Monthly Archives: November 2013

Holiday Eating Strategies for People with Diabetes By Joan Schwegler, RD, CDE

The holidays are here, oh how time flies! So give yourself a present this season by following a few tips to keep on track managing your diabetes. After all, the holidays are about social gatherings with family and friends and what would a party be without food! Planning and moderation are the keys so don’t be sabotaged in your attempt to keep blood sugars under control. Healthy eating during the holidays is all about choices; with a little preparation, you can enjoy your favorite foods and resist the temptation to overeat.

Are you preparing the holiday meal this year?

Include nutritious food choices like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats on the menu. Plan healthier versions of your traditional foods by substituting light or fat free sour cream in casseroles, sautéing vegetables in defatted broth rather than butter or adding a buttered-flavored spray to vegetables instead of heavy cream sauces, broiling, grilling or roasting meats and poultry on a rack so the fat can drip off, removing the skin from poultry, degreasing gravies by refrigerating and skimming off fat after cooling, substituting egg whites for whole eggs in recipes and whipping chilled evaporated skim milk for dessert toppings instead of using whipped cream. Calories can add up so try to avoid tasting too often when cooking and resisting the temptation to graze by putting leftovers away promptly.

Did you receive a party invitation?

Accept the invitation and have fun. Focus on conversation with family and friends instead of eating. Remember, if you are not planning the party menu yourself, the food options may not always be the healthiest so offer to bring a lower-calorie dish that you will enjoy. A colorful plate of veggies with a low fat yogurt dip will be warmly appreciated by the host or hostess. Don’t arrive at the party on an empty stomach – skipping meals or snacks earlier increases the likelihood of overeating later. Try to stick to your meal plan. Practicing moderation and consistency in carbohydrate intake throughout the day is the key to blood sugar control rather than saving all the “carbs” for later.  So go ahead, enjoy small portions of your favorite foods, eat slowly and practice mindful eating – concentrate on the flavors and textures.  Keeping hydrated by sipping calorie-free drinks such as sparkling water or flavored seltzer will help you feel full. If you choose to consume alcohol, drink in moderation because the calories can add up! The recommendation is no more than 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men and should be consumed with food to prevent low blood glucose later, especially for someone taking insulin or certain diabetes medications.  A drink is defined as one 5 fl oz glass of wine, 12 fl oz of beer or 1 1/2 fl oz of distilled spirits (80-proof).  A wine spritzer made with club soda or a light beer is a good option to save on calories.

Dining out this holiday season?

The festivity of the holiday season often lends itself to sharing meals with family and friends at a favorite restaurant. Most restaurants will offer a combination of healthy and unhealthy items to choose from so it is important to read the menu carefully.  Menu item descriptions can be very helpful in choosing a lower fat menu item. Avoid menu items that include words such as “fried”, “crispy”, “creamy”, “buttery”, “bisque”, “cheesy”, “smothered”, “gravy”, or “encrusted”. Menu items that are served in a broth, red sauce, or wine sauce are lighter and lower in fat. Restaurants usually serve larger portions – one meal can often feed two or three people! Remember, the strategy is moderation so ask to have half of the meal packaged for take home before you start eating or request a lunch or kids portion when ordering dinner. Limit the bread or rolls by asking  to have them removed from the table and save your “carbs” for a whole grain option like wild rice or choose a small baked potato instead of French fries.  Salad is a good option but make sure to request dressing “on the side” and use a small amount.  Salad toppings like croutons, bacon bits and cheeses can turn a healthy option into a not-so-healthy option, so add sparingly. You can still enjoy a holiday dessert – share one with your dining partner. The trick is to substitute small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates in your meal plan, for example, have the small piece of pie for dessert instead of the roll at dinner. Dining out doesn’t always lends itself to eating at routine times so be mindful that medications may need to be adjusted. If meals are delayed and you are taking insulin or certain diabetes medications you may need a snack at the time you would usually eat your meal. Service in restaurants can be slow, especially during the busy holiday season, so when taking fast-acting insulin for meals wait until you are served before taking it to balance with food.

Going ice-skating?

Dress warm and stay active! Physical activity will help you burn calories, avoid weight gain and keep blood sugars under control.  It is also a good way to reduce the stress that often goes along with menu planning, shopping, cooking and decorating. So don’t take a holiday from your regular exercise routine! Try a seasonal activity, build a snowman, have a snowball fight! Walk a few laps around the mall.  Taking a stroll after eating a holiday dinner is a nice way to appreciate the outdoor decorations with family and friends.

The holiday season is a time to cherish loved ones, ring in new traditions and enjoy some traditional foods.  Whatever holiday you are celebrating, planning your strategy ahead of time will go a long way in reducing the anxiety associated with food focused holidays.

Enjoy this healthier holiday dip at your next party:

Spinach-Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon, Servings Per Recipe: 36


  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise dressing or salad dress­ing
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 red and/or yellow sweet peppers, seeded and cut into strips, or desired dippers

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together mozza­rella cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise dressing, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, the flour, and the Dijon mustard.

2. Stir in the spinach, roasted red peppers, and 2 tablespoons of the green onions. Spread the cheese vegetable mixture evenly into a 1-quart ovenproof shallow dish or a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Bake the dip, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the mixture is heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons green onions. Serve with red and/or yellow sweet pepper strips. Makes 2¼ cups.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING: Calories: 21, Total Fat: 2 g (0 g sat. fat), Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium: 47 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 1 g.

Used with permission from Diabetic Living® magazine. ©2007 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. For more diabetes-friendly recipes, visit­ 

Sponsorship Leader Changes

The Sponsorship Leader role was established to advance Bon Secours Health System’s (BSHSI) alignment in governance and business practices with our Catholic identity, organizational mission and values.  Over the past 18 months, the Sponsorship Leaders have reflected on the role of this position in concert with BSHSI’s current leadership talent, emerging organizational needs, desire to promote systemness and prudent stewardship of resources.  With the recent departure of Sister Pat Heath, the Sponsorship Leaders recognized that now is a good time to make some changes.

After careful discernment and based on the group’s work, I will be making changes in Sponsor Leader assignments to align with  current and emerging BSHSI needs.  While the key responsibilities of Sponsorship Leaders will not change, each Local System will be impacted.  Each Sponsorship Leader will have multiple responsibilities and serve multiple Local System constituencies.  The following are the restructured assignments for Sponsorship Leaders:

Sponsorship Leader

Local System Assignment

Sr. Anne Lutz Retain EVP of Sponsorship role and serve as Sponsorship Leader for Bon Secours Baltimore Health System
Sr. Anne Marie Mack Bon Secours Richmond Health System and Bon Secours St. Petersburg Health System
Bro. Art Caliman Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System and Bon Secours New York Health System
Thom Morris Bon Secours St. Francis Health System and Bon Secours Kentucky Health System

Retain responsibilities for Bon Secours Ministries and the Center for Ministry Leadership

John Wallenhorst Bon Secours Charity Health System

Retain responsibilities for Mission and Ethics

These changes are effective January 1, 2014.  In the interim, all Sponsorship Leaders will retain current assignments and work closely to ensure a smooth transition.  Sr. Anne Marie Mack and I will continue to serve as Sponsorship co-leaders for Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System to address the vacancy created by Sr. Pat Heath’s departure.

The Sponsorship Leaders believe the above changes positively respond to evolving BSHSI organizational needs.  As leaders, we will continue to look for opportunities to explore career development opportunities for those interested in Sponsorship Leader roles.  Our goal includes engaging in creative succession planning through Sponsorship Leaders for the next generation of Catholic health care.

Congratulations to the Sponsorship Leaders on their new assignments!

St. Anthony Community Hospital’S Recent Diabetes EXPO Offered Important Service to the Community

Program featured informative presentations by guest physician specialists

WARWICK – (Nov. 15) On Saturday, November 9, the Center for Diabetes Education at St. Anthony Community Hospital hosted an all day Diabetes Expo, which was open to the public, at the Town Hall in Warwick, NY.

The event was aimed at raising awareness about diabetes and providing access to educational materials and resources. The Expo featured information provided by the Center for Diabetes Education as well as vendors and sponsors.

A main attraction during the Expo was a series of informative presentations throughout the day by four physicians: Doctors Nicholas Belasco, Yuriy Gurevich, Seth Hurwitz and Sergio Obligado. All are affiliated with St. Anthony Community Hospital and Board Certified in their specialties on treating and living with diabetes. Each presentation was followed by an enthusiastic question and answer period.

“I would I’d like to thank the four physicians who took time away from their busy lives to provide wonderful presentations to members of our community,” said Certified Diabetes Educator Lourdes Braadt, RN. “I‘m confident that everyone who attended left much more knowledgeable regarding various aspects of diabetes, especially the importance of prevention and management. I would also like to thank our community vendors: ShopRite, Price Chopper, Ochs Orchard and Pennings Farm and Market for helping us to provide healthy snacks to those who attended.”

The Center for Diabetes Education at St. Anthony Community Hospital offers a series of classes for all patients who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes or those who demonstrate poorly controlled diets. During group or individual sessions, clinical instructors offer initial assessment, emotional support and will seek to help patients achieve a better understanding of the disease. They will show their patients how to live a normal and productive life with diabetes and how to control the disease through diet and exercise.

For more information about the Center for Diabetes Education or the Expo, call 845-987-5168 or visit

St. Anthony’s Earns “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures”

The Joint Commission has recognized St. Anthony Community Hospital for earning the “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures”. This recognition is bestowed on the St. Anthony’s team of caregivers for their exemplary performance in using evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for certain conditions. The Joint Commission clinical processes focus on care for heart attack, pneumonia, surgery, children’s asthma, stroke and venous thromboembolism, as well as inpatient psychiatric services and influenza.

St. Anthony’s is being recognized for the measure sets for pneumonia and surgical care.

As a Top Performer, St. Anthony Community Hospital is among 1,099 hospitals being recognized this year. This represents the top 33 percent of all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals reporting accountability measure performance data for 2012.

Congratulations St. Anthony’s for this outstanding achievement.

Good Samaritan Named In Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals

Truven Health Analytics has announced that Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center is one of the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in the nation, ranking it among the best in the country on four key measures of cardiovascular care.

This selection was made as a result of our performance compared with peers in cardiovascular outcomes, clinical processes, extended outcomes and efficiencies for the two most common cardiovascular conditions (heart attacks and heart failure) and the two most common interventions (PCI and CABG).

Truven will be providing more information to us that we will want to communicate widely over the next several weeks. However, I wanted to share this important news with you immediately.

Congratulations to all that made this a reality. It underscores again, the commitment Bon Secours Charity Health System has for exceptional care to those we serve.

Good Samaritan Home Care Named Elite

Good Samaritan Home Care has been named a Top Agency of the 2013 HomeCare Elite, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. Now in its eighth year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall. Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice (process measure) implementation, patient experience (Home Health CAHPS®), quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least one outcome in Home Health Compare. Out of 9,969 agencies considered, 2,496 are elite.

The award is sponsored by OCS HomeCare by National Research Corporation, the leading provider of home health metrics and analytics, and DecisionHealth, publisher of the most respected independent newsletter in the home health profession, Home Health Line.

“The 2013 HomeCare Elite winners demonstrate a commitment to providing patient-centered care and serving as leaders in the home health community. Their success is a tribute that managing healthcare data and utilizing it for improvement initiatives lead to high quality care, and we recognize them for their outstanding achievements,” said Mary Oakes, senior vice president of post-acute at National Research. “We congratulate Good Samaritan Home Care on being recognized as a top home care agency.”

“HomeCare Elite recognition is a significant acknowledgement. The shift from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance payment models is reshaping the healthcare profession. And home health is proving to be an integral part of the continuum. In the face of value-based purchasing and care delivery model changes, the metrics that make up HomeCare Elite methodology shine an accountable light on an industry that may be the lynch pin to achieving affordable care at home,” said Marci Heydt, Product Manager for the post-acute care business group of DecisionHealth.

The entire list of 2013 HomeCare Elite agencies can be downloaded by visiting the National Research Corporation website at

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center‘s 3rd Annual Corks and Forks

A Celebration of Food and Wine was a huge success with a sell-out crowd of more than 250 guests on Sunday, November 3rd.  Local Celebrity Chefs donated the food and culinary talents to create a five-course fine dining experience with wine pairing at Paramount Country Club.

Group Shot

Pictured left to right: Peter X. Kelly, Xaviars Restaurant Group; Lloyd Modeste, Executive Chef, Paramount Country Club; Didier Dumas, Didier Dumas Patisserie; Doug Nguyen, Wasabi; Jeff Kaufman, Executive Chef, Hudson House; Regina DeCicco, Mistress of Ceremonies; Tessa Garcia, Co-Chair, The Journal News; Liz Johnson, Food Editor, The Journal News and Marc Newman, Co-Chair, Palm Bay International


Lagana, Raso, Mapes

Pictured from Left to Right – Joseph R. Lagana, Tess McCormack-Raso and Pierson Mapes.