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May 2010: Ah-choo!

            April showers nearly always bring lovely May flowers... and allergies!  This month is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.  For some, spring and late summer can bring serious breathing issues due to spores and pollen.  Find out more via

            Once we've handled our allergies this May, let's do something healthy to celebrate the increasing length of days and amount of sunshine!  May 17-21 is National Bike to Work Week.  Get out the bike in early May and oil the chain, check the tires, add a helmet, a bell or horn and reflectors, and out you go!  The entire family can benefit from new bike lanes the City of New York has added in the past year and from even safer biking in city parks where permitted.

            May is also a month to remind us about osteoporosis and arthritis.  Both are highly debilitating degenerative diseases.  They can and do affect young and old but mostly older adults - men included.  Yes, men, you can also develop osteoporosis.  The best way to combat this is to keep fit, do a weight-bearing exercise such as running, walking, skating (ice or roller), or other such exercise.    You can learn more at and

            But I'd like us to pause this May, as we should each year, from 6-12 May 2010, when we celebrate National Nurses Week.  There are no finer staff than those who provide nursing care to us when we are hospitalized or in school as children or in a hospice or nursing home.  Invaluable home care is provided by nurses who assist us in caring for our loved ones in our own environment - usually far preferable to having the patient remain in an institution.  I'm not suggesting we "kiss a nurse" during Nurses Week but certainly thank one!

            Finally, May 19th is an important day for Downstate staff.  It is National Employee Health and Fitness Day!  Join with Rose Jackman and staff in celebrating fitness on Wednesday the 19th - and every day in May and beyond!  Go to for all the information.