Healthfirst commits to helping members and more

What's going on in health and wellness September 3 to 9

Posted 9/2/20

What's going on in health and wellness September 3 to 9

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Healthfirst commits to helping members and more

What's going on in health and wellness September 3 to 9


Healthfirst commits to helping members easily connect to care

NEW YORK — Healthfirst, New York’s largest not-for-profit health insurance company with 1.5 million members, recently launched its 2020 brand campaign, building on its “Keeping the Care in Healthcare” messaging platform. The campaign underscores that for nearly 30 years Healthfirst has provided New Yorkers with access to the care they need when they need it. The ads highlight some of the company’s recent innovations to help members easily connect to care, whether in person or not, as well as locate community resources tailored to their health and wellness needs.

The television commercial depicts icons that signify the benefits Healthfirst provides to its members: access to quality medical care, prescriptions and connections to community resources like food banks. The final icon, a mobile phone, represents the recently launched  Healthfirst mobile app that provides features such as one-touch access to find a doctor, pharmacy, or urgent care center; connection to Teladoc® to speak with U.S. board-certified doctors 24/7 by phone and video; and the ability to see benefits and coverage information specific to their plan. The app also provides members direct access to NowPow, an online directory that includes more than 5,000 organizations offering 20,000 services, including more than 300 food pantries, in New York City and its surrounding areas.

The campaign will appear throughout the New York metropolitan area and on Long Island, and in Westchester, Orange, Rockland and Sullivan counties.

For more information, visit

Inspiring creativity for those with dementia

ONLINE — A free virtual program by the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter, “Something for Alz: Expressive Art with Bethel Woods,” will start on Tuesday, September 1 and continue weekly through October 6. The series of 45-minute Zoom sessions will be led by Candace Rivela, a nationally licensed, registered creative arts therapist and the lead teaching artist at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the nonprofit cultural center located at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival.

An example of an activity is expressive scribble drawings to music. Rivela explained she’ll play music and ask participants to listen to the music and respond with a scribble gesture. “When the scribbles are done, they can go back in and fill in the negative spaces with color to complete the pieces,” she said. “I’m planning to ask participants to reflect on how they felt when they were listening to the music and how it affected their drawing. I’ll also encourage them to share what kinds of music they enjoy and what they remember about the Woodstock era and the festival, or if they were there.”

Rivela said art therapy has particular benefits for people with dementia, helping to reduce agitation, boost mood and create a sense of pride and accomplishment through the act of creating. It also provides those with limited verbal communication a vehicle for self-expression. “The process of art-making often triggers the feelings and memories a person has within them, which can be difficult to describe, so it’s great to have a nonverbal outlet to express these things when they come up.”

For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter, visit

For more information about Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, visit

Garnet Health receives award for its stroke care

HARRIS, NY — Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills has received the 2020 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensure stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines from the latest scientific evidence.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. Someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. To better prepare our community to respond to stroke in a timely manner and with appropriate action, Garnet Health Medical Center - Catskills supports using the FAST acronym to help educate the public on the signs and symptoms of stroke: F for face drooping, A for arm weakness, S for speech difficulty and T for time to call 911.

For more information, visit

Rep. Delgado introduces legislation to protect at-risk rural hospitals

NEW YORK — Reps. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and Elise Stefanik (NY-21) introduced the Protecting Rural Access to Care Act. This bipartisan legislation would ensure that rural hospitals in upstate New York maintain their status as Critical Access Hospitals (CAH), a designation that entitles them to expanded grant opportunities and higher reimbursement levels from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

 In 2015, CMS amended the criteria for CAH designations by changing how the agency calculates a hospital’s distance from other critical care facilities. As a result of these changes, nine of the 18 CAH facilities in New York State stand to lose their CAH certification—including three in New York’s 19th District.

Camps recognized for donation to WMH

HONESDALE, PA — A large display recognizing the donations of area camps to Wayne Memorial’s Second Century Fund was unveiled in the hospital’s Emergency Department waiting room this month. It recognizes a combined pledge of more than $300,000 by the Wayne County Camp Alliance, a consortium of 30 area camps and 18 individual camps. The fund, launched last year, is designed to help the hospital meet future needs. Its primary goals are to recruit healthcare professionals with greater incentives; to purchase state of the art medical equipment; to implement future medical treatment modalities; and to acquire advanced information technologies.

For more information, visit

New staff at WMCHC

WAYNE COUNTY, PA —Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) welcomes pediatrician Apurva Jain, MD, who is now providing comprehensive outpatient care to children from birth to age 18 at its Sterling Pediatric Center in Lake Ariel.

WMCHC’s operates three outpatient pediatric sites—Honesdale Pediatric Center, Waymart Pediatric Center and Sterling Pediatric Center. Each location offers well-and sick-child visits, immunizations, medical evaluation and treatment of chronic conditions as part of a child’s medical home.

Parents wishing to establish with Dr. Jain as their child’s primary care provider may call the office at 570/689-7565.

WMCHC welcomes Obstetrician/Gynecologist Angela Tang, MD, to its staff of providers at the Women’s Health Center. Dr. Tang sees patients at two outpatient offices—Honesdale and Lords Valley. Additionally, she facilitates births and performs surgical procedures at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale.

To make an appointment with Dr. Tang at either the Honesdale or Lords Valley Office, call 570/253-3005.

The Carbondale Family Health Center, also part of WMCHC, welcomes Board Certified Family Physician Terry J. Luma, MD. He joins Kenneth Bannon, PA-C and Sharon Savakinas, PA-C at the Health Center located at 141 Salem Avenue. Dr. Luma treats people of all ages and is currently accepting new patients.

To make an appointment with Dr. Luma or for more information on the Carbondale Family Health Center, call 570/282-2031.

For more information, visit

Thomas Rue wins Deborah A. Arundale Award

ALBANY, NY — Thomas S. Rue, MA, LMHC, Master CASAC, NCC, CCMHC, of Monticello, was honored by the New York Mental Health Counselors Association (NYMHCA) at its July 30 to August 4 convention, which was held online.

Rue received the Deborah A. Arundale Award for Leadership from Juan Eric Arévalo, MA, LMHC, NCC of New York City, President of the NYMHCA.

A professional counselor for 35 years, Rue is director of Choices Mental Health Counseling PLLC in Monticello, a private practice celebrating its 10th year of existence this August, where he and his wife and office manager, Carmen Rue, serve mostly Sullivan County residents. He has continued to provide group and individual psychotherapy using online video-conferencing platforms maintaining the safety of clients and the community while offering needed support services to the community.

For more information, visit

Bon Secours completes latest phase in ‘Medical Village’ project

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) and the Bon Secours Charity Health System announced the completion of three critical departments that are part of the Investing in a Healthier Community Medical Village project at Bon Secours Community Hospital, a member of WMCHealth.

The latest phase of the expansion of the Emergency Department (ED) includes the creation of 14 patient bays, four of which are dedicated to treating behavioral health patients.

Construction is now finalized on the 10,000-square-foot Surgical Weight Loss Institute that includes eight private rooms designed for accessibility and sensitivity. The new 2,800-square-foot laboratory includes an enlarged core lab, blood draw room, blood bank and dedicated area for microbiology. 

Additionally, the expanded ED at Bon Secours Community Hospital has wait times that are below the national average.  In response, WMCHealth has launched the ED30 Pledge which promises that when patients visit the Emergency Department they will be seen by a provider within 30 minutes of completing registration.

The completion of the Investing in a Healthier Community project is expected to usher in a new era of healthcare in the City of Port Jervis and its surrounding tri-state area community with facility and diagnostic equipment upgrades and the development of a “Medical Village” hub for local residents. At its center, Bon Secours Community Hospital will collaborate with community partners to provide health, wellness and other community services in one convenient destination.

For more information, visit or

Equipment upgrades at UHS Delaware Valley Hospital

WALTON, NY — United Health Services (UHS) Delaware Valley Hospital (DVH) has purchased two new replacement x-ray machines that enhance image quality through high definition and produces 25 percent lower dose of radiation. Another technological advancement is specialized software for scoliosis that allows the radiologist to see the entire spine.

 UHS Delaware Valley Hospital offers some evening and Saturday hours for many of its imaging services.

For more information, or to make an appointment, call 607/865-2126.

Healthfirst, dementia, Bethel Woods, Alzheimer's Association, Garnet Health, Delgado, Wayne Memorial Second Century Fund, Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, Thomas Rue, Deborah A. Arundale Award, Bon Secours, Medical Village, UHS Delaware Valley Hospital


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here