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Over 200 High School Students and Parents Attend Careers in Medicine Event PDF Print Email

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By Josefa Paganuzzi, Thompson & Bender, for NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital

May 15, 2019:  More than 200 high school students and parents, including over a dozen students from Bronxville, attended the fourth annual Careers in Medicine event hosted by NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital.

Students from public and private high schools throughout Westchester gained hands-on experience and the opportunity to meet over fifty physicians and clinicians from various specialties and areas in health care (including cardiac, ob/gyn, pediatrics, emergency medicine, orthopedics, surgery, and pharmacy).

Students learned how to intubate and suture mannequins; scope a knee under the guidance of an orthopedic surgeon; and use laparoscopic instruments as if they were performing an actual surgery.

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Joelle Gage, physician extender with Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s department of Orthopedics, demonstrates the correct way to perform an ultrasound of the forearm with a student from the Archbishop Stepanic High School Honor Academy.

The event was created in 2015 by Dr. Matilda M. Taddeo, an internal medicine and cardiology specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester, and Dr. Susan Campanile, an associate professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and an internal medicine physician with NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, to share their love of medicine and give back to the community. 

Pictured at top (L to R): Dr. Matilda Taddeo, internal medicine and cardiology specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester, Dr. Anthony Pucillo, associate chief medical officer, NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital, and Dr. Susan Campanile, internal medicine physician with NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

Photos courtesy NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
What to Do When Grief Is Prolonged PDF Print Email

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By Jane Benjamin, PhD, The Counseling Center

May 8, 2019:  Grief is a normal response to profound loss. When the connection to a loved one is severed, whether through abandonment or death, the psyche undergoes a trauma that can take a long time to begin to mend. Many factors affect the course of any journey through grief. For example, as the loss sudden or expected? Is it the first such major loss in a person’s life? Is there a support system in place to help the person navigate through grief? Is an underlying mood disorder complicating the situation? Are there unresolved feelings about the loss that need to be worked through?

The symptoms of grief are very similar to the symptoms of a major depressive episode. One experiences a depressed mood, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, guilt, anxiety, and sometimes even suicidality. Suicidal thoughts can often focus on a desire to reunite with a loved one who has died. Or in some instances, the suicidal thoughts stem from a loss of hope that the future has anything “good” to offer. All these symptoms are normal when a person is suffering from grief. 

Grief usually lessens with the passage of time and with ample emotional support. But it does tend to take a longer span of time than we are comfortable with in our culture. It is very common for someone who is grieving and in psychotherapy to report that “my family and friends think I should be over this by now.” It is often difficult for loved ones to tolerate the protracted nature of grief, which can persist for many months, if not years.

Sometimes the process of grieving can “stall” and not resolve itself on its own. Psychotherapists call this “pathological grief.” In these instances, rather than the person feeling better, slowly over time, he or she feels more and more depressed and less able to engage in life. Several factors can cause grief to stall in this way. Sometimes a pre-existing, underlying mood disorder catapults the grieving person into an extended period of depression. Sometimes after the death of a loved one, a person can become preoccupied with suicide and fantasies of reuniting with the deceased. If these feelings are short-lived, they can be a normal part of grief, but if they become more intense and involve concrete planning, then the person is at risk and professional help becomes essential.    

Quite often, a person can get stuck in a grief reaction when he or she has unresolved anger toward the lost loved one. That anger can produce intense guilt, which further complicates healing. Sometimes this anger or resentment can be subconscious or is denied by the person. A clinical example might be helpful here:

A 21-year-old man loses his mother to breast cancer. He is just finishing college. He was extremely close to his mother, whom he describes as “doting,” “loving,” and “always aware of my needs before I knew what they were myself.” Following the death, this young man becomes quite depressed and less able to engage in life. After two years, the depression is no better and, in fact, he is withdrawing from relationships and activities more and more. He is working far below his capacity professionally. He develops a significant sleep disturbance and begins to drink himself to sleep at night. He has periodic suicidal thoughts that focus on being reunited with his mother. During treatment, he becomes aware that his mother was more than just “doting” while he was growing up; that, in fact, she was quite intrusive, for example, friending his friends on social media, becoming jealous of the time he spent with peers, and acting very judgmental toward his love interests. His mother’s behavior made him angrier than he realized at the time. When she died, he was filled with longing for his mother and experienced what began as healthy, normal grief. But as his grief grew prolonged and intensified over a couple years, it became clear through therapy that a part of him felt “freed up” by his mother’s death. He found this feeling so abhorrent in himself, and it produced overwhelming guilt. Feeling in any way “good” following her death felt unacceptable and so his grief could not be resolved.

No specific length of time is “normal” for grief to persist. More important is the trajectory of the emotional aftermath. While grief ebbs and flows, the overall trend should be toward healing and a lessening of depressive symptoms. Reaching out for support following a major loss makes a big difference. Sometimes it is enough to seek out a good friend or one of the many different types of grief support groups. For some people, and particularly when depressive symptoms do not improve and even worsen, professional help can be very beneficial. And in instances such as the above example in which there are unresolved feelings toward the person who has left or died, psychotherapy can be essential in assisting the person to truly move on with life.

At The Counseling Center of Westchester, we can provide you with the guidance and support you need to wrestle with painful or confusing feelings surrounding your grief.

Pictured here: Jane Benjamin.

Photo courtesy The Counseling Center

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Record Turnout for The Counseling Center’s Annual Benefit: See Photos PDF Print Email

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By Ellen Edwards, Member, Board of Directors, The Counseling Center


May 8, 2019:  A record attendance of almost 200 people made for a warm, lively gathering at The Counseling Center’s annual benefit on Friday evening, May 3, at the Bronxville Field Club. 

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In rooms beautifully decorated in pink and white, Counseling Center staff, board members, and friends celebrated the contributions of honoree Rosanne Welshimer. Guests sampled food and drink while participating in raffles and both silent and live auctions. 

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Spirited bidding on a weekend at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan, tickets to Lincoln Center’s My Fair Lady with a backstage tour, and a private tennis lesson with Patrick McEnroe raised generous sums to support the work of The Counseling Center. 

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The high point of the brief public remarks was Rosanne’s heartfelt story of a neglected young boy she tutored while she was still a college student. The boy had no access to mental health care professionals who might have helped him heal from emotional trauma. Rosanne’s inspiring example of a lifetime of service in the Bronxville community inspired the generosity of others in turn, making the evening a great success.

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Pictured at top:  
Event underwriters with benefit honoree and her husband. From left to right: Carlos and Nancy Vittorini, Doug Cruikshank (wife Lisa not pictured), Rosanne and Mark Welshimer, and Susan and Richard Pink. Also not pictured: John and Margaret Torell.

Photos courtesy The Counseling Center


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.






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Mistakes During the Teen Years: An Essential Tool for Growth PDF Print Email

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By Jane Benjamin, PhD, Clinical Director, The Counseling Center


Apr. 17, 2018:  Parents often tell their teenage children, “I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did.”  But giving them the freedom to make mistakes, and face the consequences, is a key to good parenting, and to raising healthy kids.

It’s natural to want to spare our children pain, both physical and emotional. In early childhood development this protective instinct is focused on keeping a child safe in the most basic ways: “Don’t run…you will fall.” “Don’t touch the stove…it’s hot and you’ll get burned.”  “Don’t go anywhere with a stranger…” etc. And of course, this protectiveness is essential for a child’s safety; it’s a basic responsibility of good parenting.

We live in an era of raising safe children. Homes are “childproofed.” There are helmets for every sport, railings on young children’s beds, no peanuts allowed in most nursery schools. In this emphasis on safety lies an embedded message: If you do everything right, your child should not get hurt; pain is preventable.

Things become more complicated when a child becomes an adolescent. As the basic safety needs of childhood become less salient, other more complex issues take their place: Is my son developing healthy relationships with peers who are “good kids?” Is my daughter taking responsibility for her academic life? Are drugs and alcohol becoming a problem? Are my kids acting responsibly in response to their burgeoning sexuality? The list goes on and on. But unlike in the early childhood years when the parent’s role as protector is fairly straightforward, the parent of an adolescent has a far more complicated job.

For the adolescent, making mistakes is essential. Adolescence is the developmental period when separation from parents and identity formation are the critical tasks. Adolescents need to experiment, to “try on” different sorts of relationships, different behaviors, and different identities. Naturally, this experimentation will lead to their making mistakes, both small and large.

The adolescent will learn a great deal from these mistakes. Indeed, teenagers have to learn what they aren’t in order to learn what they are. A bad relationship will help a 16-year-old get clear about what kind of partner is truly desirable. Failing to study for a test, and thus “bombing it,” may motivate a 15-year-old to begin to study earlier next time. Being unkind or unfair to a peer, and seeing the hurt feelings that result, might make a 13-year-old feel guilty and decide to apologize. Drinking too much and feeling lousy the next day might encourage a 17-year-old to see that alcohol isn’t so cool after all.

Stumbling gives teens a chance to learn how to make amends for a mistake and to “own” the consequences. How does one apologize? How does one take responsibility? How can the teen’s gut feeling that their action was a mistake begin to build that internal moral compass that is so essential throughout life? The adolescent must bump up against adversity in order to develop as a person, and parents should resist the natural temptation to shield their child from these bumps at any cost. 

So what should parents do when their kids make mistakes? The answer is not to condone the behavior or the decision. This is not about having no rules and being overly lenient and permissive. It is about assuming that rules will be broken, pushed, and circumvented that and consequences must follow. It is about assuming that one’s adolescent will make many wrong choices. And it is about knowing that these mistakes are not the result of a parent’s failure.

The most critically important thing any parent can do is to hear what happened ... and not just from another adult but from the teen. Truly listening and questioning are paramount. The parent should not try to fix the problem for the teenager ... but help the teenager come up with solutions that he or she will implement. Sometimes it helps for the parent to share a similar mistake that he or she made in the past or to suggest another way of looking at a situation. Maintaining communication with the teen is the most helpful thing a parent can do. If a parent only blows up and punishes, the message is really twofold: 1. Mistakes should never be made and 2. Don’t come to me with your mistakes because I will not listen.

There is nothing easy about being a parent of an adolescent. The key lies in anticipating that teens will stumble ... not because something is wrong with them but because healthy development depends on it. 

At the Counseling Center of Bronxville, we help parents and teens solve problems, wrestle with painful or confusing feelings, and navigate through difficult times.

Pictured here:  Jane Benjamin.

Photo courtesy The Counseling Center 
 
 
Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.
 
NewYork-Presbyterian Opens New Sports Performance Institute PDF Print Email

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By Josefa Paganuzzi, Thompson & Bender, for NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital


Apr. 17, 2019:  NewYork-Presbyterian, in collaboration with physicians from Columbia University Irving Medical Center, has launched a state-of-the-art sports medicine and performance training facility in Westchester County that gives patients and athletes access to some of the nation’s top sports medicine doctors, therapists, and elite sports performance coaches--all at a single location.

The NewYork-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute is a 9,600-square-foot facility located at 693 White Plains Road in the Vernon Place Shops in Scarsdale that brings together sports medicine physicians and surgeons, physical therapists, advanced practice providers, and performance coaches to provide comprehensive and collaborative care for athletes. The institute’s services cater to athletes of all ages and skill levels, from high school athletes to weekend warriors to elite professionals--whether they are looking to enhance their performance, recover from a recent injury and return to sport, or receive medical care to heal a recent injury or relieve pain from a chronic condition. Sports performance training services are powered by EXOS, a national leader in proactive health and performance. 

Overseeing the institute are Dr. William Levine, the Frank E. Stinchfield Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, chief of orthopedics at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and head team physician for Columbia University Athletics; Dr. Christopher Ahmad, professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, chief of sports medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and head team physician for the New York Yankees and New York City Football Club; and Dr. Jeffrey Geller, the Nas S. Eftekhar Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and chief of orthopedic surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital.

“In developing the institute, we recognized that we had an opportunity to create a unique program that could serve both orthopedic patients and athletes of all ages and performance levels,” said Dr. Levine. “People today are living longer and in a much more active fashion; we want to provide care for people participating in sports activities whether they’re 8 or 80. Working with EXOS enables us to pursue the common goal of providing the highest-quality care to athletes and patients, and we believe the Sports Performance Institute will be the go-to location in the New York region to see orthopedic and sports medicine physicians, receive physical therapy, and learn how to improve one’s sports performance.” 

EXOS has created customized sports training programs for top-tier athletes from Olympic medalists and World Cup and MLS soccer champions to NFL draft picks and national rugby teams. The NewYork-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute, which fully integrates the sports medicine and orthopedic resources of a leading academic medical center with the most advanced sports training for patients and athletes, is EXOS’s first such venture in the Northeast.

“This will be the first time athletes in the Westchester region will be able to access the services of an academic sports medicine department alongside the training, conditioning, and performance services that are typically only available to professional athletes,” said Dr. Ahmad, who is also vice chair of clinical research in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “In the case of high school and college athletes, while they receive extreme coaching, they don't have the same access to injury prevention coupled with their performance. We are changing the paradigm.”

“We are very excited to bring our proven performance system to the region through NewYork-Presbyterian,” stated Amanda Radochonski, senior director of healthcare business and operations at EXOS. “With both EXOS’s and NewYork-Presbyterian’s expertise, we can focus holistically on not only treating injuries but preventing injuries from happening in the first place—supporting the whole athlete and helping them raise their game in the healthiest way. Our goal with this program is to provide and deliver specialized game plans and solutions to individuals of all performance levels to help them achieve higher levels of success every day. We look forward to innovating and advancing the full continuum of care with NewYork-Presbyterian.”

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On-site clinical services and facilities at the institute include medical examination and surgical consultation; diagnostic x-ray and ultrasound; treatment rooms for guided injections and biologic therapies; and casting, orthotics, and brace-fitting.

The sports therapy team utilizes advanced manual therapy techniques alongside specialized therapeutic equipment, including Game Ready® cryotherapy, blood flow restriction equipment, cupping, and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization.

Sports performance training services utilize a full spectrum of cutting-edge equipment, including AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill™ with real-time video feedback; Keiser POWER Racks and Functional Trainers with pneumatic air technology; VersaClimbers; and Eleiko weight training sets; as well as equipment for speed, agility, and power training.

If athletes require surgical intervention to repair an injury or address a chronic condition, the Sports Performance Institute is just minutes away from NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, where Columbia Orthopedics’ world-class surgical team leverages state-of-the-art surgical facilities and advanced technology to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures and provide superior outcomes.

“Our program at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital offers a full range of operative and non-operative orthopedic care, with specialists in everything from foot and ankle, to hip and knee, to elbows and shoulders,” said Dr. Geller. “We have created a space that makes not only our world-class orthopedic services more accessible, but also offers the latest in sports performance training in a community setting.”

“We are thrilled to bring a first-of-its-kind sports performance institute to Westchester,” said Michael Fosina, MPH, FACHE, president of NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital. “The institute is a natural extension for NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence and ColumbiaDoctors, as we have established ourselves as a leader in orthopedics and sports medicine in Westchester. We remain committed to bringing the very best care to patients in our community.”

To make a medical appointment, consult with a therapist, or sign up for sports performance training sessions, call 914-750-4690.

To learn more about the NewYork-Presbyterian Sports Performance Institute, visit www.nyp.org/sportsinstitute.

Pictured here: top photo (L to R): Linda Vester Greenberg; Michael Fosina, president, NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital; Mariano Rivera; Dr. Christopher Ahmad, chief of sports medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center; Dr. William Levine, chief of orthopedics, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center; Dr. Laura Forese, executive vice president and chief operating officer, NewYork-Presbyterian; Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and chief executive officer, NewYork-Presbyterian; second photo (L to R): Dr. Elan Goldwaser; Dr. William Levine; Dr. Morgan Busko; Dr. Sean Lynch; Dr. David Kovacevic.

Photos courtesy NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital
 
Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


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