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OpEd - Willets Point—A Vibrant New Neighborhood in Queens

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Mayor Eric Adams unveils his administration’s vision for the next phase of the transformation of the Willets Point community in Queens. Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens. -Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office. By Mayor Eric Adams   NEW YORK - It’s time to create a New York City where working New Yorkers can have safe, affordable homes, find well-paying jobs, send their children to good schools, and live close to public transportation so that they don’t have to spend hours commuting. Willets Point in Queens, previously known as the “Iron Triangle” or the “Valley of Ashes,” was filled with auto repair shops, prone to flooding and lacked infrastructure.  Today, it offers our city a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a vibrant, thriving neighborhood from scratch.   The cornerstone of Willets Point will be 2,500 new homes that are 100% affordable. That’s the largest 100% affordable housing project in New York City since the 1970s. Man

Preventing Falls

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Experts Weigh in on Growing Threat Posed by Falls for the Vulnerable and Homebound By Allison Simms, Associate Director of Rehabilitation Services at VNS Health HEALTH - While often underreported, falls are a growing issue that cannot be ignored when it comes to senior health and safety. This September provides an opportunity to shine a light on this serious issue during National Fall Prevention Awareness Month.  With more than 3 million people each year being treated in emergency facilities for falls, fall prevention should be top of mind year-round. The statistics on home falls among seniors provided by the CDC are alarming, with roughly 25% of individuals 65 or older experiencing a fall each year. However, the numbers are actually much higher because less than half of falls are reported out of fear and embarrassment. For example, a mother may not tell her daughter that she fell out of fear of being put into a nursing home. In my role as Associate Director of Rehabilitati

Simple tips for beating the heat and keeping our loved ones, neighbors safe

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Simple tips for beating the heat and keeping our  loved ones, neighbors safe By Chandra Wilson  Bronx Voice  July 27, 2022 HEALTH - Across the country, Americans are experiencing record heat waves. In fact, what was once seen as extraordinary weather is becoming the new normal. Whatever the reason, as prolonged heat waves become more common, it’s important to have plans and tools in place for beating the heat.  Adults 65 years and older and people with chronic health conditions are especially vulnerable to hot weather, even over short periods of time. As people age, their ability to retain water and adapt quickly to temperature changes decreases, which means higher temperatures are more likely to put seniors at risk. With that in mind, here are a few tried-and-true tips recommended by experts like the New York City Department of Emergency Management and others, to help you and your loved ones stay safe during the summer. • Water, water everywhere! Staying hydrated is o

NYC Gun Running Ring Busted

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180 Weapons Seized from Gun Runners QUEENS DA MELINDA KATZ reviews illegal firearms seized during an 11-month-long investigation, with NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell and First Deputy Commissioner Edward Caban.  NEW YORK - Prosecutors announced the crackdown of a gun running ring in which 180 weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were seized in a 1,600 count indictment operating out of Queens and the Bronx.  Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, joined by New York City Police Commissioner Keechant L.Sewell, announced a 1,611-count indictment and the arrests of five individuals allegedly involved in a gun trafficking ring using the notorious Iron Pipeline to smuggle guns purchased in Knoxville, Tennessee, which were then sold illegally in Queens County. Law enforcement officials removed more than 180 illegal weapons from our neighborhoods, along with 136 high-capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition during the course of an 11-month-long investig

Bronx Man Guilty in Plank Beating

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19 Years for Beating Girlfriend with Nail Studded Piece of Wood James Fitzgerald pled guilty to assaulting then-girlfriend Victoria Chuminski with a plank of wood covered in nails. -Photo from social media NEW YORK - A Bronx man who made headlines for beating his girlfriend with a nail-studded piece of wood, has been sentenced to 19 years after pleading guilty, prosecutors said.  Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that James Fitzgerald, 55, has been sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder for the May 16, 2020, vicious beating of his estranged girlfriend. The victim was attacked by the defendant on the sidewalk in front of a fish market in Jamaica, Queens. The defendant kicked and punched the victim multiple times in the head before picking up a wooden beam embedded with nails to continue the assault. Katz said, “This defendant brutally attacked his former girlfriend nearly to death. It is a miracle that the victim survived, th

Gender-Affirming Care Seen as Compassionate Care at VNS

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Shannon Whittington, VNS Health Clinical Director of the Gender Affirmation Program (GAP) and Asia Lyons, VNS Health GAP Social Worker VNS health’s gender affirmation program shows the power of compassionate health care By Shannon Whittington, DNP, MSN, RN, CCM, Clinical Director of the Gender Affirmation Program (GAP) at VNS Health HEALTH - For some of us, we likely put little thought into whether a healthcare professional respects our gender identity. But as many nonbinary and trans patients have found, just filling out a form or introducing themselves can be a fraught experience. Will the provider respect and honor their identity? Will they be empathetic to their experience? Whatever your gender identity is, the truth is that everyone deserves compassionate, informed health care. Unfortunately, there is a dearth in care for nonbinary and transgender patients who receive gender affirmation surgery across the U.S., and many are recuperating alone at home, often with little or

Visiting Nurses Provide Speech Therapy

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For Speech-Language Pathologists, Actions Speak Just as Loud as Words By Chandra Wilson NEW YORK - From catching up with a friend over the phone, to telling a partner “I love you,” or being able to listen to your favorite song, the ability to see, hear, and communicate is an often overlooked but crucially important part of our health.  Having communication disorders or challenges is more common than many think, and there at least 46 million people across the U.S. who have a hearing or other communication disorder. Communication disorders are not only common but also can require specialized treatment. Those with hearing, speech, or other communication disorders often benefit from targeted help, which is where the work of Speech-language Pathologists comes in.   At  VNS Health,  one of the nation’s largest nonprofit home- and community-based health care organizations, Speech-Language Pathologists play an important role in helping individuals with communication disorders stay healthy and