Mount Alverno Center Residents Enjoy The Art of Story Telling Combined With Art

WARWICK – (July 15) Once upon a time people gathered around campfires or, in more recent times, on their front porches where stories would be told over and over. Somewhere, however, that art of storytelling was lost. But thanks to the skill and dedication of Bill McGinty a multi talented activities aide, storytelling is alive and well for the residents of Mount Alverno Center.

Mount Alverno Center, a New York State approved Adult Home with an Assisted Living Program, is part of the Warwick Campus of Bon Secours Charity Health System. The facility shares that Campus with St. Anthony Community Hospital and Schervier Pavilion, a skilled nursing facility.

McGinty is a retired high school teacher, world traveler and scholar with five degrees including a doctorate. He is also an artist, musician, singer and storyteller, all talents acquired while growing up in his native Ireland at a time when people lived without electricity and were expected to provide their own entertainment.

Every Friday as many as 40 residents gather in the activities room to hear well-crafted stories told by McGinty.

There is one, for example, about a 14-year old girl in 1834 who becomes an American hero after saving shipwrecked sailors in her rowboat. Another, “Ellen the Dance,” is about a farm girl who becomes an Irish champion dancer but, after loosing the use of her legs in an accident, overcomes her anger and bitterness when a young boy with disfigured legs teaches her the joy of life.

That last tale prompted one resident to suggest that McGinty, who is also an accomplished artist, paint pictures to go along with his stories.

“The residents are very avid listeners,” said McGinty. “They were also brought up listening to stories on the radio. But I thought the idea to paint pictures to go along with the stories was a good one and that’s what I do now. And they love to see what I’m coming up with next.

McGinty explained that the activities program at Mount Alverno is designed to keep the residents both physically and mentally active. And all programs at Mt. Alverno Center are designed to meet the psychosocial and physical needs of the residents with activities that are not only enjoyable but are also intended to improve their health and quality of life.

Saying Goodbye to Bug Bites

We’ve all experienced the uncomfortable itch and brutal bumps that result from mosquito bites. Unlike bees, mosquitos bite to feed on your blood. The bumps and itchiness come from an anticoagulant that the mosquito injects to prevent your blood from clotting. Although a few days of a constant uncomfortable itch are better than a blood clot, the allergic reaction isn’t fun! Check out some home remedies below for when those pests land on your skin!

  • For immediate relief, try an antihistamine cream to help the itch and swelling
  • Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that could help the itch. For even more relief, stash the aloe vera gel in the fridge (the cold will also help with the itchiness)
  • Preparation H (the topical treatment) can help reduce inflammation and may help with itching
  • Rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil and hand sanitizer with alcohol have antiseptic properties. They could help prevent bites from getting infected. Fair warning though: they sting when applied directly to a bite so be careful!

Source: Everyday Health

Saying Goodbye to Summer Colds!

Summer is the worst time to catch a cold but it seems to happen more often then not. I’m here right now to give you some tips on how to conquer your sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever quickly! The quicker you can get back into the sun, the better!

Wash your hands often

  • Germs are typically spread by hand, whether directly or indirectly. Your greatest defense is to wash your hands several times a day with warm, soapy water

Drink plenty of fluids

  • Drinking water and other liquids will help prevent dehydration and maintain your body’s fluids


  • It’s easier said than done but in order for your body to recover from a virus, you must get plenty of rest

Spend some time in the sun

  • The sun’s ultraviolet rays can kill cold viruses, just as ultraviolet light can kill surface germs

Take advantage of the fruits of the season

  • Eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and nutrients will help boost your body’s immune system

I’m crossing my fingers that you don’t get sick this summer but remember to take these tips into consideration!

St. Joseph’s Place Residents Enjoy Barbecues in New Healing Garden

PORT JERVIS, NY  – (June 27) On Wednesday, June 25, residents of St. Joseph’s Place, a long-term care facility at Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, NY, had an opportunity to enjoy an outdoor barbecue in their new and picturesque Healing Garden.

Thanks to the generosity of the local community, the Healing Garden, a furnished roof top garden featuring a pond, waterfalls, flower beds, a 30 foot long pergola, tables with umbrellas and many other amenities, was completed last year and is open to residents and their guests at any time.

This year, however, St. Joseph’s Place Administrator Adele Coates and Recreational Director Amy Barra, decided to host a barbecue in the garden for all the residents at least twice each month during good weather.  And traditional barbecue favorites including hamburgers and hot dogs, salads, watermelon and cold drinks, prepared by Morison Food Service, will be served at each table.

“Outdoor activities including barbecues in pleasant surroundings like our Healing Garden have an important value in long term care at St. Joseph’s Place,” said Barra, “They are essential to the quality of life and the quality of care for individuals receiving health and human services.”

St. Joseph’s Place long-term care at Bon Secours Community Hospital is a 46-bed skilled nursing facility that provides professional care in an interdisciplinary approach to meeting the medical, personal, spiritual and social needs of each of its residents.

Nursing Home Compare, a useful tool for consumers available on the official United States Government Website for Medicare, has awarded St. Joseph’s Place its highest “much above average” five-star rating in overall quality.

Residents are encouraged to participate in a wide array of activities including gardening, games, music, arts and crafts, education, and fitness programs. They also enjoy group day trips and outings to local restaurants. In addition, many local groups and organizations regularly visit St. Joseph’s Place and help to keep residents involved and in touch with their community.

St. Joseph’s Place is located on the first floor of Bon Secours Community Hospital, 160 E. Main St., providing residents with easy, ready access to the hospital’s medical facilities and staff.

In addition to quality long term care services, St. Joseph’s Place also offers long term and short term rehabilitation, tracheotomy care, head trauma care, respiratory care, and psychological services in a comfortable setting that residents can call “home.”

Schervier Pavilion Skilled Nursing Facility Celebrates Five Star Rating in Overall Quality with Staff BBQ

WARWICK, NY  – (June 24) The notice to all the employees at Schervier Pavilion, a skilled nursing facility on the Warwick, NY campus of Bon Secours Charity Health System, read, “Let’s celebrate!” and followed with an invitation for all employees to attend a barbecue on Thursday, June 19.

Nursing Home Compare, a useful tool for consumers available on the official United States Government Website for Medicare, had recently awarded Schervier Pavilion, its highest “much above average” five-star rating in overall quality.

The ratings, containing quality of care information on every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country, including over 15,000 nationwide, allow consumers to compare information about nursing homes.

During National Nursing Home Week in May, Schervier Pavilion Administrator Lisa Brocky announced the receipt of the five-star rating, stating that the prestigious award was the result of the outstanding dedication and teamwork of every member of her staff.

And so on Thursday, June 19, every employee had an opportunity to enjoy pulled pork, barbecued chicken, corn-on- the-cob, cold drinks and other traditional barbecue selections served in the facility’s courtyard at times convenient to each of the three shifts.

“We are extremely proud of the work our care team has accomplished to achieve this five star rating,” said Brocky. “We strive to give our residents the quality of life and level of dignity they deserve. This prestigious recognition is a tribute to the hard work of our team and their dedication to providing excellent care to our residents. And this celebration was just one way to say, ‘Thank you.”

Schervier Pavilion, a member of the Bon Secours Charity Health System, is a 120-bed skilled nursing facility licensed by the New York State Department of Health. Dedicated to the highest standard of health care excellence, its full range of services, such as its therapeutic recreational program, are designed to respond to each individual’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

In addition to quality long term care services, Schervier Pavilion also offers a wide range of short-term (sub acute) care needs. Its sub acute services include IV therapy, Rehabilitation therapy and wound care. These services afford residents the ability to recuperate for a short time in the sub-acute unit of the facility and then return to the community where they can resume a more independent life. In some cases, they can then enter Schervier Pavilion’s Day-At-A-Time, an innovative medical adult day care program that provides nursing services, medication administration, ongoing evaluations, and stimulating activities tailored to each individual’s needs and abilities.

4th of July Flag Cake For All!

There’s a reason the saying is “save the best for last.” If anyone has tried to convince you to skip cake, they’re wrong. There’s nothing bad about splurging every once and a while! Check out this recipe for a creative Flag Cake, perfect for the 4th of July weekend!

Flag Cake—yields 20-24 servings


Cake Ingredients

  • 18 tablespoons (2 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Icing Ingredients

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 ½ pounds cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Extra Ingredients

  • 2 half-pints blueberries
  • 2 half-pints raspberries

Baking Directions

  • Heat the oven to 300 degrees F
  • Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
  • Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy.
  • On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla.
  • Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
  • Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined.
  • Pour into the prepared pan.
  • Smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool to room temperature.

Icing Directions

  • Combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.
  • Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake.
  • Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick.
  • Fill the upper left corner with blueberries.
  • Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe.
  • Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries.
  • Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed.
  • Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.

Enjoy and have a safe holiday weekend!

Source: Ina Garten—The Food Network

Funnel Cake Fun

Close your eyes and envision yourself as a kid, entering a carnival or fair for the first time. The smells and sounds immediately come to mind, reminding us of the simple things in life. Well today, I have a simple recipe for a childhood favorite—Funnel Cake! Check it out below but remember, this should only be a once-in-a-while treat!

Funnel Cake—yields 10 cakes



  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ stick butter (6 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar, for topping


  • Boil water butter, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan
  • Add flour and work it in until it’s all incorporated and dough forms a ball
  • Transfer mixture to the bowl of a standing mixture and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes
  • With mixer on lowest speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing
  • Once all eggs have been added and mixture is smooth, put dough in a piping bag fitted with a number 12 tip
  • Heat about 1 ½ inches of oil in a heavy pan
  • Pipe dough into oil, making a free-form lattice pattern
  • Cook until browned, flipping once
  • Remove cake from oil
  • Drain on paper towels
  • Top with powered sugar
  • Continue until all of the batter is used


Source: Alton Brown—The Food Network’s “Good Eats”



SUFFERN, NEW YORK -  (July 1, 2014)  When 19-year old lifeguard, Sean Meigh, renewed his CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Certification in early June, he believed he would use his life-saving skill on a beach or at a pool, not on the living room floor of his home in Garnerville, New York. Neither did he imagine that he would save the life of the man dearest to him; his father, Michael Meigh.

Mr. Meigh, a police sergeant with Amtrak, set out to complete some chores in his yard on what he believed to be a typical day at home.  After pouring cement footings on his property, he felt as if he needed a break from the activity.  He went in his home for a cool drink and a brief rest.  He drank some water.  As his body became extremely hot, he put on the air-conditioner. He began profusely sweating and feeling lightheaded.   Certain he was dehydrated or having a heat stroke, he continued to rest and drink more water.   As Sean prepared to take a shower, he asked that his 11 year-old brother, Connor, stay by their father to make sure that he would begin feeling better. That is the last thing Mr. Meigh remembers before blacking out and subsequently waking up in the Cardiac Care Unit of Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Suffern, New York.

Wise beyond his years, Connor quickly dialed 9-1-1 and requested an ambulance for his father while alerting his older brother of the situation.  For the first time, Sean’s CPR skills were put to the test, as he immediately began using them on his father while Connor waited outside for the ambulance to arrive.  “My adrenaline just kicked in and I did what I instinctively knew I should do,” stated Sean.  “It never crossed my mind that I would have to actually have to save my father’s life – and if it weren’t for knowing CPR, I wouldn’t have been able to.  Everyone should know CPR.”

“I never ever thought I was having a heart attack” stated Mr. Meigh, who is only 51 years of age and has no family history of cardiac problems.  “I had no chest pains at all, actually no pain anywhere and just thought I was dehydrated or having a heat stroke.”

What Mr. Meigh remembers next is waking up in the hospital with his wife, Marian, at his side.  He was shocked to learn that he had a heart attack and a procedure to place a stent in his blocked artery, under the care of Cary Hirsch, MD, FACC, of Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and Bon Secours Medical Group of Suffern, New York.

“Dr. Hirsch, and other members of the medical team, told me several times that the quick actions of my two sons saved my life,” said Mr. Meigh.  “I am so grateful to both of them and so proud.”  Now discharged from the hospital and doing well at home, Mr. Meigh is looking forward to a full recovery under Dr. Hirsch’s guidance.

Sean Meigh is now rethinking the path he chooses for his future and would like to pursue a career in the medical or law enforcement field.  “I like the feeling of saving lives and helping others,” he said. “My father gave me my life, and I was happy to give him back his.”

CPR Classes are available at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Suffern, New York.  Call 845-368-5000, extension 6791 for dates and more information.

Festive Fireworks Drink for Fourth of July Weekend!

Warm summer days require a cool drink (at least for those over the legal drinking age!). Check out this festive Fourth of July weekend drink mix below but remember to drink responsibly!

Fireworks Red, White and Blue Daiquiris—yields 6 servings


Ingredients for Blue Layer

  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup blue passion fruit liqueur (such as Hpnotiq or Alize)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons blue curacao liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons white rum
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Ingredients for Red Layer

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup watermelon chunks, frozen
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons white run
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Ingredients for White Layer

  • 1 cup coconut sorbet
  • ¼ cup rum
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Blue Layer Directions

  • Put 1 ½ cups of the ice cubes in the carafe of a blender
  • Add the passion fruit liqueur, lime juice, blue curacao, rum and sugar
  • Blend until slushy and there are no chunks of ice left
  • Add the remaining ½ cup of ice if needed
  • Transfer to a large measuring cup or small bowl
  • Place in freezer while you make the next layer

Red Layer Directions

  • Rinse out the blender
  • Add the frozen strawberries, watermelon, lime juice, rum and sugar to the blender
  • Blend until slushy and there are no chunks of fruit
  • With the motor running, add the ice, a few cubes at a time until thick and smooth
  • Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the consistency is too thick
  • Transfer to another small bowl
  • Place in freezer while making the final layer

White Layer Directions

  • Rinse out the blender
  • Add the coconut sorbet, rum and lime juice to the blender
  • Blend until smooth and thick
  • With the motor running, add the ice, a few cubes at a time
  • Continue to blend until thick and no bits of ice remain

Serving Directions

  • Pour the red layer into the bottom of six 8-ounce glasses, about 1/3 cup each
  • Gently spoon 1/3 cup of the blue layer over the red layer so they stay separate
  • Finish by spooning 1/3 cup of the white layer over the second layer in each glass

Enjoy responsibly!

Source: Food Network Kitchen

Open-Faced Tomato Grilled Cheese Recipe

Grilled cheese might be a childhood staple when the weather is cold but today, we have a grilled cheese recipe that’s perfect for adults on summer days! Spice up your Fourth of July weekend with this recipe!

Open-Faced Tomato Grilled Cheese—yields 6-8 serving



  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ baguette, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large clove garlic, halved
  • 1 medium tomato, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ¼ pound sliced provolone cheese


  • Preheat a grill to medium high
  • Combine the olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt in a small bowl
  • Brush the cut sides of the baguette with some of the flavored oil
  • Grill cut-side down until toasted, about 4 minutes
  • Rub the grilled sides of the baguette with the garlic
  • Top with the tomato slice, season with salt and cover with the provolone
  • Grill, covered, until the cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes
  • Drizzle with the remaining flavored oil and season with salt
  • Cut into pieces


Source: Food Network Kitchen