WOMEN'S HEALTH INITIATIVE
More than 2/3 of BVMI’s patients are women
Many are employed in low-paying jobs, in small businesses and in service industries. They work long hours for little pay, many of them supporting young children as well as multi-generational families with aging parents. Few have the time – or the resources – to take care of themselves, and many who come to BVMI have not seen a doctor in many years.
Women require special treatment
The intake for all patients, regardless of gender, includes a comprehensive primary care examination.
Gynecological care becomes part of the follow-up care for women patients who have not had recent examinations and/or are determined through the primary care checkup to require additional care.
All women over the age of 40 who have not had a mammogram in the past 12 months are referred for the procedure.
OUR WOMEN'S HEALTH TEAM
We have a wonderful group
of gynecologists, social workers,
nurse practitioners, and family
care doctors who work hard to
provide our female patients
with the best care possible.
THE LIVES WE TOUCH
Body pain and frequent headache. This was the profile for “Martha,” who came to the U.S. from Columbia (and to BVMI) in 2010. Our medical tests found no specific medical problems or abnormalities.
Then Martha arrived for an appointment wearing an arm cast. Through an interpreter, she told us she fell while cleaning floors. After examining her, we provided a referral for physical therapy. But she continued to report headaches and body pain at future BVMI visits.
Clearer answers began to surface in May of 2013, when Martha told us of a domestic violence incident at home; her husband had been warned by police that he would be arrested if it happened again. We contacted Alternatives to Domestic Violence (ADV) in Hackensack to help. Martha was also advised to call Shelter Our Sisters (SOS) if she needed a place to stay. It took two more months for Martha to open up further to about her abusive situation. Our team educated her about resources and options, including the restraining order process.
By December 2014, Martha was tested for and diagnosed with osteoporosis; we began treatment with oral medication. Over the next year and a half, things at home got better, then worse. Martha became anxious, sad, depressed, and sleep deprived.
In May 2016, BVMI’s Nurse Practitioner Kay Fagan repeated a Patient Health Questionnaire, the PHQ-9, to Martha, to gauge her current level of depression. It was high. Martha agreed to try anti-depressant medication, and within a month, her symptoms improved. She was able to take a job she learned about through her church, caring for a young child in the afternoons. Martha has since told Kay that she truly enjoys the child, and feels appreciated and respected by his working parents. It’s been easy to see the improvement in Martha’s self-esteem.
Kathy Acosta, MSW, LCSW, is BVMI’s newest Social Worker, and she understands the value of “ruling out and finding out” when it comes to mental health. “Sometimes patients have no one else to talk to,” she said. “It gives them a feeling of relief to finally discuss the things that are bothering them.”
Martha said BVMI is made up of “angels looking out for what’s best for me.” She believes her life now has meaning, and expressed gratitude to Kay Fagan and our Social Workers for listening, caring and helping. She has become more independent. And her headaches? Gone.