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”.

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.