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Friday
Apr212017

Have The Discussion "National Healthcare Decision Days"

 

Health Commissioner Tomarken Signs “National Healthcare Decisions Days” Proclamation to Focus Attention on End-of-Life Care Planning Discussions

Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken presents “National Healthcare Decisions Days Proclamation” to Carolyn Kazdan, IPRO (L), and Dr. Patricia Bomba, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (R).PHOTO CREDIT: MASE FX (Clifford Mason)(Lake Success, NY)–– April 19, 2017 – At today’s Suffolk County Board of Health meeting, Health Commissioner James L. Tomarken, MD, MPH, MBA, MSW, signed a proclamation declaring the week of April 16 “National Healthcare Decision Days” in the county, presenting the proclamation to end-of-life care expert Patricia Bomba, MD, MACP, VP of Geriatrics for Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, and to Carolyn Kazdan, MHSA, NHA, Quality Improvement Specialist, IPRO.  

Dr. Bomba is working with IPRO to educate the public and healthcare professionals about end-of-life care planning and New York’s Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) and eMOLST, which aim to improve the quality of care that people receive at the end of their lives by honoring their preferences, values and beliefs through a shared informed decision-making communication process with their families and healthcare professionals.  Ms. Kazdan is coordinating the end-of-life care planning project.         

The 10th Annual National Healthcare Decisions Days (NHDD) are being observed with a number of educational events in Suffolk and Nassau Counties. National Healthcare Decisions Days were created to inspire, educate and empower the public and healthcare professionals about the importance of advance care planning. 

“By signing this proclamation today, I hope to encourage conversation among Suffolk County residents, their families and healthcare providers about advance care planning,” said Dr. James Tomarken. “We want them to know there are tools available that will help them to begin the conversation and will enable them to make decisions that will be well-understood by their families and their healthcare providers.”

The proclamation states, in part: “As a result of activities during April 16-22, 2017, being recognized as National Healthcare Decisions Days in New York State, more citizens will have conversations about their healthcare decisions; more citizens will execute healthcare proxies to make their wishes known; seriously ill citizens will be aware of New York’s MOLST program and eMOLST; and fewer families and physicians will have to struggle with making difficult medical decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.”

“Most people near the end of life lack the ability to make their own decisions about the treatment they wish to receive, as well as what they want to avoid,” says Dr. Bomba. “A majority of patients will receive their care after a hospitalization and long-term care from physicians who do not know them. Advance care planning is essential to ensure that patients receive care and treatment that reflects their values, beliefs and goals for care and treatment.” 

As part of a two-year Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) funded initiative to transform end of life care in Nassau and Suffolk counties, IPRO is partnering with organizations in both counties to conduct outreach and provide educational sessions for seniors, their families and caregivers to help them better understand how to ensure that their end-of-life wishes are properly carried out.  

“Since the start of our project in 2015, we have seen Long Islanders come together to develop a community-wide approach to advance care planning, and help Medicare beneficiaries receive high quality end-of-life care that is aligned with their values, beliefs and goals,” says Clare Bradley MD, MPH, IPRO Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.  “National Healthcare Decisions Days represent a way to bring awareness to this important initiative and we thank Commissioner Tomarken for his support.” 

The IPRO-led AQIN is one of 14 Medicare-funded Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) operating across the U.S.  To learn more about the AQIN Transforming End-of-Life Care Initiative, contact IPRO Senior Director and Project Lead Sara Butterfield, BSN, RN, CPHQ, CCM at Sara.Butterfield@area-I.hcqis.org or (518) 426-3300, Ext. 104. Visit the AQIN website at www.atlanticquality.org. For more information on advance care planning and MOLST, visit www.ConversationsChangeLives.org. 

 

Tuesday
Apr182017

DEC Launches "Look For The Zero" Phosphorus-Free Lawn Fertilizer

DEC launches “Look for the Zero” campaign to urge homeowners to purchase phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer

To protect water quality this spring, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today is urging New Yorkers to practice sustainable lawn care by going phosphorus free, using native plants and grasses, and reducing fertilizer use. DEC has launched the “Look for the Zero” campaign to encourage New Yorkers to purchase phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer, as more than 100 water bodies in New York State cannot be used or enjoyed as a result of too much phosphorus.

“The actions New Yorkers take in their backyards can have a big impact on the environment. By choosing sustainable lawn care, homeowners are helping protect water quality and public health,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Excess phosphorous is causing problems in many New York waterbodies, making them unusable for swimming, fishing, or as a source of drinking water. I urge residents to ‘look for the zero’ and buy phosphorous-free fertilizer this spring. By eliminating phosphorus and reducing pesticide use on lawns, New Yorkers can play an important role in addressing water quality impairments across the state.”

New York’s nutrient runoff law prohibits the use of phosphorus lawn fertilizers unless a new lawn is being established or a soil test shows that the lawn does not have enough phosphorus.

Generally, only newly established lawns or those with poor soil need phosphorus. Phosphorus applied to lawns that don’t need it will not be used and can cause water pollution. Regardless of the location, excess phosphorus from lawns can wash off and pollute lakes and streams, harming fish and ruining boating and swimming.

Consumers should review bag labels for phosphorus content when shopping for fertilizer. Fertilizer labels have three bold numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of phosphorus in the product, such as: 22-0-15. The state’s law requires retailers to display phosphorus fertilizer separately from phosphorus-free fertilizer and post signs notifying customers of the terms of the law.

Homeowners have several options to practice more sustainable lawn care. DEC encourages homeowners to choose native plants and grasses, which are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. These plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals.

Organic lawn care can easily be implemented on any lawn. Safe and effective alternatives exist for most chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Organic lawn care treatments promote deep root systems, natural photosynthesis, and longer grass growth. Visit DEC’s Sustainable Landscaping web page to learn more.

Additional recommendations for sustainable lawn care include spreading a quarter inch of compost on the lawn to improve moisture retention and soil texture and add beneficial microorganisms and nutrients. Another suggestion is to allow grass to grow to three inches and then cut no more than one inch off the top. This is the “one-third” rule and helps to develop a deeper root system, which is a natural defense against weeds, disease and drought. Visit DEC’s Lawn Care web page for more information.

DEC also encourages homeowners to leave lawn clippings on the yard in order to improve the health of the lawn. Grass clippings are 80 percent water and contain 2- 4 percent nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients. Leaving clippings also saves homeowners time while mowing and reduces the amount of garbage thrown out. Grass clippings can account for as much as 10 percent of garbage.

DEC has posted a new video (“Look for Zero Phosphorus Lawn Fertilizer”)(link leaves DEC’s website) to its YouTube channel that shows how phosphorus and other chemicals can run off lawns and enter our waterways. For more information, visit DEC’s Lawn Fertilizerweb page.

The nutrient runoff law does not affect agricultural fertilizer or fertilizer for gardens.

Tuesday
Apr182017

Smithtown's Horizon Counseling Center Named "Social Work Agency Of The Year"

Town of Smithtown Substance Abuse Counseling & Education Center Named Social Work Agency of the Year

Smithtown, N.Y., April 2017 – Town of Smithtown Horizons Counseling & Education Center was named “Social Work Agency of the Year” by the National Association of Social Workers, New York State Chapter, Suffolk Division.  All award winners will be honored at an event on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 11:00am at the Brentwood Country Club.  The Town of Smithtown wishes to share in congratulating Horizons and the other award recipients as they are recognized with these prestigious awards.  Smithtown Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio commented, “With the drug scourge so prevalent throughout Suffolk County and Smithtown, we are proud of the designation that Horizons Counseling has received as ‘Social Work Agency of the Year’ and we are proud of the good work they do on behalf of all our residents who may have a need for these services.”  This award acknowledges the exceptional social work services provided by Horizons to address the chronic and often tragic causes and consequences of substance use in the community.   

The Town of Smithtown’s own Horizons Counseling and Education Center, located at 161 East Main Street in Smithtown, has offered comprehensive substance abuse treatment and prevention services for adolescents, adults, and families since 1979.  Horizons regularly works with various community partners, including the Smithtown Youth Bureau, local school districts, hospitals/healthcare providers, law enforcement, and other community institutions to address substance use-related problems and provide prevention, education, and treatment programming.  Horizons and the Smithtown Youth Bureau have recently established the Youth and Community Alliance of Smithtown for the purpose of engaging and mobilizing residents and other stakeholders to work toward positive change in the Town of Smithtown communities, including a focus on substance use, bullying, and maintaining healthy family relationships.  To learn more about the services offered by Horizons Counseling and Education Center, please contact Matthew Neebe, Director at mneebe@tosgov.com  (631) 360-7578.  For information about the Youth Bureau and the Youth and Community Alliance of Smithtown, please contact Stacey Sanders, Executive Director, Smithtown Youth Bureau at ssanders@tosgov.com  (631) 360-7595

Monday
Apr102017

One Of A Kind Kings Park Heritage Museum Receives NYSASCD Recognition

Kings Park Heritage Museum Receives NYSASCD Recognition. Dr. Eagen presenting NYSASCD certificate of recognition to Mr. Ostebo, Ms. Galletta-Hahn, and Kings Park Heritage Museum Trustees.

On Wednesday, April 5, Superintendent Eagen presented the Kings Park Heritage Museum with a special recognition from the New York State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (NYSASCD).  NYSASCD is the state-level affiliate of ASCD, a national teacher/leader professional organization.  NYSASCD recognized the museum for their “outstanding contributions to the local social studies curriculum through the cultivation, documentation, and dissemination of the history of Kings Park and surrounding community.”  The Kings Park Heritage Museum, which has operated within the R.J.O. Intermediate School since 1994, is the only school district operated museum in the United States.  As stated in their Guidelines, “The Purpose of the Kings Park Heritage Museum is to preserve the history of Kings Park, provide educational services/materials for students and the general public, and provide storage of historic artifacts of the community for viewing by the students and the general public.”  According to Dr. Eagen, “As the newly elected President of NYSASCD, I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize the unique greatness of our heritage museum.  For more than twenty years, the museum has enriched the curricula of local area students, and this great work is most deserving of recognition from NYSASCD.”  According to Joann Galletta-Hahn, the museum’s President, “…the KPHM Board and Trustees are honored and proud to be recognized by NYSASCD. For almost 25 years, the vision of our Curator/Director Leo Ostebo, has truly honored Kings Park’s strong community and rich heritage. All the donations of the amazing items showcased throughout the museum are from families of Kings Park and the surrounding communities.  This award represents everyone’s efforts, respect and love for this town’s tremendous history.”

Friday
Mar312017

Commack Boy Scout Troop 125 Collected 3,496 lbs. Of Food

Scouts from Troop 125 Collect 3,496 lbs. of Food!

Boy Scout Troop 125 with food collected as part of the national food drive, “Scouting for Food.” A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, kind, cheerful… Boy Scouts from Troop 125 were out in force on Sunday, March 5 participating in national call to service through the annual food drive, Scouting for Food.  Canned and boxed goods were donated by community members, as the scouts requested donations shoppers at Commack’s King Kullen (Vets Hwy) and ShopRite (Crooked Hill Rd).  An impressive 2,073 pounds were collected that day, which, in addition to other food collection efforts throughout the year, made for an annual total food collection of 3,496 pounds by the scouts.  The food variety included staples such as soup, tuna, assorted canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, rice, olive oil, sauces and cereals.  The peanut butter and jelly collected helped restock the shelves for the Commack United Methodist Church’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang, whose customary sandwich making takes place on the first Saturday of every month and is open to anyone who wishes to help the hungry in the community.  

Boy Scout Troop 125 meets every Tuesday from 7:30-9:00pm at the Commack United Methodist Church (486 Town Line Road, Commack) and is open to boys ages 11 through 18 residing in Commack, Dix Hills, East Northport, Kings Park, Smithtown and their surrounding communities.