Rx’s From Around The World In Queens
By Noah Zuss
Queens is an international hotbed of culture. With nearly every
language in the world spoken within its variety of neighborhoods,
people from all over the Earth come here to live, strive to succeed
and lead healthy lives.
There are several hundred pharmacies in New York’s largest
borough serving nearly all the cultures of the world. From unorthodox
Eastern healing to traditional Western medicinal techniques, Queens
is home to health remedies from all over the world.
pharmacy in Forest Hills serves the borough’s Russian
To remain healthy, residents in Queens from diverse backgrounds
use different means, different pharmacies and different philosophies.
Some are traditional Western medicinal techniques, like the ones
employed by most Russian Pharmacies.
When Russian immigrants arrive in America, one thing that is instantly
recognizable is the pharmacy, or ‘Anteka,’ as it is
Roman Kheit, a Russian speaking émigré from Ukraine,
appreciates this. When he first arrived in the United States in
1996, the first thing he says he worried about was communicating
his needs in this new, unknown country.
“I was worried that I would get sick and no one would be able
to understand how to help me,” he said. “Now I know
that help is not far, all I would have to do is go to my local pharmacy
where they speak my language and I will be ok.”
This natural anxiety is normal, and understandable. Moving an ocean
away can cause much nervousness, but fortunately for scores of immigrants
like Roman help is available.
Roman found help at the KS pharmacy in Rego Park.
“They made me feel really comfortable, I was sick with a cold
like a month after I arrived and I was worried. So I went to my
Anteka and they helped me a lot. They gave me a traditional Russian
tea that I drink when I am sick, that was a big relief.”
Not just Russian immigrants face the problem of searching for care
Adil Raman, an Iranian émigré from Tehran fled to
the United States during the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and has
made a home in Queens. He is now a high school teacher and says
that when he first arrived there were many less health care options.
“Back then I would go to doctor and they would not understand
my problems,” he said. A cultural barrier to talking about
certain problems also kept Raman from being completely honest with
“In my family, in my way of life, we didn’t talk about
certain things, it could be construed as a sign of weakness, like
you were less of a man,” he said.
Included in this category were discussions around issues of prostate
health and heart attack.
“In my country back then, people didn’t want to talk
about prostate. It was like your manhood was insulted if you let
a doctor feel you there. It was in America that I learned from Western
Doctors that it’s so much better to be safe than sorry,”
All men can relate to the uncomfortable feeling of a stranger examining
them, but that is the price to stay healthy today, and not a hefty
Personal Chefs Create Healthy Meals For A
By Noah C. Zuss
All health fads seem to emerge then recede quickly. New information
on eating and healthy dieting come and go without much longevity.
But the move towards wiser, designer eating is here to stay, according
to doctors and personal chefs from around Queens.
Ideally, most people would like to be healthy and glamorous looking
like celebrities that parade down the red carpet on Oscar Night.
Unfortunately a perfect body requires strict dieting, stringent
exercise and the money to pay for it all.
from nypersonalchefs.com want to cook for you.
Personal cooking services have become more available over the last
decade, but employing a full-time personal chef remains out of the
reach of most. Many of the healthiest things people can do are within
their own reach and based on personal choice.
Doctors say that in our maniacal quest for thinness we can forget
to do normal things to help meet our goals.
Simple things like eating fruits and vegetables, keeping away from
fast-food and greasy treats and watching the size of portions we
eat can all go a long way towards maintaining a healthy weight.
In fact, nypersonalchefs.com, a Web service that matches customer’s
preferences to personal chef’s by area recommends the service
because of its convenience. The Web site claims that by having others
cook for you, busy adults will have more free time to spend with
family, on personal projects or just relaxing.
The Web site recommends the service for busy professionals, families
on the go, people with special dietary needs, affluent seniors.
Mitch Crandall, a spokesman for the company, said that while the
service may be expensive, appearance fees for culinary creators
range from $200 to $500 per meal and up, it is worth it on many
levels. Included in the sales pitch for the services is a thorough
waxing on the benefits of having someone else cook for you. If these
positives were not obvious already, they will be hammered home.
“Imagine having 5, 10 or 20 percent more free time because
you don’t have to worry about cooking. That is an amazing
amount of less stress. What personal chef’s do is liberate
people from their kitchens,” Crandall said.
Framed in this way it becomes a quality of life issue. Not just
from the standpoint of what you eat and how much of your time is
taken up cooking, but also what kind of lifestyle people can afford.
Queens is full of busy working professionals that get home late.
They are tired and dreading the stove, but have no other choice
than to cook. Many of these people cannot afford the luxury of a
personal chef, and often opt for faster, less healthy dinner options.
Tapping into this fertile market are companies like Zone Chef’s
and Fresh Direct that deliver pre-cooked meals to hungry customers.
These meals are not all the same and most doctors say that customers
should use caution.
“When eating anything pre-made a person should not assume
that it is healthier just by definition,” said Milton Friedman,
a family doctor in Brooklyn. “These companies claim that they
are cooking healthy meals for you, but if you don’t know what
oils are being used or how mach fat and sodium is present, it may
not, in fact be any healthier. Less time consuming, yes, but not
always better for you.”
So the jury is still out on the benefits of personal chefs for the
non-wealthy. Sure, we all would like to live in Miami, eat perfect
food prepared by our friend the chef and not have to concern ourselves
with monitoring out saturated fat intake.
But in reality we have to worry about those things and for the majority
of Queens residents the next way to stay in shape remains getting
regular checkups, exercising often and, of course, watching what
we put into our bodies.
Choosing A Trainer Is A Personal Choice
By Liz Skalka
She runs Queens Adventure Boot Camp, and has a lot of advice for
people seeking personal trainers.
Rebecca Wenner, a certified personal trainer, runs an all-women’s
group that meets in Queens and helps women of any fitness level
reach their goals.
But people looking for a different approach to fitness might want
to try one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer, which Wenner
Rebecca Wenner’s boot camp women motivate each other.
People generally find trainers through word of mouth or referrals.
They also come across trainers through the Internet, which is how
many have found Wenner and learned about her services.
It’s important to find a trainer that you work well with.
Sometimes, people only come across a good trainer through trial
“There needs to be a good chemistry between the client and
the trainer for success,” Wenner said. “The trainer
has to be able to motivate that person.”
Trainers need to evaluate the goals and experience of the person
they’re working with.
“They would take time to talk to you and find out what your
goals are rather than just training you,” Wenner said. “Some
people want to get healthy, some people want their bodies to look
a certain way.”
A trainer should also be a certified personal trainer through the
National Academy of Sports Medicine or the Aerobics and Fitness
Association of America. This proves they’ve taken a test and
gone through a course on personal training.
‘There’s a lot of anatomy and physiology that needs
to be known in order to become a certified personal trainer,”
Unless a personal trainer is also certified in nutrition, they generally
won’t help you with a diet plan. Wenner, however, is a certified
nutrition coach, though she said she usually refers people to an
endocrinologist to evaluate their metabolisms. She generally advises
people to eat balanced meals and to stay away from fast food.
People can either find a personal trainer through a gym or find
one who works privately. Wenner said using a trainer through a gym
is usually more cost efficient and ensures that you’re working
with someone with their paperwork in order.
“Going through a gym you’re going to ensure your personal
trainer is certified, they’ll be accessible to you and you’ll
get the best rate,” Wenner said.
She added, however, “Many clients don’t like the gym,
so that’s when hiring a private trainer is also an option.”
Wenner works privately and also offers online personal training
sessions, which for $50 a month gets you a customized fitness routine
and e-mail check-ins from Wenner.
“It’s really a one-on-one program just through the Internet,”
she said. “It takes a little bit more discipline.”
But overall, Wenner is concerned about “making each client
go through their experiences and their goals, making each program
personal to the client.”
For more information about Wenner and her services, visit www.queensbootcamp.com.
Dieticians Can Instruct More Than What To
by Liz Skalka
There are a variety of reasons why people seek the help of dieticians.
You could be looking to lose or gain weight, or maybe you suffer
from a condition that requires you to follow a strict diet.
When you realize it’s the food you eat that may affect how
you feel, it might be time to visit a dietician, said Susan Ornstein,
MS, RD, CDN, whose practice is based in Bayside.
“Doctors may have told them they need to lose weight and they’ve
tried everything else,” Ornstein said of people who seek the
help of dieticians. “They’re just looking for something
else that would help them.”
Ornstein said most of the clients that come to her are either diabetic
and need special help planning meals or are looking to lose weight.
She pointed out that the hardest people to work with are actually
those looking to gain weight.
Most people locate dieticians through word of mouth or through the
American Dietetic Association, Ornstein said, which has a database
of certified dieticians throughout the country on its Web site.
To find a dietician in your area, visit www.eatright.org and click
“Find a Nutrition Professional.”
Ornstein noted people seeking diet guidance should always work with
someone who has the proper credentials. Dieticians should have an
“RD” after their names, which means “registered
dietician” and indicates they are registered with the American
Dietetic Association and have completed certain training. In New
York State, dieticians should also have a “CDN” after
their names, meaning they are recognized by the state as a “certified
Ornstein said people should work with “someone who has credentials,
someone who they feel comfortable talking to, someone who sounds
like they know what they’re talking about.”
She pointed out that it’s important to find a dietician who
talks about more than food, and to work with someone who is emotionally
“To find out how a person eats, it could entail beyond eating
to find out what their situation is, other things that affect their
eating lifestyle,” Ornstein said.
She added, “Most people are emotional eaters. I’m asking
about how they’re eating but in between I ask about other
Sessions with a dietician can occur anywhere from once a week to
once a month, Ornstein said. They include working on a meal plan
and also encouraging exercise.
“It’s very individual,” she said. “Some
people really don’t know what to do and some people come to
me because it’s like a crutch, because it’s a motivation.”
Some insurances cover sessions with a dietician and some do not.
Some providers will only cover you if you are a diabetic seeking
the council of a dietician. For more information, contact your insurance
provider. Ornstein said she will also negotiate prices with people
who are paying out of pocket.
Jamaica Hospital Keeps Kids’ Hearts
By MICHAEL CUSENZA
The small television sat atop the black mobile audio/visual equipment
cart near the windows on the far wall. The volume was dialed down,
but Simba, Timon and Pumbaa still flickered across the screen, captivating
passersby in the auditorium at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
Children, parents and even medical staff clad in pristine white
lab coats paused to give Disney’s “The Lion King”
a second look.
Jayendra Sharma (second from l.) visits his patient, Ashley,
and her parents Beronica Flores and Ismael Osorio.
It was Thursday. Valentine’s Day. An annual affair marked
by flowers, chocolate and hearts – lots of red and pink heart-shaped
ballons, boxes and candy.
But it was more than a Hallmark holiday for the dozens of pediatric
cardiology patients in attendance. They were there to reunite with
Dr. Jayendra Sharma, the heart surgeon that helped keep their little
Sharma, 46, is the director of pediatric cardiology at Jamaica Hospital
Medical Center. The native of India and his staff treat eight to
10 complex heart defects every year, in addition to numerous smaller
structural defects of the heart, including Atrial Septal Defect,
Ventricular Septal Defect, Patent Ductus Arteriosus and Coarctation.
Sharma, who studied medicine in India but completed his internship
and residency in the U.S., has been working with children for 10
“The kind of satisfaction you get [with pediatric cardiology],
you don’t get with any other branch of cardiology,”
Sharma said. “You are able to do certain things that other
people are not able to do.”
According to JHMC, More than half of the children with heart defects
are diagnosed in the prenatal stage by fetal echocardiograms. The
risk factors in an expecting mother include: diabetes, a history
of congenital heart disease in the family, connective tissue disorders,
and/or abnormal fetal scan and chromosomal anomalies.
Sharma said that though defects differ, the approach to care remains
“You fix it in a way that it can function like a normal heart,”
he said. “That’s why we do stage surgeries.”
After the surgical process, all patients need regular follow-ups,
on a periodic basis, depending upon their individual health.
“One of the big advantages with pediatrics is the kids don’t
remember the surgeries,” Sharma noted.
Beronica Flores, 23, mother of 5-year-old Ashley, said her daughter’s
ventricle defect was discovered in the womb. She said that while
she was anxious about her first child’s illness, Dr. Sharma
has been a tremendous help in many ways.
“He’s there for everything – anything I need,”
Flores said with a grateful smile.
Gina Alvarez has been Sharma’s patient for 10 years, since
she arrived in New York from her native Ecuador. Now a healthy and
vibrant 18-year-old, Alvarez thanked Sharma in a heartfelt address
to the audience.
“I don’t see him as my doctor,” she said of Sharma,
“but as a friend and a father to me.”
Queens Walks Miles To Fight Cancer
By Liz Skalka
Looking for a way to stretch your legs while supporting an essential
cause? Relay for Life is the activity for you.
Relay for Life is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and seeks
to raise money and awareness for cancer research. More than 3.5
million people nationwide will participate this year in Relay for
Relay for Life team of Forest Hills.
In Queens Relay for Life will take place in the coming months in
Jamaica, Fresh Meadows, Richmond Hill, Corona, Bayside, Floral Park,
Cambria Heights, College Point and Middle Village.
Relay for Life is to celebrate those who have survived cancer, to
remember those lost to the disease and to fight back against it.
Money raised will go toward helping the American Cancer Society
in its mission of eliminating cancer as a major health issue and
to support services in local communities.
To sign up for the event, visit www.relayforlife.org and click “Find
Relay Events.” If you enter your zip code, you will be directed
to the Web site for your local walk. You can either sign up, start
a team or join a team. Once you sign up, you will be given online
If you do not have Internet access, contact the Queens American
Cancer Society offices. They are located at 41-60 Main St. in Flushing
and 97-77 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park and can be reached at (718)
886-8890 and (718) 263-2224 respectively.
There is no minimum fundraising requirement for the event, though
the Society recommends each participant set a goal to raise $100.
The only requirement for Relay for life is a $10 registration fee.
The next Relay for Life event taking place in Queens is Relay for
Life of St. John’s University, which already has 57 teams
signed up and has raised $3,116. The event will take place at 5
p.m., April 4 at and will cover .84 miles.
Pre-registration for Relay for Life of St. John’s University
continues until March 1, and people registered by this time will
receive a free Relay for Life T-shirt. From March 2 to March 20
participants need to raise $75 to get an event T-shirt. Registration
will be increased to $20 after March 21.
If you’re interested in learning more about the event at St.
John’s, email email@example.com, or call
(718) 263-2225 ext. 5538.
After this, the next Queens relay will be Relay for Life of Shea
Stadium taking place May 17. For more information about this relay,
email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (718) 263-2225 ex.
For more information about Relay for Life, visit www.relayforlife.org.
Man’s Life Saved By Unknown Organ Donor
By Sasha Austrie
Mark La Rose was just about to board the E Train and disappear into
a throng of straphangers when he received the call he had patiently
awaited. There was a kidney and pancreas available for his ailing
“I was happy to get the good news,” La Rose said. “But
at the same time, I was sad because someone had passed. I prayed
He knows nothing about his donor, other than this person spared
his life and his son’s future.
Since the age of 13, La Rose has struggled with an insulin dependency
when he acquired juvenile diabetes.
“I always believed that there would be a cure for diabetes,”
the 47-year-old said.
In 2004, with no cure insight La Rose’s body was fighting
a losing battle. His diabetes had progressed and his worst fears
were surfacing—kidney failure. La Rose said he was told by
his doctor that his creatine levels were rising and approaching
levels tantamount to kidney failure.
“I was tired and exhausted,” he said. “I was devastated.
Kidney failure was my greatest fear.”
La Rose said he had to change his lifestyle or face dialysis, which
he said would cause him to lose his independence.
“I was placed on vitamin D and calcium,” La Rose said.
“I had some real growing pains. I was mostly hungry all the
After 13 months on a severe diet, La Rose would finally have his
life back with the organ donation.
“The donor made a great wish,” La Rose said. “I
have respect for the family to follow the donor’s wishes.
It is the most humble thing an individual can do.”
La Rose was one of the lucky ones- because of his deteriorating
condition he was fast tracked to the head of the donor list.
According to a press release from the New York Organ Donor Network,
“The stark truth is that on average 17 people die each day
in the United States while waiting for life-saving transplants.”
The release goes on to say that five in 17 that die awaiting transplants
are black. In celebration of Black History Month and life, the Donor
Network “is dramatically seeking to increase the number of
organ and tissue donors during Black History Month. It is asking
every New Yorker of African origin to become a donor.”
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are 27,797
blacks waiting for organ transplants across the United States. In
New York State, there are 2,669 alone.
“The largest need for transplantation in the black community
is for kidneys, with more than 2,400 individuals waiting in New
York State,” UNOS states.
La Rose said that although blacks are the ones most in need of transplants
they are least likely to donate.
“In 2007, of the 322 deceased organ donors in the greater
New York metropolitan area, a total of 82 were African-American,”
states the release.
La Rose said the reason many don’t donate their organs is
because of “myths and fears,” that are unfounded. He
said many blacks believe that if nurses and doctors know of their
donor status they would cease to help. He also said there are fears
that blacks would be overlooked.
“I don’t think that I’m better than the next person,”
La Rose said.
La Rose didn’t face an uncertain life alone. His son Stephen
walked every mile with him. While his father faced kidney failure,
he faced losing the only living parent he had.
“It relives a lot of pressure on my part,” Stephen said
of the transplant. “It was hard for me. I had to wake up in
the middle of the night to see if he was OK. I wanted to make sure
I did my part to be there for him.”
La Rose said the transplant has drastically improved his life.
“It is a positive thing to do,” La Rose said of organ
donation. “It saves lives. It saved my life.”
He said that he and his son recently spent a weekend in England
to view a soccer match between their rival teams. He is even thinking
of getting back into the dating game.
“Family members make the ultimate decision,” La Rose
said. “Donors make the ultimate choice.”
Doc At LIJ To Treat Neurosurgical Diseases
Mark Eisenberg, MD, an expert in the treatment of all neurosurgical
diseases, with an expertise in skull base, pituitary and minimally
invasive spine surgeries, has been appointed chief of neurosurgery
at LIJ Medical Center and the hospital’s director of the neurosurgery
Mark B. Eisenberg
Dr. Eisenberg joined the full-time faculty of the North Shore-LIJ
Health System in 2005 when it established the Harvey Cushing Institutes
of Neuroscience. He has been an attending neurosurgeon at LIJ and
North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) since 1996.
A leader in the areas of endoscopic pituitary and skull base surgery,
Dr. Eisenberg directs the skull base surgery program at the Harvey
Cushing Institutes of Neuroscience. He also is an active member
of the Neurosurgery Division of the Spine Institute of the Cushing
Institutes. Currently, Dr. Eisenberg is the only fellowship trained
skull base surgeon in Queens and Long Island.
“Dr. Eisenberg brings to LIJ not only his expertise in the
field of skull base and neurospinal surgery, but his leadership
skills and strong relationships with area neurosurgeons and other
physicians that will enable him to build neurosurgery programs at
LIJ and at the other health system facilities,” said Thomas
Milhorat, MD, chairman of neurosurgery at LIJ and NSUH, and director
of the Harvey Cushing Institutes of Neuroscience.
In his new position at LIJ, Dr. Eisenberg will help strengthen neurosurgical
programs in the areas of pediatrics, spine surgery, brain tumors
and epilepsy. In addition, Dr. Eisenberg will spearhead efforts
to develop the first neurosurgical step-down unit at LIJ.
Dr. Eisenberg received his medical degree from the University of
Miami School of Medicine and completed his residency in neurosurgery
at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Following residency,
he completed a skull base surgery fellowship at the University of
Arkansas for Medical Sciences with Ossama Al-Mefty, MD, one of the
leading pioneers of skull base surgery in the world. While in Arkansas,
he also worked closely with the father of modern microneurosurgical
techniques, M. Gazi Yasargil, MD. Dr. Eisenberg is a clinical assistant
professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at New York University.
Dr. Eisenberg is a frequent lecturer and teaches courses about skull
base surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. He has an extensive
bibliography including his textbook, The Cavernous Sinus, A Comprehensive
Text. Dr. Eisenberg is a member of the American Association of Neurological
Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgery, the AANS/CNS Joint
Section of Tumors, and the North American Skull Base Society.
Hospital Translation Services Can Save A
By Noah C. Zuss
It’s every patient’s worst nightmare.
Upon arriving at the emergency room of your local hospital, you
are unable to speak with medical professionals because an accident
has left you unconscious. Now imagine being able to communicate,
but doctors not understanding your words because of a language barrier.
Hospital employs translators to help non-English speakers.
This was the fear thousands of Queens’ residents experienced
regularly on their way to the emergency room before 2006.
Diversity is a great thing for a city. But, with the benefits of
a diverse population also come the challenges.
The 2000 Census found that 47 percent of all New York City households
speak a language other than English at home and one in four New
Yorkers do not speak English. As the City’s demographics have
changed dramatically through the years, criticisms about access
to health care for immigrants have intensified.
To address fears of a lack of access to translation in an emergency,
Albany handed down regulations in 2006 that require all New York
State hospital’s to provide comprehensive translation services
onsite to patients.
Michael Hinck, Spokesperson for Jamaica Hospital Medical Center,
claims that there were always interpretation services available,
they were just all voluntarily based. He says the only major change
was that comprehensive translation services are now required.
“As a hospital we are held to the highest standards,”
he said. “There were always lesser levels of translation available,
now we are required by limited English proficiency standards to
provide comprehensive translation services.”
In the past, most patients were able to bring a family member or
other person along to serve as an interpreter, but to maximize efficacy
in an emergency, interpretative services are now required at all
More stringent laws in the Empire State requiring translation were
necessary to address this issue.
Relying on a well-intentioned relative proved problematic, and often
failed to deliver the highest quality medical care. A relative may
hesitate to share upsetting information, or fail to reveal information
crucial to making a prognosis.
Maria Goncalves is a volunteer translator in Jamaica, and has worked
at the hospital as a financial investigator for over a decade. She
completed the course to become a certified medical translator three
years ago, and since then helped so many patients and their families,
but a few stick out as incredibly memorable.
“I have helped so many patients and their families, it has
become routine. One man came in with chest pains and was taking
all these medication that were not helping. We contacted his family
and it turns out this patient had heart surgery previously. We were
able to contact the family and get him the care he needed.”
She works closely with the Language Assistance Program, a hospital
department where patients can access translation in 30 languages,
to ensure non-English speakers are well taken care of while in the
“There have been so many times in the past when a patient
came in with family members and the patient wouldn’t speak
freely or something would get misinterpreted,” she said. “It’s
necessary (translation) because patients in the emergency room are
nervous and there are communication problems. This program helps
doctors and patients communicate and bridge together. It makes me
feel good personally because I have family members that don’t
speak English. Professionally it feels great because I was able
to help someone in need.”
Flushing Hospital Offers Many Services
Founded in 1884 as Queens’ first hospital, Flushing Hospital
has always taken pride in the services its been able to offer the
community, and as another year continues, it has shown that its
commitment to the culturally diverse Flushing community remains
Flushing Hospital currently serves a community of over 1.9 million
residents and has over 40 general and specialty clinics, including
Internal and Pediatric Medicine, Ophthalmology, Podiatry, OB/GYN,
Dentistry, and Mental Health, to name a few.
In recent years, several departments have upgraded their facilities,
expanded their services, and implemented new programs in order to
provide patients with superior services.
The Department of Pediatrics at Flushing Hospital has both inpatient
and outpatient services, with the following specialty areas: allergy,
asthma, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology,
hematology, infant apnea, infectious disease, nephrology, neurology,
pulmonary, surgery. Contact (718) 670-5534 for additional information.
Flushing Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry offers a wide
array of mental health and addiction services to the community,
including a 19-bed Acute Care Inpatient Unit, a 30-bed Chemical
Dependency Unit, an Outpatient Mental Health clinic, the “Reflections
Chemical Dependency” clinic, and Asian and South Asian Behavioral
programs, as well as a Spanish speaking program. For additional
information, contact (718) 670-4416.
Flushing’s newly expanded Wound Care Center is now a six-bed
outpatient center designed to treat and heal patients in need of
wound care. The center provides specialized treatment for chronic
or non-healing wounds and helps patients heal quicker, avoid amputation,
and improve their overall quality of life. (718) 670-4502.
The Department of OB/GYN features eight ultra- modern and spacious
Labor Delivery & Recovery suites and provides expecting mothers
with the most positive birthing experience. Flushing Hospital has
also established a Centering Pregnancy Program, a new type of prenatal
care that allows expecting mothers to receive group care with other
pregnant women. Contact (718) 670-5540 for additional information.
Flushing Hospital recently expanded its Cardiology Department to
provide enhanced inpatient and outpatient testing. Through the addition
of state-of the art equipment and additional staff, the cardiology
department now provides a wider variety of services and advanced
testing with better diagnosis and quicker results for both the inpatient
and outpatient care. For additional information, contact (718) 206-5489.
In addition to the hospital’s most notable services, Flushing
Hospital boasts a full service, fully renovated and expanded Emergency
Department that consists of separate adult and pediatric units,
with a separate cardiac emergency unit and Fast Track, a speedy
service to treat routine injuries and illnesses.
Flushing Hospital is also a state designated stroke center, treating
patients who suffer from a “brain attack,” and as part
of the MediSys Health Network, is one of only four centers of Bioterrorism
Preparedness in New York City.
As Flushing enters its 124th year of service, the hospital continues
to offer patients the most up-to-date treatment in a state-of-the-art
facility and strives to position itself as a leader in the Queens
For more information about Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please
Clergy Making a Difference in Southeast Queens
By Sasha Austrie
AIDS is a vicious disease. It has snuffed out the lives of millions,
and in its wake has destroyed countless lives as children are left
without parents. For those living with the virus, normal no longer
It is a pandemic of cataclysmic proportions that has held the world
in its grasp for more than 20 years. Christened as the gay man’s
disease and initially known as gay related immune deficiency, AIDS
has run rampant, spreading like wild fire.
The uncertainties surrounding the virus caused widespread ostracism
for people branded with the disease. Even those pledging to assist
their communities were staved off by the vice grip of the disease.
“We didn’t want to touch it,” Rev. Charles Norris
Sr., Clergy United for Community Empowerment’s executive secretary.
“It was known as a gay white man’s disease.” He
added that when the disease started inundating the black community
their concern grew.
The organization had originally come together in 1984 to help Rev.
Jesse Jackson ascend to the White House. Although it didn’t
fulfill its original goal Clergy United stayed together to lend
a helping hand to the community.
Out of concern with the quickly spreading pandemic the organization’s
members went on a retreat to understand the problem and deal with
their own biases.
Rev. Ernestine Sanders, vice president and chief executive officer
said on the retreat in 1991 the group discovered that the virus
didn’t discriminate on the basis of gender or race.
She said a woman who accompanied them on the retreat was HIV positive,
but they weren’t aware until she told them at the latter end
of the retreat.
Sanders said the woman testified about how she was ill-treated by
her church and community.
“It pinched my heart,” Sanders said.
Because of the organization’s change of heart many people
are able to reap the benefits of its HIV/AIDS programs along with
a host of other programs such as men and women support groups and
A 39-year-old client of the organization that didn’t want
to be named said she was infected with the disease 14 years ago.
She was one of the lucky ones. Her HIV positive status didn’t
change the attitudes of her close friends and family.
“I was kinda nervous,” she said of contracting the disease.
“It was scary, but you adapt and move on with your life.”
She said that Clergy United helped her find an apartment.
“I’m content and happy,” she said. “They
helped with what I needed. They were there for me.”
The HIV/AIDS programs the organization hosts are HIV/AIDS Prevention;
Intervention; Case Management, Early HIV Intervention Program and
Scattered Site II Housing.
The 39-year-old source is part of the scattered housing program.
Fitzroy Rowley, who is not infected with HIV/AIDS, said almost three
years ago he went into the organization’s facility to get
Rowley is a benefit of the Multiple Service Agency program of the
Latonja Richardson, Deputy Director of the organization said the
MSA program caters to people inflicted with the virus or people
at high risk for acquiring the disease.
Rowley said he went into the organization’s facility to get
condoms almost three years ago. He said the organization has helped
him with food stamps, housing and replacing his lost identification
“They really care about what they do,” Rowley said.
“They love what they do.”
To learn more about the organization call (718) 297-0720 or visit
89-31 161 St. Jamaica, NY in the old Chamber of Commerce Building.
Strumming up Spirits With Songs
By Juliet Werner
Musicians On Call, a Manhattan-based organization, has been providing
musical entertainment for hospital patients since its inception
in 1999. Founders Michael Solomon and Vivek Tiwary had the idea
to play room-to- room following a hospital-wide concert at Memorial
Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that failed to cater to those patients
who were either in treatment or too sick to leave their beds.
on call visit Mount Sinai patients once a week.
Solomon and Tiwary were happy to go out of their way to entertain,
and that ethos continues to this day. Musicians On Call has expanded
its service to all City boroughs except Staten Island.
“Little by little we’re trying to get out there,”
Director of Volunteers and Programming Michael Hill said. “If
you’re in the outer boroughs, you’re not getting the
Since the fall of 2006, musicians affiliated with MOC have been
performing at Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens every Wednesday evening.
The musicians spend three hours visiting with patients, taking requests,
and brightening the mood in the acute geriatric care ward.
“We don’t look at our music as therapy, it’s entertainment,”
Hill said. “But it’s the kind of recreation that has
a relaxing and calming effect.”
Ana Rodriguez, Hospital Director of Community Affairs, said patients,
especially the ones who don’t get visitors, look forward to
“Patients have started singing along,” Rodriguez said.
“There are patients who can’t speak and whenever they
hear the music they smile.”
MOC program coordinator Johnny Butler also plays the saxophone.
An Astoria resident, he performs regularly at Mount Sinai.
“I had one guy who said, ‘I don’t know if you’re
religious or if you believe in God, but you’re going to heaven,’”
Butler said. “It was intense. But in a good way.”
The organization is currently looking to increase its presence in
Queens. It recently installed “CD Pharmacy,” a program
that provides CD libraries and players for patient use, at New York
Hospital Queens and the Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation
For more information, call (212) 741-2709 or email email@example.com.