Spotlighting Jamaica Hospital’s Mobile Crisis Team

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we are highlighting the important work of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Mobile Crisis Program in our community.

Jamaica Hospital’s Mental Health Department operates the Mobile Crisis Program as part of its mental health emergency services. The program is the only one of its kind to serve our community and hospital, responding to mental health crisis referrals, 24/7, 365 days a year. Our providers rapidly provide in-person visits within two hours of receiving a referral.

The program is staffed by a team of dedicated mental health administrators, coordinators, and social workers who provide comprehensive crisis intervention, home-visit, repatriation, counseling, and support services to countless patients and families.

Jamaica Hospital’s mobile crisis team emphasizes compassion and empathy when delivering mental health care and support. Each care provider is highly trained to engage appropriately with individuals in crisis or those experiencing psychiatric emergencies. Our team serves a very diverse population; therefore, special attention is paid to the unique and cultural needs of each individual and loved one encountered.

The primary goal of the hospital’s mobile crisis program is to go above and beyond to offer assistance.  This goal is achieved by providing more support than average, which involves thorough follow-up care, and connecting individuals to social services and programs needed to improve their mental health and overall quality of life.

Jamaica Hospital’s Mobile Crisis Program aims to help individuals and families in our community by safely and compassionately engaging with those experiencing a mental health crisis, reducing unnecessary hospitalizations, and reducing the risk of future crises through the provision of continuous care.  Participation is voluntary; however, if it is determined that a person in crisis needs further psychiatric or medical assessment, arrangements may be made for them to be transported to a hospital psychiatric emergency room.

In New York City, you can request help from a mobile crisis team if you are concerned about a family member, friend, or acquaintance who is experiencing or is at risk of a mental health crisis. You can also request a team for yourself. To request a team, please call 988.

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 Effects of Stress on Our Health

Long-term or chronic stress can harm our mental and physical health.  When we are experiencing stress, the body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which if they persist at high levels can lead to adverse reactions including suppression of the digestive system and immune systems, elevation of blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and disruption in the processes of the brain that control mood, perception, and cognition.

Over time, these negative changes in our body may increase the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, depression, anxiety, and other health problems.  Furthermore, continued stress makes it more difficult to recover from these conditions.

Reducing or managing stress levels by learning to cope healthily can greatly improve your health and reduce the risk of certain diseases. Here are a few stress management techniques you can try:

  • Learn to identify stressors or triggers, and reduce or eliminate them
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, or meditation
  • Get the recommended amount of sleep
  • Practice good time management
  • Avoid harmful ways to cope with stress such as binge eating, drinking excessively, using illicit drugs, or smoking tobacco
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Connect with others

Practicing stress-reduction techniques is not a one-size-fits-all approach. If high levels of stress persist and you continue to feel overwhelmed, you may need additional support from a trained professional. A licensed therapist or mental health counselor can evaluate your mental and emotional health, and suggest a plan of treatment that can help you.

To schedule an appointment with a licensed mental health provider at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5575

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.

Insomnia

woman having difficulty sleeping Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep.  According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, It is estimated that 30% of adults living in the United States experience symptoms of insomnia.

Insomnia can be categorized into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary insomnia is not linked to any other health conditions. In contrast, secondary insomnia can be caused by underlying health conditions or medication side effects.

Symptoms of insomnia may vary and can last for a short time ( a few days or weeks), or they can be chronic occurring at least three times per week and lasting more than three months.   Insomnia symptoms can include:

  • Having a hard time falling asleep at night
  • Trouble staying asleep throughout the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Tiredness or sleepiness during the day
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings

Longterm sleep deprivation caused by severe or chronic insomnia can lead to the development of complications such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Stroke

Getting good quality sleep is crucial for our mental and physical health.  There are a few things that we can do to improve our quality of sleep. They include:

  • Setting and following a sleep schedule
  • Avoid using electronic devices before bed
  • Avoid eating heavy meals late in the day
  • Avoid the consumption of foods or beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine before bed

If you are experiencing long-term insomnia symptoms that are affecting your ability to do daily activities, you should speak with a doctor. A sleep specialist can conduct a series of tests to determine the cause of sleep deprivation and create a treatment plan.

To schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5916.

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.

Lupus: Triggers and Warning Signs

Lupus is a chronic disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s organs and tissues. The exact cause of lupus is unknown; however, it is believed that hormones, genetics, and environmental factors play a role.

Anyone can develop lupus, but some individuals may have a greater risk than others.  Those with a higher risk are:

  • Black people
  • Asian people
  • Hispanic people
  • People assigned female at birth
  • People with a family history of lupus

Symptoms of lupus range from mild to severe, and can include:

  • Joint pain
  • Butterfly rash
  • Mouth sores
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen glands
  • Inflammation in the brain
  • Blood clots
  • Hair loss

People living with lupus often experience periods when their symptoms worsen; this is known as a flare. Flares come and go and are often triggered by anything that causes stress to the body.  Common triggers may include:

  • Emotional stress
  • Pregnancy or giving birth
  • Infections
  • Surgery
  • Physical injuries
  • Viral illnesses
  • Severe exposure to ultraviolet rays
  • Exhaustion (being overworked or not getting enough rest)
  • Certain medications
  • Not taking lupus medications regularly

Lupus flares often have warning signs such as fever, swollen joints, fatigue, and other associated symptoms.  However, flares can also occur without symptoms. This is why individuals diagnosed with lupus must visit their doctor regularly to monitor their health.

The Lupus Center at Jamaica Hospital is staffed by highly trained rheumatologists. For more information about the Lupus Center or to make an appointment, please call (718) 206-9888.

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.

Sjogren’s Syndrome

Woman using eye drop, woman dropping eye lubricant to treat dry eye or allergy, sick woman treating eyeball irritation or inflammation woman suffering from irritated eye, optical symptomsSjögren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack and damage the glands that produce and control moisture in the body.

Sjögren’s is classified into two types: primary and secondary. In primary Sjögren’s, there are no other autoimmune diseases present. Secondary Sjögren’s is diagnosed in someone who also has other rheumatic conditions.

Parts of the body that are most affected by the disease are the eyes and mouth. However, the skin, joints, kidneys, nerves, lungs, and thyroid can also be impacted over time.

Dry eyes and mouth are the most common symptoms of Sjögren’s. But people living with the disease may also experience:

  • Tooth decay
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Dry skin
  • Skin rashes
  • Joint pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle pain
  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Shortness of breath
  • Light sensitivity

Health complications that could potentially develop as a result of  Sjögren’s include:

  • Lymphomas
  • Damage to the nervous system
  • Gastroparesis
  • Eye infections
  • Abnormal liver function
  • Irritable bowel
  • Yeast infections
  • Recurrent bronchitis

The cause of Sjögren’s syndrome is unknown. Research suggests that a combination of genetics, environment, and hormones may be linked. Certain factors can increase the risk of developing the disease.  These are:

  • Age – Sjögren’s is typically diagnosed in people older than 40
  • Gender- women are more likely than men to develop the disease
  • Rheumatic disease- having rheumatic conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Genetics- having one or both parents living with Sjögren’s

There is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome; however, there are several ways to treat and manage the disease. Treatment may include medication, the use of artificial saliva or tears, the use of special moisturizers or lubricants, hormone therapy, or tear duct surgery.  Applying lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, increasing fluid intake, wearing protective glasses, increasing the humidity in your home, and reducing stress can help you manage symptoms.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with Sjögren’s syndrome, please contact your doctor to schedule an examination. Your doctor may diagnose the disease by conducting blood tests, eye exams, x-rays, or biopsies.

To schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Breast Pain While Breastfeeding

It is common to experience discomfort while breastfeeding within the first few days after giving birth.  You may experience some pain, soreness, or tenderness of the breast or nipple. These problems should ease over time with proper care and breastfeeding techniques.

Continued pain or discomfort while breastfeeding is often indicative of a serious problem and should not be ignored. Pain is not a normal part of breastfeeding; therefore, you should try to investigate the cause or seek help from a lactation consultant.

One of the most common causes of nipple pain is an incorrect latch.  Check your baby’s latch to see if it is the cause of the problem. Signs of a good latch include the following:

  • The baby is positioned well against your body (The American Pregnancy Association recommends that babies be positioned tummy-to-tummy with you at all times. Babies’ heads should be tilted slightly back and their ears, shoulders, and hips in alignment)
  • The baby’s chin and nose are touching your breast
  • The baby has a large part of the lower portion of the areola in the mouth
  • The baby’s lips are turned out, like fish lips, and flat against the breast

Signs of a poor latch are:

  • Nipple pain
  • The baby is making clicking or smacking noises
  • The baby is sucking in their cheeks
  • The baby is showing signs of hunger after feeding

Additional causes for breast or nipple pain during breastfeeding are:

  • Mastitis or inflammation in the breast
  • Breast abscess
  • Clogged milk ducts
  • Engorgement
  • Thrush
  • Cracked nipples
  • Tongue-tie or the baby having a short frenulum

Breastfeeding should be enjoyable for mom and baby, and both should be comfortable. If you are experiencing breast or nipple pain, speak with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.  A lactation consultant can help parents and babies with breastfeeding challenges such as low milk supply, latching on, or other barriers to breastfeeding.

Making sure that you and your baby have the best start is one of our highest priorities. Breastfeeding your baby will help to provide a strong foundation for their health.  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center provides free breastfeeding/chestfeeding education classes. To learn more about or sign up for our classes, please email breastfeedingclasses@jhmc.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.

Meet Our Doctors: Dr. Benjamin Hartley

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is pleased to introduce the newest member of its neurosurgical team, neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Hartley.

Dr. Hartley was raised in Redmond, Oregon, and comes from a family of surgeons.  “My father and grandfather were both surgeons,” he shared. “Although they’ve inspired me to become a physician, my greatest motivation was being able to care for patients and communities who needed it most.”

Dr. Hartley brings extensive knowledge and expertise to complement a team of highly trained neurosurgeons at Jamaica Hospital. He received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and completed his residency at Weill-Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan Kettering. Dr. Hartley later went on to complete a fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at Northwell Health. “I chose neuroscience because it is the last great frontier of the life sciences, and I enjoy solving problems by using my hands,” he explained.

Years of intensive training and clinical experience have earned Dr. Hartley recognition as a top specialist. He specializes in treating brain tumors, skull base tumors, brain hemorrhages, hydrocephalus, and other conditions that affect the nervous system. Dr. Hartley utilizes advanced surgical techniques to achieve optimal patient outcomes.

According to Dr. Hartley, the best part of his job is working with an esteemed group of colleagues, and helping patients and families navigate challenging medical diagnoses.

Dr. Hartley’s dedication to medicine extends well beyond the walls of the hospital. He also commits his time to creating and supporting community initiatives that promote diversity in medicine. His proudest achievement is founding the PrIMES Mentorship program. The program supports undergraduate students from under-represented demographics interested in medicine by pairing them with physicians who serve as mentors.

Jamaica Hospital is proud to have a highly skilled and community-centric physician such as Dr. Hartley on its team.  He aims to offer the highest quality surgical treatments, compassionate care in and out of the operating room, and open lines of communication with patients and families at all times.

To schedule an appointment with a neurosurgeon at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, 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.

Q&A: What Should You Do If Your Medicine Is Recalled?

A drug recall is one of the most effective ways to protect the public from potentially harmful drugs.

Drug recalls are mostly voluntary and occur when a manufacturer decides to remove a drug from the market when there is reason to believe the product is mislabeled, contaminated, defective, or hazardous to a person’s health.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can also request a recall if multiple reports of adverse effects or problems have been received.

If your medicine has been recalled, the FDA recommends that you speak with your doctor right away to determine the best course of action for your health.  If your doctor advises that you stop taking the medication, you may be able to take it back to the store of purchase and request a refund.  Manufacturers may also provide contact information for product returns.

To keep up-to-date or find out more about drug recalls, you can visit the FDA’s website https://www.fda.gov/ and sign up for alerts.

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.

Meet Our Doctors: Dr. Amir Barkhodari

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is pleased to introduce you to board-certified rheumatologist, Dr. Amir Barkhodari.

Rheumatologists specialize in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal, autoimmune, and inflammatory (rheumatic) conditions.  Some of the most common diseases and conditions treated by rheumatologists are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Gout

Dr. Barkhodari is highly trained in his field. He attended medical school at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and completed a prestigious research fellowship at Stanford University. His extensive medical training is further defined by a residency at Jamaica Hospital and a fellowship at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Dr. Barkhodari is known among his peers for his sense of community.  His desire to help others began at an early age and led him to medicine.  He recalls, “As a kid growing up in Iran, I saw many people living with chronic and debilitating diseases, and I wanted to help them. I decided pursuing a career in medicine would help me to achieve this goal.”

As a rheumatologist, Dr. Barkhodari takes immense pride in providing high-quality care to his patients. He also believes it is equally as important to educate patients and communities about the need for early detection of rheumatic diseases such as lupus.

Early detection and treatment can minimize the risk of complications and improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with autoimmune conditions. “It is important to diagnose these conditions early and create a personalized treatment plan, unique to each patient’s needs.  This approach can help greatly with reducing chronic pain and avoiding complications such as organ failure,” he explained.

Jamaica Hospital serves a patient population in which autoimmune and rheumatic conditions are prevalent. Dr. Barkhodari hopes that his knowledge and experience as a rheumatologist will greatly benefit his patients and our community.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Barkhodari, 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.

Rumination

We have all had negative thoughts, and in most cases, that’s normal.  However, when negative thoughts become excessive and repetitive, this pattern of thinking may be cause for concern.

Rumination is a thought processing disorder that is characterized by obsessional thinking that involves repetitive, negative thinking, or dwelling on negative feelings that interfere with normal functioning.

Rumination is often described as a loop of negative thoughts. This cycle of negative thinking can contribute to the development of depression and anxiety or worsen already existing mental health disorders. Rumination can also affect a person’s sleep and physical health, as a result of stress.

People ruminate for several reasons. The American Psychological Association listed the following as common reasons why people may have ruminating thoughts. They:

  • Believe they are gaining insight into a problem.
  • Perceive they face constant, uncontrollable stressors.
  • Had traumatic experiences.
  • Possess personality characteristics such as perfectionism or neuroticism.
  • Have low self-esteem.

The first step to addressing rumination is recognizing that there is a problem.  If you realize that you are ruminating, you can try these tips to help break the cycle of negative thinking:

  • Distract yourself by doing activities that can disrupt negative thinking.
  • Identify triggers that you can or can’t change.
  • Learn how to set realistic expectations.
  • Work on improving self-esteem.
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Practice positive affirmations

Lastly, if ruminating thoughts persist and are interfering with your life, try seeking assistance from a mental health professional.

The most common therapy used to address rumination is rumination-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on redirecting a person’s thought process and improving coping skills.

To schedule an appointment with a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5575.

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.