The Great American Smokeout

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

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

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

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

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

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

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Mako SmartRobotics Surgical Platform At Jamaica Hospital

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is proud to introduce the innovative Mako SmartRobotics surgical platform to our Department of Orthopedic Surgery. This state-of-the-art advancement in joint replacement surgery transforms the way total knee, partial knee, and total hip replacements are performed, resulting in better outcomes for our patients.

Mako SmartRobotics uses 3D CT-based planning. To get a detailed three-dimensional model of the surgical area prior to surgery. This allows the surgeon to receive the most accurate images of the joint and surrounding area.  “Through the use of 3D-CT-based planning, we know more about my patients prior to surgery than ever before. This increased knowledge allows our surgeons to make fewer and smaller incisions, resulting in less soft tissue damage for some patients or greater bone preservation for others.” stated Dr. Sanjit Konda, Chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at Jamaica Hospital “Mako’s 3D CT provides me the opportunity to create a personalized plan based on each patient’s unique anatomy before entering the operating room. During surgery, we can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic arm to execute that plan. It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology across the joint replacement service line.”

According to the American Joint Replacement Registry, over 2.2 million hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States every year and those numbers are projected to increase. The most common reasons someone receives either hip or knee replacement surgery include joint destruction due to arthritis, wear and tear, or a fracture due to injury.  Unfortunately, the increase in joint replacement procedures coincides with a growing number of patients dissatisfied with the results of conventional hip and knee replacement surgery. Some of the most common complaints shared by patients are high levels of pain, increased hospital length of stay, a long rehabilitation process, and restricted flexibility. The Mako SmartRobotics surgical system addresses these issues as patients have reported experiencing less pain, less need for inpatient physical rehabilitation, shorter hospital stays, greater flexibility, and greater soft tissue protection.

The addition of the Mako system is the latest advancement for the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Jamaica Hospital. “We are proud to offer this highly advanced SmartRobotics technology in our area,” said Dr Konda. “This addition to our orthopedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to provide our community with the highest quality care.”

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What is RSV?

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) is a respiratory illness that is typically most prevalent during the fall, winter, and early spring seasons. Most children born in the United States will have experienced it at some point before their second birthday.

The virus often presents symptoms similar to those of a cold, including a runny nose, coughing or wheezing, fever, and decreased appetite. These symptoms usually appear approximately four to six days after infection, but may not appear all at once.

While it usually does not lead to hospitalization, RSV can be particularly dangerous to children if it causes bronchiolitis or pneumonia to develop; it’s the most common cause of both of these illnesses in children under the age of one. If an infant develops either of these conditions, becomes dehydrated, or experiences significant difficulty breathing, the situation could become more serious and require hospital care.

RSV can also be especially dangerous for older adults, accounting for approximately 177,000 hospitalizations in adults over the age of 65.

The virus is usually spread through:

  • Bodily fluids such as mucus, saliva, or droplets
  • Surfaces that have the virus on them
  • Direct contact such as kissing an infected person

The best way to decrease the risk of an older adult or infant developing RSV is to prevent as many means of transmission as possible and promptly get them medical care if their symptoms seem to be worsening.

People and children who are at risk of developing severe cases of RSV should:

  • Avoid close contact with infected people and, if possible, close-contact settings such as daycare centers where RSV can more easily spread
  • Frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and refrain from touching their face until after they’ve done so

If you are sick with RSV, you should:

  • Avoid close contact with non-infected people
  • Frequently clean surfaces you’ve touched with disinfectant
  • Wear a mask and/or cover coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds

If you or someone you know has developed RSV symptoms that require medical attention, you can schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling (718) 206-7001 now.

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.

Foods That Are Rich in Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacterial organisms that can be consumed as dietary supplements and are also found in certain food items.  They are considered to be good bacteria that can lessen the symptoms of a variety of bowel disorders. Probiotics may improve digestive health, reduce depression, and promote heart health.

Foods that are rich in probiotics are:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Sourdough bread
  • Tempeh
  • Kimichi
  • Miso
  • Pickles
  • Traditional buttermilk
  • Natto
  • Some types of cheeses (Edam, Cheddar, Gouda, Provolone, Swiss)

Probiotics are beneficial and generally very safe to consume; however, as with any supplements, speak to your physician first before taking a probiotic in supplement form.

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 Shines on Andres Parra

This month, we are proud to shine our Employee Spotlight on Andres Parra, Reception and Information Desk supervisor.  Andres began his career at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center eight years ago. He is a native of the Borough of Queens, having grown up in East Elmhurst and still resides in the borough.

Andres attended P.S. 148, John Bowne High School and received his BA in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He likes to go to art exhibits, museums, art galleries, concerts, and restaurants. He also enjoys photography. Andres tells us that his favorite types of food are Asian and Latin. Some of the places that he has travelled to are the Dominican Republic and to see family in Miami and Colombia. He is a huge fan of baseball, football, soccer and Formula 1 auto racing.  Andres was a DJ for 16 years and has an extensive knowledge of music. The genres he likes most are Latin, hip-hop, rock and house music.

Andres enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital because it gives him an opportunity to help patients and visitors on a daily basis. He takes great pride in knowing that his colleagues at the front desk are the face of the hospital as they are often the first encounter people have when they visit the building. Andres’ team stives to provide excellent customer service to the community.

We are very happy to have Andres as a member of our team and look forward to having him continue with us for many more years.

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.

Allergic Asthma Testing and Management

Allergic asthma, or allergy-induced asthma, is a type of asthma that is triggered or made worse by allergies. Exposure to allergens (e.g., pollen, dander, mold, etc.) or irritants to which patients are sensitized may increase asthma symptoms and precipitate asthma exacerbations in patients who have asthma. Asthma and allergies often go hand in hand. In fact, up to 90 percent of children and 60 percent of adults with asthma suffer from allergies

With allergic asthma, medical history is often not enough to make an accurate allergy diagnosis. For example, a patient can present with a history indicative of house dust mite or cat allergy but actually not be sensitized. Identifying and reducing exposure to allergens to which patients are sensitized can reduce the risk of induced asthma exacerbations, particularly in the case of house dust mite sensitization.

It is also important to identify and treat other allergic conditions. For example, both allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis are risk factors for the development of asthma. More than 80 percent of people with asthma also suffer from rhinitis, suggesting the concept of “one airway, one disease.” The presence of allergic rhinitis commonly exacerbates asthma, increasing the risk of asthma attacks, emergency visits, and hospitalizations for asthma.

A blood test—together with an allergy-focused medical history—may help identify underlying allergen triggers.  A specific IgE test is a powerful allergy diagnostic tool that measures the concentration of specific IgE antibodies in the blood. It can test for hundreds of allergic triggers, such as pollen, mold, food, and animal dander.

To schedule a blood test with a Family Medicine doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call (718) 206-6942.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What is Osteoarthritis ?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, currently affecting  over 32 million Americans. This form of arthritis is known as the “wear and tear” disease because while it can affect almost any joint, it most commonly affects the joints in the knees, hips, hands, and spine that are subject to the most amount of movement. Women tend to be affected by osteoarthritis more often than men.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage, which is the slippery tissue which cushions your bones when they rub against one another deteriorates over time due to weight, stress, injuries or genetic factors. When this happens, people with osteoarthritis will experience a variety of issues including::

  • Joint pain
  • Joint Deformity
  • Decrease in joint mobility
  • Swelling of a joint
  • Joint crackling

Diagnosing osteoarthritis can be performed by taking an x-ray, a magnetic resonance image (MRI), and physical manipulation of the joint. Examining the joint fluid can help differentiate osteoarthritis from other types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis may not be able to be completely avoided but there are ways to slow down its progress and to treat it. Measures to minimize osteoarthritis include:

  • Keeping active
  • Maintaining a proper weight
  • Participating in physical therapy
  • Taking medications to reduce symptoms such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Applying transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Receiving cortisone injections into the joint
  • Receiving injections of hyaluronic acid
  • Having Joint replacement procedures

If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis, speak with your physician to discuss what treatment option is best for you. If  you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

A Delicious Fall Recipe

Today is the first day of Fall and a perfect time to prepare a delicious butternut squash casserole to welcome in the season. Here is a recipe from delish.com made with butternut squash. https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a40509027/butternut-squash-casserole-recipe/

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 Cholesterol Education Month

September is designated as National Cholesterol Education Month. The importance of this designation is to bring awareness of the health risks associated with high cholesterol.  

One of the major conditions associated with high cholesterol is heart disease, a leading cause of death in the United States. People who have high levels of cholesterol are twice as likely to have heart disease than those who have levels in the normal range.

The liver produces two types of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). When the level of LDL cholesterol, also known as the “bad” cholesterol is too high we can develop health problems such as peripheral vascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney failure, and heart attack. We can reduce our risk of complications by making lifestyle changes.

Ways to reduce “bad” cholesterol LDL and raise HDL “good”  cholesterol include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid saturated fats and trans fats such as fried food, pizza, margarine and pastries
  • Eat foods with unsaturated fats including olive oil, olives, nuts such as almonds, cashews, macadamia, pecans and canola oil
  • Eat foods with polyunsaturated fat containing Omega-3 fatty acids including salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna
  • Eat high fiber foods such as fruits, beans, oat cereal
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Use Psyllium as a dietary supplement

There are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol, so the only way to assess it is through a blood test. It is recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to have cholesterol level in the blood checked every five years after the age of 20 and it should be a part of your annual physical as you get older. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

Meet Our Doctors: Dr. Elizabeth Fontana

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is proud to introduce the newest member of our medical team: Dr. Elizabeth Fontana, a neurosurgery specialist, and Trauma Liaison. Neurosurgery includes the surgical treatment of conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, or any other parts of the nervous system.

“Neurosurgery is a job that is interesting, different, rewarding, and challenging every single day,” said Dr. Fontana. “I am always learning from colleagues and patients. It is a privilege to be able to practice medicine in this field.” She also has a particular interest in brain tumors and the field of oncology in general.

As Trauma Liaison, Dr. Fontana works with Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma service, the busiest in New York City and one that consists of a team of highly-trained surgeons who provide life-saving treatment to critically-injured patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dr. Fontana grew up in a small town west of Boston, where she attended public school before studying at Harvard. Later, she moved to New York City for medical school, completing both her studies and residency at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and spending a year in Seattle to complete her fellowship in tumor treatment.

Before joining Jamaica Hospital, Dr. Fontana worked for Northwell Health on Long Island but came to work here because she recognized it as an exciting opportunity to participate in the growth and development of our neurosurgical program.

“The neurosurgery department is relatively new, but has made really great strides in the past few years,” said Dr. Fontana. “The administration has been extremely supportive of this growth effort, and I felt like it was a place where I would really be able to contribute to the development of the neurosurgical program and provide valuable services to this community.”

You can schedule an appointment with a specialist at Jamaica Hospital’s Division of Neurosurgery for diagnosis and treatment by calling (718) 206-7110.

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.