All posts by Matthew O'Sullivan

Cornerstone Makes Strides Against Breast Cancer

Team Cornerstone Breast Friends was proud to participate in Hudson Valley’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets on Sunday, October 17, 2021.

The American Cancer Society started Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks to unite communities in the fight against this deadly disease. Today, Making Strides is the largest network of breast cancer events in the nation. The money raised for Making Strides helps the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking breast cancer research and provide patient services like free rides to chemo, free places to stay near treatment, and a live 24/7 cancer helpline.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month—a time when we can work together to raise hope and awareness for breast cancer treatment, research, and education. Breast cancer is a disease that affects both men and women and is among the most common cancers. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Early detection is the best protection! Women are encouraged to perform monthly breast self-exams and schedule regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.

If you would like more information about breast cancer, have questions about how to perform a breast self-exam, or would like to schedule an appointment with a Cornerstone Family Healthcare provider, please call 845-563-8000.

FDA Grants Full Approval to Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

On August 23, 2021 the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older– further proving that the vaccine is safe and effective.

The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

More than 204 million of the Pfizer shots have been administered, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have not received the vaccinated yet, please do it now. It could save your life and the lives of those you love. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for yourself or your loved one, please contact Cornerstone Family Healthcare at 845-563-8000 or register online by clicking here.

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock.

“While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA approved Covid-19 vaccine, the public can be confident that this vaccine meets the FDA’s gold standard for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality that we require for an approved product,” said Dr. Woodcock. ” While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated.”

Learn more:…/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine

Third COVID-19 Dose for Immunocompromised

Third COVID-19 Dose Recommended for Immunocompromised Individuals

The New York State Department of Health has authorized a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for New Yorkers with compromised immune systems, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation last week. Eligible New Yorkers can receive their third dose 28 days after the completion of their two-dose vaccine series, effective immediately.

The CDC is currently recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose, including people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood;
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medications to suppress the immune system;
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system;
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome);
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection;
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, cancer chemotherapy that causes severe immunosuppression, or other medications that may suppress your immune response.

At this time, CDC does NOT recommend additional doses or booster shots for people who aren’t immunocompromised.

Patients  should contact their healthcare provider about whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them at this time. For more information, please call Cornerstone Family Healthcare at 845-563-8000.

Updated August 16, 2021 

Tick Safety: What You Need to Know

It’s peak tick season. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.

Make sure to do regular tick checks on you and your children after spending time outdoors. If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic—the key is to remove the tick as soon as possible. Here are some helpful tips from the CDC:

  1. Never crush a tick with your fingers! Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin.
  3. After removing the tick, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  4. Dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet. If you would like to bring the tick to your healthcare provider for identification, put it in a sealed bag/container or take a picture to help identify it.

Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, clothing, backpacks, etc.

If you are feeling sick, or have developed a fever or rash following a potential tick bite, please contact your doctor for an appointment. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.

For more information, please call your Cornerstone Family Healthcare provider at 845-563-8000.


How to Find a Doctor Who Accepts Medicaid in Hudson Valley

Medicaid is the nation’s public health insurance program that targets people with low income. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that Medicaid covered approximately 75 million low-income Americans by 2017. Children account for more than 43% of all enrollees, while the elderly and disabled account for one in every four enrollees.

Medicaid finances approximately a fifth of all personal health care spending in the US. Sadly, the largely low-income health care consumers may have a notoriously difficult time finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid and in a reasonable amount of time. Constantly changing and low reimbursement rates in addition to administrative requirements for public insurances make most local family doctors avoid accepting the coverage. Here is how to locate a doctor who accepts Medicaid.

1. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Physician Compare

Medicaid is a structural federal and state partnership, subject to federal standards. States administer the Medicaid programs and have flexibility in determining covered services, health care delivery models, and methods for paying physicians and hospitals. Visiting your local state health department website should be the first step. Physician Compare by the CMS allows you to search a practice’s name, medical specialty, medical condition, or organ system. You can access a list of physicians that accept Medicare. Most practices also accept Medicaid, making it an excellent directory for finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid.

2. Online Directories

You may also find state Medicaid provider directories that list doctors, hospitals, medical equipment, pharmacies, and specialty services. Most directories allow you to input a zip code to help you choose a doctor who accepts Medicaid within your location. You can also narrow your search through various ranking factors such as provider’s language, specialty type, hospital affiliation, or gender. You may also learn about office hours, board certifications for participating physicians, and whether the offices are accepting new patients.

3. Partner Insurance Companies

States often contract health care insurers that interface with physicians, medical facilities, and patients to facilitate payments. You may need to find out the insurers that provide Medicaid benefits within your state. For example, the New York State Medicaid Managed Care Plan is offered through United Healthcare Community Plan. Contacting such insurers can help you locate an in-network Medicaid doctor in Hudson Valley.

4. Call the Office for More Information

Another way to find a doctor who accepts Medicaid is by contacting your doctor’s office. You can reach out to your family doctor and inquire whether they accept the coverage. Additionally, find out whether they are accepting new patients. You can acquire clarification and answers to any queries that you may have.

5. Do Your Research

You can request your friends and family to recommend doctors that they know that accept Medicaid. You can schedule an appointment with the physicians, having your card in hand. A quick search online for the family clinic can help you know if they accept Medicaid coverage. Community health centers are another excellent option to check out.

Medicaid programs play a critical role in availing affordable health care to low-income families across the nation. Finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid can be quite challenging. If you are searching for a Medicaid-friendly doctor in Hudson Valley, reach out to Cornerstone Family Healthcare.

Advantages of Comprehensive Family Medical Clinics

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 27.5 million people did not have health insurance at any point during 2018. This statistic is worrisome given that health care is not a luxury, but rather a basic necessity. It is important for everyone to have access to good health services, and our family clinic aims to see this vision realized.

Benefits of a Family Clinic

While you may need to head to the emergency room for emergencies, not every health condition warrants the title ’emergency’. Specialists will help with certain conditions, but a family clinic can cover you for annual wellness visits, diagnostic testing like blood tests, managing chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes, and many others.

A family physician is usually the first stop for many people whenever they develop a health issue and for this reason, it is important to have one. Comprehensive family medical clinics provide entire families with a long list of services and are better able to successfully diagnose and treat a wide array of complications.

Some other benefits that they provide include:

  • More convenience because your entire family can be seen by one physician, so setting up appointments is straightforward for everyone.
  • Higher quality care because seeing the same doctor over time gives them a good idea of your health issues. When a doctor knows how your health has been progressing, they can treat you more efficiently.
  • Family clinics can provide a wider spectrum of health services for you because they have your personal records. It is easy for them to provide health care up to minor surgery levels and even pregnancy-related issues, among others.
  • Because they know your needs well, they can provide you with accurate referrals to specialists or other hospitals where they know your needs will be fully met.
  • Beyond being your doctor, the physicians at family clinics are your confidants who can help you through a potentially embarrassing or personal issue that you would not be comfortable sharing with anyone else.

Going to comprehensive family medical clinics has many more far-reaching effects, including lowering the national healthcare expenditure. This is because places where people see family physicians record lower numbers of emergency room visits and hospital admissions in general. With family medical clinics, great healthcare is closer to most people than they realize.

Mental Health Awareness in the Midst of a Pandemic

Provider blog by Dr. Ryan Meshulam, MD, MS

March of 2020 was an unimaginable and impactful month that changed the trajectory of not only the year, but perhaps the foreseeable future of this country and the world. Not since the Spanish Flu of 1918 has our country had to deal with such uncertainty that inherently comes with a Pandemic. The thought that such a catastrophic event could happen in our lifetime and change the way we live seemed unfathomable for many, and the subsequent aftermath continues to be unsettling as we all navigate our “new normal”.

The physical ailments caused by COVID-19 have affected hundreds of thousands of individuals in this country alone, and countless more around the world. Some people recovering from this virus have even had long-lasting and persistent symptoms. Many more people have untimely lost their lives or the precious lives of someone near and dear. Therefore, it is a fair assumption to make that many, if not all, of us have been impacted by the Pandemic on some level.

The ripple effect of 2020  has certainly shaken the stability of our mental health. Individuals, families, and professionals have faced a multitude of challenges, including financial burdens caused by job losses or an inability to adapt the workplace to a socially distant or remote setting. Additionally, care givers and educators have had to adjust to remote learning, while balancing the nuances of a daily routine. The challenges we have all faced in our personal and professional lives can make us feel mentally overwhelmed and exhausted. When that feeling of mental fatigue persists, it can negatively impact our daily functioning and our quality of life. Simply getting out of bed in the morning may seem like a chore for many as the “new normal” becomes monotonous. We may dread what the day has to bring and our energy may feel depleted. Moreover, a mental fog can take over, a change in appetite can occur, and an individual may not feel motivated or be able to pursue the activities that previously brought enjoyment to his or her life. When these feelings of dread and lack of motivation become prolonged for at least several weeks and the quality of life is greatly impacted, it is time to address it with a mental healthcare professional.

If you, a friend, or a family member are experiencing such symptoms, please know that you are most certainly not alone. Even if you did not experience any of the aforementioned symptoms prior to the Pandemic, there have been major stressors caused by these strange times and there is absolutely no shame in seeking help from a professional. Cornerstone Family Healthcare offers empathic support that is accessible to all members of the community. Even though recovery may take time, it is possible and feasible to achieve a sense or normalcy, stability, and happiness once again!

Health Care Workers Answer COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us kicks off with an open and honest conversation between W. Kamau Bell and Black doctors, nurses and researchers that gets to the heart of Black people’s questions about the COVID Vaccines.

This new campaign from KFF’s Greater Than COVID and the Black Coalition Against COVID launches with 50 FAQs designed to dispel misinformation and provide accessible facts about the vaccines from Black health care workers.

The campaign is produced by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), a nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues, and presented by KFF’s Greater Than COVID public information initiative and the Black Coalition Against COVID (BCAC).

Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH, a pediatrician and public health advocate, and Reed Tuckson, MD, Founding Member, BCAC, co-developed the series with KFF and BCAC. Jacob Kornbluth Productions worked with KFF and BCAC to create the videos.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming (January 14 to February 5, 2021). Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions.

For more information, please visit:

Register for your COVID-19 vaccine here

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