This Month We Shine Our Employee Spotlight on Joel Louis

This month we shine our Employee Spotlight on Joel Louis a security officer at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center

Joel Louis has been a security officer at Jamaica Hospital for five years. He was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. After graduating in the early 1990’s with a Master’s Degree in fashion from the Mercy Jaquez School in the Dominican Republic he decided he wanted to come to the United States to pursue career opportunities.

Joel comes from a very tight knit family. He enjoys spending time with them, especially his son who he considers to be a miracle child because of how difficult it was for his wife to conceive. In his free time he enjoys drawing and sewing. He enjoys dining out, going to see movies that are comedies and when possible, going to fashion events. He also hopes to complete the book he is writing which he entitled “Reason to Live”.

Joel currently resides in Richmond Hill which he likes because it feels like a nice community. Working at Jamaica Hospital also feels like a community to him and he takes pride in contributing to its well-being by keeping everyone safe.  As part of his goal to ensure the safety of others, Joel made over 2,000 masks which he donated to healthcare facilities including ours. He looks forward to many more years at the hospital and we are happy to shine the spotlight on him this month.

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.

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The month of September has been designated as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month to bring attention to this very common form of cancer that affects so many men. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in men and is the second leading cancer related cause of death in men. Although it is not known exactly what causes prostate cancer some risk factors for developing it are:

  •  Older age (more than 65% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men older than 65)
  • Race (African-American men are 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men)
  • Family history (having a father or brother with prostate cancer)
  • Obesity

The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system that produces a fluid that mixes with sperm and other fluids during ejaculation. It sits just below the bladder and is normally about the side of a walnut.

Prostate cancer, especially in its early stages, may not have any symptoms. When symptoms are present they may include difficulty starting urination, less force to the stream of urine, dribbling at the end of urination, needing to urinate frequently, urinating frequently at night, pain while urinating, blood in the urine or semen, difficulty starting or maintaining an erection, pain with ejaculation, pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis and upper thighs, or unintended weight loss.

When screening is done there are two tests that are available. The available tests are a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.  To perform a digital rectal exam your doctor uses a gloved finger, inserted a few inches into your rectum, to check your prostate gland.  A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in your blood.  Many men who have prostate cancer have elevated levels of PSA, however PSA can also be elevated for less serious causes such as prostate enlargement or infection.

Further testing is needed to diagnose cancer. Additional tests that your doctor may recommend to diagnose cancer include an ultrasound of the prostate and a biopsy of the prostate.  A biopsy is when a small piece of the prostate is removed to look for abnormal cells.

Treatment of prostate cancer depends on many factors including your age, your overall health and the growth and spread of the cancer when it is diagnosed. Some men who have slow growing tumors may not need treatment right away and some may never need treatment.  Other types of prostate cancer are aggressive and can quickly spread to other parts of the body making treatment difficult.  Common treatment options include watchful waiting or expectant management (regular testing and checkups to assess for new signs or symptoms), radiation therapy (high-energy x-rays used to kill cancer cells), chemotherapy, surgery (having the prostate gland removed) and hormone therapy.

To schedule an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital to discuss a prostate cancer screening, 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.

Could Stress Be Causing You Crisis Fatigue ?

Crisis fatigue can be defined as how a person reacts to long term stress with feelings of being very tired or numbness to the world around them.

The events of the past few months have caused many of us overwhelming emotions which include depression, sadness, anxiety, and fear. The body’s response to stressful circumstances is to produce the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. When stressful circumstances persist for long periods of time, these higher level of these hormones can lead to depression, anxiety, weight gain, bone loss or high blood pressure. In some cases crisis fatigue can lead to substance abuse, alcoholism and suicidal thoughts.

The signs and symptoms of crisis fatigue include:

  • Increased irritability
  • Excessive emotional responses
  • Lack of sleep
  • Changes in normal routines
  • Changes in appetite

Some of the ways a person can cope during these uncertain times is to learn how to reduce the level of stress in their life by:

  • Reducing the amount of time spent on social media
  • Limiting exposure to news reports
  • Spending more time with family and friends
  • Practicing meditation and yoga
  • Finding activities that are calming like reading, listening to music, and crafts

It isn’t always easy to cope with stressful situations without professional help. If you are experiencing any long term effects, you may benefit by speaking to a mental health professional. You can schedule an appointment with a trained professional at Jamaica Hospital by calling 718-206-7160.

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 Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – an observance that coincides with the return of children to the classroom. This convergence of events leads many parents to ask one question, “how can I ensure that my child receives a nutritious diet now that they are back in school?”

Obesity rates among children have tripled over the past three decades. It’s now estimated that  approximately 18% of children living in the United States are classified as obese. It is also estimated that children who are obese are ten times more likely to become obese as adults than other children. Since most children consume half of their daily caloric intake while in school, concentrating on providing them with a healthy and balanced diet while they are there is essential in the battle against obesity.

For many parents, the decision of whether to pack lunch from home or buy lunch from school is a difficult one. Some parents question the nutritional value of school lunches. Parents who have this concern should know that in recent years, schools have implemented new standards for the nutritional value of meals to align with U.S. dietary guidelines. Processed lunches that used to be high in fat, sugar, and sodium have been replaced with meals that meet or exceed national standards. School meals now also feature a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low or fat-free milk.

For those who still opt to pack their child’s lunch, they can improve their child’s diet and reduce their chances of becoming obese by following some simple tips:

  • Choose whole wheat breads instead of white bread when making sandwiches
  • Use fresh fruits instead of canned or processed alternatives
  • Fill a sandwich bag with something other than a sandwich. There are many other food options for your kids to snack on, such as carrots, nuts, granola, or raisins.
  • Initiate a salad day. Prepare the basics the night before and have your child choose some toppings including sliced chicken or turkey or low-fat cheese.
  • Introduce wraps as an option to a boring old sandwich. Give it extra flavor by coating with a low-fat spread and fill it with lettuce and protein.  You can cut the wrap into pinwheel slices for fun.
  • Invest in a thermos and fill it up with mac and cheese or your child’s favorite soup, stew or pasta.
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water instead of sugary juice boxes or soda. Sugary drinks are considered one of the leading causes of childhood obesity.

Whether your child buys or packs lunch, it’s important to stay involved. Talk to them about what food choices they made and discuss the many benefits eating a healthy diet has on both their mind and body.

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.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a condition that is characterized by raised, red scaly patches. It is  often found on the scalp, knees and elbows, but can show up on other parts of the body as well of people who have the disease. The exact cause is not known but there is a correlation between genetics and also the body’s immune system. Psoriasis is a condition where the skin cells multiply at a faster rate than normal cells. This causes a buildup up skin lesions and the area of the body also feels warmer because it contains more blood vessels.   

Psoriasis is not contagious so it does not get passed by coming in to contact with a person who has it. It is a condition that affects men and women equally and  it can develop at any age, most commonly between the ages of 15 and 35.

Common signs of psoriasis include:

  • red patches of skin with thick silvery scales
  • cracked and dry skin that may bleed
  • stiff joints that may be swollen
  • itching, burning and soreness
  • nails that are pitted, thick and ridged

There are certain risk factors for developing psoriasis.  This includes stress, smoking, obesity, alcoholism, skin infections, a vitamin D deficiency, and a family history. Psoriasis is diagnosed by examining the skin and making a diagnosis. A dermatologist will be able to determine if it is psoriasis by the amount of thickness and redness it has. There are different types of psoriasis and they are classified by how they show up on the skin.

There are three ways that treatment for psoriasis can be approached. They can be used by themselves or together, depending on the severity. Topical creams and ointments that contain corticosteroids are usually the most commonly prescribed medications for mild to moderate conditions. Light therapy that is either natural or artificial ultraviolet light  can be used and it is directed at the area of the body that is affected. In severe cases, medications that are either injected or taken orally may be required. There are also alternative treatments that are being used and this includes Aloe vera which comes from a plant and   omega-3 fatty acids that comes from fish oils.

Depending on the severity of the disease, it may have an impact on a person’s quality of life. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital for any type of skin condition, 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.

Tips For The Hurricane Season

While we typically associate the summer with delightful temperatures, this time of year can also bring dangerous weather conditions, namely hurricanes.

With a long history of providing relief to places previously devastated by hurricanes, including sending personnel to assist the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Maria, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is experienced and knowledgeable about how to properly prepare for such an event. Our hospital would like to share the following safety tips with our community:

  • In case of a need to evacuate, know where the nearest evacuation route is located
  • Keep a supply of non-perishable food that doesn’t require refrigeration or cooking
  • In an easy to locate area of your home keep flashlights, extra batteries, extra cash, a first aid kit, basic tools, charged cell phones and chargers, and a battery operated radio
  • Make sure you have a seven day supply of prescription medications
  • Have a three day supply of drinking water, one gallon per day per person.
  • Fill a bathtub with water to use to flush toilets
  • Make sure that all of your important documents are kept in a place that is high above ground level. Always keep a copy of these documents with you if there is a need to evacuate
  • Give everyone in your household a list of people they should contact in case of an emergency
  • Have a plan to protect your pets and have extra food for them
  • Prepare to put outdoor furniture away or at least firmly secured

By being prepared and following these tips, you can help keep your home and your loved ones safe from disaster.

For more information, please visit https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes and www.fema.gov

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.

Keeping Kids Busy During These Challenging Times

During these last few months, with schools closed and social distancing rules in place, it has proven to be very challenging to keep children occupied.

Here are some suggestions that you may find helpful for keeping children occupied based on their age.

Younger children:

  • Go on scavenger hunts around your neighborhood
  • Put painters tape on the floor and make a maze for toy trucks to follow
  • Take a whiteboard or pieces of paper and let your child write a story
  • Make hand puppets with socks and tell stories
  • Plant seeds in paper cups and watch them grow
  • Build a fort with a sheet

Older children :

  • Go on virtual tours of interesting places around the world.
  • Bake cookies
  • Use the internet to learn new skills or to learn how to play an instrument
  • Write letters to people in nursing homes
  • Play board games

While trying new and innovative ways to occupy their time can be difficult at times, there are many benefits. These activities can stimulate them mentally and physically and help them to avoid boredom and depression. There are also many resources on the internet that will help you to find activities that suit everyone’s interests.

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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 Importance of Getting a Bone Density Screening

A bone density test is a type of x-ray that measures the concentration of calcium and other minerals in the bones. This test is most commonly performed to evaluate a patient for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to lose density and become easy to break or fracture.

Some people are more at risk for developing osteoporosis than others. Risk factors include:

  • Age – Older people tend to have a greater incidence of osteoporosis
  • Race – Caucasians and Asians are typically more prone to bone density issues
  • Gender – Women experience bone loss more frequently than men
  • Dietary factors – People who have a low intake of calcium are at greater risk
  • Medications – People with a long term use of injectable steroids have bone loss issues
  • Smoking – People who smoke tend to lose bone mass at a faster rate than non-smokers
  • Family history – There is a correlation of osteoporosis and hereditary factors

Symptoms of the disease are:

  • Loss of height over a period of time
  • Back pain
  • Bones that break more easily than expected
  • A stooped posture

For those who are presenting symptoms or have a higher chance of developing osteoporosis, a doctor may recommend testing to assess the density of their bones.

Bone density screenings are non-invasive, painless, and use low amounts of x-rays. The results of the test will indicate whether or not you need to take medication that will help to maintain your bone density or make changes in your lifestyle and diet to prevent bone loss.

If you would like to schedule a bone density screening at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, ask your physician for a referral to have it performed. You can schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital by calling 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.

Heart Disease and Hot Weather

Summertime heat affects everyone, but for people who suffer from heart disease, it can be life threatening. Activities that are performed when the weather is mild may not have much risk associated with them but once the temperature rises they can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People with heart disease are very susceptible to extreme weather conditions.

When we are exposed to the heat, our bodies respond by sweating, which is the body’s way to maintain a normal temperature. . Heat as well as the body’s response to it, leads to enlarged blood vessels, lower blood pressure and higher heart rate. This combination can cause people with heart problems to serious problems due to the stress on the cardiovascular system. If the heart is already weakened it may not be able to pump blood effectively and keep the blood pressure at a high enough level. This can lead to an overheating of the body. Some medications that are prescribed for heart patients also lower the heart rate, which can be compounded during the hot weather.

Some helpful tips for people with heart disease in the hot weather are:

  • Stay out of the heat during the middle of the day
  • Wear clothing that is loose fitting and light
  • Do not perform strenuous activities in hot weather
  • Keep hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Stay indoors in an air conditioned environment

Discuss with your physician ways to stay healthy during the hot summer months. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6742.

Jamaica  Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/to-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.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has designated June as Cataract Awareness Month. The purpose of this designation is to help educate the public on what cataracts are and how to treat them once they are diagnosed.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye. This will result in blurry vision, and since less light is being transmitted, objects will appear darker as well.

Cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness; therefore, it is important that you do not delay treatment.

It is estimated that 25 million people in the United States age 40 and older will be diagnosed with a cataract, and by the time people reach the age of 80, more than half of the population of the United States will be affected with the disease.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Hereditary factors
  • Prior eye injuries

Cataracts are classified by what causes them. Age is the biggest factor, followed by eye trauma, congenital causes and secondary to taking certain medications like steroids.

There are a few ways to lower the risk of developing cataracts, but they may not be completely successful. 

  • Wearing sunglasses when outdoors
  • A diet rich in vitamin C foods
  • Avoiding smoking

Treatment for cataracts involves a surgical procedure which removes the old lens of the eye  and replacing it with a synthetic one. It is a very common procedure and considered relatively safe. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-5900.

Jamaica  Hospital Medical Center has reopened many of its healthcare services. To learn about the safety measures the hospital has taken to protect your health, please visit https://jamaicahospital.org/to-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.