How does stress affect your body?

We have all felt the impact of stress on our body one time or another whether we realized it or not. The Oxford dictionary defines “stress” as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. Below you will find a few examples of ways stress impacts your body.

Your Immune System

People under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like influenza and the common cold. It increases risk of other opportunistic diseases and infections. It can also increase the time it takes to recover from illness or injury.

Your Muscular System

Under stress, your muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury. You’ve probably felt your muscles tighten up and release again once you relax. If you’re constantly under stress, your muscles don’t get the chance to relax. Tight muscles cause headaches, back and shoulder pain, and body aches.

Your Digestive System

Stress causes your liver to produce extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. Unused blood sugar is reabsorbed by the body. If you’re under chronic stress, your body may not be able to keep up with this extra glucose surge, and you may be at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists common reactions to a stressful event as:

  • Disbelief and shock
  • Tension and irritability
  • Fear and anxiety about the future
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling numb
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nightmares and recurring thoughts about the event
  • Anger
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs
  • Sadness and other symptoms of depression
  • Feeling powerless
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches, back pains, and stomach problems
  • Trouble concentrating

Make sure you take time for yourself one in a while to avoid stress and figure out what works for you to relieve stress. If you believe that you are suffering from these symptoms, consult with your physician or call Cornerstone Family Healthcare at (845) 563-8000 to make an appointment today.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heart Disease Awareness

February is Heart Disease Awareness Month. About 610,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key heart disease risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors. If you have a medical condition like diabetes or are physically inactive, you can be at a higher risk of heart disease.

What can you do to make your heart healthy?

No Smoking: If you don’t smoke, don’t start. You should avoid secondhand smoke as best as you can.  Smoking increases blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance and increases the tendency for blood to clot.  Atherosclerosis is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up in the arteries. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body.

Healthy Diet: Choosing healthy meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease. You should eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol can help prevent high cholesterol. For example, eating fish, fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods can help your heart stay healthy. Something as simple as changing out white bread to whole wheat bread, using whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta, and cooking brown rice instead of white rice can make your heart healthier.  Limiting salt in your diet also can lower your blood pressure. All these small changes to your diet can lead you to a life without heart disease.

Physical Activity: Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. There are many types of exercise to keep your healthly depending on your physical capability. You can  go on a brisk walk or a similar moderate intensity workout. You could break it into 10-minute increments, 3 times a day. If you are physically able to run, 1 hour and 15 minutes would be enough every week for your aerobic workout. It is recommended that you do a muscle-strengthen activities on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Limit Alcohol Intake: Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women only 1. High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems are just a few of the long-term health risks that are associated with drinking.

Before starting any new diet and exercise program, please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dental Hygiene for Children








Alban Burke, DDS, FACD

Every February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and time to remind everyone of the importance of dental care for our kids.

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention almost 20% of children between 2 and 19 have untreated cavities and that more than 50 million school hours are lost yearly due to dental pain?

Dental problems can contribute to poor eating habits due to pain, loss of sleep due to pain and loss of confidence due to the inability to talk or smile. This is why it is important to keep your teeth healthy and practice good eating habits.

When should I bring my child to see a dentist?

As soon as the first baby tooth appears so you can discuss proper brushing and the use of a smear of fluoridated toothpaste twice daily.

How can I keep my child’s teeth healthy?

Brushing for 2 minutes 2 times a day and visiting your dentist 2 times a year will make a huge difference in your child’s dental health.

Tips for keeping a healthy mouth?

  • The major enemy is SUGAR. The sugar in juice, formula and breast milk starts the cavities process in infancy.  For this reason, put babies to bed with a bottle of water only and limit the use of sippy cups with anything other than water at bedtime. Sugar is all around in children’s diets and giving teeth a bath in sugar is a sure way to get cavities.
  • Brush, brush, brush! Brush teeth for 2 minutes 2 times a day.
  • Go to the dentist twice a year.
  • Don’t let your young children brush their own teeth. Keeping your child’s teeth healthy is really a parent’s job until at least 10 years of age. Yes, they want to do it themselves at a pretty young age but really do not have the hand coordination to brush well until about 10 years of age. Parents have to check, at least nightly, and go over missed areas.

Every Tooth Counts; Drive for A Mobile Dental Van

In honoring our mission of providing quality, comprehensive, primary and preventative health care, the health center is looking to grow with a Mobile Dental Van.
This van would help conquer two obstacles: cost and accessibility. Many individuals in our community do not have the funds to cover dental visits so they simply stop going. Access to transportation is a major problem in our community; those who need and want to go to the dentist are not able to because they physically cannot get there.


Cornerstone Family Healthcare has three dental offices- two in Newburgh and one in Goshen.

We can help you keep your children’s teeth healthy. To make an appointment, please call (845) 563-8000.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Teen Dating Violence

Andrea Giovinazzo, FNP-C

Everyone deserves to be in a healthy and safe relationship. Unfortunately, as teens form their first romantic relationships, they often are unclear about what constitutes a healthy relationship.  Communication is key to exercising mutual respect, establishing healthy boundaries and understanding each other’s needs.

At times , physical, verbal and/or emotional abuse erodes girls’ or boys’ self-esteem, making it more difficult to summon the courage to tell someone about the abuse, let alone end the relationship.

We at Cornerstone Family Healthcare can help guide you to the  community resources that would be the most beneficial for your individual needs. In addition to directing you to the programs that best fit your unique situation, the team at Cornerstone Family Healthcare specialize in patient-centered healthcare.  If chosen to be your medical home, our staff can work with you to organize a treatment plan that will be the best for your overall health while maintaining your privacy and strict patient confidentiality guidelines

What is Teen Dating Violence and how can you recognize it?

Dating violence is a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs between two people in a close relationship. The nature of dating violence can be physical, emotional or sexual.

  • Physical— This occurs when a partner is pinched, hit, shoved, slapped, punched, or kicked.
  • Psychological/Emotional— This means threatening a partner or harming his or her sense of self-worth. Examples include name calling, shaming, bullying, embarrassing on purpose, or keeping him/her away from friends and family.
  • Sexual—This is forcing a partner to engage in a sex act when he or she does not or cannot consent. This can be physical or nonphysical, like threatening to spread rumors if a partner refuses to have sex.
  • Stalking—This refers to a pattern of harassing or threatening tactics that are unwanted and cause fear in the victim.  Dating violence can take place in person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship. However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Staying Active at Work

There are over 100 million desk job workers in the United States. On average, these individuals work eight hours a day, five days a week for approximately 48 weeks in a year. Out of that time, five hours a day is spent sitting at your desk adding up to 1,200 hours a year. 1,200 hours a year is equal to 50 days and nights sitting down.

How do you manage your time at work to avoid help implications for all of that sitting? Here are a few tips on how to create a more active work day.

Walk and talk 
Rather than sitting at a table for your meeting, go for a walk outside somewhere at least 10 minutes away. The fresh air, physical activity and change of scenery may even make for a more productive meeting.

Stand up
Make a concerted effort to stand as often as possible; whether it’s to go and chat to somebody rather than emailing them, or parking your car further away from the entrance.

Step Up 
Walk up a couple of flights of stairs every hour or just simply choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Even use the restroom on the next floor instead of the one right outside your office or print to a printer on the next floor.

Wear Comfortable Clothes and Shoes

Numerous studies have shown that when you wear comfortable clothes and shoes to work you move more. Without a stuffy suit or uncomfortable shoes it is easier to be more active. Sometimes being fit and healthy is better than those fancy heels.

Arrange your Office for Movement

Rather than clump everything in your office into a single area, within an arm’s reach, spread it out. This will encourage movement throughout the day that will add up.

Make an appointment with a provider at Cornerstone Family Healthcare by calling (845) 563-8000 to see if your desk job is taking a toll on your health.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Substance Use Disorder

Judith Branche, MD

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week is a health observance week for teens that aims to shatter the myths about drug and alcohol use. This year, we recognize this observance from Monday, January 23rd through Sunday, January 29th. Dr. Judith Branche, MD of Cornerstone Family Healthcare’s Center for Recovery is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and has spent countless hours helping those who suffer from addiction in the Hudson Valley and beyond.

Substance use disorders (SUD’s) affect a significant portion of the population in New York State. Orange County is estimated to have at least 20,000 people who either qualify as having an SUD or whose drug use is categorized as ‘at risk’.

The country, as a whole, is in the midst of an opioid abuse epidemic and addressing this epidemic has become a priority with both federal and local officials. Part of the problem that exists in getting help to patients is the lack of sufficient treatment slots for the number of patients requiring treatment. Another significant problem is the lack of understanding of the problem for what it truly is.

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to explain what a substance use disorder really is. Addiction is a chronic disorder of the brain which affects brain chemistry in a significant way. This may be a new concept for many who believe that drug addiction is no more than a moral failing or a character defect that a person should be able to overcome if he or she puts their mind to it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Science has discovered the facts of this disease and we have thus come into a new era of understanding and treatment of addiction. Drugs of abuse affect communication in the brain disrupting normal chemical pathways and levels of neurotransmitters. These changes, in addition to being profound are chronic.

The key neurotransmitter affected because of addiction is dopamine; this chemical affects the reward system. All drugs of abuse initially increase the levels of dopamine in the reward system; this is what drives the seemingly uncontrolled cravings that occur with use of the drug of choice. But over time these levels actually drop to a subnormal level and more and more of the drug is required to achieve the same effect. In time, an addict must use the drug just to feel ‘normal’.  This is referred to as a resetting of “hedonic tone”. It takes a great deal of time, cognitive and other therapies, often along with medication to reverse this process. A person with a SUD who does not seek treatment and tries to quit on his own is almost assuredly doomed to fail.

Often there is misconceptions that treatment does not work. This too is untrue. Treatment works and the rates of success are similar to rates for other common illnesses such as diabetes and asthma. The problem is that people often don’t know where to turn for help.

The Center for Recovery at Cornerstone Family Healthcare offers comprehensive substance abuse treatment for all drugs as well as alcohol. Anyone who is dealing with a drug problem or knows someone who is, is encouraged to call us at (845)220-2146 for an appointment. Help is available.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Diabetic Friendly and Delicious Breakfast

Barbara Moschitta MPS, RD, CDN

Cornerstone’s registered dietitian, Barbara Moschitta regularly works with diabetics on their diet and how they can manage their condition. Here is one example of a meal Barbara recommends that you could try this year that is delicious and also healthy!


Low Carb Frittata

2 tsp canola or olive oil
6 scallions/green onions
1 medium bell pepper
1 cup broccoli
8 eggs or may combine or use egg substitute or egg whites to cut back on fat and cholesterol
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp ground oregano
1/8 tsp tabasco sauce
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch salt
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
(Recommended: low fat/part skim cheeses)

1. Cook the broccoli for 2 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Drain.
2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions, bell pepper, and broccoli. Sauté for 2 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, parsley, oregano, and hot sauce until the whites are completely incorporated. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
4. Sprinkle the cheese on the surface and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to low.
5. Cook without disturbing the egg mixture until the eggs are set, about 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.


Cornerstone Family Healthcare provides a program called Living Well with Diabetes. The next series begins Thursday, January 19 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. until April 6. In this program, the health education team works with participants on creating a plan to manage their diabetes. Participants learn how to control their symptoms and live their lives in a healthier way. Those who attend all sessions and complete the program will receive a $15 gift card.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Exercise as a New Year’s Resolution

Penelope Guccione, FNP, Cornerstone Family Healthcare


Many of us set New Year’s Resolutions that involve some level of restriction and include very strict rules. Rules are a huge factor when it comes to a lifestyle change, but may only last for a short period of time. After 28 days or maybe even 3 months, you are more likely to “fall off the wagon”.

So how do you keep your New Year’s Resolution of exercising?

  1. When setting a goal, make sure you set goals that are attainable and maintainable. Set rules that aren’t too stringent and that you will be able to maintain over the long term.
  2.  If you are starting from scratch with no prior exercise in your routine, start off slow. Start with exercising one day per week for 30 minutes, eventually increasing the number of days to three times per week. If you start the New Year by exercising 7 times per week; this plan is too much too fast and is not likely to be followed.
  3.  Make it enjoyable. Great types of exercise are running, swimming, biking, and weight lifting. If something feels less like work and more like fun, you will be more likely to stay consistent and committed.

Cornerstone Family Healthcare is holding Turbo Kick Live on Mondays, January 23rd & 30th from 5 – 6 p.m.  Maximize your workout with ab sculpting moves and fat burning cardio set to the hottest dance music. A $5 donation is requested but not required to participate. Since no experience is necessary, this would be a great way to start your resolution off and try a new workout.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Flu Season – What You Need to Know

Yes, it’s that time again – flu season is here! Learn how you can prepare for the flu this season in the following article.

What is the flu?
The flu (or influenza) is an extremely contagious virus that is known for causing a respiratory illness. Typically the flu has a rapid onset and may cause symptoms, such as: fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. The flu most commonly occurs during the winter months, but “flu season” is generally considered to extend from September to March. In most cases, the flu causes a self-limited infection; meaning it will make you sick and uncomfortable, but your body will destroy the virus. However, the younger and older populations, pregnant women, or any other individuals with weakened immune systems, are considered to be “at risk” or “susceptible” populations; meaning that these patients may require medical treatment or even hospitalization in order to successfully combat the virus.

How is the flu spread?
The flu is spread from person to person via droplets from a cough, sneeze or while someone is talking. These droplets then spread to nearby people’s mouths or noses, and ultimately to their lungs where the virus replicates.

How long am I contagious if I have the flu?
Most individuals are contagious as early as one day prior to the development of symptoms and up to five to seven days after becoming ill. Keep in mind that this means you are infectious both before and while you are sick.

How can I prevent myself from getting the flu?
Well first and foremost, you should receive the flu vaccine! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the vaccine as the most important way to prevent yourself from contracting the flu. Ideally, these vaccines should be administered before the onset of flu activity in a community (usually September to October). However, the vaccine can be given at any point during the flu season – it’s never too late! So if you haven’t already received one this season, then please come in for a flu shot today.

Additionally, take preventative precautions, such as: avoiding anyone who is sick, covering your mouth while sneezing/coughing, and washing your hands with soap and water.

Who should receive the flu vaccine?
Routine seasonal flu vaccine administration is recommended for all individuals aged > 6 months who do not have contraindications. Contraindications include: individuals who are allergic to eggs (anaphylaxis) and any individuals who had severe allergic reactions to previous flu vaccines.

The vaccine is available in a variety of different formulations, and the doses and strengths are dependent upon your age and health.

So if I’m allergic to eggs, I can’t receive the flu shot?
The typical flu vaccine (Fluarix, Fluzone) is prepared using a propagation of virus in embryonated eggs. So yes, that’s correct, if you are allergic to eggs, then you are not a candidate to receive the typical flu vaccine.

However, there is a brand new flu vaccine called Flubok that is produced with cell-based technology and does not contain any egg products. This vaccine is FDA approved for adults aged > 18 years and is suitable for anyone with a history of egg allergies.

I received my flu shot last year. Why do I need it this year?
The flu virus is constantly changing in order to adapt and survive. This process is called “drift,” and involves the virus mutating to form new strains of infectious particles. Each year, experts attempt to predict, which strains of the virus to include within vaccines. This process is executed by identifying the strains of the virus that were most prevalent from the previous year. It is a challenging process, but it generally provides strong coverage against the flu. And even if it isn’t a perfect match, it has been known to lessen the severity of symptoms associated with other flu strains.

Are there any antibiotics that I can take for the flu?
No, unfortunately antibiotics will not work for the flu because the flu is a virus and not a bacteria. However, there is an anti-viral called TamiFlu (Oseltamivir) that can be given within the first 48 hours of symptom onset. TamiFlu can decrease the duration of symptoms by one to two days. This medication can help reduce the severity of the flu, and could potentially prevent hospitalizations in those individuals who have pre-existing health conditions. So if you begin to develop flu-like symptoms, then be sure to see your medical provider for evaluation because treatment is available.

For more information about the flu, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at Schedule an appointment today at Cornerstone Family Healthcare, if you need a flu shot or are experiencing flu-like symptoms by calling (845) 563-8000.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Healthy Holiday Tips

Brighten the holidays by making your health and safety a priority. The CDC offered 12 steps to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy—and ready to enjoy the holidays.

  1. Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. It’s flu season. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
  3. Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
  4. Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
  5. Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
  6. Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
  7. Get exams and screenings. Ask your health care provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history. Get insurance from the Health Insurance Marketplace if you are not insured.
  8. Get your vaccinations. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
  9. Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
  10. Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
  11. Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.
  12. Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.

If you need assistance with health insurance visit Cornerstone’s Enabling Services department at 147 Lake Street Newburgh, NY or call (845) 563-8000.

Enjoy your holidays as much as possible by staying happy and staying healthy. Happy Holidays from Cornerstone Family Healthcare!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
  • Blog Authors

  • Providers involved include:

    Monica Francis, PA

    Avi Silber, MD, FAAP
    Tracy Lucas, FNP
    Adeola Ayodeji, MD, FAAP

    Chanchal Singh, MD
    Sneha Shrivastava, MD
    Penelope Guccione, FNP

    Julie A. O’Connor, CM, LM, MS
    Marian Seliquini, CM, LM, MS

    Koreen E. Thomas, FNP
    Andrea Giovinazzo, FNP-C

    Kate Michalak L.Ac., RPAC

    Alban Burke, DDS

    Neha Dada, O.D.

  • Categories

  • Archives