Flushing Hospital Offers Tips To Manage Your Children’s Vaccinations During World Immunization Week

It is World Immunization Week; an observance led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise public awareness about how immunizations can save lives. During this week-long event, efforts are made to encourage parents to vaccinate their children against a variety of preventable diseases.

Immunizations prevent illness, disability and death from many diseases, including:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles, mumps and rubella
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumonia
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus diarrhea
  • Tetanus

Despite all their benefits, there is still an estimated 18.7 million infants worldwide still missing out on basic vaccines.

One of the best ways for parents to keep track of their children’s immunization history and make sure they are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations is by setting up an electronic medical record (EMR), like MyChart, which is available for free to all Flushing Hospital patients.

In addition to allowing parents to access to their children’s records, including their immunization history, MyChart also gives patients the ability to:

  • Review test results online
  • Review health education topics
  • Access discharge instructions
  • Request prescription refills online
  • Interact with your provider via email
  • Request an appointment

To create an account is easy. All a patient needs to do is go to the Flushing Hospital’s website and click the link to MediSys MyChart: https://mychart.medisys.org and click on the “sign up now” tab.

World Immunization Week is an opportunity for Flushing Hospital to remind parents of the importance of maintaining their children’s vaccinations and how MyChart can help them do that. My making it easy to access their immunization history, parents can make sure their children are properly protected.

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.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM), “Oral and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) collectively kill nearly one person every hour of every day of the year.” However, mortality rates can be reduced through early detection.

One of the best ways to detect oral cancer at an early stage is by getting regular screenings. Dental associations such as the Academy of General Dentistry, recommend seeing your dentist at least once a year for a thorough examination-especially if you are at risk for developing the disease. You may be at risk if you:

  • Drink excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis
  • Contracted the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Use tobacco products
  • Chew betel quid
  • Previously had oral cancer
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Have poor oral health
  • Have a family history of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)- the most common type of oral cancer

Those at risk should be mindful of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer which include:

  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
  • A white, red or black discoloration of the tissues inside the mouth
  • A growth or lump inside the mouth
  • Lip sores that do not heal
  • Hoarseness or soreness of the throat that do not resolve
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loose teeth
  • Mouth pain
  • Earaches

It is strongly recommended that you see a dentist if these symptoms persist for more than two weeks.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month; during this time the AAOM and other dental health associations across the United States are urging the public to schedule an oral cancer examination. If you are at risk for developing the disease please remember to check for signs and symptoms in between dental visits.

To schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5521.

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.

Men’s Health – Learn About Testicular Cancer

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. This month-long observance spotlights the disease and emphasizes the importance of understanding the risks and warning signs of it.

Testicular Cancer is the most common cancer in men ages 15-34, with an estimated 10,000 cases diagnosed in the United States every year.  Testicular cancer, which can develop in one or both testicles, occurs when sexual reproductive cells called germ cells experience abnormal growth. If germ cells become cancerous, they multiply, forming a mass of cells called tumors that begin to invade normal tissue. If not treated, they can spread rapidly to other parts of the body including to the abdomen, liver, lungs, bones and brain.

Regular testing by your physician and conducting monthly self-examinations of the testes is important for early detection. Since testicular cancer is usually isolated to a single testicle, comparing your testicles with one another for abnormalities can be helpful. It is important to know that it is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other so your focus during a self-exam should be on other differences between the testes as well as changes from the previous month. In addition to self-exams, all men should have their primary care physician check their testicles as part of their annual physical.

The warning signs of testicular cancer include:

  • A lump of any size on the testicle
  • Enlargement of the testicle, change in shape, size or any irregularities
  • Pain or discomfort in the scrotum or testicle
  • A dull ache or sense of pressure in the lower abdomen or back
  • A feeling of heaviness or fullness in the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts due to elevated hormone levels

In most cases early stages of testicular cancer present themselves in a completely painless manner. If any of these symptoms are present, you need to see your doctor for further testing immediately.

By raising awareness during the month of April, we can empower individuals to learn more about testicular cancer and educate men about the importance of early detection.

To make an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital, 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.

April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition marked by recurring or alternating bouts of cramps, diarrhea or constipation. It affects an estimated 30 to 45 million people in the United States – or 10 to 15 percent of the population. Despite its prevalence, many people living with this disorder are unaware that they have it and do not receive the necessary treatment and support.

In an attempt to help others gain a better understanding about this condition, April has been designated IBS Awareness Month. During this time, those involved in this effort will look to focus attention on important health messages about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues.

There are many obstacles in raising awareness about IBS. One of the biggest hurdles is getting people to openly discuss their condition. Even though the disorder is very common, many with IBS are reluctant to openly talk about their symptoms or seek medical care. They may feel uncomfortable discussing their symptoms, even with their doctor, because of social taboos surrounding bowel symptoms.

In addition, IBS is often mischaracterized as a trivial condition, but it is actually one of the most prevalent and burdensome chronic issues reported by patients. IBS has been cited as one of the leading causes of work absenteeism (second only to the common cold) and its symptoms also have a profound impact on the personal and professional activities of those living with it.

Another obstacle that many that IBS encounter is that there is still so much that is unknown about the disease. IBS symptoms result in no damage to the gastrointestinal (GI) system, making it difficult to diagnose. In addition, even though there are many theories regarding what causes IBS, there is no known official cause for the condition.  There is also no official test to diagnose IBS and there is no cure.

In an effort to help those living with IBS, many health care professionals suggest patients learn all that they can about their condition, including identifying those things that seem to make their symptoms worse. Most importantly, people with IBS are encouraged to talk openly with their doctor about IBS so they can help them better manage their condition through improved lifestyle choices and medication therapy aimed to relieve symptoms.

Flushing Hospital is committed to joining the fight to raise awareness and addressing misconceptions about IBS to help those affected get diagnosed and receive appropriate care.

To schedule an appointment to speak with one of Flushing Hospital’s doctors, 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.

National Poison Prevention Week Tips

poison prevention-154210048This week is  National Poison Prevention Week. Did you know that every year more than 2 million poison-related injuries and deaths are reported in the United States and more than 90 percent of these cases occur in the home?

The majority of poison-related accidents occurs among children but can be prevented by taking the proper precautions to store, dispose or conceal items that contribute to these incidents.

The following safety tips are recommended by The American Association of Poison Control Centers and can help you reduce the risk of an accident your home:

  1. Place the Poison Help number in a place that is easily accessible or viewable. That number is 1 (800) 222-1222. Calls are free, confidential, and answered by experts at all times.
  2. Safely store these substances in cabinets with childproof locks or in child-resistant containers:
  • Medications
  • Vitamins
  • Tobacco products, especially liquid nicotine
  • Laundry and cleaning supplies
  • Alcohol
  • Pesticides or insect repellants
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Small batteries
  1. Read medication labels properly before administering.
  2. Never call medication “candy” to encourage children to take it.
  3. Avoid taking medications in front of young children.
  4. Do not use food storage containers to store harmful products such as detergents or pesticides.

While practicing these guidelines should be routine, we invite you to use Poison Prevention Awareness Week as a reminder to ensure that your home is poison safe.

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.

The MediSys Health Network Recognizes The Accomplishments Dr. Sabiha Raoof During Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month.  In recognition of this special observance, the MediSys Health Network would like to honor a woman who is very important to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Sabiha Raoof.

Dr. Raoof began her career at MediSys as an attending physician in 1997 after completing her radiology fellowship training. According to Dr. Raoof, “I was young and full of energy, but I was also a mother of two young children, and that aspect of my life has always been very important to me. Working for MediSys allowed me to maintain a balance between my professional goals and my role as a mother.  I never had to compromise my priorities and that gave me the opportunity to grow and thrive professionally. “

After working for a few years as an attending physician, Dr. Raoof was appointed as the Chairperson of Radiology at Jamaica Hospital in 2000 and then at Flushing Hospital in 2001.  Dr. Raoof added “I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to build the department and I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve together.” Under her guidance, the Radiology Departments at both hospitals have earned the Diagnostic Centers of Excellence designation from the American College of Radiology.

Through the years, Dr. Raoof has taken on many additional roles in the healthcare industry that has brought a great deal of positive visibility to the network.  She currently serves as the Vice Chair for the American College of Radiology’s Quality Experience Committee and is a member of their Commission on Clinical Decision Support. She has also been working with CMS for the last four years, initially serving as a national faculty member for the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative and now serves as one of the Clinical Champions for the Quality Payment Program.

Providing the highest quality care to our patients has always been a major focus for Dr. Raoof, so when she was appointed as the Chief Medical Officer for MediSys in 2017, her main goal was to use the position to improve the quality of care throughout the organization and to do so in a patient and family centered approach to keep patient safety in focus. AS CMO, she has been the driving force behind many initiatives designed to improve the patient experience.

 While Dr. Raoof appreciates the opportunities she has been given in the MediSys Health Network, she realizes that many other women are not as fortunate. “Even today, we have under-representation of female physicians in leadership positions in the healthcare industry. I feel lucky to work for this organization and I commend our administration for being so forward thinking and allowing the most qualified people to progress to leadership roles throughout the organization without any bias against gender, culture, religion or ethnicity.”

Women’s History Month is very important to Dr. Raoof. It not only allows her to thank the many women in her personal and professional life who have supported and been an inspiration to her, but it also serves as an opportunity for her to encourage her female colleagues to step up and be willing to lead.  According to Dr. Raoof, “Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the tireless half of our population. Women are our future leaders, innovators, and peace-makers. This is a month to celebrate our progress in the face of historic challenge and to dream of our future. “

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.

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Problem gambling is a serious issue that affects millions of people in the United States. An estimated two million people can be classified as having a gambling addiction and an additional four to six million people can be said to have a problem with gambling. Uncontrolled gambling can ruin families, finances, and careers.

The National Council on Problem Gambling began a campaign 16 years ago in order to raise awareness and to suggest ways that these people can be helped. There are three main goals of this campaign:

  • Increase public awareness of problem gambling
  • Increase awareness of the resources to aid with problem gambling
  • Encourage medical providers to screen for gambling problems

Some of the criteria for defining problem gambling include:

  • Patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage family or work
  • Preoccupation with gambling and the need to bet money
  • Restlessness or becoming irritable when attempting to quit
  • Continuing to chase the big payoff

Compulsive gambling can be described as having the same effect on certain people as using drugs or alcohol. They build up a tolerance to it and are always in need of more in order to satisfy their urges.

A person who feels that they have a gambling issue should contact their physician to see about getting help. You can also go to the website of Gamblers Anonymous http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/ for referrals in your 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.

Flushing Hospital Celebrates Patient Safety Week

March 10th through the 16th has been designated National Patient Safety Awareness Week. In recognition of this observance, Flushing Hospital Medical Center has scheduled a full week of fun and educational activities.

To kick-off the week, the Patient Education Department is holding a special all-day event in the hospital lobby to test everyone’s safety knowledge by playing various games where participants have the opportunity to answer questions and win prizes.

Throughout the week, Flushing Hospital will ask everyone to take the ‘Hand Hygiene Pledge” and hospital staff will also demonstrate proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE), which can eliminate the transmission of infectious disease.

The theme of this year’s Patient Safety Awareness week is  “See, Say, Do & Thank You”, which asks patients to not only notice and identify good safety practices, but also do something by thanking those individuals when these practices are witnessed.

One of the most important factors in improving patient safety is practicing proper hand hygiene and Flushing Hospital’s hand hygiene compliance rates are above national averages.

Congratulations to all involved in making Flushing Hospital a safe environment for our patients.

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.

Flushing Hospital Recognizes National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation is urging all Americans to give their kidneys a well-deserved checkup.

The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health by serving following functions:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day
  • Regulating of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • Removing toxins from the body.
  • Balancing the body’s fluids
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, some quick facts on Kidney Disease are:

  • Kidney disease is the 9th  leading cause of death in the country.
  • More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
  • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
  • Currently, more than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the U.S. today.

Often times, kidney failure can be prevented or delayed through early detection and proper treatment of underlying disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can slow additional damage to the kidneys.

If you are 18 years or older with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or a family history of kidney disease, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask that you be screened for kidney disease.

If you would like to make an appointment to have your Kidney’s checked, you can call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 for an appointment

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.

National Endometriosis Awareness Month

Endometriosis Awareness takes the spotlight during the month of March with a mission to raise awareness about the disease which currently affects an estimated 176 million women around the globe.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus- grows outside the uterus. This abnormal growth of tissue can commonly be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments that support the uterus, as well as areas between the rectum and vagina.  Areas where endometriosis is less commonly found are the lungs, thighs, arms and other areas beyond the reproductive organs or lower abdomen.

Endometrial tissue develops into growths or clumps called implants.  These clusters of tissue respond to the menstrual cycle the same as they would inside the uterus.  Meaning, each month the tissue builds up, breaks down then sheds.  Unlike the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus; endometrial tissue cannot be discharged from the body through vaginal bleeding.  This results in inflammation, swelling, the formation of scar tissue or internal bleeding.

The symptoms of endometriosis typically present themselves during reproductive years- on average between the ages of 12 to 60 years old.  Symptoms include:

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Pain during pelvic examinations
  • Severe pain during menstruation
  • Pain during urination or a bowel movement
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility

The cause of endometriosis is unknown but several factors such as genetics, retrograde period flow, immune system disorders and hormones are being researched.

Most cases are diagnosed in women between the ages of 25 to 35 years of age; however, some women with endometriosis remain undiagnosed because they do not have symptoms and the disorder is sometimes mistaken for other conditions.

Women who do experience symptoms should speak with their doctor about receiving tests such as pelvic examinations, laparoscopy and imaging tests, to find out if they  have endometriosis.

Although there is no cure for endometriosis, effective treatments including medication, surgery and alternative therapies are available.

If you are experiencing the symptoms it is recommended that you make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. If you would like to make an appointment with a gynecologist, please call 718-670-8994.

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.