Do you pee in Morse Code??!?

September is prostate awareness month which is why I decided to focus on it for a moment. Most people have some level of awareness of prostate cancer, so I will start there.  It has a very high survival rate in part because men get checked regularly after the age of 50 or 55, depending on the comfort of your PCP, other health risks and family history.  I must take a moment to remind all of my trans women friends that regular prostate checks apply to you too, because the prostate is not removed during a vaginoplasty.   The prostate starts out […]

Things to Look for When Buying a Retirement Home

Retirees enjoy the freedom to move wherever they desire without a job or young family tying them down to their current location. Retirees often move during retirement, with a decent portion moving out of state. However, there are many things to consider before you book those movers and sell your house. Before selecting your dream retirement home, consider some of these things to help save you time and money down the line. Your Budget:Regardless of age, amenities play an important part in choosing a new home. Make a shortlist of what you need and want. Think about fitness, community activities, proximity, and maintenance. […]

Mental Health Moment – September is Suicide Prevention Month

By Deepak Prabhakar, M.D., Medical Director of Outpatient Services, Sheppard Pratt September is Suicide Prevention Month. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. was facing a suicide epidemic. Each day, we lose 132 lives to suicide—the highest suicide rate in more than 30 years, with a particularly disturbing increase in young people dying by suicide. This equates to about 48,000 lives lost each year to suicide. Now consider what COVID-19 and its accompanying uncertainties related to education, employment, financial struggles, and other issues have exacted on an individual’s mental health. The heightened uncertainty and anxiety coupled with the stress and […]

Tips for LGBTQ Youth and Families on Navigating a Virtual Return to School

This back-to-school season will be a unique experience for many LGBTQ youth and their families, with school districts in Maryland and elsewhere starting the year with entirely virtual learning. For some youth, this learning environment will bring relief from harassment and allow them to attend school in a safe environment. Others, however, may feel even more isolated and cut off from sources of social support and affirmation. We asked Dr. Elyse Pine, a provider with Chase Brexton Health Care’s Gender JOY program, for some advice on navigating a back-to-school season unlike any other. What unique difficulties can this uncertain, potentially […]

Flu Season 2020-2021: When Covid Meets Flu

Are there any changes to flu vaccine recommendations because of Covid? Is it more dangerous to get the flu vaccine during the Covid pandemic? Flu vaccine prevents or decreases the severity of influenza, which is a viral infection that mainly affects the lungs. Influenza, or “flu,” is a dangerous illness. It causes severe fatigue (“feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck”), headache, sore throat, dry cough, stuffy nose, and body aches. The flu can cause pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of medical conditions like heart failure, emphysema, asthma, and diabetes.            The word “flu” is often wrongly used to describe other […]

Camaraderie Yesterday And Today

Have you noticed that the way we relate to each other has changed since the invasion of social media in our lives? I hasten to add that that invasion has brought many positive changes as well.  But this pandemic, in its totally unexpected ways, has also affected those changes we have been living with, more often without focused attention. When our survival is threatened, as with this invisible virus infection, we react with emotion because the issue hits the amygdala, the brain center that is programmed to fend off the impending danger, as it should. However, we need to keep […]

Dry Eyes Have Many Causes

Dear Dr. Eva, I am having awful problems with dry eyes.  My eyes feel really dry all the time and sometimes they hurt. It’s been going on for months. I thought it might be allergies, but allergy pills didn’t help. I’ve tried different kinds of eyedrops, and they didn’t help much. I don’t have medical insurance. Can you suggest something? Dry Eye   Dear Dry, There are two major causes for dry eyes. The eyes make several different kinds of fluid that work together to keep the surface of the eyes moist.  When there is not enough of any of […]

Mental Health Moment: Managing “Back-to-the-New-Normal” Anxiety

By Molly Schiffer, LCPC, Center for OCD and Anxiety, Sheppard Pratt As a kid, one of my favorite things about going back to school was the back-to-school shopping. Aisles filled with brightly colored notebooks, folders, and backpacks, shiny and new. The idea of “back to school” did not just signal a new school year, it also signaled a new year, regardless of whether you had kids in school or not. But COVID-19 has altered our return to school. Even though TV commercials are still advertising flashy back-to-school sales, the feeling of excitement and enthusiasm about the new school year has […]

On National Health Center Week, Remembering Chase Brexton’s Roots

This week marked National Health Center Week 2020, an annual celebration to raise awareness about the missions and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past fifty years, including Chase Brexton Health Care. The theme for this year’s event was, “Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in The Future,” which I find very inspiring. Community Health Centers serve as a beacon of strength, service, and care in their communities. Personally, I am very proud to work in a community health center and to lead the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton. In fact, this amazing institution’s history […]

Where Do We Go From Here?

Some people focus on the immediate present, as in today and tomorrow. Some work on a much longer time frame, with monthly and yearly projections. Most fall in between or use a combination of both extremes.  Whatever works for you, the current situation is a huge challenge because it is almost impossible to predict where we will be down the road. Scientists offer their best facts and opinions. Will a vaccine come on the market? When? Will everyone have access to it? Maybe. Will it be effective? Perhaps 40-60%, like the flu vaccine. Does the virus mutate? How might the […]