Employee Spotlight Shines on Richard Calvo

This month, we are proud to shine our Employee Spotlight on Richard Calvo, HVAC Mechanic in Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s  Engineering Department.

Richard has been at Flushing Hospital for eight years. He began his career at the hospital in the Housekeeping Department working the overnight shift cleaning the operating rooms. He then transferred to the Engineering Department, first as a grounds keeper and then on to the position he currently holds as an HVAC mechanic.

Richard grew up in Oceanside, Long Island where he attended elementary school through high school.  His family is very important to him and he enjoys spending his free time with them.  Richard has two cats and a dog in his home. In his free time he enjoys reading, especially studying about pressure boiler systems. His favorite TV programs are Japanese Anime. Richard also enjoys comedies and shows about the supernatural. His favorite foods are sushi and Italian food.  He listens to different types of music, especially rock, rap and alternative. He has traveled to Florida and hopes one day to visit Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. Richard’s favorite sports to participate in and to watch are MMA, boxing and swimming.

Richard enjoys working in the Engineering Department at Flushing Hospital because his coworkers have become like family to him. It is a wonderful place to grow and learn. We look forward to Richard continuing to work with us for many more years.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Health Conditions Caused by Obesity

Obesity is defined as a chronic condition that is  measured as a numerical value of a person’s body mass index (BMI) in proportion to their height. BMI indicates how much fat a body has.  The ideal BMI for an adult is between 20kg/m2 and 24.9kg/m2. A person whose BMI exceeds 30kg/m2 is considered to be obese , and when that number is greater than 40kg/m2  they are considered to be morbidly obese.

It is estimated that more than 40 percent of people in the United States can be considered obese.

Some of the health conditions they may develop as a result of obesity include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Gout
  • High blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Kidney disease
  • Infertility
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Psychosocial issues
  • Sexual function issues
  • Stroke
  • Breathing problems

A person who is moderately obese can lower their BMI by weight loss and through exercise. In some cases this may not be sufficient and may require medical or surgical intervention.  Flushing Hospital offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician who can help with your weight loss goals, please call 718-670-8908 0r 718-408-6977.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Syphilis Cases Are Rising – Here’s What You Need to Know

A doctor talking to a patient while writing notes.Syphilis cases throughout the United States have surged dramatically over the past five years, increasing by nearly 79% according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The uptick in cases of congenital syphilis is even more staggering, with an increase of 183.4% from 2018 to 2022. As this epidemic worsens, it’s important to have the facts about syphilis and learn more about what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

Syphilis is a type of sexually-transmitted infection (STI), meaning that it is spread through sexual contact with other people. It is transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact with a syphilis sore on another person’s body, but can also spread through casual contact with objects that a person with syphilis may have used, such as toilet seats, door knobs, clothing, or eating utensils. You can also become infected through using shared spaces such as bathtubs or swimming pools.

In its primary stage, syphilis causes firm, round, and painless sores around the site where the infection entered your body. Even if these sores go away without treatment, the disease may enter its secondary stage, which can cause rashes and other symptoms, such as:

  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Sore throat
  • Patchy hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue

The latent stage of syphilis, which follows the secondary phase, does not present new symptoms. However, it can progress into the tertiary stage, during which the disease can cause damage to organs such as the heart, brain, blood vessels, and eyes. Without treatment, syphilis that enters the tertiary stage can result in death.

Congenital syphilis can occur when a mother with syphilis transmits the infection to her baby. This type of syphilis can cause severe health complications for an affected baby, including:

  • Bone deformities
  • Severe anemia
  • Enlarged liver and spleen
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Nervous system problems, such as blindness or deafness
  • Meningitis
  • Skin rashes
  • Death

You should get tested for syphilis if you are:

  • Sexually active, especially if you do not use condoms
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • Have HIV
  • Are taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention
  • Have previously had (or currently have) sexual contact with partners who have tested positive for syphilis

You can receive diagnostic testing and treatment for syphilis at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

3 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Boxes of chocolates are a popular choice for a Valentine’s Day gift, but consider opting for dark chocolate. As an increasing amount of research has shown, there are quite a few health benefits associated with dark chocolate. Some of these benefits include:

Antioxidant properties: Dark chocolate includes high amounts of flavonoids, polyphenols, catechins, and other organic compounds that function as antioxidants. Antioxidants offer protection against free radicals, which cause damage to your cells and contribute to a wide range of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Improved cardiovascular health: The flavonoids contained in dark chocolate stimulate the lining of your arteries to produce nitric oxide, which improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure. However, this effect is mild, and may not necessarily help people with conditions such as chronically-high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Protection against high cholesterol: High levels of low-density lipoprotein (also known as LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) are a major risk factor for heart disease. Additionally, certain kinds of LDL cholesterol can oxidize when they interact with free radicals; this can cause inflammation and buildups of plaque to form inside your arteries. Dark chocolate reduces levels of LDL cholesterol in the body, including the types most likely to oxidize.

In addition to these benefits, dark chocolate also contains significant amounts of needed nutrients, such as:

  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Zinc
  • Selenium

It’s important to keep in mind that dark chocolate is most beneficial when consumed in moderation. The recommended serving size of dark chocolate is up to two ounces, which is equivalent to about six thin squares broken off of a bigger bar.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Traveling With IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Chron’s disease is characterized by prolonged inflammation that occurs in any part of the gastrointestinal tract (from the mouth to the anus). Ulcerative colitis causes chronic inflammation and sores to develop in the large intestine (colon and rectum).  Both conditions share similar symptoms which may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Urgency to have a bowel movement
  • Blood in stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Reduced appetite
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue

Traveling for long distances can sometimes present challenges for those diagnosed with IBD. There may be concerns about the proximity and quality of restroom facilities, flare-ups, types of food available, medications, and access to quality healthcare. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your trip and alleviate some of those worries:

  • Check each country’s requirements for traveling with medications
  • Bring enough medications
  • Pack extra clothing and supplies of toilet paper, sanitary wipes, hand sanitizer, ostomy bags, ointments, and other necessities in your carry-on luggage
  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Learn about the types of food available on your flight and at your destination
  • Bring your own food if possible
  • Locate bathrooms before you need to go
  • Research healthcare providers and facilities at your destination
  • Get required travel vaccinations
  • Purchase travel insurance that covers your health condition
  • Practice food safety measures such as washing your hands, washing your fruits and vegetables, and ensuring that meats are cooked properly

Lastly, always consult with your doctor about ways you can manage IBD while you are away. Your doctor can provide recommendations to help you stay well on your trip. To schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Should You Give Your Child Probiotics?

Cropped view of woman holding white probiotic container and pills in hands on blue background.Digestive problems such as the stomach flu, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and constipation are very common among children and are often causes for trips to a doctor’s office. In an effort to prevent these types of problems, many parents incorporate probiotics into their child’s diet. In fact, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, probiotics are the third most common natural product used by children.

Probiotics are strains of bacteria that support digestive processes. While many people associate bacteria with illnesses, certain types are necessary to help your digestive system function. In addition to processes such as nutrient absorption, these “good” bacteria also support a wide variety of functions associated with your heart, brain, and immune system.

There is some evidence to suggest that probiotics may be helpful for preventing and treating common digestive issues in children, such as IBS, the stomach flu, constipation, and acid reflux, as well as some other medical problems, such as upper respiratory tract infections and eczema. However, there is currently not enough research to determine what the long-term benefits and risks of giving your child probiotics may be.

There are many different sources of probiotics. While supplement products (such as gummies or pills) are available, these types of products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before being sold, making it difficult to verify claims they make regarding health benefits. However, another popular source of probiotics among people of all ages is yogurt, particularly products that contain “live cultures,” as stated on their labels.

Not all probiotics contain the same types of bacteria; for this reason, certain products may be more helpful against specific digestive problems than others. Additionally, there are known risks associated with giving probiotics to certain groups of children; for example, children with compromised immune systems could develop an infection, and other, more serious side effects could occur in sick infants. Make sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician before giving them probiotics.

If your child is experiencing gastrointestinal problems, you can take them to visit a pediatrician at Forest Hills Pediatric Specialists. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 704-5020.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Thyroid Eye Disease

Thyroid eye disease (or TED) is a condition that causes the immune system to attack the muscles and other tissues around the eyes. The condition is most commonly associated with Graves’ disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to produce more thyroid hormone than the body needs.

In most cases people who develop TED are already diagnosed with Graves’ disease, but for some, it is the first indicator of thyroid problem.  Approximately one half of all people diagnosed with Graves disease develop eye symptoms. In most cases the symptoms are mild, but for some, it can have more serious consequences.

The most common symptoms of TED include:

  • Pain and pressure
  • Dry, itchy, or watery eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Inflammation and swelling of the eye and its surrounding tissues
  • Bulging or wide-eyed stare caused by swelling in the orbital tissues
  • Red or bloodshot eyes
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Impaired vision
  • Difficulty moving the eyes

Thyroid eye disease can affect people differently. Symptoms can last from 6 months to 2 years. For some, symptoms may go away on their own, but others may experience lasting effects. To best treat the condition, it is best to work with a team of doctors, including a primary care physician, an ophthalmologist, and an endocrinologist.

For milder cases, applying lubricating eye drops and artificial tears a few times during the day can help be helpful.  It is also recommended to avoid conditions that can worsen the condition, such as wind and bright light (or try to wear sunglasses in these elements to protect your eyes). Other tips include applying cool compresses to provide relief and elevating your head while you sleep to relieve pressure on the eyes.

If you have severe symptoms, a doctor may prescribe corticosteroids, such as prednisone to reduce the swelling in and around your eyes.  In a very small percentage of patients, orbital decompression surgery may be recommended if your vision becomes impaired.

To schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Meet Our Doctors: Dr. Morteza Modaber

Dr. Morteza Modaber, Director of Neurology at Jamaica Hospital and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.We are is pleased to introduce Dr. Morteza Modaber, the new Director of Neurology for both Jamaica Hospital and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Modaber obtained his medical degree at Shahid Behesti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, before coming to practice medicine in the United States. After four years of neuromodulation research at the University of California, Los Angeles, he completed an internship program in internal medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University from 2016 to 2017. He then completed a residency program in neurology at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell from 2017 to 2020, where he also completed a fellowship program in vascular neurology.

Part of what Dr. Modaber finds so engaging about his new role is the opportunity it offers to serve unmet needs for patients living in Queens. “There’s a massive need in the Queens community for neurological care,” said Dr. Modaber. “There isn’t enough access to medical professionals with a neurological background. I’m very excited to be able to help provide that care.”

Both the community he serves and the people that he works with bring joy and purpose to Dr. Modaber’s career. “Our hospitals and the communities they serve are melting pots of different cultures and different groups of people from a variety of backgrounds. I’m very happy to be working in an environment where diversity is celebrated,” said Dr. Modaber.

As Director of Neurology, Dr. Modaber plans to expand the Neurology Department in ways that will allow it to provide comprehensive neurological care to the Queens community. “I want to be able to offer people in Queens the best neurological care they can get in New York without having to take a long trip to Manhattan, Long Island, or somewhere else to get it,” said Dr. Modaber. “We’ve been recruiting a lot of highly-skilled people and are well on our way to achieving that goal.”

We are proud to welcome Dr. Modaber to our team and looks forward to the work that he and the rest of the Neurology Department will do to provide high-quality neurological care to our community.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Will You Need a C-Section to Deliver Your Baby?

A woman laying in a hospital bed going into labor while connected to a monitor.Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s New Beginnings unit provides the women in our community and their families with the ultimate birthing experience. Each month, we cover a new topic exploring an important aspect of health and well-being for expectant mothers. This month, we’ll discuss some of what you need to know about cesarean birth (also known as a C-section).

During a C-section, your baby is delivered through incisions made in your abdomen and uterus. This happens when the health risks of vaginal delivery are too significant for either yourself or your baby. It can be planned ahead of time if:

  • You experience serious medical conditions that could worsen with a vaginal birth
  • You’ve had a previous C-section
  • You’re expecting multiple babies
  • Your baby’s exit from the cervix is obstructed
  • Your baby is in an abnormal position in your uterus

Even if these factors do not apply to you, unforeseen circumstances can occur that make a C-section necessary for safely delivering your baby, such as when:

  • You experience prolonged labor
  • Your baby develops an irregular heart rate
  • The umbilical cord compresses your baby’s head, neck, or body, or comes out of the cervix before the baby
  • The placenta separates from the wall of your uterus, preventing your baby from receiving oxygen and nutrients

Flushing Hospital’s New Beginnings unit offers spacious, modern delivery suites and advanced postpartum care, providing you with a safe environment to give birth and comprehensive follow-up medical support for you and your baby. To learn more about the unit, including accommodations and services provided, please call us at (718) 670-5702.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight Shines on Michael Bailey

This month, we are proud to shine our Employee Spotlight on Michael Bailey, first cook in our Dietary department.

Michael has been working at Flushing Hospital Medical Center for 23 years. He is a native of Queens, was born at Flushing Hospital and grew up in the Flushing and Laurelton areas of the borough. Michael attended elementary school at P.S. 24, Junior High School 237 and  231, Thomas Edison High School and the New York Restaurant School. He currently lives in Springfield Gardens.

Michael has two children. In his free time, he really enjoys cooking and eating. He likes soul food, Italian food, BBQ and junk food. Michael’s favorite sports are football, baseball, basketball and air hockey. The city he likes to go to on vacation is Las Vegas.

The things that are important to him are his family and the legacy he hopes to leave behind. He enjoys working at Flushing Hospital because of the wonderful people that he works with, and the environment that they work in.  He believes together they make a valuable contribution to people’s health and wellness. We look forward to Michael working with us for many more years.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.