Archive for the tag 'health'

Source: NYC Parks Department

In their battle against weeds and vermin, the New York City Parks Department is using a common pesticide that a new study suggests is associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and breast cancer.

The new concerns arise out of a study published in April by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that found that the commercially available pesticide Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is associated with lymphoma. A report this morning in DNAinfo found that the city has sprayed Roundup in public greenspaces more than 1,300 times last year alone.

The outlet reports:

The Parks Department sprays the pesticide, called Roundup, to kill weeds that harbor rats on “little-used” areas near playgrounds, officials said. The city posts warning signs for 24 hours before and after spraying.

“In order to keep rats out of the playgrounds and meadow areas, we must use Roundup,” Parks Department spokesman Phil Abramson said. “It is not used inside playgrounds but is often used on little-used slopes outside playgrounds precisely because overgrown weeds near playgrounds harbor rats.”

The city defended its use of Roundup, which was sprayed in public parks 1,365 times in 2013. That was a 22 percent increase from the previous year as officials phased out other weed-killing chemicals that were deemed more toxic, according to a Health Department report.

The agency would not tell the outlet which parks had been sprayed, or how often.

The outlet also noted a study published last year suggesting that glyphosate effects hormones linked to breast cancer.

While extreme critics say the city should stop using pesticides in parks altogether, some say it’s sufficient to leave signs up for 72 hours after spraying, not 24. However, the city cites statistics from the manufacturer, Monsanto, that claim the product becomes harmless after 24 hours. The agency also insists that pesticides are not sprayed in commonly used areas, but only along overgrown, out-of-the-way sections.

As for Monsanto, they’re dismissing the study’s conclusion.

“Comprehensive toxicological studies repeated over the last 40 years have time and again demonstrated that glyphosate…does not cause cancer, mutagenic effects, nervous system effects, immune system effects, endocrine disruption, birth defects or reproductive problems,” company spokeswoman Charla Lord told DNAinfo.

Although it appears the city will continue to use pesticides in playgrounds, the state has banned pesticides from use in other child-friendly areas.

In 2010, Governor Paterson signed the Child Safe Playing Field Act, which prohibits schools and day care centers from applying pesticides to any playground, turf or athletic playing field out of concern for children’s health.

According to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, HealthGuidance:

Potential harm from pesticides is especially important to consider in schools and day care centers because children are at greater risk from chemical exposure. Children are not little adults – from infants to teens, they are growing and developing. Their bodies have not yet reached developmental maturity. This means that they are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of many pesticides and other chemicals. Behaviors of young children, such as putting things in their mouths and crawling on the floor, put them at additional risk from pesticide exposure.

Menorah Home in Manhattan Beach (Source: Landow & Landow)

A new, 16-suite building opened in Manhattan Beach on June 30, providing hospice care for terminally ill children.

The site, called Sixteen Lights and operated by MJHS, is located on the Menorah campus at 1516 Oriental Boulevard, wedged between Kingsborough Community College and Manhattan Beach Park.

Wall Street Journal reports:

The 16-suite building will cater to younger patients, offering a playroom, a playground and a homelike atmosphere with kitchens where parents who live there with their children can cook.

“The sad part is that today in our community, other than using a hospital-bed setting there really is no extended-stay place that a family can go to be with a child,” said Eli Feldman, MJHS’s chief executive. “It’s just not natural that a child dies before their parents.”

… MJHS was started by four Brooklyn women in 1907 to take care of the elderly. Its budget has grown to $1.1 billion from $45 million in the past four decades.

Dying adults also will be able to stay there. Their foundation paid the $7 million cost of the new hospice and so far they have raised $2 million to offset it.

Families can use the hospice as a respite, staying for up to five days, to relieve some of the pressure of constantly caring for a terminally ill child.

An artist’s rendition of the interior of a hospice unit, used in the planning stages. (Source: MJHS)

It appears to have been a long road to the site’s creation. After years of fundraising – which still continues – they broke ground in September 2012.

Here’s how the foundation describes the facility and its purpose:

When asked, people overwhelmingly choose to spend their last days at home, surrounded by family. Unfortunately, in the New York City area, too many people with advanced illness, especially children, must spend their final days in the sterile, impersonal environment of a hospital.

This 16-suite hospice inpatient residence will be a private home-like setting and it will be the first in New York City, and one of the few in the region, to serve children as well as adults. It will redefine hospice care by offering patients and their families a home away from home without sacrificing the best in medical care.

There are volunteer opportunities offered at the hospice. Learn more by clicking here.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, a member of the Assembly’s Health Committee, encourages residents of the 45th Assembly District to sign up for his free “Balance Improvement and Light Exercise” classes, this Tuesday, July 15.

There will be two one-hour-long classes, beginning at 11 a.m. and a second at noon, in conjunction with Mount Sinai Beth Israel Brooklyn, held at the Assemblyman’s district office, 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road between Emmons Avenue and Shore Parkway.

Registration is required. To register, call (718) 743-4078 or email cymbros@assembly.state.ny.us.

The teaching center's Sheepshead Bay office (Source: Google Maps)

The teaching center’s Sheepshead Bay office (Source: Google Maps)

A former employee of a New York Methodist Hospital teaching facility in Sheepshead Bay has filed a lawsuit against the facility, claiming staff knowingly exposed the public to potential health risks, and terminated her employment when she tried to make it known.

According to the complaint filed earlier this week with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, plaintiff Shagufta Syed alleges that while working as the program director last year at Methodist’s Center for Allied Health Education, School of Radiation Therapy, located at 1401 Kings Highway, she learned that students who had not received a required health clearance — which would entail providing proof of receiving flu and hepatitis shots and being screened for contagious diseases — were “coming into contact with patients who had significantly compromised immune systems as a result of their cancer radiation treatment,” contrary to the Rules and Regulations of the State of New York.

Those students, she claims, worked with patients receiving radiation therapy at Methodist, SUNY Downstate Medial Center, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, LEROS, and the Lutheran Medical Center.

Upon telling one of her supervisors, Syed claims in the lawsuit that she received this response:

“Don’t worry about it. Nothing’s ever done right here.”

The complaint says Syed then reached out to the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology about the situation, and once her Methodist supervisors learned of this, she claims she was fired for doing so.

The complaint further alleges that upon submitting a claim for settlement, Methodist’s lawyers sent a letter claiming they had “documented facts” that could “prove costly” should Syed decide to pursue the litigation, but that those facts were not presented when requested pre-litigation.

Syed is claiming a loss of income from what she says is a wrongful termination, along with emotional distress, and is suing for the sum of $75,000.

“We cannot comment on the lawsuit brought by the individual whose employment was terminated,” Methodist said in a statement responding to the lawsuit. “However, we can assure you that, as required by regulatory agencies and accrediting bodies, our radiation therapy students receive the same health clearances as our employees before they are allowed to enter into clinical rotations.”

– Mary Bakija

Source: Gregory Maizous

Source: Gregory Maizous

Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) nabbed Healthgrades 2014 Maternity Care Excellence Award, marking the third consecutive year it has been recongized as one of the best hospitals for mothers and their offspring during and after childbirth.

Healthgrades is an organization that evaluates and ranks healthcare services at hospitals across the nation. The rankings for maternity care are based on an analysis of complications due to vaginal deliveries and C-sections, newborn mortality rates and percentage of newborns with low birth weight.

The Maternity Care Excellence Award is given to the top 10 percent of best performing hospitals for services to mothers and for the care of their newborn babies. According to Healthgrades, patients treated at Coney Island Hospital had a 54.4 percent lower risk of complications during natural delivery, and a 77.6 percent lower risk during C-section deliveries than those treated at low-ranking hospitals. It won the same recognition in 2012 and 2013.

“We are extremely proud to receive this distinction for the third year in a row which shows our consistency of providing high-quality care for women in Brooklyn during their pregnancy and childbirth, and the care of their newborn babies,” said Arthur Wagner, Coney Island Hospital’s executive direct, in a press release.

The hospital operates a dedicated Women’s Health Center, basically a one-stop shop for in- and out-patient needs, including labor and delivery, general obstetric and gynecological care, family planing and more.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, a member of the Assembly’s Health Committee, will be sponsoring a FREE diabetes screening for residents who want to ensure that they are not at risk.

The screening, held in conjunction with Mount Sinai Beth Israel Brooklyn, will be held at the Assemblyman’s district office, 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road between Emmons Avenue and Shore Parkway, this Thursday, June 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

You must call to make an appointment by calling (718) 743-4078. To learn more, call or email cymbros@assembly.state.ny.us.

cymbro-healthfair2014-1

Photo by Ned Berke

Residents took to Emmons Avenue this past Sunday for the 11th Annual Lena Cymbrowitz Community Health Fair, offering free health screening, giveaways and health-related information from local organizations and businesses.

Held on the waterfront between East 16th Street and Ocean Avenue, the fair was sponsored by Assemblyman Cymbrowitz in conjunction with Maimonides Medical Center, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Brooklyn, Kiwanis International, Net Cost market, All Car Rent-a-Car and MJHS. Local businesses focused on nutrition and well-being, like UFC Gym and area medical practitioners, set up tables to give out information, while musical performances from P.S. 255 and Bay Academy and balloon sculptures from Zippy the Clown drew crowds over.

“I was pleased to see so many members of the community take advantage of the free screenings, giveaways and health-related information available at the fair,” said Cymbrowitz. “It was great to meet so many residents and to be able to bring all these great organizations and sponsors together in one place for the benefit of the community.”

The event raised funds for Dynamic Youth Community, a local drug rehabilitation organization.

 

Kushner and son.

Kushner and son.

Seth Kushner, a Sheepshead Bay native now living in Bay Ridge with his wife and 5-year-old son, was diagnosed last month with an aggressive Acute Myeloid Leukemia, sparking an urgent search for a bone marrow donor who may help save his life.

If Kushner’s name is familiar to readers, it’s because we’ve shared his work here before. An accomplished artist and photographer, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek and elsewhere, he’s also the fellow who penned an ode to Southern Brooklyn’s old comic shops back in 2012. And we’ve also featured a bit of his photography on Bensonhurst Bean.

Kushner’s parents still live in the neighborhood, and are working hard to get the word out about his need for donors. He remains in the hospital until a match is found. From his bed there, he speaks with his son on FaceTime and draws superheroes for him daily.

Help become a hero to Kushner and his family by registering to become a bone marrow donor with Delete Blood Cancer. It take less than five minutes to fill out a registration form and have you cheek swabbed with a Q-tip.

The donor drive is being held on Saturday, June 14, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Temple Beth Emeth (83 Marlborough Road, corner of Church Avenue). It’s a 15-minute ride on the Q train from Sheepshead Bay to Church Avenue, and a two-minute walk from the subway, heading west.

You can also register as a donor online.

Here’s a fact sheet about becoming a marrow donor:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

cymbro

Photo by Erica Sherman

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

Free screenings, giveaways and health-related information galore will be available at the 11th Annual Lena Cymbrowitz Community Health Fair on Sunday, June 8th, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., on Emmons Avenue between East 15th Street and Ocean Avenue.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) is sponsoring the fair in conjunction with Maimonides Medical Center, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Brooklyn, Kiwanis International, Affinity Health Plan, Net Cost market, All Car Rent-a-Car and MJHS. Thousands of neighborhood residents attend the popular and much-anticipated event.

While grown-ups are exploring dozens of tables with stay-healthy tips, nutrition and exercise advice and potentially lifesaving information, children can explore a functioning ambulance and fire truck. Entertainment will include Zippy the Clown, Exercise with Gilda, balloon sculptures and continuous music with DJ Victory Entertainment. Children from Bay Academy and P.S. 255 will perform.

In case of rain, the fair will be held at Bay Academy, 1401 Emmons Avenue.

The event raises funds for Dynamic Youth Community.

The following announcement about a Community Health Fair was sent to us by the Shorefront YM-YWHA:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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