"L.I. Heart Walk" Event Raises $325,000

With a call to "Change Tomorrow. Today," 3,000 walkers from across Long Island raised $ 325,000 to help save lives from heart disease and stroke at the American Heart Association's 15th annual Long Island Heart Walk.

"Thanks to our walkers, donors, volunteers and sponsors, we have achieved our goal of bringing awareness to the issues of heart disease and stroke," said Michael J. Dowling, President and CEO of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and chairperson of the Long Island Heart Walk. "The determination and selflessness of everyone involved is such a strong testament to what the Heart Walk represents."

Across the nation, more than 1.5 million people will participate in this year's Heart Walk events in over 500 locations.

For more information, call your American Heart Association at 516-777-8447 or visit www.americanheart.org.

South Nassau Hospital Chief To Chair L.I. Council

South Nassau Communities Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph A. Quagliata was recently appointed chairman of the board of directors of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council (NSHC), the advocacy association which represents Long Island's 23 not-for-profit and public hospitals. He will serve a two-year term that is effective immediately.

Shown in photo: Past Chairman Tom Ockers (left) with Joseph Quagliata.

South Nassau Hospital Features A La Carte Dining

Providing standard-setting food services for patients and their visitors has always been a priority at South Nassau Communities Hospital.

With the recent implementation of a new program called Ala Carte Dining, patients are now enjoying and benefiting from a food service program that combines the personal preferences of a home cooked meal with the meticulous preparation, presentation and delivery of a quality restaurant.

Headed up by Executive Chef Stephen Bello, CEC, AAC, Mary Graffagnino, Chief Dietician, John Alexander, Food Service Director, and the members of Food and Nutrition Team, the Ala Carte Dining allows patients to order from a restaurant-style menu featuring an array of delectable selections.

In addition to its expansive menu, Ala Carte Dining employs a quick and simple process to place orders and take full advantage of its flexibility. Patients review the ala Carte menu and then phone in their orders to Food and Nutrition Technicians. After clinical screening the orders are electronically sent to the main kitchen. The orders are then prepared by a trained culinary staff and delivered to the specific units.

When asked what motivates him each day, Chef Bello profoundly stated, "There is no greater pleasure to a chef than satisfying people through the application of food. I am fortunate to be able to apply my craft at a hospital that realizes the vital contribution of food services to the quality of the care it delivers."

Your Ally In Preventing Asthma Attacks

You have probably seen a person in the midst of an asthma attack, either in real life or in comedy sitcoms and movies. They have a hard time breathing because their airways are more sensitive than that of other people. This demeanor is often mimicked in shows and movies with slapstick humor but breathing problem is no laughing matter.

Patients with breathing disorder have to stay away from allergens, such as animal fur and feather or flower's pollen grains, that may trigger allergic reactions. Children who usually play outside may not instantly notice or momentarily forget that they have to veer away from potential breathing irritants. The last thing they know is that they're already having a hard time breathing and are in dire need of an effective asthma treatment.

Doctors and research experts plainly explain that asthma occur in people who have delicate airways which can easily react to certain allergens. Since it is a chronic condition, people with breathing problems have to deal with it from childhood to adult life. This condition is also hereditary so if you are a mother who has a breathing disorder, you should make it a point to check with a pediatrician if your child inherited your breathing problem.

The telltale signs your child has a breathing disorder if he or she wheezes and coughs a lot and is allergic to cats or similar things. The child may also experience shortness of breath and the feeling that his or her chest is tightening. Don't undermine these signs so that you can immediately give your child the extra care he or she needs. But the good thing is that there are certain medications one can take to prevent hard-to-breathe attacks.

Asthma treatment includes inhalers, nebulizers, and doctor-prescribed drugs. For younger patients, physicians explained that the child can both use inhalers and nebulizers which are equally effective. However, inhalers are more child-friendly in a way because it is more convenient to use compared with nebulizers which are power-generated. Inhalers, either the dry power kind or the metered-dose type, are also cheaper alternative reliefs for asthma attacks.

Whatever kind of medication you use, doctors advise patients to make sure they are doing the medication application the right way. Patients have a choice which kind of medication to use according to their budget and the severity of their breathing conditions. It is a case-to-case basis; a medication which works for a particular patient may not be as effective for another patient.

It is best to consult physicians first before subjecting yourself or your loved one to a certain medication.

Know When To Call 911 For A True Emergency

Thankfully, emergencies do not happen very often. When they do, you want to get help fast. That's why 911 was created -- to make it easy to get help for yourself or someone else. Making the right call -- in a medical emergency -- can be easier when you follow these guidelines: Call 911 immediately for a true medical emergency. This includes when someone is badly hurt, suddenly sick or anytime someone's life is in danger.

"If you are ever in doubt that someone is having a true medical emergency," said Samuel Okonta, MD, chairman of Emergency Medicine at St. John's, "you should call EMS by dialing 911."

A Medical Emergency

If someone is suffering the following symptoms, call 911 when someone: Is badly hurt, suddenly sick or any time someone's life is in danger; Has trouble breathing; is suffering symptoms of a stroke like difficulty speaking, weakness or numbness of one side of the body and limbs; is fainting; Has bleeding that will not stop; Has severe or persistent vomiting, has sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body; Is coughing up or vomiting blood; Has suicidal or homicidal feelings; Is involved in a serious car accident, fall or other violent trauma.

When the dispatcher answers, briefly describe the type of incident you are reporting. Remain calm and answer any questions the dispatcher may have. Then stay on the line until the dispatcher tells you it is all right to hang up.

When Not to Call 911

The 911 system has a finite number of ambulances and personnel. Calling 911 when it is not an emergency can put an undue burden on the EMS system and could cost someone their life or limb. When the ambulance responds to unnecessary calls, response to true emergencies may be delayed.

Do not call 911 when you: Have a doctor appointment and you need transportation; Have a scraped knee; Need a prescription filled; Need transportation to another area of the city. If you call 911 in error, do not hang up the telephone. Instead, stay on the line and explain to the dispatcher that you dialed by mistake and that you do not have an emergency.

Warning Signs

Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness pain. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort. Other symptoms may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

Keeping Fit Means Keeping Active

Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle predispose individuals to countless different chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus.

Low cardio respiratory fitness intensifies the risk for mortality in individuals with and without underlying chronic disease. On the contrary, recent findings reveal that life long daily aerobic exercise efficiently attenuates risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. In fact, the differences in determinants of cardiovascular risk, namely heart left ventricle and atrium compliance, between exercising and sedentary adults are so profound that some speculate that excessive morbidity associated with aging may be more related to sedentary lifestyle than senescence.

The pathophysiology through which sedentary lifestyle accelerates disease progression appear to be related to arterial stiffening and insulin resistance. It is unclear whether the negative influence of physical inactivity on the determinants of cardiovascular risk emerge only late in life or whether they are present on young individuals.

It is important to determine whether sedentary lifestyle whether physically inactive, young, otherwise healthy men and women show different antecedents of cardiovascular disease -- such as arterial stiffness, vascular endothelium relaxation and insulin sensitivity relative to their physically active counterparts.

A number of research programs show that age related decrease in arterial compliance and vascular relaxation are ameliorated with life long endurance training. Aside from the prophylaxis of cardiovascular disease achieved by chronic daily aerobic exercise, stamina training is also the foundation in the prevention of diabetes.

In a general perspective, the similarities between the cardiovascular and metabolic responses to chronic aerobic exercise and prolonged physical inactivity are quite astonishing. Evidence shows a close relationship between metabolic dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.

One of the underlying biochemical mechanisms through which sedentary lifestyle leads to cardiovascular disease is through a progressive increase in insulin resistance.

Long Beach Medical Center's Health Fair A Hit

Hundreds of residents visited the LBMC Health Fair on the boardwalk July 23 to get free health care information and testing.

The annual health fair is held to promote preventative health maintenance and to provide accessible health screening services to the community. 

Representatives of the hospital offered services such as cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, nutritional advice, physician and pharmaceutical consultations, information on senior care and more, all free of charge. 

Children enjoyed spin art painting, playing games, and eating lollipops.  City Council members were on hand to meet, greet and promote good health.  

Shown above: City Council Vice President Rob Tepper with his children, Emily and baby William, Council Member Denise Tangney, Council President Lenny Remo and LBMC CEO Douglas L. Melzer at the Health Fair.




Enhanced Hearing Opens New Center

Enhanced Hearing Solutions celebrated the Grand Opening of their new location at 556 Merrick Road in Rockville Centre. 

Enhanced Hearing Solutions provides hearing aid solutions that address specific hearing needs, budget and cosmetic issues. 

Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby presented a Certificate of Recognition to owner and hearing aid wearer, Karen Renick and welcomed members of the staff.  

Shown (l-r) are Steward Birnbaum, Siemens Hearing Instrument, Tom Prezioso, Hearing Data Specialist,  Karen Renick, owner, Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Barbara Olsen, staff member, Lisa Donofrio, staff member, Lisa Rossi, staff member,  Alice Rosenberg, hearing aid customer.

Family-Centered Maternity Unit At South Nassau

When South Nassau Communities Hospital has opened the doors of its North Addition, which features a standard-setting Maternity Unit that is centered on providing the very best maternity care -- right from the start.

"The mother, newborn and the family are at the center of the planning and designing of our new state-of-the-art maternity center, ensuring that they enjoy every moment of this special time with the assurance that our experienced team is on-hand every step of the way," said Robert Hock, MD, Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at South Nassau.

Parents experience the entire birth process in the comfort of the Unit's beautifully appointed private LDR suites, which are equipped with the most current monitoring and labor equipment. Knowing that family and friends will be waiting to celebrate the birth, the Unit includes a centrally-located spacious waiting with comfortable lounge chairs and a view to the nursery so that everybody can be together when the new addition is introduced for the first time.

If you are an expecting parent or would like to see for yourself, call (516) 377-5310 to arrange a personal tour.

Passport Health Opens New Local Facility In Roslyn

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month, Passport Health officially opened its doors in the greater New York Metropolitan Area, offering travel health and other services to residents of Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

A Leader in Travel Health Services Passport Health provides a wide range of travel-related health services, including consultations, immunizations, and travel health supplies. With daily updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Health and other sources, Passport Health provides up-to-the-minute information on what health issues exist for any destination in the world.

To learn more about Passport Health, call (516) 626-2004.

Gain Flexibility In Five Minutes A Day

In her book, "Life and Death in Shanghai," Nien Cheng describes her life in China during Mao's Cultural Revolution. Because she and her late husband had worked for a foreign firm, her home and all her possessions were confiscated by the Red Guard, her daughter was tortured and then killed, and she was imprisoned and held in solitary confinement for six years. Ms Cheng was in her fifties when all this happened.

Conditions in prison were terrible and several times she came close to death. Describing one on her lowest points, when she barely had the strength to stand, she writes: "...I thought that if I was going to survive the Cultural Revolution, I must discipline myself with physical and mental exercise. Inspired by my own resolution, I stood up rather abruptly. Dark shadows almost blinded me, and I had to sit down again. But from that day onward, I devised a series of exercises that moved every part of my body from my head to my toes, and did them twice a day. At first the exercise exhausted me, and I had to interrupt it with frequent periods of rest. Also I had to avoid the prying eyes of the guards, as exercise other than a few minutes of walking in the cell after meals was forbidden. Nevertheless, I managed to exercise each day and after a few months recovered my physical strength somewhat, as well as my feeling of well-being."

Several years later, the political situation in China shifted and Ms. Cheng was released from prison. Despite all the hardships she had been through, her health quickly improved. Her friends commented that she looked much younger than her actual age. Eventually she moved to the United States.

It was fascinating for me to read about Ms Cheng's system of movement exercises because it closely parallels a procedure described in the book "How to Learn the Alexander Technique -- A Manual for Students" by Barbara and William Conable. This book emphasizes a procedure the Canables have named "body-mapping" -- essentially a systematic process of exploring on your own body precisely how the major joints and muscle groups work.

This is not the sort of study one usually associates with anatomy -- what I think of as "anatomy at a distance," that is learning about the human body without relating it to the body of the student who is doing the learning. Nor is it at all like the detailed study of cadavers done in medical schools.

Body-mapping is all about the practical application of basic anatomical knowledge to yourself as a living organism, learning about how you function at rest and in movement.

In their book, the Conables write: "In recent years some (Alexander Technique) students have expressed a longing to do flexibility work but have assumed they couldn't devote enough time to it. To one of these students I said one day, 'Well, you could do worse than simply put your joints through their range of movement each day.' He came back a week later and said, 'I did what you suggested and it was amazing.'

'What was that?' I asked.

'Put my joints through their range of motion each day.'

He showed me how much flexibility he had gained in a week doing that, and we began to systematically play with the idea. Sure enough, it works like magic and takes only about five minutes a day, with no necessity that the five minutes be consecutive. The student simply begins with the joint of the head and the spine...rotating the head and tilting, then moves on the the jaw...then on to the ribs, moving them at their joints with the vertebrae by taking a good breath. Then the student moves all four joints of the arm structure and the hand joints. Then the spine, bending forward, backward, to each side, spiraling, and twisting. Then the hip joint, knee, and ankle and the foot joints. That's it. Done correctly this routine increases flexibility faster than anything I know, and I have wondered and wondered why. I now think two factors contribute, first the quality of attention brought to the movement, which is the kind of attention that makes it possible for the body to learn from each movement. Second, some of the movements are ones that many people rarely make, like rotation at the upper arm joint with the shoulder blade and rotation at the hip joint. The body seems to delight in these movements and the availability seems to free the joint." If you¹d like to become more flexible, the experiences of Ms Cheng and of Baraba Connable¹s students point to a simple, efficient and effective way to achieve that goal..

The Brave New World Of Long-Term Care

Americans can no longer rely on Medicaid to pay for long-term care. The Deficit Reduction Act passed by the Senate on December 21, 2005 has now closed Medicaid loopholes. This legislation reduces direct Medicaid spending by $6.9 billion over the 2006-2010 periods and by $28.3 billion over the 2006-2015 periods. These savings would be achieved mostly by allowing states to trim benefits for Medicaid enrollees and letting states impose higher cost-sharing requirements.

Homeowners with equity of $500,000 or more will NOT be eligible to qualify for Medicaid nursing home benefits, and states presently have the option to raise that limit to $750,000.  In an effort to become Medicaid eligible and qualify for nursing home benefits, individuals historically have transferred assets for less than market value; there will now be increasing penalties for this wide spread abuse of the system. Home equity, treatment of large annuities and modification of the "income first" rule are also effected by this legislation. Additionally, the look back period for transferring assets can now be 5 years rather than 3 years.  

It is unthinkable that professional advisors continue to recommend Medicaid planning to clients who have the financial resources to plan for their potential long-term care needs. Given the choice of "owning our future" or placing our fate in the government's welfare system, the answer should be obvious. And If there is a state that is doing everything wrong it is New York. New Yorkers' taxes are 72 percent above the national average because Albany forces a larger portion of Medicaid costs onto the counties than any other state government does. New York's annual $42 billion expenditure on Medicaid is $2 billion more than Texas' and California's expenditures combined. In addition there is $5 billion in Medicaid fraud that Albany is not pursuing. If we have any hope of New York property taxes being reduced, the abuses in the Medicaid system must be aggressively addressed and litigated.  Medicaid originally intended to help the indigent and disabled is now paying long-term care for people who have creatively and legally divested themselves of their assets. 

The continued abuse of the Medicaid program will most certainly impact generations of Americans.   It is unconscionable that attorneys who specialize in elder care position clients by shifting assets and disavowing family obligations and responsibilities in order to get the state to shoulder the cost of long-term care. This enormous segment of the population must begin to assume responsibility for the expense of their own long-term care. 

For more information, call Marc D. Kaye of Long-Term Care Funding of New York at (516) 897-3000.