Forum: Take charge of your health

BY ALBERT AMATEAU  |  Dr. Max Gomez, the popular Emmy award-winning medical reporter, will lead a distinguished panel next week in a free community health forum sponsored by VillageCare and New York University’s Office of Civic Engagement.

“Take Charge of Your Health Today,” will be the focus of the event at the N.Y.U Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life, fifth floor, 238 Thompson St., from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

“In this difficult economy, navigating the labyrinth of healthcare presents enormous challenges. How to become your own best health advocate has become a necessity,” said Elizabeth Butson, chairperson of the event.

“Every person must take some responsibility for their own healthcare and management of chronic disease. That’s best done with a team effort by the individual, family, caregiver healthcare provider and the community,” said Tara A. Cortes, executive director of the Hartford Institute of Geriatrics and professor of geriatric nursing at N.Y.U. College of Nursing.

Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, director of the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Wellness program at the N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute, another panel member, said his focus was to first prevent disease and then, if it occurs, work with patients to regain health, strength and vitality to again participate in their own lives and in the community.

The panel, which will also include Kenneth Stewart, program director of VillageCare Health Home, and Connie Sixta, RN, Ph.D., MBA, a consultant, will answer questions from the audience.

Among the issues to be considered are communications between a patient and healthcare provider and between a patient and health insurance company.

Overcoming barriers to accessing a healthcare provider and finding community resources for managing chronic illness and for counseling on age-related health issues are also on the agenda.

The event is free but reservations are recommended by phoning the N.Y.U. Office of Civic Engagement at 212-992-7323. Light refreshment and printed health information will be complimentary.

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