some examples of the daily foods to avoid, which contain high sodium contents are:

  • Frozen Dinners and pre-packaged foods
    • Packaged deli meats/ lunch meats
    • Canned foods and fast foods
    • Soups and nuts
    • Spaghetti Sauce
    • Chips and dip

Some helpful tips to begin modifying your diet can include:

  • Creating a food diary to help keep track of the salt in the foods you eat
    • Read the ‘nutritional facts’ label on every food package and opt for a lower sodium version
    • Avoid pre-packaged foods and try using salt-free seasonings
    • Opt for fruits and vegetables to naturally spice up your food- onions, cranberries, and apple butter are some good examples of foods and products that can enhance your meal

Making the effort can be difficult at first but it’s worth your long term health. If you believe you are at risk of high blood pressure, speak with your physician and see if a low-sodium diet could benefit you.  If you do not have a private physician, please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to set up an appointment with a physician.

For these and other helpful ways to side step hypertension, log onto www.webmd.com.

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.

Parenting – Should Children be Paid to do Household Chores?

Many parents wrestle with the question of whether or not their children should be required to do chores around the house, and if so, should they be paid for it? There’s really no simple answer.

There are pros and cons to every method of administering an allowance to children. Some think kids should earn money in exchange for doing chores, others believe kids should not be paid for regular contributions that are expected of every family member.  No matter which side you agree with, the point of an allowance is to teach your kids money management skills.

Age appropriate, weekly chores, whether it’s taking out the garbage, emptying the dishwasher, folding clean laundry, cleaning the cat litter box, or light yard work like raking leaves, can help a child develop character. Paying them for their contributions also helps them to develop a respect for earning money.

You might decide on a definite set of weekly chores that your child must complete before being paid, or choose to make a list with a set price per chore and leave it up to them. Bigger tasks like shoveling snow, earn more money, and things like making their bed, earn less.

The method you end up using may not be what you started with, every child is different and the family dynamic and responsibility varies. However you structure it, be flexible. Even if you offer your child an allowance with no strings attached, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask them to do something periodically.

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 – Katiria Martinez

This month we are pleased to shine our employee spotlight on Katiria Martinez, an Ambulatory Care Representative in the Emergency Department since 2014.
Katiria currently lives in Brooklyn but grew up in the Richmond Hill section of Queens and is very familiar with the area surrounding Jamaica Hospital. According to Katiria, working in the Emergency Department is dynamic and can be very rewarding. She is extremely happy when she can make someone’s day more pleasant , especially when they are facing very stressful moments in the hospital emergency room. She finds it very interesting meeting people from all walks of life and from all over the world.  Katiria states “I am very fortunate to be working with a great group of people. Everyone helps one another which makes it a very good work environment.”  She feels very fortunate to have a supervisor who encourages her to be the best that she can be and who teaches her so many important skills. These are all reasons that she enjoys coming to work every day.
When Katiria isn’t at work she enjoys spending time with her children, two sons and a daughter. She has a fondness for all kinds of outdoor activities such as going camping, hiking, spending time in the woods,  and also spending time at the beach.  Summer is her favorite time because she enjoys warm weather and it is the best time of year to be outdoors. One of the sports she enjoys is archery.  She also enjoys traveling to new places and she is hoping to visit Panama on her next vacation.
Katiria believes in living life to the fullest. When she is at work she strives to make each day interesting and to make a positive difference in the lives of the people she interacts with. When she is home she feels the same way, her family is the most important part of her life and she enjoys the time she spends with them. Katiria  is always trying to make each day a great day for everyone she meets.

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 You Need to Know About Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are a hormonal type of oral contraceptive that needs to be taken every day to prevent pregnancy. They work by stopping ovulation so that the fertilization of an egg by sperm cannot occur.

Most women are prescribed combination birth control pills which contain two types of hormones- estrogen and progestin. There are progestin-only pills available as well. These are often recommended for women who have medical reasons for avoiding estrogen. Most combination birth control packs contain pills for every day of the month (depending on the pack). The three first weeks of the pack are pills with hormones. The final week contains placebo pills or sugar pills (no hormone). This last week of having no hormones allows your menstrual period to occur.

The pill is generally safe when taken as prescribed; however, if you are considering this form of contraception, there are a few things you should know:

How effective are birth control pills?

When taken correctly, birth control pills are about 91% effective. It is important to take the pill at the same time every day to improve efficacy. If you are forgetful, there are some easy ways to remember to take your pill every day.  You can set an alarm on your phone or put your pills next to your toothbrush or in other places you are likely to see them every day. If you decide that you want to become pregnant; birth control pills can be stopped at any time and periods typically return within three months.

What are some benefits of taking birth controls pills other than preventing pregnancy?

In addition to preventing pregnancy, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are great at helping women with irregular and/or painful periods regulate their cycles and minimize pain.  OCPs can also help decrease the symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), which involve mood changes related to menstrual cycling. Another added benefit of taking OCPs is, they can also help improve cystic acne in many women.  Lastly, studies have found that taking birth control pills may reduce the likelihood of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

What side effects are likely to occur?

Women may experience side effects with birth control pills but they usually go away after 2-3 months. Some common side effects are spotting between periods, changes in libido, or nausea. Doctors sometimes advise that you stick with the pill for this duration of time to see if the side effects will subside. If they don’t or you experience more serious effects such as increased blood pressure or blood clots, speak to your doctor. Serious side effects are generally rare and many people have to try different birth control pills until they find the right one for them.

What should I do if I forget to take my pill?

If you missed one pill, take your pill as soon as you remember. It’s okay to take two pills on the same day or within 24 hours. If two or more pills are missed in the 1st week, take the most recent missed pill as soon as possible (discard the missed pill). Continue taking your daily pills according to the pack. If you missed two or more pills, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant: resume taking your daily pills and avoid having sex without condoms, or use another backup birth control method for at least seven days of hormonal pills. Emergency contraception should be considered if you missed pills within the first week and had sex without a condom in the previous five days. If the forgotten pill is during days 15-21 of a 28-day pack, then skip the placebo pills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides recommended actions for late or missed OCPs. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/pdf/248124_fig_2_3_4_final_tag508.pdf

Who should not take birth control pills?

Talk to your doctor if any of the following pertain to you:

  • Are over 35 years old and smoke more than 15 cigarettes per day
  • Have hypertension
  • Have a history of Venous thromboembolism (blood clots)
  • Have a history of, or current, breast cancer
  • Have liver cirrhosis or failure
  • Suffer from migraines with aura at any age

It is important to remember, that while OCPs are very effective at preventing pregnancy, they do not prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  If you are having sex with a new partner, or you are concerned about infections, it is important to use condoms in addition to OCPs. It is recommended that you also get tested for STIs at your doctor’s office.

If you have questions about contraception or family planning and would like to schedule an appointment with a family medicine doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center please call, 718-206-6942

Marina Bissada D.O. 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.

History of Orthodontics

More and more people, both children and adults are seeking orthodontic treatment today. Having well aligned teeth is not only important for a nice smile but also for proper dental health.

The importance of having healthy and aligned teeth dates back as early as 1000 BC. The ancient Egyptians and the Etruscans were using material made from animal intestines to move teeth into better alignment. An ancient Roman scientist discovered that by applying finger pressure on teeth for an extended period of time over the course of months would help move teeth into a new position.

The first more modern practice of orthodontics was documented in the early 1770’s. A French surgeon dentist named Pierre Fauchard came up with the concept of the “Bandeau” which was a horseshoe shaped device that gave the mouth a natural arch. Later on in the early 1800’s Francois Delabarre invented the wire crib that was placed on the teeth and help move them into better alignment. In the mid 1800’s dentists began to realize that the jaw and the teeth would have to be aligned simultaneously and this was accomplished by using tiny rubber tubing and wire cribs together.

In the early 1900’s, we entered the era of orthodontics that we are more familiar with today. Back then, dentists would wrap different materials depending on their preference (ivory, wood, copper, or zinc and later on gold or silver) and connect them with bands that helped move the teeth into the desired position. In the 1970’s stainless steel was more widely used and this had the advantage of being less costly and also more flexible than the other materials used previously.

In the late 1990’s, orthodontics changed with the introduction of the invisible braces. In addition to brackets that were placed on the inside of people’s teeth to make it more aestically appealing, clear retainers were also being used which would help to align teeth.

To schedule an appointment with a dentist at Jamaica Hospital, 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.