Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Coronavirus- Don’t Let Your Health Take a Back Seat During COVID-19

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By AdvantageCare Physicians, April 29, 2020

New Yorkers are known for their resilience during times of crisis. As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to create uncertainty among New Yorkers, AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY) is safely providing care for more than half a million patients in New York City, including through BronxDocs, an affiliate of ACPNY with three locations in the Bronx. We're committed to ensuring every patient has access to virtual visits to keep you safe.

By following social distancing practices and staying home, New Yorkers are doing their part to help reduce exposure and the spread of COVID-19. While this is important, it is also vital to stay in touch with your primary and specialty care providers and continue taking care of your health. You can easily schedule a virtual visit for a wide range of appointment types at ACPNY or BronxDocs, including new patient visits, behavioral health sessions, nutritional visits, endocrinology visits, and many more. If you or a loved one speak a language other than English, you can visit with one of our providers who speak multiple languages.

Right now, our doctors and providers are ready to treat you where you are—by computer, phone or tablet. Virtual visits can address many of your health issues and concerns, whether you have symptoms related to COVID-19, need support for stress or anxiety, or ran out of refills for a prescription.

For patients with chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, it is even more critical to maintain a relationship with your primary care provider, as individuals with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of reacting severely to COVID-19. While you may think a health concern is minor and can wait, scheduling a virtual visit can give you peace of mind and help prevent future health issues by addressing them today. 

During National Nurse’s Week, we want to ensure all frontline staff, including our city’s hardworking nurses, have the care and support they need. If you are an essential worker and working unusual hours, our providers take thousands of appointments each day and can work to accommodate schedules. As the world continues to respond to COVID-19 and adjust to new daily life, our team is here to provide you with the health care services you need—safely.

Your health should remain a priority, especially during this challenging time. To schedule a virtual visit, please call ACPNY at 646-680-4227 or BronxDocs at 646-680-5200.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

For Bronx Behavioral Health Nurses, Caring Is More Than an “ACT”

Andrea Abramoff is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York

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By Chandra Wilson, April 28, 2020

May is National Nurses Month, a time to recognize the thousands of dedicated nurses and healthcare workers on the COVID-19 frontlines in hospitals, as well as those caring for New Yorkers in their homes. One Bronx home care nurse is part of a team that helps some of our community’s most at-risk residents find peace of mind in this difficult time. 

Andrea Abramoff is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, where she works with  VNSNY’s Assertive Community Treatment program, known as ACT.  

As part of VNSNY Community Mental Health Services (CMHS), ACT provides community-based behavioral health care to individuals who struggle with severe mental illness and substance abuse. 

The program ensures that patients have access to care and are correctly taking their medications, and that they have adequate housing, food and essential treatments needed to keep them on a healthy path. 

“People who suffer from mental illness are already facing enormous challenges,” says Abramoff, “and with everyone pushing past their limits during this pandemic, our patients are at an even higher risk.”

To keep people safe and minimize the spread of the virus, the ACT team relies on Telehealth communication whenever possible, but since many who are served by the program have trouble taking oral medications consistently, they require medical treatments delivered in-person by a nurse. 

Despite the pandemic, ACT nurses are continuing to make regular trips to visit clients and administer medications where needed. Each visit begins with a screening phone call to assess for COVID-19 symptoms, then the ACT behavioral nurses carefully put on protective masks, goggles, gloves and gowns to protect themselves and their patients as they provide care wherever home may be for the patient. 

“Nourishing relationships with our patients is top priority,” adds Abramoff. “If we’re not able to keep our clients stable and healthy mentally and physically, they might undo all the progress made. Anxiety levels are certainly higher than normal for everyone, and it is critical that our clients see an encouraging face to remind them that they will get through this time.”

So, when 7:00 p.m. rolls around this evening, and you join in to cheer for the brave healthcare workers fighting on the frontlines in our city, give a special Nurses Month shout out to behavioral health workers like Andrea and her ACT team in the Bronx who play a critical role in supporting the health and well-being of some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers among us.

To learn more about Community Mental Health Services at the not-for-profit Visiting Nurse Service of New York, please visit, or call 1-800-675-0391. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Surgeon who Separated Conjoined Twins Dies from Covid-19

 Dr. James T. Goodrich

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By Dan Gesslein, March 31, 2020

The surgeon who separated conjoined twins and gained worldwide attention for the Bronx hospital has died due to complications from the coronavirus. Officials at Montefiore medical center said they were devastated to learn that Dr. James T. Goodrich has passed away. 

Goodrich gained international attention in 2016, when he led a team that separated Jadon and Anias McDonald. The twins were fused at the brain and skull.

The 40-doctor team conducted a 27-hour procedure at Montefiore Children’s Hospital to separate the young boys. 

The pediatric neurosurgeon was considered the expert on this life-saving procedure. He was consulted regularly on hundreds of cases and he traveled the world to share his knowledge with his international colleagues.

“Dr. Goodrich was a beacon of our institution and he will be truly missed," said Montefiore Medicine CEO, Dr. Philip O. Ozuah. "His expertise and ability were second only to his kind heart and manner. Dr. Goodrich was admired by his Montefiore Einstein colleagues and adored by his patients and Montefiore Einstein will not be the same without his presence.” 

After serving as a Marine in Vietnam, the Oregon native decided to pursue a medical career. He served more than 30 years at Montefiore Einstein and was the Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Montefiore and Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery, Pediatrics, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Colleagues remember him for not only how generously he shared his time and knowledge with young doctors but his big heart. Officials say during the holidays he would bake cookies and hand them out to the nurses at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.  

“Jim was in many ways the heart and soul of our department - a master surgeon, a world-class educator, and a beloved colleague for all,” said Emad Eskandar, MD, MBA,  Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. “His sudden loss is heart-breaking and his memory will always remain foremost in our thoughts. Our sympathy and prayers go to his wife Judy, and all those who were close to him.”

Dr. Goodrich passed away on March 30, 2020 from complications associated with COVID19. He is survived by his wife and three sisters.

Coronavirus: Bronx Hospital Prints Up Face Shields...

Your Health Voice - Hospitals Nursing Health Tips: Coronavirus: Bronx Hospital Prints Up Face Shields...: Subscribe in a reader Follow @Bronxvoice1 A week ago, as the inventory of face shields at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, beg...

Coronavirus: Bronx Hospital Prints Up Face Shields in 3D Printer

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A week ago, as the inventory of face shields at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, began to grow dangerously low, Dr. Eric Appelbaum, the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, came to Dr. Mina Attaalla, an emergency medicine physician, with a request: Could you make face shields through 3-D printing?

Dr. Attaalla, who also works as the Director of Medical Simulation for the hospital, said he would try. In past years, he had produced different body parts, from a thorax to a skull to a spinal canal, used by residents to practice their skills at a fraction of the normal cost. The face shields are more practical:  they are needed for anyone coming into contact with a Covid-19 patient.

On his own, working from home after putting in long days at the hospital, he was unable to produce more than three to six face shields a day. That’s when he reached out to the 3-D printing community on Facebook. This resulted in a huge outpouring from dozens of both small companies and hobbyists in New York and around the country.

As a result, several hundred face shields have been printed and assembled for use by the hospital’s doctors and nurses.

“These are reusable and can be washed down,” says Dr. Attaalla. “They’re not flimsy and should be good for quite some time.”

He says he is stunned by the outpouring of support.   “I want to give everyone credit for getting us over the hump on this,” he says. This includes small companies like and individuals, like one guy, who insisted on taking an Uber from Brooklyn to personally drop off a case of new shields."
Dr. Attaalla says he is not finished with exploring the benefits of 3-D printing during these difficult times. He is presently working with the engineering department at New York Institute of Technology to design and produce a 3-D prototype vent slitter attachment, which would allow the ventilators, which are also in short supply, to be used for multiple patients.

Experimental Therapy Might Help People with Serious COVID-19 Complications

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Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine has joined a clinical trial to evaluate the experimental drug remdesivir to treat people who are hospitalized with severe COVID-19 infection. 

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring the trial. This treatment has the potential to help people who have serious lung complications as a result of COVID-19. Recruitment for the trial began in March is still underway. 

Montefiore-Einstein is one of 46 testing sites nationwide and is the first site in New York State to open. NIAID launched the multi-center international effort to determine if remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral drug, acts against COVID-19 viral infection. Remdesivir has shown promise in animal models of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), both caused by human coronaviruses.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is being led by principal investigator Barry Zingman, M.D., professor of medicine at Einstein and clinical director, infectious diseases, in the Moses division of Montefiore Health System. The trial is “adaptive,” meaning it can be modified to include other investigational treatments. “This flexibility allows us to add additional therapies to the trial step-by-step to improve treatment as the pandemic continues,” said Dr. Zingman.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is being led by principal investigator Barry Zingman, M.D., professor of medicine at Einstein and clinical director, infectious diseases, in the Moses division of Montefiore Health System.

Trial participants are hospitalized patients with a laboratory-confirmed coronavirus infection and lung complications, including rattling sounds when breathing, a need for supplemental oxygen, abnormal chest X-rays showing pneumonia, or the need for a mechanical ventilator.

People in the treatment group will receive 200 mg of remdesivir intravenously on the first day of their enrollment in the study and will receive another 100 mg each day for the duration of hospitalization, for up to 10 days total. The placebo group will receive an equal volume of a solution that resembles remdesivir but contains inactive ingredients.

Montefiore and Einstein’s robust clinical trial infrastructure contributed to its selection and rapid approval for participation.
No therapies have yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating COVID-19.

Remdesivir, an investigational antiviral therapy, was developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc.