How Can Wearing Gloves Get You Sick?

We wear gloves during this time of year to protect ourselves from the cold, wintery elements. These accessories are meant to serve as a layer of defense, but could they actually contribute to getting us sick during cold and flu season?

While outer garments like gloves serve a very important function in keeping us warm, they can also be the potential transmitter of harmful germs if they are not washed regularly. When you think about it, we use our gloves when we open doors, hold escalator rails, and ride the train, all of which are breeding grounds for viruses. After touching these things, we might use our glove covered hands to scratch our noses and cover our mouths. In a pinch, we might even use our gloves to wipe our nose when a tissue isn’t available.  These actions can take place every day for the duration of the winter, but ask yourself when was the last time you washed your gloves? The fact is gloves pick up everything bare hands do and very few people wash their gloves frequently enough.

It is estimated that certain viruses such as the flu can live on your gloves for two to three days, while stomach viruses, such as the rotavirus and norovirus can remain active for up to a month.

To avoid getting sick from your gloves, follow these simple tips:

  • Wash them at least once a week. Cotton products are easiest to clean by using a washing machine while wool products need to be hand washed. Leather gloves will require dry cleaning
  • Never use your mouth to pull off your gloves. The best way to remove your gloves is from back to front, similar to healthcare workers
  • If you are wearing your gloves in snowy or wet conditions, allow them to air dry rather than shoving them into your pockets or into the sleeve of your coat.
  • Avoid touching ATMs, elevator buttons, railings, or shopping carts with a gloved hand. It is much easier to sanitize your bare hand than it is to clean your gloves
  • Always wash your hands after removing your gloves to avoid contamination

Following these steps can reduce the chances of getting sick this winter.

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.

When the Flu Becomes Deadly

This year’s flu season is severe. Not only are hospital emergency rooms receiving  people with the flu in record numbers but  there has also been reports of higher than average flu- related deaths.
Most people who get the flu will recover in five to seven days.  However, in some cases, the virus can cause complications that can be life threatening.
Some people are more at risk than others for developing serious flu-related illnesses; they include:
•Young children, usually under the age of two
•Older adults, typically over 65
•Women who are pregnant
•Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy
People who are immunocompromised and have chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, HIV or AIDS and sickle cell anemia are especially at higher risk for developing life- threatening complications from the flu.
The flu can lead to secondary bacterial infections. This can cause pneumonia and other complications that become harder to treat due the immune system’s weakened state.
The key to treating the flu is to act quickly as soon as you begin to develop symptoms. For some people just staying home, getting bed rest, and staying hydrated will help them to recover. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to seek medical attention.
Your primary care physician will be best suited to diagnose you and to offer you treatment options. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician 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.

January’s Employee Spotlight Shines on Soomita Tewari

This month the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Employee Spotlight shines on Soomita Tewari, Executive Assistant to President and CEO, Bruce J. Flanz, as well as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Robert Levine.

As Executive Assistant, Soomita regularly schedules appointments, creates reports and sends correspondence, attends meetings and records minutes from the meeting.  She further acts as a liaison between administration and staff in an effort to ensure smooth operations at the hospital.  As the Administrative Office “Gatekeeper” she screens and directs calls and issues to the appropriate departments for follow-up, manages office services and supervises the Executive Receptionist.

Soomita Tewari joined the MediSys Health Network in 2007 as the Administrative Assistant in Performance Improvement (PI).  She worked in PI for six years before becoming the Medical Staff Coordinator.

In 2013, after being offered the position of Executive Assistant, Soomita joined the staff at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Soomita holds an Associate’s Degree in Health Service Administration, a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management and gained the certification of a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and a Notary Public, which assist her in the position she holds.

Soomita is a dedicated wife and mother of two children who moved from Guyana to the U.S. in 2000, seeking a new future for her family.  Her hobbies include yoga, reading and watching movies.  She is the treasurer of Shri Surya Narayan Mandir and a community outreach member of Surya Narayan Seva Outreach Sang.

When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, Soomita responded, “When I first interviewed, Mr. Flanz told me that I would have to be the face and voice of Flushing Hospital.  Even though I know we are all representatives of the hospital, this statement stayed with me.  I take pride in being an “Ambassador” of the hospital and try to treat everyone that interacts with Administration with a welcoming attitude and utmost respect.  I try to make everyone feel as though they are a part of the team because in essence, we are all part of the team.”

Although her job can present many challenges, Soomita Tewari faces each with her signature smile, calm demeanor and professionalism.  She is a wonderful asset to the Flushing Hospital Medical Center team.

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.

Types and Stages Of Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are the two major types of lung cancer. About 80 to 85% of diagnosed cases of the disease are attributed to NSCLC and the remaining 10 to 15% to SCLC.

Once diagnosed, a doctor will try to determine how much cancer has spread; this process is known as staging.  Different stages of each disease describe how much cancer is in the body and can help doctors to decide on suitable treatment options.

The staging system most commonly used for NSCLC is the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM system.  There are four stages which include:

Stage 1- Cancer is found only in the lungs and has not spread to lymph nodes.

Stage 2 – Cancer is found in the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes.

Stage 3- Cancer is found in the lungs, lymph nodes, and in the middle of the chest.

Stage 4- Cancer is found in the lungs, fluid in the area around the lungs, as well as other parts of the body and other organs.

The stages of SCLC are based on the results of biopsies, physical exams, imaging tests or any additional form of testing used to determine how far this type of cancer has advanced. Doctors typically use a two-stage system to help them to decide which form of treatment is best.  The stages of SCLC are:

Limited Stage- This is when cancer is found in only one side of the chest and in the lymph nodes above the collarbone – on the same side of the chest.

Extensive Stage- This describes when cancer has spread to lungs, the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.

Treatment for each type of lung cancer varies by stage.   Typical approaches for NSCLC may include surgery, radiation, immunotherapy or chemotherapy.  Radiation or chemotherapy are the most common types of treatment used for patients diagnosed with SCLC.

Pulmonary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases affecting the lungs. Pulmonary medicine is also sometimes called pulmonology.

The Division of Pulmonary Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center is dedicated to providing outstanding inpatient and outpatient care through the use of certified physicians and modern research.  A variety of conditions are treated and diagnosed in the Pulmonary Department including Lung Cancer, Emphysema, COPD and Asthma.

To schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist 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.

Flushing Hospital Doctors Nominated As Region’s Top Doctors

For more than two decades, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. has been a recognizable resource for identifying the area’s Top Doctors.

The organization’s selection process is based on peer nominations, of which more than 50,000 physicians, hospital and healthcare executives are contacted directly for their input. The Castle Connolly physician-led research team then carefully reviews the credentials of every physician that is considered for inclusion in Castle Connolly Guides®, magazine articles and websites. After a thorough review of credentials, nominated physicians are chosen to appear on the list of Castle Connolly Top Doctors.
This year we are pleased to announce that three doctors from Flushing Hospital Medical Center have been selected as Top Doctors in the New York Metro Area for 2018.

Doctors affiliated with Flushing Hospital Medical Center are:
• Jang A. Chadha, Pulmonary Disease
• Allen J. Fishman, Ophthalmology
• Alan P. Zeitlin, Surgery

The Medisys Health Network prides itself on providing the highest quality of care to all of our patients. We congratulate all of our doctors chosen for the 2018 Castle Connolly Top Doctors Guide.

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 Recognized As a Bariatric Center of Excellence

Patients seeking surgical treatment for severe obesity and its related conditions now have a high-quality choice for receiving treatment at a nationally accredited program that meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality of care, close to home.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) announced its Bariatric Surgical Center has been accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).  There are only 16 centers that have achieved this accreditation in New York City.

According to Sanjeev Rajpal MD, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Director at Flushing Hospital, “To earn the prestigious designation, the hospital met essential criteria for staffing, training and facility infrastructure and protocols for care, ensuring its ability to support patients with severe obesity.”  As part of its commitment to quality assurance, Flushing Hospital participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its processes and outcomes, identifying opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

The Flushing Hospital Bariatric Surgical Center opened in 2014 and has performed over 200 bariatric [weight loss surgery] procedures with outstanding outcomes.   The center upholds the MBSAQIP standards by offering patients a high quality, multidisciplinary program that includes surgical and non- surgical interventions aimed to improve long-term, weight loss success.

In the United States, around 15.5 million people suffer from severe obesity, according to the National Institutes of Health.  Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic and bariatric surgical procedures have proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to severe obesity.

Flushing Hospital offers a variety of weight-loss surgery procedures, based on the specific needs of their patients.  Surgical options including Gastric Bypass, Lap Band, Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Revisions are performed by a highly trained team of surgeons, led by Rajpal, using minimally invasive techniques and in some cases, the aid of the highly advanced da Vinci Robotic Surgical Platform.

The multidisciplinary team at Flushing Hospital’s Bariatric Surgical Center also provides many compassionately delivered services to help patients succeed in every step of their weight loss surgery. The Center offers close physician monitoring, pre and post-surgical psychological evaluations, personalized diet and nutritional counseling as well as ongoing education and support groups.

For more information about the Bariatric Surgery Services at Flushing Hospital or procedures performed by our doctors, please call 718-670-8908

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.

How Can Your Job Negatively Affect Your Health?

Many of our life can affect our health in. What food we eat, how often we exercise and how much sleep we get are all things we pay attention to when trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, one aspect of our daily lives that can affect our physical and mental health more than we think might not get the attention it deserves.

We spend most of our waking hours at one place more than any other – work. Many studies have linked our work environment to our overall level of health and the results are very telling. Research has indicated that there are many factors shown to affect the relationship between our chosen profession and our overall well-being, including:

  • Work Overload – Statistics indicate that Americans work longer hours, retire later and take fewer vacations than most other counties. These traits can lead to a variety of physical and mental health problems including heart disease and depression.
  • Lack of Physical Activity – For those who work in an office setting, lack of physical activity can also lead to many health issues. Those who have sedentary jobs experience a greater incidence of diabetes, muscle-related pain and fatigue. Those who stare at a computer all day also report higher rates of issues with their eyes.
  • Lack of Break Time – Whether it’s due to being overworked or guilt over momentarily stepping away from our responsibilities, the formal “break time” has become a thing of the past. Failure to take time-out from our work can lead to increased level of stress and decreased personal happiness.
  • Staying at a Job You Hate – Consider yourself blessed if you love what you do for a living. The fact is many people work to pay the bills, but hate what they do. Research has indicated that those who continue to continue to work in an environment where they are unhappy are more likely to suffer from exhaustion and stress.
  • Long Commute – Our workday doesn’t begin and end when we punch in and out. Hours of frustration can be added to our day during our commute. Studies have indicated that those living in large cities, where the commute is typically longer, are less happy in the workplace and burnout quicker.
  • Interpersonal Relationships at Work – While there is no rule that states you have to love your co-workers, having a solid relationship with them is generally considered better for your health. Those who hate who they work with tend to have higher rates of physical and mental health issues.

Finding a healthy work environment can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s important to recognize the negative impact a bad workplace atmosphere can have on your health. If you are experiencing any physical or mental health conditions that you feel are related to your current profession, you should carefully consider choosing another career option that is more suitable for you.

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.

#WellnessWednesday

With all the running around we do and the stress we deal with each and every day, try to take a moment to center your mind and bring wellness to your entire being.  Try reciting these and other positive affirmations to help start your day in a positive way.

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.

How Your Pharmacist Can Help You

Your pharmacist is a healthcare professional trained to accurately dispense prescribed medications and apply safety measures to ensure their proper use.

In addition to dispensing prescriptions, pharmacists can provide you with information on prescribed and over-the-counter drug interactions.  They can also offer tips to improve medication adherence. This is especially helpful if you find it difficult to take your medicine when you are scheduled to.

Not only are pharmacists well-informed about medications; they are a great source of information on durable medical equipment and home health care supplies as well.

Pharmacists are trained to educate patients about general health topics such as disease prevention, exercise, diet, smoking cessation and managing stress.   They are licensed to provide immunizations in all 50 states and play an integral role in helping to minimize the transmission of community-acquired diseases and viruses such as the flu.

If you are unsure of how to dispose of your medications, your pharmacist can advise you on how to properly and safely dispose of unused drugs.

Get to know your pharmacists; they are an essential part of your healthcare team.  By working together you can personalize your service and improve the quality of care you receive.

For your convenience, a full-service pharmacy is located on site in the Medical Science Building at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.  Our warm and friendly staff provides prescription services to discharged, emergency department and clinic patients as well as employees. For more information, please call 718-353-3160 or visit http://flushinghospital.org/patient-services/flushing-hospitals-retail-pharmacy

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.

Winter Skin

Winter can be a particularly harsh season for our skin. During this time of year, temperatures are cold and we spend more time indoors where heating systems tend to deplete the water content in the air.  Low humidity in our environment contributes to dry skin.

Dry skin commonly appears as being rough and flaky patches, which can show up anywhere on the body but mostly on the arms and legs. In severe cases, your skin can develop creases and cracks when it is extremely dry.

Drying of the skin typically occurs when the outer layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, becomes compromised. The stratum corneum which is composed of dead skin cells and natural oils; acts as a protective layer that prevents water from evaporating from the surface. When water evaporates, outer skin cells become flaky and will cause cracks and fissures.

There are steps you can take to retain moisture and prevent dry skin. Here are a few:
• Bathe in warm water, never hot
• Use mild soaps that contain moisturizing creams
• Pat the skin dry with soft towels
• Use a moisturizer several times a day on exposed areas of the body.
• Drink a lot of water
• Apply sunscreen to prevent drying out from the sun’s rays
• Wear gloves
• Avoid wearing wet articles of clothes outdoors.
• Have a humidifier in the home

If you would like to speak with a doctor about your winter skin care, please call 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

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.