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Safety Tips for a Safe 4th of July

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File Photo NEW YORK - The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) reminds New Yorkers to keep safe while celebrating Independence Day. As we celebrate this annual tradition with festivities ranging from fireworks, picnics, parades, family gatherings and barbecues, let’s also remember basic safety tips that apply to everyone. “I know many New Yorkers are eager to celebrate Independence Day this year, but we must ensure our celebrations are safe and fun,” said New York State, Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez who oversees the NYS Division of Consumer Protection. “Around this holiday, the biggest threats to safety are very close to home. The 4th of July is one of the holidays with the highest number of accidents. We want to make sure the time-honored holiday tradition of fireworks is done safely by following basic tips.” “Summertime, and especially the Fourth of July, are times of celebration and togetherness, but when fireworks and sparkling devices are added to the

Gender-Affirming Care Seen as Compassionate Care at VNS

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Shannon Whittington, VNS Health Clinical Director of the Gender Affirmation Program (GAP) and Asia Lyons, VNS Health GAP Social Worker VNS health’s gender affirmation program shows the power of compassionate health care By Shannon Whittington, DNP, MSN, RN, CCM, Clinical Director of the Gender Affirmation Program (GAP) at VNS Health HEALTH - For some of us, we likely put little thought into whether a healthcare professional respects our gender identity. But as many nonbinary and trans patients have found, just filling out a form or introducing themselves can be a fraught experience. Will the provider respect and honor their identity? Will they be empathetic to their experience? Whatever your gender identity is, the truth is that everyone deserves compassionate, informed health care. Unfortunately, there is a dearth in care for nonbinary and transgender patients who receive gender affirmation surgery across the U.S., and many are recuperating alone at home, often with little or

Historic Community Health Care Org Gets a New Name: VNS Health

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By Chandra Wilson HEALTH - After 125 years continuously evolving to meet the changing needs of New Yorkers, the Visiting Service of New York is changing its name  VNS Health , a move that makes it easier to understand and access all the health services offered by the organization, and better reflects its mission and focus. It also puts the ethos of the organization front and center with a new tagline:  The Future of care. The comfort of home. In an announcement that came out on May 18th, VNS Health President and CEO Dan Savitt summed up the rebrand. “This transition to VNS Health represents an historic turning point for our organization,” Savitt said. “Strategically, it supports our forward-looking pillar of growth and diversification, and culturally, it unites us as one organization and one team with one clear mission. It also allows us to expand the reach of our mission while simplifying the health care experience for millions of people in New York and beyond.” VNS Health is an organ

Next great evolution in nursing

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BRONX - This week marks the start of National Nurses Week, a date that was selected in honor of Florence Nightingale, a British nurse whose experiences during the Crimean War significantly advanced the quality and standards of nursing care.  As we acknowledge this week, we not only celebrate our past and present nursing heroes, but also take delight in what is emerging as the next great evolution in nursing – formalized and academic-based nursing research careers. Nurse researchers are nurses that ask questions about health and illness to enhance the delivery of care over a person’s lifespan. We ask scientific questions about how we deliver care and how that impacts outcomes. We ask questions about how best to screen for diseases and why diseases impact people differently.  We also look at healthcare inequities to identify how we can reduce obstacles that may be impeding optimal care delivery. These questions and quality improvement efforts are enhancing drug discovery, identifyi

6 things you may not know about home health care nurses

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Visiting Nurse Service of New York nurse Ruth Caballero. -Photo by VNSNY By Chandra Wilson HEALTH - May is National Nurses Month and this week is National Nurses Week (May 6-12). It is no secret that nurses (one of the fastest growing jobs in health care) are considered by many to be the backbone of the health care industry. Let’s take a closer look into the world of one kind of nurse who is always on the go—not in hospitals or doctor’s offices—they’re home health care nurses who visit patients at home.  What makes home health care nurses so special?  I spoke with Ruth Caballero, RN, and Philip Leon, RN, of Visiting Nurse Service of New York to gain insight into what these “visiting” nurses do and how their tireless dedication impacts the people they serve. Here are a few key takeaways from those conversations. You don’t choose home health care nursing. Home health care nursing chooses you. When asked what advice she would give someone interested in pursuing a career in h

Covid Risk Level Raised in NYC

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Here We Go Again with Covid  Covid testing during winter outbreak of Omnicron. Photo by David Greene HEALTH - NYC health officials say the number of Covid cases in the city are rising and have raised the alert level to medium.   In a statement released by Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the new NYC Health Commissioner said the number of Covid cases has now surpassed 200 per 100,000 people throughout the city.  “As a practical matter, what this means for New Yorkers is that they must exercise even greater caution than they have the last few weeks,” Vasan said.  Photo by David Greene The health commissioner urged those at higher risk to take precautions. Those more susceptible to Covid due to age, underlying health conditions, severe disease or the unvaccinated are urged to avoid crowded indoor gatherings.  Vasan also urged all New Yorkers to wear masks in public indoor settings, get tested after going to a large gathering and get booster shots.  “As a city, we have the tools we need to bea

A shout out to volunteers helping NYC stay healthy

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By Chandra Wilson HEALTH - This April marks National Volunteer Month, a time to celebrate the important role volunteers play in helping organizations and communities thrive in their mission to help others. At the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), volunteers play a crucial role in supporting the health of New York’s diverse communities, and volunteers come from equally varied backgrounds. Volunteers bring their special skills to everything they do, running the gamut from hosting craft classes, providing a friendly call to those in hospice, knitting scarves for ill patients, or helping in less seen, but equally important, background roles like fundraising and clerical work.  Given the many challenges COVID-19 continues to pose for the health of New Yorkers, VNSNY volunteers are needed now more than ever, and their dedication, as well as the gift of time, cannot be understated. Volunteers sacrifice their time and give back to the community simply in the name of kindness. Th