Meet Andy Suren

Ask anyone at Flushing Hospital if they know Andy Suren and the response will be a resounding “ we sure do”!
Andy has been a very prominent part of the hospital for the past 14 years, and has been involved in many of the day to day operations that take place. Always ready to help, he has been a person people can count on to assist colleagues, patients and visitors.
Andy grew up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn where he attended New High School. Upon graduation from high school at the age of 17 he enlisted in the Marines where he spent six years protecting our country.   Upon leaving the Marines, he went to work at the United Nations in Manhattan where he served on the bodyguard detail of the Secretary General, Javier Perez Cullar.
He  now resides in Queens with his wife of 38 years. They have one son and four grandsons of whom he is particularly proud. When he isn’t at work, he enjoys taking them all fishing, is an avid Mets fan and also enjoys boxing, which he did for a while as a Marine.
Andy really enjoys working at Flushing hospital because it feels like one big family and the patients and employees make it feel like a wonderful small neighborhood. As Director of Environmental Services he has 76 people who work with him and they all work hard to keep the buildings in great condition every day. Andy has worked in healthcare for 30 years.
Andy is involved in many activities at the hospital, the annual Celebration Dinner and golf events are two of his favorite events, but there are many smaller events that he likes to participate in as well. He really giving enjoys giving back.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What You Need to Know About Body Dysmorphic Disorder

A person stands in front of the mirror and glances at their reflection; they perceive their image to be severely unattractive or obese.  They become obsessed with a particular body part and deem it to be an extreme defect that alters their appearance. While this is their perception, in reality no one else sees these physical characteristics.

There is a possibility that this person may be suffering from a chronic body-image disorder known as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which is a compulsive obsession with an imagined or exaggerated physical trait that often no one else can see.

BDD is known to occur in both men and women and usually begins during teenage years or early adulthood.  Factors that may contribute to the development of BDD are

  • Low self-esteem
  • Traumatic events
  • Genetics
  • The influence of others who are critical of the person’s physical appearance

Characteristics of the disorder may include an obsession with skin imperfections such as scars or wrinkles, facial features (it is very common for those afflicted with BDD to be obsessed with size of the nose), body weight and hair. There are several behaviors that are identifiable with BDD, they are:

  • Constantly looking in the mirror and trying to cover up the perceived defect
  • Asking for reassurance that the defect is not obvious
  • Isolation from people due to the belief that imperfections will be noticed
  • Becoming increasingly self-conscious
  • Avoiding mirrors
  • Excessive grooming in an effort to cover up a flaw
  • Frequently consulting plastic surgeons or undergoing cosmetic procedures
  • Developing other psychological disorders such as eating and anxiety disorders

If someone you know is exhibiting these behaviors, it is recommended that they seek help immediately as this disorder can lead to self-harm. Once diagnosed with BDD, treatment will usually include a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, group or family therapy and medication. For more information about body dysmorphic disorders or treatment please contact Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry at 718-670-4416.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Summer Weight Loss Tips For Kids

Is your child at risk of gaining weight this summer?

We consider summer to be a time when kids run around, go swimming and generally remain active. With all this physical activity, it is a common belief that children keep weight off or maybe even lose a few pounds in the summer, but that is not the case. There are many reasons why parents are now noticing that their children are actually gaining weight during the summer.

The rate of childhood obesity has tripled in America in recent decades. Now, one out of three children in this country is considered overweight or obese. When are children gaining the most weight?  Recent studies have revealed that during the summer, the rate of weight gain in children is double that of the rest of the year. Why?

One of the biggest contributing factors is that children today live a more sedentary lifestyle. During the school year, children participate in fitness programs, both during recess and in physical education classes. Without a regimented exercise program, children opt to spend their free time playing video games or watching television.

Another factor in summer weight gain is the foods children have access to in their home. In an effort to fight obesity and promote healthy eating habits, many schools provide healthy alternatives for lunches and snacks during the year. During the summer, however, kids have access to whatever snacks are in the home. Kids will often choose unhealthy snacks, such as cookies, chips, and soda, if they are available to them.

In an effort to reverse this trend, Jamaica Hospital offers the following summer healthy living tips for your kids:

• Stock your home with healthy food options like yogurt, carrots, or summer fruits like peaches, berries, or melons.

• Make water the beverage of choice. Juices and sodas are high in calories and low in nutrients. To make water more flavorful, consider adding fruit slices or berries.

• Limit TV and video game usage. It will force kids to become more physically active and prevent them from enticing junk food commercials..

• Walk more. Everyone can do it. Incorporate regular family walks to the park or around the neighborhood.

• Be inventive. Not every child is interested in formal team sports, but every kid loves to run around. Encourage activities like hopscotch, jump rope or a simple game of “tag.”

• Be a role mode. Children often take cues from their parent’s eating habits so if you want your kids to eat healthier, you should eat healthier

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Are you at Risk for Hep C?

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a disease that infects and causes damage to the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis C virus and is spread from person to person through contact with blood. Over time, this disease can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and ultimately, liver failure.

Although hepatitis C is the most common reason for liver transplants in the United States, many people do not know they have the disease until they are donating blood or are diagnosed with liver damage.  The symptoms of HCV can take years to present and may include:

  • Joint pain
  • Sore muscles
  • Dark urine
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellowing of the eyes (jaundice) and skin
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Clay-colored bowel movements

Learning the risk factors of hepatitis C and receiving treatment promptly can reduce the severity of symptoms. Talk to your doctor about getting tested if the following pertains to you:

  • You were born between 1945 and 1965
  • You are infected with HIV
  • You received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July, 1992
  • You are having or have had unprotected sex with multiple partners
  • You are a current or former drug injection user and have shared needles
  • You work in an environment where you are exposed to blood through a needle stick
  • You have liver disease or have received abnormal liver test results
  • You were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987
  • Your mother had hepatitis C when she gave birth to you

If diagnosed with hepatitis C, consider seeing a specialist who is trained and experienced in treating patients with your condition. There are several therapies and medications that your doctor may recommend.  A complete list of approved medications and treatments for HCV can be found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Importance of Pre-Natal Vitamins

Proper nutrition during pregnancy is so important to both mom and her developing baby.

Eating well-balanced meals should be every expectant mother’s goal, unfortunately, it isn’t always possible. In order to make sure that mother and child are getting all the vitamins and minerals necessary, doctors will often prescribe a prenatal vitamin.

One of the key ingredients in a prenatal vitamin is folic acid. This is important because it will help to prevent neural tube defects which lead to abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. It is also important to have the proper amount of vitamin D and calcium as they are important for bone development and growth. If an expectant mom doesn’t have a diet with sufficient quantities of dairy products fortified with vitamin D or other calcium-rich food, then she could consider a supplement containing them.

Prenatal vitamins should contain iron (30 mg), vitamin C (50 mg), zinc (15 mg), copper (2mg), and vitamin B-6 (2mg)

The best way to take prenatal vitamins is starting  them before you conceive so there is a proper level of these vitamins and minerals in the body from the very beginning of pregnancy. Continue to take them during the full term of the pregnancy and continue them if you are going to breastfeed.

Prenatal vitamins are not meant to substitute for well-balanced meals but they certainly serve a very important role in keeping mom and her baby healthy. Before you start taking prenatal vitamins you should consult with your physician.

If you would like to make an appointment to see at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Obstetric’s and Gynecology call 718-670-8992 for an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Fireworks Safety Month. Flushing Hospital Wants You To Be Safe This July 4th.

June is Fireworks Safety Month and with July 4th holiday approaching, Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants everyone to know the potential dangers associated with these explosives that we so closely associate with Independence Day.

Fireworks are ILLEGAL in New York State, and are extremely dangerous when they are not being used by a professional. They burn at extremely high temperatures and can rapidly burn through clothing and skin.  Items such as sparklers are mistakenly thought to be safe, but they are actually quite dangerous.

In states where it is legal to purchase and operate fireworks, please be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under the close supervision of an adult
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks in case of fire

This year, have a safe Fourth of July and leave the firework displays to the trained professionals. If you have questions about fireworks displays and safety, you can visit The National Council on Firework Safety webpage at http://www.fireworksafety.org.  Take the test and learn just how much you know about fireworks safety.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight – Lois Pettis, LPN, Office Manager Wound Care Center

This month’s Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC) Employee Spotlight shines on Lois Pettis, LPN and Office Manager of the Wound Care Program.

Lois has one daughter, Maya Pettis .  Being widowed at a young age and having to raise  Maya on her own, Lois had to really focus on becoming the sole provider, caretaker and role model for her daughter.  She achieved those goals through her deep faith, positive attitude and strong work ethic.  Lois believes in leading by example and lead she does! That is why she is quick to beam with pride about the fact that Maya will soon be a graduate of Fordham University.

Originally from North Carolina, Lois and Maya have made their home in Rosedale, Queens where they are deeply involved with their church.  In fact, Lois is part of the Nurses Board at the church.

Lois Pettis feels that when you are in the medical profession, your calling is not only to be used when you are at your workplace. “I try to make everyone feel important.   That is very important to me- everyone deserves to be made to feel special,” stated Lois.  The “personal touch” is what she strives for her patients to feel, in addition to getting excellent health care.

Lois Pettis is a beloved member of the Wound Care Team.  A “normal” day for Lois Pettis is never completely normal.  Most of her day is spent scheduling patients, meeting with patients, speaking with insurance providers, family members and working on staffing issues.

“Lois is best known for her welcoming smile and gentle nature with our staff and patients.  She is an asset to our department and a large part of why our wound care center is so successful” said Fran Pugliese, Director of the Wound Care Center.

When asked what motivates her to do her job so well, Lois answers with a wide smile, “The patients! You have to understand that our patients sometimes come in for treatment multiple times a week.  You get to know them, their story and their family members.  They become family to us.”

Lois Pettis is a success in both her personal and professional life.  She is registered LPN, registrar, billing and coding expert, and will soon start a Master’s program in Hospital Administration.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Cataract Awareness Month

Did you know that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally? Cataracts are very common in older adults- in fact; it is estimated that more than 75% of people over the age of 65 will develop cataracts.  Although less common, people can develop this medical condition in their forties and fifties as well.

As you age, proteins in the eye begin to break down, causing clouding in the lens and the formation of cataracts. Many who are affected are unaware that this process is occurring because cataracts grow very slowly and does not impede vision during its early stages.   There are symptoms that can indicate the development of cataracts. Here are some that you can look out for:

  • Colors appear faded
  • Clarity in vision decreases and cannot be corrected with eyeglasses
  • An increase in sensitivity to light and glare
  • Halos appearing around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Frequent changes in prescription eyewear
  • Double vision

Some people are more at risk of developing cataracts than others. These factors increase your risks:

  • Diabetes
  • Exposure to prolonged durations of sunlight
  • Heavy drinking
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Advanced age
  • High blood pressure
  • Previous eye injury or surgery

June is Cataract Awareness Month. During this time, Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants you to know, there are several things you can do to be proactive and slow the progression of cataracts.  Eating healthy is a good start. A balanced diet rich in vitamin C has shown to be effective.  Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the Sun’s UV rays.  If you are a smoker- stop smoking and drink in moderation.  Early detection can save your eyesight therefore, scheduling routine eye exams is very important.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

June is Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.
The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS
Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.
Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.
During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Flushing Hospital is Honored for Services Offered to the Asian Community

The Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA) held their annual Asian Heritage Night awards ceremony this year at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The event was held to acknowledge and thank the efforts of health care organizations that are committed to improving health in the Asian American community, including Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

This year, Flushing Hospital was recognized for their dedication and commitment to creating a culturally sensitive environment where members of the Asian community can receive the highest quality care. During the ceremony, CAIPA officials presented Flushing Hospital Medical Center with a plaque that stated “In appreciation for your outstanding and culturally sensitive services to the Asian American community.”

Flushing Hospital Medical Center understands the importance of providing quality care for our Asian community, which comprises roughly 35 percent of our patient population.  As a result, the hospital has taken many steps to meet the population’s needs, including hiring an ethnically diverse staff to help understand and meet the specific needs of those we serve, (over 200 members of Flushing’s staff are bi-lingual in either Chinese or Korean).

While Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides many services, two specific programs were highlighted

  1. Flushing Hospital’s dedicated Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program for Asian patients allows an otherwise private and cautious portion of our population an opportunity to share their feelings and experiences with Asian mental health professionals who can better understand the issues facing those in the Asian communities. This service designed specifically for the Asian community provides a forum to break down cultural barriers and address subjects that might not be addressed.
  2. Flushing Hospital’s Asian Hospitalists Program provides our Chinese and Korean speaking patients the opportunity to have dedicated Asian hospital-based physicians to oversee their care and address all of their needs in the language they are most comfortable communicating. This program allows for better outcomes as our Asian patients can more effectively share their medical issues directly with a physician who speaks their language, allowing our staff to provide the most appropriate care.

During the event, Flushing Hospital’s efforts were highlighted as part of a ten minute video that featured members of the hospital team including Bruce J. Flanz, President and CEO, Dr. Daniel Chen, Assistant Chairman of Mental Health and Dr. Yueting Shang, Coordinator of the Hospitalist Program, who all shared the hospital’s commitment to patient care.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center is proud of their relationship with the Asian American community and will continue to work to meet their healthcare needs and improve the overall wellness of those who depend on us.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.