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We are now entering into another school year, and if last year was a bit of a crash course, this year, it is game on.

One of the biggest challenges while being home living the remote life has been feeding the kids. Sure, I can throw them a can of mystery soup for their lunch, but we all know more than ever, nutrition is essential.

Visit our sister site New York Family to learn more about Little Spoon Plates!

New York Institute of Technology Trains the Next Generation of Physicians, Treats Patients in Need 

Jerry Balentine, D.O., vice president for health sciences and medical affairs and dean of NYITCOM, and Brian Harper M.D., M.P.H., New York Tech’s chief medical officer

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, New York Tech is continuing to focus on innovation in health and wellness. Beyond its well-deserved reputation for offering career-focused, tech-infused undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs, New York Institute of Technology also provides quality medical care to local communities at health care centers at its Old Westbury campus and in Central Islip, often at low or no cost.  

“It’s one of Long Island’s best-kept secrets in medical care,” said Brian Harper M.D., M.P.H., New York Tech’s chief medical officer and the former Suffolk County Health Commissioner. 

New York Institute of Technology’s Long Island campus is home to NYITCOM and the School of Health Professions.

 Delivering Health Care and Expertise Where it is Needed

As part of his role in overseeing the health care centers and addressing university-wide policies regarding communicable diseases, Harper’s role has been crucial to understanding the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. In addition to contributing his expertise to organizations that aid legislators statewide and to local media outlets, Harper and his team have been guiding the university’s pandemic response and serving the community at large, particularly marginalized and working-class populations that have been hit the hardest by the recent health crisis.

Central Islip, considered an “underserved medical community,” is one area where New York Tech has focused its efforts. The university runs a free clinic in Central Islip that provides much-needed medical services to uninsured patients, an initiative started by New York Institute of Technology physician Sonia Rivera-Martinez, D.O., and supported by Jerry Balentine, D.O., vice president for health sciences and medical affairs and dean of New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM). In both the Central Islip and Old Westbury health care centers, NYITCOM students gain valuable opportunities to shadow experienced physicians, while patients benefit from “lower overall patient volume, meaning we can spend more time with each individual patient,” explains Harper, who also serves as an associate professor at NYITCOM.  

Osteopathic medical students learn the research-backed science of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness and injuries.

Preparing Future-Focused Physicians

NYITCOM, which also has a site in Jonesboro, Arkansas, is the only osteopathic medical school on Long Island and one of the largest medical schools nationwide. Future osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) learn the research-backed science of osteopathic manipulative medicine for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness or injuries. They also work alongside NYITCOM’s renowned faculty and staff to perform innovative research on heart diseaseParkinson’s diseaseLyme disease, and more.   

In addition to graduating approximately 400 physicians a year from its two medical school locations, New York Tech also offers a variety of highly selective health and wellness degree programs in its School of Health Professions, preparing students to become clinical nutritionistsphysical therapistsphysician assistants, and nurses, among other health-related careers in exercise science, health and wellness and health sciences

Always ahead of the curve, New York Tech was already developing a robust audio-visual telehealth program prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, believing it to be the future of medical care. Today, increased telehealth adoption rates have allowed the health care centers to maintain pre-pandemic visitor volume. A telehealth learning program has even been established to continue NYITCOM’s proud tradition of shadowing. With patients’ permission, medical students can listen in on telehealth sessions and gain valuable skills in virtual health care. 

The Academic Health Care Center on New York Tech’s Long Island campus offers primary care services to the campus and surrounding communities.

Prioritizing Prevention in the Wake of a Pandemic

Harper’s experience in several public-facing roles in both Suffolk and Nassau County Departments of Health has prepared him for his current role, he said, emphasizing the understanding of public health and preventive medicine that he now applies at New York Tech and shares with current students. 

Under Harper’s leadership, New York Tech is leaving no stone unturned in preparing for a return to campus. In addition to enforcing mask-wearing, social distancing, and personal hygiene, Harper is also developing contact tracing protocols, negotiating social distancing rules with off-campus housing units, and increasing testing capacity for New York Tech’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as local community members. 

“Not only do these preventive measures protect against coronavirus, they also protect against other viruses like the flu,” he said. This attitude reflects the institution’s steadfast commitment to the safety and wellbeing of all community members, whether a pandemic is going on or not. 

Find out more about the Kenneth Riland Academic Health Care Center in Old Westbury and the NYITCOM Family Health Care Center in Central Islip, which houses the Central Islip Community Free Clinic

We’re All Wearing Masks — Why Not Look Good While Doing It?

For 22 years, brother-owned company Top Trenz has been a one-stop-shop for kids’ products. A real soup-to-nuts shop.

So when the pandemic hit in April, customers began flooding the inbox of owners Corey and Jamie Glassberg with requests for protective masks. 

As a seasoned designer, manufacturer, and distributor of consumer products, Top Trenz answered the call and introduced a line of face-covering, Mask Appeal.

The masks can be worn during the summer months thanks to a breathable premium polyester blend. Each mask has a second inner layer of 100% cotton for added protection and comes with a moldable nose bridge and adjustable earloops for a secure fit. There’s also a built-in pocket for the optional insert of a filter. 

“Our goal was to make face masks that would be less scary for kids and find a way for adults and teens to have fun with it,” said Jamie. “We have young kids of our own and understand the challenges of getting children to wear face masks. We really wanted to make a mask that people could not only tolerate, but enjoy wearing.” 

Another selling point is the designs — more than 40, with multiple colors and schemes, with tie-dye, camouflage, and sports and unicorns, a design for every age. 

In the accessory market for 22 years, Top Trenz offers an array of products for kids, tween, and teens — from apparel, fashion bags, toys, accessories, stationery, and more. They’ve also been a leading manufacturer in trending accessories and toys like fidget spinners, squishies, animal shaped rubber bands, butterfly hair clips, and many others. 

But unlike these other crazes, face masks are far from a trend. “This pandemic in one form or another is going to be around for two years,” said Jamie.

With the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight, face masks are part of our new norm, and Top Trenz is here to provide a comfortable and stylish option.

Use code MEDIA at checkout for 10% off all masks plus free shipping. To see the full line of masks and for more information go to the Top Trenz website here

Dr. David Samadi, Changing Men’s Health for the Better, Answers 5 Questions About Prostate Cancer Treatment 

Dr. David Samadi
Dr. David Samadi

Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital, one of the top hospitals on Long Island. Dr. Samadi is a world-renowned prostate cancer expert and robotic surgeon having performed over 7,000 prostate cancer surgeries. Saving men’s lives from the second most common cancer in men is Dr. Samadi’s passion and he wants men to know that a healthy and fulfilling life is within their reach.

A Persian Jew who grew up in Iran, attended all-boys Catholic schools and was forced to flee during the Iranian revolution. Dr. Samadi graduated from Roslyn High School before heading off to residencies at Mt. Sinai and Columbia, Dr. Samadi has recently come home. He was appointed to a new position as the director of men’s health and urologic oncology at St. Francis Hospital.

We asked Dr. Samadi — who regularly appears for his urology expertise on Fox & Friends, Sunday Housecalls and a frequent contributor to Newsmax — 5 questions to help assist men and their families who are researching treatments for prostate cancer. 

What is robotic surgery? How invasive is it? 

Dr. David Samadi: There is no cutting open — we make five or six tiny holes in the abdomen and we connect the robot to the abdomen and perform the surgery that way. Pain is minimal and the patient wakes up an hour and a half later with the prostate being removed and does very well.

To step back, robotic surgery is a culmination of the experience that I gained in open surgery and my laparoscopic skills. Now with the use of robotic surgery, which means full range of motion for instruments, magnifications, and lighting, working in a bloodless field, we’re able to do a much more accurate operation where years ago this would have led to complications and incontinence.

Does the cure rate for robotic surgery exceed the cure rate of radiation?

Dr. Samadi: Yes, there are some studies that argue that surgery, especially for younger patients, has higher benefits and longevity. In the hands of an experienced surgeon, the advanced robotic technique saves the nerves and allows for quality of life for the patient, so they can control their urination and their sexual function. The outcome and results as far as cure rates is excellent. When the prostate cancer is contained, and it’s only in the organ, survival rate at 10 years is over 90%.

An important thing about surgery is that we’ll get an accurate idea of how much cancer you had by examining the organ post-surgery. In addition, it avoids fluctuations in men’s prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels causing undue worry and with the prostate gland removed. Surgery is a preferred mode because if there is any recurrence after surgery, radiation is still an option. But if you start with radiation and cyberknife and there is recurrence, surgery is very challenging and almost impossible.

How do you work with your patients?

Dr. Samadi: The men I work with are more than just patients to me – they are part of my extended family and they can get in touch with me day or night. They have my cell number. Many patients are naturally filled with anxiety about prostate cancer surgery. I pride myself on addressing their concerns by answering any questions they or their family have right away. This is not just another job to me – I am loyal and committed to the men I treat. My goal is to always be warm and caring when my patients need me most.

Why are you sometimes referred to as “Robodoc”?

Dr. Samadi: It’s a title I am quite proud of. I personally oversee each surgery from beginning to end. My patient load comes from around the world representing over 45 countries for many traveling to seek my professional expertise on prostate cancer.

They come to me for my impeccable reputation for detail and precision. They know I aim to succinctly explain why prostate cancer surgery is advantageous over radiation and that they are in good hands.

You created the Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique (SMART). Can you describe this technique?

Dr. Samadi: I was mentored in Paris by Dr. Claude Abbou, a pioneer in the field of robotic radical prostatectomy, where I was first introduced to laparoscopic surgery. I was so fascinated and successful at it that I went on to use my knowledge and experience through years of work and research to create SMART. It is a modified advanced technique to perform robotic prostate surgery in order to achieve what is considered the trifecta of prostate cancer: complete removal of a man’s cancerous prostate, urinary control and complete sexual functioning.

If you’ve been diagnosed recently with prostate cancer, or know somebody who has, get in touch with Dr. Samadi here prostatecancer911.com  

You can also reach him at his office located at 485 Madison Avenue, New York City, 212-365-5000.


3 Reasons Why Having Professional House Cleaning Services is Critical During and After COVID-19

Americans across the country have been fighting a silent enemy we never anticipated this year, causing millions to lose their jobs, their homes, and even their lives. Here in New York State, we are being hit the hardest, as our first responders risk their lives every single day to save as many people as possible.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to be vigilant about this threat and take care of your home – for your safety, and your family’s safety. 

As we socially distance at home to help slow the spread the flatten the curve, we are spending more time inside than ever before. Although this has been recommended by the government, the indoor of your home can be dirty, contaminated, and anything but a safe environment from your family.

Long Island Maids House Cleaners are here to provide disinfection services for all Long Island communities.

If you are on the fence about Long Island disinfection services, here are three reasons why you should consider our expertise:

  • We Are CDC/EPA Compliant: The CDC has released a set of guidelines that companies must meet to remain compliant when cleaning and the EPA released their approved disinfectants for use against COVID. Our teams have been trained in these guidelines to ensure we are not at risk for spreading any kind of coronavirus. Additionally, we partnered with National Cleaning Labatory Inc. And use an EPA-approved, hospital-grade disinfectant. These cleaners fight against: harmful viruses, bacteria, and the spread of COVID-19. This way, you can rest assured you are not opening your home up to any potential spreading or infection.
  • We Are Flexible in Services and Timing: We know these are trying times for everyone. Most cleanings are arranged between 8 AM and 6 PM, while clients are not home. We understand that most people are now home during those hours. Our team is flexible in our cleaning schedule, and we will work with you to create a schedule that is most convenient for you. 
  • We Are Experienced in Disinfection: We have been working for years to disinfect homes and provide safe living arrangements for all Long Island families. Therefore, our team already has a disinfecting system in place that will help us quickly and effectively work against the COVID-19 virus. We want to help your family.

If you have any questions or would like to inquire about our maid services, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team today.

Book online at longislandmaids.com/book-now

Email us at hello@longislandmaids.com

Call us at: 631-596-0682 or 516-699-8406

Straight Talk on Snakes

Only a minority of snakes, like this Bush Viper, are venomous. (Shutterstock)

By Jungle Bob

Snakes have always fascinated me. My first encounter was as a 6-year-old who just moved from Manhattan to Babylon. A snake slithered out of the hedgerow and right up to me, so I picked it up!

That’s where it all started. The neighborhood kids stopped in their tracks, their mouths wide open. My mother looked out the kitchen window and said, “WHAT IS THAT?”

Then the screaming started. My dad, a World War II veteran and New York City police officer, sprinted for his revolver.

Clearly everyone there had a preconceived idea of about the intentions of that snake.

Words like evil, slimy and venomous were clearly present. It was a surreal moment that left an indelible mark on me and ignited a spark that has burned passionately for decades.

Thousands of educational programs and countless encounters with snakes, and that city kid is doing just fine. I received a glimpse of nature’s grand plan and learned that all creatures play an important role. Hating any given group based on misinformation is the definition of prejudice.

The truth is as interesting as it is enlightening and needs to be told. So let’s set the record straight and dispel some myths about snakes.

1. Snakes are not slimy. So stop saying they are, ok? Their skin is bone dry, and being cold blooded, they don’t even perspire.

2. Not all snakes are venomous. Of the 3,300 known species on Earth, less than 10 percent of them have venom. And no venomous snakes are native to Long Island.

3. Snakes are not inherently evil. Yet bad press from the Bible to social media lingers.

4. Snakes don’t hypnotize their prey. They do stare, but that is not an attempt to mesmerize anyone. Snakes simply don’t have eyelids! So they are staring 24/7, even sleeping with their eyes wide open.

5. Snakes are not “charmed” by music. Despite the image of a cobra swaying out of the wicker basket, the reality is they lack ears, so they hear nothing. They are just reacting to the swaying of the musician, who they perceive as a threat.

So the snake that is so loathed I have strived to give a break to ever since.

Fake News From The Animal Kingdom?

Poison dart frogs are pretty but deadly.

Some animals conjure up negative emotions at the mere mention of their name. They are victims. That old Jim Stafford song “I don’t like spiders and snakes” was a hit for a reason!

These adverse feelings are mostly derived from fake news, reinforced in literature and media. Snakes and spiders are just unloved it seems, while other creatures, such as frogs, are universally liked. Why?

Many grew up watching a frog on Sesame Street playing the banjo and singing to a pig, lamenting how hard it is to be green. Children’s books show frogs sitting happily on a lily pad, smiling or lazily eating flies out of the air with their tongues. Then there are fables about frogs becoming handsome princes from a princess’ magical kiss. Stories about frogs are often upbeat and seem to end on a happy note.

Frogs must have a great PR department, because the truth is, they are not so innocent. Frogs are actually predators! They have teeth and will hunt and eat almost anything they can fit into their mouths, often swallowing prey with a single gulp. As a rule, they do not feed on just flies or shoot their tongues 10 feet in the air. Although I’ve never personally kissed one, I wouldn’t expect much magic to happen if I did.

Some frogs, like the poison dart frogs from South America, release toxins through their skin which, if ingested, cause sickness or death. How nice! These brightly colored “jewels of the rainforest” have long been utilized by native peoples who rub their wooden arrows or darts on the skin of the frog, turning their missiles into deadly weapons. Isn’t that cute?

These poisons aren’t natural to the frogs. They’re “manufactured” by the frog only after a series of food chain events involving fungus, ants and plants. That is, it’s not the frogs’ fault. Still, they get positive press. In captivity, they produce no toxins, as their food is from farm-produced insects. Somehow these frogs are among the most popular of terrarium subjects. Animated and bold, they quickly win over the hearts of their keepers, even with the “poison” moniker.

That frog’s spin doctors deserve a raise!

nuBest Salon and Spa Celebrates 45 Years of Beauty, Family

The main styling floor at nuBest, with photo on back wall of supermodel Janice Dickinson, styled for the shoot by Michael Mazzei circa 1980s for a fashion magazine

Since opening its doors in Manhasset on June 19, 1973, nuBest Salon and Spa has provided several generations of customers with a combination of exceptional service and unparalleled quality, combined with an experience that includes the latest, cutting edge trends in beauty and fashion.

Celebrating its 45th year in business this month, the two generations of family at the helm of nuBest continue to provide a diverse customer base from across Long Island, New York City and beyond with the same winning combination that is key to its long success.

“This is Michael’s legacy,” Christian Fleres, nuBest artistic director/colorist, says, referring to his uncle, Michael Mazzei, the salon’s founding owner. “There’s something to be said for being in business for 45 years and still be considered cutting-edge.”

Mazzei is one of the most beloved and well-respected individuals in the professional hair care industry. His vision of beauty and avantgarde approach to style has inspired stylists from all over the world. He has been instrumental in defining modern hair for men and women. Mazzei and his collaborator, Leland Hirsch, also developed ARTec Worldwide, an innovative global hair care brand that was purchased by L’Oreal in 2002.

“Celebrating nuBest’s 45th anniversary feels like a dream,” says Mazzei. “I am so proud of what my family and I have been able to achieve with nuBest. We have created a community for our clients, with the help of some of New York’s best stylists.”

Michael’s son, Jamie Mazzei, joined his father in the business about 30 years ago and serves as creative director and senior stylist. Michael’s nephew, Vincent Cascio, also joined the business about 30 years ago and serves as senior stylist, too. Their clientele has included countless celebrities who have pampered themselves at nuBest over the years, including Lance Bass and Joey Fatone of boy band ‘NSYNC.

But bringing in big names isn’t necessarily the endgame. Mazzei’s ultimate goal is to make every single client feel like a high-profile glamorous superstar. nuBest stands out from competitors on numerous levels.

“We change our uniforms every six months,” Fleres says. “It’s not just about your hair. It’s an entire experience that we’re selling.”

Although nuBest’s customers used to be mostly women, it’s now close to 60 percent female and 40 percent male.

“There’s a lot more men that come in and have their cut, as well as other services on a regular basis,” including hair coloring, than was the case several years ago, Fleres says.

NuBest has also become more social media-driven in recent years, he adds, explaining that to “attract a lot younger clientele, you have to move with the times.”

“Everything here is always evolving,” he says. “From the design of the salon to the way that we do hair to the way that everything is followed.”

The Manhasset location on the Miracle Mile has also been a key to nuBest’s success. Noting that it’s “very centrally located,” near the beginning of Nassau County and end of Queens, Fleres says the Gold Coast location adds to the diversity of nuBest’s clientele and helps keep it “very family oriented.” At the same time, “it’s not that far away from Manhattan” and “we have the Long Island Rail Road that’s walkingdistance,” he says, noting some clients come in from the city… and even as far away as Connecticut.

As the business celebrates its milestone anniversary this month, he adds: “We really strive to be at the forefront of the industry. We’re constantly working on different things to improve ourselves. A lot of times, people kind of stay stagnant. But we really understand the fact that you have to move with the times.”

nuBest Salon and Spa is located at 1482 Northern Boulevard in Manhasset. They can be reached at 516-627-9444 or nubestsalon.com

Left to right: Jamie Mazzei, Vincent Cascio, Michael Mazzei and Christian
Fleres mark 45 years of nuBest.

Health Tech 2.0 Summit To Demystify Healthcare Technology

More than 250 healthcare technology industry leaders will meet July 12 to discuss exciting and challenging new trends in their field, such as the digitalization and personalization of modern healthcare.

The Health Tech 2.0 Summit brings together chief technology officers and other senior executives from prominent hospitals, health networks, and technology corporations, including leaders from private and public sectors. Dr. Purna Prasad, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Information Technology at Northwell Health — Long Island’s largest employer — is the featured keynote speaker, who will discuss
the future of healthcare technology and its role in patient participation.

“Patients traveling to a clinic to get their physiological [vitals] monitored is a thing of the past,” Dr. Prasad said. “Digital technology revolution commoditized medical equipment and made it affordable for the community to monitor themselves at home with acceptable clinical accuracy.”

The panel agenda will cover healthcare innovation in the realms of tele-health systems, wellness apps, and cybersecurity. Speakers aim to navigate issues of commoditization in a more digital healthcare system, as well as the upcoming healthcare revolution as a result of emerging technologies.

“The glut of monitoring, diagnostic and therapeutic gadgets in the hands of the consumer is confusing and overwhelming,” says Dr. Prasad. “A panel of experts will help unclog the complexity of these technologies and help consumers maintain a good quality of health.”

The event is sponsored by SVAM International, the Long Island Software and Technology Network (LISTnet), the Long Island Press and its parent company, Schneps Communications. It will begin with a breakfast and networking session from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., with the panel scheduled for 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Health Tech 2.0 Summit will be held 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 12 at Simplay, which is located at 180 Commerce Dr. in Hauppauge. Parking is free. For more information on packages, sponsorships and tickets, contact Joanna Austin at 516-284-3331 x237 or jaustin@longislandpress.com