Search

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Caring for Diabetes at Home


Home Care Nurses Help Close the Gap in Diabetes Control 

By Joan Brown, RN, MSN, CCM, CDE VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans

HEALTH- According to the American Diabetes Association, one in four Americans age 65+ now lives with diabetes—that makes it more important now than ever to find ways to bridge the gap in diabetes control.


“Approximately one-third of our patients have diabetes in addition to their primary diagnosis,” says Yael Reich, a nurse diabetes specialist with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) who advises nurses on how to help patients and health plan members with diabetes manage their glucose levels. “This means our nurses are treating thousands of patients with diabetes on any given day.”

As a registered nurse and a certified diabetes educator with VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans, my colleagues and I know that every day people with type 2 diabetes are warned by their doctors to monitor their diet and stay active in order to control blood sugar and maintain their health.

“We know how difficult it can be when they walk out the office door to follow the advice. When they get home, the kitchen shelves are stocked with processed foods, white rice and sugary cereals; it’s difficult to find fresh or affordable produce in their neighborhood; and a regular fitness routine is one of those things they just never seem to get to.

Helping people better manage their diabetes and supporting them when lifestyle changes are needed is one of the most important things I do as a registered nurse and care coordinator. We have conversations every single day about how to apply “doctor’s orders” at home and keep diabetes under control for those who are at risk or coping with the disease. These strategies may be helpful for you as well: 

Shop Smart
You’ve heard it before, but when shopping and planning meals for yourself or a loved one with diabetes it’s important to remember:

  • Eliminate refined sugar.

  • Add fruits and vegetables to the diet. If you can’t get fresh, frozen is usually better than canned (check labels for sugars and sodium).

  • Not all fruits are created equal. Green means "go" for certain fruits: greenish bananas have less sugar than deep yellow ones, and green apples are better than red ones. Avoid grapes and raisins, which are high in sugar. Never have fruits alone as a snack. Always eat them with a meal.

  • Stay away from white flour; choose brown rice and whole-wheat pasta instead.

  • Avoid salt and fat in cooking; if you do use fat, olive oil can be a great substitute for less healthy fats like butter.

  • Limit juices and avoid sodas. Increase water intake in your meal plan.

  • Control portions and don't skip meals.

  • Have sugary items such as orange juice or hard candy on hand at all times in case of an emergency dip in blood sugar. 

  • Avoid dairy products.

  • Reduce meats and increase fish in your diet. You will get more protein from green vegetables.

Focus on What You CAN Have

As a caregiver for someone with diabetes, you can limit your role as naysayer by involving your loved one in mealtime decisions and preparation.

Remind them what they can have in addition to what they cannot. Offer meals that are roasted or sautéed in olive or canola oil rather than fried. Think spices rather than salt or sugary sauces. For a filling, healthy alternative dish, try legumes—lentils, chickpeas, beans— rather than white rice, which is high in carbohydrates.

Keep in mind that what you eat, how much you eat and what time you eat affects your blood glucose.

If you eat dinner after 6:30-7:00pm, your blood glucose will be high in the morning. Don’t forget your bedtime snack! (No fruits or fruit juices).

Steps in the Right Direction

The directive “Get plenty of exercise” can worry older people living with diabetes if it conjures up images of long jogging excursions or lifting weights at the gym. Instead, exercise can be part of daily life. A walk in the park or to the pharmacy or a stroll through the apartment hallways to get the mail all count!

When riding the bus, get off a stop early and walk the extra few blocks home. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, at least for a flight or two. Exercise can even happen in front of the television, with a series of leg lifts or arm circles done right in your chair.

Head to Toe Care

Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects the whole body. Pay careful attention to vision, as diabetes-related damage to delicate blood vessels in the eye can cause problems. When caring for someone with diabetes, communicate often about how well they are seeing. And be observant: if your loved one used to read the paper every day but now leaves it untouched, ask about their vision, and follow up with a doctor if necessary.

If you have type 2 diabetes or are at risk, remember to ask your doctor about your HGA1C blood test results (hemoglobin A1C). This test tells you how well controlled you are over a 2-3 month interval of time.

Solutions for healthier living truly begin at home—speak with a health professional if you have questions or concerns about your risk for diabetes. With the right home care support, the tools for managing your blood glucose levels are within easy reach.


To learn more about health plans that help elder New Yorkers live more comfortably, safely and independently in their own homes, please visit www.VNSNYCHOICE.org or call 1-855-AT CHOICE (1-855-282-4642). VNSNY CHOICE is affiliated with the not-for-profit Visiting Nurse Service of New York. 

#health

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Stroke Warning Signs

Know The Signs of a Stroke



Doctors at Montefiore Medical Center released the graphic which documents the warning signs of a stroke. 

See graphic Below:


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Strike Looming for Nurses in Hospitals Throughout New York


Nurses Set to Strike on April 2 in New York




The strike notice affects more than ten thousand nurses at the three hospitals systems where there are currently contract talks underway.

Right now, because hospitals refuse to hire enough bedside caregivers, nurses are forced to care for up to 19 patients at once. When that happens, our patients suffer.

We are patient advocates. We are raising a red flag. We are saying enough is enough.

In March, over 97% of nurses across the three hospital systems voted to authorize a strike because it has become a matter of life and death for our patients. We do NOT want to strike, but we are determined to make changes that will guarantee safe staffing to properly take care of our patients.  

Nurses refused to be silenced on safe staffing despite the hospital systems’ attempts to stop us from expressing our views and their failure to provide us basic staffing information. 

Last month, reports were released documenting approximately 3,800 “Protests of Assignment” signed by over 20,000 nurses in 2018 alonefrom the three hospital systems. The reports detailed conditions inside the facilities and showed there are not enough nurses to give patients the care they need and deserve. Additional news reports clearly highlighted disturbing conditions, including patients left on stretchers in hallways for days at a time with no privacy because of a lack of staff and space.

Below are just a few of the thousands of stories from the reports:

“Already short staffed and admissions keep coming (ER quickly filling up) with no imminent increase in staffing. Patients arriving every 5-10 minutes.” [Mt. Sinai, p36]
“Unsafe staffing in both nurseries. No NAs in both nurseries and acuity is high. Same situation on both 5th floor and 6th floor [NY-Presbyterian, p28]

“Not enough RNs to admit and discharge patients…RNs not able to check on patients every 1-2 hours [Mt. Sinai / St. Luke’s, p21]
“50 patients in waiting room with wait time of 6 hours and 24 minutes…RNs covering 19+ patients resulting in no time to medicate or document in accord with policies” [Montefiore, p23]


The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit our website at www.nysna.org.
#health


200+ Workers Celebrated 30 Years Working for Lincoln Hospital


Photos by Linda Morales





There are 213 employees at the NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln who have given 30+ years of service to the award winning South Bronx hospital. An Ice Cream Social took place on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2019 to celebrate those individuals for their loyalty and commitment to the Bronx community.  


  

With a staff of 3,000, the South Bronx’s premiere hospital has a significant percentage of seasoned professionals dedicated to it, from the Chief Medical Officer, Anita Soni (with 45+ years), Chiefs of Rehabilitation Medicine and Hemodialysis Dr. Herman Ambris and Dr. Isaiarasi  (both 30+ years), Administrators Sallie Evans (51+), Deborah Davis and Carlos Figueroa (both 40), Nurse Cecilia Negron (35+) and many many others…  






All colleagues enjoy the annual celebrations of and for NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln staff.

 




#health

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Mobile Health Center Brings Healthcare into New York Communities


Union Community Health Center Unveiled Its Mobile Health Center 



The program is an unprecedented, neighborhood-targeted, mobile medical and dental delivery infrastructure that serves to improve health outcomes for Bronx residents through direct services and health education. 

Focusing on the most vulnerable populations and those more likely to experience barriers to accessing health care, UCHCs dedicated mobile health team is estimated to engage 168 patients weekly throughout the Bronx, conducting 7728 care visits during the 46 week care year; enabling the Center to further provide comprehensive-high quality, affordable health care services without the boundaries associated with traditional brick and mortar settings. 

“There is no disputing that access to quality health care is a major determinant of overall health and wellness,” said Dr. Douglas York, CEO of Union Community Health Center. “The inability to access care impacts life expectancy, employment, and family dynamics. 

“The UCHC Mobile Health Fleet will now bring vital health care services directly to thousands of Bronx residents. Our goal has simply been to help to eliminate some of the existing barriers to accessing care.” 


Thanks to a $475,834.00 New York State Health Care Facility Transformation Grant UCHC received in 2017, the health center was able to bring that goal to fruition and invest in a program that will extend its reach to more schools, day care centers, public housing developments, homeless shelters and senior centers. 

The wheelchair accessible vehicle is equipped with the latest in mobile health technology including x-ray, and in addition to primary health care services, specialties services such as rheumatology, gastroenterology, podiatry and cardiology will also be offered. 

In line with UCHC’s collaborative care model, the mobile medical unit will integrate behavioral health services into each primary care visit, which has statistically proven successful in 
identifying undiagnosed depression in patients reluctant to seek care from mental health professionals and connecting them to treatment and care. 
The holistic integration of behavioral health services in a primary care setting has also proven effective in addressing the high rates of co-morbidity linked between mental health and chronic physical health conditions. 

“The UCHC Mobile Health Fleet will now bring vital health care services directly to thousands of Bronx residents. Our goal has simply been to help to eliminate some of the existing barriers to accessing care.” 

Thanks to a $475,834.00 New York State Health Care Facility Transformation Grant UCHC received in 2017, the health center was able to bring that goal to fruition and invest in a program that will extend its reach to more schools, day care centers, public housing developments, homeless shelters and senior centers.

The wheelchair accessible vehicle is equipped with the latest in mobile health technology including x-ray, and in addition to primary health care services, specialties services such as rheumatology, gastroenterology, podiatry and cardiology will also be offered. 

In line with UCHC’s collaborative care model, the mobile medical unit will integrate behavioral health services into each primary care visit, which has statistically proven successful in 
identifying undiagnosed depression in patients reluctant to seek care from mental health professionals and connecting them to treatment and care. 


The holistic integration of behavioral health services in a primary care setting has also proven effective in addressing the high rates of co-morbidity linked between mental health and chronic physical health conditions. 

Flu Shot Myths Debunked, Why You Need a Flu Shot


By Liz Spurrell-Huss, LCSW, MPH, Community and Population Health, Montefiore Health System



Each year the flu tears across the country, hitting the Bronx particularly hard. In our borough, flu and pneumonia were the 4th leading cause of death in 2016; causing more deaths than substance abuse disorders or stroke. This year, more than 11,600 Bronx residents have sought care at an emergency department for flu-like symptoms.

Montefiore takes educating our community and patients as seriously as their health. That is why for the past 4 flu seasons, we have teamed up with Walgreens/Duane Reade to offer flu vaccines to as many people as possible and partnered with community organizations to hold seminars addressing any concerns people have about flu and the vaccine.

To better understand how our community feels about the flu vaccine, Montefiore and the Bronx Borough President’s Office conducted a survey asking our community for their thoughts on flu.
From our 101 responses, we learned that 62 percent of those who did not get vaccinated said they were worried about the side effects of the vaccine and 55 percent said they did not believe the flu vaccine will prevent the flu. 

To address these concerns, here are some important facts about the flu vaccine:

The flu shot will give me the flu.


FALSE: The flu vaccine does not give you the flu. It stimulates your body to produce antibodies. These antibodies protect you from flu viruses.

If I get the flu shot, I will get very sick from it.

FALSE: You may experience some mild symptoms, such as soreness where the shot was given, but serious complications are rare. The symptoms are usually mild compared to how sick you would feel if you developed the actual flu. 

I am healthy, so I don’t need to get the flu shot.

FALSE: Because it is a highly contagious virus, even healthy people can get the flu. Also, if you are not protected against the flu, you could easily spread the flu to loved ones. Depending on their health issues, they might become very ill.

The flu vaccine isn’t 100-percent effective so it’s not worth it.

It can take your body about 2 weeks to fully develop immunity (or protection) from the vaccine, so if you get the flu within a few days of getting the flu shot, you were exposed to the flu before the vaccine could take effect.  

If you do end up getting the flu more than two weeks after you’ve gotten the shot, you will likely have a much milder case.

The flu shot is a money-making scheme-that’s why we are pushed to get one every year.

Every flu season there are different flu viruses circulating. Viruses can also mutate. If your antibodies meet a virus they don’t recognize, they are unable to block it. The vaccine gives you antibodies so your body can recognize flu and can fend it off. 

The Flu vaccine can keep you from getting sick from flu!

In fact, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):
Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, including among children and older adults.

Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.

Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.

Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder, if you do get sick.

Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, like babies, young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.


If you have concerns about the flu or the flu vaccine, please do not hesitate to talk to your primary care provider. If you would like to speak with a member of Montefiore’s Community Health team—please reach out here:  347-418-4733.

Colon Cancer Awareness Kicks Off with Inflatable Colon


HEALTH- Montefiore rolled out the Rollin’ Colon, a 20-foot-long, pink inflatable colon. The interactive learning experience kicks off activities aimed at raising colon cancer education and prevention in honor of Colon Cancer Awareness Month.




Colon cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer in the U.S.

Colon cancer is often treatable, if it’s found early enough.

Risk of colon cancer increases if you’re overweight or obese.

Red meat and high fat/processed foods can increase your risk of colon cancer.


Physical activity can decrease your risk of developing colon cancer.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Healthy Food Starts with Spring Cleaning of Your Pantry



HEALTH- Looking for help meal planning? Want to find ways to enjoy balanced meals and still lose weight? Wondering how to declutter your pantry to make room for healthier foods and snacks? It’s easy – just stop in the office of your local ShopRite dietitian. 


In celebration of National Nutrition Month®, which is celebrated each March and focused on helping shoppers make informed food choices, select ShopRite stores will host a wide variety of complimentary special events, free in-store classes, and community events.

“Our dietitians are excited about celebrating National Nutrition Month because not only is it a great time to highlight the wide-range of free health and wellness services we offer year-round, it also allows us to share the expertise of our in-store nutrition experts with local organizations in our surrounding communities,” says Natalie Menza-Crowe, MS, RD, Director of Health and Wellness at ShopRite.

In addition to in-store and community events that will be held during the month-long celebration, ShopRite’s dietitians will be partnering with dozens of government agencies to officially designate March as National Nutrition Month.

Founded in 2006, ShopRite’s Registered Dietitian program has over one hundred registered dietitians servicing ShopRite locations across the Northeast. ShopRite’s Registered Dietitians also offer free store tours, cooking skills classes, and work with ShopRite chefs to host culinary workshops for both kids and adults.

“March marks the beginning of springtime as well as National Nutrition Month,” says Menza-Crowe. “What better way to celebrate than by doing some spring cleaning in your own kitchen. The pantry is a great place to reduce clutter and encourage healthy eating.”

Menza-Crowe offers some tips on how to approach a pantry overhaul this season.

Take stock

A good first step of any reorganization is to take inventory. Clear a space and move everything from your pantry so you can see what you have.

Check expiration dates

Discard items past their expiration date to make room for newer items.

Store similar products together
Organize in a way that makes sense to you. For example, have a shelf for canned items, and pair all the beans together by type. Similarly, nuts and seeds, dried pastas, dried fruits, broths, and prepared soups can be categorized.

Organize with health in mind. 

Place nutritious snacks at eye level, so that everyone sees them right away when opening the pantry. This makes a healthy choice an easy one.

Create a “grab and go” section. This is a great place for ready-to-eat foods that are convenient for kids to grab after school or on the way to their next activity.

National Nutrition Month® is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign, celebrated each year during the month of March, focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

For more information on National Nutrition Month® at ShopRite, visit shoprite.com.


#health

Headlines