Jamaica Hospital Now Producing Podcasts For Our Community

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular medium to distribute information about a variety of topics. Millions of people listen to them to learn about many things including politics, entertainment, sports, and health. For this reason, Jamaica Hospital has begun producing and distributing podcasts to help our community learn how to better manage their health as well as how our hospitals can provide valuable services to assist them.

The first podcasts, which are named Jamaica Hospital MedTalk began production earlier this year. Each episode is approximately 15-minutes-long and features providers from various medical specialties discussing a wide range of topics. 

The podcasts can be found on multiple podcast platforms including Apple, Google, IHeart Radio, Spotify, and Stitcher and others.  In addition, those interested can listen to or download the podcasts on the hospital’s website. Episodes are also being shared on our social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Jamaica Hospital is dedicated to providing important information about health and wellness to our community. We are excited to utilize our podcasts as a new way to engage everyone.

To listen to any of the Jamaica Hospital podcasts, please click the link below:

https://jamaicahospital.org/podcast/

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.

Sharing the “Jamaica Journey” of Diana Masabanda

Over 3,000 employees work for Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. Each has a different career path that brought them to where they are today. Today we share the Jamaica Journey of one such employee.

Diana Masabanda came to Jamaica Hospital as an intern in 2011 as part of a one-year New York City Department of Health grant. She was hired to assist colonoscopy patients by making sure they were prepared for their tests and helped them coordinate follow-up care after their procedure.

Coincidentally, just as the grant was about to expire, Jamaica Hospital was launching its Patient Navigator program, and based on her excellent work, Diana was offered a job in the newly formed department where she would continue to help patients coordinate their care.

However, as a Registered Nurse, Diana wanted to utilize her degree to provide direct patient care, so when an RN position became available in 2013, she applied for the job and was hired to work the evening shift in the hospital’s telemetry unit. Diana explained, “I loved working on the telemetry unit and I learned so much from my colleagues and supervisors but I knew I wanted another challenge.” So after waiting 3 ½ years to satisfy her desire to expand her knowledge, Diana transferred to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) in 2016.  There she treated critically ill surgical patients, while at the same time earning her Master’s Degree in Nursing.

Now, having earned her degree, Diana wanted to take all that she learned from the past eight years working at Jamaica Hospital and share it with others in a managerial capacity. According to Diana, “I saw the difference a good manager can make and that is what inspired me to earn my degree.”

Diana applied for and was promoted to Assistant Nurse Manager of the SICU in 2019. At the time, there was only one nurse manager for both the MICU and SICU, but soon after, hospital leadership decided that each unit required its own dedicated supervisor, so, in April of 2022, Diana was promoted once again to the Nurse Manager of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

Diana credits her Jamaica Journey to the hospital’s culture of giving their employees opportunities to grow. She believes that Jamaica Hospital is “A great place to grow and learn.”  As a Queens resident, Diana also sees great value in her work, stating, “I understand how important Jamaica Hospital is to this community, and how much our patients need us. That is one of the reasons I am here.”  The other reason Diane enjoys working for Jamaica Hospital is the bonds she has created with her co-workers. “We really work well together. We have great teamwork and that results in better care for our patients.” 

Jamaica Hospital thanks Diana Masabanda for her many years of service 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.

Airline Pilot Thanks Jamaica Hospital For Saving Her Life

During her flight on July 15, 2021, from Fort Lauderdale to New York City, pilot Kyra McGrath knew she didn’t feel right. The nine-year JetBlue pilot from Syracuse initially felt abdominal cramping, but by the time she landed her Airbus A320 full of passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the pain was unmanageable, and she needed to be rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

Kyra had some initial hesitations “At first I didn’t want to go to Jamaica Hospital, but the paramedics convinced me that it was the right place to go.” Thankfully she listened as she was immediately treated by the Emergency Department team and a CT scan revealed that her large intestine was about to rupture.  Dr. William Nugent, the surgeon on-call, successfully performed an emergency colectomy and end ileostomy.

After the surgery, Kyra’s opinion about the hospital changed dramatically as she stated, “After my experience I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. I couldn’t ask for a better crew to save my life.”  She also praised Dr. Nugent, who she affectionately began referring to as “Nuge”. She added, “He was awesome. He checked on me every day after my surgery and did a great job communicating with my entire family. There was nothing we couldn’t ask him.”

The surgery was only the first challenge that Kyra had to endure though. The complex procedure required extensive recuperation. Kyra explained how during her 16-day admission she lost nearly 30 pounds, but she credits the hospital team with making an uncomfortable situation manageable. “I really got to know all the nurses, but I want to especially thank the night nurses as they were there for me after my husband and parents left. They provided me with comfort when I was alone. I would also like to acknowledge the wound care team who patiently taught me how to change my ostomy bag and dressings.”

Thankfully, Jamaica Hospital’s surgical team did such a great job, the procedure, which required Kyra to temporarily use an ostomy bag, was able to be reversed, allowing her to continue flying. “I have been flying since I was 17 years old. If not for Dr. Nugent and the entire team at Jamaica Hospital, I would have had to give up my life-long passion. I thank everyone at Jamaica Hospital from the bottom of my heart.”

Kyra is currently completing her required re-certification and is anxiously awaiting returning to work as a pilot for JetBlue.

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

MediSys Health Network CEO Named to the Mayor’s Health Equity Task Force

On February 17, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the formation of his administration’s COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Task Force. This task force was created to advise the administration on long-term, comprehensive policies around health equity and health access.

This roughly 40-person commission, unprecedented for its diversity, is comprised of a group of leaders from 11 different industries from across the city. One of those chosen to join this esteemed panel of leaders is MediSys (Jamaica and Flushing Hospital) President and CEO, Bruce J. Flanz.

Mr. Flanz, along with the other members of the COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Task Force will meet monthly and focus their attention on continuing the city’s path to a speedy, effective, and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as building a healthier and stronger city for all New Yorkers.

According to Mayor Adams, “We cannot build a just and prosperous recovery for all New Yorkers without bringing together and listening to experts and community leaders from across the city. The COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Task Force brings not only the best minds together to build a speedy recovery, but a lasting one. I’m grateful to the members for bringing their time and ideas to the city as we work towards this shared goal.”

First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo added, “I’m thrilled to have leaders from every corner of New York City as part of our COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable and Health Equity Taskforce. Thank you to everyone who has joined this effort, I’m looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work developing long term policies to guide our city through a just and equitable recovery.” 

Mr. Flanz stated, “I am extremely proud to serve on this task force and I commend Mayor Adams for addressing these important issues. Representing two Queens-based hospitals located at the epicenter of the COVID pandemic, I witnessed first-hand the devastating effects the pandemic had on our communities that already face many socio-economic challenges. I look forward to working with this diverse group of talented individuals to address these disparities and create a more equitable health system for all.”

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.

Safety Tips for Cold Weather Outdoor Exercise

Winter weather doesn’t mean the end of your outdoor exercise routine. If you plan to continue to run or bike after the mercury drops, consider following these tips so you can stay safe and warm while exercising in the cold.

Know the weather conditions before heading outdoors – In addition to the temperature, those heading outside to exercise need to understand how wind and precipitation can affect your health.  These factors, combined with the length of time spent outdoors need to be taken into consideration before beginning an outdoor exercise regime.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia –Frostbite is most common on exposed skin, such as your cheeks, nose and ears. It can also occur on hands and feet. Early warning signs include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation.

Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Hypothermia signs and symptoms include intense shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination and fatigue.

Get out of the cold and seek emergency help right away if you experience symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia.

Dress in layers – Dressing too warmly is a big mistake when exercising in cold weather. Exercise generates a considerable amount of heat — enough to make you feel like it’s much warmer than it really is. The best option is to dress in layers that can be removed as soon as you start to sweat and then put layers back on as needed.

Protect your head, hands, feet and ears – When it’s cold, blood flow is concentrated in your body’s core, leaving your head, hands and feet vulnerable. Ways to protect these parts of your body include wearing a thin pair of glove liners under a pair of heavier gloves, purchasing exercise shoes one size larger to allow for thick thermal socks or an extra pair of regular socks. And don’t forget a hat to protect your head or headband to protect your ears.

Use proper safety gear – If it’s dark when you exercise outside, wear reflective clothing. If you ride a bike, both headlights and taillights are a good idea. Also choose footwear with enough traction to prevent falls, especially if it’s icy or snowy.

It’s as easy to get sunburned in winter as in summer — even more so if you’re exercising in the snow or at high altitudes. Wear a sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen. Protect your eyes from snow and ice glare with dark glasses or goggles.

Drink plenty of fluids – Don’t forget about hydration, as it’s just as important during cold weather as it is in the heat. Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout, even if you’re not really thirsty.

These tips can help you safely and enjoyably exercise in cold conditions. Closely monitor how your body feels during cold-weather exercise to help prevent injuries. While exercise is safe for almost everyone, even in cold weather, if you do have certain condition such as asthma or heart disease that could limit you ability, you should check with your doctor first.

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.

Learning More About Keratosis Pilaris, A Skin Condition That Can Worsen In Cold Weather

Weather associated with the Fall and Winter months can negatively impact your body in many ways, including how it affects your skin.  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center would like to share information about one such skin condition, keratosis pilaris, that is normally associated with cold, dry weather.

Keratosis pilaris is a common, chronic skin condition that causes small, scaly bumps on the skin where there are hair follicles. These bumps are the result extra keratin, which is a type of protein that’s part of skin, hair, and nails. Keratin forms under the skin, blocking the opening of the hair follicle. When the hair follicle becomes plugged it leads to tiny rough, red patches on the skin that often resemble goose bumps. These bumps can appear on the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks. They can also appear on the cheeks and on the sides of the torso.

It is unknown as to why keratin builds up, but you are considered more at risk of developing it if you have a parent or sibling who has it. Also, those who already have eczema or atopic dermatitis are believed to have an increased chance of having the condition.

While understanding what causes keratosis pilaris is still somewhat of a mystery, we do know one factor that can exacerbate the condition – the weather. Even though keratosis pilaris is not officially considered a seasonal condition, it usually becomes worse in dry or cold conditions, typically associated in the Fall and Winter months. This is because cold weather breeds dry skin, which in turn seems to irritate keratosis pilaris. For some, thankfully, the rash will disappear once warmer temperatures return.

Although there is no cure for keratosis pilaris, for some the condition can improve with age and without treatment.  For others, symptoms can be managed through a few different treatment options, including the use of topical exfoliants or retinoids or, in severe cases, laser therapy. There are also many things you can do at home to reduce the symptoms of keratosis pilaris, including:

  • Using a moisturizer or a lubricating lotion
  • Not vigorously scrubbing the skin
  • Drying off gently after showering
  • Using a humidifier to eliminate dry air
  • Avoiding the use of harsh cleansers and soaps

It is important to note that treatment may improve the appearance of the bumps, but the condition often comes back if treatment is stopped.  You should speak with your doctor or dermatologist to determine the correct course of treatment for your skin condition.

To make an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care 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.

Former Patient Shares His Recent Experiences at Jamaica Hospital

When Arthur Warren called 9-1-1 last June, he expressed some reluctance when the paramedics informed him they were taking him to Jamaica Hospital.  “At the time, I still had negative memories from my previous experiences at the hospital. I felt the level of care and compassion provided during that time was not as good as it could be.”

However, despite his objections, the paramedics took Mr. Warren to Jamaica Hospital’s Emergency Department and as it turns out, he was thankful that they did.  “I recall that the staff was overwhelmed at the time with a high volume of COVID patients, but I had suffered a blot clot and despite being extremely busy, they provided me with life-saving care.”

Thankfully, Mr. Warren was discharged a few days later, but unfortunately, over the next few months, he had to be admitted to Jamaica Hospital two more times to treat an acute case of pancreatitis. Both times he was admitted to the 6 South unit where he found the care to be “greatly improved.”

Mr. Warren described his encounters “I was pleasantly surprised of the changes. It was like I was in an entirely different hospital, and it was a total reversal of my previous experience.”  Some of the many things that Mr. Warren pointed out was the empathy the staff displayed. “It was evident that the nurses cared a lot about me based on the way they spoke to me.” Mr. Warren also cited the improved communication by the doctors. “I was very impressed when my doctor refused to leave my room until he was confident that I understood my condition and the care plan.”

Mr. Warren added “It is obvious to me that everyone at Jamaica Hospital, including the social work, environmental services, and pain management team put an emphasis on putting the needs of the patient first. Upon discharge, they worked with me to manage my medications and adjust my diet so I can better control my condition. I commend Jamaica Hospital on a job well done. Thank you.”

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

How Bipolar Disorder Can Affect Your Sleep

Getting the appropriate amount of sleep, along with maintaining a nutritious diet and exercising regularly are considered the three most important aspects to living a healthy lifestyle. For those living with bipolar disorder however, getting the right amount of sleep is both very important and a major challenge.

Bipolar disorder, also referred to as manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). While experiencing the manic or hypomanic phase of the illness, those with bipolar disorder can go on little or no sleep for lengthy periods of time.  Conversely, during the depression or low phase, individuals may require excessive amounts of sleep (up to 14 hours per day).

Bipolar disorder can affect sleep in many ways, including:

  • Insomnia – Insomnia includes not only difficulty falling asleep, but problems staying asleep or getting too little sleep.
  • Hypersomnia – A condition marked by over-sleeping, which is sometimes even more common than insomnia during periods of depression in bipolar disorder.
  • Delayed sleep phase syndrome – Delayed sleep phase syndrome is a circadian rhythm disturbance. It can be associated with depression.
  • Irregular sleep-wake schedule – When people with bipolar disorder have a lack of a sleep routine, the irregular cycle can greatly interfere with appropriate treatment of the disorder.
  • Nightmares, vivid dreams and night terrors – These may also affect people with bipolar disorder.

Disrupted sleep can aggravate a mood disorder so it’s important to address some of the issues that can affect sleep.  There are several ways a person with bipolar disorder can attempt to get regular sleep. These methods are known as sleep hygiene and can include:

  • Creating a schedule – Establishing a regular time to go to sleep and to wake up can be beneficial as it can reduce the changes in mood that accompany bipolar disorder.
  • Optimizing your bedroom – Try making the bedroom as comfortable as possible. This can include having the right kind of bedding and pillows as well as eliminating light, noise, and other distractions.
  • Limiting activities – The bedroom is a place reserved for sleeping. Try to limit other activities, such as watching TV or working on your laptop, in the bedroom.
  • Diet and exercise – Avoiding alcohol and caffeine use before bedtime as well as eating large meals can help improve sleep. It’s also a good idea to keep a few hours between exercise and bedtime.
  • Take time to relax – If you can, wind down before bedtime. Consider a warm bath, some pleasure reading, or meditating before turning off the lights.

Your doctor may also suggest light therapy, certain medications or sleep aides to help you improve your sleep patterns. To make an appointment with a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s outpatient Mental Health 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.

How COVID-19 Can Affect Your Mental Health

Many people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past year and a half have reported a variety of long-term symptoms.  The conditions that have received the most attention focus on either the physical effects of the virus, such as shortness of breath or fatigue or cognitive deficits, such as confusion or memory loss. For some, however, there are other lingering symptoms that can affect their mental health.

Recent research has concluded that nearly one person in five diagnosed with COVID-19 now also suffers some form of a mental health disorder. This can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Other patients may experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Patients experiencing PTSD typically have spent time in a hospital, more specifically in an intensive care unit, or were on a ventilator.

While it is difficult to determine is if these mental health symptoms emerge in patients as a result of neurological reaction to the virus or are due to the stresses of contracting the virus, it is important to raise awareness of the issue and provide resources to get these individuals the necessary help.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Post-COVID Care Center, located in our MediSys Hollis Tudors Center at 2001-16 Hollis Avenue, offers comprehensive range of services for those living with lingering effects of the virus, mental health services delivered by highly qualified psychiatrists. To make an appointment, please call 718-736-8204.

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.

Do You Have Post-COVID Re-Entry Anxiety?

As more individuals across the United States are getting vaccinated, many of the places that were forced to close due to the pandemic are slowly beginning to re-open and other social distancing restrictions are being lifted.

For some, these are signs that the country is returning to a degree of “normalcy” and is reason for excitement. For others however, the lifting of these restraints can evoke feelings of uncertainty, stress, fear, and anxiety.

Those who are experiencing these emotions might be living with a condition referred to as “Re-Entry Anxiety”, which is characterized by the stress encountered while attempting to return to a normal lifestyle. Those who experience reentry anxiety may have feelings of uneasiness about returning to work or school, are uncomfortable at social gatherings regardless of the size, and avoid human contact such as handshakes or hugs.

Re-entry anxiety is not an uncommon condition. According to experts, nearly 50% of Americans admit to feeling anxious about resuming in-person interactions after it is acceptable to do so. The same research also concluded that those who were vaccinated expressed the same level of concerns as those who have not yet been vaccinated. History has also taught us that the number of people presenting with mental health conditions, such as agoraphobia or obsessive compulsive disorder tend to increase following public health crises, such as after the recent SARS and Ebola outbreaks.

There are a few things those dealing with re-entry anxiety can do to ease themselves back into social situations, these include:

  • Giving yourself permission to be anxious – Don’t judge yourself for whatever feelings you may be having. Understand that your feelings are natural, normal, and shared by many.
  • Starting small –Rather than thrusting yourself into an overwhelming environment, start gradually with brief, one-on-one interactions with a trusted friend. Try going for a short walk or sitting at an outdoor café.

  • Confronting your fears – If you are feeling anxious about something, it is best to address the issue as soon as possible.   The longer you wait, the harder it will be to overcome it.

  • Creating a bucket-list – Think about the things you have missed that bring you the most happiness. Setting a goal to do these things once again can shift your focus from anxiety to optimism and joy. 
      
  • Buddy-up – If you know someone who has similar levels of anxiety, work through your anxieties together. You can support each other and provide the strength to get through the otherwise difficult re-entry process.

  • Focusing on the facts – By relying on trusted sources, such as the CDC and state and local health departments will help you make informed decisions about the best and safest course to reintegrate yourself into normal activities.

While some may find these tips helpful, it is important to understand that there is no right or wrong way to overcome re-entry anxiety. We all had different experiences that affected how we coped during the pandemic; therefore everyone may have different factors that determine their reentry process.

For some, reentry might require professional assistance. The good news is help is available. There are many individual or group therapy options available either in-person or via telemedicine. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s outpatient mental health 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.