What Can YOU Do To Prevent Heart Disease?

In honor of American Heart Month, we bring you the facts and some crucial tips to help prevent heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In the United States alone, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds! Forty nine percent of Americans have at least one of the key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking.

Implementing the following habits into your lifestyle is a great start!

  1. Don’t sit for too long – get moving! Break up long periods of sitting, and stand or walk while doing things like talking on the phone.
  2. SLEEP 7 to 8 hours a night. Not sleeping enough may put you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease no matter your age or other health habits.
  3. Cut down on SALT. To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking.
  4. Stay away from foods with TRANS FATS. Trans fat clogs your arteries. Read food labels carefully & look out for hydrogenated oils in the ingredients.
  5. And remember to LAUGH OUT LOUD! Don’t just LOL in emails or Facebook posts. Laughing can lower stress hormones, decrease inflammation in your arteries, and raise your levels of “good cholesterol”.

Our Cardiac Recovery Program

The specialized cardiac program at White House was designed to assist individuals recovering from a wide range of cardiac issues. Our all-encompassing care includes cardiac monitoring, CHF prevention, daily rehabilitation, and a dedicated focus on lifestyle modification, healthy diet and exercise.

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4 Healthy Tips For The New Year!

Dress Smart. Protect your lungs from cold air. Layer up!
Wearing 2 or 3 thinner layers of loose-fitting clothing is warmer than
a single layer of thick clothing.

Walk Smart. Wear boots with non-skid soles to prevent slipping.

Be Proactively Smart. If you use a cane, replace the rubber tip before it is worn smooth.

Stay Safe. Make sure space heaters are at least 3 feet away from anything that might catch fire, such as curtains, bedding and furniture.

Take care of yourself by staying focused on what’s important:
family, friends, the spirit of the season – and your health!

Some of these tips originally appearedin healthinaging.org

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Noted & Quoted

Mr. William Peyton, a carpenter by trade, unfortunately lost his second leg to diabetes. He recently came to White House Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center to start his extensive healing process and is an inspiration to others in similar circumstances. His upbeat and optimistic personality shines through when describing the various aspects of his care that are so crucial to his recovery. Whether its infection control, keeping the pain level down, getting the proper nutrition or preparing for his prosthesis in physical therapy, Mr. Peyton is grateful to the White House staff for managing his treatment with compassion and dignity, while equipping him to move forward with his new reality.

“The level of positivity and motivation in the White House Gym is way up there . . . it just jacks me up! This facility is everything they promised me in the hospital. From the administrator down, they’re taking great care of me. I hope to be up and walking real soon with my new prosthesis so I can take my grandkids to Hershey Park and see the flowers bloom in the spring.”

-William Peyton
Subacute Resident at White House

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Face to Face With Samantha Erikson

Meet Our Nurse Practitioner

White House would like to introduce our very own Nurse Practitioner, Samantha Erikson, who joined our team 3 months ago. Her gentle, reassuring presence is a fundamental part of our larger effort to minimize the rehospitalization of our residents.

Have you always wanted to pursue a career in nursing?

Well, I majored in biology at Muhlenberg College because I thought it would give me the background to enter the field of pharmacology, nursing or physical therapy. In the end I chose nursing and went on to get my RN degree from Seton Hall University.

What was your first nursing job?

I worked for 5 years as a hospital floor nurse in St. Joe’s Regional Medical Center in Patterson, New Jersey, caring for 6-7 acutely ill patients on the geriatric surgical floor. I always had a love for geriatrics. Growing up, I was very close to my 3 living grandparents who lived nearby. They babysat me a lot – taking me to the mall where we met their friends. I was often surrounded by elderly people and enjoyed hanging out with them.

Why did you decide to go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner?

I love learning and I felt that becoming a Nurse Practitioner would enable me to take on a leadership role in my work with patients. When I was younger I used to accompany my maternal grandmother to her doctor’s office for her regular check-ups. She was seen by a Nurse Practitioner there who was very thorough and would take the time to explain everything to us. That really made an impact on me.

Are you happy with your decision?

I truly enjoy being a Nurse Practitioner and find it to be very fulfilling. I especially like working in a Long Term Care setting. Getting to know the residents is very rewarding, and the fact that I can be more involved in their care is gratifying.

How often are you at White House?

I am here 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

What does your average day look like?

My daily routine begins with checking on all new admissions to assess their status. If there’s a change in a resident’s condition I evaluate it and take steps to help the resident get better. In my role as NP I prescribe medications, perform blood work, and order chest x-rays, ultrasounds and other tests, which are done in-house.

When making my rounds, I keep my eyes open – monitoring each resident’s progress to detect subtle changes in condition and treat accordingly. Our objective is to effectively manage our residents’ care and prevent their readmission to the hospital. If a patient is rehospitalized I do a follow-up report to see if there are any steps we can take to prevent that in the future.

What is your experience working with the staff?

The administration is very welcoming, and open to any ideas and suggestions. They are truly concerned about the residents. White House is notably very clean and well-organized compared to other nursing homes I’ve visited. I interface closely with the Director of Nursing and the Assistant Director of Nursing, and we have a daily 45 minute morning meeting with all the unit managers and departments heads to review the care of each resident.

On a personal note, Samantha is newly married and lives about 40 minutes away from White House in Oakland, NJ. Her husband is also in the medical field. She enjoys hiking, cooking and baking, gardening and just spending time outdoors – especially at the beach during her summer vacations on Long Beach Island.

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Adopt A Grandparent Program At White House

Creating Meaningful One-On-One Relationships!

Beginning in 2012 the students of Seton Hall University have participated in the Adopt A Grandparent Program at White House. The program’s mission is to create meaningful one-on-one relationships with our residents, improving the quality of life of participants – seniors and volunteers alike.

This program successfully bridges the gap between generations. Amanda Cavanaugh, Assistant Director of Division of Volunteer Efforts at Seton Hall, was a regular volunteer at White House during her undergrad days. Profoundly impacted by the program, she went on to direct the program after graduating. “I always loved working with the elderly. Visiting on a consistent basis for over a year, I reallly got to know many of the White House residents well and appreciated their wisdom and humor”, she remarked. “Students gain a lot from this program and I have a solid group signing up year after year.”

Scheduled every Wednesday during each semester, these visits are one of the major highlights on our recreation calendar.

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Healing Wounds Daily!

Expert wound care is integral to the clinical excellence we provide at White House, and it begins at the time of admission when every resident is assessed for the presence of wounds –whether vascular, pressure or surgical.

Under the guidance of Board Certified General Surgeon Dr. Lennox Alves and our ADON Adele Anderson who is a Wound and Ostomy Certified Nurse, our specialized wound care nurses coordinate the daily wound treatment of our residents, making sure steps are in place to prevent new wounds and to measure and treat existing wounds.

Dr. Alves, who serves as Chairman of the Dept. of Surgery at East Orange General Hospital and is an Attending Surgeon at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, conducts weekly rounds at White House and is called when any serious issues arise. He does debridement at the bedside, treats the more complex wounds, and provides valuable direction to our wound care staff.

For post-surgery residents the plan of action demands follow-up communication by our nursing staff with the resident’s surgeon. For those who arrive with pressure sores – an immediate care plan is designed to initiate healing, measuring the progress weekly until complete healing is attained. Of utmost importance are our strict wound care protocols of changing wound dressings frequently to maintain a clean and bacteria-free wound bed, and encouraging and assisting our patients to turn as needed. Surface support includes low pressure air loss mattresses, and special wheelchair cushions.

Wound healing however, is a complex and fragile process impacted by many factors – diet being at the forefront as proper nutrition is key to the healing process. Our dietitians are quite involved, making sure our residents receive the precise nutritional elements they need and sustaining continuous interdisciplinary communication with both the nurses and the lab, as protein values are checked.

“When doing my work I put a smile on the patient’s face. It is most gratifying when I see improvement and a wound is resolved.”
– Chantal Joseph, LPN Wound Care Nurse

Communication indeed plays a vital role in the outstanding level of care at White House and our wound care team excels at that. They coordinate seamlessly with the unit nurses, the dietitians, and everyone else involved in the patient’s care – and, most importantly, are a reassuring presence at the patient’s bedside all through the healing process.

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Spotlight On: Senior Fitness

At White House we make sure our residents, at all levels of function, have exercise incorporated into their daily routine. MOVIN’ & GROOVIN’, EXERCISE WITH PROPS and CABANICS are just some of the fitness programs we have in place.

Music is a language that speaks to everyone, breaking through all barriers. By placing a maraca or baton in the hands of a memory impaired individual who is resistant to exercising, he or she will instinctively start shaking to the beat while following the group leader’s movements – getting an upper body workout without realizing it.

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Meet Dr. Slim

Director of Our Infectious Disease Program

Our recently launched Infectious Disease Program, with a focus on antibiotic stewardship, has seen much success. Under the specialized leadership of Dr. Jihad Slim, our nursing team skillfully treats residents with acute and chronic infections – utilizing an individualized approach to minimize the usage of antibiotics.

Dr. Slim is notified every time a patient requires antibiotic therapy and is always on-call. He leads interdisciplinary meetings with our clinical staff and conducts monthly professional development sessions.

“When a resident arrives at White House with multiple wounds and on 2 or 3 prescribed antibiotics”, explains Adelle Anderson, ADON, “our first course of action is to consult with Dr. Slim right away. There are times when he discontinues an antibiotic, and other times he changes the route of administration. His main focus is to always avoid having patients on too much antibiotics – which is the clinically most efficient way to prevent C. Diff.”

Hitting the exact dosage and route of administration for each patient, as well as stopping the antibiotics at the right time is at the core of the Infectious Disease Program at White House.

“There is a misconception, especially among residents and their family members, that the more antibiotics, the better it is for the resident – and it really is the exact opposite. The least antibiotics, the better. To prevent residents from developing resistant bacteria and side effects, it is important not to overtreat.”
–Dr. Slim

A graduate of St. Michael’s University in Beirut, Dr. Slim obtained his specialty in Nephrology in France. Arriving in the US in 1983, he graduated with a degree in Internal Medicine from St. Michael’s Medical School in Newark, specializing in Infectious Disease. He is currently the Director of Infectious Disease at St. Michael’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College in Valhalla.

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Did you know?


  • The knee is easily hurt since it bears the  load of the whole body &  is used in almost all our daily activities.
  • If you are 20 pounds overweight, you are putting an additional  120 pounds of pressure on your knees.
  • High heels throw your body forward and put 23% more pressure on your knees. Wear low heels, flats or sneakers if you plan to be on your feet all day.

Here at White House, our Orthopedic Rehab Team helps individuals recovering from joint replacement surgery relearn the skills they need to return home and back to the physical activities they love.

Our intensive rehab program follows CJR protocols, and includes designated milestones and goals with therapies offered up to 7 days a week.


Here at White House, our Orthopedic Rehab Team helps individuals recovering from joint replacement surgery relearn the skills they need to return home and back to the physical activities they love.

Our intensive rehab program follows CJR protocols, and includes designated milestones and goals with therapies offered up to 7 days a week.


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New Antibiotic Stewardship Program

at White House

Implemented in June 2017 under the leadership of Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Jihad Slim and our ADON, Adelle Anderson, the program’s mission is to manage patients’ infectious disease concerns while improving quality of care. 

The Antibiotic Stewardship Program has already been implemented at various hospitals and facilities and has proven to increase the overall management of patients while decreasing the use of antibiotics in the excess of 20%. The optimization of antibiotic therapy selection will allow for improved patient management and a reduction in re-hospitalization.  

In compliance with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: “Highlights Pertaining to Antibiotic Stewardship in Long-Term Care Facilities.” 

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Dr. Nicholas Guittari

White House congratulates Dr. Nicholas Guittari:

Nominated as one of the

Top Doctors in New Jersey!

Dr. Guittari, our Long-Term Care Medical Director, is beloved by staff and residents alike. A Board Certified Geriatrician serving the community for more than two decades, Dr. Guittari chose to specialize in Geriatrics and Dementia after learning about the ravages of dementia first-hand when 3 of his 4 grandparents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Nominated “Top Doctor” in 2018 by NJ TopDocs for his commitment to excellence in Geriatric Medicine, he is a recognized medical advocate in Long-Term Care who regularly conducts seminars on Dementia and Geriatrics.

Our families and residents appreciate Dr. Guittari’s daily presence at White House, and bask in his warmth, friendliness and specialized expertise. His hands-on approach and full-time engagement with our residents on a personal and professional level is apparent from the moment you step into our facility.

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