Monthly Archives: June 2015

Buckle Them Up So They Can Grow Up

Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States but many of these deaths can be prevented. Bucking children in age-and-size appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.

The Facts

  • Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants by 71% and to toddlers by 54% in passenger vehicles
  • Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4-8 years when compared with seat belt use alone
  • For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by approximately half
  • Of the children who died in a crash in 2011, 33% were not buckled up

The Right Seat for Your Child

Birth up to Age 2:Rear-facing car seat; buckle children in a rear-facing seat until age 2 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of that seat; check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limit

Age 2 up to at least Age 5:Forward-facing car seat; when children outgrow their rear-facing seat, they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of that seat; check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or lavels on the seat for weight and height limits.

Age 5 up until seat belts fit properly:Booster seat; once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should be buckled in a booster seat until seat belts fir properly; the recommended height for proper seat belt fit Is 57 inches tall. Remember to keep children properly buckled in the backseat for the best possible protection.

Once seat belt fits properly without a booster seat:Seat belt; children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly; seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck)

Additional Reminders

  • Install and use car seats and booster seats according to the seat’s owner’s manual or get help installing them from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician
  • Buckle all children aged 12 and under in the backseat
  • Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat
  • Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an airbag
  • Buckle children in the middle of the backseat when possible; it is the safest spot in the vehicle
  • Buckle children in car seats, booster seats and/or seat belts on every trip, no matter how short
  • Set a good example by always using a seat belt

Putt for a Purpose with BSCH

Bon Secours Community Hospital, located in Port Jervis, NY, will hold its annual Golf Classic on Monday, August 10, to benefit the Medical Equipment and Technology Fund at Bon Secours Community Hospital. The annual event will be held at High Point Golf Club, located at 342 Shore Drive in Montague, New Jersey. The High Point Golf Club is considered one of the finest golf courses in the area with immaculate greens, lush landscaping, views of the High Point monument and 18 picturesque holes that are surrounded by crystal lakes. The course has been called a challenge to play for both professional and amateur golfers.

Tickets to this event are expected to sell out quickly so now is the time to make a reservation and mark your calendar! Early sponsors for this year’s event include a Platinum sponsorship offered by the Medical Staff of Bon Secours Community Hospital as well as sponsorships donated with by Sussex Bank, Sterling National Bank, Phil’s Ford, Royal Furniture, Ramapo Anesthesia and Erie Trackside Manor. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are still available, ranging from a $200 Par Sponsor to a $5000 Platinum Sponsorship.

Golfers at the event will receive a variety of amenities including lunch, refreshments served throughout the day, giveaways, awards, prizes and at 5 p.m., a dinner reception with an open bar held at the Erie Trackside Manor in Port Jervis, NY. This year’s hole-in-one prize is a brand new car. Lunch and registration is at 11 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 12 noon.

Cost to golf in the 18-hole scramble is $150 per individual, which includes green fees, cart, lunch, dinner, open bar and the awards ceremony. Dinner reception guests who choose not to golf are also invited to attend for $50 per person. Donations by those who cannot attend are welcome and all monies raised from the outing will benefit the Medical Equipment and Technology Fund at Bon Secours Community Hospital.

Dick McKeeby, a 17-year member of the Bon Secours Community Hospital Foundation, will serve as Event Chair for the third consecutive year. Thanks to his leadership and generosity last year’s Annual Golf Classic raised over $33,000. “This is a great fun event,” said McKeeby, “and we want to make it even better than last year. Bon Secours Community Hospital, with almost 600 employees, is an important part of our community.”

For additional information about sponsorship opportunities or to reserve your spot, contact Event Chair Dick McKeeby at (914) 850-0625.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road, Not Your Phone

Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. There are three main types of distraction. Visual distraction is taking your eyes off the road, manual distraction is taking your hands off the wheel and cognitive distraction is taking your mind off of driving.

Distracted driving activities include, but are not limited to, using a cell phone, texting, eating and using in-vehicle technologies, such as navigation systems. While all of these distractions endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.

By the numbers, distracted driving is a big problem

  • In 2011, 3360 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver; an additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver
  • In 2012, 3328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver; an additional 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver
  • In 2011, 17% (nearly one in five) of crashes in which someone was injured involved distracted driving

Risk Factors

  • Some activities—such as texting—take the driver’s attention away from driving more frequently and for longer periods than other distractions
  • Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 may be at increased risk; they have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes
  • According to a CDC study…
    • Nearly half of all U.S. high school students aged 16 years or older text or email while driving
    • Students who text while driving are nearly twice as likely to ride with a driver who has been drinking
    • Students who text while driving are five times as likely to drink and drive than students who don’t text while driving

What is being done?

  • Many states are enacting laws—such as banning texting while driving, or using graduated driver licensing systems for teen drivers—to help raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring
    • Note: the effectiveness of cell phone and texting laws on decreasing distracted driving-related crashes requires further study.
  • In September 2009, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment
  • In September 2010, the Federal Railroad Administration banned cell phone and electronic device use of employees on the job
  • In October 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving
  • In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned all hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers and drivers carrying hazardous materials.

While all of these are steps in the right direction, there are still steps that need to be taken. It’s up for us as individuals to remind our loved ones to keep their distractions off the road.

Our Favorite Health Tips for Our Favorite Men

June 15-21 is National Men’s Health Week so we’re focusing on some healthy tips that will help the men in our lives remain healthy for longer. Check out some of our favorite tips below!

  • Decorate your plate: never eat a meal that doesn’t contain a vegetable or fruit; a 14-year study has found that men whose diets were highest in fruits and vegetables had a 70% lower risk of digestive-track cancers
  • Never skip breakfast
  • Eat more pasta: two to four servings of tomato sauce a week can cut your prostate-cancer risk by 34%
  • Judge your cholesterol with your contact lenses: a diet full of fat, protein and/or alcohol weakens your tears’ ability to block cholesterol from adhering to contact lenses, resulting in cloudy deposits (imagine what that type of diet does to your arteries)
  • Eliminate your back pain with crunches: 75% of all lower-back pain can be prevented by building your abdominal muscles
  • Order thin-crust pizza: it has a third fewer calories than thick-crust pizza
  • Skip the second cup: the caffeine in two cups of coffee adds 16 beats per minute to your heart rate
  • Exercise away your stress: exercising for 40 minutes can reduce stress and exercising on a daily basis can be as effective as taking antidepressants
  • Take Vitamin E and Aspirin daily: researchers have found that this antioxidant-and-blood-thinner combination can reduce arterial plaque by 80%; the benefit of the two treatments together is so great that it may help men prevent atherosclerosis even if they cannot lower their cholesterol levels
  • Eat a banana every day: the potassium in one banana can lower blood pressure

 

FDA Bans Trans Fat but… What is Trans Fat?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, artificial trans fat will have to disappear from American diets within the next three years. On Tuesday, June 16, the FDA ruled that trans fat is not “generally recognized as safe” for use in human food. The FDA gave food manufacturers three years to remove the partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, from their products. Companies will have the opportunity to petition the FDA for a special permit to use PHOs in their products but no PHOs can be added to human food unless otherwise approved by the FDA.

Sounds like a huge step forward, right? In order to fully understand the magnitude of this FDA decision, it is important to understand the basics of trans fats.

Trans fat is an unhealthy substance, also known as trans fatty acid, made through the chemical process of hydrogenation of oils. Hydrogenation solidifies liquid oils and increases the shelf life and flavor stability of oils and foods that contain them. Partially hydrogenated oils carry no health benefits and the Institute of Medicine has previously determined that no level is safe for consumption. Trans fat wreak havoc on the body’s ability to regulate cholesterol; they drive up the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol which can lead to cardiovascular disease—the leading cause of death in the United States. Eating a diet rich in trans fat is also linked to higher body weight and memory loss.

So where are the trans fats hidden? Trans fat is found in vegetable shortenings and some margarines, crackers, cookies, frosting, frozen pizzas, snack foods and many other foods. These unhealthy fats are also found in abundance in French fries.

Dr. Stephen Ostroff, acting FDA commissioner, said in a news release, “The FDA’s action on this major source of artificial trans fat demonstrates the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans. This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.” Dr. Steven Nissen, the chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, praised the FDA for its “bold courage” and said it “deserves a lot of credit” for taking this “enormously important” move. He also said, “I’m terribly proud of the FDA for stepping in and knowing what needed to be done for the American diet.”

This isn’t the first time that companies throughout the United States have tried to eliminate trans fat. Manufacturers have had to list trans fat content on their labels since 2006. In 2007, New York City adopted a regulation that banned trans fat from restaurants. Over a decade ago, McDonald’s and other companies stopped cooking their French fries in trans fat oil. In 2008, Chick-fil-A removed all artificial trans fat from its menu.

Between these corporations already eliminating trans fat and every other food manufacturer following suit in the next three years, it definitely seems like we’re headed in the right direction.

Recognizing the Benefits of Horticulture Therapy

Horticulture therapy is the purposeful use of plants and gardens to promote individual mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual well-being. The therapeutic use of plants is an ancient art but it wasn’t until 1973 that the American Horticulture Therapy Association named horticulture therapy as an established profession in the United States.

The benefits of horticulture therapy include physical activity, relaxation and enjoyment, skill development, creative expression, social interaction, a sense of productivity, intellectual and personal growth, sensory stimulation and a spiritual connection with life. Horticulture therapy activities can be applied to almost all situations, indoors or outdoors, in homes, hospitals, schools, prisons, and residential care facilities. Horticulture therapy is low-cost, effective and versatile in meeting therapeutic goals of both individuals and groups through task adaptation and environmental modification.

Horticulture therapy has been proven to benefit older adults in senior centers, nursing homes, retirement communities and adult day-care facilities as well as children in hospitals, school-based programs, and residential treatment programs. Horticulture therapy can also benefit people with disabilities in residential, day treatment and rehabilitation programs along with prison inmates, hospice clients and at-risk youth.

Physically, horticulture therapy increases range of motion, improves fine motor skills, tones under-used muscles, improves coordination and balance, and increases muscle strength. Mentally, horticulture therapy increases independence, increases self-esteem, increases observation skills, provides choice and ability to use problem solving skills, encourages creativity, and provides an outlet for stress/anger/emotions. Socially, horticulture therapy provides an opportunity to interact with others, a commitment to a living thing, cooperation and team work skills, teaches how to deal with success and failure, and provides an environment to learn and be inspired by others.

Cognitive Benefits of Horticulture Therapy

  • Enhance cognitive functioning
  • Improve concentration
  • Stimulate memory
  • Improve goal achievement
  • Improve attentional capacity

Physical Benefits of Horticulture Therapy

  • Improve immune response
  • Decrease stress
  • Decrease heart rate
  • Promote physical health
  • Improve fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination

Social Benefits of Horticulture Therapy

  • Improve social integration
  • Increase social interaction
  • Provide for healthier patterns of social functioning

Psychological Benefits of Horticulture Therapy

  • Improve quality of life
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Improve sense of well-being
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve mood
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Alleviate depression
  • Increase sense of control
  • Improve sense of personal worth
  • Increase feelings of calm and relaxation
  • Increase sense of stability
  • Improve personal satisfaction
  • Increase sense of pride and accomplishment

Chronic Condition Snapshot: Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer, accounting for nearly half of all cancer cases in the United States. More than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed each year. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer

There are three main types of skin cancers:

  • Basal and Squamous Cell: refers to the types of skin cells where the cancer develops, located in the base of the surface level of skin
  • Melanoma: this more serious and sometimes fatal form of skin cancer affects melanocytes, the skin cells that produce pigment, melanin. While highly curable in early stages, it causes as many as 12,000 cancer deaths per year

Causes and Risk Factors (there are several factors that increate risk of skin cancer)

  • Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (sunlight or tanning booths)
  • Pale skin (easily sunburned, doesn’t tan much at all, natural red or blonde hair)
  • You or other members of your family have had skin cancer
  • Multiple or unusual moles
  • Severe sunburns in the past

Symptoms

  • Changes in skin, particularly in appearance or size of a mole or other skin discoloration
  • Bleeding, oozing, scabbing of mole or skin discoloration
  • Spreading of pigment beyond the borders of an existing mole
  • Sensation including pain or itching

Prevention

  •  Avoid unprotected and extended time in the sun, particularly during the hottest times of day (10am-4pm)
  • Wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater an reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating
  • Wear protective clothing including a hat and sunglasses
  • Avoid sun lamps and tanning beds altogether
  • Practice these same precautions consistently, even on cloudy days

Treatment:

Depending on the form of skin cancer, treatment may involve removing the cancer and/or radiation, chemotherapy, or other forms of local therapy. While dermatologists (skin doctors) treat many skin cancers, you may be referred to an oncologist (cancer specialist) for more serious forms.

 

Source: American Cancer Society (acs.org)

Good Samaritan Hospital Wins 2015 Practice Greenhealth Awards

Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading nonprofit membership and networking organization for substantial health care, has recently announced the winners of the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards. The Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards is Greenhealth’s highest honor for hospitals; recipients are selected from the Greenhealth Partner for Change Awards applicants and are leading the industry with innovation in sustainability.

Bon Secours Good Samaritan Hospital has been awarded the 2015 Practice Greenhealth Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award as well as the 2015 Practice Greenhealth Less Waste Circle of Excellence Award.

Competition was tough as member hospitals all around the nation were vying for one of the twenty-five spots. Jeffrey Brown, Executive Director of Practice Greenhealth, said, “Competition was fierce this year among the many advanced and innovative programs at our member hospitals. I commend the winning hospitals for leading the industry with innovation in sustainability, demonstrating superior programs and illustrating how sustainability is entrenched in their culture.”

These awards highlight hospitals throughout the nation that are pushing the envelope by driving innovation in sustainability performance. This year’s list of award winners is packed with innovative achievements. The Circles of Excellence awards honor up to ten hospitals in each “circle” that have achieved at least Greenhealth Partner for Change Award status and have shown outstanding performance in the category for which they have been awarded. The Greenhealth “Circles” include Leadership, Waste, Chemicals, Greening the OR, EEP (environmentally preferable purchasing), Energy, Water, Food, Climate and Green Building. According to Practice Greenhealth, the hospitals awarded the Less Waste Circle of Excellence Award have “excelled in waste prevention and material handling, demonstrated through high recycling rates, low regulated medical waste generation and low rates of total waste generated per patient day.”

The 25 hospitals presented with Practice Greenhealth’s Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award vary greatly in size but each hospital leads the country in health care sustainability and has the documentation and data to prove their hard work and successes. These facilities have innovative programs and show leadership in their local communities and the health care sector. The award recipients were celebrated on May 14 at the Environmental Excellence Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner held in Portland, Oregon, closing the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition.

Brenda Ng Assists Patient on New York Bound Flight

Each year, the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists holds their annual ACDIS Conference. This year, the 8th Annual ACDIS Conference was held in San Antonio, Texas from May 19 to May 21 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The 8th Annual ACDIS Conference featured four tracks: Management and Leadership, Clinical and Coding, Quality and Regulatory Initiatives, and Innovative CDI. These four tracks included a diverse range of sessions on the latest trends and cutting-edge techniques to enhance Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) programs.

Brenda Ng, MS, RN, CCS, CCDS, from St. Anthony Community Hospital traveled to San Antonio during the third week of May to present a poster that described the role of the Clinical Document Improvement Specialist at the 8th Annual ACDIS Conference. This was Brenda Ng’s second year presenting a poster at the ACDIS Conference; last year she presented a poster in Las Vegas that addressed the Transformation from ICD 9 to ICD 10.

Brenda raved about the conference, saying, “You learn so much during those few days, especially because it is the same people under the same umbrella; you feed off the energy.” But after 2014’s 7th Annual ACDIS Conference, it was Brenda who provided that contagious energy during her plane ride from Las Vegas to New York. On the flight, she assisted in the care of a passenger on the flight with the help of a renal physician from Montefiore Hospital. As a nurse and volunteer EMT in Greenwood Lake, Brenda knew she needed to spring into action as soon as the flight attendant asked if any medical professionals were onboard the flight.

Brenda inserted an IV into the French-speaking patient, checked her glucose level after asking if anyone on the flight had a glucometer and provided the patient with IV fluids until the plane made an emergency landing in Colorado and was met by advanced care professionals. Brenda referenced how tough it was to hear the patient’s breathing while the aircraft was in-flight and mentioned how wonderful it was to overhear another passenger state ‘I would love to have her as a nurse.’

While asked about the 2014 plane ride, Brenda said, “I was not supposed to be on that flight, I changed my flight to an earlier time in order to get home earlier. What an overwhelming feeling and accomplishment. Reflecting back on how quickly my emergency room skills came into action was awesome. I guess you never forget what to do when you have no time to think. I still have the courage to work with whatever supplies I have and I thank God that the client made it off the flight safely to the hospital.”

Suffern, NY-area Pathologist Honored for Professional Excellence

ASCP’s 40 Under Forty Program Recognizes Future Generation of Laboratory Leaders

Pathologist Rachel Hudacko, MD, FASCP, FCAPhas been named to the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s (ASCP) prestigious 40 Under Forty list for 2015 in recognition of her achievements in the medical laboratory field.  Dr. Hudacko is the Chief of Pathology/Laboratory Director at St. Anthony Community Hospital, Assistant Director of Pathology at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, and staff pathologist at Bon Secours Community Hospital.

ASCP’s 40 Under Forty program shines the spotlight on 40 highly accomplished pathologists, pathology residents, and laboratory professionals under age 40 who have made significant contributions to the profession and stand out as the future of laboratory leadership.

“ASCP’s 40 Under Forty program is an opportunity to recognize the next generation of laboratory leaders from around the globe,” said ASCP President William G. Finn, MD, FASCP. “By providing support and encouragement to these young professionals, we aim to strengthen our current medical laboratory workforce and foster greatness in the profession during this period of historic change in healthcare delivery. We are very fortunate to have such a talented group of individuals who are advancing their careers and helping shape the future of patient care.” 

The 40 honorees will each have the opportunity to share their knowledge about topics pertinent to pathology and laboratory medicine with a blog platform on ASCP’s ONELab website. Later this summer, ASCP will select the top five individuals from the 40 honorees, who will each receive free registration to attend ASCP 2015 Annual Meeting in Long Beach, Calif., along with a $1,000 stipend toward airfare and lodging. In addition, the winners will receive free enrollment in Lab Management University, a collaborative educational initiative of ASCP and the American Pathology Foundation. The Top Five will also be recognized at ASCP 2015 during an evening reception, Mixology.

More than 100 pathologists and laboratory professionals applied for the 2015 ASCP 40 Under Forty program. Individuals were asked to submit a resume and write an essay addressing the most rewarding aspect of lab medicine, how they see themselves as a future innovator in health care, or bringing the clinical care team together to work towards a common goal. The selection committee included two individuals each from the ASCP Fellow Council, Resident Council, and Council of Laboratory Professionals, as well as 2014 40 Under Forty honorees.

ASCP’s 40 Under Forty program made its debut in 2014 and immediately garnered attention from around the globe when a 40 Under Forty honoree, a laboratory professional from Bahrain, was recognized at the 2014 Arab Health Congress in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The 40 Under Forty recognition also made a powerful impact on all of its honorees, ranging from pronounced recognition within their organization to exciting media attention.

“If you are a young professional who is passionate about pathology and laboratory medicine and you aim to be a leader among your peers, being named to ASCP’s 40 under Forty list is an honor,” says Patrick Reese, HTL(ASCP)CMQIHC, who was named one of the Top Five in ASCP’s inaugural 40 Under Forty program last year. “You are recognized by your peers and your name certainly becomes more visible to a greater audience.”