Jamaica Hospital Officially Opens the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is proud to announce that it officially re-opened its Hospice Care Unit, The Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care, after undergoing a complete renovation.

To commemorate the important milestone, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held earlier this month on the unit. Joining Jamaica Hospital in celebrating the completion of the project were elected officials Borough President Melinda Katz, Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer-Amato as well as others who support the hospital’s efforts to provide essential services to the community.

The journey for the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care began last year when a $1.3 million capital campaign was initiated by the Hospital’s leadership in an effort to facilitate the renovation. Thanks to the generosity of several donors, including Board Member Joseph Ferrara, the namesake of the unit, the hospital has successfully completed construction.

News of the grand re- opening of the unit has been well received by many in the community, as the  Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care was designed to offer end-of-life care in a family-oriented environment. Many upgraded amenities have been provided for patients and families that promote serenity, privacy and will allow them to feel more at home during a difficult time.  Additionally, the unit offers comforts such as private and spacious suites for patients, family meeting rooms and a relaxing family lounge that offers loved ones a space to gather, de-compress or reflect.

Jamaica Hospital’s staff is very appreciative of the community’s positive reception of the Ferrara Family Center for Hospice Care and the services it will provide. “It is our goal that our patients and their loved ones receive compassion and comfort during a time that can be very difficult,” said Dr. Alan Roth; Chairman of Family Medicine and Chief of Palliative Care Medicine. Dr. Roth continued “We will continue to apply this approach in a new, modern and family environment.”

Watch our Interview on  NY1 News.

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 Wants You To Avoid Injuries Associated With Fireworks This July 4th Holiday

June is Fireworks Safety Month and with July 4th holiday approaching, Jamaica Hospital  Medical Center wants everyone to know the potential dangers associated with these explosives that we so closely associate with Independence Day.

Fireworks are ILLEGAL in New York State, and are extremely dangerous when they are not being used by a professional. They burn at extremely high temperatures and can rapidly burn through clothing and skin.  Items such as sparklers are mistakenly thought to be safe, but they are actually quite dangerous.

In states where it is legal to purchase and operate fireworks, please be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under the close supervision of an adult
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks in case of fire

This year, have a safe Fourth of July and leave the firework displays to the trained professionals. If you have questions about fireworks displays and safety, you can visit The National Council on Firework Safety webpage at http://www.fireworksafety.org.  Take the test and learn just how much you know about fireworks safety.

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.

Hospital Staff Spotlight – Laurie Regan, RN

Laurie Regan is a familiar face to many people at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. Laurie has been at Jamaica Hospital since 1997. She has been a nurse in our pediatric emergency department for the past eight years and prior to that, a nurse on the pediatric inpatient unit for 12 years.  She is a Queens native, having grown up in Whitestone, where she still resides with her three daughters and two dogs.
During her time at Jamaica Hospital Laurie has had the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Laurie describes her experience at Jamaica Hospital as being a one-of-a-kind opportunity. She has worked with many wonderful people through the years and has learned a lot. The environment is very exciting as you never know what is going to come in to the emergency room and you always have to be prepared to handle all kinds of situations. Laurie works long hours but it doesn’t bother her because of the great team of people she works with and the level of fulfilment she gets from helping people who come in seeking medical attention.
In addition to working at Jamaica Hospital, Laurie also works for the NYC Department of Health where she has the opportunity to go in to the different schools and build relationships with the students and the staff.  It was thanks to Laurie’s connection to a local school that Jamaica Hospital was the recipient of six pieces of art that now hang outside the pediatric emergency department.
Laurie is also very community minded and is active in the Malba Civic Association, where she helps to keep the neighborhood beautiful and safe.  Laurie has a strong interest in forensic nursing and would like to one day pursue an advanced degree in that field. Laurie looks forward to continuing to learn and continuing to contribute to the well-being of our 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.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.  During this month, the Alzheimer’s Association is asking healthcare providers to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease affects over 5 million Americans and is fatal.  It is a progressive brain disease that currently has no cure.  Alzheimer’s is more than memory loss and can appear through a variety of signs and symptoms such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty planning and solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Difficulty determining time or place
  • Difficulty finding the right words
  • Misplacing items often
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Personality and mood changes
  • Withdrawing from work and social events

Alzheimer’s, unlike Dementia (which is syndrome that affects mental cognitive tasks such as memory and reasoning) causes the person to lose the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Jamaica Hospital is committed to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia through social media and providing medical services to those who are experiencing the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you or a loved one has questions or concerns and would like to see a medical professional, call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center for an appointment at 718-206-7001.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit www.act.alz.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.

Today is National HIV Testing Day

There are 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, and one in seven are unaware they have the virus.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, along with other health organizations is working together to raise awareness about the importance of getting tested and early HIV diagnosis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends “that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.”

We are encouraging people to know their status. There are now more ways than ever to get tested.

Jamaica Hospital’s clinics offer HIV testing to the community. For a list of our clinics and contact information, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/clinical-services/ambulatory-care/

If a patient tests positive we also provide HIV counseling and treatment. We offer integrated clinical care, social and educational services in a comfortable and caring environment.

To receive more information about National HIV Testing Day and to learn more about the virus, please visit, https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/library/awareness/testingday.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.

Food Poisoning During Summer Months

Each year an estimated one in six people living in the United States develop foodborne illnesses, such as food poisoning.  The illness occurs when an individual consumes food that is contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites.

The chances of getting food poisoning are higher during the summer months as the warmer weather promotes the growth of these organisms and increases the likelihood for contamination to occur.

According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, “Foodborne bacteria grow fastest at temperatures between 90 to 110 °F (32 to 43°C.)” In higher temperatures, food will produce the nutrients and moisture needed for pathogens (virus, bacteria and other microorganisms that cause disease) to flourish.  Some of the most common pathogens that cause food poisoning are Salmonella, Listeria, Toxoplasma, E. coli and norovirus.

In addition to warmer temperatures, summer provides us with more opportunities to cook outdoors. It is difficult to utilize food safety controls such as refrigeration, thermostat-controlled cooking and convenient facilities to wash our hands when cooking outside. These factors can further increase the risk of food contamination.

Food poisoning is preventable and there are several safety measures that can be exercised to reduce the risk of exposure. Dr. Asit Mehta, Gastrointestinal Specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center shares the following tips to prevent contamination:

  • Clean hands and food preparation stations often– It is important to wash your hands. Unclean hands can spread germs and cause foodborne illness. It is equally as important to keep the areas where you prepare food clean; germs can thrive on hard surfaces as well.
  • Cook food at proper temperatures- The USDA recommends that you cook the following meats and poultry until they reach these internal temperatures:

Poultry (whole, pieces & ground): 165 °F /74 °C

Ground meats: 160 °F /71 °C

Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts & chops): 145 °F /63 °C

  • Keep raw and cooked foods separate- Avoid cross contamination of food by wrapping raw meats and poultry separately during storage. Keep them away from other foods in coolers or similar storage devices. Do not place cooked meats on plates or other utensils that previously contained raw meat; unless they have been properly cleaned with soap and hot water.
  • Refrigerate perishables and leftovers promptly- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, “Germs can grow in many foods within 2 hours unless you refrigerate them. (During the summer heat, cut that time down to 1 hour.)”
  • Clean produce- Before cutting, preparing and serving produce, it is important to wash them.

Food poisoning is characterized by symptoms that include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps and nausea. Symptoms may take a few hours or days to present.  These symptoms typically run their course and go away on their own.  Your doctor will recommend that you keep hydrated, and may suggest that along with water, drink clear broths and non-caffeinated sport drinks.  Getting plenty of rest and avoiding foods that contain dairy, alcohol, caffeine, high concentration of fats and seasoning may also be recommended.  Before taking over the counter medications such as anti-diarrhea medicine, consult your doctor first.

Dr. Mehta advises, “If severe symptoms such as the following persist, see your physician right away”:

  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Diarrhea for more than three days
  • Frequent vomiting and the inability to keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, excessive thirst, severe abdominal cramps,  weak or no urination and dry mouth
  • Neurological symptoms such as tingling in the arms, blurry vision and weakness in muscles
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fever over 101.5 F

“Food poisoning can be very dangerous for the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Do not take symptoms lightly in these individuals and seek treatment immediately,” warns Dr. Mehta.

Gastroenterologists specialize in the treatment of gastrointestinal, liver, and pancreatic disorders, including colorectal cancer screenings. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Division of Gastroenterology consists of Board-Certified gastroenterologists who provide high quality and expert care to patients who suffer from such conditions in both inpatient and outpatient settings. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mehta or any our gastroenterologists, 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.

MediSys Launches A New Website

Recently the Medisys Health Network launched a website called “MedisysCares”.  This site highlights eight medical conditions that are commonly found in our community and include:
Breast Cancer
Cervical Cancer
Colon Cancer
Hepatitis B and C
Human Papilloma Virus
Lung Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Smoking Cessation

The objective of this website is to reduce the incidence of these diseases in our community by promoting healthy lifestyle choices and to encourage people with these health conditions to manage their healthcare through routine follow up and compliance.
The website can be found at http://www.medisyscares.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.

Tips for Healthy Summer Living

It is not unusual for people to ignore their weight and fitness goals during summer.  The season puts many in the state of mind to relax or let loose, often abandoning diet and exercise regimens once followed.

In the summer, we tend to have less time to work out because a good portion of our time is spent attending social obligations such as barbecues; where we typically eat and drink more than normal.

Additionally, we travel more and fast food often becomes our meal of choice because it is easy to grab and go. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many healthy fast food options.

Following these tips can help you to keep diet and fitness goals while enjoying the spoils of summer:

  • Reduce consumption of sugary drinks. Summer drinks such as lemonade or iced- tea are sometimes packed with large amounts of sugar.  If sugar calories are not burned by the body, they can be converted into fat.
  • Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. Did you know that having a pint of beer could be equivalent to having a slice of pepperoni pizza? Alcoholic beverages can be high in empty calories.  Moderating your alcohol consumption or having light versions of your favorite drink (also in moderation); can help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be mindful of your portions. When we are socializing we tend to eat more but paying attention to portion size can help reduce excessive consumption. Other helpful tips are eating before going to your event, as well as steering clear of foods that tempt you the most and opting for healthier choices.
  • Pack healthy meals to go. Packing healthy meals to go is easy. Grab items such as apples, nuts and yogurt that will easily fit in your bag.
  • Squeeze in exercise. There is the saying, “something is better than nothing.” This is true with exercise. A few minutes of exercise each day can offer many benefits to your health.  If it is too hot outside, doing simple activities such as dancing or jogging in place in your home can help you to stay active and manage your weight.

These guidelines can be helpful; however, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor if weight gain persists. Abnormal weight gain is at times an indicator of a more serious health issue.

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 Prevent Dehydration During the Summer Heat

With the summer and warmer weather upon us causing more and more people to begin to participate in outdoor activities. Before you begin, make sure you drink plenty of water in order to avoid dehydration. Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated:

  • The rule that you need to drink eight glasses of water per day is a myth. The Institute of Medicine recommends women should receive 2.2 liters of fluid intake per day and men should get three liters. Keep in mind that fluid intake can come from beverages other than water.
  • While thirst is your body’s way of preventing dehydration, being thirsty doesn’t mean that you are dehydrated. Thirst is our brain’s way of telling us to drink more to avoid dehydration.
  • The color of your urine is a good, real-time indicator of dehydration, but the misconception is that urine should be clear. In truth, urine should be a pale-yellow color.
  • Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or tea will not dehydrate you if consumed in moderate amounts. Caffeine is considered a mild diuretic, the amount of water in it offsets the amount of fluid it will cause you to lose through increased urination.
  • Drinking isn’t the only way of increasing your water intake. It is estimated that we get up to 20% of our daily water intake from the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables contain the most, with cucumbers, celery, and watermelon having the highest concentration of water.
  • There is also such a thing as drinking too much water and becoming overhydrated. This can be very dangerous and can lead to a condition called hyponatremia. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, and fatigue. To avoid this problem, do not drink to the point that you are full from water alone.

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.

Diabetes Prevention

Are you one of the estimated one in three adults in this country who have pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a silent health condition that has no symptoms and is almost always present before you develop type 2 diabetes.

It is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. If you haven’t visited your doctor, a good way to see if you are at increased risk for pre-diabetes is to take the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Diabetes risk test by visiting www.diabetes.org/risk.

Among those who should be screened for pre-diabetes include overweight adults age 45 and older or those under age 45 who are overweight and who have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Habitually physically inactive
  • Have previously been identified as having impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are members of certain ethnic groups (including Asian, African-American, Hispanic or Native American)
  • Have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Have elevated blood pressure
  • Have elevated cholesterol
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Have a history of vascular disease

That said, if you have pre-diabetes, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by a sustained modest weight loss and increased moderate-physical activity, such as walking 30 minutes a day.

Through weight loss and increased physical activity, a dietitian may direct you on how to make food choices that cut down on the amount of fat and carbohydrates by:

  • Eating more foods that are broiled and fewer foods that are fried
  • Decrease the amount of butter you use in cooking
  • Eat more fish and chicken
  • Eat more meatless meals
  • Re-Orient your meals to reflect more vegetables and fruit

If you have symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and blurred vision, you may have crossed from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center now offers a free and innovative approach to treat patients who are at risk for developing diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was developed by the National Institute of Health and is aimed at managing the health of individuals with either prediabetes or borderline diabetes.

These meetings are facilitated by “Lifestyle Coaches” who are specially trained and certified Jamaica Hospital Patient Navigators with strong interpersonal and group facilitation skills.For more information about eligibility or to sign up for the Diabetes Prevention Program, please call 718-206-7088.

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.