Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Holy Name Medical Center Establishes Headache Treatment Program for Migraine Sufferers

Holy Name Medical Center has established a Headache Treatment Program for the care of adults, adolescents and children who suffer from intractable migraine headaches, and for whom conventional methods of therapy have failed. Holy Name neurologist James Charles,  MD, FAAN, FAHS, is medical director of the Headache Treatment Program, and is certified in headache medicine by the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties.

Under the direction of staff neurologists, intravenous medications are administered on an outpatient basis by nursing staff specially trained in the field of headache medicine to ensure maximum safety and effectiveness. Children and teens are treated on the Medical Center’s pediatric and young adult floor; adults are treated in the adult infusion center. Most patients require one visit; others may need repetitive, daily treatment for up to three days. Holy Name is the only facility in New Jersey offering infusion therapies to intractable headache patients of all ages.
Early intervention can re-set the brain’s headache mechanism

“Studies have demonstrated that, with early intervention, as soon as the patient is identified and that patient is placed onto an appropriate treatment program, the transformation to the malignant, disabling forms of migraine can be prevented,” explains Dr. Charles.  “This is a biological disease that is often genetic. A migraine attack lowers the threshold for more brain attacks. More brain attacks cause anatomic and functional alterations of the brain, setting the stage for more frequent and debilitating migraine headaches.”

According to Dr. Charles, infusion therapy is highly effective for patients with:
Ø       chronic migraines with and without medication overuse, who have failed multiple treatments to prevent or stop migraine symptoms, and who are disabled by their headaches but do not require or desire inpatient treatment

Ø       migraine headaches lasting longer than 72 hours and that do not respond to conventional medications

Ø       acute migraine attacks that last fewer than 72 hours, are debilitating, and not responsive to self-administered medications

Ø       prolonged aura

Ø       cluster headache exacerbation

Ø       new, daily persistent headache
“While most patients experience relief after an outpatient treatment, continues Dr. Charles, “there are those whose headache attack will not terminate after days and weeks, and there are some chronic migraine patients whose headaches do not respond to oral medications.  The Headache Treatment Program at Holy Name is designed for such patients. Children, teenagers, and adults are treated with the appropriate medications to break the vicious headache cycle, and leave our infusion center feeling better. The long- term goal is to reset the brain 's neurochemistry so that, in conjunction with targeted outpatient treatment, patients can go from frequent severe headaches to minimal headaches. “

“Lowering the burden of migraine starts with educating the public, especially parents and teachers,” notes Dr. Charles. “It is a misconception that an acute headache with nausea, vomiting, and the need for bed rest is due to conditions such as sinusitis, eyestrain or dental problems. “
Facts & Stats About Migraine Headache

Ø      The World Health Organization has placed migraine in the top 20 group of most disabling diseases of the world. 

Ø      In the United States, there are 28 million people over the age of 12 who suffer with migraines.

Ø      In the US, there are eight million children under the age of 12 who suffer with migraines.

Ø      Thirty percent of migraine sufferers never see a doctor because they have low-frequency intermittent headaches, experience occasional headaches, and do not require medical assistance.

Ø      Seventy percent of migraine sufferers fall into one of two categories: About 40% will have intermediate to high-frequency migraine attacks. The remaining 30% will transform to chronic migraine which is defined as more than 15 headache days per month.

Ø      Chronic migraine patients (adults and children) have decreased academic performance, impaired work productivity, and can become socially withdrawn.  
For more information about migraine headache or the Headache Treatment Program at Holy Name Medical Center, patients may contact Holy Name’s Call Center at 1-877-HOLY-NAME.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Embracing All Cultures - Holy Name Medical Center Korean Medical Program Recognized by NJBIZ

Holy Name Medical Center’s Korean Medical Program (KMP) has been named a finalist in the NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes awards program. NJBIZ, a business news publication, honors individuals and organizations who are making a significant impact on the quality of healthcare in New Jersey.
               Currently celebrating its fifth year of providing culturally and linguistically sensitive healthcare to the Korean-American population, the KMP has grown exponentially since its founding. Eighty physicians are associated with the program, and the number of annual patient visits to the Holy Name Medical Center (HNMC) campus and KMP satellite locations in Closter and Englewood Cliffs has grown to 40,000, a 90% increase over the program’s first year.
                HNMC has become the Korean community’s hospital of choice- where Korean-speaking patients and visitors are greeted in the lobby by Korean-speaking customer service representatives, patients are offered warm liquids instead of ice water and new mothers served seaweed soup, in keeping with their cultural traditions.   Through extensive media coverage in local Korean media outlets, the KMP is raising the population’s awareness of the importance of prevention, screening and early detection, particularly of illnesses that are prevalent in the Korean- American community.
Included among the programs and services offered  to the community are the Annual Community Health Fair where tests,  vaccinations, screenings,  and consultations are provided free of charge to 1500 uninsured/underinsured individuals; the Walk for Mom Breast Cancer Awareness campaign; Mental Health campaign; and Hepatitis B/Liver Health campaign.  The Asian Diabetes Center screens 2000 patients annually, and the Healthy You Program provides individualized health plans to reduce high cholesterol and improve overall health of participants.
                 Other programs have been created to meet the needs of the diverse community served by Holy Name. The Hispanic Outreach Program offers culturally-sensitive healthcare and screenings and seminars for Spanish-speaking individuals in churches, schools and libraries throughout Bergen, Hudson and Passaic counties.
Observant Jewish patients will find accommodations at Holy Name that include kosher meals for patients and guests, a Sabbath overnight room for family members, a Sabbath elevator, Sabbath lounge stocked with kosher snacks and two separate microwaves for meat and dairy, an interfaith chapel and end- of -life hospice and palliative care programs that have been accredited by the National Institute for Jewish Hospice.
Inspired by Holy Name’s founding order, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Peace, Holy Name is committed to helping our community achieve the highest attainable level of health.  It’s not just our job to serve every member of our community. It’s our mission.

For more information about Holy Name programs and services or for a physician referral, please visit or call 1-877-HOLYNAME (1-877-465-9626).