Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Slimmer, Healthier You in 2018

With a majority of Americans classified as overweight and a third as obese, it’s not surprising that losing weight is one of the top New Year’s resolutions. Because it requires a firm commitment to a strict regimen and the modification of habits, achieving this goal can be tough, and some may give up. However, excess weight can cause cardiovascular issues, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Coming to terms with weight issues is essential for long-term health. When there’s a diagnosis of obesity, a physician may ask the patient to create a lifestyle events-body weight graph, as stressful events can be associated with changes in physical activity and eating habits. This can be helpful in determining a patient’s ability to make lifestyle changes.

Weight management therapies can include diet, exercise, and lifestyle intervention and counseling, and possibly bariatric surgery, depending on the circumstances. A standard metric for assessing weight is body mass index (BMI), which measures body fat, based on height and weight. Bariatric surgery may be appropriate for adults with a BMI of ≥40 or a BMI of ≥35 with obesity-related co-morbidities who have not responded to treatment (Guidelines [2013] for Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adult).

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute offers an online BMI calculator at If you’re concerned about your weight, speaking to your doctor could be the first step toward achieving your 2018 resolution of a slimmer, healthier you!

CHS hospitals offer bariatric surgical options to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Visit for more information. Subscribe to CHS’s blog and receive a free BMI chart by call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tips for a Healthier New Year

Focusing on wellness in 2018 can help ensure a better quality of life, offering an opportunity to take a fresh look at your health and address areas for improvement.

An annual checkup can detect hidden health issues early. During your exam, discuss aches or pains, medications and any concerns. “Your physician can identify issues and work with you to resolve them,” said CHS’s Executive Vice President and System Chief Medical Officer Patrick M. O’Shaughnessy, DO. “Physicians offer years of specialized training, knowledge and expertise, allowing patients who are actively involved in their care a better chance of staying healthy.”

When making New Year’s resolutions, select attainable strategies to successfully reach your wellness goals.

Resolution suggestions:
  • Schedule a doctor’s appointment for check-ups, screenings and vaccination View video
  • Make healthy food choices, preparing more of your own meals.
  • Become more active; for example, why not take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Wear sunscreen as needed, even in the winter months. View video
  • Meditate to help with stress. View video
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends at least seven to eight hours for adults. View video

For more health information, go to CHS’s YouTube channel where you can view Dr. O’s Health Tips & Solutions. Speak to your physician if you are having health issues. Visit to find a doctor

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tips to Avoid the Flu

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, people of any age can contract it. Some individuals, including the elderly, young children and those with certain health conditions, are at greater risk for serious flu complications. On an average year, as many as 49,000 deaths and almost 300,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. are attributed to the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated each year, as soon as the vaccine is available. Flu activity begins in November and can occur as late as May. For information regarding the 2017-2018 flu season visit:

Here are some additional tips to stop the spread of influenza and other illnesses:
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your arm
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (or an alcohol-based sanitizer) for 20 seconds
  • Stay home from work or school and otherwise avoid contact with others when sick
Subscribe to CHS’s blog and receive a free hand sanitizer by calling 1-855-CHS-4500. Speak to your physician if you are having health issues. Visit to find a doctor near you.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Health Tips

Good nutrition is an essential component of wellness, but can be challenging to achieve during the holidays. Thanksgiving meals are a time for giving thanks and celebrating with family, but we tend to overindulge. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Stay healthy this Thanksgiving by using the below tips:
  • 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 “light up” dessert
  • Choose vegetables first. Broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower and tomatoes are good choices and can usually be found on the appetizer table. Fill half of your dinner plate with salad.
  • Try not to linger 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 is 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 overindulge take a walk. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to incorporate healthy recipes into your holiday meals.

View a recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash & Pear Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette here.

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

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October is Breast Cancer Awareness

Women should always be mindful 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 women can do to protect themselves.

Women ages 20 and older should perform monthly breast self-exams monthly. Regular mammograms are key in early detection and the fight against breast cancer. A mammogram is a diagnostic tool, that can detect breast cancer in its initial 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

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 across Long Island 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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Living Better With Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is also known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes and is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes the sugar needed to fuel your body. With Type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly; this is called insulin resistance.

When glucose builds up in the blood, it can cause issues. Your cells may be starved for energy, and over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

Some people with Type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose with healthy eating and exercise. But, eventually, your doctor may need to prescribe oral medications or insulin to help you meet your target blood glucose levels. In some cases the disease can progress over time—even if you don’t need medications at first, you may need them later.

Obesity can be a risk factor for developing the disease, but weight loss can help to improve Type 2 diabetes in those who are overweight or obese.

Common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can include fatigue, extreme thirst, frequent or increased urination, blurred vision excessive hunger and sores or cuts that won’t heal. If you are experiencing these symptoms regularly, your doctor may want to test for the disease.

Early recognition of diabetes by your health care provider is crucial in avoiding complications.  Routine diabetes screenings usually begin at the age of 45. Measuring your A1C involves a simple blood test that provides information regarding levels of blood glucose or blood sugar over three months. The higher the A1C, the greater your risk of diabetes. If you have a fasting blood glucose level of 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or greater on two occasions, then you have diabetes. Also, if your doctor gives you an oral glucose tolerance test and at two-hours, your blood glucose is 200 mg/dl or greater, you have diabetes.

Watch #CHS's Executive Vice President & System Chief Medical Officer Patrick O'Shaughnessy, DO discuss discuss Type 2 Diabetes:

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What Do You Know About Concussions?

A concussion is a common, but serious brain injury. It can be caused by a hard hit to the body or a blow to the head—especially when playing a high-impact sport—that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can then cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

Important signs to observe include appearing to be dazed or stunned, loss of awareness and being confused, memory loss, slow to answer questions and behavior or personality changes. Symptoms can include headache, feeling off-balance, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, sensitivity to light, sleep disturbances and vision issues. In some cases a loved one or a friend may be having a concussion and not know it.

Wearing the correct athletic safety gear during sports can help reduce your risk of getting a concussion. Helmets and other gear should fit properly and be worn appropriately.

It is always essential to rest after any concussion. This allows your brain to heal. Once your health care provider has granted permission to return to sports or exercise it should be gradual.

Catholic Health Services’s St. Charles and Good Samaritan hospitals both have the ThinkSMART!™ Concussion Management Programs. This includes concussion education, baseline testing and concussion treatment services for student athletes and individuals who have sustained, or are at risk of concussion, a common but serious traumatic brain injury.

To date, approximately 30,000 students have received neurocognitive baseline testing through this program. The ThinkSmart!™ team of clinicians from St. Charles and Good Samaritan includes emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, physical medicine/rehabilitation physicians, orthopedic physicians, neuropsychologists, nurses and physical therapists who work with student athletes and their families.

Watch #CHS's Executive Vice President & System Chief Medical Officer Patrick O'Shaughnessy, DO discuss discuss the importance of staying safe on the field:

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