BAY RIDGE — It was all about prevention and wellness at “An Evening of Health,” a joint endeavor sponsored by the Bay Ridge Community Council and Maimonides Medical Center.
The BRCC, well-known for its community service and volunteerism, hosted the event and introduced three top Maimonides medical professionals to talk about health concerns and preventive measures.
The health fair took place on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at St. Anselm Catholic Academy, 365 83rd St. Bay Ridge Community Council President Ralph Succar welcomed guests and First Vice President Ilene Sacco was the emcee.
Succar called the synergy between Maimonides and the BRCC a marriage made in heaven. “Here you have a community organization that really cares about its community as well as a medical center that also really cares about the community,” said Succar. He added that it was all about information and thanked Maimonides for providing it for free.
Kate Cucco, administrative manager at Maimonides, was delighted with the turnout. “Maimonides is really honored to come out to the community tonight and partner with a great civic organization with such a storied history in our community as the Bay Ridge Community Council,” Cucco told this paper. “We want to thank President Ralph Succar for partnering with us and being such a gracious host.”
Speaking at the event were Dr. David Silver, chief of urology and director, prostate cancer; Dr. Donna Marie Manasseh, director, breast surgery; and Dr. Edward Chapnick, director, infectious diseases.
Silver said that there were only two essential messages he wished to convey.
“The first message is hope,” he said. “The Prostate Center represents hope for all men in Brooklyn with prostate cancer or with concerns about prostate cancer. The second message is a call to action. Prostate screening saves lives. Just do it,” he added.
Chapnick said he was there to talk about the importance of getting a flu shot and how effective it is in preventing the flu. He also spoke about a new shingles vaccine that has a high success rate and said that even if someone has had shingles in the past, the new vaccine is necessary.
“Shingles is reactive,” he explained. “It’s the chickenpox virus. Even once the shingles goes away, the virus is still in your body. So, if you’re over 50, you should have the shot.”
Manasseh said that the most important thing one can do for breast cancer awareness is to educate people. “I can give you all the numbers about how mammograms save lives, all the numbers we have about how therapy can save lives, but if patients don’t come in to get the mammogram, come in to get the screening, it can’t save anybody’s life,” said Manasseh.
“The purpose of events like this is basically to educate the community and let them know that, number one, we are not very scary and that the disease is actually very treatable. We have lots of options for all stages of the disease, and I think the more you educate the community, the better our numbers are in terms of survival,” added Manasseh.
Guests had an opportunity to ask questions and interact directly with physicians, and there was a free PSA screening for anyone who wished to be tested.
Maimonides Prostate Center Coordinator Jeffrey Nguyen was available for the screenings. “We need to educate the public about prostate health,” Nguyen told this paper. “We’re here to talk to men between the ages of 45 and 75 about the importance of prostate screening. All men should be screened and those with a family history of prostate cancer must be screened.”
The event also included a dinner and refreshments courtesy of Leo Lykourezos and Max Delprior of Leo’s Pizza, Pasta & Calamari at 8502 Third Ave. in Bay Ridge.