Thursday, October 13, 2016

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In October, women are reminded of the dangers of breast cancer, ways to identify it and what to do if they suspect or are diagnosed with cancer.  This disease isn’t something that should be limited to one month, but rather should be a way of life. There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself.

Women ages 20 and older should perform breast self-exams monthly.  The American Cancer Society provides a guide; click on the link below for an explanation on how you can correctly perform an exam. click here

Of course, a self-exam cannot be relied on alone.  Regular mammograms are key in the early detection and the fight against breast cancer. A mammogram is a diagnostic tool, which can detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, before a lump can be felt. Finding breast cancer early gives women the greatest chance of survival and the best treatment options.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) offers a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, which is an interactive tool designed by scientists at the NCI and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).  It helps estimate a woman's risk of developing invasive breast cancer

Further, you should be aware of possible risk factors that can contribute to your risk of breast cancer.

The following are offered by the NCI:
  • Age
  • Age at the start of menstruation
  • Number of first-degree relatives (mother, sisters, daughters) with breast cancer
  • Number of previous breast biopsies (whether positive or negative)
  • At least one breast biopsy with atypical hyperplasia

CHS hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk offer comprehensive breast health services in a welcoming and supportive environment. Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer. To learn more, call 1-855-CHS-4500 or visit to find a doctor.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall Prevention Awareness Week. Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one third of adults 65 and older fall each year, resulting in injuries or even death. To help prevent these occurrences at home, the CDC provides the following tips:
  • Ask someone to arrange your furniture to allow a clear path through each room.
  • Always keep objects off the floor.
  • Remove or secure throw rugs (with double-sided tape or a non-slip backing).
  • Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall so you can’t trip over them.
  • If lighting is insufficient, have an electrician install an overhead light and wall switch at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower.
  • Use nightlights in hallways and other rooms.
  • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about your medications to identify any that could make you sleepy or dizzy.
In an effort to prevent injuries resulting from falls, CHS 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.

“Working with the Suffolk County Department of Health, CHS has been afforded the opportunity for several of our key falls prevention staff members to become Stepping On trained leaders,” explained CHS Vice President of Care Management and Performance Improvement Anna ten Napel. “These trained leaders allow for an increased penetration of the Stepping On course in the community, achieving the goal of helping to better educate Long Islanders on ways to prevent falls and stay healthy at home.”

Please call 1-855-CHS-4500 for more information.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Adjusting to the School Routine

Whether your child is just beginning pre-K, has moved up a grade or is starting college, making the transition from summer vacation back to the school routine may be challenging. Instead of long summer days spent outdoors, students (and parents) must reorient to the hectic demands that come with the start of the school year. That means rising early, participating in classroom and after school programs, and completing homework.

Good nutrition, a quiet study area and a structured routine are essential for academic success. But most important is adequate sleep; without it, there may be poor cognitive performance, deficient physical ability and even behavioral issues. A study published in Science Translational Medicine (October 18, 2013) suggests that sleep purges the brain of toxins. Also, correlations have been drawn between sleep deprivation and weight gain, dulled memory and even life-threatening disease.

It’s common for teenagers to stay up late, have difficulty waking with the alarm clock and doze until noon on the weekends.  Adolescents often become “night owls” due to the lifestyle of this age group—with lots of homework and busy social lives—but another reason is a biological shift that occurs in the teenage years.

“Instead of feeling drowsy in the evening, teenagers actually tend to become more alert and have a hard time settling in to sleep, probably because melatonin is secreted later,” explained Dmitriy Vaysman, MD, director of Good Samaritan Hospital’s Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders. “In the morning, when people of other ages are awake and primed for the day, teenagers still have elevated melatonin levels and often feel groggy as a result. Many teens also feel drowsy in the middle of the day, regardless of their sleep habits.”

While the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night for adults, it advises at least 10 hours for school-age children and 9 to 10 hours for teenagers, noting that loss of sleep adds up in what is referred to as sleep debt. To stay healthy, students must get their rest each night, with a set bedtime.

“For teens, limiting screen time in the evening is important, since the blue light emitted by screens on electronic devices can send alerting signals to the brain,” Dr. Vaysman said. “It’s also helpful to try to maintain a similar sleep/wake schedule on weekdays and weekends/holidays. If a teenager is excessively sleepy despite what seems to be a full night’s rest, his or her doctor should be consulted for more guidance.”

For more information on a sleep center near you visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hurricane Safety Tips

This time of year tropical storms and hurricanes build along the coast line. Hurricanes are strong storms that have the potential to be life threatening, which is why it’s good to prepare in advance. The following is a list of helpful tips and procedures to prepare you and your family’s safety before and during a storm.

Be Ready:
  • Stock up on emergency supplies such as food, first aid kits, and medicine for your home and car.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them near every phone in your house or on the refrigerator.
  • Know where the nearest shelter is and the different routes you can take to get there if you leave your home.
  • Create and practice a hurricane evacuation plan with family members. Visit the CDC’s website to learn more:
If a hurricane is likely in your area:
  • Listen to the radio to keep informed.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities, if told to do so.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after an emergency.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors,secure and brace external doors.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Avoid elevators.

Visit The Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for more tips you and your family can use in the event of a hurricane.

Please visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week

Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week is July 24th – 30th, 2016. “Natural Family Planning. Love, Mercy, Life. Opening the Heart of Marriage” is the theme of this year's celebratory week, featuring a national educational campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The goal is to celebrate God’s vision for marriage and promote the methods of Natural Family Planning.

NFP is a term for the safe, natural and effective method of both achieving and avoiding pregnancy. These modern methods teach couples how to monitor and understand a woman’s signs of fertility and infertility.  With this knowledge the couple can determine, each and every day, whether they might at that time achieve a pregnancy or not.

Catholic Health Services recently launched the Gianna of Long Island Center for Women’s Health & Fertility, in collaboration with the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The Center offers NFP training in addition to highly specialized restorative reproductive medicine. This innovative program was inspired by St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a wife, mother and physician who heroically chose to risk her own life to save her unborn child.

“NFP Week is a great chance to celebrate marriage and the awesome power to join with God in the creation of a new person,” said Paul Carpentier, MD, CFCMC, medical director, Gianna of Long Island Center for Women’s Health & Fertility at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, of Catholic Health Services. “Our professional, female, FertilityCare™ teachers, located across the diocese, are pleased to support the couple, in a very special way, in their privileged ministry to raise a family.”

Want to learn more about your different natural options?
Using the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System, a woman relies upon the standardized observation and charting of biological markers that are essential to understanding a woman’s health and fertility. These biomarkers tell the couple when they are naturally fertile women and infertile, thus allowing the couple to use the system either to achieve or to avoid pregnancy.

Are you interested in learning how the Creighton Model System approaches infertility?
Understand how to observe and chart your hormonal activity.

Is your cycle healthy?  
Learn how to know. Be equipped to identify your patterns and to know when to seek medical support and care.

Learn how to monitor your cycle. These biomarkers also identify abnormalities in a women’s health. The system lays the foundation for a new medical science that seeks to evaluate and treat reproductive issues by identifying the root cause of issues such as infertility, repetitive miscarriage, PCOS, hormonal imbalance, migraines, acne, PMS and many more.

To learn more about the Gianna of Long Island Center for Women’s Health & Fertility, visit

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tips to Stay on Your Feet

If you have diabetes or other health issues that could put your feet at risk for injury or wounds, it’s important to pay attention to details. If you notice any difference in their appearance or in the feeling in them from day to day, you should contact your medical doctor or podiatrist. Any issues should be noted and taken seriously.

“You should look for changes in color, swelling of the feet or any type of break or irritation of the skin,” said Mercy Medical Center’s Medical Director of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing and Co-Director of St. Joseph Hospital’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing John Jackalone, DPM. “You shouldn’t disregard something only to later discover you should've paid closer attention to it.”

Also, shoe fit and type are crucial for anyone with diabetes or other risk factors. Be careful to evaluate your shoes carefully. Use a new pair for a short trial period at home before wearing them for an entire day. Take your shoes off after an hour to examine your feet. If you have no irritation or red spots, it should be safe to wear them for a longer period of time.

Don’t be afraid to take a break from dancing at your nephew’s wedding to sneak off and check your feet. Bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes, just in case you see any areas of concern.

To help you take better care of your feet, CHS offers the following tips:
  • Check your feet daily. Look for blisters, cuts or scratches. Use a long-handled mirror or place a mirror on the floor to see the bottom of your feet. Always check between your toes.
  • Keep your feet clean. Wash daily, dry carefully—especially between your toes.
  • Moisturize your feet. Apply a moisturizer as recommended by your physician, but never apply it between your toes, as that can lead to a fungal infection.
  • Do not walk barefoot. This includes on sandy beaches and in pool/patio areas.
  • Wear properly fitted shoes. Shoes should be comfortable when purchased. Do not wear narrow, pointed toe or high-heeled shoes.
  • Inspect the inside of your shoes daily. Check for foreign objects, tears or rough areas on the inside of the shoe.
  • Do not wear shoes without socks or stockings. Wear clean, properly fitted socks. Cotton or cotton blend socks are recommended.
  • Avoid temperature extremes. Test water temperature with your hand or elbow prior to bathing. Do not soak your feet in hot water or apply a hot water bottle. If your feet feel cold at night, wear socks.
  • Trim your toenails regularly.  Always cut your nails straight across.
  • Do not use over-the-counter remedies for corns. See a podiatrist to have these evaluated.
  • Avoid crossing your legs. This can cause pressure on the nerves and blood vessels, resulting in less blood flow to your feet.

To find a physician, visit

Reference: Restorix Health

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Suffering from Seasonal Allergies?

Due to spring’s late start, many Long Islanders may have forgotten to take seasonal preventative steps to avoid irritating allergy symptoms.  Now that spring is here, blossoming flowers and trees, and of course, seasonal allergies are here as well. A runny nose and watery eyes are no fun, but there are ways to deal with your allergies and control symptoms.

“Sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, itchy-watery eyes, are the initial signs of an allergic reaction. Due to a longer than usual winter in the Northeast, allergy season was delayed a few weeks,” explained Louis Guida, MD, FCCP, allergist on staff at St. Charles Hospital. “The pollens are now in full bloom. One must remember an allergen is an irritant that causes an inflammatory process leading to some of the previously mentioned symptoms.”

How can you reduce the discomfort?
  • Take antihistamines immediately to help manage and prevent allergy symptoms, such as inflammations and sinus infections.
  • Use a saline solution or neti pot to cleanse nasal passages and rinse away allergens that stick to membranes in the nose, to prevent inflammation in the sinus passages and respiratory tissues. 
  • More over-the-counter (OTC) sprays and other remedies are available, including some that previously required a prescription. Do not over use them, as that can cause irritation and bleeding. Also, they can have significant side effects, including, but not limited to, hypertension and prostate enlargement. Please check with your health care provider prior to taking OTCs.
  • If you are experiencing any signs of sinusitis, asthma or upper respiratory tract infections, or if sneezing symptoms persist, consult your doctor. If you are prescribed allergy medications, please use only as directed.
  • Plan for good health: It’s recommended that sufferers know their allergens. Ask your doctor to test to find out what you’re allergic to, so you can take medication before symptoms begin. This usually helps allergy sufferers feel better throughout the changing seasons.

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