Thinking about health

Thinking about health

Jewish women gain special event through Holy Name Medical Center

Mother. Wife. Daughter. Employee. Chauffeur. Chef. Entertainment coordinator. COO or co-COO.

That’s just a few of the hats a Jewish woman typically wears.

The demands of juggling myriad roles of caretaking and day-to-day family and career management that she faces easily can edge out the precious time required to take care of her own health needs.

Sometimes that neglect amounts to something relatively benign, like not getting an annual teeth cleaning.

Dr. Sharyn Lewin Holy Name Medical Center

But sometimes that neglect is a missed annual mammogram or Pap smear, and it can lead to much more serious health problems.

To help Jewish women redirect attention to their own health and well being, Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck is offering a special event on Sunday, November 16. It’s the Jewish Women’s Health Symposium and Brunch, and it will be hosted at the Jewish Center of Teaneck.

The brunch will feature two renowned physicians who will discuss gynecologic health, breast imaging, issues related to wellness and prevention, and genetics.

They are Dr. Sharyn N. Lewin, a leading gynecologic oncologist and women’s health specialist, who moved to Holy Name recently to much fanfare, and Dr. Joshua D. Gross, a radiologist and breast-imaging expert, who is the director of breast imaging at Holy Name.

“The purpose of the brunch is to educate women regarding important health care issues especially related to hereditary genetics, breast imaging, and the best gynecologic and breast health,” Dr. Lewin said. The talks emphasize prevention and wellness, she added.

“We want Jewish women, and men and women in general, to understand their risk for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC) and/or Lynch Syndrome based on their personal and family histories,” she said.

Jewish women in particular are at risk of developing these gynecologic cancers.

“One in 40 Ashkenazi Jewish women have a deleterious mutation in one of the BRCA genes, so understanding risk and preventative strategies is a focus of the symposium,” Dr. Lewin said. “We will discuss screening mechanisms and prophylactic surgery, for example, for high-risk women to reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.”

Dr. Lewin, who joined Holy Name after a stint at Columbia University’s New York Presbyterian Hospital and fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan, was recruited specifically to spearhead a comprehensive center in Bergen County that will focus on women’s health and on their lives.

For now, Dr. Lewin, who has won many awards and published widely during her career, is working out of Holy Name’s cancer center, but eventually she and the center will move. It will remain part of Holy Name.

This brunch and symposium, its organizers said, will give the community a chance to become acquainted with Dr. Lewin.

A kosher brunch catered by Ma’adan of Teaneck will be offered to participants. The symposium and brunch, which take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., is free of charge, but anyone interested in attending is asked to call to reserve a spot.

In addition, the morning’s community partners include Sharsheret, which will also field staffers who can answer questions and provide information during the first hour of the brunch, which will be devoted to networking.

The Jewish women’s brunch is just one example of Holy Name’s focus on providing culturally sensitive programs, which include the Korean Medical Program and the Hispanic Outreach Program as well as accommodations for members of the Jewish community, such as the Sabbath room and Sabbath lounge, Sabbath elevator, interfaith chapel, daily bikkur cholim visits, hospice programs accredited by the National Institute of Jewish Hospice, and the African-American wellness series, said Jacqueline Kates, the medical center’s spokeswoman.

What: Jewish Women’s Health Symposium and Brunch

When: Sunday, November 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: The Jewish Center of Teaneck, 70 Sterling Place

Cost: Free, but call to reserve a seat. (201) 833-3336.

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