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July 2021

20 york street 

YNHH, YNHCH ranked among best in the nation  

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH) continue to rank among the top hospitals in the United States according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual listings.

Of the nearly 5,000 hospitals surveyed, YNHH ranks nationally in 8 of 16 specialties. Yale New Haven Hospital ranked #11 in Psychiatry. In addition, YNHH also performed well in Geriatrics (#21), Pulmonology (#27), Diabetes and Endocrinology (#33), Neurology and Neurosurgery (#42), Gastroenterology (#45), Gynecology (#47) and Ear, Nose and Throat (also at #47).

YNHCH, the top-ranked children’s hospital in Connecticut and second-ranked hospital in New England, was selected among the best children’s hospitals in the nation for six out of 10 pediatric subspecialties. 

YNHCH is nationally ranked in diabetes and endocrinology; neonatology; nephrology; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; pulmonology and lung surgery; and neurology and neurosurgery.

“We are very pleased to be named again to the U.S. News & World Report ‘America’s Best Hospitals’ listing,” said Keith Churchwell, president, Yale New Haven Hospital. “This national recognition comes at a momentous time in health care. The talent and dedication of our entire medical community, coupled with the advances in treatments is a reflection of the on-going commitment to those we serve at a time when the focus and needs of health care continue to change daily. As Connecticut’s top-ranked hospital, we are proud to provide the highest level of care to patients and families hand-in-hand with innovative research in an academic environment.”

“Our consistent ranking each year as Connecticut’s top children’s hospital means families from across our state and region benefit greatly. Vital to improving outcomes and supporting the growth of our programs is our nationally recognized leadership in quality and safety initiatives, and our commitment to recruiting and retaining top physicians and hospital staff,” said Cynthia Sparer, Yale New Haven Hospital senior vice president, Operations, and YNHCH executive director.

The “Best Hospitals” rankings rely on clinical data and on an annual survey of specialists. The ranking methodology factors in objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival, discharge-to-home rates, patient volume and nursing quality. In addition, patient outcomes, clinical services and processes, and compliance with best practices are also considered. Read the entire national listing on U.S. News & World Report.

Program helps kids with lingering COVID-19 symptoms

Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital launched the Children’s Post-COVID Comprehensive Care Program for children experiencing persistent symptoms following a COVID-19 infection.

Offered at the Pediatric Specialty Center within the Children’s Hospital in New Haven, the program gives children and families easy access to a network of pediatric experts in infectious disease, pulmonology, cardiology, rheumatology and neurology in one visit, said Elijah Paintsil, MD, pediatric infectious disease, YNHCH.

Often, when children contract COVID-19, symptoms improve and then resolve after a few weeks. Sometimes, however, children experience ongoing symptoms for weeks or even months after their initial illness – a phenomenon commonly called “long COVID.” Effects can include:

  • inability to tolerate strenuous activity
  • anxiety
  • chest tightness
  • cognitive difficulties
  • extreme fatigue
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • muscle pain 
  • shortness of breath

 “From the teenager who had COVID several months ago and still has chest tightness, to the younger child who had minimal COVID symptoms but now has headaches, we need to support our children and families who are no longer positive for the virus yet still have symptoms,” said Rebecca Ciaburri, RN, system director, Quality and Safety and Program Development, YNHCH.

“Children who had even mild or asymptomatic COVID may have long-term symptoms that will require support from specialists to achieve the best outcomes,” said Cheyenne Beach, MD, pediatric cardiologist, YNHCH. “We have every reason to believe that with the right medical care, children will do well.”

In addition to addressing persistent symptoms after COVID-19, YNHCH offers programs involving return-to-sports clearance for children who had COVID-19, along with management of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). To learn more, visit ynhch.org.

Hernia repair without the hospital stay at Shoreline Medical Center 

Could the pain in your belly or groin be a hernia? Yale New Haven Hospital offers comprehensive digestive health services to diagnose, treat and help people manage a range of gastrointestinal symptoms and conditions, including all kinds of hernias. Now, thanks to new technology, patients can have their hernias repaired closer to home and save a trip to the hospital. 

Last year, doctors at YNHH’s Shoreline Medical Center in Guilford performed the state’s first robotic hernia repair using the DaVinci Xi in an outpatient ambulatory setting. The successful procedure was performed in just under two hours.

 “The DaVinci Xi robot is the very latest and best available technology. It has opened new doors and given our Digestive Health team and patients new opportunities for advanced hernia repair,” said Andrew Duffy, MD, medical director of the Hernia Program, associate surgical chief of Digestive Health for Yale New Haven Health and associate professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine. “To actually have this technology here at Shoreline Medical Center allows us to do these types of operations and procedures that we would normally do in a regular hospital setting.”

A noticeable lump or bulge in the abdomen or groin may be a hernia. In many cases, the bulge may come and go. Both men and women can develop hernias, but men are more likely to have groin hernias. 

Other symptoms of hernia may include:

  • The bulge can be pushed back in or goes in spontaneously.
  • The bulge may be more prominent with lifting, straining or coughing.
  • The bulge may be more noticeable or uncomfortable at the end of a long day, when you have been on your feet.
  • Straining on the toilet or to urinate may cause the bulge to appear or become uncomfortable.
  • A tender, hard lump that develops can indicate that emergency attention is required.

It is important to call your doctor if you suspect you have a hernia. Waiting too long could result in a trip to the emergency room. A doctor is normally able to see or feel a bulge from a hernia during a physical exam, but some cases might require a CT scan, ultrasound or other imaging to diagnose the condition accurately.

Minimally invasive approaches, including robotic and laparoscopic surgery, are often recommended. Advantages of robotic surgery include three-dimensional images of the inside of the abdomen (as opposed to the two-dimensional in laparoscopic surgery), smaller scars and less pain. After the procedure is completed, the surgeon closes the small abdominal incisions with a stitch or two or with surgical tape.

“Robotic surgery for hernia repair provides our patients a much faster, greatly improved recovery period,” Dr. Duffy said. “They’re going back to work sooner and back to recreational activities sooner with a lot less pain when compared to open surgery."

For more information about YNHH’s Hernia Program, call 203-785-6060.

The facts about sunscreen and cancer

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) recently recalled five of its spray sunscreen products after low-level traces of benzene, a chemical linked to blood cancers, were found in some product samples. Medical experts emphasize, however, that it’s still important to keep slathering on the SPF to protect your skin. 

“Sunscreen has been proven to reduce the cancer-causing mutations caused by the sun. As part of an overall sun-protection program, regular use of sunscreen can not only help reduce skin cancer and melanoma but reduce the aging and wrinkling of skin caused by the sun,” said David J. Leffell, MD, a dermatologist with Yale Medicine.

About one in five Americans will have skin cancer in their lifetime, with basal cell carcinoma being the most common type of skin cancer. 

Dr. Leffell says people shouldn’t think that all sunscreens are going to cause cancer, despite the recent recall. “Only a relatively few sunscreen products were affected, and all of them are aerosol products,” he said. Because benzene is most likely to evaporate before it is absorbed through the skin, the chances of dangerous exposure levels are very low. Inhaling it can be more of a risk, which is why J&J voluntarily recalled the affected aerosol products. 

“Avoid the spray sunscreens to be on the safe side – but don’t neglect sunscreen use,” said Dr. Leffell. If you are using a spray sunscreen, he suggests that you avoid applying it in enclosed places like the bathroom, avoid inhaling concentrated doses and hold your breath while applying the products.

It is also important to protect yourself year round. Dr. Leffell recommends wearing a mineral sunblock with SPF 30 or higher every day, even in the winter. You will need a shot glass-sized amount of sunscreen to cover your whole body. If you’re outside for a prolonged period of time, wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats and avoid the sun during peak hours. And if you notice a mole has changed shape or color, it’s time for a dermatologist to take a closer look.

The J&J recall involves four Neutrogena sunscreen versions — Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen and Ultra Sheer aerosol sunscreen — and Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen. 

If you have one of the recalled sunscreens, Johnson & Johnson recommends getting rid of it and contacting the company with questions or to request a refund at 1-800-458-1673. If you have any questions related to using one of these sunscreens, contact your doctor.

Urgent need for blood in August

Connecticut and the rest of the nation are experiencing severe blood shortages. All blood types are needed, particularly type O, as well as platelets, to help ensure patients get the care they need.

The American Red Cross will hold a series of blood drives at YNHH, 55 Park St., second floor:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 4, 7 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tuesday, Aug. 10, 9 am - 2 pm
  • Thursday, Aug. 12, 9 am - 5 pm

To sign up, visit redcrossblood.org and use YaleNHHosp as the code, or call 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

Blood is always in high demand. According to the Red Cross, which provides about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply, U.S. patients require a total of 7,000 units of platelets and 36,000 units of red blood cells per day. 

Take a walk with YNHH doctors

Take a walk and chat with local healthcare providers as part of Yale New Haven Health’s Get Healthy Walk ‘N Talk with a Doc. Walks are every Saturday from now through Sept. 25 at the Farmington Canal Greenway Trail in New Haven. All ages and fitness levels are welcome! 

Please arrive by 8:45 am on each walk day. Walks begin at the entrance on the corner of Shelton Avenue and Starr Street and last approximately one hour. Masks are required, and we will follow social distancing and safety measures. Parking is available at New Freedom Missionary Baptist Church, 280 Starr St., New Haven.  For more information, email Andy Orefice or call 203-688-5671.

A place to stay for family members

Did you know that Yale New Haven Hospital has a hotel for families and caregivers of patients who are admitted for short- or long-term inpatient hospital care? Located at the corner of Dwight Street and North Frontage Road in New Haven, The Suites at Yale New Haven is just two blocks from YNHH’s York Street Campus, Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven and Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, and a short distance from YNHH’s Saint Raphael Campus. A shuttle is provided between the two campuses. Patients who prefer a day of rest before traveling home may book a stay at The Suites as well. 

The Suites offers all the comforts of home in a warm, welcoming setting. It includes 24 suites with extended stay options. Each suite, with full kitchen, can be reserved daily, weekly or monthly. A stay at The Suites includes complementary parking, wireless internet access, business center, exercise room, onsite laundry, 24-hour security and a 24-hour escort service to and from the hospital. 

Reservations are recommended. Call 203-654-7500 for details.

MyChart: Your medical information in one place

MyChart gives Yale New Haven Health System patients secure, online, 24/7 access to portions of your electronic medical record (EMR). There you can see your medical history, most laboratory and test results, appointment information, medications, allergies, immunizations and other health information. You can schedule appointments with your doctor, request or renew prescriptions, pay your bill, and send and receive secure, confidential electronic messages with your doctor’s office. Sign up by using the activation code on the after-visit summary from your doctor, request a MyChart Activation Code at your next appointment or visit mychart.ynhhs.org and tap or click on “New User?”

Find a Doc at YNHH

YNHH provides free information about and referrals to more than 2,600 affiliated physicians 24 hours a day. Call 888-700-6543 or visit our Find a Doctor feature on the hospital website for information on physician specialties, office hours and locations as well as insurance plans accepted. Many of our physician practices offer telehealth video visits for your convenience. YNHH physicians represent more than 70 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties, including internal medicine/family practice, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics and psychiatry.

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Make a lasting impact at YNHH

Help support the mission of Yale New Haven Hospital with a donation! Your contributions support vital programs, services and facilities within the hospital and help keep Yale New Haven at the forefront of innovative treatment. When you make a gift to YNHH, you are part of the advanced medicine and compassionate commitment that touch so many lives in our community. 

Billing questions?

Yale New Haven Hospital offers financial counseling to patients and families. Spanish-speaking counselors are also available. To make an appointment with a financial counselor, call 855-547-4584.