Campaign for New York Health

In this video, Secretary of Ithaca DSA Theresa Alt,, talks to Dr. Susan Soboroff about the Campaign for New York Health. If put into action, this would provide health care for all New Yorkers in a single payer system.

New Jersey’s Best Doctors

Being hit with the news that you (or a loved one) has cancer is undoubtedly overwhelming.  So when it comes to accessing the best medical treatment, what resources are available to facilitate this process? The New Jersey Monthly Magazine’s annual report on Top Doctors is a good place to start.  In 2016 the journal approached over 24,000 doctors in New Jersey with the question: “Which of your fellow practitioners do you consider as New Jersey’s best doctors?”

As such 1,069 Top Doctors (as selected by their colleagues) were included in the magazine.  One of these was Kenneth Nahum who has received the award various times in the past as well (including: 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012).  A specialist in hematology/oncology, Nahum is affiliated at both CentraState Medical Center and Jersey Shore University Medical Center.  He participates in cancer research trials and treats patients for a variety of cancers (breast, GI and lung in particular).

Another award winner in the same specialty (hematology/oncology) in 2016 was Myron E. Bednar, MD.  A second-time winner (the first being in 2011), he has been reputed to provide the “highest-quality cancer care in a compassionate manner.” Like Nahum, he too, participates in cancer research trials and seeks to offer patients new treatment options.

These are just two of many top hematology/oncology doctors caring for patients in the New Jersey area.  Having built up a reputation among trusted colleagues for their work and commitment to their patients, the New Jersey Monthly Magazine seems to be one place to start for those undergoing treatment.

New York, Women, Health

New York City is a great place to be if you’re a woman and focusing on your health and wellness is important to you.  There are often many events and opportunities in the area that focus on women and their wellbeing.  For example, earlier this month, the NYC Health + Hospitals/King County put together an event entitled ‘GO RED for WOMEN,’ which attracted over 200 people from the community. At the event  women were able to engage in activities to learn how to relax, understand more about maintaining mental health wellness (with a focus on Tai Chi and meditative outlets).

In addition, the event (that is held annually in conjunction with the American Heart Association) provided an opportunity to bring up the subject of women and heart disease given that this is the number 1 killer for the demographic and that together with stroke, this causes 1 in 3 deaths for women every year (which is greater than all cancers combined).

And then there was the recent announcement by New York’s Mayor, Cuomo, who said that he was forcing health insurance companies to cover “medically-necessary abortions” along with most types of contraception at no cost for women.  He is making efforts to “firmly secure access to reproductive health services in New York State.” In a shout-out of additional support to women in this regard, a nice twist was created at New York’s Fashion Week with the “Fashion Stands with Planned Parenthood” campaign which offered its swag of magenta-colored bold buttons for designers, industry influencers, modeling agencies, PR firms, press and runway locations.

Ways to Reduce Waste

We can all help the environment in so many small ways without really feeling the impact in our own lives. How can we do this? We can consider the things that we throw out, reuse, recycle and purchase and try to make reductions wherever possible. Each of these steps can make a huge difference on landfills like the Bridgeton landfill if you think about it over a one week or one year (or many year) pattern.

Make sure that you purchase items that have been recycled whenever you can. This could include paper goods, clothing and more. You will help to reduce the impact that your purchases make on landfills.

Another creative suggestion is to clean with natural products. Rather than buying floor soap, tile cleaning, toilet bowl cleaner, counter cleaner and more, you can find ingredients in your house for natural cleaning supplies. You won’t be buying plastic bottles and purchasing more things that need to go into landfills.

NY: New Care Centers

Various new health centers have recently been created in New York and the surrounding areas, covering a variety of different wellness issues.

The first, is Staten Island’s ambulatory care center.  The groundbreaking ceremony for this was just led by Dr. Ram Raju, on his last day as CEO and President of NYC Health + Hospitals. The facility that is due to open next Fall will take care of around 40,000 visits each year by 2020.  The 18,000 building will have 24 exam rooms and will offer adult medicine, asthma, diabetes, OB-GYN, mammography, pediatrics, podiatry, Ultrasounds and X-rays.  According to Raju: “Providing more ambulatory care to meet the needs of community residents is critically important for the future of health care in New York.  The expanded access is expected to mean tens of thousands more patient visits each year, which in turn will reduce the need for costly emergency and inpatient care.”

Meanwhile over in Bronxville Lawrence Hospital, a new cancer center and surgical suite (costing $65 million) has just been renovated, revamping the existing cancer program.  The NY-Presbyterian health system (parent organization of the hospital) has invested in this.  Some of the enhancements made include:  a radiation oncology program, bringing it in line with other key local hospitals.  Indeed, as hospital president, Michael Fosina said: “You can’t be a standalone community hospital anymore and survive, you have to be part of a bigger health system.”

In addition, a new chain of free mental health clinics for US army veterans has opened nationwide.  One of these is New York.  The idea is to provide these vets with much needed treatment that they are spending way too long waiting to receive.  The centers were established due to the generosity of Steve A. Cohen.  He put his money into these centers following the friends of his son who returned from Afghanistan needing counseling but were unable to get help quickly.

New York’s New Wellness Products

feminineFirst up is Lo Bosworth’s Love Wellness, “a line of 100 percent natural and OB/GYN-approved feminine wellness and hygiene products,” that emerged from Bosworth’s personal frustrations with inadequate service from this part of the health industry. Saying that it’s much more than just a case of splitting women up into “good/bad plumbing,” her products aim to deal with “yeast infections, BV, funny smells, and UTIs.”

Included in the Love Wellness products are: The Killer ($24), a suppository made with boric acid to balance pH, Good Girl Probiotics (designed to balance the gut – a very common issue females encounter) and the Perfect Condition Vitamin (to destroy yeast on a cellular level). The downtown Manhattan living Bosworth explains how with pH out of whack, infections are much more likely. Using a design that is minimalist with subtle packaging, Bosworth explains how these products will not attract any unwanted attention.

Elsewhere in the city, Boxed Wholesale – is slashing its tampon and pad prices along with other female hygiene items in order to encourage manufacturers and legislators to repeal the taxes. This was partly in response to findings from a study of gender pricing in New York City which discovered that feminine hygiene products cost around 7 percent more than those for their male counterparts.

Medical Marijuana in New York

marijuanaMedical marijuana has long been hailed as a solution to many health issues.  Moreover, it is fast becoming known as a great way of enhancing general health.  With its healing benefits and limited side effects, the nation is fast realizing how many benefits there are to this medical solution.

Now, it seems that New York is getting on the bandwagon as well.  While medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, other states quickly caught on.  And now in New York, the state is set to relax its laws on prescribing marijuana, permitting home delivery and to take additional steps to expand its medical cannabis program.

Last month the New York Department of Health actually recommended New York increase its access to the program, since currently it is one of the most restrictive in America.  Dr. Howard Zucker, Health Commissioner explained that they are: “constantly evaluating the program to make it more effective for patients and practitioners, and [they] believe that the implementation of these recommendations will do just that.”

The longer term goal for New York is the review of additional companies selling medical cannabis which will manufacture and distribute it for them.  Right now, the limit of companies is five.

Affordable Care Act

healthcareStatistics from New York’s Department of Health indicate that approximately 15 percent of the population of the state of New York is utilizing the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The health care exchange there – New York State of Health – recently detailed its level of use for 2016 indicating the coverage enrollment of 2.8 million people by the end of the admission period.  This marked an increase of around 700,000 from 2015.

New York residents are able to register for a health plan via the Affordable Care Act thanks to the state marketplace.  They can also sign up for various private health plans that are part of the marketplace or – for those eligible – Medicaid. There is also the Essential Plan on offer as well as Child Health Plus.

Other positive news about this for New Yorkers is that according to a recent news article by Margot Sanger-Katz, “A few recent studies suggest that people have become less likely to have medical debt or to postpone care because of cost. They are also more likely to have a regular doctor and to be getting preventive health services like vaccines and cancer screenings.”

New York’s Social Wellness House

spaThere is now a social wellness house in lower Manhattan.  For those who want to chill out in a healthy non-alcoholic way, this is the place to go.  Get a manicure, listen to a lecture on wellness, meditate, have a massage or enjoy a Pilates class at one venue.

Set to open early next year Gradient Architecture and Bower is designing the space with the view to letting patrons “realign, expand their thinking and connect with like-minded others.”

Meanwhile for those who want to get into the swing of things now but would like to combine it with their work time, the Financial District is offering a new co-working office whereby members can take fitness classes at an in-house studio.  Of the company providing this – called Primary – co-founder Danny Orenstein explained that they “wanted to bring a lot of wellness amenities right in arm’s reach [adding that] People are realizing the shared office space isn’t one size fits all. We’re trying to provide something that feels really refined and fits in the wellness model.”

Candies and Health: Taking a Closer Look

candiesA government database of surveys revealed that “thinner children eat candy.” While the authors did confess that the data they received “may not reflect usual intake” and “cause and effect associations cannot be drawn,” the findings still reflected that kids who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not. The paper received its funding from a trade association that represents the makers of Butterfingers, Hershey and Skittles.

The backlash from this – according to the Associated Press – is that makers of sweet-sugary food and beverages are “shaping nutrition science.”  One of the food industry’s most powerful tools is nutritional research funding.  This seems to be equipped with academic authority, resulting in it becoming a part of scientific literature.

However, the question of alternative supplements to sugar remains a pressing one without much of a conclusive answer. According to a diabetes-based study in Science Daily “results showed that those who used artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, may have worse glucose management than those who don’t take sugar substitutes.” The study examined individuals who reported their diets over the previous 24 hours.  They were then categorized as consumers of artificial sweeteners or high/low consumers of natural sugars. Then, the diabetes risk was measured via the capacity to manage blood sugars using an oral glucose test.

According to researchers at York University’s Faculty of Health who took the data to examine it, while it was the case that artificial sweeteners were beneficial to people struggling with obesity vis-à-vis calorie reduction and weight loss, simultaneously they may cause other adverse health effects.  As obesity researcher in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York, Jennifer Kuk explained: “Our study shows that individuals with obesity who consume artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, may have worse glucose management than those who don’t take sugar substitutes.”

Ultimately one will always find studies to indicate the benefits of sugar over sweeteners and vice versa.  The best idea for health maintenance – pretty much as