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Category Archives: Health


Nathan Cattell is an active and curious toddler. With a big grin, he’s eager to explore the space between gravel and mud on recent afternoons in Fanwood. It’s a moment when most moms would be quick to reroute a dirt-bound child- but Casey Cattell, of Somerset, goes about it with a gentle and encouraging grasp of hand.  Even in these smallest moments, she’s overwhelmed by the fact that she’s alive and able to guide her son thanks to the generosity of blood donors.

On Saturday, May 13th, Cattell is hosting her first “Mother’s Day Blood Drive” in order to raise awareness of maternal health issues- specifically postpartum hemorrhage (PPH).  After a complicated pregnancy and one week after delivering Nathan, Cattell endured stage 3 PPH in the fall of 2015.  As doctors at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick rushed to save her life, the ultimate antidote came from volunteer blood donors. Continue reading MOTHER’S DAY BLOOD DRIVE TO BE HELD SATURDAY TO RAISE AWARENESS OF MATERNAL HEALTH ISSUES


One in seven women may be affected by perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD). Although temporary and treatable, it is the most common complication of childbirth with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. For this reason, on May 4, 2017, Monmouth Medical Center hosted the grand opening of its Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders making it the first and only hospital in New Jersey to offer a dedicated treatment Center where new and expectant mothers can receive comprehensive care for PMAD.


Minority Health Awareness at OHI This April

Exactly what free services are available for Ocean County’s uninsured and underinsured populations? In recognition of Minority Health Awareness Month, Ocean Health Initiatives (OHI), a federally qualified health center (FQHC), will be providing information on April 26, 27, and 28 at three of its health centers about health services, such as Rapid HIV/AIDS Test, free pregnancy tests and screenings, and information on vaccinations and immunizations. Continue reading Minority Health Awareness at OHI This April

Alzheimer’s Disease and When to Stop Driving

(Mayo Clinic) If your loved one has Alzheimer’s, he or she may not be safe on the road. Explain the risks — then provide other ways to get around.

Driving is a powerful symbol of competence and independence, besides being a routine part of adult life. But the focused concentration and quick reaction time needed for safe driving tends to decline with age. Alzheimer’s disease accelerates this process dramatically. If you’re caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s, you may need to modify his or her driving – or stop his or her driving completely.

Continue reading Alzheimer’s Disease and When to Stop Driving

Youth Athletes Invited to Participate in Sports Safety Clinic on June 4

With more children today playing organized sports on school, recreation or travel teams than there ever have been – and starting at a younger age than in the past – there also has been a spike in injuries, both statewide and nationally. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), in partnership with Safe Kids New Jersey, invites youth athletes in grades one through six, their parents and their coaches to learn how to “Play Safer, Smarter, Stronger, Faster” on June 4* at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, home of the Somerset Patriots.

Continue reading Youth Athletes Invited to Participate in Sports Safety Clinic on June 4

With New Jersey on the Verge of a Mental Health Crisis Non-Profit Community Mental Health Providers Form Coalition to Tackle State-Led Funding Cuts

In response to upcoming funding cuts for mental health services in the proposed FY18 New Jersey State Budget, nine New Jersey non-profit community mental health providers have announced the formation of the New Jersey Community Mental Health Coalition (NJCMHC). The NJCMHC will educate and inform policymakers, patients and the public about the realities of a potential mental health crisis in the state if these proposed draconian funding cuts are passed, which would result in the devastating consequence of tens of the thousands New Jerseyans losing access to proper mental health services and care. Continue reading With New Jersey on the Verge of a Mental Health Crisis Non-Profit Community Mental Health Providers Form Coalition to Tackle State-Led Funding Cuts

St.Francis Community Center Family Health & Safety Fair

St. Francis Community Center is celebrating 41 years of good health and community support by hosting the Family Health and Safety Fair on Friday, April 28 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in the St. Francis Community Center Gym, 4700 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach Township, NJ 08008.

The Health and Safety Fair is sponsored by St. Francis Community Center, Long Beach Island Health Department and Southern Ocean Medical Center. Health screenings, education, resources, giveaways and refreshments will be available. Continue reading St.Francis Community Center Family Health & Safety Fair

Ocean County Library to Offer Alzheimer’s Awareness Programs

The Ocean County Library will offer educational programs about Alzheimer’s disease at nine branches throughout the year beginning March 2017.

The programs provide insight on why people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia experience behavioral changes. You will learn what those behaviors mean and how to cope when behaviors are challenging. The programs are sponsored by Alzheimer’s New Jersey. Continue reading Ocean County Library to Offer Alzheimer’s Awareness Programs

Manahawkin Location Partners with AtlantiCare to Host Women’s Health Fair on March 14

Stockton University’s location in Manahawkin is partnering with AtlantiCare to host a Women’s Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14. The event will be held at the Ocean County site, located at 712 E. Bay Ave. in Manahawkin, N.J. Continue reading Manahawkin Location Partners with AtlantiCare to Host Women’s Health Fair on March 14

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

According to—

Summer is “a period of fruition, fulfillment, happiness, or beauty.”
Winter is “a period of time characterized by coldness, misery, barrenness, or death.”

Well, that sums it up quite nicely, we think.

It is winter yet again. The beautiful colors of the autumn leaves have disappeared and have been replaced by barren tree limbs and icicles sharp and brittle. The harsh winds rattle the window frames and the cold air seems to sing a cruel song that frightens away birds to warmer climates. The daytime gives way to the moon, and darkness sets in way before supper. So, you see, while some perceive winter as a festive time when their worlds are blanketed by the purity of snow, others feel that they are being suffocated by a literally colorless existence.

It is estimated that half a million Americans are negatively affected by the changing seasons and darkening of the summer light. They feel depressed, irritable, and tired. Their activity levels decrease, and they find themselves in bed more often. This depression disorder not only affects their health, but it also affects their everyday life, including their job performance and friendships. This disorder is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately acronym-ed, SAD.

What is SAD Exactly?

SAD is a mood disorder that affects an individual the same time each year, usually starting when the weather becomes colder in September or October, and ends in April or May when the weather becomes warmer. People with SAD feel depressed during the shorter days of winter, and more cheerful and energetic during the brightness of spring and summer.

“Hey, Einstein! I knew that already! Tell me something I don’t know!”

Jeez, okay, okay. Irritability is a sign of SAD, so I understand your bitterness, Crankypants. Here are—

10 Things You May Not Have Known About SAD

1. Did you know that between 60% and 90% of people with SAD are women? It’s true. If you are a female between 15 and 55, you are more likely to develop SAD. Great, so not only do women have PMS, Menopause, and child labor to worry about, add SAD to the list, too.

2. Even though the harsh chill in the air might bring you down, SAD is believed to relate more to daylight, not the temperature. Some experts believe that a lack of sunlight increases the body’s production of a body chemical called melatonin. Melatonin is what helps regulate sleep and can cause symptoms of depression.

3. SAD can be treated. If your symptoms are mild, meaning, if they do not interfere in and completely ruin your daily life, light therapy may help you beat SAD. Using light therapy has shown highly effective. Studies prove that between 50% and 80% of light therapy users have complete remissions of symptoms. However, light therapy must be used for a certain amount of time daily and continue throughout the dark, winter months.

4. Some say that light therapy has no side effects, but others disagree. We think it simply depends on the person. Some people experience mild side effects, such as headaches, eyestrain, or nausea. However, these light therapy users say that the side effects are temporary and subside with time or reduced light exposure. Most scientists agree that there are no long-term side effects, but remember to consult your physician before any treatment decisions are made.

5. There are some things to consider if you want to try light therapy in your home, otherwise you will not receive all the benefits that this type of therapy offers.

  • When purchasing a light box, do not skimp as far as money is concerned. Buy a larger one so that you will receive enough light to be beneficial.
  • The best time for light therapy is in the early morning. (If used late at night, it could cause insomnia.) So, even if it means waking up earlier, set aside some morning time to relax and use your light box.
  • Many people are not aware of this, but you must have your eyes open and face the light during therapy. Do not stare at the light. That would be silly. Simply face the light, eyes open.

6. It takes more than just one winter depression to be diagnosed with SAD. Individuals must meet certain criteria:

  • The symptoms and remission of the systems must have occurred during the last two consecutive years.
  • The seasonal depressive episodes must outnumber the non-seasonal depressive episodes in one’s lifetime.

7. SAD can be treated with certain medications that increase serotonin levels in the brain. Such medications include antidepressants, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.

8. There is actually a device that conducts light therapy and allows you to walk around while treated. The device is called a light visor. Just wear the light visor around your head and complete your daily chores and rituals. A light visor still can potentially have the same side effects as the standard forms of light therapy, so only simple activities, such as watching television, walking, or preparing meals is advised. We do not recommend you operate heavy machinery while wearing a light visor. (You would look pretty silly with it on out in public, anyway.)

9. If you have a friend or loved one who suffers from SAD, you can help them tremendously.

  • Try to spend more time with the person, even though they may not seem to want any company.
  • Help them with their treatment plan.
  • Remind them often that summer is only a season away. Tell them that their sad feelings are only temporary, and they will feel better in no time.
  • Go outside and do something together. Take a walk, or exercise. Get them to spend some time outside in the natural sunlight. Just remember to bundle up!

10. Although not as common, a second type of seasonal affective disorder known as summer depression can occur in individuals who live in warmer climates. Their depression is related to heat and humidity, rather than light. Winter depression does cause petulance in many cases, but summer depression is known to cause severe violence. So, it could be worse.

There are times in this article, in which I seem a bit blithe. However, please, do not take my somewhat lighthearted approach to SAD the wrong way. SAD is a serious disorder that disrupts the lives of many people, worldwide. It is nothing to laugh at. Sneeze at, perhaps—it is winter, after all. But laugh at? No, not at all.

Forked River Gazette