Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Oscar Winners Lend Voice to Covid-19 Experiences at Bronx Hospital

Oscar-winning actor Jesse Eisenberg talks during a Zoom conference at Lincoln Hospital on Covid-19.

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Lincoln Medical Center hosted its 3rd Theater of War event via Zoom on August 19. 

Using dramatic readings by A-list actors Frankie Faison, David Zayas with Jesse Eisenberg (below) and Frances McDormand, both Oscar winners, read from 2 ancient Greek mythology plays by Sophocles.  

The Theater of War created a vehicle to help those at Lincoln to engage in constructive discussion about the challenges of the recent pandemic, with a vocabulary to discuss themes like personal risk, death and dying, grief, and complex ethical decisions.  

Of course the goal is always to foster connection, moral resilience and positive action and The Theater of War is brilliantly provocative.  

The discussions were a visible and profound moment for Lincoln staff participants. Many watched from their desks and socially distanced in conference rooms. There were 1,450 RSVPS, and 889 global viewer sites from 20 countries.  (USA, Canada, UK, Indonesia, Brazil, Austria, Japan, Haiti, France, Barbados, Greece, Columbia, Singapore, Ecuador, Poland, Israel, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland and Australia.)

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Covid-19 Slams Blood Donations

Covid-19 Slams Blood Donations

File photo

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New York Blood Center is calling on the community to make appointments to visit donor centers as COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the process of donating blood. 

Before COVID-19, mobile blood drives hosted by high schools, colleges, businesses and other organizations made up about 75% of the region’s incoming blood supply, but the number of blood drives has dropped by two-thirds this year due to the pandemic. 

The upcoming school year presents new and unprecedented challenges. Blood donations are typically lower during the summer and the return to school usually helps make up the difference and stabilize the blood supply. In the past, school and college drives have resulted in  75,000 blood donations during each school year.  

“The pandemic is forcing us to rethink the entire landscape, which means encouraging donors to take the extra step of making an appointment and traveling to a donor center. The loss of young donors is a particular challenge because our future blood supply is dependent on these first-time donors becoming lifetime donors,” said Andrea H. Cefarelli, Senior Executive Director of Recruitment & Marketing for New York Blood Center. “We’ve always relied on the fall to provide a boost in blood donations from high school and college students hosting drives and this year we know this relief will not be coming.”

NYBC began hosting a limited number of drives again this summer. However they are far from the number of drives per month needed to support area hospitals. NYBC is encouraging eligible donors of all ages to adapt to this new normal by making appointments to visit a one of its 19 donors centers, which have expanded capacity and hours of operation in order safely accommodate more donors. 

Blood from volunteer donors is needed every two seconds to help meet the daily transfusion needs of cancer and surgery patients, accident and burn victims, newborns and mothers delivering babies, AIDS and sickle cell anemia patients, and many more. 

  • To make an appointment to donate blood, visit here.
  • NYBC also needs more partners to step up and help host drives in large venues. If you have a space available and would like to host a blood drive, please sign up here.

  • For information on the extra precautions being taken to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19, visit here

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Covid- MLB Umpires Hand Out Teddy Bears to Sick Kids, Virtually

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Every year Major League Baseball umpires from UMPS CARE Charities come to the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and hand out Build-A-Bears to children coping with serious illnesses and injuries.

This year, due to the pandemic, they could not come in person. However, they still delivered gifts and smiles, making sure the children and their families know they are not forgotten or alone.

UMPS CARE Charities, the official philanthropy of the Major League Baseball umpires, was founded in 2006 through the compassion of MLB umpires. UMPS CARE provides financial, in-kind and emotional support for America’s youth and families in need.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Lincoln Hospital Ranks High in Heart Health- US News Survey

Lincoln Hospital’s cardiology team.

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U.S. News & World Report issued its annual report of high performing hospitals, recognizing seven NYC Health + Hospitals facilities in various specialties as “high performing.” 

NYC Health + Hospitals’ acute care facilities were rated as “high performing” in psychiatry, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The recognition was published as part of the national magazine’s “Best Hospitals” issue for 2020-21. The annual rankings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care. 

For the 2020-21 ratings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 10 procedures and conditions. This recognition builds on the health system’s commitment to provide high-quality, comprehensive care to all New Yorkers regardless of ability to pay. 

NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx was ranked for its consistent high performance for congestive heart failure and for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“These recognitions are only made possible because of the commitment and passion from our clinicians and staff to provide comprehensive, high-quality care to all New Yorkers,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Our providers work tirelessly to not only treat patients, but also build relationships with our communities. We look forward to continuing to improve access to life-saving care that further enriches a person’s wellbeing and make our communities healthier.”
Lincoln Hospital’s COPD team.

“We are honored to be ranked consistently by U.S. News because it informs our patients that despite the challenges of the times, we maintain the highest standards, stay true to our core values and responsibilities for both heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” said Milton Nunez, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, located in the Bronx.  “With the pandemic, we are discovering uncommon forms of heart disease, some manifesting as heart failure from COVID. This illustrates how important our ongoing commitment to share and keep current with breakthrough information improves outcomes for our patients.”

Congestive heart failure, often referred to as heart failure, is a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of your heart muscles. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a common lung disease that takes one of two forms: chronic bronchitis or emphysema.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Covid 19- Annual Food, Farm Tour Going Virtual

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By Melissa Cebollero, Senior Director, Montefiore Health System Office of Government & Community Relations

No one can deny the massive impact that COVID-19 has presented for us as a nation, state, and city. Here in the Bronx, the pandemic strained the already challenging economic and social conditions that directly influence health factors and outcomes for the 1.4 million people who call this borough their home.

The social determinants that affect the health of Bronx residents include unemployment rates, availability of safe and affordable housing, and access to fresh and healthy food options. The ongoing issue of food insecurity in the Bronx has only been aggravated by the pandemic.

Montefiore serves as a founding member of the “#Not62 Campaign for a Healthy Bronx,” along with the Office of the Bronx Borough President, the Family Institute of Health, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This campaign began in 2015 to address the Bronx’s health ranking as 62nd out of the 62 counties in New York state. The group aims to improve strategic health outcomes for the Bronx by uniting stakeholders from across multiple governmental, health, and community organizations to ensure that the Bronx does not get left behind.

Following in the aims of the #Not62 campaign, Montefiore is once again supporting the Bronx Food & Farm Tour series for the seventh year. This seasonal tour of the many Bronx-based community gardens and farms promotes healthy eating, educates residents about where our food actually comes from and supports the operations of local gardens and farms so they may continue to provide access to fresh fruit and vegetables for their local communities.

Understanding how critical maintaining safe community engagement and messaging on health issues is at this time, we came together with our partners to transition the tour series onto a virtual platform. Each tour will now be filmed by the New York Botanical Garden and will feature 3 community farms as well as a healthy food demonstration provided by Bronx-based BBlossom Catering from now throughout October.

For more information about upcoming tours, please contact the Montefiore Health System Office of Government & Community Relations at (718) 324-4468.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Helping Elders Stay Cool When the Heat is On

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By Esther Conteh, RN, VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans, August 11, 2020

August is heating up, and with all the stresses of the last few months from the coronavirus crisis, it is more important now than ever for New Yorkers to be mindful of some important health tips when it comes to beating the heat.

This summer, oppressive humidity, combined with temperatures in the high 80s and 90s, puts older and more vulnerable New Yorkers at increased risk of heat-related health issues. Many elders may not realize the dangers that can arise upon stepping out into hot weather unprepared. When taking into consideration additional factors such as air quality and cloud cover, temperatures can often feel much hotter than they actually are, posing hazardous conditions for those already at elevated risk of health problems.

It makes sense to stay mindful of hot weather health cautions. 
Esther Conteh, RN, VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans

My colleagues and I at VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans coordinate care for homebound seniors so they can live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Because the weather may slow down or prevent friends and family from visiting homebound seniors, it is important to ensure that they are safe and comfortable at home amidst high temperatures. 

Below are a few easy ways in which New Yorkers—old and young alike—can stay feeling their best as they brave the heat.

1. Drink up

One of the most important ways to maintain health during the summer is by drinking enough fluids to avoid dehydration. 
Drink plenty of water and eat foods containing water, such as fruits, vegetables, gelatin (Jell-O) and ice pops. Aim for 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day (this amount includes the water in foods). Beware of coffee, caffeine and alcohol, which can actually dehydrate, rather than replenish, the body of fluids.

2. Keep a healthy appetite

Though your appetite may decrease in summer months, it is important to continue to eat well. Be sure your daily meals contain protein (lean meats, like chicken and fish) and carbohydrates (vegetables and whole grains). Salad, fruit and other small, cool meals can be eaten throughout the day to maintain strength. 

3. Cool down the body

Take frequent cool baths and showers to keep your body temperature from rising too high (Be sure that the bathtub has a slip-resistant mat or safety bars to prevent slips and falls). 

Simply cooling the feet in a bowl of cold or iced water may also help sustain bring your temperature down. Having a damp cloth to wipe down your face and arms is convenient as well.

4. Seek out cool places

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are already staying indoors and social distancing. Keeping the blinds drawn so that hot sun doesn’t make apartments even hotter is one strategy to consider. But for those at increased risk in extreme heat, New York City does open cooling centers in air-conditioned facilities for people experiencing physical discomfort in a heat wave. Visit https://maps.nyc.gov/cooling-center/ to find a center near you. NYC also offers an Air Conditioner Program and you can dial 311 to learn more.

5. Consider temporary care for an at-risk loved one 

For elderly people who are home bound or living alone visits from a licensed home health aide, wearing proper personal protective equipment and trained in safety protocols, can also be arranged for a few hours to provide peace of mind for family members who can’t reach loved ones or check in when the heat is on to make sure they are getting fluids and staying safe at home. 

6. Get it delivered

If possible, have something brought to your home rather than cooking inside or making the trek outside yourself. With many eateries offering delivery these days, and services like Fresh Direct, Amazon and local grocery stores able to bring almost anything to your door, you can stay safe inside instead of carrying extra things around in the heat.

7. Skip the sun’s peak hours

The hottest time of the day is between 10 AM and 2 PM. Avoid cooking or spending time outdoors during this period. 

If you must leave the house during a heat wave, wear sunscreen, as well as loose, light-colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. Always keep a fresh bottle of water in the refrigerator and bring it with you when you leave the house. Be careful to avoid burns on metal, especially on walkers, wheelchairs or benches.

Esther Conteh, RN, is Associate Vice President, Care Management, VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans, a part of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. To learn more, please visit www.vnsnychoice.org or call 1-855-AT CHOICE (1-855-282-4642).

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Coronavirus- Food Pantry Now Offering Needed Childcare Items

Senator Alessandra Biaggi meets with a local Bronx family during a food distribution event at Project BRAVO, Montefiore Medical Center’s owned and operated food pantry. 

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By Chelsea A. Andrews, Social Media Specialist, Montefiore Health System’s Project BRAVO Food Pantry

Montefiore’s Project BRAVO food pantry, a community-based, hospital-driven initiative designed to combat food insecurity for high-risk individuals and families, is now providing childcare necessities to families hit hard by the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19. 

With summer programs cut, affordable daycare facilities scarce and unemployment assistance coming to an end for many parents in the Bronx, Project BRAVO is prioritizing restoring a sense of normalcy to the families of our community.

In addition to offering free healthy food choices for local families, Bronx residents can receive a ‘childcare kit’ appropriate for a child’s age and family need. To receive the kit, parents just need to bring their Bronx ID and the child(ren)’s immunization record or birth certificate.

Kits can include:

* Diapers in sizes ranging from infants to toddlers.

* Dental care products for kids of all ages, including toothbrushes featuring favorite cartoon characters and flavored toothpaste to encourage dental hygiene.

* Baby formula, baby wipes and finger food.

* Books appropriate for every different reading level which have been donated by the non-profit Reach Out and Read. 
Picking up healthy food and childcare kits is easy. Adults picking up items need to be the legal guardians of the children for which they are picking up necessities, and their children must be between 1 week old and 9 years old.

Due to the high volume of pantry clients, weather advisories and social distancing practices, we recommend parents do not bring small children with them.

Our food pantry is open to all Bronx Residents on Monday and Friday from 12 PM to 2 PM and on Wednesdays from 10 AM to 12 PM. Please plan to arrive as close to opening time as possible to avoid a longer wait! Contact TMalone@Montefiore.org or 347.949.0636 for any questions.

We can’t wait to see you, and help healthy children grow up to be healthy community members!