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: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm

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 www.chsli.org 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 www.chsli.org 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 https://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/

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 www.chsli.org 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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Managing Stress Health


We all experience stress; being able to recognize and manage symptoms can dramatically improve your overall health.  Elevated stress levels affect your body, mood and your behavioral health. 

Some common symptoms:
Physical: Stress can cause headaches, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, upset stomach or sleep problems. 

Psychological: There may be increased anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation or focus, a feeling of being overwhelmed, irritable, angry, sad or depressed.

How to manage symptoms:
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Seek professional counseling if needed
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, getting a massage, or learning to meditate
  • Take time for hobbies you enjoy, such as reading a book, listening to music, or volunteering
Don't allow stress to damage your health or quality of life. Be proactive. Start practicing stress management today. 

View CHS's Executive Vice President & System Chief Medical Officer Patrick O'Shaughnessy, DO, discuss the importance of managing stress:



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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Importance of a Wellness Visit













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.

Scheduling this routine visit is simple, and many patients have health insurance plans that cover the cost.  It gives both you and your doctor the opportunity to discuss your health history and any concerns you may have regarding your health.  Most importantly, your doctor may determine what, if any, health issues could be a concern in the future and how to prevent them.

Be sure to bring a list of your current medications and go over this with your doctor to ensure they are up-to-date.  Your doctor may also want to discuss your immunization records and any additional immunizations that are available that could be to your benefit. 

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 www.chsli.org or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Listen to CHS's Executive Vice President & System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick O'Shaughnessy discuss the importance of an annual wellness here:


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

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 https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you.

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 www.chsli.org 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 www.chsli.org 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  www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/downloads/AWV_chart_ICN905706.pdf.  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 www.chsli.org 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 www.chsli.org or call 1-855-CHS-4500.