Tuesday, August 11, 2020

(Courtesy of St. Mary’s Hospital) 2019 was a good year for St. Mary’s General Hospital as we ushered in many education programs for our staff and the community. We are expecting excellent vision in programs for 2020.

Staff Education. In addition to the mandatory staff education programs, the hospital also included a proprietary education program titled: “Understanding Judaism: The Professional’s Guide in a Hospital Environment.” Department/shift staff members were educated on how to treat patients within the Orthodox Jewish (“frum”) community of Passaic-Clifton and northern New Jersey. The education paid off, as staff treated frum patients and understood how to address the four non-medical main areas of concern for such a patient – tznius, kashrus, davening and Shabbos/Yom Tovim. Patients and their guests can now feel comfortable coming to St. Mary’s General knowing that staff is aware of their needs and restrictions.


Public Education. St. Mary’s also offered programs for the public, with particular emphasis on seniors––those 55 and over or those with elderly parents living with them. The topics were all timely, were presented with knowledgeable physicians and staff and will be continued again in 2020. The fall of 2019 saw these programs available to the public:

Joint Replacements: Separating Myth from Fact with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Oladapo M. Babatunde. For most people, the idea of joint replacement surgery is not always easy to digest. With the latest technologies, joint replacement surgery has become one of the most reliable and durable procedures in any area of medicine, yet there are myths that still exist today that deter candidates from having the procedure. Dr. Babatunde reviews these myths related to expectations, age, joint durability and recovery. He also reviews preventative measures to avoid a joint replacement in the future, which include medications, exercise, weight loss, nutritional supplements and joint injections.

Low Back Pain in Older Adults with Pain Specialist Dr. Todd Koppel. Even though general back pain may affect everyone at one point or another, individuals over the age of 60 are more likely to suffer from pain due to degeneration of the joints in the spine. Symptoms of back pain disorders include pain and stiffness in the morning or evening, tenderness when pressed, pain during sleep, leg pain when walking or standing, as well as weakness or numbness. Dr. Koppel reviews the specific signs of spinal conditions and the latest options in treatment and prevention for seniors with back pain.

Breast Health for Seniors. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer found in older women (or in Ashkenazi women of all ages). It’s vital that women—and their loved ones—know the warning signs, causes and different types of breast cancer, how and when to get tested and how it can be treated and prevented. Dr. Motria Ukrainskyj, medical director of breast surgery at St. Mary’s General, conducts an interactive presentation discussing these important breast health and breast cancer issues.

The 411 on Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, which significantly increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. These conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. The chances of acquiring metabolic syndrome increase as we age, with nearly half of all Americans in their 60s and 70s being affected by the issue. The good news is that there are ways to reduce the impact of metabolic syndrome. Family Medicine Specialist Dr. Faisal Nagarwala reviews the specific signs of these conditions and how to prevent them through lifestyle changes that are possible for everyone.

Dementia: Inevitable or Preventable? Many health-related ailments become inevitable with age. Some of the most worrisome for seniors are disorders associated with dementia, a condition characterized by memory loss and impairment of judgement. Some symptoms of dementia include the inability to understand or express oneself and a lack of overall function that can impact day-today independence. Are these disorders preventable? St. Mary’s General Director of Geriatric Services Dr. Waleed Lashin reviews the specific signs and symptoms of dementia, prevention and treatment options.

2020 Vision. This year, St. Mary’s General Hospital will expand on the education programs for the public and staff. Programs being planned now include Bariatric Patient Education Seminars, Skin Cancer Screening, Breast Cancer, “Who is at risk for CAD?” (as a result of a frum patient’s experience) and more with muscular-skeletal disorders.

We are very interested in suggestions on education programs of interest to you. For more information about education or St. Mary’s General Hospital, please email George Matyjewicz at [email protected].