Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stay Protected Against Ticks this Summer

Prior to heading outdoors to garden, hike or camp, protect you and your family. Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected tick. According to the CDC, in the United States there are about 300,000 infections annually. If you work or spend a lot of time in wooded or grassy areas, you could be bitten by an infected tick.

Educate yourself and know where to expect ticks. Ticks that cause Lyme disease are called blacklegged ticks and they live in moist and humid environments, predominantly in and near wooded or grassy areas.

Here are some tips from the CDC to help repel ticks on skin and clothing:
  • Use repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.
  • Always follow product instructions.
  • Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.
  • Use products that contain permethrin on clothing.
  • Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents with products containing 0.5% permethrin. It remains protective through several washings. Pre-treated clothing is available and may be protective longer.

To choose the right repellent for you visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website

Don’t ignore the signs of Lyme disease which can begin 3-30 days after a tick bite. Symptoms include: fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes and of the people who get Lyme disease, 70 to 80% develop a rash, called an erythema migrans.

“Be proactive and check your entire body for ticks when you return from an area that may have ticks, even in your own yard,” CHS’s System Chief Medical Officer Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, recommends. “Seek medical attention if you observe any symptoms.”

Make sure to check your body and your child’s body for ticks, including: under the arms, ears, belly button, leg and back of the knees, head and body hair, torso. If any are found on clothing, put the clothing in the dryer. Also, don’t forget to check pets, because they can bring ticks into the house.

For more health information, go to CHS’s YouTube channel to view all of Dr. O’s Health Tips & Solutions.

If you need a physician, please visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Combatting Celiac

If you have a wheat allergy, celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, eating foods that contain gluten—a type of protein found in wheat, rye and barley—can be harmful to your body and your health.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which eating gluten prompts your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine. This cam harm your body, making it harder to absorb certain nutrients and can lead to long-term health problems. Symptoms can include stomach pain, diarrhea, weight loss, chronic fatigue and neurological problems. The only known treatment for celiac disease is to avoid gluten because even tiny amounts can cause intestinal damage.

Listen to CHS's Executive Vice President & System Chief Medical Officer Dr. O'Shaughnessy explain what you need to know about gluten and its effect on your body:

For more health information, go to CHS’s YouTube channel to view all of Dr. O’s Health Tips & Solutions.

If you need a physician, please visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Welcome Spring With an Annual Wellness Exam

Spring is here and signs of life and renewal are all around us, making it the ideal time to think about your health. In honor of the season, CHS would like to share with you the importance of getting an annual wellness exam.  Even if you are feeling healthy, visiting your physician at least once a year is an important way to maintain your well-being. These visits might also help prevent a future illness. It is really something everyone should do.

To assist you in your spring health check, turn to one source of truth, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The site offers a comprehensive list of all services included in a Medicare annual wellness exam as well as details on personalized prevention plan services; visit  Also, you will find information about patient-centered Health Risk Assessments or HRAs.

Scheduling a routine visit is simple, and many health insurance plans, including Medicare, cover the cost. These preventive care visits give you and your doctor the opportunity to discuss your full medical and family history, evaluate all current health issues, and provide you with a health risk assessment, including future risks for both medical and mental health conditions and how to prevent them.

To benefit most from your visit, bring a list of your current medications and review it with your doctor to ensure all prescriptions are up-to-date and working in harmony with each other.  Your physician may also want to discuss your immunization records and any additional newly available immunizations you might need. 

Try to take a proactive approach to your health instead of a reactive one.  Actually, you begin to lay the foundation for chronic diseases in your third and fourth decades of life. That is the time to act. Too many people put off seeing a doctor until something is wrong. Often, had they had an annual visit, the issue could have been avoided, been detected, diagnosed, and treated before it developed into something more serious. The benefits of preventive care are countless. 

Visit your physician at least once a year and use that visit to share any and all health concerns. In the end, one visit may result in saving you money, time, and your health. If you need a physician, please visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

For more health information, go to CHS’s YouTube channel where you can also view Dr. O’s Health Tips & Solutions.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Catholic Religious Sisters: Serving God and Those in Need

The long tradition of consecrated religious life has enriched the common good both spiritually and physically, notably in the realm of health care. CHS might not exist today if it was not for the pioneering women religious who originally launched its programs and services. Over the years, CHS’s founding congregations have been joined by members of other orders, working side by side with individuals from every walk of life at CHS’s entities across Nassau and Suffolk.

CHS was founded in 1997 by the Diocese of Rockville Centre and encompasses facilities and services that originated as charitable institutions under the sponsorship of religious sponsors. Reaching back more than a century, various congregations of women religious shared a profound commitment to helping those in need on Long Island. The Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville founded Our Lady of Consolation Nursing & Rehabilitative Care Center in 1894. Three nuns from the Congregation of the Infant Jesus began what is now known as Catholic Home Care in 1905, going on to open Mercy Medical Center—the very first Catholic hospital in Nassau County—in 1913. Similarly, the Daughters of Wisdom founded St. Charles Hospital in 1907, followed by Maryhaven Center of Hope in 1930 and Good Samaritan Hospital in 1959. St. Francis Hospital was established in 1922 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, St. Catherine of Siena Nursing & Rehabilitation Care Center, St. Joseph Hospital, Good Shepherd Hospice and Good Samaritan Nursing Home are among the entities that CHS comprises today.

National Catholic Sisters Week, observed every March 8–14, offers an opportunity to express our gratitude to the selfless women who dedicated their lives to God and continue to serve Him by serving those in need. You can view videos of our founding Sister's here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Winter Fall Prevention

Winter months can be challenging for everyone, and ice, snow and colder weather can cause injuries—especially for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one third of adults 65 and older fall each year, resulting in injuries or even death.

Below are a few helpful tips to prevent injuries during the colder months:
  • Stay inside until the sidewalks and roads are clear
  • Wear shoes/boots with good traction
  • Replace the rubber tip of your cane before it is worn out
  • Have someone shovel and salt walkways if you can’t
  • Falls can occur when exiting vehicles. Make sure your footing is clear when exiting a car
  • The most important tip is to ask for help. Arrange for rides to the grocery store and doctor's appointments.
In an effort to prevent injuries resulting from falls, Catholic Health Services continues to partner with the Suffolk County Health Department to offer a Fall Prevention Program across Long Island. Called Stepping On, the free seven-week program provides assessments and techniques to avoid falls at home or elsewhere.

For more information, please visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Healthy Holiday Tips and Tricks

  • Eat a small, balanced meal or snack before you leave home (e.g. ¼ cup almonds). If you arrive to the party hungry, you’ll be more likely to overindulge.
  • Ask if you can bring a healthy side-dish or a “lightened up” dessert
  • Study ALL of the food options, and think about what you are going to have before you put anything on your plate. Decide which foods are worth eating and which can be ignored, and then stick to that decision.
  • If you taste something that you don’t enjoy, leave it on your plate—don’t finish it!
  • Choose vegetables first. Broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower and tomatoes are good choices that are usually on the appetizer table. Fill half your dinner plate with salad.
  • Eat chips and crackers in moderation, and definitely avoid eating them straight from the bowl. Put some on a small plate so you can see your portion. 
  • Try not to hang out near the food to avoid grazing. Find a comfortable spot across the room and focus on socializing instead of eating.
  • Sip a large glass of water or fruit-flavored seltzer. This will keep you hydrated and provide you with a better option than alcohol or sugary drinks.
  • Make physical activity a priority during the holiday season. Plan to attend your usual exercise session the day of a party and if you over-indulge take a walk after a big meal.  
View a recipe for Coconut and Pecan Crusted Tilapia here.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween Safety Tips

The day before the Feast of All Saints (or All Hallows), Halloween has its origin in ancient Celtic traditions. By taking some precautions, it can be both fun and safe for children and adults.

Here are some Halloween safety tips, courtesy of the American Academy of Pediatrics:
  • Bright and reflective costumes (you can add reflective tape) make your little trick-or-treaters visible. Also, be sure shoes and costumes fit well so they don’t trip and fall.
  • Non-toxic makeup and decorative hats are alternatives to masks, which can obstruct children’s sight and limit awareness of their surroundings.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and prescription from an eye care professional. Doing so can cause pain, inflammation and serious eye disorders and infections, which could lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 , if they have an emergency or become lost.
  • Use a flashlight or glow stick if out at night.
  • Clear obstructions in the front yard, walkway and porch, and make sure outdoor lighting is adequate to keep everyone safe.
  • Instead of candy, consider offering non-food items such as coloring books, pens or pencils to trick-or-treaters who come to your door.
  • Children should never enter someone’s home or car for a treat, and a parent or responsible adult should always accompany young trick-or-treaters.
  • Wait until children have returned home to sort and check treats. Although tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and discard any suspicious items.
To find a pediatrician or other physician, visit and go to “Find a Doctor”.