Health Tip of the Day from YNHHS

Do you have an Amazon Alexa or Google smart speaker? Start receiving daily health tips directly from Yale New Haven Health! Tips include healthy living advice on topics like nutrition, exercise, sleep and medical care for your family. Learn how to enable the Yale New Haven Health Tip of the Day.

Act FAST at signs of a stroke

The news last month that Hollywood actor Luke Perry, 52, had suffered a stroke and died came as a shock to many people. While 52 may seem too young for a stroke, statistics show that they can —and do— occur at any age. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 34 percent of people hospitalized for stroke are under 65 years old.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing about 140,000 Americans each year. Stories like Luke Perry’s show how quickly strokes can strike, how deadly they can be, and how they are killing more and more young people. Stroke symptoms can resemble symptoms of less severe diseases, so many people are not aware that they have experienced a stroke until it is too late. It’s important to know the warning signs and can act fast if you or someone you know might be having a stroke. The chances of survival are greater when emergency treatment begins quickly.

FAST is an easy way to remember and identify the most common symptoms of a stroke.

  • F: FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • A: ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S: SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • T: TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

From prevention to treatment and recovery, Yale New Haven Hospital provides the most experienced doctors and the latest diagnostic tools, techniques and treatments for exceptional stroke care, 24 hours a day. Yale New Haven Hospital’s York Street Campus is certified by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, and the Saint Raphael Campus is certified as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. These national recognitions signify expertise in providing the highest level of care to stroke patients. Visit YNHH’s Stroke Center or call 203-737-1057.

Food that’s good for you – and delicious, too

Choosing natural, healthy foods doesn't have to mean a menu of tasteless, bland meals. Join us on Thursday, April 11 from 5:30 – 7 pm when Smilow Wellness Workshops presents “Discover Delicious Healthy Eating.” Chef Dawn Ludwig will explore how quality foods – whole, slow carbs and healthy fats – can impact your metabolism, immune system, energy and cravings while still being delicious and satisfying. You will learn the difference between "whole foods" and processed "refined" ones. As a bonus, Chef Ludwig will deomonstrate how to prepare specialty sauces including lemon aioli, Moroccan sauce and mustard vinaigrette.

The workshop is free but registration is required. Call 1-888-700-6543 or register online for Discover Delicious Healthy Eating. The presentation will be held on the 2nd floor in the auditorium at 55 Park St., New Haven. Light refreshments will be served. Free parking is available on the fourth floor of the Air Rights Garage.

If you can’t attend the workshop, you can download one of the recipes from the demonstration.

Save a life: Be an organ donor

True or False: More than 119,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ transplant. Answer: TRUE. The need for organs is far greater than their availability. In fact, 20 people die every day waiting for a transplant. It’s also true that one single organ and tissue donor can save or improve the lives of more than eight people, helping to restore eyesight, damaged tissues or vital functions.

Becoming an organ donor is a big decision. Join us on Thursday April 18 at 7 pm for “Past, Present and Future of Organ Donation and Transplantation,” a lively discussion that highlights donation and transplantation procedures and discusses the impact our lifestyles are having on organ disease. Learn more about who can donate and get answers to some common organ transplant myths and concerns.

The free session will be held at 7 pm on Thursday, April 18 at Old Saybrook Medical Center, 633 Middlesex Turnpike, Old Saybrook. Register online for this event or call 1-888-700-6543.

If you are unable to attend the information session and want to know more about becoming a living organ donor, visit the Transplantation Center or call 866-925-3897 or 203-727-1110.

Have you made your plans?

If you became seriously ill, who will speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself? Yale New Haven Health joins organizations across the country on Tuesday, April 16, to observe National Healthcare Decisions Day. It’s a day to get the word out about the importance of advance care planning, to encourage people to express their wishes regarding their health care and for their loved ones and medical providers to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

At Yale New Haven Hospital, representatives will discuss the benefits of making wishes known in advance. Handouts will include brochures and legal forms on advance directives, living wills and healthcare representatives. Staff will be available to answer questions and assist with completing the forms. Information tables will be available from 8 am – 4 pm in the cafeterias at the hospital’s York Street and Saint Raphael campuses.

If you cannot attend the event and would like copies of the advance directive legal forms (Appointment of HealthCare Representative/Agent and Treatment Preference and Living Will) visit the Yale New Haven Hospital website for documents and links to additional sources, or email

Spring clean your medicine cabinet

If your medicine cabinet is chock-full of expired or unneeded medications, what’s the best way to throw them out properly without endangering your family or harming the environment?

The first step is to follow any disposal instructions that came with your meds. If there are no disposal instructions, dispose of drugs in your household trash by doing the following:

  • Keep the medication in its original container. Use a permanent marker or duct tape to cross out your personal information or remove the label.
  • Make medication less appealing to pets or children. Mix your drugs (liquid or pills) with hot water to dissolve them. Add an undesirable substance, such as salt, ashes, saw dust, used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
  • Contain and seal. Place it inside a container such as an empty yogurt or margarine tub to ensure that the contents cannot be seen and tape it shut.
  • Throw out the container in your trash can. Do not put the container in your recycling bin! Don't flush medication down the sink or toilet. Why? Because flushed medications can get into our lakes, rivers and streams.

April 27 Is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications. For a list of prescription drug drop box collection sites near you, visit the Prescription Monitoring Program.

Referrals for physicians and surgeons

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. YNHH physicians represent more than 70 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties, including internal medicine/family practice, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics and psychiatry.

Need blood work? We’re in your neighborhood

When your physician orders blood work or you need to schedule a blood test, Yale New Haven Health makes it easy with blood draw stations conveniently located in your community. No appointment is necessary and all major insurance plans are accepted.

Please note: A requisition form is required. Our blood draw stations honor requisitions from other labs.

Find a location that's convenient on this list of blood draw locations on our website.

Free blood pressure screenings

YNHH offers free blood pressure screenings at a variety of community sites. Call 203-789-3275 for a list of locations and times or for more information.

YNHHS patients: Do you have MyChart?

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, see your billing and insurance information and send and receive secure, confidential electronic messages with your doctor’s office. Ask your healthcare provider for a MyChart brochure or your MyChart Activation Code, and then visit the MyChart website and select “Sign Up Now.”

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.

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Billing questions?

Yale New Haven Hospital offers financial counseling to patients and families. Spanish-speaking counselors are available. Additionally, evening sessions are scheduled once a month — the next two are Monday, April 15 and Monday, May 20 from 5 - 7 pm. To make an appointment with a financial counselor, call 203-688-2046.