Wednesday, February 18, 2015

High Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer

High blood pressure is a dangerous condition. There are usually no symptoms, so many don’t know they have it. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

The good news is that it is possible to prevent and control it. How? By making some fairly simple lifestyle changes:
  • Losing weight, if necessary, and maintaining a healthy weight 
  • Being physically active 
  • Following a healthy eating plan 
  • Eating less salt, and 
  • Limiting your alcohol consumption
Joseph Bruni, MD, who is board certified in internal medicine, stated, “One step to begin right away is to gradually eat healthier foods. This can reduce chances of developing high blood pressure and lower blood pressure, if it's already high.”

A healthy diet contains ample servings of fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products. It is moderate in total fat and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Included are whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts. Reducing sodium intake is an important component.

Here are some tips to help you help you eat healthier:
  • Make small changes like adding a serving of fruit or vegetables at lunch and dinner. 
  • Slowly increase your use of fat-free and low-fat dairy products to three servings a day. 
  • Gradually cut in half the amount of butter, margarine or salad dressing you eat. 
  • If you now eat large portions of meat, cut them back by a half or third at each meal. 
  • Try two or more vegetarian-style (meatless) meals each week. 
  • Try casseroles, pasta and stir-fry dishes, which have less meat and more vegetables, grains and dry beans. 
  • Try fresh or dried fruits, raw vegetables, or low fat and fat free yogurt for snacks.
Start eating better today. It can save your life.

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

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Storm Takes Its Toll on Blood Supply

The winter months tend to be the most difficult time of the year to collect blood to meet the needs of patients. Twenty inches of snow make this challenge even more real as blood collections were curtailed for almost two full days this week.

With nearly 2,000 donations needed each day in New York and New Jersey alone, including all Catholic Health Services hospitals which are served exclusively by New York Blood Center, it’s cruicial for donors to set aside an hour to donate. 

"Thankfully, we were able to anticipate the blood drive cancellations caused by the storm, and our hospital partners received the life-saving blood products they needed to endure the storm," said Rob Purvis, New York Blood Center Vice President of Customer Service.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. Anyone between the ages of 17 and 75 who is in good health and weighs at least 110 pounds can donate blood. Healthy individuals 75 and older can donate blood, if they present written permission from their physician obtained within two weeks of their donation.

To find a blood drive or donation center near you, visit

If you need a family practitioner, please visit or call 1855-CHS-4500.