Jamaica Hospital’s Patient Navigation Department

The goal of the Patient Navigation department is to act as a liaison between the MediSys Health Care System and the patient. Navigators work with providers to assist patients with chronic conditions and identify barriers to care while helping patients overcome them. As Qualified Medical Interpreters, Navigators help to eliminate the language barrier and act as cultural brokers between patients and providers. Patient Navigators receive extensive training to be able to provide health education for patients with diabetes, hypertension, asthma, lactation concerns and looking to cease smoking.

The Navigators have spearheaded many community outreach efforts throughout our MediSys clinics like highlighting Asthma Care and treatment to our patients with a series of Asthma Day events. As well as making a presence at the Farmers Market during the 2018 and 2019 seasons and at Jamaica Hospital’s End of Year Health Fair & Employee Wellness Day, these served to inform the community about smoking cessation resources, including hospital and state initiatives to help persons quit smoking and meet their health goals.

In an effort to improve our patients’ health outcomes, the Patient Navigation department is tasked with contacting our patients to assist them in scheduling and completing essential services, among other things preventative screenings (Colon, Breast & Cervical Cancer screenings, HIV tests), specialty visits (Podiatry, Ophthalmology, Gynecology), assessments (Care of Older Adults, Asthma Action Plans) lab test and wellness check-ups.

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 Dr. Sophia Jagroop

Colonoscopy in Queens New York Jamaica Hospital would like to introduce Dr. Sophia Jagroop to the community.

Dr. Jagroop has been with Jamaica Hospital for two years and is the Director of Endoscopy.

In addition to performing many of the standard gastrointestinal procedures, such as endoscopies and colonoscopies, Dr. Jagroop’s training allows her to perform advanced endoscopic procedures.

These procedures include Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), a minimally invasive procedure to assess the digestive tract and surrounding organs and Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a procedure to examine the pancreatic and bile ducts.

Dr. Jagroop is very excited to be practicing medicine at Jamaica Hospital, as she is very familiar with the community. “I grew up in the community as my father is also a doctor and his office is in Richmond Hill. I understand and can relate to the healthcare needs of the community and I’m happy to be able to offer them these advanced services that patients would have otherwise need to travel out of Queens to receive.”

Dr. Jagroop treats patients at 134-20 Jamaica Avenue. To schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-8755.

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 Lauren Banner, RN

This month we are proud to shine our Employee Spotlight on Lauren Banner, RN. Lauren started her career at Jamaica Hospital nine years ago as a registrar in the Emergency Department and upon completion of her nursing degree she joined the Nursing Department, where she is currently  assigned to the surgical and orthopedic unit on 3 North.

Lauren grew up in Franklin Square and graduated from Carey High School. She obtained her RN from Nassau Community College and then her BS in Nursing from the Chamberlin School of Nursing. She currently lives in Queens with her 15 month old daughter Ariella, her fiancé, and  her two year old Shitzu Yorkie mix named Harley.

Lauren has a special connection to Jamaica Hospital. Her mother Donna has worked at the hospital for many years and several of her mother’s colleagues have known her since she was a little girl. There is also another connection to nursing in her family. Her brother recently graduated from nursing school.

In her free time Lauren enjoys going out to eat, especially to Mexican and Italian restaurants, and she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Lauren maintains a very close relationship with many of her high school friends and enjoys getting together with them as often as possible. She enjoys all kinds of music, especially oldies, hip-hop, and country.

Lauren really enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital and especially on her unit. She says that they all work together really well and that it feels like they area family. Lauren intends to stay at Jamaica Hospital for a long time and we hope she does.

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 Offers Sleep Study Testing In the Comfort Of Your Home

 

It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed.

One of the reasons for this is the diagnosis process. Sleep studies are typically performed in a sleep lab, which requires an overnight stay. Spending a night outside the comforts of your own home and being observed by others while you sleep is enough reason for many individuals to skip having this potentially very dangerous condition diagnosed and treated.

To alleviate this concern, Jamaica Hospital now offers accurate home sleep studies to diagnose sleep apnea. To conduct a home sleep study, patients simply come to Jamaica Hospital’s Sleep Center and receive a portable, easy to use take-home sleep kit, which includes a monitor, leads, bands, pulse oximeter, and nasal cannula. Before taking the kit home, the staff at Jamaica Hospital’s Sleep Center provides a detailed orientation on how to use the device.

After conducting your sleep apnea diagnosis test in the comfort of your own home, you return the kit the next day.  The information gathered from the home kit is downloadable and the results are available within days, as opposed to the long waiting time typically associated with sleep lab studies, which is a major benefit to those who need immediate results.

Another benefit of conducting a home sleep apnea test is appointment availability. While most lab-based sleep tests involve a long waiting period to get an appointment, take home sleep kits are usually readily available. According to Ruth Mompoint, Director of Jamaica Hospital’s Sleep Lab, “The demand for home sleep studies has been so strong, we recently had to order additional kits to meet the growing demand.”

If obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed, further lab-based studies may be required to determine the correct course of treatment.

For more information about Jamaica Hospital’s home sleep studies, 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.

Difficulty Swallowing Food? Learn the Facts About Dysphagia

 

Swallowing is a function of our body that we do every day and give very little thought as to how it is achieved. We consider it to be a simple accomplishment, but in fact, it is very complex and involves the coordination of the brain, nerves, and muscles in mouth, pharynx and esophagus.

Jamaica Hospital's Division of Gastroenterology can help diagnose and treat people with swallowing disorders

For some however, swallowing can become difficult or even impossible. This may be due to a range of diseases, commonly referred to as dysphagia. This category of health conditions can become a serious problem that requires medical attention.

There are generally two different types of dysphagia.

  • Esophageal dysphagia – This refers to the sensation of food getting stuck in the base of your throat or chest after you’ve started to swallow. This type of dysphagia can be caused by a number of issues, including a narrowing of the esophagus due to tumors or scarring, poorly coordinated contractions or spasms in the esophagus, or the lower esophageal muscle not allowing food to enter the stomach.
  • Oropharyngeal dysphagia – This focuses on swallowing issues that involve the process of moving food from the mouth to the throat when you begin to swallow. Causes for this type of dysphagia are often related to neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, or Parkinson’s disease. It can also occur after sudden neurological damage from a stroke or spinal cord injury.

Swallowing problems can occur at any age, but they are more common in older adults. Symptoms include:

  • Having pain while swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Being hoarse
  • Regurgitating food
  • Having frequent heartburn
  • Having food or stomach acid back up into your throat
  • Losing weight without explanation
  • Coughing or gagging when swallowing

In addition to the constant risk of choking, dysphagia can also introduce bacteria into the lungs when food enters the airway, leading to aspiration pneumonia. Other complications from dysphagia include malnutrition, weight loss and dehydration.

Treatment for dysphagia depends on the underlying cause. On some occasions the condition can be managed easily while complex swallowing problems may require treatment by a specialist.

Those with swallowing problems can do many things to manage their condition, including sitting upright or standing while eating and for 15 minutes after eating, cutting up food into small pieces, eating slowly, and drinking plenty of fluids while eating.

To make an an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital’s Division of Gastroenterology, 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.

Heart Murmurs

heartmurmur, heartdisease, calcification, heartcondition, lubdub, swishingwhooshing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Heart murmurs are sounds during your heartbeat cycle made by turbulent blood in or near your heart.”

While using a stethoscope to listen to your heart, your doctor may hear a ‘swishing’ or ‘whooshing’ sound instead of the ‘lub-dub’ sound that a normal heart makes.  This slight change in the sound of your heart may mean you have a heart murmur.

Often times, murmurs can be identified at the time of birth or they may develop later in life.  Although they are harmless and do not need treatment, they may be an indication of an underlying issue with the heart such as endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of the heart) or valve calcification (a hardening or thickening of the valves in the heart).

If you have what is referred to as a “harmless” heart murmur, you won’t experience any symptoms at all.  If it is an abnormal heart murmur caused an underlying medical condition, the symptoms are:

  • Skin that appears blue, especially on your fingertips and lips
  • Swelling or sudden weight gain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic cough
  • Enlarged liver
  • Enlarged neck veins
  • Poor appetite and failure to grow normally (in infants)
  • Heavy sweating with minimal or no exertion
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Heart murmurs can be genetic.  Having blood relatives with a heart defect, puts you at greater risk of a murmur.  Additionally, medical conditions such as hypertension, hyperthyroidism, and pulmonary hypertension can increase your risk of a heart murmur.

In adults, a heart murmur may improve once the underlying medical condition is addressed. In children, murmurs may go away on their own as the child matures.

If you have or are at risk of getting a heart murmur and would like to speak with a cardiologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, call 718-206-6742 to schedule an appointment.

 

 

 

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.

Smoking Cessation Medications and Therapies

Smoking Cessation Program in QueensSmoking damages almost every part of the body. Along with nicotine, cigarettes contain tar and carbon monoxide which are linked to an increased risk of dementia, gum disease, heart attacks, stroke, lung disease, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, erectile dysfunction, diabetes and infections- just to name a few.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps to reducing the risks of developing these conditions and achieving better health; however, doing so can be difficult.   Eighty percent of smokers who attempt to quit on their own smoke again within the first month. This is because the nicotine found in tobacco products is addicting.

When the smoke from a cigarette is inhaled, nicotine is carried into the lungs and within 10 seconds reaches the brain. In response, the brain releases dopamine, a substance that induces feelings of pleasure. However, the effects of nicotine disappear within a few minutes which make people feel the need to continually smoke throughout the day.

Additionally, smoking often becomes a habit that is linked to social situations or emotions. For example, smokers may need a cigarette after a meal, when drinking alcohol, with a cup of coffee, or when they feel irritated or frustrated. These types of associations can create a powerful urge to smoke.

When attempting to stop, smokers may experience withdrawal, which can lead to a depressed mood, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hunger, and trouble sleeping. These negative feelings can further trigger intense cravings for a cigarette.

All of these factors can make it difficult for smokers to quit on their own. There are FDA approved smoking cessation treatments available that can make the process of quitting easier. They are:

  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as nicotine gum and patches. They relieve nicotine withdrawal symptoms. NRT is effective and increases quit rates. The nicotine found in NRT is not addictive and does not cause cancer since it produces a lower level of nicotine in the blood than smoking a pack of cigarettes daily. Your doctor will recommend a single product or combination of products. The suggested dose is based on your smoking frequency and will be lowered typically over two to three months. However, some people may need to use products longer if there is a high risk of relapse.
  • Medications that block nicotine from binding to receptors in the brain thereby reducing its addictive quality. Common side effects of these medications are nausea, insomnia, and abnormal dreams which can be avoided by dose adjustments. The dose will be increased over 1 week and then taken for 11 weeks at a stable dosage.
  • Medications that help keep dopamine levels stable in the brain and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Common side effects are insomnia, agitation, dry mouth, and headache. The dose may be adjusted to decrease side effects.  These types of medications should not be used if you have a seizure disorder.

Quitting smoking is a long and hard journey but the health benefits are enormous. Smokers have a life expectancy 10 years shorter than non-smokers, but quitting before age 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by 90%. Every attempt at quitting is a step in the right direction and your doctor can help develop a personalized smoking cessation plan.

To speak with a Family Medicine doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center about smoking cessation, please call (718) 206-6942.

Tasmia Ahmed MD, Family Medicine

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

Measles Outbreak Updates

measles outbreak nycMeasles is a highly contagious virus that causes a red spotted rash to spread all over the body, along with high fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. The virus can be very dangerous and potentially fatal for infants and children.

Recently, there has been an outbreak in the New York City area, and in an effort to contain the spread of the virus health officials are urging communities to keep up with the latest information and comply with recommendations.

To help educate our community, Jamaica Hospital is sharing the following information:

How has the measles outbreak affected NYC communities?

  • Close to 600 cases of measles have been reported in NYC since the fall of 2018, majority of which are from Brooklyn (Williamsburg, Borough Park, Crown Heights, and more recently Sunset Park); although most cases have been linked to unvaccinated travelers within Orthodox Jewish communities, the disease has also affected non-Orthodox Jewish residents in other boroughs including Queens.

How is the virus spreading?

  • Measles spreads when people breathe in or have direct contact with fluid that contains the virus. For example, it can pass through droplets sprayed into the air when someone with measles coughs or sneezes.
  • Measles can spread to others from four days before a rash appears through the fourth day after the rash disappears.
  • The best way to stop the spread of the virus is through the measles (MMR) vaccination.

How safe and effective is the MMR vaccine?

  • The MMR vaccine is very effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.
  • Despite many claims that autism is linked to the MMR vaccine, multiple studies have scientifically proven that the measles vaccine is safe and not linked to autism.

Who gets the MMR vaccine?

  • All children should receive vaccination. The CDC recommends “children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.”
  • Infants aged 6 to 11 months traveling abroad to high-risk areas should receive an early dose of MMR ( This dose would be in addition to the regular schedule of MMR vaccinations)
  • Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.
  • Adults with no evidence of immunity (Individuals who may not have previously received vaccination, have no laboratory or written evidence of immunity)
  • Adults with no evidence of immunity and are at a higher risk for contracting measles. This group includes healthcare workers, international travelers, college students or those exposed to people with measles in the outbreak areas. (Adults who are at a high risk of transmission should receive two doses, 28 days apart).

Amelia MacIntyre DO- Family Medicine

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

Invisible Braces Pros and Cons

Dentist in Jamaica QueensInvisible braces are a set of clear, plastic aligners that are sometimes used instead of metal braces to straighten teeth. They have become a popular choice for many because they are far less noticeable than conventional metal braces.

Although there are a growing demand and popularity for invisible braces, they may not be the right choice for everyone. There are pros and cons to consider before making a commitment.

Here are a few pros:

  • Invisible braces can be more attractive.  The clear, plastic aligners are virtually invisible and molded to your teeth.  This makes it less obvious that you are wearing braces.
  • Due to the smooth, flexible plastic they are made from, invisible braces tend to be more comfortable. There are no wires or brackets to contend with.
  • Unlike metal braces, invisible braces can be removed to eat, brush your teeth or floss.  This can be a great benefit when practicing proper oral hygiene.
  • Computer software is used to plan your treatment in advance; therefore, less follow up visits are required.

The cons to keep in mind include:

  • Depending on your plan of treatment, Invisible braces can be more expensive than conventional braces.
  • Discipline is required to get the best results. Invisible braces must be worn a minimal 22 hours per day.  It is important that you put them back on shortly after removing them.  Neglecting to wear your aligners for 22 hours each day can prolong treatment.
  • You may feel some pressure or discomfort as your teeth adjust to a new set of aligners.
  • Invisible braces are most effective when treating those with mild or moderate bite issues, not those with more complex orthodontic issues.

Overall, invisible braces are a safe and effective form of treatment.  However, depending on your lifestyle or the complexity of your case, they may not always be the best choice. If you are interested in receiving invisible braces, you should speak with your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate. To speak with a dentist at  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6980.

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

Tips To Make Sure the Ice in Your Freezer is Clean

There is nothing more refreshing on a warm summer day than an ice-filled cold beverage, but before you host your next summer gathering, make sure that the ice you serve is clean and free of harmful bacteria.

While ice is rarely considered to be the source of trouble, there are good reasons to take a second look at how ice is dispensed in your own home.  You may think most bacteria wouldn’t survive the icy conditions of a freezer. But they can. Bacteria and viruses such as listeria, E-coli and salmonella can live in freezing temperatures, meaning they may be alive in your ice cubes. With proper precautions however, you can eliminate the risk of these contaminants existing in the ice you serve.

Here are some tips:

  • Change Your Filter – Most ice makers in freezers use a secondary water filter to stop particles from contaminating the ice. To keep your ice clean, change the freezer’s water filter as frequently as the manufacturer recommends, about every six months.
  • Regular Cleaning – Don’t forget to defrost and deep clean your freezer at least once a year. As a rule of thumb, if the ice buildup in your freezer is a quarter-inch or thicker, then it’s time to defrost and clean it.
  • Use Ice Regularly – The slight melting and refreezing of cubes can allow pathogens to take hold. To avoid this, remove the ice storage bin from the freezer and dump any clumps into the sink. Since inactivity causes ice clumps to form, the easiest solution is to use the ice maker more frequently.
  • Organize Your Freezer – Make sure frozen foods are properly sealed or double-wrapped and avoid having them come into direct contact with ice in trays or bins. Also label all food with a use-by date and remove all expired foods from your freezer.
  • Don’t Use Your Hands – While all of the above tips are useful, the fact is that the most common way to spread germs is by placing unwashed hands in an ice container. Instead of using your hands, use a designated scooper or other tool to handle ice.

It is important to note that while the existence of contaminants in your ice might be disturbing to learn, the health risks associated with it is fairly minimal to the average immune system and the transmission of viruses are rare. Those more at risk are pregnant women, children, and people with a compromised immune system.

Regardless, it is always a good idea to take the proper precautions to reduce your chances of getting yourself or your guests sick.

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.