in good Farewell to Lucy
“The decision to euthanize Lucy, my best friend of 15 years, was quite possibly the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my life”
April 2011 • Issue 136
CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Why More Women Are Choosing
On the Patient’s Side
Misdiagnosis leads Trisha Torrey of Baldwinsville to a career as health advocate
Things Not to Ask Your Doctor
LIVING ALONE Living Alone: The Power of Anticipation
Mark Briggs on Charlie Sheen
Clinical hypnotherapist Mark Briggs says Sheen’s situation offers lessons about drug and alcohol abuse
All Private Rooms at St. Joe’s New Mother-Baby Unit St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center unveiled its new $2.5 million mother-baby unit. It features 20 private rooms for new babies and their families. Baby Lawson Everett Furco was one of the ﬁrst to be born at the new facility.
• Excessive Bleeding? 10-minute Procedure Probably Can Stop the Problem • Several Factors Behind Caesarian Section Spike • Everything Doulas Want You to Know
April 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Premier Joint Replacement: At St. Joseph’s, we approach each surgery as a team, but treat each patient as an individual. Seth Greenky, MD, & Brett Greenky, MD Co-Directors, St. Joseph’s Joint Replacement Program
�������������������������������������������������������������������� At St. Joseph’s, we’re proud of our reputation for joint replacement: outstanding outcomes, shorter lengths of stay and an award-winning program—all while performing the most joint replacement procedures in Central New York. But the fact is, with each new patient who walks through our doors, we’re building a different kind of reputation by working with them and their families as a team—before surgery, during the procedure and throughout recovery. To us, that’s what a higher level of care is all about. ��
Recipient of HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award™ (2011)
Five-star rated by HealthGrades for joint surgery (2007-2011)
Designated a Blue Distinction Center for Knee & Hip Replacement® by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
13th Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study. Designation as Blue Distinction Centers® means these facilities’ overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians’ and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To ﬁnd out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local BlueCross and/or BlueShield Plan. 2011
Orthopedic Services ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
Prescription drug costs to treat MS rise 126 percent Excellus study shows cost of brand-name prescription meds in Upstate jumps 93 percent in six years. Some, like drugs to treat multiple sclerosis, jumped 126 percent
he average cost of brand-name prescription drugs in Upstate New York rose 93 percent (a total of $93.46) between 2004 and 2010 and 11 percent ($19.19) from 2009 to 2010, according to a report issued in March by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. By contrast, generic prescription drug costs on average increased by less than $1 in the 2004 to 2010 time period. “Although brand-name drug costs have added millions to Upstate New Yorkers’ health care costs, the good news is that brand-name drugs now represent a smaller share of all prescriptions written in Upstate New York,” says Dr. Frank Dubeck, chief medical officer for Medical Policy, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Brand-name drugs as a percent of all prescriptions written by physicians in Upstate New York fell from 48.1 percent in 2005 to 28.4 percent in 2010. During that same time period, the share of generic medicines among total prescriptions written rose from 51.9 percent to 71.6 percent. The Excellus BlueCross BlueShield report zeroes in on cost increases for commonly used brand-name drugs that significantly affect prescription drug spending in Upstate New York. It notes that from 2005 to 2010, a 30-day supply of Actos, Advair, Lipitor and Singulair each recorded more than a 30 percent five-year increase in average wholesale price, and the average wholesale price of Nexium increased 27.5 percent over five years. Brand-name prescription drugs that have posted among the greatest increases in average wholesale price for a 30-day supply over the past five years include Acthar Gel (more than a 2,000 percent increase), Copaxone
(131 percent increase), Entocort EC (119 percent increase), Xeloda (88 percent increase), Tracleer (77 percent increase) and Gleevec (71.5 percent increase). “Specialty drugs constitute an entire prescription drug category that has seen a marked increase in the number of different drugs prescribed, along with hefty cost hikes,” continues Dubeck. Specialty drugs generally are categorized as high-cost, self-administered drugs that are injected, taken orally or inhaled to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis, hepatitis and cancer. From 2003 to 2010, the number of unique prescription specialty drugs that cost $500 or more per month increased 109 percent, while the number of individual specialty drugs that cost $2,000 or more per month increased 242 percent. Within the specialty drug category, the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield report identifies escalating costs among prescriptions used to treat multiple sclerosis. The five-year period from 2005 to 2010 saw a $20,600 (or 126.4 percent) increase in per-person, mean annual prescription drug costs, which totaled about $37,000 in 2010. A closer look at the specialty prescription drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis appears in a simultaneously issued report, The Facts About The Rising Cost of Prescription Drugs to Treat Multiple Sclerosis in Upstate New York. Assuming that 7,000 of the 13,000 people who have multiple sclerosis in Upstate New York take prescription medications to treat their illness, the drug cost increases for multiple sclerosis treatments alone have added an additional $144 million to annual health care spending across Upstate New York since 2005.
Auburn Orthopaedic Specialists Clint Basener, D.O.
Dr. Basener received his medical degree from Des Moines University. During his residency at Oklahoma State University he was a team physician in rugby, hockey, men’s basketball, football and Tulsa public schools. He completed a Fellowship in Sports Medicine at Wellington Orthopedics and University of Cincinnati Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy. He was also team physician for the Cincinnati Bengals football team and the University of Cincinnati football and men’s basketball teams. He has published his research on Distal Femoral Growth Plate Fractures in Children in Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. He has also presented cases in patella tendon rupture, acute patellar dislocation, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, avulsion injuries in immature athletes, and shoulder instability at Wellington Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine (WOSM) conference meetings. Dr. Basener is a member of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Association, and Arthroscopy Association of North America.
Specializing in: • Orthopedic surgery • Arthroscopic Surgery (minimally invasive) • Sports injuries • Shoulder and Elbow repair and replacement • Hip arthroscopy • Trauma including pediatric fractures
Accepting new patients. Call: 315-252-7559
AUBURN MEMORIAL MEDICAL SERVICES
77 Nelson Street, Suite 120, Auburn, NY
April 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
ARC of Oswego Co. seeking nominations ARC of Oswego County is accepting nominations for the 2011 Dr. John Readling Award, now through April 8. The winner of the award will formally receive the honor at the ARC annual dinner on Thursday, May 12, at the Oswego Elks Club. The Dr. John Readling Award is given annually to someone whose efforts have made a positive and significant difference in the lives of people with disabilities in Oswego County, as nominated by ARC of Oswego County chapter members. Readling, who devoted many years and countless hours to such efforts, helped to shape ARC of Oswego County and its sister agency, Oswego Industries, Inc., into organizations that daily help people with developmental disabilities, and mental or physical challenges. Nominees must have a current or past direct affiliation with ARC of Oswego County or Oswego Industries, Inc. to be eligible for this award. Nominees can be a current or former employee, a volunteer, or a community advocate that has worked with either agency. Call Stephanie Crowley at ARC of Oswego County at 598-3108.
Annual food drive to take place in Syracuse The third annual Syracuse Partners Against Hunger Community Food Drive will be held April 4 through April 16. Companies and agencies are invited to join in the efforts to raise awareness of hunger in the community community by conducting a food drive or help to sponsor this event. Syracuse Partners Against Hunger (SPAH) is an ad hoc committee of the Interreligious Food Consortium. It consists of concerned citizens, students, staff and board of directors working together to collect food and to raise awareness of hunger in the greater Syracuse area. As part of activities, organizers will hold April 6 a fundraising event at the Bistro Room, in the Gordon Center at Onondaga Community College. Culinary students attending Onondaga Community College are coordinating this special event. Tickets for the April 6 event is $25 to benefit the Interreligious Food Consortium. Reservations are required. Call 474-8855 for more information.
April 4, 13, 27
• On April 4, the movie “Horse Boy,” a 90-minute documentary, will be shown in the hospital’s lower level conference room beginning at 5:30 p.m. The movie tells the story of a family that travels across the plains of Mongolia with their autistic son, Rowan. The movie looks into autism, the relationship between humans and animals and how different cultures have varying ways to address autism and the nature of healing. Following the movie, Barbara Mettelman, an Oswego Hospital psychologist, will lead a half-hour discussion and reaction to the documentary. • April 13, the video “Difficult Moments for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders” will be shown beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the child and family services office, at 98 N. Second St. in Fulton. Following the film, Mettelman will discuss tools that help reduce the frequency and intensity of meltdowns. Participants will also have the opportunity to work on a handout that is customized for their child. • On April 27 Mettelman will discuss how to help the autism spectrum child/adolescent reach their fullest potential and how to set realistic goals. This presentation will also be at the child and family services office, at 98 N. Second St. in Fulton. Those who have questions about any of the three presentations should call 326-3555.
Myeloma program features SUNY Upstate physician The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the leading source of information and support for patients battling leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, is offering a free educational conference titled “Myeloma Update: Diagnosis, Treatment and Side Effects Management.” It will take place 5 to 6 p.m. followed by the program from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 6004 Fair Lakes Rd., E. Syracuse. A complimentary dinner will be provided. The program will feature Dr. Teresa Gentile of SUNY Upstate who will deliver an overview of myeloma and discuss treatment options, the role of clinical trials, symptom management, and how to effectively communicate with your health care provider. A question and answer period will follow. The program is free although pre-registration is required on or before March 31. For more information or to register, contact Western & Central New York Chapter patient services manager, Coleen Jones at email@example.com or at 1-800-784-2368 extension 4667.
Autism program takes place at Oswego Hospital April 6 Oswego Hospital will host three Home care seminar offered presentations on autism in April, which in Camillus is national autism awareness month. The three presentations are free and open to parents. Light refreshments will be served at each event. Child care will not be provided. Page 4
St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and The Franciscan Companies, in conjunction with the West Genesee School District adult education
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
program, will offer a free informational health seminar titled “Home Care and Adult Day Cares.” It will take place at 6 p.m., April 6. If you are looking for care alternatives for an aging parent or are planning for your future as a senior, this event, highlighting home care and adult day care services, is for you. It will be at West Genesee High School, 5201 W. Genesee St. in Camillus, in the large group instruction room located at the entrance on the west side of the school (across from the bus garage and to the right of the main entrance). Register for the free events by going to www.westgenesee.org and clicking on “Adult Education,” where you will find online registration and printable registration forms to mail in. Organizers are also planning a general wellness and fall prevention seminars in May and June. Call at 487-2279 with any questions.
Schwartz will present her debut novel “Where are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family Journey Through Bipolar Disorder,” a fictional story of a family that is dealing with the tragedy of bipolar disorder. Her talk will address the effects of mental illness on the entire family and the importance of empathy. Talks are also scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, at River’s End Bookstore in Oswego, and at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at Jabberwocky Café in the Schine Center at Syracuse University (SU). Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with Winters Schwartz and have her sign a personal message on their books. She will also read excerpts of her book. Contact Schwartz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or cellphone at (315) 430-7618 or online at www.karenwintersschwartz.com.
‘Sleep Awareness Night’ Dance class for people with event held at St. Joe’s Parkinson’s at St. Camillus Franciscan Health Support (a part April 7
Smooth Moves, a dance class for persons with Parkinson’s disease and their caretakers will begin Thursday, April 7, at The Centers at St. Camillus. Smooth Moves was created to improve balance and enhance coordination and flexibility in a fun, social setting. The class will be led by dance instructor and physical therapist Julie Lombardi. “This class helps people with Parkinson’s to enjoy movement again and to improve their fitness. Many of the participants often struggle with the ability to move spontaneously,” said Lombardi, the developer and facilitator of Smooth Moves. Participants will need to sign up and obtain medical clearance forms prior to participation. People with various levels of ability are encouraged to attend. Classes will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Thursday at The Centers at St. Camillus, 813 Fay Road, Syracuse. The cost for the eight-week class is just $25 per person. For information, please call 703-0841.
of The Franciscan Companies), St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, and Philips Respironics will jointly host a community Sleep Awareness Night from 5–7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13. The free event takes place in the DeFuria Room off the main lobby of St. Joseph’s Hospital. The event includes a display of sleep apnea treatment products, including CPAP machines and masks; mask fittings from a team of registered respiratory therapists; and an opportunity for community members to have their questions answered by experts in the field of sleep medicine. In addition, the event features a 5:30 p.m. presentation and question-and-answer session titled “Sleep Well, Live Well,” to be conducted by manager of the St. Joseph’s Sleep Laboratories Neil Widrick. Raffle prizes will be given away throughout the evening. Refreshments will be served and free parking is available in the hospital’s parking garage. Call 703-2138 to register.
Community General Hospital is hosting its Women’s Incontinence Forum Thursday, April 7. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. It will feature Dr. Shane Sopp, director of the division of urogynecology, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at Community General Hospital and director of the Women’s Incontinence Center. He is a nationally recognized speaker and physician trainer for incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. “What many women do not realize is that these [incontinence) issues can be easily diagnosed, and the methods of correction can be very simple. They get their lives back! It’s a lot of gain with no pain.”
A free collection and disposal of waste medication and pharmaceuticals will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at the Madison County Landfill located at 6663 Buyea Rd. in the Town of Lincoln. The landfill is three miles south from the Wampsville traffic light on Route 5. There are signs for the landfill on Buyea Road. Accepted will include expired or unwanted prescriptions/medicines (liquid or pills)l; vitamins, veterinary medications, over-the-counter medications and sharps. This event is sponsored twice yearly by the Madison County Department of Solid Waste and Sanitation in conjunction with Madison County’s Promise, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, RSVP and STOP DWI.
April 7, 20, 21
Forum to focus on women’s Free disposal of waste medication in Madison Co. bladder health
Author to discuss mental illness and empathy In her attempt to decrease the negative stigma associated with mental illness, author Karen Winters Schwartz of Marietta, will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at Barnes & Noble at 3454 Erie Boulevard East in Dewitt.
‘Nursing Career Fair’ at Upstate University Hospital Upstate University Hospital is offering career fair from 5-8 p.m., Thurscay, May 5, at 11th floor, East Tower, at the hospital’s main building. See advertisement on page 30 for more information.
Upstate University Hospital ushers in new era of cardiac care for Upstate New York
ew technology helps doctors perform procedures with greater precision and safety Upstate University Hospital has acquired the Stereotaxis Remote Magnetic Navigation System that will allow physicians to perform remotely controlled, imageguided, computerized heart procedures with greater precision and greater safety than traditional methods allow. Upstate is now one of Upstate University Hospital cardiologist Luna Bhatta, only three hospitals in the M.D., navigates a ﬂexible catheter toward the heart state outside of New York City, using this new technol- while seated at a control panel during a demonstration of ogy. the Stereotaxis system now in use at Upstate University “This technology moves Hospital. cardiac care to a higher level The technology also allows the for patients throughout Upstate New physicians the ability to monitor inforYork, and changes dramatically the mation, including a digital radiograway our physicians can care for one of phy unit, a mapping system and EKG the most delicate organs in the human readings. body,” said Daniel Villarreal, professor “This technology not only proand chief of cardiology at Upstate. vides us with greater precision in these Upstate will use the system to ascomplex procedures, but it enhances sist in the diagnosis and treatment of patient safety on all levels,” Villareal both common and complex cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), one of said. The technology benefits patients in the most common heart conditions, affecting between 3 million and 5 million many ways by: reducing risk of complications; limiting exposure to radiapeople in the United States. Cardiac tion (for staff, also); reducing the need arrhythmia refers to a disturbance of for additional invasive procedures; and the heart’s normal rhythm. Symptoms providing faster recovery times and generally include heart palpitations, shorter hospital stays because the treatshortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness ment is less invasive. and chest pain. Without proper treatThe Stereotaxis system is the cenment people with this condition are terpiece of Upstate’s new Heart and more likely to suffer a stroke and have Vascular Center. Located on the sixth a higher risk of death. floor of Upstate University Hospital, Traditionally, the treatment of arrhythmias relies on X-ray and electrical the center consolidates the hospital’s signals to manually guide and position non-invasive cardiovascular diagnostic testing into one location, with relatively inflexible catheters in the expanded echocardiography capabiliheart. Of paramount concern is the potential for damaging heart structures ties that offer 4D imaging of the heart, an endovascular imaging suite and that can occur when the procedure enhanced patient amenities and family encounters a complex heart chamber waiting rooms. anatomy With the new technology, a “With the Stereotaxis system and cardiologist in a nearby control room, our new center dedicated to improvaided by powerful magnets positioned ing heart health, Upstate now ofnear the patient and assisted by comfers patients and families the newest puter mapping, guides the magnetictechnology in cardiac care in this most tipped catheter robotically through a labyrinth of blood vessels to the proper dynamic of spaces, all aimed at enhancing the level of care and patient safety,” location of the heart. The special cathsaid Dr. John McCabe, chief executive eter used in the system is softer and more flexible than a traditional catheter officer of Upstate University Hospital. Only about 140 Stereotaxis systems thus reducing the potential for distortare in operation worldwide. ing or damaging the heart wall.
ONONDAGA, OSWEGO, CAYUGA AND MADISON COUNTIES in good A monthly newspaper published by
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Local News, Inc. Distribution: 35,000 copies. To request home delivery ($15 per year), call 342-1182.
In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2011 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 276, Oswego, NY 13126. • Phone: (315) 342-1182 • Fax: (315) 342-7776. Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Writers and Contributing Writers: Suzanne M. Ellis, Jim Miller, Eva Briggs, M.D., Gwenn Voelckers, Deborah Banikowski, Deborah Jeanne Sergeant, Anne Palumbo, Aaron Gifford, Amy Cavalier, Aaron Gifford, Chris Motola, Christopher Owens • Advertising: Donna J. Kimbrell, Tracy DeCann • Layout & Design: Chris Crocker • Proofreading: Shelley Manley • Ofﬁce Manager: Laura J. Beckwith
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No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement—not to take the place of—the recommendations of your health provider. Consult your physician before making major changes in your lifestyle or health care regimen.
April 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Ind@Home Ad_2.5x6.75 5/6/09 9:43 AM Page 1
By Chris Motola
We Can Give You A Hand Independent@Home provides support for those in need throughout Central New York. We can help in a number of ways, including: • Companionship & TLC • Household management – cleaning, maintenance & meal preparation • At-home salon services – hair dressing, manicures & pedicures • Shopping & errands
Doctor who moved back to CNY to practice obgyn talks about her profession, marathons, the region and things women can do to have a better pregnancy
To learn more about how we can help you, or to schedule a free in-home consultation, contact Anita West, Customer Service Coordinator at:
Q: Is it still how you remember it? A: It’s funny, we were here at a different time of our lives: single and in school. Now we’re back here living in the suburbs with a family, so it’s actually been a different experience. It’s a family-friendly place. One of the big reasons we moved back was for family, how family-centered the area is.
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St. David’s Court Apartments Affordable independent living for the mobility impared in a suburband community. 99 Deerﬁeld Road East Syracuse, NY 13057 Phone (315) 434-9406 Fax: (315) 434-9706 TDD/TTY 1800-662-1220 Margaret Gacek, Manager
St. David’s court is a HUD subsidized apartment complex designed with accesibitiy in mind. Rents are based on 30% of adjusted gross income. All applicnats must be mobility impared (as deﬁned by HUD) nd must meet annual income guidelines for Section 8 Housing. St. Davids court features 23 handicapped accessible onebedroom apartments equiped with emergency pullcords in the bathroon and bedroom, smoke and heat detectors, wheelchair accessible. For more information or to receive an application please call (315) 434-9406 or you can write to us at the address listed above. Professionally managed by Christopher Community, INC. 990 James St. Syracuse NY 13230 Phone: 424-1821 Fax:(315) 424-6048 TDD/TTY 1-800-662-1220 Page 6
Dr. Lindsay Madom
Q: How long have you been in Central New York? A: We just moved here in August. My husband joined Upstate Orthopedics—he’s a spine doctor—but we’d originally come here for medical school from 1999 to 2003.
Q: Did you do your ob-gyn rotations at Upstate? A: I did my first two years of medical school here and when we started to do our rotations in our third and fourth year, I was down in Binghamton, working out of Hamilton Hospital. I did come back up for an acting internship my fourth year. Q: Why did you choose obstetrics and gynecology? A: I think it was something I was always drawn to. I wanted to keep an open mind when I went into my rotations—I think I started with psychiatry, then I did medicine, then I did surgery, then I did ob—I kind of wanted to try everything before I got to ob, but I just loved it and decided to stick with it. Q: Do you and your husband end up talking a lot of shop? A: We try not to, but if one of us has a rough day we’ll talk and vent. We’re very centered around our kids, so I think we end up talking about them more than anything else. But we do talk, yes. It’s actually kind of nice having a husband who is a doctor. He gets what I’m going through, the process of my day. Q: How do you help new patients get comfortable? A: I’m a pretty laid back provider. I don’t typically wear a white coat. I think being a younger doctor helps a little bit, especially for the younger population of pregnant women who are in a similar life stage. Most of it is a conversation, you still say what’s necessary, but a large part of the visit is conversation. Q: What are the pros and cons of being a younger doctor? A: I think sometimes the energy of youth is good. Sometimes I don’t
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
feel so young though (laughs). I think it helps bond with people my age. The majority of pregnant women are between age 19 and 45, so there’s a lot of commonality with these women. I have three kids, so a lot of the conversations I have with the women who come in our about our kids and what’s going on in our lives right now. There are a lot of people going into ob now part-time who want to spend time with their families. That’s what I’m doing. Q: So you’re able to split the time between career and family pretty well? A: It’s worked out perfectly. I work three days and then take a reasonable amount of call once a week and one weekend a month. My husband and I have to plan our call schedule around each other, obviously. Q: There are a lot of outreach campaigns to women to keep up with their health. Do you think they’ve been effective? A: I do. I think women are pretty good about that, getting their
pap smears once a year and coming in for their mammograms after they turn 40. I think women are very receptive; there’s a lot of information out there. I think the women who don’t come in are sometimes fearful of finding something or fearful of doctors in general. They just need to remember that most of these tests won’t come back positive, but in order to do regular gyn maintenance, it’s important for us to do these tests and make sure they come back normal. Q: What’s a piece of health care advice you could give women that they might not know? A: One thing I would say as far as pregnancy goes would be folic acid. I think women know that its important for the development of the baby’s spine, but the most important thing with regard with that is that it’s best to start folic acid three months before pregnancy. That really helps the baby. Q: What else should patients who are having a planned pregnancy do? A: A lot of women come in, say they’re planning to start a family and wonder what they can do and can’t do prior to and during pregnancy. Exercise is a very acceptable thing to do, any level of exercise that they were doing prior to pregnancy they can continue during their pregnancy. There are foods you shouldn’t eat during pregnancy, but you don’t need to eat an organic diet. Obviously, stay away from cigarettes and alcohol. Caffeine in moderation. Q: Tell us a bit about your own exercise routines. A: I’ve actually done half-marathons. I’m, hopefully, training for one coming up in Saratoga. I just had a baby eight months ago—I have 3 1/2year-old twin boys and an 8-month old little guy. With the twins, I didn’t really run at all. With Bryce I ran up to eight months and was living in Utah at the time, with the high altitude. Once I had him, I was so overwhelmed with moving back here and getting situated. So I’m hoping to start training again soon. I usually use a Hal Higdon training model four to five times a week. I’d like to do the New York City marathon someday, that’s the big one. It’s hard to get into.
Lifelines: Business: CNY Obstetrics & Gynecology, PC, 5800 Heritage Landing Drive, Suite C, East Syracuse Age: Age 35 Education: SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, Doctor of Medicine 08/1999-5/2003 Afﬁliations: ACOG, Junior Fellow, Crouse Hospital Residency: Women and Infant”s Hospital of Rhode Island, Brown University Providence, RI; residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology 06/2003-06/2007 Personal: Lindsay Madom joined CNY Ob/Gyn January 3, 2011. She completed her residency training at Women & Infant’s; Hospital in Rhode Island in June 2007. She worked with the Center for ObGyn in Providence, RI until July 2009. Her husband, Ian Madom accepted an Orthopedic Spine fellowship at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT for one year starting August 1, 2009. During that time she cared for their 2 year old twin boys. In 2010, he accepted a position at Upstate Orthopedics. Their third son arrived June 25, 2010. Hobbies: Skiing, Running; she is training for the ½ Marathon for the fall of 2011
St. Joseph’s Center For Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Expands
t. Joseph’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine added 1,500 square feet of space in an expansion that aims to improve the current clinic flow and scheduling demands, and accommodate the growing need for wound care. The center, located at the Northeast Medical Center in Fayetteville, added and increased the size of exam rooms, built a larger waiting room, and increased staff space to accommodate patient needs. Program Greg May, facilities planner and Jamie McAndrews of NM Director Barbara Simonian indicated that the Communications review plans for the expansion of St. Joseph’s changes will not only Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. allow the center to see more patients. four state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen “Operationally, the flow is much therapy chambers. The program is one better,” Simonian said. “Previously, we of only 97 in the country to be accredwere stepping on each other’s toes. We ited by the Undersea and Hyperbaric now have the appropriate space to acMedical Society and only one of two in commodate the growth we continue to experience each year since our program the New York state that is accredited with distinction. opened in 2004.” Hyperbaric oxygen therapy The center’s expansion increases patient capacity by 25 percent, meaning (HBOT) is a treatment in which the patient breathes 100 percent oxygen the center can see 20 to 30 more new inside a pressurized chamber thus patients and increase the frequency of visits of existing patients. She indicated allowing oxygen to reach the areas that “for the most part, wounds require of the wound that have been oxygen treatment on a weekly basis to promote deprived and unable to heal. HBOT is more rapid healing. Outside of that, the effective in fighting certain types of infections, stimulates the growth of new risks may increase.” blood vessels and improves circulation. In addition to featuring the latest The treatment also used to treat crush in advanced wound care treatment for injuries, radiation damage, bone infecwounds caused by diabetes, circulations, compromised skin grafts and tory problems, radiation damage, and diabetic wounds. many other conditions, the center has
Our program has successfully met the highest standards set forth by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and is recognized as an ASMBS Center of Excellence. Surgeries are performed at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica and at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. Dr. Graber is the Director of Bariatric Surgery at both hospitals. All commercial insurance are accepted.
CNY Obstetrics & Gynecology PC
Providing Comprehensive Care for All the Seasons of a Woman’s Life
New sleep lab now available at Oneida Healthcare Hospital partners with The Franciscan Companies to open expanded sleep lab
neida Healthcare has recently opened of a state-of-the-art, expanded sleep laboratory. Located on the Oneida Healthcare campus in the Fields Professional Building, the sleep lab features brand-new equipment, a team of qualified sleep technicians and rooms with a comfortable, hotel-like atmosphere. “Sleep disorders impact more than 40 million Americans, and obstructive sleep apnea—interrupted breathing during sleep—has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as a severe decline in quality of life,” says Sherif El Bayadi, pulmonologist and medical director of the new sleep lab. “By creating this new lab and expanding the number of sleep study rooms available in Oneida, we’ll be able to help those in the community diagnose and treat their sleep apnea, drastically improving their health.” The new facility provides overnight sleep studies to those at risk for sleep apnea. During the study, patients are connected painlessly to state-of-the-
art monitors to record breathing, heart rate and more as they sleep. The medical director then reviews the results and coordinates an appropriate course of treatment with patients’ primary care physicians. “Our facility is aesthetically pleasing, climate-controlled and quiet to help patients feel at home and get a good night’s sleep,” says Mary Parry, director of cardiopulmonary services at Oneida Healthcare. “This is ‘the sleep lab to end all sleep labs,’ with private, hotel-like rooms featuring attractive and comfortable bedding, televisions and more.” The Franciscan Companies, a member of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, provides executive and operational oversight of a network of health care services and will oversee management of Oneida Healthcare’s the new lab. For more information about the Oneida Healthcare sleep lab, call 3634419 or visit www.oneidahealthcare.org
We work as a team with our patients to provide the best medical care to women.
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Adolescent Medicine Contraception and family planning Diagnosis & treatment of abnormal Pap smears Heavy, irregular, painful menstrual cycles Perimenopause & Menopause Evaluation & Treatment Osteoporosis Screening and Management Oﬃce Surgical Procedures Patient Education Urinary incontinence Well Woman Exams
Complete Obstetric Care Infertility, Recurrent pregnancy loss Low and High risk pregnancy
Connie Caughey, NP meets one-on-one with our patients to support a healthy lifestyle. Connie oﬀers a Smoking Cessation Program and works closely with our patients to encourage success. Individual Lactation Consultations help our mothers and babies learn to breastfeed with conﬁdence. Our onsite La’ Petite Boutique oﬀers our nursing mothers Medela Pumps and supplies at cost, Rentals and Nursing Bras.
Same Day & Evening Appointments 445-2701 Call for an Appointment, our Staﬀ will be happy to assist you. 5800 Heritage Landing Drive, Suite C, East Syracuse, NY 13057 April 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
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By Gwenn Voelckers
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
Living Alone: The Power of Anticipation It’s been a long and especially cold winter, but hope is on the horizon. “Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change.”
little anticipation can go a long way. There’s nothing like the promise of a “light at the end of the tunnel” to help you endure a really rough patch. And, having something to look forward to can help you through even the longest, loneliest night. As spring approaches, I can feel the anticipation in the air. I’m eagerly awaiting the early arrival of crocus and daffodils. And I can’t wait for the butter-yellow forsythia to burst into color. The garlic in my vegetable garden is already poking through the frosty soil and my mouth is watering for luscious homegrown tomatoes. It’s been a long and especially cold winter, but hope is on the horizon. I’m looking forward to the change of season and my anticipation is fueling all kinds of ideas and energy. Anticipation is not the same as just waiting for something to happen. It’s not just letting time pass. I’ve discovered that intentional anticipation can be incredibly powerful and moving. It can spur us into action, awaken a long-lost passion, and bring about great joy. I’m a believer that anticipation itself can transform a possibility into a reality, and so I build it into my daily routines. In doing so, I have made living alone more of an adventure than a carefully planned existence. I encourage you to join me and incorporate a little expectancy and suspense into your world. Below are a few strategies that have worked for me. Perhaps they’ll work for you, too! • Fill your future with fun. It could be concert tickets, a vacation, dinner with friends or a new class. I have tickets to see k.d. Lang in June. Whenever the winter doldrums set in, I put on her latest CD and imagine the good time I’m going to have with my friend Terry. He loves her voice, too! I enjoy being uplifted by the anticipation of her performance and a fun night out with a dear friend. • Plan ahead and look forward to holidays. Memorial Day is coming up. Consider hosting a small get-together at your place. This “official start of summer” offers a great opportunity to bring people together for some good food and fun, in honor of veterans and
soldiers both overseas and here at home. Why not embrace the holiday, make plans, and look forward to sharing this national day of remembrance with friends and family? • Order something from a catalog or online store. I make good use of this simple strategy, perhaps more than I should (smile)! But I like looking forward to a package waiting for me on my front porch. I enjoy anticipating the arrival of a good book in the mail, or a new blouse or home accessory. It makes coming home alone a little more fun and interesting. • Join Facebook, LinkedIn or an online dating service. Make it possible for people to find you and for you to reach out to others. You might be surprised by what you discover — a new friend, an old heart throb, a childhood buddy or an unexpected opportunity to socialize. Who knows what might arrive in your inbox?! The anticipation of a “hello” or “wink” can turn a dreary day into one filled with surprises. • Schedule a “day off” just for you. I do this throughout the year. Monday is my preferred day off. I pick a Monday about four weeks out and look forward to filling it with activities I love. I choose Mondays because when the weekend is over, it’s not over for me! My special day is still out there ahead of me, yet to be experienced and enjoyed. • Plant a seed for the future, literally. For Valentine’s Day, my niece Erin gave me a little pot and “starter” seeds for a miniature rose bush. It sits on the sunny ledge above my sink, and I just love tending it and waiting for its tiny tips to make their appearance. Consider growing a few plants from seed to harvest. It’s such a simple joy, and a reminder of the profound power of anticipating future positive events. I anticipate good things ahead for all of you who adopt some of these strategies. And I invite you to share your experience with me. E-mail me at the address below and I’ll look forward to hearing from you! Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of Live Alone and Thrive, empowerment workshops for women held throughout the year in Mendon, New York. For information about her workshops or to invite Gwenn to speak, call her at (585) 624-7887 or e-mail gvoelckers@rochester. rr.com.
On the Patients’ Side
SENIOR CITIZEN HOUSING
Misdiagnosis leads Trisha Torrey of Baldwinsville to a new career as health advocate By Aaron Gifford
n July 2004, Trisha Torrey noticed a lump in her torso. Doctors soon informed her that she had a rare, life-threatening cancer. Just as Torrey was about to begin chemotherapy, additional oncology tests indicated that her tumor, in fact, was not malignant, despite two previous lab tests that said otherwise. With so much conflicting information, Torrey took it upon herself to find the answer, reviewing her own patient records and researching her would-be disease. Ultimately, the National Institutes of Health confirmed that indeed she did not have cancer. By then, Torrey had spent all of her savings on medical bills. Had she proceeded with treatment, Torrey could have fallen into debt and, worse, the unnecessary procedures would have caused her health to deteriorate. Torrey was angry. She didn’t sue, but her subsequent actions spoke louder than any lawsuit could have. “While the misdiagnosis was the worst thing to happen to me,” said Torrey, of Baldwinsville, “it’s also been the best thing to happen to me.” Torrey, now 59, enjoys a national reputation as “Every Patient’s Advocate.” It started with local columns about her misdiagnosis in In Good Health, and progressed to contributions to newspapers, radio stations and national magazines. She’s been interviewed on National Public Radio, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, and published two books — “The Health Advocate’s Marketing Handbook,” and “You Bet Your Life: The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes (How to Fix Them to Get the Health Care you Deserve).” She’s had paid speaking engagements across the country. Torrey was born in Syracuse, graduated from high school in Buffalo, and lived and worked in different states before returning home to Central New York in 1993. She was a school teacher before becoming a marketing professional and eventually started her own business. After her misdiagnosis, she put her experience in teaching and marketing to work in an effort to potentially reach millions of patients and medical professionals. “I figured I had the tools to help people understand,” she said. The World Wide Web is where Torrey has been the most helpful. About.com tapped her as an expert in her field, and Torrey established the DiagKnowsis.org family of websites, which users can access to make more informed medical decisions and find
resources in their area. It covers everything from instructions for obtaining and translating medical records, to finding volunteers who can accompany patients to difficult medical procedures, to pursing legal action after medical provider errors. “I don’t work with individual patients,” Torrey stressed, “but I do point them in the right direction.” When Torrey weighs in on the health care debate, physicians and insurance company officials know she’s reaching a huge audience. Conceptually, the biggest problem is that health care is driven by money. While that may sound idealistic, Torrey acknowledged, the push is for health insurance companies to strike a balance between greed and fairness. “So much depends on the money,” she explained. “Doctors are in a hurry to do the maximum volume every day. They are paid in volume, so they might see 50 patients a day. The profit is not made on talking [with the patient], but on the tests that you can run.” There’s no value on customer service, Torrey said, because physicians don’t have to keep their appointments on schedule and most of the other doctors are concentrating on volume as well. Medical practices often have to cut office staff to meet profit margins, but that affects efficient scheduling and patient flow. With health care, customers cannot get a refund if a physician sold them the wrong procedure or drug, let alone if they are unhappy with the way they were treated. “They get paid if you have to go back,” Torrey said. “The safety net is they get paid whether they are right or wrong.” Despite her dim view of the insurers’ grip on health care, Torrey said patients have the power to make changes. The first step is simply to become more informed on your own health and your health insurance options. And customers need to view their relationship with providers as a partnership, not a dictatorship where doctors’ orders are the gospel. “It’s not second-guessing medical professionals, but learning to trust but verify,” she said. “The problem is the health care system has changed [main focus from care to money], and we haven’t paid attention to that shift.” Torrey believes Americans should begin learning about health care in elementary school. In seventh-grade health care, she said, students can be assigned to make a list of questions for their doctors and research the histories of different vaccines. They can
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complete Internet search of any drugs prescribed to them or their family members and learn about cost, risks and side effects. Instruction on health procedures and the health care system should be matched with lessons about maintaining personal health, like healthy eating and the risks of smoking. “We want to show them that the element of their health is in their control,” she said. “Nobody ever teaches us to be a patient.” Adults, meanwhile, need to broaden their research of prescription drugs, procedures and health care options with literature that is not published by insurance companies. Not asking the right questions, Torrey says, can be deadly. She challenges health care consumers to be more sympathetic to doctors, who have to work longer days to make the same amount of money [or even less money] than they made several years ago. Physicians do have a lot to complain about, Torrey said, “and they don’t like the system either.” Comparatively, Torrey thinks the level of patient satisfaction in Central New York is excellent compared to other parts of the country. This she attributes to interactions with health care consumers in other states and the fact that there are no professional health care advocates in this area. In some large cities, paid advocates get between $75 and $350 an hour to help clients navigate through the insurance company bureaucracy and select health care options. “There is general satisfaction here,” she said. “The problems are in the places where you see the most [professional] advocates.” Massachusetts, which has adopted a universal health care model and is still dealing with the trials and errors of a new system, has many professional advocates. So does California, where a health care system dominated by one huge company has many unsatisfied customers. April 2011 •
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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
By Eva Briggs
5 Things Not to Ask Your Doctor; and 5 Things to Ask
ometimes people request information, assistance or treatment that I can’t provide. Most people understand when I tell them that I can’t comply, although some are amazingly persistent, as if wheedling or begging will change what I am able to do. So I’ve come up with a list of five things not to ask your doctor, as well as five things that you should ask.
Don’t ask me to diagnose without seeing you. One of my former partners had a great response when a mother called asking him to treat her child’s rash based on a phone conversation. He very sweetly asked the mother to hold the baby up to the phone so he could get a better look. Of course that occurred before we even imagined that there would be such a thing as a video chat. For your doctor to diagnose your problem, he’ll need a careful history and a hands-on exam. The former takes more time than is typically possible during a phone call, and the latter requires the patient’s physical presence. And if you are not an established patient, the doctor can’t treat you based on a phone call. The law requires that a doctor maintain an
adequate record of your treatment. It’s impossible to do that without an actual exam.
Don’t ask me to prescribe drugs just because someone else gave them to you in the past. Your request may be legitimate or you might be a drug seeker looking for controlled substances. In any case, I’ll need to find out what your symptoms are, figure out the diagnosis (which may or may not be what your last doctor thought) and determine the correct medicine. Your medical history may have changed since the medication was last prescribed, new or better treatments may be available, or the old medicine may no longer be available.
Don’t ask me to perform a procedure for which I am not qualified. Once I’ve told you that something is beyond my scope of practice, please don’t make repeated requests for me to provide that service. I know it seems crazy, but some people really do beg
Charlie Sheen situation offers lessons about drug and alcohol abuse
By Mark Briggs
t took the largest Japanese earthquake in recent memory, the subsequent tsunami, and the threatened meltdown of several of that country’s nuclear reactors to shift the American public away from Charlie Sheen’s meltdown. We have followed the drug dramas of Robert Downey, Jr., Brittney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and many others. We are fascinated by the rich and famous self-destructing, but their an-
tics offer us valuable lessons in regard to drug and alcohol abuse as well. I have treated addictions for nearly 40 years. I see the curse of addictions destroying not only addicts, but families and friendships. As I am writing this article on March 14, Charlie Sheen is headed for a cliff. It appears to me that he has a mental illness as well as addiction. But dually diagnosed people are saved from the ravages of addiction every
Yeah, I am on a drug. It’s called “Charlie Sheen.”
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
me to perform procedures that I’ve just told them I don’t know how to do! One angry woman even went so far as to storm out shouting angrily because, in her opinion, any doctor should be able to do anything! She actually thought that I could do brain surgery in the urgent care. In reality, she needed a neurosurgeon with years of training after medical school along an anesthesiologist and a fully equipped and staffed operating room. I am happy to help direct and guide patients to a colleague who can provide the treatments that I can’t offer. Also, if you just had surgery or a procedure done by another doctor, and develop a problem related to that surgery, call or return to the original doctor. Without knowing the details of the original procedure, I often can’t render a wise decision.
Don’t ask me to give a second opinion when I don’t have your old records. Unless I know what tests and workup have already been done, and what treatments have already been tried, a lot of time and money will be wasted. Sometimes patients mistakenly believe that if I receive records from their old doctor, I won’t be able to come up with an independent opinion. Also, it probably isn’t wise to ask a generalist for a second opinion about a specialized problem that has already been evaluated by one or more specialists in that field.
Don’t ask me to discuss a family member’s personal information. If the patient is 18 years old or older,
day. Sheen’s public pronouncements have been so infused with denial that even common people can see it. He denies the seriousness of his problems, his need for outside help, and even the role he has played in bringing his problems on himself. He has lost his children and a job which paid him over $2 million per episode and he has rendered unemployed most of the staff of his awardwinning television show, “Two and a Half Men.” Like most addicts, he sees himself as the victim of “fools” and “trolls.” He embodies the best acronym for the word DENIAL—Don’t Even Know I Am Lying. He lies to everyone, but his chief perpetration is lying to himself. If you have known active addicts up close, you have seen this lying to self and others. Addiction commandeers the addict’s intelligence and uses it in its own service. Sheen is very smart, but his intelligence is now an employee of the addiction. The denial is also seen in Sheen’s superiority and grandiosity. He calls himself a “tiger” and a “warlock”, and he blatantly says he is a superior man. This arrogant grandiosity is one of the hallmarks of addiction. Active addicts tend to believe they are exempt from moral, civic, psychological and even spiritual laws. Sheen further displays his addiction with his assertion that he can stop on his own. From time immemorial, the idea that they can quit without help is a delusion that addicts have chased to the gates of insanity and death. What Sheen needs first is to re-
I can’t even discuss their care with a parent or spouse, unless the patient has given consent. Although it can frustrate well-meaning parents of adult children, it’s the law.
Questions You Should Ask There are some things that patients should ask. Do ask me for help in quitting smoking. There are lots of methods and resources for would-be quitters. And it’s one of the most important lifestyle changes a person can make to improve long-term health. Do ask me to write down anything you might need help to remember: the names of drugs, how to take your medications, the names and results of tests that were ordered. Do ask me to explain anything that you don’t understand before you leave the office or clinic. Grumbling to the nurse or secretary under your breath on the way out of the office won’t help you to get the answer that you need. Do ask me about herbs and supplements that you are using. Sometimes these substances have side effects or drug interactions that affect your treatment. Do ask when you should come back. Is there a time frame for a recheck? Or what symptoms should prompt your return.
Eva Briggs, a board-certiﬁed physician, works on the staff at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, in its two urgent care centers: one in Ithaca, and the other in Cortland.
admit his powerlessness over his drugs of choice, including alcohol. Then he needs to be around clear minds— whether professional or experienced 12-steppers—long enough to clear out his own chemically addled brain. And due to his apparent psychiatric condition, he may also need proper medication. I hope that his statements about breaking free from the cult of AA are not taken seriously by active local addicts. In his denial, Sheen forgets that AA helped him to rebuild his career, gave him the clarity of mind to use his prodigious acting talents, and enabled him to keep one of the highest-paying jobs in American television. To say that Sheen is headed for a cliff is only halfcorrect, because he’s already halfway over. He has lost his marriage, his beloved children and the salary that pays for his lavish lifestyle. Only time will tell what hitting the rocks at the foot of the cliff will cause him: Imprisonment, impoverishment, health problems, and death are all serious possibilities. If you think you may have a problem with chemical addiction, you can the Onondaga Council on Alcoholism/ Addictions at 471.1373 or the equivalent agency in your own county. Mark Briggs, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and a clinical hypnotherapist (CHt), is the director of Alternative Hypnosis in East Syracuse. He can be reached at (315) 432-1514. For more information, visit www.AlternativeHypnosisNY.com
Jogging for Health
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There’s more to becoming a jogger than tossing on sneakers and charging out the front door now that the snow is melting. By preparing, you can avoid injury and stay more comfortable as you make jogging your fitness activity. “Consult your physician before beginning any running program,” said Rosanne Pickard, yoga instructor and running enthusiast with Personal Fitness, Inc. in Syracuse. Once your medical doctor gives you a green light, get the right shoes, especially if you have flat feet, high arches or health concerns such as diabetes. The choices can be overwhelming Pickard because of the huge variety of brands and styles of running shoes. “It’s not necessarily the most expensive or a certain brand but you should get the right fit to get off to the right start,” said Karen Kemmis, physical therapist with physical medicine and rehabilitation at SUNY Upstate. Knowing the needs of your feet is essential for picking the right fit. “Generally speaking, the flatter your feet the more arch support with less cushion is recommended for stability or motion control,” said Oswego health physical therapist Jason Pratt. “If you have high arches cushioned soles would be recommended.” A sporting goods or running-specific store can likely help you find just what you need. Some are equipped with treadmills so an expert can observe your running gait and find the shoe that will best support your feet. You may have a few issues you don’t
realize that could result in injury over time. “Find shoes that matches fit and function,” said Mike Bersani representing Fleet Feet in Syracuse. “Take into account the shape and volume of your foot and what your feet do naturally. Going to a specialty running store can help people. There’s more service available and more knowledge of walking and running. They’re able to talk about injury prevention.” Bersani recommends running shoes that are one-half size longer than your regular shoes to allow for swelling and plenty of room for the toes. Choose moisture-wicking socks to keep your free dry and blister-free. Cotton is usually a poor choice since it holds moisture against your skin once it is wet. Diabetics should consult their health care providers when choosing socks. “The $10 pair of socks will last longer Pratt than a $2 cotton sock,” Bersani said. “People don’t even take it into consideration. They see $10 socks and there’s sticker shock, but they last longer and are better for the foot in the long run.” Most sporting goods stores also carry moisture-wicking clothing, including sports bras for women. Bersani estimates that 80 percent of women wear the wrong size and that many keep them too long. “They usually last 52 washes,” he said. Select light layers of clothing that you can peel off as you become warm from exertion. Hydrate before, during and after
jogging, especially during warmer weather. Once you are shod and clothed for running, warm up by walking five to 10 minutes. Stretch the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles for 30 seconds apiece without bouncing. You should feel mild discomfort. Walk for a few minutes then jog for a few minutes. As you become more and more fit, you should be able to decrease the walking time and increase the jogging time. “Learn the basics of good running technique,” Pickard said. “Keep arms at waist level, relax your hands and shoulders and maintain good posture. Do not pump your arms across your chest and avoid bouncing, try to land softly in order to reduce stress on your knees and joints.” Inhale through your nose and completely fill your lungs before exhaling. Don’t start out jogging on uneven terrain. It’s more challenging and you’re more likely to get hurt. If you have a choice, a running track will provide a softer, more forgiving surface than asphalt. Take time to cool down when you’re Kemmis done. Don’t stop with your heart rate high. Reduce your pace to a brisk walk and then a walk until your heart rate slows. Always let someone know where you’re going and how long you plan to be gone for safety’s sake. Wear reflective clothing that makes you more visible to traffic if you’re jogging alongside a road. Use the sidewalk and against the flow of traffic so you can watch for oncoming vehicles. April 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
A Farewell To Lucy The decision to euthanize Lucy, my best friend of 15 years, was quite possibly the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my life By Amy Cavalier
n Friday, Feb. 25, I put my dog Lucy to sleep. We’ve been through a lot together. I adopted her when I was 18 years old and she practically raised me as much as I raised her. Together we played, we grew up, we learned, we celebrated, we loved and we mourned. Coming to the decision to euthanize Lucy, my best friend of 15 years, was quite possibly the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my life up until this point. Everyone told me, “you’ll know when its time” or “the dog will tell you when its time.” Let me tell you, it wasn’t that easy. Lucy didn’t make it easy. The old girl put up quite a fight. She had plenty of spirit left in her, but her legs just couldn’t keep up. According to her vet, David Hancock of Perinton Vet Clinic, Lucy suffered from a compression of the spinal cord, which is producing a failure of nerve communication from her brain to her back legs. “She no longer knows where her back legs are, and has difficulty putting them in the right spot, but that particular problem isn’t painful, it doesn’t hurt,” Hancock told me a few months before I came to the decision. “If she couldn’t walk or move, now we’d have a major issue, but just because she stumbles doesn’t mean she is pain.” As a result of this condition, Lucy walked around like she was drunk, sort of staggering and, sometimes, her back legs would get tangled causing her to fall. She had difficulty getting up, but she was still going up and down small flights of stairs and getting under foot whenever I was cooking in the kitchen. She would practically tear my hand off when I would offer her a treat. She could still stand to eat and drink on her own for the most part, and she wasn’t having accidents in the house that often. For a while, I wasn’t convinced it was time, or that she was ready. I asked my vet for guidance on coming to the end of life decision. Hancock told me he measures a dog’s quality of life using three characteristics — attitude, appetite and activity. If a dog is unable to move, doesn’t have a good appetite, those are pretty good indicators they could be ready to be euthanized. Activity is another indicator. “Do they still seek attention, are they engaged in life, do they interact, or are they just apathetic,” said Hancock. “Those three things, individually and in combination, determine when its appropriate to allow a dog to go.” For a while, I wondered if I really would “just know,” as everyone led me to believe I would. My vet said it’s not uncommon for a patient to ask “is it time?” People want guidance. In the Page 12
Amy Cavalier with her dog Lucy. “ I know Lucy will always be with me, but she was ready to go and I think I was finally ready to let her go.”
end though, Hancock told me, “I don’t make the decision for you, Amy, or for anyone else. That decision has to come from you and you have to be convinced it’s the right decision because it’s irreversible and I don’t want anyone second guessing that decision. These are things that have been our very good friends for a very long time and we all want to be making that decision appropriately.” Dr. Hancock said euthanizing pets is the hardest part of his job. “I’ve spent a lot of time crying with my clients,” he said. “It never gets easier.” I adopted Lucy in August 1995. Back then, her name was Sheba. Upon adopting her, I changed Sheba’s name to Lucy. I was 18 years old and fresh out of high school, about to enter my freshman year of college. Lucy was a 6-month-old mutt; 30 pounds of adorable, red spunk very much resembling a fox. It was not easy being a young college student raising a puppy, and many things were destroyed in the process. Despite all the trouble she caused, the two of us became inseparable. She was completely attached to me and could be trusted off a leash because she was so loyal she would never leave my side. Lucy loved to chase squirrels up trees, and I mean she literally could get five feet up the tree and still stick the landing! She enjoyed being spoiled by “grandma,” loved blankets and soft fuzzy soccer balls, and was an all around easy-going, well socialized dog. She made many dog and cat friends in her day. Together we moved from place to place, and Lucy was there with me as I completed my degree and began my career. She was there through all my ups and downs, and sometimes she was the cause of them. It was late March of 2001 when Lucy was about 6 years old. For a few days, she’d been acting funny. Finally, I noticed that she was sluggish, to the point where she wouldn’t eat or drink anything. I rushed her to the vet’s office where I received some very grim news. Lucy had Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
or, in other words, her immune systwo states and survived two dog attem was attacking her red blood cells. tacks. Lucy spent a few weeks with Where most dogs have 37 to 57 percent one of my friends in Long Island one red blood cells in their blood stream, summer, and when I went to retrieve Lucy’s were at 10 percent. Her plateher, we took a detour to New York City let count was around 71,000. Normal where she got to see a concert in Cenlevels are 200,000 to 500,000. “That’s tral Park and ride the subway. on death’s doorstep,” said her former This dog has lived more lives than veterinarian Eric Ehrhardt, owner any cats and better than many people. of Fruit Valley Veterinary Clinic in She’s lived the best life she could live. Oswego. In serious cases, the immune It was hard to make the decision this system will even also attack the bone time around to pull the plug, but it’s marrow. For a week, Lucy stayed at the a decision that’s been 15 years in the veterinarian’s office and showed no making. I knew the day would come. signs of improving. She had very little I even started a blog over a year ago, energy and could barely walk. “They written from the perspective of Lucy, a don’t have the energy to spare for eatdying dog reflecting on her life. ing and walking,” Dr. Ehrhardt said of In the end, the blog fizzled out. dogs with AIHA. “It’s totally exhaustJust the day-to-day responsibilities of ing. They’re basically in shock.” taking care of a geriatric dog took up Lucy received a blood transfusion any time I might have to blog. And and stayed at the veterinarian’s ofafter a while, it was just sad, because fice for five days, every one of which I Lucy’s quality of life was just not there would light a candle at night and pray anymore. So I made the appointment that my dog would live to see old age. I to have her euthanized Friday, Feb. 25. wasn’t ready to lose this dog so young. wasn’t sure what this would be like, I would visit Lucy several times a day, how I would handle losing my best sneaking in some contraband turkey to friend. tempt her taste buds. But still, her red Of course, bringing Lucy to the vet blood cell count showed no signs of for the last time was overwhelmingly recovery. sad. Taking her collar off her for the last When Lucy was finally sent home time and feeling the warmth leave it on a Friday, the vets told me there was was devastating. But at the same time, a good chance she would just pass I feel like this is a celebration. The fact away in her sleep, but they left the that I kept a dog alive and well for this catheter in her paw just in case she many years is something I am proud seemed uncomfortable and needed to of. I gave her the best life a dog could be put to sleep. Although she had no ask for. It will be hard without her. I’ll appetite, I was directed to try to give miss being able to bury my face in her her five different medications twice fur when times are tough. I’ll miss her a day. Three days later, on Monday, kisses, which never failed to make me Lucy was still alive. I called the vet’s smile through the hard times. Things office and they told me to bring her in. are so quiet now that she’s gone, but A blood test showed her red blood cell it’s also nice to have some freedom. I count had risen to 17 percent. It seemed know Lucy will always be with me, but almost like a miracle. After at least she was ready to go and I think I was $1,000 in vet bills, a lot of medications finally ready to let her go. Even though and months of rebuilding her strength, you’ll never be ready. Lucy returned to her old self and every day since then has For more stories about the seemed like a gift. In her lifetime, Lucy has Amazing Tales of Lucy, visit had several dental surgeries, she chewed at least a dozen theamazingtalesoflucy.blogspot.com pairs of shoes, she’s lived in
Trying to Quit? Some Fail for Lack of Good Information By Christopher Owens
ith two thirds of current tobacco users expressing a desire to quit tobacco use, there are a large number of New York state residents trying to kick the habit every day. More often then not, this endeavor is thwarted by the very addictive nature of these products. Unfortunately for the consumers, this is the whole idea behind the formulation of tobacco products by the manufacturers. Over the course of decades, the formulation has changed to maximize the impact on the delivery of the addictive component of tobacco — nicotine. Of the over 4,000 chemicals found in tobacco products, there is a large quantity included to specifically enable nicotine to enter the blood stream more rapidly. In large part, this is the culprit behind the large failure rate with individuals who try to quit tobacco use “cold turkey.” The products have changed rapidly, but the mindset behind the quit attempts has not changed nearly as quickly. Not only is there a large segment of the population that tries to quit without any medication to help, individuals who do try medications often are not given adequate instructions on how to use the medications correctly. When it comes time to make a first quit attempt or to make another quit attempt after one that hasn’t gone so well, here are some basic tips for using
nicotine replacement products. Research shows that quit attempts become much more effective when nicotine replacement medications are used. Also, remember that the nicotine is not the most harmful aspect of the tobacco products. It is the other 4,000 chemical components that cause the most harm. Nicotine replacement products produce a modest increase in both blood pressure and heart rate, so keep that aspect in mind when making the choice to begin using any of these products. It is also recommended to speak with your primary care physician prior to starting the use of any nicotine replacement therapy to ensure safety of use.
• Available in 7, 14 and 21 mg. • Over-the-counter • Must use correct strength. Designed for 1 mg per cigarette smoked (ex: 1ppd = 21 mg patch) • Use 1 patch/24hr • Discontinue if adhesive reaction • Rotate sites on large muscles • May use gum or lozenge for cravings • Can cause nightmares; if so, take off before bedtime
• Over-the-counter • If using alone, use 2 mg gum if smoke less than 1 ppd • Use 4 mg if smoke more than 1 ppd If using as a rescue medication (with a nicotine patch) use 2 mg gum • Chew and park — DO NOT chew continuously like typical gum
• Spray into lining of nasal mucosa (DO NOT inhale such as with a saline solution) • Works quickly — fastest NRT • May burn, eyes water • If use alone will require frequent use : may use up to 5 times in 1 hour, maximum
Nicotine Nasal Spray
Christopher Owens is the coordinator of the Tobacco Cessation Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.
• Available in 2 and 4 mg Over-the-counter • If using alone, use 2 mg if smoke less than 1ppd • Use 4 mg if smoke more than 1ppd • If using with a nicotine patch, use 2 mg for cravings • Moisten and park – do not chew • Do not eat or drink 15 min before use or while using
• Prescription only
• Prescription only • Meant to be puffed on, NOT inhaled (solution is absorbed in the mouth, not the lungs) • Each cartridge meant to be puffed on 80 times over 20 minutes • Can be used with patch • 6-16 cartridges/day • Can cause mouth or throat irritation
he Learning Disabilities Association of CNY provides Educational Consulting to families with children who have learning disabilities, ADHD or struggle with learning. Call for assistance in helping children, 315-432-0665 or visit our website www.LDACNY.org
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QUALITY CARE FOR PATIENTS OF ALL AGES April 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Adult Smoking Rate Hits Plateau Percentage of New York state high school students who reported smoking goes up
avorable trends that showed declining Upstate New York adult smoking rates are leveling off, while the percentage of high school smokers statewide is on the rise, according to a new report issued by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “This is a disturbing set of findings because of its implications for the future,” says Dr. Robert J. Holzhauer, vice president and chief medical officer, Excellus BCBS. “Smoking is associated with at least 30 percent of total cancer deaths, nine of 10 lung cancer deaths and a host of other illnesses and complications that could be prevented by a single action. “I can’t even begin to describe the frustration that physicians feel when more patients report smoking,” Holzhauer continues. “Lives are shortened unnecessarily, and billions of dollars are spent to treat illnesses caused by this deadly habit. Those dollars could be better used to treat less preventable conditions.” According to the Excellus BCBS report, the Upstate New York adult smoking rate is 3 percentage points higher than that of adult smokers statewide and nationally. Following a decline from 25.5 percent in 2003 to 21.6 percent in 2004, smoking rates in Upstate New York hit a relative plateau between 2005 and 2009. From 2008 to 2009, Upstate New York adult smoking prevalence rose from 19.4 percent to 21.3 percent. Variations in adult smoking rates among Upstate regions are modest, ranging from about 20 percent in the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions to 24.3 percent in the Southern Tier. About 22 percent of those in Central New York and the Utica/Rome and North Country region are current smokers. In setting its goal for 2020, Healthy People, an initiative sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that tracks progress toward national health improvement objectives, retained the goal (unmet for 2010) of reducing adult smoking rates to 12 percent. “Clearly, we still have a lot of work to do to reach the Healthy People 2020 goal,” says Holzhauer. Experts say that focusing smoking prevention on youth is critical because nearly all first-time tobacco use occurs before high school graduation. Youth who start smoking are likely to continue the habit into adulthood. Smoking rates among New York state adults peak in the 18- to 24-year-old age group at 28.7 percent. See video — Go to www.youtube.com/excellusbcbs to view a video on how Upstate New York smokers are quitting the habit. Page 14
Women’s issues Excessive menstrual bleeding — 10-minute procedure can solve problem, says doctor Procedure performed at Crouse has ‘less side effects, less down time’ By Aaron Gifford
bout 20 percent of all women endure excessive menstrual bleeding — or menorrhagia. It’s a condition that interferes with daily activities and reduces quality of life. Many people wrongly assume there are no treatment options short of a hysterectomy. Symptoms include periods that last more than seven days, having to replace pads every hour, fatigue and large blood clots. With menorrhagia, the blood loss is about 5.5 tablespoons per menstrual
Twenty years ago, Dr. Kristen Kratzert said, menorrhagia operations were performed with lasers or roller balls and took more than an hour to complete, not to mention longer recovery periods for the patient. Today, the procedure can take only 10 minutes.
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • March 2011
cycle. By contrast, normal periods last four to five days with a blood loss of 2-3 tablespoons, according to the Mayo Clinic. Excessive menstrual bleeding, if untreated, can lead to other problems, including iron deficiency anemia. It can also cause enough pain to warrant medications or even surgery. Although menorrhagia affects women in several age groups, adolescent girls who recently started menstruating and older women approaching menopause are most at risk. “It’s very common, but treatable,” said Kristen Kratzert, a gynecologistobstetrician who performs surgery at Crouse Hospital. She added that menorrhagia can be caused by hormone imbalances, polyps, thyroid conditions, bleeding disorders and, in rare circumstances, uterine cancer. Some of the procedures are fairly quick and non-invasive. The latest procedure available, in fact, takes about 10 minutes. The Genesys Hydro Thermablator (HTA) system was implemented at Crouse just six months ago. Under that procedure, saline heated to 194 degrees is applied to thin the uterine lining before the liquid is then flushed out with a cooled saline. Kratzert prefers this procedure to others because it works with uteruses of any shape and size and, unlike some other operations, she can use a scope that allows her to see inside the uterus. “I find it to be the best overall treatment,” she said. “It’s user friendly for the staff, quicker and more cost effective. It’s the most minimally invasive procedure so far.” The Genesys HTA system only applies to women who are done having children. It should not be used as a form of birth control. Kratzert said research has shown that patients who complete the HTA treatment immediately have more normal periods or no periods at all. The procedure, however, does not necessarily combat bloating, mood swings or other hormonal issues. “It doesn’t guarantee that your PMS goes away,” Kratzert said. “But if part of your anxiety is dreading your period, your quality of life is going to be better. And with less blood loss you have more energy.” As with any surgical procedure aimed at reducing menstrual bleeding, the patient should first complete blood work, a Pap smear screening test and a sonogram to rule out cancer or other problems. “You need to do a full work-up to determine what causes the bleeding, and be sure that the condition is purely a heavy menstrual flow,” Kratzert said. According to the Mayo Clinic,
women seeking treatment for menstrual bleeding should note any other types of physical symptoms, including breast tenderness or pelvic pain, and indicate if there are any other changes in their life that has caused stress, including recent weight gain. Patients should also find out if they have any family history of bleeding disorders. It’s also important to measure the amount of excessive bleeding in terms of tampon use. In 2000, Kratzert became the first physician in Central New York to use an HTA system. Over time, Boston Scientific Corporation has made the system more efficient, reducing the procedure’s time to less than 15 minutes with its latest Genesys product. Patients can elect local anesthesia or heavy sedation and are cleared to return home the same day. They are given medications in advance to combat cramps, nausea and pain. On its website, Boston Scientific Corporation said that the Genesys HTA comes with a cassette that explains how the device should be set up and taken down. The company reported a 98 percent product satisfaction rate among patients who completed the procedure. Pain ratings of the procedure, given by patients on a scale of 1 to 10, averaged 3.68 Twenty years ago, Kratzert said, menorrhagia operations were performed with lasers or roller balls and took more than an hour to complete, not to mention longer recovery periods for the patient. All told, birth control pills are still the most common method for treating excessive menstrual bleeding, followed by the HTA system. “Novasure,” a procedure that applied an electric current to the uterine lining, is also popular. Kratzert said Novasure can cause excessive uterine scarring. Additional methods to treat menorrhagia include freezing or scraping the uterine lining. With the Mirena device, which is also for birth control purposes, a hormone-releasing system is placed inside the uterus, shrinking its lining. Patients who chose that method may not see results for up to nine months. A hysterectomy, the full or partial removal of the uterus and cervix, ends menstrual cycles and causes sterility. It usually requires hospitalization, but newer procedures like laparoscopic surgery allow for quicker recovery. Most of the other procedures for treating excessive menstrual bleeding are usually done on an outpatient basis. In rare cases where an HTA operation or a different ablation procedure fails, patients still have the option of getting a hysterectomy or treating menorrhagia with hormone therapy. And ablation procedures can be done again on a patient if excessive menstrual
bleeding develops several years later. Kratzert expects to see continued improvements in all of the products for treating menorrhagia, and believes laparoscopic surgery in that area will become more commonplace. No matter what option they chose, patients can expect quick procedures and shorter recovery times in the years to come. “Less side effects, less down time. There are a lot of things coming down the pike to make women’s lives better,” she said. “The main idea is women don’t have to suffer with heavy menstrual bleeding, and a hysterectomy is not the only option.”
HELP US BUILD HOPE A NEW HOME!
More Fruits and Vegetables Unlikely to Protect Against Cancer, Study Suggests
here is no convincing evidence that eating more fruit and vegetables can reduce chances of developing cancer, although they are important for maintaining a healthy diet. That’s the conclusion of a review by an Oxford University scientist that looked at a decade of evidence on the links between fruit and vegetables and the development of cancer. The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, found that the only diet-related factors that definitely affect cancer risk are obesity and alcohol. Tobacco is still the single biggest cause of cancer. Professor Tim Key of the cancer epidemiology unit at Oxford University says that while there are undoubted benefits in eating fruit and vegetables, there is little hard evidence that they protect against cancer. But the evidence is indisputable that cancer is strongly linked to being overweight or obese and drinking more alcohol than the recommended daily limits. He said: ‘Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and a good source of nutrients. But so far the data does not prove that eating increased amounts of fruit and vegetables offers much protection against cancer. ‘But there’s strong scientific evidence to show that, after smoking, being overweight and alcohol are two of the biggest cancer risks.’ Overweight people produce higher levels of certain hormones than people of a healthy weight and this can contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer. Being overweight can increase your risk of other common cancers like bowel, and also hard-to-treat forms of the disease like pancreatic, oesophageal and kidney cancer. When alcohol is broken down by the body it produces a chemical which can damage cells increasing the risk of mouth, throat, breast, bowel and liver cancers. ‘Too few people know about the significant cancer risks associated with obesity and drinking too much alcohol,” said Sara Hiom, director of health information at Cancer Research UK. “While stopping smoking remains the best way to cut your chances of developing cancer, the importance of keeping a healthy weight and cutting down on alcohol shouldn’t be overlooked.
Already known for its award-winning cancer program, Upstate is striking even harder at this formidable enemy by building a ﬁve-story center of diagnosis, treatment and hope. Opening in 2013, this comprehensive light- and hope-ﬁlled center will integrate Upstate’s extraordinary array of cancer services into one ﬂuid, patient-focused space. The latest in cancer treatment—as well as cancer research, education and prevention programs— will continually intersect, inspiring new insights into cancer, new strategies for ﬁghting cancer— and ever-higher levels of hope. Our community rallied to build the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. We can do it again.
Recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
Please, help us build hope a new home. Call 315-464-HOPE (4673) or visit
...watch the “Upstate
Cancer Center” video
State University of New York I Syracuse, NY I Knowing changes everything.SM
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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
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April 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
My Pregnant Life By Melissa Stefanec
People now can tell I’m pregnant. Finally
“When I went to Alternative Hypnosis, I was feeling desperate and looking for help in my struggle.” Trudy, Red Creek “When I came to Alternative Hypnosis, I was at my wits’ end. Basically it changed my whole mindset and relationship to food.” Rachel-Mom, Liverpool
weight come off easily.” Michael Cummings-RN Baldwinsville
Gastric Surgery Bypassed “I had planned to have bypass surgery and was scheduled, when a co-worker suggested hypnosis. I have no cravings and don’t even feel deprived.” Rose Ann BonoSchool Secretary, Liverpool
Other Programs Failed
A Tendency to Last “Finally, a program for life! Fantastic!” Judith
“I have tried many of the weight-loss programs available in today’s world, and this one is working for me.”
his month marked a two very special pregnancy firsts for me: a stranger commented on my pregnancy and a colleague commented on my gait. While at the grocery store during a beer tasting my husband was enjoying, the provider commented I wasn’t in need of a sample while making a pregnant belly motion. It was cute, but considering I had a winter coat on, this stranger was being quite observant. Secondly, while walking down the stairs at my office I got my first, “You are starting to waddle” comment. I guess I can count my lucky stars that people can finally tell I’m pregnant, because feeling pregnant and having no one notice is a strange thing indeed. The six-month stretch is a little scary. Things are getting more real by the day. My husband and I find ourselves in full planning mode. Our little lady is living up to her will-be name, which is Stella. We are truly two planets orbiting a star. Almost every life motion is done with consideration to what is on deck with a baby coming into our lives. We’d better learn to back off a little once she is here or we are going to have one spoiled baby on our hands. On the medical side, I had my blood glucose test this month, which is a screening for gestational diabetes. So many women warned me that it would be awful. For those of you unfamiliar with the test, you fast and have your blood drawn. You then have to drink a super-saturated sugar drink and have your blood drawn an hour later. You get to go back for a more in-depth test if your body doesn’t process the sugar properly and you flunk. They then determine if you have gestational diabetes. I passed my first test with flying colors. However, there is a 24-hour window between the test and when you’d get the results. You better bet I was slugging away some last-minute chocolate pudding during that window just to be on the safe side. At this same appointment I started being measured with a tape measure. Less than a year ago I was being measured for my wedding dress. Now I’m being measured for uterine placement and growing girth. The times, they are a changing. In other news, the baby registry is done. I once again had to baby sit my husband with the registry gun. I’d be walking down the aisle and hear that mechanic beep. I’d turn around and see him falling victim to a fuzzy animal blanket that should have been woven out of diamond thread for what it cost. His defenses were always, “but it’s so
TIRED of the
Gage-Medical Review Examiner, Sherburne
“I am more relaxed and now look at weight loss as a beneﬁt to my self-esteem, my health, and my state of mind.” Sheila
Donna M. Urbanek – Teaching Assistant, Moravia
“I have lost over 90 pounds and changed my life.” Michael Poirier– Customer Service, Clay “Over 65 pounds and 25 inches of fat in six months!” Sallie Guyder-
Emerson-Commercial Insurance Underwriter, Jamesville
“I don’t crave bad things.” Jennifer Bono-Student, Liverpool
“I easily lost 40 pounds.” Michael Cummings-RN, Baldwinsville
Health cute.” I found it hard to give in to his cuteness so I guess we might just have to have a baby wrapped in a couple of high-end blankies. The baby shower is in the works. I have some very dedicated family and friends who will make the process a breeze and I am thankful for that. One of my friends is so dedicated to my shower cause that she is avoiding doing thesis work to do work on homemade invitations. A thesis can wait, but achieving life-like strings on a cartoon bunny mobile cannot. Talk about dedication! One of the most difficult things about having a child has been planning for childcare. Even though we both work full time, my husband and I will technically only need part-time care. Finding infant care is challenging. Finding part-time infant care is like finding a forgotten $100-bill in your pocket while baby budgeting — it probably isn’t going to happen. Quality childcare at full and part-time levels that is affordable is something this country desperately needs, though that rant could rob my readers of any other news appearing in my remaining columns. So I will leave it at that. All in all I just find myself getting more and more excited (and scared). I will be charting new waters as I move forward with this. There will be an expectant parent class next month to help out. I continue to read everything I can get my swollen hands on to prepare for labor, delivery and childcare. With a little luck, I will be partially ready.
The author can be reached at email@example.com
“My cholesterol is down 100 points; my sugar is out of the diabetic range. I’ve lost 37 pounds so far.” Gail Brennan-Retired Accountant, Tully
“I was skeptical at ﬁrst, but this program really works! I lost 65 pounds and have kept it off over four years!!” Lesley Hughes-Retired Educator, East Syracuse
“I used to get in the handicap carts at the store. Last time I walked for over two hours!” W. Lamphere-Bus Driver, Parish
“Alternative Hypnosis has made the
I Saved Money
“I tell people, to be the size you want to be the rest of your life is almost priceless.” Peg MarkhamRetired Teacher, Baldwinsville Professional Atmosphere
“They are very professional in their treatment of all their patients.” Chris-Nurse Practitioner, Syracuse
“Coming to Alternative Hypnosis is deﬁnitely one of the best decisions I have made. I’m so Impressed! Sue Tillotson-Pet Sitter
QUIT NICOTINE, TOO! “I don’t know how it works, but it sure did... after smoking for 40 years! Susan J. Henderson, Waitress/Barber, Erieville
Successful clients shown or quoted are not compensated and share their personal stories freely. Individual results vary. The testimonials or photos represent the experience of the speciﬁc client. Each individual is different, as is each one’s individual result. A typical client may expect many different types of results, including possibly better results or no results. The client(s) in the testimonial(s)/lphotos followed our treatment plan.
April 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
tion should discuss and spell out their wishes before they go into the delivery room. Many women include this in their written labor plans. Moms who have C-sections are usually advised to forgo a subsequent pregnancy for 18 months to allow time for the uterus to heal. Recently the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology issued guidelines on attempting vaginal birth after cesarean. Hospital personnel may not be able to offer the opportunity to try VBAC to women who don’t meet these requirements. Some of the concerns of VBAC include uterine rupture; however, the risk is 0.2 to 1.5 percent. With every C-section, additional scar tissue is formed, which can compromise the uterus, increasing the risk of abnormal presentation or the placenta implanting over the scar. “I have listened to many moms wonder if they should just schedule a nervous about a vaginal birth after a cesarean birth, especially when their previous C-section because the tissues have been compromised because of the first or even second delivery was by cesarean,” Goldman said. “This is where surgery. Although vaginal birth after C-sec- good education on vaginal birthing after cesarean is important. Perhaps she tion is possible and many women do is a good candidate, perhaps she isn’t. fine, attempting a vaginal birth de“Depending on her medical situapends upon the doctor’s recommendation, it is critical to discuss personal sittions and the mother’s preference. uations before Some women elect making the for a C-section for a decision across number of reasons. the board. You “We are seeing are your best more women requestadvocate. You ing them but it’s only should know 2.5 percent,” Mestad, your medical the SUNY Upstate history, what oy/gyn, said. happened durSome women who ing your last request a C-section do delivery, what so because they live type of incifar away enough from sion you had, a medical facility that and why it was they fear not “makdone.” ing it” in time for the Steffen’s baby’s delivery. Others experience want to plan date of the spurred her to birth or harbor fears help women about vaginal delivery. avoid unnec“A lot are afraid of essary C-seclabor or pain,” Mestad tions. Today, said. “They think havas a DONA ing a C-section reduces Steffen is an advocate for natural birth. Internationaltheir risk of having any certified doula, pain.” she helps her clients through their own As Mestad and her colleagues probe deeper into the woman’s reasons, birthing experiences, which she has found immensely satisfying. they find that “usually it’s because of “Going through the DONA Interthe horror stories they heard about givnational training helped me deal with ing birth. Usually they opt to proceed a lot of the emotions creeping up from with a vaginal delivery. We talk with my c-section,” Steffen said. “I had supthem and address their concerns.” One of these is fear of incontinence pressed most of those feelings as best I after vaginal delivery; however, studies could.” Learning about counter-pressure, have not proven that a C-section reducchanging positions, breathing teches the long-term risk of incontinence. Mestad discusses with patients dis- niques, and other ways to have a natuadvantages to C-sections such as longer ral labor also helped her feel confident in her ability to have a VBAC. recovery time, increased morbidity “I knew that with my C-section compared to vaginal delivery, such it was a cascade of interventions that as fever, wound hematoma or infeceventually led to the section,” Steftion, DVT (deep vein thrombosis), and repeat surgery with future pregnancies fen said. “I was a classic case. I felt comfortable knowing that without and its consequences. these things another c-section could be “She should think about how big avoided. I felt peace.” a family she plans to have,” Mestad Her favorite quote regarding birth said. “Each C-section increases the risk with following pregnancy of the uterus (author unknown) is “May your flight rupturing or the scar breaking while in be empowering and affirming. When you start to hear yourself say ‘I cannot labor, which can be deadly for baby or mother. Or, the placenta could implant do this any longer’ know that the time of birth is very near and know that incorrectly. A woman who wants to your baby will soon be in your arms. have several children, we strong disKnow that the strength of eons of forecourage elective c-section.” mothers flows through your veins and Recovery time can take as long as you CAN do it.” eight week if they have complications She is part of Doulas of CNY, phoand can be as short as four weeks with tographs births for parents and maina vaginal delivery; however, it varies tains a birth-related blog, http://zip-awoman to woman. dee-doula.blogspot.com. Women who do not want a C-sec-
Several Factors Behind Caesarian Section Spike Approximately one-third of all deliveries in the U.S. are C-sections, a jump from 14.6 percent only a decade ago By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
n 2007, first-time Oswego mom Holly Steffen had borderline gestational diabetes. At 39 weeks’ gestation, sonograms indicated her baby to weigh around nine pounds, a large baby. Up to 10 percent of pregnant moms have gestational diabetes. Pregnancy hormones cause gestational diabetes by interfering with the mother’s insulin and thereby causing blood sugar to spike. This can affect the baby’s size and cause him to become large before birth. (When Steffen’s baby finally came out he actually weighed seven pounds, eight ounces.) Steffen did not want the caesarian section (commonly referred to as a “Csection”) her doctor suggested. “I pushed it back as far as they would allow, hoping I would go into labor,” Steffen said. After receiving Cervadil to soften her cervix and prepare her for delivery, nothing changed. The following day, Steffen received Pitocin to help begin contractions. “I was fully dilated and pushed for almost three hours,” Steffen said. Meanwhile, the fetal monitor attached to her son’s head shifted. When it was adjusted and reading his vital signs properly again, the baby’s heart rate was shown to be much too low. Instructed to not push, Steffen was rushed to the operating room. Although she had not wanted a C-section initially, “at the time, I knew I had to do what was best for my baby,” she said. “I had no idea what I was missing out on. In cases like Steffen’s, medical professionals opt for a C-section to avoid injury to mother and baby. Approximately one-third of all deliveries in the U.S. are C-sections, a jump from 14.6 percent only a decade ago, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. “It is definitely higher than what it should be,” said Renee Mestad, ob/gyn at SUNY Upstate. “We have a fairly high C-section rate at Upstate, but we also have fairly complicated patients. It’s as high as 50 percent at some teaching hospitals but you have babies with more problems at them. It is a problem, though. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is working to reduce the rate.” Part of the reason behind the increase in C-sections is the general decline in the health of birthing mothers. As obesity rates climb, so does the health problems associated with extra weight. Carrying extra pounds can complicate pregnancy and necessitate a C-section. A larger number of older first-time moms has also impacted the rate of C-sections because older moms tend Page 20
to have more health issues and enter pregnancy less fit than younger ones. Fetal intolerance to labor and umbilical cord prolapse are also reasons some babies need emergency C-sections. Women’s increased familiarity with C-sections have helped the rate grow, along with doctors’ increasing fear of liability. Christine Goldman, a doula certified by DONA International, believes fear is a large motivator as well. “I spend several hours a week answering phone calls from women pertaining to ‘what if’s’ and ‘why’s,’” she said. “Education of cesarean prevention is extremely important during pregnancy for both mom and her partner. “Good nutrition, knowledge of interventions, medications, epidurals and their proper timed usage, having numerous discussions with all of their care providers about their birthing wishes throughout their pregnancy is extremely important. A great place to seek support is local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) group and reputable doula support.” Goldman is co-owner of Doulas of CNY and a certified birth doula, certified postpartum doula, and childbirth & lactation educator. A variety of factors of giving birth in a hospital setting can sometimes snowball and contribute to the likelihood of a C-section. “Looking back, I realize that if I hadn’t had all those interventions there is a good chance I could have had him vaginally,” Steffen said. “I learned that our babies and our bodies can birth with no interventions. We are hardwired to have babies. Since the beginning of time, women’s bodies have known how to birth.” After her C-section, Steffen began researching, even before she was pregnant for the second time, to figure out if she could have a vaginal birth after C-section or VBAC. “I kept seeing phrases like ‘I VBAC’d thanks to my doula’ and ‘My doula was so supportive and nurturing,’” she said. “I had no idea what a doula was, but I knew when I got pregnant again, that needed one. I found out what a doula was: a professional, trained labor support and found Doulas of CNY.” Armed with additional knowledge and with a doula attending her second birth, she delivered vaginally. In some cases, however, preplanned C-sections are medically necessary. Women with active herpes infection or HIV with a high viral load are C-section candidates. Often moms and doctors are
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
Women’s issues All Private Rooms at St. Joe’s New Mother-Baby Unit
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By Suzanne M. Ellis
t. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center formally unveiled its new $2.5 million Mother-Baby Unit to the public in early March. It was the culmination of nearly a year’s worth of renovation covering 11,000 square feet on the hospital’s fifth floor. The work transformed 14 rooms, all pretty much vintage 1970s, into 20 sparkling private rooms for new babies and their families. With an average of 2,000 babies born there each year, the changes will affect a lot of new mothers. “For years, we listened to our moms on what their wants and needs were and every one of them would say, in the surveys we do, that the care here was excellent but the icing on the cake would be to have private rooms,” said Lynne Ponto, a registered nurse who is the nurse manager for the mother-baby unit. “One of the things we found by surveying our patients [since the new unit opened] is that 95 percent of Katherine Dillard and Lawrence Furco hold their newborn son, Lawson Everett Furco, in one of the those surveyed mention the 20 new, private maternity rooms at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The baby was born March 1 and weighed wonderful private rooms,” said Gael Gilbert, a registered 10 pounds 5 ounces. The couple lives in North Syracuse. nurse and the director of mashower, hair dryers, and a built-in one,” Gilbert said. “Lynne [Ponto] and ternal child services at St. Joseph’s. wardrobe for storage. Each room has her team did an amazing job of using “Having a private room is very its own computer for doctors and other every bit of available space.” important, very family-oriented, medical personnel to use. On March 1, Katherine Dillard and because you bond as a family in those “These rooms really are wonderLawrence Furco, of North Syracuse, first hours,” Gilbert said. “If there are had a son, Lawson Everett Furco, and other people in the room and you don’t ful,” said Gilbert. “The staff is very positive about the changes because stayed in one of the new rooms. Both know them, even if they are very nice now they don’t have to worry about were pleased. people, it just isn’t the same. You can’t violating HIPAA laws,” she said, refer“This has been a really good expeconcentrate on the things you need to ring to the Health Insurance Portability rience here,” Dillard said the day after concentrate on like breast feeding and and Accountability Act of 1996. “Now her son was born. “The privacy has bonding.” For many years, the maternity unit they can help the patients without wor- been wonderful.” rying about violating privacy. That is Furco agreed. had 14 rooms, only two of which were very positive for them, and they are all “One of the things we had worprivate. At one point, showers were very pleased.” ried about was not being able to have even shared. The nursery was also renovated a private room, but they assured us it “We did little updates here and wouldn’t be a problem here,” he said. there over the years, but this was a total and redesigned, as were the reception area, the nursing stations, or “pods” as “This is great.” gutting,” said Ponto, who has worked they are called, the staff lounge and the Two years ago, St. Joseph’s reat the hospital for 24 years. patient/family lounge. ceived the “baby friendly” designation The renovation work, done by “With unique flooring and décor, from the World Health Organization. Hayner Hoyt Corp. in conjunction with the unit is a calm respite where mothIt’s a program run throughout the Schopfer Architects, LLP, and ET Engiers can easily bond with their new world, Gilbert said, and getting that neering, began in January 2010. It was babies,” Ganci said. designation recognizes that a hospital completed in December. “The atmosphere is so calm and is setting “the gold standard for breast St. Joseph’s is the first postpartum quiet now,” Ponto said. “When you feeding.” Only about 100 hospitals maternity unit in the Syracuse area to walk into a room, it is so different in the United States have earned the have all private rooms, according to because everyone is relaxed. When the distinction, she said. Kerri Ganci, director of public relapatients had roommates, they were “They look at your breast-feeding tions and marketing for the hospital. rates,” Gilbert said. “We are the only It’s also the first, she said, to offer room kind of on edge, but it’s not like that anymore.” delivery hospital in this area that has service to new mothers, from 6:45 a.m. When plans were being made for that designation, and we are one of to 6 p.m., and there is a full menu from the renovation, management listened only five hospitals in New York State which to choose. After hours, sandto the opinions and ideas of employees that have it.” wiches, cereal, fruit and other snacks from many departments. St. Joseph’s is a not-for-profit, 431are available in the family lounge. “Physicians, nurses, administrabed hospital and health care network The new rooms are airy and bright tion, housekeeping, linen and nutrithat provides services to patients in thanks to two large windows that let in tional services, facilities and others Onondaga County and 15 surrounding plenty of light. There’s a loveseat that were all included in the planning counties. The hospital is affiliated with converts to a bed so new fathers can because things needed to be convenient Franciscan Management Services and stay overnight, a 32-inch flat-screen for everybody. We really wanted an sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis. television, a large bathroom with a area that was going to work for everyApril 2011 •
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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Women’s issues Breast Cancer, Osteoporosis and Exercise By Janine Capucilli
reast cancer affects 12 percent of women and less than 1 percent of men. One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2010 there were 207,090 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in females and 1,970 new cases in men. There are approximately 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today and each of these survivors is at a high risk for developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the loss of bone mass, which places individuals at risk for fractures. Osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans. Osteopenia is lower-than-average bone density and can progress to osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 34 million Americans have osteopenia. There are many well-known risk factors of osteoporosis, including age, gender, malnutrition and low body mass. An additional risk factor that may not be as well-known is having treatments for breast cancer. Women and men who have had breast cancer treatment may be at an even higher risk for osteoporosis.
Many women and men are unaware of the physical problems or functional limitations that may arise after breast cancer treatment. Treatment for breast cancer typically involves surgical removal of the cancer and may also include one or any combination of the following: radiation treatment, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. In cases of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, treatments work to reduce or block the production of estrogen in the body. Estrogen serves as a protective hormone for bones, preventing bone loss. Pre-menopausal women (under the age of 50) who are treated for breast cancer often experience a drop in estrogen levels and become menopausal following chemotherapy or surgery, thus increasing their risk for osteoporosis. Those over the age of 50 or post-menopausal are not able to take hormone supplements because of the risk for breast cancer recurrence and, therefore, are also at a high risk for osteoporosis. Further risk factors include smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and sedentary lifestyle (lack of physical activity). Starting an exercise program can be challenging for most individuals.
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
How many times have you said “I am going to start exercising!” and put this at the top of the New Year’s resolution list only to find it at the top of the next year’s list? Well, for a patient who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, this can be especially challenging. We are all told how important it is to exercise daily but for this population it is even more vital. The benefits of exercise are plentiful. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can reduce stress, increase your energy level, maintain an ideal body weight, and even help you sleep better. In addition to reducing the risk for osteoporosis, daily exercise can also reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer recurrence. St. Joseph’s outpatient physical therapy offers a unique, all-inclusive breast cancer recovery program designed to fully maximize recovery after breast cancer treatment. An individualized exercise program that includes cardiovascular endurance, strengthening with weight bearing activities, and flexibility components is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle and even more important when recovering from cancer treatment. To safely obtain the
benefits of exercise and avoid injury following cancer treatment it is helpful and important to exercise under the guidance of a skilled physical therapist. Patients who have been enrolled in the Breast Cancer Recovery Program may qualify for a FREE 12 week “STEP UP” program and an exercise kit to continue their exercise program and reduce their risk for osteoporosis. St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center offers the “STEP UP” program for patients who want to continue to exercise in a supervised setting under the guidance of a physical therapist following their discharge from the Breast Cancer Recovery Program. This 12 week “STEP UP” program is available to breast cancer survivors who meet specific criteria for enrollment through a grant offered by the Saint Agatha Foundation. Janine Capucilli is a physical therapist who specializes in the treatment for lymphedema at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center’s Outpatient Physical Therapy department at Northeast Medical Center in Fayetteville. She is the lead therapist for the Lymphedema and Breast Cancer Recovery programs at the Fayetteville location. She holds a doctoral degree in physical therapy and is certiﬁed in the Vodder technique of manual lymphatic drainage and complete decongestive therapy. She is also nationally certiﬁed through the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA). For further information about the Lymphedema Program or the Breast Cancer Recovery Program her at 329-7000 to schedule an evaluation.
Low cost or no-cost family planning care is available in CNY By Tiffany Lloyd
id you know that roughly 50 percent of all U.S. pregnancies are unplanned? Despite the fact that 2010 marked the 50th birthday of the first oral contraceptive, there are still some difficult barriers related to the availability of and access to reproductive health services. When you think about it, the typical female is fertile for 30 years or more. During some of those years some of them will be either pregnant or actively seeking a pregnancy. For the rest of her childbearing years, unless she is not having sex or is using a reliable method of birth control, she is at risk of an unplanned pregnancy. Using birth control effectively requires persistence, access to reproductive health services and a means to pay for those services. It is not just teenagers who experience an unplanned pregnancy. Data from the Guttmacher Institute reveals that all age groups share a significant proportion of risk. Low cost or no-cost family planning care is available in the Central New York area through Title X (10) funded clinic programs. These programs offer a variety of reproductive health services, including different types of birth control, pap smears, breast exams, STD testing, HIV counseling and testing, pre-conceptual counseling (counseling that helps you begin healthy behaviors while you are planning a pregnancy), and education regarding reproductive health and sexual decision making. In Syracuse, one of those programs is Family Planning Service of Onondaga County Health Department. Family Planning Service (FPS) of Onondaga County is a reproductive healthcare program with a long-standing tradition of offering a variety of reproductive services to men, women and teens. FPS has three clinic sites: Onondaga County Civic Center, The William H. Harris Health Center on the near west side, and in North Syracuse. Each of our sites are staffed with a variety of caring health professionals that are prepared to assist clients
in choosing the reproductive plan that will best serve their needs, regardless of income, sexual preference and/or orientation. We provide early detection, intervention and prevention of reproductive health problems for those who want or need care. FPS agencies support the perspective that choosing to have or not have children when the time is right for you, and also the proper spacing of children, helps individuals to order their steps so that their family planning goals are in line with their life goals. FPS accepts Medicaid, Family Health Plus, private insurances and offers a sliding-fee scale that can be reduced to zero for individuals who are experiencing financial hardship and are not eligible for other programs. In addition family planning programs can help people enroll in the Family Planning Benefit Program, a New York State benefit that pays for most reproductive health care services. Teens in CNY and the surrounding areas have historically displayed significantly higher rates of STD infection and teen pregnancy when compared to statewide statistics. In response to this, family planning agencies offer comprehensive sexual health education services to teens within the city and county district schools as well as many other youthbased programs within the county. Adult education, parent education, and family-involvement programs are offered as well. Services that are similar to the ones being offered at FPS can also be found at other agencies in the Central New York area such as Planned Parenthood of Syracuse/Rochester, Easthill Medical Center of Cayuga and Oswego County Opportunities. If you are unsure of how to find a family planning program in your area, contact your local department of health.
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April 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
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oulas assist pregnant women. As defined by DONA International (www.dona.org), a doula is “a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.” ■ “Doulas are more experienced at birth than most men and women. We care deeply about our clients but because we are not immediate family we can have a more objective point of view, which allows us to remain calm when birth gets tough or complicated. This lets us help parents sort through their choices and we do not become upset in the normal course of watching a woman work through the rigors of childbirth. Ellen Derby, certified doula, member of Doulas of Central New York ■ “I do not ‘catch’ babies. I don’t do vaginal exams. I don’t take temperature or blood pressure or examine urine. ■ “I do help mom achieve a level of physical comfort through massage. I encourage movement in labor through walking, squatting or changing position. Holly Steffen, certified birth doula , member of Doulas of Central New York ■ “Doulas of Central New York is here to help all families, from all different walks of life. We will work within your budget. ■ “We are well respected in this community by all care providers for our integrity and work alongside them to help the mom birth as she chooses. Sometimes it takes a conversation with the care provider. Doulas of CNY do just that while maintaining a balance. We assist the partner, we nurture the mom, so she can concentrate on birthing her baby.” Christine Goldman, certified birth doula and certified post-partum doula with DONA International, childbirth and lactation educator, co-owner Doulas of Central New York ■ “There is more to birth than the medical process and being there when the baby is born. There is a whole emotional component that often is unrecognized and therefore neglected. Malinda Davis, DONA-trained birth
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • March 2011
doula with Doulas of Central New York ■ “One thing that probably contributes to [misconceptions] is that the doula’s job description varies from doula to doula and changes depending on the needs of the family. ■ “I want families to know that doulas usually offer payment plans. Some people hear that we charge $600 and think that they won’t be able to swing it, but I’ve worked with people of all different income levels and broken up the cost in a way that works for them.” Elizabeth Baer, certified doula with DONA International, founding member of the CNY Doula Connection ■ “I wish people understood that I am more than just an experienced woman who will hold your hand. Although I will do that and do it well, doulas are so much more. ■ “Having a partner, doula and midwife doesn’t mean they don’t need to take childbirth classes.” Christine Benson, doula with CNY Doula Connection ■ “Being able to be at the client’s home with her in early labor, having support with you and reassuring you during those beginning hours is important. ■ “I’d like parents to remember that they have both the right of ‘informed consent’ and ‘informed refusal’ when it comes to their pregnancy and birth care. Women have a right to know why a procedure is being suggested and what her alternatives are. Christine Herrera, certified doula with DONA International and member of CNY Doula Connection
Deborah Jeanne Sergeant is a writer with In Good Health. “What Your Doctor Wants You to Know” is an ongoing column that appears monthly to give our area’s healthcare professionals an opportunity to share how patients can improve their care by helping their providers and by helping themselves.
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Dear Savvy Senior, What devices can you recommend to help forgetful seniors keep up with their medications? My 76-year-old mother takes nine different prescription drugs and that doesn’t include all the vitamin supplements or overthe-counter medicines she takes. Any suggestions? Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned, The challenge of juggling medications can be a problem for anyone, especially seniors who take multiple drugs for various health conditions. Here are some different solutions that can help. Medication Helpers
Getting organized and being reminded are the two keys to helping your mom stay on top of her medication regimen. To help achieve this, there are a wide variety of inexpensive pill boxes, medication organizers, vibrating watches, beeping pill bottles and even dispensers that talk to you that can make all the difference. To find these types of products go to epill.com (800-549-0095) and forgettingthepill. com (877-367-4382) where you’ll find dozens of affordable options. If your mom needs a more comprehensive medication management system there are several good options here too. One of my favorites is the Maya from MedMinder (medminder.com, 888-633-6463), a computerized pill box that will beep and flash when it’s time to take her medication, and will call her if she forgets. It will even alert her if she takes the wrong pills. This device can also be set up to call, e-mail or text caregivers letting them know if your mom misses a dose, takes the wrong medication or misses a refill. The cost for Maya is $20 per month which covers rental and service fees. Some other good medication management systems worth a look at are TabSafe (tabsafe.com, 877-700-8600) and the Philips Medication Dispensing System (managemypills.com, 888-6323261), both of which will dispense her medicine on schedule, provide reminders and will notify caregivers if her pills aren’t taken. These systems run under $100 per month.
Another option that can help your
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mom keep on top of her meds is with a medication reminding service. These are services that will actually call, e-mail or text your mom reminders of when it’s time for her to take her medicine and when it’s time to refill her prescriptions. Some even offer extra reminders like doctor and dentist appointments, wake-up calls and more. Companies that offer such services include mymedschedule.com, which provides free medication reminders via text message or e-mail. Their website can also help you make easy-to-read medication schedules that you can print out for your mom to follow. Other similar companies worth a look are rememberitnow.com which also offers free text message and e-mail reminders and pillphone.com which charges around $4 per month. If, however, your mom doesn’t text or use a computer, OnTimeRx (ontimerx.com, 866-944-8966), Snoozester (snoozester.com) or Daily Pill Calls (dailypillcalls.com, 866-532-6855) may be the answer. With starting prices ranging between $4 and $10 per month, these services will call your mom on her home or cell phone (they can send text messages too) for all types of reminders including daily medications, monthly refills, doctor appointments and other events. Or, if you’re looking to keep closer tabs on your mom, services like Care Call Reassurance (call-reassurance.com, 602-265-5968) or CareCalls (parentcarecall.com, 888-275-3098) may be a better fit. In addition to the call reminders to your mom’s phone, these services can be set up to contact you or a designated Advanced Technology, World caregiver if she fails to answer or acknowledge the call. Care Call Reassurance costs $15 per month if paid a year Commitment to excellence in in advance, and CareCalls costs $39 per month plus a one-time activation fee of treating cancer: $99. • Physician and staff expertise offering the broadest array of state-of-the-art Savvy Tip: technology If you have questions or concerns about the medications your mom is • Comprehensive patient-oriented care taking, gather up all her pill bottles for all types of cancer including (including all prescription drugs, overprostate, breast, lung, colorectal, the-counter medications, vitamins, brain and other tumors minerals, and herbal supplements) and take them to her primary physician or • Nationally recognized leadership in pharmacist for a drug review so he or clinical cancer research she can look for any potential problems.
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Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.
University Hospital 750 East Adams Street Syracuse, NY 13210 (315) 464-5276
Hill Radiation Oncology 1000 East Genesee Street Syracuse, NY 13210 (315) 476-3535
Oswego County Radiation Oncology 105 County Route 45A Oswego, NY 13126 (315) 207-9066
upstate.edu/radonc March 2011 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
he loss of a loved one can be pain- receive benefits. The average survivors benefit is $1,129 a month. ful. The death of a wage-earner If you are a survivor, you should upon whom a family depends apply for survivors benefit right away. also can be financially devastating. You can apply by telephone or at any If you’re like most young or midSocial Security office. Call us toll-free at dle-aged workers, you probably think 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800of Social Security only as a 325-0778). To help prepare retirement program. But some you, here is the information of the Social Security taxes we will need: you pay go toward providing • Proof of death — either survivors insurance for workfrom a funeral home or a ers and their families. Think of death certificate; it as a life insurance policy you • Your Social Security never knew you had — paid number, as well as the defor by the same taxes that ceased worker’s; cover you for retirement or • Your birth certificate; disability. • Your marriage cerWhen you die, certain tificate, if you are a widow or members of your family may Banikowski widower; be eligible for survivors ben• Your divorce papers, if you are efits. These include widows, widowers applying as a divorced widow or wid(and divorced widows and widowers), ower; children, and even dependent parents. • Dependent children’s Social SeIn many cases, there also is a one-time curity numbers, if available, and birth lump-sum payment of $255 that can be certificates; made to a surviving spouse or minor • Deceased worker’s W-2 forms or children who meet certain requireFederal self-employment tax return for ments. You may not think it will happen to the most recent year; and • The name of your bank and your you, but the stunning truth is that one in eight of today’s 20-year-olds will die account number so your benefits can be before reaching their full retirement age deposited directly into your account. To learn more about survivors of 67. In fact, 98 of every 100 children benefits, please read the online pubcould get benefits if a working parent lication at www.socialsecurity.gov/ dies. More than 6.4 million survivors pubs/10084.html. Visit the Survivors page at www. socialsecurity.gov/pgm/survivors.htm.
Q: Do I need a Social Security card? I want to get a summer job and my dad can’t find my card. A: If you know your number, you probably don’t need to get a card. If you find out that you do need a replacement card, you can download and complete the application for a replacement at our website. Then, take or mail the application to your local Social Security office with the required documentation. The Web address is www. socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber. Q: Can I get a new Social Security number if someone has stolen my identity? A: We do not routinely assign a new number to someone whose identity has been stolen. Only as a last resort should you consider requesting a new Social Security number. Changing your number may adversely affect your ability to interact with Federal and State agencies, employers, and others. This is because your financial, medical, employment and other records will be under your former Social Security number. We cannot guarantee that a new number will solve your problem. To learn more about your Social Security card and number, read our online publication on the subject at www.
socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10002.html. Q: I’m retiring early, at age 62, and I receive investment income from a rental property I own. Does investment income count as earnings? A: No. We count only the wages you earn from a job or your net profit if you’re self-employed. Non-work income such as annuities, investment income, interest, capital gains, and other government benefits are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits. Most pensions will not affect your benefits. However, your benefit may be affected by government pensions earned through work on which you did not pay Social Security tax. For more information, call us toll-free at 1800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Q: I was turned down for disability. Do I need a lawyer to appeal? A: You are fully entitled to hire an attorney if you wish to, but it is not necessary. In fact, you can file a Social Security appeal online without a lawyer. Our online appeal process is convenient and secure. Just go to www. socialsecurity.gov/disability/appeal. If you prefer, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to schedule an appointment to visit your local Social Security office to appeal.
H ealth News SCHC Foundation has new development director Jill Allen has recently joined the Syracuse Community Health Center, Inc. where she will serve as director of foundation and resource development. She will be based in the organization’s main headquarters at 819 S. Salina St. in Syracuse. Allen will assume responsibility for the generation of revenue from public and private sources and for developing long term and short-range goals for the fundraising arm of SCHC Companies, Inc. Allen Allen brings knowledge and experience in the areas of development, fundraising, communications and special events coordination, having served in the capacity of director of development for Menorah Park; special events coordinator for the Crouse Health Foundation; and community development coordinator for the Syracuse Jewish Federation, in Syracus. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from SUNY Albany and most recently a certification for professional human resource management from Syracuse University.
TeamHEalth to manage Oneida Healthcare ER Oneida Healthcare is partnering with TeamHealth, one of the nation’s leading providers of emergency department staffing and management services. Under this arrangement, TeamHealth will assist the hospital in providing quality emergency physicians and enhancing numerous efficiencies that will result in improved patient and staff satisfaction. TeamHealth began providing services at Oneida Healthcare March 14. “Because of our desire to provide improved quality patient care that is aligned with the patient volume growth of our emergency department, we examined emergency department provider options,” said Gene Morreale, the hospital’s president & CEO. “We selected TeamHealth for its proven reputation to provide top quality medical leadership, continuing education for medical staff, collaborative support of nursing and medical staff, and programs and tools to sustain patient satisfaction. For more than 31 years, TeamHealth has worked closely with large and small emergency departments across the country enabling them to develop a vast network of experience and best practices, resulting in improvements in patient safety, customer service, and patient waiting times. Oneida Healthcare’s Emergency Department provides 24-hour emergency care to approximately 26,000 patients annually.
Oswego Hospital has new medical chief Ophthalmologist Ivan Proano has been elected president of the Oswego
Hospital medical staff. He had served as the group’s vice president the previous year. Proano has had a practice in Oswego for the past 20 years. He earned his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York Proano City and completed his residency in ophthalmology at Maryland General Hospital.
Nurse midwife joins Auburn Memorial Hospital Carolyn P. Clemans, a registered nurse e a certified nurse midwife, has joined the Auburn Memorial Hospital obstetrics and gynecology department. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at St. John Fisher College and her Master of Science in nurse-midwifery at the University of Rochester, Rochester. She has previously been employed by St. Joseph’s Hospital, Clemans SUNY Upstate and the Syracuse Community Health Center in Syracuse. She will practice in the Auburn ob-gyn office located at 143 North St. She joins Dr. Loren VanRiper, Dr. Donald Calzolaio, Dr. John Lovier, and midwives Marge Tracy and Mary Lou Chappell. Carolyn resides in Syracuse with her husband Chris.
Walsh Family Birth Center. Geremia previously served as the president and chief operating officer of Syracuse Executive Air Service, Inc., and president of the Syracuse Airline Manager’s Council. He also served Continental Airlines as general manager, and has a strong background in customer service. Hilderbran previously served as the nurse manager of maternity services at Faxton - St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica. She has more than 17 years of nursing experience, and is a member of the National Oncology Nursing Society.
Loretto Foundation as new VP for development Scott Barrett of Manlius has been
named Loretto vice president for development and executive director of the Loretto Foundation. Barrett’s 19-year professional and volunteer career has been spent leading and strengthening nonprofits that serve those in need. Since 2005, he served as executive Barrett director of the Friends of Bassett, the fundraising foundation that supports Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown as well as a network of six affiliated hospitals, nearly 30 health centers, 18 school-based health centers and two skilled nursing facilities. Nearly half of Barrett’s professional career took place at Le Moyne College, where he served as annual fund director, director of development, and ultimately as vice president for institutional advancement. “We are very pleased to have Scott join the Loretto family of care,” said Michael J. Sullivan, Loretto president and CEO. “ With his history of successful philanthropic leadership in Central New York and in the health care field,
David Murray to chair Eldercare Foundation The Eldercare Foundation board of directors has elected its 2011 slate of officers. Dr. David G. Murray, of Syracuse, retired chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery at Upstate Medical University, was elected chairman of the Eldercare Foundation board of directors. Other officers elected were: Anita P. Lombardi of Jamesville, Everest Consultants, vice chairwoman; Sam Haines of Syracuse, Gear MoMurray tions, Inc., treasurer; and, Louis Fournier, III, of Syracuse, The Sutton Companies, secretary. Eldercare Foundation, Inc. is affiliated with Home Aides of Central New York. Its mission is to increase the community’s compassion for aging individuals and their families and to raise funds to enable our community’s elders to remain at home
Community General’s new management staff Community General Hospital has announced the appointment of Mark Geremia as the new manager of patient access and Tracy Hilderbran as the new clinical director of the Jim and DeDe
Celebrating the new services offered by Auburn Memorial Hospital are Dr. Charles Hennemeyer, radiologist; Scott Berlucci, president and CEO; Holly Hutchings, MRI tech aide; and Meagan Winchek, MRI tech.
Auburn Memorial Hospital Providing MRI Services Auburn Memorial Hospital announced that the New York State Department of Health has approved a certificate of need to provide MRI services through its radiology department at the hospital, located at 17 Lansing St. in Auburn. Using the most up to date technology and design, the new April 2011 •
High Field 1.5 Tesla provides the area’s most state-of-the-art MRI technology, which provides the most detailed imaging in the area, according to the hospital. The MRI also provides a shorter scan time, which decreases patient anxiety. All profit from the MRI studies will be re-invested back into the hospital, according to the hospital.
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
H ealth News Scott is uniquely qualified to help further Loretto’s innovative programs in support of our mission to serve and empower our elders and those who care for them.”
Child Advocacy Center hires new advocate Nicole Raymond has recently joined the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County’s staff as a victim advocate. Raymond graduated cum laude from SUNY Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in human development. Comprised of a cross section of law enforcement investigators, child protective services, medical providers, therapeutic professionals, victim support professionals, and the Raymond district attorney’s office, the center multi-disciplinary team works to reduce the trauma to children and respective family members under-
going investigation of child sexual and physical abuse. Through the efforts of the multi-disciplinary team, children and their families who are victims of abuse are able to receive the specific services they require.
by the Joint Commission, the agency provides critical eldercare services, including home health aide, personal care and companionship services; lifeline medical alert system; and respite care.
Nancy Bottar elected board chairwoman at Home Aides
Dr. Kaempffe is Auburn hospital’s new chief
Nancy Bottar of North Syracuse has been elected chairwoman of the Home Aides of Central New York board of directors. Other officers elected were Anthony P. Marshall, Esq. of Lafayette, Harris Beach PLLC, vice chairman; Paul Shubmehl, CPA of Syracuse, National Grid, treasurer; and Linda Ervin, of Jamesville, secretary. Home Aides is a Bottar nonprofit agency and local leader in eldercare services since 1966. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health and accredited
St. Joe’s Honors Supporters at Appreciation Breakfast
Members of IBEW Local 43/NECA Finger Lakes Chapter pose with Kathryn Ruscitto, president and chief executive ofﬁcer of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. Charles and Kathleen Elliott pose with Kathryn Ruscitto, president and chief executive ofﬁcer of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.
St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center Foundation paid tribute to supporters at the 21st annual St. Joseph’s Day Appreciation Breakfast held March 17 at The Genesee Grand Hotel in Syracuse. St. Joseph’s hosts the breakfast annually to recognize major supporters and advocates of the hospital. Hospital President Kathryn H. Ruscitto, a resident of Onondaga, Page 28
and Syracuse resident Sister Rose Ann Renna, vice president for mission integration for St. Joseph’s, presented St. Joseph the Worker awards to Dr. Charles and Mrs. Kathleen Elliott, of Fayetteville, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 43/National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Finger Lakes Chapter.
IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011
Auburn Memorial Hospital (AMH) announced that Dr. Frederick A. Kaempffe has been appointed chief medical officer. Kaempffe joined AMH in 2008. He is a practicing orthopedic surgeon at Auburn Orthopaedic Specialists in both the Auburn and Williamson offices. He received his undergraduate degree from Colgate University in Hamilton, his medical degree from the SUNY Buffalo earning the Gibson Anatomical Society Award. He completed his internship in general surgery at Millard Fillmore Hospitals, Buffalo; his residency in orthopedic surgery and a fellowship in hand, upper extremity and musculoskeletal microsurgery at SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine. Kaempffe is board certified and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons. He is a member of the Medical Society of the State of New York, and of the medical societies of Wayne, Monroe and Cayuga counties. He served as the medical director of the Ambulatory Surgery Center at Myers Community Hospital in Sodus, where he developed a quality management system and achieved ISO-9000 certification. His orthopedic practice in Williamson was the first free standing orthopedic practice to achieve ISO-9000 certification. He was also the medical director at Newark Wayne Community Hospital in Newark, Wayne County, where he successfully implemented quality improvement initiatives throughout the organization. He resides in North Rose with his wife Melissa and sons Erich and Brandon.
Stafﬁng changes at Alzheimer’s Association The Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York chapter, has announced several changes to its staffing structure. They have been made so the organization can meet its strategic goals set for the 2012-2014 period, according to Catherine James, the chapter’s chief executive officer. • Jared Paventi has been named chief communications officer. Paventi joined the chapter in 2003 as its coordinator of public relations/advocacy. He manages the organization’s media relations, marketing communications and social networking activities, as well as its technology and data systems. He earned a master’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communications from St. Bonaventure University. • Grant Fletcher has been named associate director of development. Fletcher has been with the chapter since 2008 as its event planner. In his new role, Fletcher will be responsible for fund-
raising and relationship management in the Greater Syracuse area, providing direct support to the chief development officer and lending his event management expertise chapterwide. Fletcher is also a member of Alzheimer’s Association Walk Advisory Council. Fletcher attended SUNY Potsdam. • Julie Darling has been named associate director of development. While she joined the Chapter staff in 2008, she and her family have been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association for a number of years prior as participants in Memory Walk. Darling will lead the Chapter’s fundraising efforts in the Utica and Watertown areas, managing the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in both cities and the Mohawk Valley’s Ladies Night Out event. Darling is a graduate of SUNY IT. • Michael Massurin has been named the senior director of programs and services. Massurin joined the chapter in 2007. He guides the chapter’s professional education program and serves families in the Greater Syracuse area. Massurin has served on national strategic committees on safety services and support groups. He holds a master’s degree from the University at Buffalo and has completed the Executive Leadership in Non-Profits program at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. • Edward Bergman has been named associate director of programs and services. Bergman joined the Chapter in July 2010 as the regional director for the Southern Tier. In his new role, he will serve families with programs and services throughout a five-county area. Bergman is a graduate of Washburn University in Topeka, Kan.
Auburn Memorial: Eric Allyn re-elected board chairman The Auburn Memorial Hospital board of trustees recently re-elected Eric R. Allyn, board of directors at Welch Allyn, Inc. of Skaneateles Falls, as chairman. Joseph P. Bartolotta, senior associate with Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith, P.C. in Syracuse, was re-elected vice chairman. Anthony D. Franceschelli, vice president, regional executive at Tompkins Trust Company, was elected to the board of trustees and elected treasurer, replacing Peter J. Emerson. William L. Dorr, retired senior vice president and corporate general counsel at Excellus BCBS, was elected secretary replacing Gail S. Homick Herrling who has fulfilled her term of after nine years of service. Elected to a three-year term on the board of trustees was Dr. Demetra Vounas. She replaces Dr. David White who served for nine years as a trustee. • Allyn holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia and has worked with Welch Allyn since 1982. He currently serves as a board of director at Welch Allyn and is the director of Welch Allyn’s Family Office. He also serves on the board of directors of the Allyn Foundation where he is chairman of the investment committee, the Gifford Foundation, Healthcare Association of NYS, and he is a past member of the NYS Hospital Review & Planning Board. He was a founding member of the Auburn Hospital System Foundation Board from 2001
H ealth News to 2005. He and his wife, Margaret O’Connell, reside in Skaneateles with their three children. • Bartolotta earned a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Albany and a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. Prior to attending law school, he worked in the office of New York State Sen. Michael Nozzolio in Albany, serving as legislative director. He is a member of the New York State Bar, the Onondaga County Bar, and the City of Auburn Zoning Board of Appeals. He is also a member of the focus group Blueprint for Our Region’s Future and lives in Auburn with his wife Kathy and their two children. • Dorr holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and a law degree from Cornell University. He is a member of the New York State Bar. Dorr is an active community member and a board member of Matthew House and Fort Hill Cemetery. He is currently the president of the Musical Theatre Festival Board. Prior to his position as corporate general counsel of Excellus, he practiced law in the office of Harris Beach, LLC in Rochester for 35 years. He has two adult daughters and three grandchildren. He and Janet Scarbrough live in Owasco. • Franceschelli earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from LeMoyne College in Syracuse. Prior to his position at Tompkins Trust Company, he was the employed by Cayuga Bank, The Savings Bank of the Finger Lakes and HSBC Bank. He is currently director and president of the F.L. Emerson Foundation, Inc. He serves on numerous community organization boards including Auburn Doubledays, YMCA, Cayuga Community College Foundation, and the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. He resides in Auburn with his wife Jill and their three children. • Vounas earned a bachelor’s degree in premedical science from Lehigh University and completed medical school at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Vounas completed an internal medicine residency at SUNY Upstate University. She has been an active member of the Auburn Memorial Hospital medical staff since 1990 when she joined the practice of Internal Medicine Associates of Auburn. Vounas has also been the medical director of Hospice of the Finger Lakes since the mid 1990’s. She resides in Skaneateles .
All doctors at CNY hospice receive board certiﬁcation Hospice of Central New York announced that all of its physicians have been board certified in the specialty of hospice and palliative medicine. Hospice of Central New York medical director, Judith Setla, just received recertification. Assistant medical director, Kristen Guest Pfau, and board member Joseph Navone, a cancer specialist with Hematology/Oncology Associates of Central New York, received their certification recently as well. All of the hospice affiliated physicians, including Pamela Horst and Mindy McMinn, who received certification in the past, are now hospice and palliative medicine specialists, meaning they have recognized expertise in end of life medicine, including pain management.
News from New Physical Rehab Services Director—Crouse Hospital has named Frank Cogliandro director of physical rehabilitation services. In this role, Cogliandro will oversee all aspects of the hospital’s inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy services, including strategic planning and program development. Cogliandro most recently served as director of outpatient Cogliandro physical rehabilitation services for the Rochester Rehabilitation Center in Rochester. He has vast experience in stroke rehabilitation and is a past recipient of the Monroe County United Way’s Community Impact Gold Award. Crouse Experts Share Knowledge—Crouse Hospital Chief Quality Officer Derrick Suehs was a guest presenter at the “Managing Transition in Healthcare – Leadership for Today, Tomorrow and the Future” conference held recently at Turning Stone Resort. Sponsored by Utica College and the Central New York Area Health Education Center, this first annual conference for healthcare administrators and executives provided an in-depth look at how Suehs the healthcare industry can best manage the transition to healthcare reform while positioning itself for the future through development, organization and collaboration as envisioned by selected leaders in the field. Suehs presented “It’s all About Dreaming: Baldrige Quality Journey,” a look at Crouse’s continued focus on organizational excellence. Christy Bond, FACHE, director of Aging & Complex Care at Crouse, was a featured presenter at the 2011 Congress on Healthcare Leadership sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives. Bond presented an overview on Crouse’s initiative to reduce hospital readmissions through its innovative Care Transitions Bond program. Co-presenting with Bond was Dr. Eric Coleman, professor of medicine, division of health care policy and research at the University of Colorado at Denver and developer of the care transition patient care model. The conference was held in Chicago and was attended by healthcare executives from across the U.S. New Hospitalists — Physicians Erkin Seytnazarov and Nure Alam have joined the hospitalist service of Crouse Hospital. Seytnazarov has spent the last 15 years working in the Albany area and
Brooklyn as a hospitalist and emergency room physician. Boardcertified in internal medicine, he received his medical training in Moscow and completed his internal medicine residency at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn. Seytnazarov Alam, who is board certified in internal medicine, previously served at Crouse as a hospitalist from 2008 through 2009. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, and completed neurology training at Upstate Medical Alam University in Syracuse. He received his medical degree from Dhaka Medical Colleg Hospital in Bangladesh. Dr. David Wormuth Named Medical Director for ARRA Implementation — Physician David Wormuth is the new medical director for ARRA Implementation at Crouse Hospital. ARRA — American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — is federal legislation that all healthcare providers will have to adhere to in order to receive maximum reimbursement for services. A key piece of ARRA is the implementation over time of an electronic medical record (EMR) and computerized provider order entry (CPOE). In this new role, Wormuth will be responsible for chairing clinical advisory groups to provide input into the design of a clinical information system; engaging clinical staff in the development and use of the system; and working with the information technology team and medical staff in the design of clinical order sets to gain efficacy and support for patient care protocols. A long-time member of the Crouse Hospital medical staff, Wormuth is a board-certified thoracic surgeon who also has completed a fellowship in medical informatics.
New Director of Surgical Services — St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center has appointed registered nurse Jodi Donahue to the position of director of surgical services. In this role, she will be responsible for preadmission testing, the hospital operating room, perfusion services, PACU, and North and Northeast Surgery Centers. Donahue has been with St. Joseph’s for 13 years most recently Donahue as manager of North Surgery Center in Liverpool. Under her leadership, the center recently was awarded the Press Ganey Summit April 2011 •
Award for Excellence in Patient Satisfaction. A resident of Cicero, Donahue attended St. Joseph’s College of Nursing and is working toward her Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Le Moyne College. President Ruscitto Blogs About Quality— St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center’s new President and Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Ruscitto, is now blogging about quality in her new blog, “Advancing Excellence.” Available at http://kathrynhruscitto.blogspot. com, the topics she posts about center on quality in health care, including defining quality, examining trends and how St. Joseph’s ensures the highest quality of care for patients and their families. Ruscitto also will examine how employees and physicians play a role in the hospital’s quality initiatives. “By writing regularly about quality in health care, I hope to challenge our industry to re-think how we deliver health care,” said Ruscitto. “What’s more, I encourage readers to comment often to help advance the dialogue surrounding quality and excellence in health care.”
New Cardiac Service Line Administrator And Chief Strategy Officer — John J. Cannizzaro has been appointed to the positions of cardiac service line administrator and chief strategy officer. In these roles he will provide administrative direction and leadership in the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of the cardiac service line, and will help to direct and manage the overall strategy for St. Joseph’s network. Cannizzaro has worked for St. Joseph’s for 20 Cannizzaro years in a variety of management roles, including director of primary care, director of dialysis services and ambulatory care, executive director of St. Joseph’s Health Alliance, executive director of the SyraHealth Alliance and, most recently, director of managed care. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst and associate at the Central New York Health Systems Agency, Inc., an accountant for Konski Engineers, PC, and budget analyst for the City of Syracuse. A resident of Syracuse, Cannizzaro holds a master’s degree of business administration from Syracuse University and an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta. New Members Joins Medical Staff — The following physicians joined St. Joseph’s medical staff: Andrew Arcuri of East Syracusel, surgery/dental surgery; William J. Childres, of Jordan, internal medicine; Joyce Farah, of Liverpool, internal medicine/fermatology; Stacey D. Fedder of Camillus, emergency department; Atul Maini of Jamesville, surgery/general surgery.
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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • April 2011