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Smithtown Animal Shelter

The Smithtown Animal Shelter has many kittens for adoption, the little ones are handled and socialized by our volunteer staff they are friendly have their initial shots and de-worming.










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Health - Wellness - Fitness




Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic Welcomes Key Managers


­­ Vanita Kumar, MD, Sharon Peckham, and Megan Toohey Join PPHP ­­

Hawthorne, NY – Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP) recently appointed Vanita Kumar, MD as Medical Director; Sharon J. Peckham as Director, Health Center Operations; and Megan Toohey as Vice President, Public Affairs.

“I am so pleased to welcome Dr. Kumar, Ms. Peckham and Ms. Toohey, and their collective expertise in health care services and advocacy that will enhance our work to provide quality, affordable and non-judgmental health care and vital education programs,” President/CEO Reina Schiffrin said.

Dr.Vanita KumarDr. Kumar has been a medical provider at PPHP for the past ten years, and in her new role as Medical Director, in collaboration with the Director, Medical Services & Quality, oversees PPHP’s clinical programs, quality of care, and regulatory compliance.  She provides direct patient care services, clinical supervision, and training for PPHP medical staff. 

Dr. Kumar currently holds the position of Family Medicine Physician and Faculty Team Leader at Montefiore Medical Center and is an Associate Professor for Family Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She received her medical degree at The George Washington University School of Medicine followed by a Family Medicine residency at Beth Israel Medical Center and a Faculty Development fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Ms. Peckham manages the administrative and clinical staff at PPHP’s 11 health Sharon Peckhamcenters, and her position marks her return to PPHP where she previously worked in a variety of roles. For the past eight years, Ms. Peckham has held management positions in private medical practices. Most recently, she has held the position of the Executive Administrator for CCW Management, in affiliation with Columbia Doctors Medical Group, which has nine locations and 175 employees. 

As Vice President, Public Affairs, Ms. Toohey will be responsible for oversight of Public Affairs, Communications & Marketing, and Education & Training. Prior to joining PPHP, she held the position of Director of State Relations at the University at Buffalo.  

Prior to her position at University at Buffalo, Ms. Toohey held a variety of positions including Political and Economic Relations Officer at the Consulate General of Canada, Health Policy Analyst at The United Hospital Fund, Legislative Assistant for Hodes Associates in Albany, and Confidential Assistant for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Megan TooheyMs. Toohey holds a BA in Political Science from Wells College and a MA in Public Policy from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, SUNY Albany.  

PPHP operates health centers in Brewster, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Spring Valley, White Plains, Yonkers, Huntington, Patchogue, Riverhead, Smithtown, and West Islip.


Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP) is the 20th largest affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and operates 11 health centers in Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties.  In 2013, PPHP provided services to more than 34,000 patients in more than 68,000 visits.  PPHP conducted almost 1,700 education and training programs, reaching more than 29,000 youth and adults, and mobilized 15,000 advocates to protect reproductive health care rights. PPHP has served the community for 80 years, and is dedicated to educating and empowering individuals to make responsible choices regarding their sexuality and sexual health. For more information about PPHP’s services and programs, visit  HYPERLINK “http://www.pphp.org” www.pphp.org. 


Suffolk County Officials Encourage Residents to Obtain Flu Immunization

Suffolk County Officials Encourage Residents to Obtain Flu Immunization

Those with High- Risk Conditions Are Urged to Contact Health Care Providers Promptly after Flu-like Symptoms Begin

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Health Commissioner James Tomarken, MD, MPH, are urging all residents who have not yet received this season’s flu immunization to get one as soon as possible. Additionally, they ask those residents who are at high risk for complications from flu to seek medical care promptly if they do experience flu-like symptoms.

“Influenza is a substantial public health threat, therefore we ask individuals to get immunized to protect not only themselves but also their families and those who live in our community who have high-risk conditions,” said County Executive Bellone. 

“Our concern is that early reports from the CDC have indicated that people who are at risk for complications from influenza may be particularly vulnerable to the A (H3N2) virus that appears to be circulating this season,” said Dr. Tomarken. “Immunization has been found to provide some protection and will reduce the likelihood of severe outcomes. We urge people who are at high risk for complications from influenza to seek medical attention promptly if they experience flu-like symptoms. Those individuals may benefit from antiviral medications.”

Individuals at high risk for developing serious flu complications include children younger than 5 years, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, blood disorders, morbid obesity, kidney and liver disorders, HIV or AIDS, and cancer.

Dr. Tomarken offered the following recommendations to residents:

  • The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza disease.
  • Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors’ offices, clinics, local health centers, pharmacies, college health centers and places of business. Contact your health-care provider today for your flu vaccine.
  • Despite the unpredictable nature of the flu, yearly vaccination is needed because:

Ø  flu viruses are always changing;

Ø  new vaccine is produced each year that will protect against the next season’s anticipated influenza viruses;

Ø  Immune protection from vaccination declines over time.

·         It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the immune system to build the antibodies needed to provide protection against the flu.

  • Students and adults should stay home from school or work if they develop influenza-like illness.
  • If you do get sick, wash hands often and cover your coughs and sneezes. It’s best to use a tissue and quickly throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. This will prevent the spread of germs.
  • Get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids.
  • If you are at high risk for complications from influenza, seek medical care promptly after symptoms begin. Antiviral medication may be recommended.
  • Flu season runs from October through May, with flu activity usually peaking in January. Observe 2014 National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 7-13) by getting immunized.

Residents with questions about influenza may call the Department of Health Services Hotline number 800-787-2200.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov. For flu-related questions contact FluInbox@cdc.gov.


Help Prevent Overdose Death - Suffolk County Narcan Training Classes

Suffolk County Announces Narcan Training Classes  - The training, which meets New York State Department of Health requirements, will enable participants to recognize an opioid overdose, administer intranasal Narcan and take additional steps until EMS arrives. Participants will receive a certificate of completion and an emergency resuscitation kit that includes one dose of nasal Narcan. Classes will be held as follows:

Islip - Monday, December 8, 2014, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - American Legion Post - 39 Nassau Ave., Islip, NY, 11751 - Contact:  631-852-4235 or robert.delagi@suffolkcountyny.gov

Northport - Thursday, December 11, 2014, 7:00 -8:30 p.m. Northport Public Library, Community Room - 151 Laurel Avenue, Northport, NY - Contact by December 5th:  Anthony Ferrandino:  anthony.ferrandino@northport.k12.ny.us

Hauppauge - Monday, December 15, 2014, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Office of Health Education North County Complex - 725 Veterans Highway, Bldg. C928, Hauppauge, NY 11788 - Contact: 631-853-4017 or wanda.ortiz@suffolkcountyny.gov

Monday, January 12, 2015, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. - Office of Health Education North County Complex - 725 Veterans Highway, Bldg. C928, Hauppauge, NY 11788 - Contact: 631-853-4017 or wanda.ortiz@suffolkcountyny.gov

Monday, February 9, 2015, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.Office of Health Education North County Complex - 725 Veterans Highway, Bldg. C928, Hauppauge, NY 11788 - Contact: 631-853-4017 or wanda.ortiz@suffolkcountyny.gov


The CDC Issues Warning About Liquid Nicotine

November 2014 - Warning about Liquid Nicotine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the number of calls to poison control centers involving e-cigarette liquids rose from one per month in Sept 2010 to 215 per month in Feb 2014.  More than half of the calls involved children under age 5.

According to poison control, some children and toddlers who have come in contact with e-cigarette devices or liquid nicotine have become very ill, with nausea and vomiting being the most significant symptoms. Some have required emergency room visits. 

What are e-cigarettes? E-cigarettes are electronic devices that provide a vapor of liquid nicotine and other substances to the user that simulates smoking. The use of e-cigarettes has been increasing in recent years among adults and teens, as marketers promote the devices as a safe and effective way to quit smoking, though there is no evidence to support this claim.  The increased use and popularity of these products has led to new concerns among health officials. 

What is Liquid Nicotine? 

  • Liquid nicotine — sold in small bottles or cartridges to refill e-cigarettes — comprises nicotine, propylene glycol, and other chemicals. The liquid often comes in flavors that attract children and animals. Some e-cigarette refills also contain caffeine and are being marketed as energy supplements. 
  • E-cigarettes and liquid nicotine containers are unregulated; manufacturers do not state on their product packaging the amount of nicotine contained in the product and do not warn consumers of the dangers associated with liquid nicotine use. 
  • Nicotine is poisonous.  Small amounts of liquid nicotine can be harmful if swallowed, absorbed by the skin or inhaled.
  • Symptoms of nicotine poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, sweating, tachycardia (fast heart rate),

Hypertension (high blood pressure), tremors, headache, dizziness and seizures. Higher levels of nicotine poisoning can result in hypotension (low blood pressure), bradycardia (slow heart rate), central nervous system depression, coma, muscle paralysis and respiratory failure. 

Who Should Know?

  • All consumers who use e-cigarettes and/or liquid nicotine refills should be aware that the liquid can be harmful if swallowed, absorbed by the skin, or inhaled; and that sales are unregulated.
  • Parents of young children and teenagers should be aware that the products may be attractive to children. 
  • Teenagers and young adults should be aware of the dangers of nicotine and liquid nicotine refills. 

What to Do

  • The American Association of Poison Control Centers recommends the following steps:
  • Protect your skin when handling the products.
  • Always keep e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine locked up and out of the reach of children.
  • Follow the specific disposal instructions on the label.
  • If you think someone has been exposed to an e-cigarette or liquid nicotine, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.


What to Do

  • The American Association of Poison Control Centers recommends the following steps:
  • Protect your skin when handling the products.
  • Always keep e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine locked up and out of the reach of children.
  • Follow the specific disposal instructions on the label.
  • If you think someone has been exposed to an e-cigarette or liquid nicotine, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.










“The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) was made aware that two people recently arrived from one of the three Ebola affected countries in West Africa. These individuals were evaluated by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) personnel at John F. Kennedy International Airport at the time of arrival, displayed no symptoms and were allowed to proceed to their home.  Following protocols of the CDC and the New York State Department of Health, SCDHS employees will be conducting daily monitoring of those individuals for the 21 day Ebola incubation period.  

There are currently no reports of any individual in Suffolk County who has displayed any symptoms of Ebola.  Suffolk County will be notified by New York State of patients returning from any of the affected countries, following their onsite evaluation by CDC personnel at JFK, and the appropriate monitoring will be conducted as per protocols.

SCDHS has been working closely with all area hospitals, first responders and support agencies to be prepared to deal with a range of issues which may arise and to protect public health.  If any member of the public has questions, please call 854-0333.”


Rotarians Work To End Polio - October 24, 2014 World Polio Day


The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International has been working to eradicate polio from the face of the earth since 1979. At that time, the world had seen 350,000 new cases of polio – a crippling disease caused by a virus that affects primarily children under the age of five – every year. Today, thanks to Rotary’s efforts, we have seen fewer than 250 cases since January 1st of this year, and we are on track towards expected eradication before this decade is out.

Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (Unicef, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) have designated this Friday, October 24, 2014, as World Polio Day. The purpose of the day is to bring attention to the efforts of the GPEI partners, to show the success we’ve had to date, and to stress that unless we complete the job of total eradication, the disease will rebound and cause untold sickness and suffering amongst the children of the world. As Rotary’s expression goes, “We Are This Close” and at 99.9% of the job done, Rotarians are proud of their accomplishment. But they are not finished yet.

By participating in World Polio Day, Rotarians around the world – as well as locally – are seeking to bring awareness to the community that this disease still exists in the world. While we’ve had total and successful inoculation programs available to all American children since the 1960’s, the disease is still at large in the three endemic countries that still actively spawn new cases of polio – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. The work is almost completely done in Afghanistan and Nigeria at this point, but Pakistan remains a hotbed of polio activity. Due to political reasons and unsubstantiated fears pertaining to the vaccine, Pakistan has been particularly difficult in getting to the end of the eradication process.

By watching a live-streaming broadcast this Friday, October 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm EST at http://www.endpolio.org/worldpolioday everyone can learn more about the efforts of countless thousands of volunteers who have been working for the past 35 years to put an end to this disease. After the event, the stream will continued to be replayed on demand at the same website. Please watch. Please learn. Please help. No child anywhere in the world should have to suffer from this completely preventable disease. It only costs 60 cents to protect a child against polio for life. Together, let’s make it happen.

Rotary has local clubs in many western Suffolk communities, including Commack-Kings Park, Smithtown, Hauppauge, East Northport, Northport, Huntington, Huntington Station, Islip, Islandia-Central Islip, Melville, Babylon, Bay Shore, Lindenhurst, Amityville, and more. All of these clubs would welcome new volunteers. They may all be found at www.Rotary.org, by clicking the Club Finder link at the top of the home page. The members of these clubs are your neighbors, and they are all committed to eradicating polio from the world.


Health Bulletin From SC Health Dept. - Warning About Bath Salts



STEVEN BELLONE Suffolk County Executive


Warning about “Bath Salts”

October 2014

Recent news has indicated that there is a new form of a “bath salt” gaining popularity with youngsters across the U.S. Typically sold as a powder, with designer names such as Cloud 9 and Hookah Relax, “bath salts” are now being sold in small dropper bottles similar to those in which e-cigarette liquid is sold. It is reported that teens are often adding the liquid “bath salts” to e-cigarettes and inhaling to get high. The liquid can also be added to drinks, food and gum and ingested. The effects produced by “bath salts” are similar to those produced by cocaine, but studies indicate they may be much stronger.

“Bath salts” are powerful synthetic drugs that contain substances that have been illegal in the U.S. since 2012. “Bath salts” can cause hallucinations, violent behavior and other dangerous effects. They are NOT the bath salts you use in your tub. These powerful drugs have not been tested for safety, and users don’t really know exactly what chemicals they are putting into their bodies. The side effects they cause may be permanent.

What are the effects of “bath salts”? Poison center experts say these substances are among the worst they have seen. Users have experienced many side effects, such as paranoia and violent behavior, hallucinations, delusions, suicidal thoughts, seizures, panic attacks, increased blood pressure and heart rate, chest pain, nausea and vomiting.

How are “bath salts” sold? Typically, “bath salts” have been sold in the form of a white or brown crystalline powder in small plastic or foil packages marked “not for human consumption.” They have been marketed as plant food, jewelry cleaner or phone screen cleaner and have names like Cloud 9, Ivory Wave, Bloom, Lunar Wave, Vanilla Sky, White Lightning, and Scarface. These names or descriptions have nothing to do with the product, but rather offer a way for the drug makers to avoid detection by the Drug Enforcement Administration or local police. More recently, bath salts are being marketed in liquid form and are reported to be readily available in tobacco, e-cigarette and convenience stores, as well as online.

What should you do if someone has taken “bath salts”?

Dial 9-1-1 immediately if someone stops breathing, collapses, or has a seizure. Call the poison center: 1-800-222-1222. Experts can help you decide whether someone must go to

a hospital. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For those in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273 TALK For those who need treatment, call Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator: 1-800-662-HELP

or visit www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov

Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse; American Association of Poison Control Centers

suffolkcountyny.gov Facebook.com/SuffolkCountyHealthServices Twitter.com/SuffolkCoHealth


NYS Heroin Website Goes Live

NYS Heroin Website Goes Live - Smithtown Mom Leading the Way

Maureen Rossi

In response to the state’s heroin epidemic, Governor Cuomo recently launched a new comprehensive website with accompany public service announcements (PSAs).   The message on the home-page of the well-designed site is clear;   ‘addiction can happen to anyone, any family, at any time’.   Smithtown mother Linda Ventura is that any family and she can be found on that website:  www.combatheroin.com. 

Like so many other Long Island moms, Ventura sat on the side-lines in the cold at her son’s sporting events; she went to back to school night to meet his teachers, took him to church, helped him with his home-work and science projects and told him she loved him over and over throughout his life.  She even talked to him about the perils of drugs and alcohol.   The Ventura family is the ‘any family’ on the state’s website. 

Linda VenturaOn both the site and in the PSA’s Ventura tells the harrowing story of her son’s battle with heroin addiction.  She talks about the loss of her beautiful twenty-one year old son who was a popular athlete in Kings Park.  Thomas was also a great son, brother, uncle and friend.  He loved to spend time by the water at the Kings Park Bluff – he was a great kid who made a bad choice as an adolescent as so many kids do.  The PSA’s with Ventura appear on dozens of television channels throughout the state.  Her Thomas died two and half years ago and at that time Ventura decided to use her pain to advocate for change and to help other parents.

And advocate she has done.  She was part of a team of advocates on Long Island and Buffalo who headed to Albany several times this past year to lobby for a series of bills.   “Senator Phil Boyle and Senator Kemp Hannon are champions; they brought Opioid Addiction to the forefront this year,” she said.   Ventura attended the Long Island Senate hearings held by the Suffolk Senators which she credits for bringing about greater awareness and the passage of an historic package of bills.

“Senators and Assemblymen needed personal stories to fully comprehend the horrific fallout of Opioid and heroin abuse,” she explained.  Like so many on the front line, Ventura says that Long Island was the epicenter of what is now a statewide and nationwide epidemic. 

“The main focus of my advocacy was the Access to Care bill,” she added.  Ventura, like so many other parents was told her son was not high enough for treatment.  “That’s a statement I still struggle to understand; in addition, Thomas needed to FAIL at outpatient before receiving inpatient treatment,” she lamented.  Ventura says the disease of Addiction is a fatal, progressive disease and needs to be treated as one.  She and many of fellow advocates called the thousands of insurance denials around the state discriminatory practices.  

“In May 2014, I brought my son’s ashes with me to Albany so that the lawmakers could fully comprehend what failure at outpatient looks like.  I respectfully asked the politicians to remember what that failure looks like and how my family is forever changed,” she shared.   In June 2014 she boldly sat at an Assembly roundtable in June and put her son’s ashes on the table for the President of the NYS Insurance Plans to recognize that profits over treatment are unacceptable.

Ventura said in April 2015, Access to Treatment becomes effective and insurance companies will not be allowed to discriminate treatment for Opiate and Heroin Abuse.   She said they are making strides and the new laws, website and PSAs are all excellent tools.   “However, there is more work to be done education and prevention programs must be put back in the schools otherwise we are going to be right where we are today in five years,” she demanded.  

Ventura says it is very difficult to think clearly when a loved one is struggling with this disease.  “I would say to parents, this disease has nothing to do with good parenting and it discriminates against no one,” she added.  She says parents should never think it’s OK that their child is “only” smoking pot and drinking alcohol.  She implores parents to get educated and seek help if they suspect their child is having a problem. 

“I don’t want any more parents to be a member of my Club, I celebrate the victories we have had in Albany but I paid the ultimate price,” she said sadly.    The NYS website also provides prevention resources, a list of warning signs and places to get help or get involved.

**NYS law requires that treatment programs funded by OASAS provide treatment services for people who cannot pay for the services.**

Right to Coverage for Addition Treatment Services

Under New York and Federal law, if you have insurance you have the right to receive the following addiction treatment services when medically necessary:

·         Unlimited detoxification services in a hospital;

·         Unlimited inpatient care in a hospital, inpatient rehabilitation or residential treatment facility;

·         Unlimited outpatient care in both outpatient facilities or in your provider’s office;

·         Outpatient methadone treatment (an insurer may require that methadone administration be accompanied by other substance use treatment); and

·         Suboxone and subutex, if your health insurance coverage includes a prescription drug benefit.

Knowing the details of your health insurance plan, the law and your rights can be critical when you seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one. For more information visit the New York State Office of Financial Services website: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/consindx.htm

Denial of Coverage

If your health insurer denies coverage for any addiction treatment services for the reason that it is not medically necessary, you have a right to appeal the decision with your health insurer. If your health insurer upholds the denial you have the right to an external appeal with an independent reviewer.

For more information on your rights to appeal the denial of insurance coverage visit New York State Office of Financial Services website: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/hrights.htm

If you, a family member or friend is abusing or misusing heroin, prescription drugs or other Opioid call the New York State HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) for help. Calls to the HOPEline are toll free and you will speak with a trained professional who will answer your questions and help you find treatment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are anonymous and confidential and call services are provided in over 125 languages.



Health - Surviving Breast Cancer With Hope, Courage And Strength

Surviving Breast Cancer with Hope, Courage and Strength

Hope, courage and strength—those are just three of the powerful words that truly captured the essence of 63 vibrant breast cancer survivors at St. Catherine’s Annual Breast Cancer Survivors Celebration Dinner. The dinner, held in the pink illuminated room at the Watermill in Smithtown, was attended by 150 individuals, including breast cancer survivors, their supportive family and friends, along with the team of health care professionals that have been with each survivor on their healing journey. 

As October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, St. Catherine of Siena uses the month as a platform to increased community awareness and education about the disease. Throughout the month, the medical center’s Community Outreach Program collaborates with more organizations to champion early mammography screenings. In addition, it is an opportunity for the division of breast health services to connect with its patients—and happily—with the very family and friends that have bridged the gap of support throughout their treatment process.

Breast Health Educator/Navigator Meiling Alsen, RN, moderated the evening and opened with a warm welcome to the many survivors and their supportive guests. She also thanked contributors who made the evening possible, including hospital administration for recognizing the importance of the celebratory event, and the many individuals who donated signature items for free raffle prizes.

“This evening is made to celebrate the optimism and the progress we have made in the fight against breast cancer—with family, friends and an expert breast health team—surviving breast cancer is possible,” said St. Catherine’s Executive Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer Paul J. Rowland. “I could not be more proud of this wonderful organization—I thank our breast health services team for providing expert care with the upmost compassion.”

Also in attendance to greet the survivors and their guests was St. Catherine’s Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer Gara Edelstein, who acknowledged that breast cancer is a disease that affects everyone and highlighted the many medical treatment options now available to women and men. “As we celebrate each and every survivor, know we are here for you —this night is all for you.”

Thanks to donations from Designs By Clemente’s Flowers, Island Medical Physicians, Ilene Mauner, Panera Bread, Revlon Cosmetics, Vera Bradley and several staff members at St. Catherine’s departments, including, Care Management, Intensive Care Unit, Laboratory and the Operation Room, beautiful themed baskets were raffled for free to survivors. The evening would not have been as lively without musical renditions from John Tuzzolo, also known as Johnny Rae, who volunteered his time and talents, and kept survivors dancing throughout the evening.

Many of the survivors in attendance commented on how lovely an evening it was and that they look forward to celebrating with St. Catherine of Siena every year.  “We use the word survivor, but the smiles I see tonight—well, you are doing more than surviving—you are living,” said St. Catherine’s Director of Pastoral Care Sister Patricia McDonnell. Sister McDonnell greeted the survivors and their guest and articulated a moving poem of hope. “You have not chosen this path; the path has chosen you—please be encouraged knowing you have the strength to overcome and empower others.”

St. Catherine of Siena’s Breast Health Services includes a team of expert professionals, from diagnosis to treatment to support services; the staff is committed to the healing journey with each and every patient. For more information about St. Catherine’s Breast Health Services, call (631) 870-3444.

Photo (L-R): Director of Breast Imaging Anne Green, MD, Breast Health Educator Navigator Meiling Alsen, RN, St. Catherine’s EVP/CAO Paul J. Rowland, Director of Pastoral Care Sister Patricia McDonnell, St. Catherine’s Vice President of Finance John Pohlman, St. Catherine’s COO/CNO Gara Edelstein, Director of Breast Health Program June Lee, MD, and Administrative Director of Reconstructive Microsurgery Diana Yoon-Schwartz, MD.



Four Confirmed Cases Of Enterovirus-D68 In Suffolk County

Suffolk County Learns of Four EV-D68 Cases

Virus is present statewide

Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services James Tomarken announced today that four cases of enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68) in Suffolk County have been confirmed by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Dr. Tomarken asks that residents take precautions in order to contain the spread of the virus.

“These isolated reports indicate that this particular type of enterovirus is currently circulating in Suffolk County as it is throughout New York and the U.S.,” said Dr. Tomarken. “Most people who contract EV-D68 will experience the same symptoms as they would with the common cold, but it has been reported by the CDC that that EV-D68 has caused serious complications in children who have respiratory illness or are immune-compromised. For this reason, we ask residents to take precautions.”

EV-D68 was first identified in 1962. Like other types of enterovirus, EV-D68 is more likely to be found in the summer and fall months. Among the four confirmed cases of EV-D68 in Suffolk County, all were children below the age of nine. All were hospitalized and all have been discharged to home.

At this time, Suffolk County health officials are aware that a few additional cases are being tested for EV-D68 by New York State’s Wadsworth Laboratory located in the Albany area. The Wadsworth laboratory is currently the only laboratory in the state that is able to test for EV-D68. Additionally, several samples have tested negative for EV-D68, according to NYSDOH.

“It is important to keep in mind that many other viruses that cause respiratory illness are circulating at this time of the year. Not all clusters or outbreaks of respiratory illness are due to EV-D68,” said Dr. Shaheda Iftikhar, Director of Public Health and infectious disease specialist. “Because there are no immunizations for preventing EV-D68, we advise residents to protect themselves by following a few simple precautions.”

Residents are advised to:

Ø  Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers

Ø  Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

Ø  Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick

Ø  Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick

Ø  Keep children who are sick home from school.

“Since children with asthma, wheezing, or underlying medical conditions are at risk for more serious complications, parents should faithfully follow their child’s asthma management plan and regimen. In addition, all persons, age 6 months and older, should receive annual flu shots,” said Public Health Nurse and specialist in epidemiology Lauren Barlow.

While neither doctors nor hospitals are required to report individual enterovirus cases to the local county health department, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services is working closely with NYSDOH and local hospitals to monitor the spread of the EV-D68 and look for signs of increase in respiratory-related illnesses.

Additionally, Dr. Tomarken is reminding local school districts to report any unusual rates of absenteeism or respiratory illness to the Department of Health Services. For information and guidance on dealing with EV-D68, school administrators are advised to visit http://www.icontact-archive.com/GRXUtzWNofP65o0beFZiLtZlWzVA5C6R?w=4