Hamptons Health: Be Proactive get a Mammogram….How many of you have never had a Mammogram because you are afraid? How many think you don’t need one? How many of you just don’t’ make the time to make this important? BE BRAVE, this is important and it is my hope that  I save one life today with this post.

Yesterday I was watching Good Morning America and when I heard  Amy Robach say she had Breast Cancer and been putting off a mammogram, and then a couple of weeks ago Robin and the GMA family encouraged her to have the test so she got talked into it. Everyone is so busy and stretched especially when you are a mother working in a rapidly advancing career. It’s hard to find the time to take care of yourself. Amy is choosing to have a double Mastectomy a very aggressive form of treatment, she and her doctors feel this is the best treatment for her. BTW, Amy is only 40…Read my article on Young Women get breast cancer.

You can read more about Amy’s story here:

I usually have a mammogram every year but I had put off the test this year simply because I was too busy to make the time to do something that could save my life. I immediately scheduled an appointment with my doctor for next week and I will be having my Mammogram with the next couple of weeks. My friends this test is not as scary as you think, it is uncomfortable but it is not  painful. I have had mammograms since I was 30 because my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 40 and my doctor encouraged me to start 10 years early. As I approached closer to the age my mother was when she was diagnosed I began to get scared, but I faced my fear and continued to have this test every year. I am now 47, seven years past the age my mother was when she was diagnosed and each year I am a nervous wreck the night before the test and on pins and needles until I get the results, but this does not stop me from having the test. My friends this test could save your life, please make the time and urge your family members and your friends to do the same.SHH_BREAST_MstrSmall_72dpi

Friends who live in the Hamptons  The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center at the Southampton hospital offers a range of services, click on link for more information.

If you live in NYC check out the SCAN VAN…..A Mobile Mammography FREE Screening Mammograms for Eligible Women


 FREE for uninsured women 40 and older,    All insurance plans accepted.  Co-payments and deductibles are waived

Fran Van NY

Here is the schedule of where this Van will be in Manhattan for the Month of November and December.

Tuesday    November 12, 2013   Starting At 8:00am
Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic           
N.E.Corner W.57th &10 Ave  10019
Tuesday    November  12, 2013      Starting At 1:30pm
Callen – Lorde Health Center                    
356   West   18th Street   10011
Wednesday November 13,  2013  Starting At 8:30am
    Downtown Health Center       
150 Essex Street     10002
Friday     November 22, 2013   Starting At 8:00am
    Community League Of 159th Street Health Cen
1996 Amsterdam Avenue      10032
Monday   November 25, 2013    Starting At 1:30am
    New Providence Health Clinic             
225 East 45th Street            10017
Monday     December  2, 2013   Starting At 9:00am
    Helen B. Atkinson Health Center            
81 West 115th Street       10026
Tuesday    December 10, 2013   Starting At 9:00am
    Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic           
N.E.Corner W.57th &10 Ave  10019
Tuesday    December  10, 2013      Starting At 1:30pm
    Callen – Lorde Health Center                    
356   West   18th Street   10011
Monday   December 16, 2013    Starting At 1:30am
    New Providence Health Clinic             
225 East 45th Street            10017
Friday     December 20, 2013   Starting At 8:00am
    Community League Of 159th Street Health Cen
1996 Amsterdam Avenue      10032
Friday     December 20, 2013   Starting At 1:30pm
    Betances Health Center                            
280 Henry Street    10002
Hamptons Health: Be Proactive get a Mammogram, tell a friend, save a life…
DWTS Louis van Amstel brings LaBlast to the Hamptons…Are you a Dancing with Stars Fan? Do you wish you could dance like the pro’s or even be taught by one of these gifted dancers? Here is your chance….”Dancing with the Stars” acclaimed pro, Louis van Amstel, will be in Southampton to help raise funds and awareness for the newly formed Southampton Hamptons Dancers AARP Community Group. The 9 time Dance Champion will hold an exclusive VIP Meet & Greet with a mini Latin Dance Class at the centrally located Southampton Inn on Hill St. on Tuesday, November 12th from 6:30 pm to 8 pm. Louis_LaBlast_Ad_2-2 copy
My friends I tried this Youtube workout and WOW does it get your heart beating fast, I was amazed how quickly I picked up the steps, I think Louis is a great teacher and I am looking forward to meeting him in person.  I do think this is a workout that would work for me and I am anxious to take this class.

Wednesday, November 13th, the “Dancing with the Stars” delight will be introducing his new fitness Sensation “LaBlast”to the Twin Forks.  This exciting new fitness program is based on the hottest Latin American & Ballroom Dance moves, but takes the concepts of Zumba to the next phase!  The moves are quick & easy to learn and cam be adjusted by intensity to work for the new beginner or the voracious expert..  The new “LaBlast” as well as a Latin American Dance Class and several Private Lessons will be held at the Arthur Murray Dance Center at 425 County Rd. 39A in Southampton.

LaBlast is an exciting new dance fitness program created by World Dance Champion, coach, choreographer, Dancing with the Stars fan favorite and fitness expert, Louis van Amstel. LaBlast is a fun-filled, high energy dance fitness class that will both challenge and inspire people of all ages and fitness levels, while dancing to a wide variety of music. Types of dance include:

  • Cha Cha
  • Disco
  • Jive
  • Salsa
  • Lindy Hop
  • Merengue
  • Paso Doble
  • Quick Step
  • Samba
  • Hustle
  • Viennese Waltz
Finally, The Master instructor will be holding “LaBlast” Certification Class on Thursday, November 13th from 11am to 7 pm for the very first time on Long Island.   Any Dance, Health and/or Education Professional  in the Tristate area is invited  to join the class to become a “LaBlast” trainer.
Information about the VIP Meet & Greet, LaBlast, Latin  Class enrollment can be found at www.HamptonsAARP.otg
Any information about the Trainer Certification should connect with “laBlast” directly at

Hamptons Spotlight: They are Dead and I Choose to Mourn Publicly

They are often forgotten quickly by everyone except their families. Lost in the obscurity of our very busy schedules. We are often told that ‘life moves on’ and so it does but there is a sadness that the passing of 12 souls will only be briefly remembered by those not directly affected by their passing. I choose not to be brief in my acknowledgement of their lives and the mourning of their deaths. I choose to mourn publicly! I have tried to read about these twelve victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting; to learn a little more about them. It is uncomforting to know that so many of these people had daughters. I have daughters. Many were sports fans as one might suspect. One, a volunteer to make sure that the nests of Bluebirds was prepared to receive their small hosts. They had hobbies; they were family people, all the stuff that makes life worth the living these people had in their lives. Gone in an instant.

I would write about my opposition to high capacity weapons without any opposition to the right of ownership of guns but that is a story for another day. Today I feel the need to focus on the plight of people and families suffering with mental illness in their midst. I have first hand knowledge about the silent suffering of those with mental illness because that sorrow has been visited on my family. It is extraordinarily difficult to manage because of the nature of some of those illnesses. Many times the illness is unrecognized or ignored. In some instances the onset is early in life and sometimes there is a late onset. Mental illness affects children, adults and the aged with varying degrees of affliction. Always there is pain and suffering with the individual and there is too often shame, hopelessness and helplessness experienced by the family. What to do? Where to seek help, a voice of support, respite from the endless hours of caring and concern with no escape. As you can see there is often no rhyme or reason to how mental illness will strike. This makes the care and treatment of this malady so difficult to manage. There are some studies that indicate that up to 20% of our population suffers with some form of mental illness. That’s a whole lot of people.

Those suffering with some forms of mental illness do not feel they need help, as this is a manifestation of their disease. This makes seeking help difficult for families and love ones trying to address the illness. Many times, without the acquiescence of the sick individual, everyone, including medical and primary care practitioners are unable to intervene without a court order. This can be daunting to family and significant others trying to get treatment for the ill.

Since the 1980’s, institutionalization of the mentally ill has been frowned upon but there was a concurrent reduction in both federal and state budgets in providing outpatient services for this population. This contributed to the explosion in homelessness, crime and subsequent incarceration. This has always been a shadow illness because of the shame, perceived or real, that was associated with those suffering. Families afraid of the whispers and innuendo tend to hide the afflicted. Drugs as well as biochemical imbalances or genetics induce some mental illness. I say… SO WHAT!!!! Whatever the cause, it is past time to look at mental illness squarely and to address the inequities of funding and services necessary to combat this epidemic.

The experience that I obtained dealing with mental illness in my family prepares me to explain some of what you may encounter as you deal with this trauma. You must persevere; it will be a long arduous journey that you embark. There is success and relapse, sorrow and jokes, laughter and heartache; all those things that are associated with mental illness. This is no soft sell. This is hard, very hard. Because the science is not absolute and treatment is as much an art as it is a science, the ill may have a varying degree of cure. And yet, sometimes a treatment fits like hand and glove. It almost seems like magic when you see the cloud that has settled between you and the ill part and reveal the person you have been searching for, for so very long. You will need to vigilant because that cloud can separate you again and again. Be prepared for the frustrations as well as the miracles.

There are support groups and associations that can be very helpful in assisting you to get the help you or your love one needs. Do not be afraid to confront the disease, denial is a recipe for disaster. Talk to your friends. TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS!!!! That is why they are friends, to help you when times are difficult not when times are good. Seek medical advice as well as the advice of mental illness specialists. I know this all sounds reasonable but I have learned that we tend to function at diminished efficiency when we are in the eye of the storm and this is indeed a very frightening storm. All Managed Care and Long Term Care agencies have provisions for mental health services. All HMO’s have provisions for clients with mental illness that can be accessed. There is a political element as well that must be addressed. When Congress or local and State government attempts to reduce the funding for mental illness related services you must be prepared to fight to retain those services. We owe it to memory of the twelve victims of this last shooting or the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School or Aurora, Co, or Tucson, Arizona or…….They are Dead and I Choose to Mourn Publicly

For more information on Mental Illness and Support:
Mental Health Association of NYC
Office of Mental Health NYS
Mental Health Related Support Groups
The Mental Health Association of Suffolk
Suffolk County Division of Community Mental Hygiene Services
Open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday 853-8500 

In the Know……Can a visit to the Dentist be relaxing?

tannersWhen you say dentist to some people they freak out and the anxiety starts to seep in but I think that Dr. Paul Tanners, a very prominent NYC Prosthodontist has found the solution to getting those anti-dentist people into his office. Welcome to the Dental Spa, a practice on Madison Avenue and 53rd Street. Dr. Tanners offers both dental and spa services in one convenient Manhattan location.  Dr. Tanners, his dental colleagues and staff, are dedicated to your dental health, your physical well-being and your emotional comfort.

Patients emerge from their dental appointments totally relaxed and more confident, with bright, healthy smiles. His office specializes in Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative, Reconstructive Implants, Occlusal Disease, Advanced dental Technologies and Spa Services.

One patient on Yelp said this about Dr. Tanners.

At the conclusion of all of this work, I have to say that Doctor Tanner practices his art like a master craftsman, to a very high standard.  He is also a nice man with a friendly human touch, sense of humor, easy to talk to and to question.  And he is happy to explain treatment details for the curious patient. Finally, he has a highly competent hygienist whom it’s actually a pleasure to visit for routine care.”images-6

Dr. Tanners and his lovely wife, Phebe Berkowitz Tanners, former Executive Stage Director of the Metropolitan Opera, have vacationed in Southampton for the last 15 years and last weekend they celebrated their collective birthdays and wedding anniversary at Delmonico’s, Southampton.  Joining them to celebrate the trilogy of events was their son, Jonathan Tanners – co-founder of The Rap Insider, award-winning jam maker and restaurateur,  Sarabeth and Bill Levine along with many other friends.  A great time was had by all at the newly opened Delmonico’s and all touted the spectacular service and excellent food by executive chef, Billy Oliva.

Who knows, maybe Dr. Tanners will bring his successful Dental Spa to the Hamptons. I’ll ask you, my images-7readers, is this a service that you would consider using? Is it possible that we really do not have to associate pain with going to the dentist? Can dental care at the Dental Spa change the way we think and help us to stop fearing the dentist and subsequently start going for regular checkup’s. Contact Dr. Tanners at the Dental Spa ( ) when you’re in NYC and tell him, Hamptons Mouthpiece said hello!


I have wanted to share with you a personal story that affected my family regarding Lyme disease, an accidental diagnosis. I thought it was imperative to share my story with you because if it could happen to me, then it could happen to you.  I wish I had someone to share his or her story with me before going through the turmoil of a child’s sickness.

Back in December 2012 my youngest daughter started complaining about excruciating headaches. I took her to see her doctor and he looked into her nostrils, checked her ears, diagnosed her with a sinus infection and prescribed an antibiotic for her. After one week on the medication her headaches did not improve and I contacted the doctor’s office to tell them that the medication was not working He suggested I get a nasal spray to treat the ‘sinus infection’ and so I did. Another week goes by and the headaches are not subsiding and I requested to bring her in. At this time I asked if she could have a Lyme disease test because I remembered when I had Lyme, I had similar symptoms. Living in a deer infested area it is usually the first thing you think about but not the first thing you get tested for. I was told, based on the medication that had been prescribed for the sinus infection, if she did have Lyme, the medication would have taken care of the disease.  The doctor told me my daughter had a chronic sinus infection and proceeded to keep her on the same medication for another week. He told me that usually most patients need two weeks on this medication before they will start to feel better. I believed him because he was my doctor for nearly 13 years and I trusted that he was giving me his best medical advice.

My daughter was still having these intense headaches and I am picking her up early from school 3x per week. She is missing classes and yet she was still pushing herself because she did not want to fall behind in school. We were at our wits end because she was going to sleep with the headaches and waking up with them and they were lasting for the entire day. We called our doctor once again to say the medication was not working and we needed to do some tests to see what was the problem. I decided to skip going to our family doctor and requested a referral to see a specialist. I then took her to ENT Specialist (Ear*Nose*Throat) and he sprayed something in her nose and she felt relief for a couple of hours. The ENT took some cultures and recommended that I invest in a night guard for her to bite while she slept to help with her headaches which he indicated might be occurring from clenching and grinding of the teeth. I was crazy with worry and willing to try anything but I chose not to buy this product because I did not think all of a sudden she was getting headaches from her teeth clenching at night.

We are now in February with my daughter is still having these headaches. The day before the huge snowstorm in NY, the ENT was supposed to call me with the results of the culture and yet he does not call. I called the office and was told he was busy with another pressing issue and had his receptionist call me to tell me my daughter’s results were negative; yet, he wanted my daughter to take some drug that he had the nurse call into the pharmacy. I blew a gasket. How dare he just call in a prescription without discussing with me about this medication, side-affects, directions for taking the drug but most importantly why was he prescribing this steroid for my 13-year-old.

I had to file a formal complaint and later that day he calls me to apologize for his oversight. Two days later, we were at his office and he tells me that he wanted my daughter to have a CT-scan. Given his earlier unprofessionalism, I opted to NOT go with his recommendation and I scheduled an appointment to see a pediatric neurologist at Columbia Presbyterian in NYC. I fought for an early appointment and was scheduled to see him within the week. We drove into the city and saw this specialist.  I was feeling good about the visit until in the middle of the appointment, in our presence, he takes a personal phone call and all professionalism goes out of the window. At this time my patience is running thin.  I get over my frustration and he diagnoses my daughter with chronic migraine headaches and prescribes a drug that required us to have her take a heart screening to make sure she could take this drug that had serious side effects and he also prescribed a MRI (MRI’s use less radiation than CT-scans and are indicated for use in children for diagnostic purposes). My daughter felt relieved that there was a name and hopefully a solution to stop the pain but I did not believe it was chronic migraines.

When we got back home I decided to schedule a full exam for her so that we could have blood-work and urine tests administered because I was not convinced this was a chronic migraine issue. The doctors were telling us she was under stress, it was all in her head, it was the food she was eating, and you name it. The day before her appointment she was so ill, throwing up, fever and stomach pains along with the migraine headaches. I called the doctor to ask to come in a day early. My doctor’s office staff was very rude and seemed not to care about the pain my daughter had suffered with now and everyday for 3 months. I was livid and at that moment called the insurance company and changed her doctor. My Facebook friends gave me a recommendation for a new physician and I called their office and they saw us within an hour. I decided that I wanted her to have a full physical with urine test, blood test and a Lyme test. The doctor questioned why Lyme and I explained to him that my gut was telling me to have this test done. To his credit, he did not disagree with my request. He conducted a through physical and personally scheduled the MRI because we were just thinking the worst (could she possibly have a brain tumor). It was the worst 3 months of my life. We were sleep deprived, uninformed and scared. The next day she had an MRI and she was so brave. It was important to keep her spirits up and keep our promise that we were not going to stop until she felt better. lyme-disease2

It is now the end of February and 4 days after our visit to the new physician, the results were in…my daughter had Lyme Disease The MRI test was negative. I was both relieved and angry. The doctor that I trusted and was his patient for 13 years had misdiagnosed my child and inadvertently caused her unnecessary pain for 3 months because he refused to do a simple Lyme test. It is very important to note that most doctors are unfamiliar with the procedures and indications for testing for Lyme disease. The rule of thumb in the Hamptons is, if all other diagnosis fails and there are symptoms of unknown origin in children and adults, test for Lyme. It is more important in children because many times, they will not express if they are feeling sick and just think that feeling bad is a ‘new’ normal for them.

What if I was not a hands-on parent? What if I did not have health insurance? What if I did not fight for my child, how long could this have prolonged. She was immediately placed on a very high dosage of antibiotics (500mg cefuroxime axetil twice a day which is a recommended treatment for Lyme). This medication started to work and she started feeling better in 2-3 days but diarrhea was a side effect. Some antibiotics will kill the normal bacteria that live in our bowel. Since my daughter does not like yogurt (the natural way to restore normal bacteria) my pharmacist recommended a probiotic, Florastor for Kids; that helped restore the good bacteria in her bowel. I just mixed it applesauce and gave it to her one hour before she was scheduled to take her medication.

I built her body back up with lots of green vegetables like black kale, broccoli, Brussels sprout and healthy choices. Within 2 weeks she was feeling back to her normal self. It did take an entire month on the medication before she had no more headaches. It has been 5 months since her last headache.

My friends, I share my story with you because this really could happen to you or your loved one. When an unexplained illness just appears and you know that you have been in an area with ticks, demand a Lyme test just to rule it out. I am no expert on Lyme but I have learned what an insidious disease this is. I am just a mother who was fighting for my child’s life and demanding excellent healthcare services. It is my hope that I have reached at least one person discussing Lyme disease, an accidental diagnosis. 

For more information on Lyme Disease click here..

* is important to know that everyone does not get a bulls-eye rash…often times some do not even know they were bitten by a tick. 

Special thanks to Kurt Leggard, for providing health facts in this article.
Kurt Leggard is a Registered Nurse and specializes in Long term and elder care.