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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Volunteers Provide Extraordinary Service

Catholic Health Services (CHS) is blessed with almost 3,000 dedicated and talented volunteers throughout Nassau and Suffolk. The annual observance of National Volunteer Week allows CHS to pay tribute to these extraordinary individuals, who collectively donate thousands of hours of service each year to the system. Their efforts help to sustain our work and benefit those we serve all year round.

CHS volunteers come from all walks of life—students, retirees, homemakers and professionals—and provide a multitude of services, including comforting patients, organizing fund raisers, staffing gift shops or assisting with administrative projects. Whether they are junior volunteers or seasoned veterans, they share a profound commitment to helping others.

Contributing their time and skills, volunteers enhance the patient experience and support the delivery of health services in our communities. Their enthusiasm and hard work are valued and appreciated by our organization.

If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about volunteering at a CHS facility near you, please call 1 (855) CHS-4500.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

High Reliability in Patient Care

In industries such as aviation and nuclear energy, even small flaws or errors can result in disasters. The “high reliability” approach was developed to avert these occurrences. A growing number of hospitals and health care systems are also using high reliability concepts to help ensure safety, quality and efficiency. Creating a culture and processes that radically reduce system failures and effectively respond when failures do occur is the goal of every high reliability organization (HRO).

“Patients rely on hospitals and caregivers to offer consistently high-quality care,” explained CHS’s Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Patrick M. O’Shaughnessy, DO. “Under the leadership of The Joint Commission, health care providers across the nation are applying the methodologies of HROs.”

At the core of HROs are five key concepts, which are believed to be essential for any improvement initiative to succeed:

Sensitivity to operations: Preserving constant awareness by leaders and staff of the state of the systems and processes that affect patient care is key to identifying potential risks and preventing them.

Reluctance to simplify: Simple processes are good, but simplistic explanations for why things work or fail are risky.

Preoccupation with failure: Near-misses are viewed as evidence of systems that should be improved.

Deference to expertise: Leaders and supervisors must be willing to listen and respond to the insights of staff who know how specific processes really work in order to have a culture in which high reliability is possible.

Resilience: Leaders and staff need to be trained and prepared to know how to respond when system failures do occur.

“These concepts are taught to all our staff, and in health care we specifically focus on maintaining a culture of safety,” said Dr. O’Shaughnessy.

Visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500 for information about services in Nassau and Suffolk.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Eating Your Way to Heart Health

Good nutrition is essential to wellness. This is especially true when it comes to fighting cardiovascular disease. Along with other choices we make in our daily routine, diet is key to maintaining heart health.

The core message of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020  [] remains consistent with previous editions issued since the effort was launched in 1980. However, note that the ban on cholesterol has been lifted! In general, it is recommended that we eat more fruits and vegetables, choose lean meats and low-fat dairy foods, and limit trans fat.

To optimize your heart health, it’s helpful to eat more whole plant foods and include lean and plant-based proteins, while decreasing refined foods, especially those that contain added sugar and sodium. Also, at least half of all grains in your diet should be whole grains, with a shift toward higher fiber foods.

Eating your way to heart health is only part of the solution to protect your heart. It’s also important to practice weight management, exercise regularly and live a healthy lifestyle. Other suggestions: manage stress, do not smoke, have a positive attitude and do not drink excessive alcohol.

Olive oil, 4 tbsp/dayNuts, 1oz/day
Vegetables, 2 or more servings/day
Fruits, 3 or more servings/day
Legumes, 3 servings/week
Fish, 3 servings/week
Chicken or turkey instead of red meat
Wine, 1 small glass/day (optional)

Consume less:
Red and processed meat
Butter, margarine and cream
Grain-based desserts and pastries

Here’s a great heart-healthy variation on a classic dish, pasta primavera. For more healthy living recipes, go to