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Bank of America Charitable Foundation grant supports local senior citizens through South Nassau health care outreach programs
South Nassau Communities Hospital recently received a $15,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation in support of the hospital’s health outreach, education, and screening and immunization services for low-income seniors. The services are provided by South Nassau’s Department of Community Education, the region's most comprehensive community health education provider, serving more than 30,000 area residents each year.
The grant marks the second year in which Bank of America has supported the hospital’s program of community services for seniors. “We thank Bank of America for its generous and ongoing support of these vital programs and services, which are funded almost entirely by the hospital,” said Sheila D’Nodal, MD, Vice President, Ambulatory Services. “We would be falling short of our mission if we did not offer comprehensive community health education that emphasizes the importance of preventive medicine in maintaining maximum health and wellness.”
Bank of America has also supported South Nassau through its participation in fundraising events, including the hospital’s Carnation Ball, golf outing and Evening of Good Taste, Long Island’s premier culinary expo and tasting event.
“Ensuring the health of our community – both literally and figuratively – is a priority for Bank of America on Long Island and throughout the communities we serve across the country,” said Robert A. Isaksen, Long Island market president, Bank of America. “For some time, South Nassau Communities Hospital has provided low-income seniors with vital health care services – a real need in our community. Bank of America is pleased to assist in their efforts.”
Seniors citizens represent a growing proportion of Nassau County's total population, with those aged 65 and over now accounting for 15% of county residents, compared to 12.9% statewide, and 12.4% nationally. South Nassau's Community Education senior outreach program includes targeted education, screening and immunization services specific to the healthcare needs of seniors in our local communities.
The program is an important part of the hospital's overall effort to improve senior health and wellness, and supports the ability of seniors to maintain their independence and continue living safely in the community. The hospital works closely with the Town of Hempstead, other government entities and community-based organizations to coordinate services and facilitate the provision of follow-up care.
All services provided by South Nassau’s Community Education Department are free of charge. This includes wellness and health education lectures, provided both at the hospital and in community settings; 17 support groups that help individuals coping with illness and their family members to improve their health and quality of life; promotion of education and awareness through participation in health fairs, in cooperation with local government and community agencies, advocacy groups and national organizations; health screenings for prostate cancer, skin cancer, high blood pressure and stroke risk assessment; and flu vaccinations. In addition, it is host to the hospital's regionally-acclaimed Basic Life Support (BLS), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training programs, which serve both healthcare professionals and community members.
Many of the programs are designed to reach seniors in the community, including educational presentations, screenings and immunization services, and are provided on site at senior centers and housing designated for low-income seniors and the disabled. During the past year, community-based health education presentations for senior citizens included Reducing Cardiac Risk Factors, Maintaining Safety in the Home, Warning Signs of Depression and Anxiety, Navigating the Health Care System - Empowering Patients, Preventing Falls, and Maintaining a Heart-Healthy Diet.
Health screenings have also been an effective means of promoting community health and wellness. South Nassau provides blood pressure screenings at senior centers throughout the year and at Lido Beach on weekdays during the months of June, July and August. More than 3,000 seniors were screened for high blood pressure during the past year, 1,380 of whom were reached through the Lido Beach summer program. Prostate and skin cancer screenings and stroke risk assessments are also offered to the community. The vast majority of those who avail themselves of these services are senior citizens. Where the need for follow-up care is indicated, the program makes appropriate referrals to community-based service providers.
Immunization services are another aspect of South Nassau's programming. The flu vaccination program, which is administered in cooperation with the New York State Department of Health, is, by regulation, limited exclusively to seniors. In 2006, flu vaccinations were administered to 3,680 seniors.
Senior outreach is also accomplished through South Nassau's participation in community-sponsored health fairs and other events. This past year, the hospital participated in 10 health fairs, including a Senior Citizen Health and Wellness Fair sponsored by the Town of Hempstead as well as its annual Multicultural Health Fair.