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in good

free FREE

June 2014 • Issue 174

‘10 Years After My Weight Loss Surgery’

CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

DIABETES D espite the media’s bombardment of society with messages about good health, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is skyrocketing. Nearly one in 10 American adults now has diabetes. Local doctors say most people are not aware of the small steps they can take that can dramatically improve their chances of not becoming diabetic.

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CNY Hospitals Implement New Electronic Health Records Systems

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Motorcycle Accidents Claiming Fewer Lives Meet Your Doctor Interview with David DiCesar, endocrinologist with Crouse Hospital

Southern Urologists Feeling Right at Home in CNY

Leaving roots and warm weather behind, husbandand-wife urology team happy with new practice in Oswego County. Page 7 June 2014 •

When the passion for the outdoors and the desire to help people with disbilities meet

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Motorcycle Accidents Claiming Fewer Lives Statistics show drop in fatalities last year, but poor riding weather, not better safety, may be reason why


otorcyclist deaths in the United States appear to have decreased 7 percent in 2013, which would make it only the second year since 1997 in which there has been a decline, a new report shows. However, that drop may have been due to bad riding weather rather than improved motorcyclist safety, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Compared with the first nine months of 2012, motorcyclist deaths over the same period in 2013 were lower in 35 states and the District of Columbia, higher in 13 states, and the same in two states, preliminary data show. But the report concluded that weather — not improved riding habits or other safety measures — was the main reason for the decline. The first six months of 2012 were unusually warm and dry across the United States and offered good riding weather, while the first nine months of 2013 were cooler and wetter. “It’s heartening that motorcyclist fatalities didn’t increase over the past couple of years, but they’re not decreasing either,” Kendell Poole, GHSA chairman and director of the Tennessee Office of Highway Safety, said in an association news release.

“Long-term gains in motorcyclist safety won’t occur because riders are deterred by bad weather, but from consistent use of proven countermeasures,” he noted. The total projected number of motorcyclist deaths in 2013 is 4,610, compared with 4,957 in 2012 and 4,612 in 2011, according to the report. The 7 percent decrease between 2012 and 2013 is about twice that of the overall decrease in U.S. traffic deaths in the first nine months of 2013.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014


Quit Bugging Me!


Tips on Coping with Bug Bites This Summer


armer weather has folks venturing outdoors, and while the risk of running into a snake, bear or other menacing animal exists, the critters far more likely to be encountered in the great outdoors are ticks, mosquitos and other insects. A lot of bugs pack a powerful bite or sting. Physician Janyce Sanford, chairwoman of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Emergency Medicine, recommends an insect repellant with DEET, along with long pants and long-sleeved shirts, as the best way to ward off most pesky insects. DEET with a concentration of 10 to 30 percent is approved for use on children aged 2 months and older. Ten percent DEET will last about two hours, and 24 percent DEET lasts around five hours. “One of the biggest outdoor risks is bee or wasp stings, especially for those with severe allergic reactions,” Sanford said. “A severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, can be fatal.” She recommends carrying an epinephrine auto-injector, commonly known as an EpiPen, when camping or hiking, especially if anyone in the

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group has ever reacted badly to previous stings. EpiPens require a prescription from a physician and can be purchased at a drugstore. Sanford says a good first-aid kit is a must for anyone planning on spending time outdoors. Ready-made kits are available at outdoor stores, or they can be assembled from materials on hand. Include assorted bandages and basic medicines such as Tylenol, Benadryl and aspirin. Albuterol will help those with group members who have asthma or COPD. Sanford advises planning before heading to the woods or mountains. Research the destination, and know what to expect. Be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your group. Who has allergies? Who knows CPR? Are there any special needs to be considered? Proper clothing, rain gear, plenty of water and emergency food supplies will help keep an unexpected event from turning your outdoor vacation into a hospital visit. “Common sense and a little thought before you venture out will help make your outdoor adventure one to remember fondly,” said Sanford.

June is Rothschild’s Leg Health Month

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Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Madison Counties in good A monthly newspaper published by Local

Health CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

News, Inc. Distribution: 35,000 copies. To request home delivery ($15 per year), call 315-342-1182.

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2014 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 276, Oswego, NY 13126. • Phone: 315-342-1182 • Fax: 315-342-7776.

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Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Contributing Writers: Jim Miller, Eva Briggs, M.D., Gwenn Voelckers, Deborah Banikowski, Deborah Sergeant, Anne Palumbo, Melissa Stefanec, Matthew Liptak, Suzanne Ellis • Advertising: Jasmine Maldonado, Marsha K. Preston, Jim Maxwell • Design: Chris Crocker • Office Manager: Laura J. Beckwith 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.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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June 8

HOPE For Bereaved sponsors run/walk event HOPE For Bereaved, Inc. is sponsoring its fourth annual Remembrance 8K Run / 3K Walk For HOPE starting 9 a.m., Sunday, June 8, at Marcellus High School. HOPE is a nonprofit organization that provides support, resources and hope for grieving children, adults and families as well as training, consultation and resources for those who wish to help the bereaved. Organizers encourage participants to bring a picture of aloved one to insert into a memory badge. Fee is $35. Children 12 and under are free. Register at www.getentered com or go to For more information, call HOPE For Bereaved at 475-9675.

June 7

Crouse invites community to Day of Dance Crouse Hospital is now Central New York’s exclusive Spirit of Women hospital, and on Saturday, June 7, the community is invited to help the hospital kick off this innovative new program with a free event, “Day of Dance…For Your Health.”

 The hospital is asking the public to

twirl on in to the Destiny USA Canyon that day from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. to meet the official event hostess, 93Q’s Amy Robbins, and watch and try some heart-healthy dances and movement activities. The free event will feature dance demonstrations and lessons, giveaways, drawings for door prizes, complementary snacks and beverages, activities for children and more.
Crouse physicians and other health providers also will be on hand to answer questions, and let you try out the da Vinci robot, used in various robotic surgeries at Crouse. Learn more about the hospital’s programs and services, and discover ways to improve cardiac health with free blood pressure and pulse checks and cardiac health risk assessments. Natur-Tyme will be at the event as well, providing health and wellness tips.
Although the event is free, pre-registration is requested. Anyone who pre-registers online or calls 315-472-2464 by June 6 will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Destiny USA gift card.

 Seven dance demonstrations and movement activities by local groups will take place during the course of the three-hour event, including zumba, tai chi, jazz and ballroom styles. A fun Kids Zone, including Build-a-Bear and the Crouse Teddy Bear PromptCare clinic, will feature interactive activities to help children learn more about health and wellness. The first

Diabetes: Tour de Cure Rides into Verona Beach June 8


rganizers from the American Diabetes Association hope to see 1,200 cyclists participate June 8 in the annual Central New York Tour de Cure at Verona Beach State Park. Last year the fundraiser raised $355,000 to fight diabetes. This year the goal is $400,000. Much of the funding comes in during the waning days before the event. Cyclists are invited to register to participate right up to the morning of the ride. There is a $25 registration fee and a $200 fundraising minimum. “As it gets closer a lot more people will end up signing up,” said Clark Speicher, the volunteer planning board chairman of the ride. “You see the numbers jump.” The event is noncompetitive. Riders can enter as individuals or combine as teams to tackle one of five different routes that tour the Oneida lake region and vary in length from 15 to 100 miles. Speicher said participants choose to attend for different reasons, but they all are working for the same goal: promoting awareness and raising funds for research, support and advocacy. Tour de Cure events are the major annual fundraiser for the ADA. “What you’ll find is people will ride for themselves, as a diabetic and then a lot of times their family, friends and coworkers will form or join a team around that person, or they have a relative with diabetes and they go out and ride for that person,” he said. “You have a mix of what kind of riders and teams you have out there.” Speicher is not obese but he is a

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Type 2 diabetic. He discovered he had the disease in 2000. “At the time I was in the Air Force and had really no clue about diabetes,” he said. “I never ever thought I would be at risk for diabetes. I got very sick and all these symptoms came up. Like a lot of people, I was stunned because I didn’t know how I got it, why I got it.” Speicher got involved with the ADA as a volunteer. For a long time his main way to help was to donate money to the organization, but then he decided he wanted to help raise funds and improve his health at the same time by participating in the Tour de Cure. Along with being part of the planning board he is a Red Rider. Red Riders are cyclists in the Tour de Cure who also have diabetes. “All the Red Riders get special acknowledgment,” Speicher said. “They get a special jersey that says Red Rider. Everybody’s encouraged, participants and riders and people on the route if they see a Red Rider to shout out ‘Go Red Rider!’ and give them some encouragement.” This year Red Riders will also have their own tent sent up that will be just for them and their families. It is a way for diabetics to meet others with the disease and make connections. Those with an interest are encouraged to learn more. For more information on the Central New York Tour de Cure contact event manager Jessica Bottoms at or call 315-438-8687 extension 3663.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

100 children to visit Crouse Hospital’s teddy bear nurse experts will receive a complimentary stuffed bear in a tee shirt. Also, Professor Wonder from Wonderworks and a few other surprise characters will be on hand to lead a bean bag toss with prizes for the winners.

Spirit of Women is a national network of leading hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of women and their families through innovative and entertaining health and community programs.  

June 8

Scleroderma group holds event at Onondaga Lake Scleroderma Foundation / TriState, Inc. Chapter will sponsor its 10th Annual Syracuse Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma. The event consists of walking for about one or two miles along Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool. It will take place from 9 – 10 a.m. at Onondaga Lake Park (Bayview Tent area in Willow Bay area, north end of park). The Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma walk is designed to raise awareness and money needed to deal with this devastating autoimmune disease. Money raised at this event will be used to help fund research efforts and provide patient support and education. To date there is no known cause or cure. To register, visit For more information about scleroderma contact the Scleroderma Foundation/Tri-State, Inc. Chapter office at 800-867-0885 or visit on the Web at

June 10, 17, and 24

Workshop in Rochester for women who live alone Do you live alone? Is it a challenge for you? «Living Alone: How to Survive and Thrive on Your Own,” is a three-part workshop offered for women who want to find joy again and gain the know-how to forge a meaningful and enriching life on their own. You’ll meet others in similar situations and learn practical strategies to overcome loneliness, rediscover your true self, socialize in a couples’ world, and think differently about living alone. The workshop takes place from 7 – 9 p.m. at House Content Bed & Breakfast in Mendon on three consecutive Tuesdays: June 10, 17 and 24. The workshop fee of $125 includes a Living Alone binder, empowerment exercises, and lots of helpful resources. To register, contact Gwenn Voelckers at 585-624-7887 or email gvoelckers@

June 21

CNY Pride Festival to take place in Syracuse The CNY Pride Festival and Parade will be held from noon to 5 p.m. June 21 at the Syracuse Inner Harbor. Food and other vendors will be on hand and entertainment will be provided from 12:30 – 5 p.m. Performers will include Bear Crusaders, Miss E and Reverse. The day will be co-hosted by Darien Lake from the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. For more information consult

June 23

Medicare 101: Unbiased workshop in Auburn Are you new or soon to be new to Medicare? Are you receiving Medicare benefits now but are overwhelmed or confused by all the information and options out there? If so, come to a free Medicare 101 session for some helpful, unbiased information, including: the basics of original Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D; Medicare costs, co-pays and deductibles, and what assistance is available for low-income beneficiaries to help cover costs; and Medicare Preventive Benefits, supplemental insurance and EPIC. The workshop is sponsored by the Cayuga County Office for the Aging. It’s held from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Cayuga County Office building basement conference room. For more information, call 315-253-1226. Registration is required!

June 24, 25

Students to experience ‘real-world’ of health care Students entering eighth and ninth grade this fall will have the opportunity to spend two days in the world of hospital health care this summer. M.A.S.H. Camp will be held on June 24 and June 25, at the Auburn Community Hospital. M.A.S.H. stands for Medical Academy of Science and Health. This two-day camp is sponsored by Auburn Community Hospital, the Central New York Area Health Education Center (CNYAHEC), The Cayuga Community Fund and the Richard S. Shineman Foundation. The four organizations have partnered on this initiative to address the mutual goal of alleviating the shortage of health professionals by encouraging young people to explore health careers. Space is limited to 20 students at M.A.S.H. Camp. The deadline for applying is Friday, June 6. Students can access the online application by visiting the CNYAHEC website,

June 26

Davis Center Sound Therapy testing in Syracuse Dorinne Davis, president of The Davis Center in New Jersey and sound-based therapist, will offer her Diagnostic Evaluation for Therapy Protocol from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., June 26, at Natur-Tyme in Syracuse. This test battery is the introductory segment of The Davis Model of Sound Intervention. This approach works on rebalancing the sound energetic patterns of the body and supports change in learning, development and wellness challenges for people of any age. The therapy is based on how the body uses the vibrational energy of sound received from outside sound sources and how the body’s systems perceive and utilize these frequencies or frequency combinations. After testing, individualized sound therapies are administered in the comfort of the home or a variety of programs can be offered on the day of service. For more information, call 862251-4637, visit www.thedaviscenter. com or email Davis at

Coping with Chemo Brain

Mindfulness Practice For Stress Reduction

6 WEEK COURSE Based on Jon Kabat Zinn’s MBSR Program

By Matthew Liptak


ancer treatment can often cause inconvenient or in some cases significant cognitive side effects, like memory loss. One local doctor says patients should no longer accept these effects as a cost of getting treatment. Help is available in many cases. Jody Sima is the director of the Survivor Wellness Center at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. “A lot of our job is to try to get people to say if you’re not getting the right help you need for chemo brain, find a place where you can get help,” the physician said. “Certainly we’re here to do that. If this is significantly affecting your life get help. Talk to someone. Get evaluated. There are things that can be fixed and there are things that may not be able to be fixed, but you need that information to move forward in your life.” The term “chemo brain” is not a medical diagnosis but it is commonly used to describe a condition where cancer survivors experience a mental cloudiness following treatment. The condition is not well studied and different doctors may include different symptoms in the definition of chemo brain. Doctors have known for years that radiation treatment to the brain can cause memory and thinking problems. Now it has been shown that chemotherapy can cause similar symptoms. The American Cancer Society defines chemo brain symptoms as forgetting things you usually have no trouble recalling; trouble concentrating; trouble remembering details like dates and names; trouble multitasking; and the inability to find the right words to finish a sentence. These symptoms can go away in the short-term after treatment or they can continue for years. The Survivor Wellness Center sees and treats patients with the condition on a regular basis. “If someone is treated for, let’s say, an adult-onset cancer at an adult center they could be sent to us for an evaluation for a chemo brain-type complaint because sometimes the primary oncologists are not as familiar with all the different treatment modalities that are out there,” Sima said. “We don’t take over their primary care. We’re not taking over their cancer care. We’re seeing them for cancer survivor-related issues.” The strategies used to cope with chemo brain depend largely on the individual case, Sima said. Young children who have radiation treatment to their heads may need help afterward in school. Sometimes they’ll need extended testing time as they advance in

school or special vocational training. For adults who have post-chemo fatigue or memory loss the root causes can be in the medicines that were used in treatment or even something like depression. Sima said that applying a good diet and nutrition can be one of the most effective ways to counteract the problems. Doctors don’t know how exercise works, but it works, she says. “I think there are a lot of neurotransmitters and chemicals in the body that are produced by our body when we are exercising regularly that have effects that are well beyond what we understand,” Sima said. “These are things that really have these broad-reaching effects we clearly see.” But even exercise can pose challenges Sima admitted. “It’s easy to tell everyone ‘Oh, exercise will be better for you,’” Sima said. “It’s even harder for someone whose having a problem of excessive fatigue to initiate and stick to an exercise regimen. They need a lot of support to do that.” Doctors also have an array of medications at their disposal to deal with the effects of chemo brain. They may try everything from neuro-cognitive stimulants to antidepressants to mood stabilizers. “Our last patient who we treated for this — we went through four or five medications before we found the right one that was helpful for him,” Sima said. The emotional wellbeing of patients also comes into play at the center. Psychiatrists or neurologists may be consulted to develop a treatment plan. A family therapist is on staff at the center, Sima said. Outside of the doctors who deal with it regularly chemo brain is often given short shrift. Oncologists are often focused solely on the treatment of the cancer and not on the treatment of side effects, Sima said. They might tell their patients to expect the cognitive problems, but not offer solutions to them. “There’s a lot of quality of life issues that I think patients are no longer tolerant of them being ignored,” she said. “This is not in the routine oncology area of expertise and so knowing that there’s help and people can get support is good,” she said.

Dr. Jody Sima

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Do you live alone? Living alone can be a challenge, especially for women in mid-life who are divorced or widowed. But it can also be the start of a rich and meaningful chapter in your life. Need a jump start?

Living Alone: How to Survive and Thrive on Your Own Tuesday, June 10, 17, and 24 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm House Content B&B, Mendon, NY

In the workshop led by Gwenn Voelckers — a women who’s “been there” — you’ll discover how to overcome loneliness and other emotional pitfalls, take charge of your finances, and socialize in a couples’ world. $125 fee includes manual, empowerment exercises and book.

For more information about The Cancer Survivor Wellness Center call 315-464-5294 or send an email to simaj@upstate. edu.

For more information, call (585) 624-7887 or visit June 2014 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Concussion Rate in High School Athletes More Than Doubled in 7-Year Period Researchers suggest increase could reflect more awareness, higher safety standards


oncussion rates in U.S. high school athletes more than doubled between 2005 and 2012, according to a new national study using data on nine team sports. Overall, the rate increased from .23 to .51 concussions per 1,000 athlete exposures. An athlete exposure is defined as one athlete participating in one competition or practice. The increase might appear to sound an alarm about sports safety, but the researchers suspect the upward trend in reported concussions reflects increased awareness — especially because the rates went up the most after the 2008-09 academic year. Around that time, states began passing legislation promoting education about concussions and setting “return to play” guidelines for youth sports. Media coverage about head injuries in professional athletes has also increased over the last five to 10 years. “It’s scary to consider these numbers because at first glance it looks like sports are getting more dangerous and athletes are getting injured more often,” said Joseph Rosenthal, clinical assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study. “This study is observational so it doesn’t offer any proof about why the rates are going up. But I think in reality it’s showing that concussions that were occurring before are now being diagnosed more consistently — which is important.” A concussion is an injury to the brain that produces a transient loss of brain function with symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, headache and vision changes. Typically, nothing will be seen on imaging. Recovery usually occurs within a short time, but previous research has suggested that high school athletes take longer to recover than do older athletes, and that even teenage athletes are at risk for repetitive head trauma. The study is published online in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

David DiCesar, MD Crouse doctor: Patients with routine Type 2 diabetes waiting longer to see endocrinologists due to shortage of specialists Q: As an endocrinologist, are most of your patients diabetic? A: We do handle a lot of it. We actually aren’t accepting routine Type 2 diabetic care until further notice, because we are completely barraged to the point where there’s a pretty long wait list. Q: Is that a problem for a lot of endocrinologists these days? A: There is a national shortage of endocrinologists and a huge need for endocrinologists in this community. There are a few reasons for this. The first is that more and more patients are being diagnosed with diabetes. Two, the treatment for diabetes is becoming more complicated, to the point where primary care physicians feel more comfortable sending patients to specialists. Q: And there aren’t enough endocrinologists to meet the demand? A: There’s a shortage. There always was, but there’s a shortage of endocrinologists coming to the area — physicians in general coming to the area. There aren’t that many endocrinologists being produced each year in residency on top of that. So there’s a greater demand being placed on the ones that exist. I see this becoming a greater and greater problem as time goes on. Q: And this is a nationwide problem? A: I think it’s pretty much the same nationwide. There might be pockets that are well supplied. Our practice only has me here as far as endocrinologists, but we’re still looking for some. Q: You mentioned the complexity of modern treatments. Can you give an example? A: There are more options for treatment for diabetes beyond insulin. We have a lot of injectable non-insulin treatments available; we have oral treatments available. The large number

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

of options available is good, but at the same time you need to match the right treatment to the patient. Q: Is severity the primary factor? How customizable is treatment? A: Treatment does need to be customized for each patient. Every patient’s situation is different. We try to avoid insulin for Type 2 diabetes patients unless it’s necessary, because there are risks involved and it’s much more labor-intensive. It’s much easier to swallow a pill for most patients. Type 1 is a totally different disease and, for them, insulin will always be the mainstay of treatment. Those patients are dependent on insulin and oral medications typically will not work — although they may help. Now, there are different ways to deliver that insulin. There are new insulin pumps and insulin monitors that are very helpful in keeping blood sugar levels stable. Fewer lows, fewer highs. It’s putting us closer to

an artificial pancreas than we’ve ever been, so that’s pretty exciting. Interestingly, the instances of Type I diabetes have been increasing as well. Q: Why is that? The Type 2 epidemic is usually blamed on obesity. A: I think it’s a mixture of genetics and environment, but it’s not really clear. We don’t know, but it’s happening. Q: Getting back to Type 2, can you describe how insulin resistance develops? A: Insulin resistance develops when the cells are ignoring the insulin signal that tells them to absorb glucose. That signal is interrupted because the cells are full of energy and don’t need anymore. So they become resistant to the signal. That means there’s glucose floating around in the bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar, which can damage the blood vessels. Now, certain people are more susceptible to this problem than others genetically, but it’s directly related to weight. If you can get the cells to release their energy and to again accept insulin, that will reduce or even eliminate diabetes. After a while of insulin resistance, the pancreas needs to create more and more insulin and it eventually begins to wear out and produces less insulin over time. So it can become multi-factorial, with cells ignoring insulin while your pancreas is producing less insulin. So your glucose levels can go way up at that point. Diabetes involves a lot of vicious cycles that disrupt the balance of the body. Q: How many of your patients can be helped with lifestyle changes? A: The cornerstone of diabetes treatment is lifestyle. Every time a medication is given, we stress it’s not just a matter of taking the medication. Medication complements lifestyle, not the other way around. We’ll never give a patient a pill and say it’s OK not to monitor your weight or your diet, or to not exercise as much as you’re able. It depends on what stage of the disease you’re treating. Diabetes tends to get worse over time unless you slow it down with lifestyle changes. There are a lot of reversible improvements that can happen with those changes. Q: How would you pitch a career in endocrinology to a current medical student? A: You’ll have no problem with job security. I think it’s also a well-respected specialty. You’ll meet a very diverse group of patients. Some you can help immensely and you can see it happen right in front of you. When you can help a patient conquer the challenge of diabetes, it’s very rewarding. Do I recommend it? I certainly would, selfishly, to help us out, but I also think it’s a great specialty on its own merits.

Lifelines Name: David DiCesar, M.D. Hometown: Montreal, QC Education: SUNY Upstate Medical University Affiliations: Crouse Hospital Organizations: American Associations of Clinical Endocrinologists Family: Married, one child, expecting another. Hobbies: Too busy for hobbies.

Southern Urologists Feeling Right at Home in CNY Leaving roots and warm weather behind, husband-and-wife urology team happy with new practice in Oswego County By Suzanne M. Ellis


ake no mistake about it: The last place the husband-andwife urology team of Elizabeth W. Bozeman and her husband, Gary D. Bozeman, ever expected to find themselves was in Upstate New York. Born and bred in the south, with Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and South Carolina among the states they called home, the northeast was not on the Bozemans’ radar. Everything changed about a year ago when they ran into physician David Albala, a former colleague who is now a urologist at Associated Medical Professionals (AMP) of New York in Syracuse, at a professional medical gathering. “I knew him when he was on staff at Duke, before he came up to Syracuse, and he told us he loved it up here,” Elizabeth Bozeman said. “We were joking, of course, but before we left, we told him to give us a call if there were ever any openings [at AMP]. Eight months later, we got a call. He said his practice was looking for two urologists to open an office in an under-served area.” Wanting to be polite and respectful of their colleague’s offer to show them what AMP Urology was all about, the Bozemans made round-trip flight reservations to Syracuse. “We knew there was zero chance we would ever come to Upstate New York, so this was going to be a 36-hour trip and that was it,” Elizabeth Bozeman said. “We were from the south. We had always lived in the south. We never even thought about living in the north.”

Her husband had nearly identical feelings the day they left North Carolina for that quick jaunt to Syracuse. “We were sitting there in the airport in Charlotte and thinking, ‘Why are we even going up there?’ “Gary Bozeman said. “We are not going to take this job.” What a difference a day and a half made for the Bozemans. Thirty-six hours later, when they boarded the plane at Syracuse Hancock International Airport for the return flight, their thoughts were very different. “We both had the exact same feeling, that this was definitely something that was meant to be,” Gary Bozeman said. “We just kind of looked at each other and knew this was supposed to happen.” “We just fell in love with the area,” Elizabeth Bozeman said. “We both turned 51 last year and I think maybe we were in some kind of midlife crisis. We needed to slow our lives down a bit and we decided we wanted to spend the second half of our careers in a different kind of place.” The Bozemans opened their AMP urology office on March 3 on Route 3, just west of Fulton. Since then, they’ve had time to ponder the reasons for their decision. “We aren’t the kind of doctors who move around a lot,” Gary Bozeman said. “We had a great population of patients down there in Spartanburg [S.C.], but through the years, the corporate culture had gone downhill. We just didn’t feel we were able to do our jobs

Drs. Elizabeth and Gary Bozeman recently joined Associated Medical Professionals (AMP) of New York. On March 3, the Bozemans opened a new urology office in Fulton, pictured here, and they are anxious to get to know their community.

After arriving here in February from the southern United States, where they had lived their entire lives up to that point, one of the first places physicians Elizabeth and Gary Bozeman explored was Beaver Lake Nature Center in Lysander. “We had never been on snowshoes so we rented some. Even though it was really cold that day, the sun was warm and it was wonderful. Now we own our own [snowshoes].” the way we wanted to ... our staff was unhappy, there was a lot of discontent and that really bothered us. We felt that having our own office up here, having the luxury of this large group [AMP] for protection, would be a good move for us. And there is no question that geographically, this area provides so many different opportunities that we are really excited about.” The Bozemans, who are board-certified urologists with an extensive background in urology, provide a wide range of medical services in their Fulton office and at Oswego Hospital’s surgery center. They said they are looking forward to building a solid and lasting relationship with the people of Central New York. “At this stage in our careers, this is an opportunity for us to be part of a positive change, to be able to serve in an area where we are needed,” Gary Bozeman said. “As doctors, it’s very gratifying when you can do that. This is a much happier, much more satisfying workplace than anything we’ve had in recent years. With the intimacy of our staff, we have the ability to operate as a team where everyone is focused on the same goals.” Elizabeth Bozeman said she’s also looking forward to the beautiful days of summer in Upstate New York when they’ll hopefully be settling into the home they’re building on Lake Ontario. She said she’s anxious to text the southern friends who think she’s crazy for leaving the south and moving to the northeast. “Unless you have lived in that kind of heat, you just don’t realize how awful it is to live and work in 100-degree weather. In Spartanburg, we tried never to go outside,” she said. “You’d go out at 9 o’clock at night and it would still be 96 degrees with 96 percent humidity. We already know we love June 2014 •

the snow ... we can’t wait for spring, summer and fall because it’s going to be so much more fun and enjoyable.”

At a Glance 3 ELIZABETH W. BOZEMAN Birthplace: Louisville, Ky. Date of birth: Sept. 4, 1962 Residence: Clay, N.Y. Education: Emory University (1984), Medical University of South Carolina (1989), Medical University of South Carolina (internship and residency, 1989-1993) Family: Husband, physician Gary Bozeman; son, Blake Bozeman, 24 Hobbies: Reading, especially books by Ken Follett, traveling and red wine Proudest achievements: “I am proudest of being the first and only [to date] female president of the South Carolina Urological Association and of being president of the Society of Women in Urology.” 3 GARY D. BOZEMAN Birthplace: Baton Rouge, La. Date of birth: Nov. 20, 1962 Residence: Clay, N.Y. Education: University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (1985), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (1989), University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine (internship and residency, 1989-1991), Medical University of South Carolina (residency, 1991-1994), Emory University (Executive MBA, 2009) Family: Wife, physician Elizabeth Bozeman; son, Blake Bozeman, 24. Hobbies: Running, reading, traveling, tennis and snow skiing Proudest achievements: “Being president of the South Carolina Urological Association and earning an Executive MBA at Emory, which was very difficult but well worth the time, money and effort. It’s something I always felt that, as physicians, we didn’t have the understanding we should have of running a business.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 7

Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

Wrong train, right station? I saw a charming, thought-provoking movie recently: The Lunchbox, a heartwarming drama about love, loss and longing, which beautifully illustrates a hopeful life lesson that “sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station.” It captures so eloquently what I aspire to every day and what I “preach” in my Live Alone and Thrive workshops — to be fully present and to embrace what life offers up, even if it brings you to your knees. A devastating betrayal, sudden loss or unexpected turn of events can catapult you into a beautiful and surprising place. A “wrong train” can lead you into a “right station” if you can find the courage to challenge the age-old and deeply held belief that marriage, as it has been traditionally defined, is the only state in which you can be happy, fulfilled, secure and successful. Whether divorced or widowed, consider not spending your time bemoaning your fate. Instead, consider wrapping yourself in a warm blanket, comforted and encouraged by your own ability to overcome adversity. You have taken your life into your own hands and have embraced the choices and possibilities that living alone has to offer.

Women and men who have arrived at the “right station” know this: • Rediscovering your “true self”

and identifying those things that bring meaning and joy into your life can turn living alone into an adventure of the spirit. • Living alone doesn’t mean being alone. All you need to do is pick up the phone. • Accepting party invitations is worth doing, even if it’s a party with mostly couples. Keep in mind that guests often separate into groups of women and men, so singles blend right in. • Traveling solo is an adventure in self-discovery. Whether it’s Paris or Peoria, striking out on your own will expand your horizons and build self-confidence. • Figuring out how to replace the flapper valve in your toilet — all by yourself — can be very rewarding! • The stereotypical image of single men and women as desperate and miserable is exaggerated and just plain untrue. Recent studies on the subject bear this out. • Pursuing a new career or college degree in midlife can be liberating and fun. • Doing a “random act of kindness” is a great antidote when you’re feeling lonely and sorry for yourself. • Friends matter. Reach out. Nurture your friendships. Honor your

KIDS Corner New Study Finds 2.5 Million Basketball Injuries to High School Athletes in Six Seasons Study calls for more access to on-site athletic trainers to properly assess injuries


asketball is a popular high school sport in the United States with 1 million participants annually. A recently published study by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is the first to compare and describe the occurrence and distribution patterns of basketball-related injuries treated in emergency departments and the high school athletic training setting among adolescents and teens. The study, published online in the Journal of Athletic Training, examined data relating to adolescents 13-19 years

Page 8

of age who were treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) from 2005 through 2010 and those treated in the high school athletic training setting during the 2005–2006 through the 2010–2011 academic years for an injury associated with basketball. Nationally, 1,514,957 patients with basketball-related injuries were treated in EDs and 1,064,551 were treated in the athletic training setting. The study found that in general, injuries that are more easily diagnosed and treated, such as sprains/strains, were more likely to be treated onsite by

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

commitments. • Accepting a dinner invitation does not obligate you to anything. • Paying your own fair share on a date can feel good and empowering. • Loneliness is not a “state of being” reserved for single people. Were you ever lonely while you were married? • Treating yourself well builds esteem. Prepare and eat decent meals at home. Get enough sleep. Exercise. You’re worth it. Tell yourself so by taking good care of yourself. • Your children are your first priorities, even in the face of an enticing romance. • Getting out of your comfort zone is worth the discomfort. Try something new – dance lessons, archery, golf. It’s a great way to have fun and meet people. • Isolating on holiday, birthdays, Sundays, etc. is for the birds. Solitary confinement is punishment for criminals, not single people. Make plans. • Comb your hair. Lose the sweat pants. Put a smile on your face. It’s important to create your own positive feedback. Looking good will draw people (and compliments) to you. We can all use some affirming attention. • There’s no shame in asking for

an athletic trainer while more serious injuries, such as fractures, that require more extensive diagnostic and treatment procedures were more commonly treated in an ED. “Athletic trainers play a really important role in helping to assess those more mild or moderate injuries and that helps alleviate a burden on the health care system and on families,” said physician Lara McKenzie, the study’s lead author and principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s. “They are right there on the sidelines. They are there when some of these things happen. And they can be a great resource for families to evaluate that injury immediately.” In 1998, the American Medical Association recommended all high school

help. It’s not a show of weakness. On the contrary. • Self-confidence and humor are powerful aphrodisiacs; neediness and desperation are not. • Doing something alone means you enjoy life and your own company; it does not mean you are a loser. • Expanding your definition of love beyond “romantic love” will stand you in good stead. Embrace “passionate friendships” – those relationships in which you can be yourself and feel completely comfortable. • Hanging out with negative people is a real downer. Put yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and about life. • Letting go of the idea that you need to be married to have any chance of being happy and fulfilled is essential. This idea will only keep you mired in self-pity. • Living alone takes practice. Know that there is always someone you can call or something you can do to improve your situation. • Life is a journey, with all its twists and turns. Embrace and enjoy it. You never know, the “right station” could be just around the corner . . . and that station could very well be contentment. 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 upcoming May workshops, check out the calendar listing in this issue or to invite Gwenn to speak, call 585-624-7887 or email: gvoelckers@

sports programs enlist an athletic medicine unit consisting of a physician director and an athletic trainer, yet as of 2009, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association estimated only 42 percent of high school sports teams met this recommendation. With more than half of U.S. high school athletes not having access to an athletic trainer during practice or competition, a vast majority of injured players wind up in urgent care facilities and emergency departments, some unnecessarily. McKenzie, also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, said that while athletic trainers cannot treat every injury, they can make the system more efficient by only sending athletes to the hospital when it is necessary and helping athletes return to play when it is safe.

Solid Foundation

Health Foundation of Western and Central New York there to help guide less-fortunate children, elderly By Matthew Liptak


he Health Foundation of Western and Central New York has a mission of helping poor elderly residents and children along with the health organizations that serve them. The foundation spends about $1.5 million of an approximately $125 million endowment each year on its mission in Central New York, said foundation president Ann Monroe. The organization has developed innovative programs such as its falls program to help prevent falls in the elderly and the Chompers program that brings dental care to children. The foundation is also concerned with child and maternal health. It researched places in the region where birth outcomes are low and poverty is high. It found midwives to be a possible solution. “The research will tell you that midwives are a wonderful way of reaching this population, particularly if they come from those communities,” Monroe said. “Midwives now in New York can practice independently. They don’t have to be part of a medical group. We found that midwives don’t know how to run a business. “Up to now, there are five practices and we’re going to be expanding it. We have provided business planning and support to midwives to help them build a sustainable business so they can be located in these communities and serve these women. They have a viable business model.” As impoverished children grow older, they will continue to need help. The foundation is investing in social and emotional development curricula in pre-schools, daycares and Head Start programs, Monroe said. This learning program teaches young children how to behave in a group setting. It helps them understand the feelings they have along with the feelings of other classmates. Oral care in kids is also a niche that the foundation seeks to fill. “The myth is these are baby teeth so they don’t matter, but what you see in a lot of prekindergarten programs is these kids have terrible, terrible teeth,” Monroe said. “They’re in pain and they can’t eat. They can’t sit still.”

Keep ‘Chompers’ healthy

The Chompers program tried to fund local organizations like the Boys and Girls Club to get kids to the dentist, but the attempt was a failure. Many dentists don’t appreciate groups of children in their office, Monroe said, and there were a lot of children who were no-shows too. The foundation was considering dropping the program but decided to turn the program on its head. Rather than bringing children to dental care, they would bring dental care to the children. They are testing the new version of Chompers in Western New York and hope to bring it to Central New York soon. Dentists will come to local children centers like a daycare or preschool. “A room has to be set up, but there’s a whole practice of dentistry

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Ann Monroe, president of the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York. Her organization spends about $1.5 million to fund a variety of programs to help children and seniors. that we learned about that practices out of the trunk of their car,” Monroe said. “The whole thing, X-ray, water, chair — everything — is portable. We’ve been bringing portable dental care to these sites that have cavity-free kids and that’s been really successful.” The dentist can even “drill and fill” at these locations, Monroe said. Life poses different challenges for the elderly. One of three adults aged 65 and older falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. They are largely preventable. Its major falls prevention effort is based on helping other county-based organizations that serve the public learn about how to prevent falls in their clients. Monroe said the focus is on “everything from working with Meals on Wheels to train its home food deliverers to identify major fall potential, all the way through to working with physical therapists to get them to standardize their assessments of people who are likely to fall.”

Eye on the elderly

There are even easy assessments that doctor’s assistants can do in the waiting room. The “Get Up and Go” test requires a person to observe how another individual gets up from a chair, walks, and sits back down again. An assistant, who might be calling a patient into an exam room to wait for a doctor, can tell if the patient is at risk for a fall through observation. They can

then put the evaluation on the front of the chart for the doctor to see, Monroe said. The foundation works with many local organizations to help offer learning opportunities on how to do their jobs better. It also pulls organizations together to help them coordinate care. “Right now for example we’re very, very concerned about all the changes in Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act and the impact on community organizations,” Monroe said. “We’re doing a lot of training of community organizations and support them to help them make this transition. That’s not expensive but it can have a big impact on these organizations because they don’t know where to go for help.” Perhaps one of the foundations biggest challenges is how to keep its many initiatives up and running once it ceases major involvement. It would like to see these programs continue even though the organization’s involvement may be for a limited time. “The fear of someone like me is always that you’re knitting the new part of the scarf and the old part of the scarf is unraveling because you’ve taken your eye off that ball,” Monroe said. The Health Foundation Of Central and Western New York is about 11 years old. It looks to continue its mission of helping to knit local organizations into groups that best serve the most vulnerable among us — poor children and the elderly. To find more about its mission and services, go to

June 2014 •

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

My Turn

By Eva Briggs

What’s Causing Mucormycosis? Why CNY hospitals should bother with a deadly fungal outbreak at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans


n New York state, most health care professionals complete a course in infection control as part of their initial training, and must repeat infection control training every four years. It’s a good start. Because the subject is very complex, hospitals have specialists to oversee infection control practices and monitor for breaches. They also watch for hospital-acquired infections that suggest breakdowns in the system. Unfortunately the system isn’t perfect; recently The New York Times published an article about a deadly fungal outbreak at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. The culprit was mucormycosis. The organism causing the disease is a fungus in the order Mucorales. Because it’s a fungus, this bug is not treated or cured by antibiotics. Antibiotics are effective against bacteria. Use of antibiotics sometimes upsets the apple cart by killing normal beneficial bacteria, allowing fungi to flourish without competition. This is why women sometimes get yeast infections after taking antibiotics. But antibiotic overuse was not the culprit in the mucormycosis outbreak. First, a bit about the fungi that cause mucormycosis. They are ubiq-

Page 10

uitous in our environment. But they don’t infect healthy people. They attack people whose immune systems are compromised by conditions like leukemia, uncontrolled diabetes, prematurity, major trauma, prolonged use of corticosteroids, IV drug abuse, and stem-cell transplantation. Interestingly, HIV infection alone doesn’t seem to predispose patients to mucormycosis. The fungi are found in decaying matter, and release spores into the air. These air-borne spores can enter patients directly by contact with open wounds or by inhalation into the respiratory system. Based on where the infection occurs, there are six categories of mucormycosis infection. • Pulmonary mucormycosis affects the lung. It causes fever and a non-productive cough. This form of the disease kills more than three quarters of those infected. • Rhinocerebral mucormycosis is the most common form in patients with diabetes. Inhaled spores germinate in the sinuses, and invade the sinuses and adjacent tissues such as the palate, eye sockets, and brain. Initial symptoms are those of a severe sinus infection: facial pain, eye pain, facial swelling,

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

and blurry vision. • Cutaneous mucormycosis develops when spores directly infect skin lesions. It may begin slowly or rapidly progress to gangrene and spread via the bloodstream. The typical appearance is a black eschar (scab) with surrounding redness and firmness. • Gastrointestinal mucormycosis is caused by ingestion of contaminated food. It’s rare and seldom diagnosed while the patient is still alive, because many other diseases cause similar digestive symptoms including bleeding. Even if diagnosed by endoscopy and biopsy, the mortality rate is 85 percent. • Mucormycosis can spread through the blood stream to cause disseminated disease. Usually this form originates from lung infection. Disseminated disease affects the brain, liver, spleen, heart, and other organs. • The last category, uncommon forms of mucormycosis, includes various other infections: endocarditis (heart lining), osteomyelitis (bone), peritonitis (lining of the abdominal cavity), pyelonephritis (kidney), and other rare locations. In the New Orleans outbreak, the hospital reportedly delayed in

recognizing the outbreak because of poor communication between various hospital departments about the mucormycosis cases. Once the outbreak was recognized, the culprit turned out to be contaminated hospital linens caused by improper infection control practices. For example, clean linens and medical waste shared the same loading dock. And clean linens were not kept covered by plastic during transport, allowing dust from adjacent construction (presumably laden with fungal spores) to contaminate hospital linens. Let’s hope that the lessons learned from this sad story and the five children who died will keep all health care workers vigilant about proper infection control procedures.

Eva Briggs is a medical doctor who works at two urgent care centers (Central Square and Fulton) operated by Oswego Health.

10 Years After My Weight Loss Surgery By Barbara Lambright


ime sure flies when you’re having fun. But think about it. It flies whether you are having fun or not. It has been five years since I wrote an article for this publication. May 11 marked my 10-year anniversary of having gastric bypass surgery. Having this surgery was the best thing that I ever did for myself. There is a very sad thing that I need to address in this article... what if? What if on this anniversary I put on weight and went back to the old habits of eating and not taking care of myself? Keep in mind that after surgery losing weight is inevitable. Now, keeping it off is another story. So, five years ago I was on top of it all, a 225 lb. weight loss, on the cover of a magazine, recovered from plastic surgery and what I call “fat girl syndrome” was behind me. I was in my comfort zone. I knew it all — thinking it was safe for me to eat whatever as long as it was in moderation. But then I noticed I was not eating meals that were healthy, grazing was becoming a habit more than an exception. So 5 pounds became 10 and 10 became 20. When the weight crept up to a 50 pound weight gain I still thought I didn’t need help, I can handle this. Then, of course, the embarrassment of gaining weight was a new issue that I had to deal with. No one wants to admit failure, and this is what happens when you gain weight, especially after weight loss surgery. Only 5 percent of weight loss surgery patients are successful in keeping the weight off. The tragedy is ignoring the fact that you can find help and get back on track. Finding others who have put weight back on is not a comfort. OK, you might think it is because you have met four or five others who have gained weight but this is not a club you want to be part of. The story I have told you is happily, just that, a story. I am one of the 5 percent who kept their weight off. I would not be telling the truth if I said it was easy. It is not, but I am accountable. I played with 5 and then 10 pounds and then realized that the tool of gastric bypass goes hand in hand with accountability. I used the story as an example because no one wants to tell a story of failure. The story of being Cinderella or Prince Charming and going back-

‘The best thing that I ever did for myself’ but most people are not so lucky

wards and becoming heavy again is not a pretty picture, especially to the person changing yet again. What it does to ones self-esteem is truly heartbreaking. I have run into so many people who immediately start telling me. “oh I put weight on, because…….” It is the first thing that comes out of their mouth before saying hello. Sometimes I feel embarrassed or uncomfortable because I have stayed the course and kept the weight off. I then find myself wanting to avoid them because I am uncomfortable for keeping the weight off. I’d like to offer help, but then would never want them to feel uncomfortable. If you find yourself putting weight on there is help. I decided to join Weight Watchers because they keep me accountable, and I make healthy choices when I eat. I also track what I eat because keeping a food diary shows me where and when I can go wrong with my food choices. Believe me — I do go wrong sometime but get right back on track. I have not, however, learned to be happy exercising. I keep trying new things; my new venture this year is going to be bike riding and getting back to walking in the park (my favorite place). If you are someone who is gaining weight or has gained weight, don’t be discouraged. Go back to your doctor and don’t be embarrassed. Start over, the only shame is in giving up. There is no shame in being human. I am retired, despite being 65 I’m better than I was at 25. I am happy and full of hope and know that I will stay the course. It is 10 years and I still have the “fat girl syndrome” thinking I’m heavy, but remind myself of what I have accomplished, and that all I ever wanted was to be average. You gotta believe! Believe in yourself and have faith in God. Time — well, it will pass, but what you do while it is passing is up to you. You can never get it back or make it up. Make it count. Offering help to anyone that needs or wants the benefit of my experience is what I would like to accomplish from this article. So, if I can help, call me. Good luck and many blessings. Barbara Lambright can be reached at 315738-0719. June 2014 •

Most in U.S. Support Laws to Crack Down on Weight Discrimination Leading Obesity Groups Take Action to Educate on Obesity Discrimination & Weight Stigma


ew research shows that most Americans support policies that address weight discrimination. In fact, approximately three out of four individuals support efforts to add body weight as a protected class under Civil Rights laws, and the majority of those surveyed (at least 60 percent) are supportive of other policy efforts to address weight discrimination across the nation. The study, led by researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity and published in the research journal Obesity, the official journal of The Obesity Society (TOS), is the first to document a positive change in public attitudes toward legal measures to address weight discrimination. “More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are affected by overweight or obesity, meaning they are also vulnerable to the stigma and discrimination that these proposed policies and laws would help prevent,” said study author Rebecca Puhl, Rudd Center deputy director and co-author of the study. “Rates of weight discrimination are comparable with rates of racial discrimination, especially for women, and are seen across multiple domains, from healthcare and employment to media and personal relationships. We’re hopeful that identifying these trends in support of action to end weight discrimination can provide backing for current and future policy efforts.” According to the paper, from 2011 – 2013 researchers observed a 7 percent increase in support for disability protections for those affected by obesity or overweight (61 percent in 2011 to 69 percent in 2013) and a 6 percent increase for adding body weight as a protected class in Civil Rights statutes (70 percent in 2011 to 76 percent in 2013).

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Snack Your Way to Your Summer Weight


ealthy snacking throughout the day can help you maintain your ideal weight or even drop a few pounds in time for swimsuit season. “When you snack on the right foods, you tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day,” said Patricia Salzer, a registered dietitian and health and wellness consultant at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “You’ll feel fuller longer and be less likely to overeat or reach for unhealthy foods.” In addition to looking good at the beach, individuals who stay at a healthy weight reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and some forms of cancer, Salzer said. Rather than snacking on cookies or chips, Salzer recommends having a handful of raw almonds. She divides a day’s serving (about 23 almonds) into snack size bags and leaves them in key locations such as her desk, purse and the beverage cup holder in her car. Another healthy snack idea is to pair a small amount of cheese with whole grain crackers. The protein in

Excellus makes $25,000 available to nonprofits


s part of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s mission to improve the health and health care of the residents of the communities it serves, the company makes community health awards adding up to a total of $25,000 available to help fund health and wellness programs in Central New York. Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations in Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s eight-county CNY region are invited to apply for an award of up to $4,000 each, which can be used for a program that has clear goals to improve the health or health care of a specific population in the community. “The company’s community health awards demonstrate a corporate commitment to support local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said physician Arthur Vercillo, regional president, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “These awards complement our existing grants and sponsorships with agencies that work to enhance quality of life, including

the cheese will keep you from feeling hungry, Salzer said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following healthy snacking tips: • Try three cups of air-popped popcorn instead of oil-popped popcorn. You’ll consume 73 fewer calories. • Avoid the vending machine. Pack an eight-ounce, nonfat, no sugar added yogurt. That’s 82 fewer calories compared to a package of six peanut butter crackers. 
 • Consider packing vegetable sticks and fresh fruit, “nature’s fast food,” Salzer said. 
 • Substitute a sugary 12-ounce can of soda with a bottle of carbonated water for 136 fewer calories. 
 • Instead of chocolate sandwich cookies or other sweet snacks, eat a bowl of berries or a juicy peach. For fresh fruit ideas that will help you manage your weight, visit Submitted by Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield health status, in Central New York.” In granting the awards, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield considers organizations that offer programs that focus on wellness. To be eligible, the organization must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and located in Cayuga, Cortland, Jefferson, Lewis, Onondaga, Oswego, St. Lawrence or Tompkins County. “In the 75 years that Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has been serving residents of Upstate New York, the company has supported hundreds of programs that are aimed at improving the health status of area residents,” said Vercillo. “We’re pleased to continue that effort by offering community health awards to nonprofits in Central New York.” The deadline for organizations to submit an application to be considered for an Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Community Health Award is June 9. Applications and additional information are available online at http://bit. ly/1gdR71a or by emailing Community.Health.Awards.CNY@excellus. com. Applications received after the June 9 deadline will not be considered. Awards will be distributed in early fall 2014.

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The skinny on healthy eating

Ordinary Basil

Translation? It makes sense to add basil to more of our recipes, particularly dishes that are uncooked (such as salads). Last but not least, basil may help reduce stress. Recent research suggests that the phytochemicals in basil may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when we’re feeling frazzled. Tea steeped with basil, anyone?

Helpful tips

Full of Extraordinary Benefits


asil is surprisingly nutritious. And because it’s one of the few spices that can be consumed in quantity at one sitting — whether draped over a tomato or enjoyed as pesto — we are more apt to reap its many benefits. Used medicinally for centuries, fresh basil is a natural anti-inflammatory. This benefit stems from a volatile oil in basil that blocks enzymes in the body that cause swelling. Many over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen, work by inhibiting this same enzyme. Some studies suggest that basil may provide symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions. Basil is good for hearts, thanks to its rich concentrations of beta-carotene and magnesium. A precursor to vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant, beta-carotene protects cells from free radical damage and thwarts the build up of cholesterol in vessel walls. Magnesium promotes heart health by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax,

which improves blood flow and lessens the risk of irregular heart rhythms. Worried about thinning bones? Bruises? Basil serves up a healthy dose of vitamin K, an essential vitamin that helps maintain strong bones and ensures proper blood clotting. Vitamin K also works to prevent calcium buildup in tissues and arteries, an unfavorable imbalance that may lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Another reason to love the leaf: Basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. According to studies published in “Food Microbiology,” washing produce in solutions with basil oil helped to lower the count of an infectious bacteria known to trigger diarrhea.

Whenever possible, choose fresh basil over dried, since it’s superior in both flavor and nutritional value. The leaves should look firm and green, and be free from dark spots or yellowing. Store fresh basil in the refrigerator— wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel (lasts about 4 days). Dried basil will keep fresh for about 6 months. For maximum flavor, add the herb near the end of the cooking process.

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Pasta Salad Serves 6

½ pound whole-wheat fusilli (spirals) pasta 6 to 8 plum tomatoes, seeded, coarsely chopped 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into bite-size pieces ¾ cup chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon black pepper Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil according to package directions; drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the pasta and mix well. Adjust the seasonings, adding red pepper flakes, if desired. Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle columnist, food guru, and seasoned cook, who has perfected the art of preparing nutritious, calorie-conscious dishes. She is hungry for your questions and comments about SmartBites, so be in touch with Anne at

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Nonprofit helps people with disabilities enjoy the outdoors Members at Advanced Strategies Adventures take disabled people fishing, hunting, bird watching By Matthew Liptak


t’s not always easy to get outside to enjoy the outdoors in Central New York if you’re disabled. That’s where a charity called Advanced Strategies Adventures comes into the picture The charity has its roots in events that took place about 10 years ago. Lloyd Weigel, 60, had been a New York state guide since the 1980s and an active hunter and fisherman since his youth in Bridgeport. He began helping the disabled get out to enjoy the outdoors in 2003. One of his old hunting buddies had gotten in a car accident that year and Weigel learned that the now-disabled man was being left out of the loop of fellow hunters. Weigel offered to take him out and help him. That was just the start. “I started taking him out and then advertising that I’d take handicapped people out,” Weigel said. “The first year I started doing it was like 2003. I took guys out turkey hunting. They were happy as heck. I just started doing a little more. We started doing even

kids with disabilities.” Weigel met Mark Spratt, a fellow outdoorsman who is also disabled, a bit later and the two formed Advanced Strategies Adventures as a nonprofit in 2007. The group has 10 to 15 volunteers now, Weigel said. “Everything is volunteer,” he said. “Nobody gets paid for anything. We offer everything as a free service. We’ll do individuals, families, groups. It’s all custom. We just need to know ahead of time.” Advanced Strategies Adventures supports many outdoors pursuits among the disabled. Along with hunting, the group also takes people out for fishing, wildlife observation, snowmobiling, kayaking and bird watching. Fishing is one of the group’s most popular activities. ARISE, a Central New York organization that helps disabled people live independent lives, donated a 25-foot pontoon boat to Weigel’s group for outings. Advanced Strategies Adventures immediately began putting it to good use.

“The day we picked it up, it was in June, probably a few days before bass season opened,” Weigel said. “I got a little fishing derby going. We had that boat out four days later fishing with a bunch of people — haven’t stopped since.” The boat spends its downtime on Oneida Lake. For four years Fisher Bay Restaurant in Bridgeport has allowed the boat to stay at their dock. It gets use on a weekly basis though. Each Monday and Tuesday developmentally disabled clients of ARC of Onondaga and their aides go out on the boat in good weather. They stay out fishing from 5 o’clock at night until almost dark, Weigel said. Earl Smith, 62, of Syracuse is one of the many disabled outdoor lovers who have been out on the pontoon boat. He said it was a lot of fun and can’t say enough about Weigel’s charity. Smith had a stroke about 10 years ago that left him in a coma for three weeks. He had to learn to walk and talk again. Today he walks with a cane and continues to have trouble with his Lloyd Weigel, co-founder of nonprofit Advanced Strategies Adventures. right hand. Advanced Strategies Adventures’ boat was ideal for him to get out and enjoy some fishing. “They’re really a great bunch of guys,” Smith said. “They’ll do everything for you that you need done — putting the bait on the hook to casting it out for you. All you have to do is sit there and reel it in.” The group’s efforts wouldn’t be possible without the help of its many sponsors. They have 71 sponsors, including local organizations, individuals and companies. Not included in that number are the 31 land-use sponsors who allow Advanced Adventures Strategies and their clients use their land in the Central New York area. Clients of Advanced Adventures Strategies are insured by the organization. In the event of any accident, land owners are not held responsible. “The land sponsors were a real big plus,” Weigel said. “We got different places we hunt [that] are on our insurance policy so that helps. You can get some more people to let you use their property. Just all over the place—Canastota, Chittenango, Sangerfield, Morrisville —we’ve got 450 acres. We’ve got 200 here, 200 there.” Weigel said what motivates him is the drive to share the legacy of the outdoors with others. He also said that the pleasure received through watching others getting outside can almost be like an addiction. It is clear that the recipients of the group’s help are very appreciative. For more information on the group go to or contact Lloyd Weigel at 315-656-9050.

Page 14

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

Diabetes Rates on the Rise

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


espite the media’s bombardment of society with message about good health, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is going up. Nearly one in 10 American adults has diabetes. The rate has nearly doubled since the late 1980s. About 26 million Americans currently have been diagnosed with diabetes, and a further 79 million have pre-diabetes, putting them at risk of developing the disease. Diabetes complications represent the seventh leading cause of death nationwide. “A large part of Type 2 appears to be related to lifestyle and environment,” said physician Ruth Weinstock, division chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at SUNY Upstate Medical Center. “Genetics [causes] is an area of research. So many more people have the disease and why diabetes is increasing isn’t entirely understood.” Another factor in the statistical spike is that more physicians are screening for factors related to diabetes during routine check-ups and well child visits and, in general, the public is more aware of the disease. During pregnancy, most Wittlin obstetricians screen women for gestational diabetes, which is a risk factor for mothers developing Type 2 diabetes later. “Prevention of obesity, by methods such as being more physically active, is extremely important and these steps are shown to if not prevent then forestall the onset of Type 2 diabetes,” Weinstock said. Other, more subtle factors could include insufficient sleep, sleep disturbance and race. Caucasians appear to have the lowest genetic predisposition to diabetes. That represents another factor that tweaks the rate of diabetes cases: the increase in non-Caucasians among the general population. According to Ersi, a California-

based statistical analysis company, if population trends of the past two decades continue, by 2035, non-Hispanic whites will be outnumbered by minorities. This is already happening in Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and Texas. This minority-to-majority flip will happen much sooner among the demographic of children under age 18. Non-Hispanic white children are projected to be the minority among that group in less than five years. The experts agree that anyone, especially those who have family history or other risk factors, can improve his health and possibly avoid diabetes by making basic lifestyle changes. “If you take someone with pre-diabetes, you can reduce the rate of going into diabetes by 50 percent with intensive lifestyle modification,” said physician Steven Wittlin, director of diabetes services and clinical director of the endocrine metabolism division of University of Rochester Medical Center. “That includes meeting with a nutritionist. The more intensive the dietary intervention, the better the outcome.” Many interventions include about 150 minutes per week (or 30 minutes five days a week) of exercise beyond everyday activities. Wittlin noted that some prescriptions have been shown to prevent pre-diabetes from turning into fullblown diabetes; however, “but diet and exercise are more successful.” Seth Charatz, a physician with Rochester General Hospital, said that many people aren’t aware of the small steps they can take that can dramatically improve their chances of not becoming diabetic. He advises anyone with risk factors to attend pre-diabetes education classes “to learn what foods to eat and what to avoid. That’s a tried-and-true way to avoid [it].” A few better choices could include avoiding excess juice, soda and processed foods. Practicing portion control, especially for unhealthful foods.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

Rates of Serious Diabetes Complications Declining While number of incidence of diabetes has skyrocketed, rate of serious complications has shrunk By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


esearch from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the top Type 2 diabetes complications have reduced in rate in the past 20 years. These complications include heart attack, stroke, endstage kidney failure, lower-limb amputation and deaths from high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Although the overall number is higher because more people have diabetes now than 20 years ago, the rate of complications is decreasing. Cardiovascular complications and deaths from high blood sugar each decreased by more than 60 percent, the largest rate decrease in the group. Rates of strokes and lower extremity amputations fell by about 50 percent. Rates for end-stage kidney failure decreased by 30 percent. “There are a number of reasons for the decrease,” said physician Ruth Weinstock, division chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at SUNY Upstate Medical Center. “The most important is we are better at taking care of people with diabetes and educating them to take better care of themselves. We have better medicine and approaches to help them manage earlier stage complications to prevent some of the more severe complications.” She thinks that in regard to cardiovascular health, more physicians make sure that patients with Type 2 diabetes are prescribed statins to control cholesterol and medication to control blood pressure. Physicians are also better educating patients than in the past on what they can do to keep cholesterol and blood pressure within healthful limits. “We are teaching patients about how to best take care of their feet, detect problems early, and they can be treated earlier so terrible complications can be avoided,” Weinstock said. Diabetics who experience lower leg and foot neuropathy can miss cuts in the skin because they don’t feel them. These wounds can become infections that eventually cause amputation if left

untreated. In general, health providers are setting the bar higher for patients than 10 to 15 years ago, which also lowers the rate of serious complications. Registered nurse Patricia W. Cochrane is a certified diabetes educator and health education coordinator for diabetes health services at Finger Lakes Health. She said that a combination of earlier detection and measuring blood glucose levels differently has helped improve outcomes. “The standards for elevated blood glucose levels have changed quite a bit,” Cochrane said. “The goals for normal blood glucose are lower than years ago which identifies people earlier and gets them treatment much sooner.” Risk factors include pre-diabetes, excess weight, sedentary lifestyle, gestational diabetes (for women) and family history. But some of these factors may be mitigated. Making lifestyle changes can help avoid or delay onset of diabetes. “Don’t smoke, be physically active, achieve some weight loss and eat healthier,” Weinstock said. “The study points out how important it is for anyone who has diabetes to learn as much as possible about their disease. Go to a diabetes educator or classes to learn how to care for themselves and avoid these complications. “Periodically get screened for diabetes. The earlier you catch it, the better we can treat it.”


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’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, my kid likes me. Last month I wrote about all the ways I am not perfect parent — I’ve fed my daughter cupcakes for dinner and let her wander back to daycare with yesterday’s pancake syrup in her hair. We all fail as parents and the sooner we can accept that fact, the sooner we can move on and focus on the positive. Now that I’ve aired my dirty laundry, it’s time to redirect my energy. There are many days I feel inadequate, exhausted and defeated. However, there are many more days that I do a darn good job when pitted against some tough circumstances. Here are some the ways I am doing an awesome job as a parent. To be honest, it’s a lot easier to find fault with yourself. For many parents, it’s tough to praise your successes and focus on how amazing you are. So, in the interest of good mental health, here are some ways I think I am succeeding.

• My daycare provider says my daughter has some of the best manners she’s seen

Does my daughter throw tantrums? Yes. Does she make annoying, toddler, beast noises when she’s tried? Yep. However, she is also the first to say please, thank you and you’re welcome. That wasn’t easy. It required an amount of repetition I didn’t think I could pull off, but my kid says her please and thank-yous with the best of them.

• I still exercise and take time to myself

Some people may ask how this is a parenting win. It’s simple, really; when I take time to myself, I am recharged and ready to face the trials ahead. When I have some time with my friends or sneak in a good run, I can put up with the whining and tantrums. Plus, I’m setting a healthy example for my daughter.

• My daughter loves being outdoors

Sure, Stella loves her toddler tablet. She loves everyone else’s tablets and phones. However, she also loves being outside. She is happy to touch trees, walk on logs, pick flowers and run through the grass. I hope as she ages that she retains her passion for the outdoors. I will be working hard to keep it alive.

• My daughter won’t be pushed around

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equal parts in this one, but my daughter wants to be the boss. She wants things to be on her terms. This can be really frustrating, but at the end of the day it’s really awesome. I don’t want to see her tread on at any time in her life. I know it will happen, but the less the better. No one wants to see his or her kid pushed around, and I am glad I’ve taught her to be assertive and respectful.

• My kid will eat just about anything

Maybe it was feeding her mildly curried baby food. Maybe it was never having the attitude that a food wasn’t a kid’s food. Maybe it was constant diligence to putting new and alternating things on her plate. Maybe it was just dumb luck. Whatever it was, my daughter is pretty adventurous eater for a toddler. She will eat some spicy foods, pungent cheeses, vegetables, and other items many toddlers turn their noses up at.

• My kid is happy

Despite typical toddler distress, Stella is a pretty happy kid. She laughs a lot and is consistently silly. If I could pick one thing for her to be in life, it would be happy. Never mind rich, successful, smart or any of those other desirable personality traits. I just want my child to be happy. The rest, should it come, will just be gravy.

• At least once a day, my daughter offers an unprovoked, ‘I love you mommy’ This one is important. I hope my daughter does this because she feels loved by me. I hope I have demonstrated how much I love her. Kids say and do what they feel. They are the very definition of impulsive. I figure, if she says I love you, she must mean it and feel equally loved. That is pretty amazing. I encourage other parents out there to take a step back to recognize their successes. We all fall short. We disappoint ourselves, our partners and our children. That is part of life. The other, really great part of life is all the good stuff. Most of us are slow to see it, but we owe ourselves a vision of the whole picture — the one that includes all the great things we do. We need to bring that positive picture into focus. After all, that’s probably the picture our children see each and every day.

June 2014 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17


oth St. Joseph’s healthcare system and Upstate University Hospital are completing their implementation of new electronic health records systems (EHR). Officials say the systems are a winwin for patients and providers. They are supposed to help improve quality and convenience of patient care, reduce duplication of tests, improve care coordination and accuracy of diagnoses and health concern, and provide quick access to patients’ records from inpatient and remote locations. The systems being implemented at St. Joe’s and Upstate are based on software provided by Epic Systems. The company is a popular EHR vendor out of Verona, Wisc., with 297 customers nationally—19 of them are live or installing in New York. Fifty percent of patients in the U.S. have a record in an Epic system. The name of the St. Joseph system is branded SJLinked. While St. Joseph’s has used electronic records since 1999, this system-wide EHR launch puts every provider on the same screen, ensuring consistency and improving coordination of care. “Prior to SJLinked we had several systems that did not talk to one another,” said the program’s director James Nicolosi. “One integrated system means every member of our patients’ healthcare team is on the same screen — from their primary care physician, to their specialist, to their acute care team. This makes it better for the patient as we won’t have to repeat tests or repeat questions. Additionally, the care team has far more information to guide treatment plans.” The system is debuting simultaneously with an online patient portal named “My St. Joseph’s” which allows patients to take a look at some of their medical records. Those records include current medications, test results, immunizations, allergies and appointments. Nicolosi believes the portal will encourage patients to take a hands-on attitude toward their own treatment. “Using My St. Joseph’s, patients are more likely to engage in their health and initiate care appointments, send a message to their care provider, request prescription refills or receive health reminders,” he said.

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Upstate University Hospital started rolling out its Epic system in 2012 but

CNY Hospitals Implement New Electronic Health Records Systems Readily available records to benefit patients, providers, officials say

care process.” Some of those tools are the ability for a provider to document or review a patient’s medical problems and a patient’s history as well as e-prescribe; place orders for laboratory and other procedures; review records from clinical decision-making; create notes to patients and referring providers; use tools such as reminders and best practice alerts; and provide the patient with an after-visit summary. Wagner went on to say that the hospital has been very happy with the performance and reliability of the new system. Upstate also has an online Web application called “My Chart” that allows patients to access some of their own medical information once they sign up for free. This information, though, is not designed to resolve urgent medical issues.

Crouse expected to upgrade system

By Matthew Liptak

Crouse Hospital in Syracuse uses several different health records systems that are integrated together. They include Siemens Invision, Allscripts Emergency Department Information System and GE Centricity Perinatal, among others. The hospital also has online access for patients to view their records through an application named “myCrouseChart.” The main Siemens system is 15 years old and poses some challenges to users, said Kim Rose, the hospital’s IT director. “The system lacks the essential element that all systems must have — ease of use — both by the end users as well as the IT team dedicated to maintaining it,” she said. “It has an outdated look and feel for our users and uses proprietary language that must be used to develop customizations and enhancements.” The hospital expects to convert the old Siemens Invision system to the more modern Siemens Soarian system soon. Rose called Soarian a “cutting-edge” technology that will “My Chart” at SUNY Upstate allows patients to access some of their records through improve clinical workflow. their smart phones. “We will be able to easily share information with other healthcare only completed the process by adopting officer Terry Wagner. facilities and providers regardless of it to its Community Campus this May. “We are really thrilled to have the their chosen medical records systems,” Acceptance of the system by staff Epic system in place across all parts of she said. “This is our commitment has been positive, according to Upstate our organization,” he said. “It is stateto patients and aligns perfectly with officials. They have been trained, but are of-the-art technology that provides Crouse’s mission—to provide the best getting better at using the system each incredibly robust tools to deliver the in patient care and promote communiday, said the hospital’s chief information best possible care throughout the patient ty health.”

Smaller Hospitals Investing Heavily on New Systems Hospitals in Oneida, Auburn, Oswego making major investments Auburn Community Hospital This 99-bed acute care facility has adopted the McKesson Paragon electronic health records systems (EHR). It is a younger system compared to industry heavyweights like Epic, said Chris Ryan, the hospital systems chief information officer. Officials are “extremely satisfied” with the centralized, single-database design of Paragon, Ryan said. In fact, the hospital beta tests many of the system’s newest modules for McKesson and acts as a showcase for the system to potential clients around the country. The hospital also recently adopted a secure patient portal. The most important thing about Paragon is it improves patient safety, Ryan said. Medication orders are Page 18

not done verbally or handwritten. To deliver meds, the barcodes of patients’ medications, nurse badges and patients bracelets are scanned at bedside to validate that the procedure is safe. “Health care is night and day different from what it was even a couple years ago,” Ryan said.

Oswego Hospital The Oswego Health system, including its 164-bed acute care community hospital, has been using the Meditech EHR platform since 2010. They now use Meditech 6.x. “Accurate, up-to-the-minute information is available where and when users need it, resulting in more informed and effective treatment and decision

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

making,” said Oswego Health’s public relations manager, Marion Ciciarelli. The system exchanges clinical, demographic and financial information seamlessly between departments, she said. This month the Meditech Patient Health Information Portal will be deployed at Oswego Health allowing patients online access to portions of their medical records.

Oneida Healthcare Hospital The Oneida Healthcare system offers a 101-bed acute care hospital that also uses the Meditech Healthcare Information System. It has been using the system since 2012. Mary McGuirl, director of the hospital’s information systems, said the system was chosen

after a lengthy evaluation because of its flexibility and ability to integrate departments. McGuirl said the hospital is satisfied with the system, but that it is not without its challenges. “The greatest blessing and greatest curse are always the same thing,” she said. “In the case of our Meditech system, that is flexibility. It is a wonderful thing to have a system that can be customized to meet the particular needs of our institution. The challenge that comes with that, however, is the amount of time it takes us to build the customized screens and flows.” With the systems latest update, an online patient portal will be available. Plans are in the works to deploy it in the months ahead, McGuirl said. By Matthew Liptak

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How to Help Seniors With Their Computer Issues From Far Away Dear Savvy Senior, Are there any computer software products that you know of that will let me help my parents with their computer issues from afar? They are in their 70s and frequently call me with their computer questions and problems, but I live across town and don’t always have time to get in the car and drive over to help them. What’s available that can help us? Weary Son

Dear Weary,

Helping an elder loved with their computer questions or problems over the phone can be frustrating and difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available today that offer remote access software that can easily help you assist your parents with their computer issues from afar. One of the best is TeamViewer, which is completely free to use and works with Windows and Macintosh computers. To get started, you and your parents will need to go to TeamViewer. com and install their free software on each of your computers. How-to videos are available on their site to help with the installation. Once installed — and with their permission — you will be able to access your parent’s computer right from your own computer wherever you are. Both machines must have broadband Internet for this to work. This software will give you the ability to actually see what’s appearing on your parent’s computer screen, and will let you remotely take charge of their computer so you can show them how to do something, or you can do it for them while they watch. Almost anything can be done remotely with this software. You can even keep a live video chat open at the same time you’re helping them.

If your interested in shopping around, some other free remote access programs worth a look include Chrome Remote Desktop (go to com/webstore and type in “Chrome Remote Desktop” in the “Search the store” box to find it), and SkyFex (, which works only with Windows. Skype also has a screen share feature (see screen-sharing) that lets you share your screen and video chat at the same time, but you can’t actually take control of the other person’s computer. You can only show them what they should be doing by demonstrating it on your own desktop.

Professional Tech Support If your parents need more tech support than you are able to manage, another option to consider is to sign them up with a tech support company like Geek Squad (, 800-433-5778), which also offers remote access capabilities to help your parents with almost any computer issue. Whenever they would need assistance, they could call the Geek Squad toll free number anytime, 24 hours a day, or log in to their website. A Geek Squad representative would then help them initiate a remote access session, so they could remotely show them how to do something, or make repairs or adjustments to their computer. Once the call is completed, the remote control access would be disconnected from your parent’s computer. In addition to the remote access help, Geek Squad tech support also offers free anti-virus software, they cover up to three computers (or other devices), and provide unlimited phone and in-person tech support at any Best Buy store. Costs range from $200 for one year, $280 for two years or $350 for three years, with a 15 percent discount available to AARP members.

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.



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If you’re Medicaid eligible, the options you have for long term health care have changed. Now you can choose VNA Homecare Options, a new Medicaid Managed Long Term Care Plan that raises the bar for the kind of in-home care and services available. VNA Homecare has served this community for over 100 years. We are the organization you can trust to coordinate the services you need to stay safe, independent and in your own home – not a nursing home.

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Some of the services covered include: • Transportation • Meals & Housekeeping • Personal Emergency Response System • Medication Management • Dental, Vision & Hearing Services • In-Home Nursing & Home Health Aides • Physical & Occupational Therapy • Medical Equipment

1050 West Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York 13204 •

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Provided Deborah Banikowski, Social Security OfficeSocial Security Office

The following services are included in your rent


Call any time and we’ll answer your questions about the services

The Social Ask Security Office

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

Different Benefits For Your Family’s Different Situations


ational Family Month takes you, but your entire family, too. Family place each year from Mother’s benefits can include retirement, disabilDay in May to Father’s Day in ity and, in the event of your death, surJune, and coincides with the end of the vivors benefits. This coverage includes school year when families are able to everyone in your family who depends spend even more time together. It is the on you for support, such as your minor perfect time to spend more time focuschildren who are under age 18, or age ing on each member of your family. 19 if still in secondary school, as well as Social Security has your your spouse. It also can include entire family in mind when it older children who have severe comes to coverage and benefits. disabilities that began before We’re here to help everyone in age 22. In some cases, parents the family — during every stage and grandchildren can qualify of life. for family benefits if they deMost people think of retirepend on your income and you ment benefits when they think are their only means of support about Social Security, and that If you want to learn more certainly is a big part of what about how Social Security benwe do. In fact, most of the benefits the younger members of efits we pay go to retirees and your family, visit www.socialsetheir families — about 41 mil- Banikowski This lion people. But Social Security page has information for you is more than retirement. Just read on. even if you don’t have children and are If you work and pay Social Securia young worker yourself. ty taxes during your lifetime, you can So whether through survivors, look forward to a strong foundation disability, or retirement benefits, Social of income in retirement from Social Security is here to help you and your Security. Of course, Social Security was entire family when the need arises. never intended to be your sole source And the best way to apply for of retirement income. It is a foundation benefits is online at www.socialsecuriupon which you build with pensions, Perhaps another popular family savings and other income. member—the family pet—can best But what if you become disabled explain why applying online is the best before you retire and you are unable option for you. Check out our creative to continue working to support your videos on our YouTube channel for family? Social Security has you covered sound advice from the four-legged with disability benefits. If you have a members of the family. Just visit www. disability that is expected to last a year and select the Youor longer, or result in death, you should Tube button at the bottom of the page. apply for disability benefits. Want to learn more? Read or listen Your work and taxes cover not only to the publication, “Understanding the Benefits,” at pubs.


Q: I stumbled onto your YouTube channel while looking at funny cat videos. Why does Social Security produce cat videos? A: It’s just one of many ways for us to connect to people where they already spend time. It’s important for us to let everyone know about all we do for Americans, and we’re especially interested in getting the word out about our easy, convenient, and secure online services. That’s why we look for creative ways to reach people, young and old. Our popular YouTube videos are not only a hit with viewers, but they let people know the best way to apply for benefits — online. See the videos for yourself at Just select the YouTube link at the bottom right side of the page. By the way, the cat videos have already received more than one million views. Q: When a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies,

who is eligible for survivors benefits? A: Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to: • Widows or widowers — unreduced benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60; • Disabled widows or widowers — as early as age 50; • Widows or widowers at any age if they take care of the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits; • Unmarried children under age 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending secondary school full time. Under certain circumstances, benefits can be paid to stepchildren and grandchildren; • Children at any age who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled; and • Dependent parents age 62 or older. Even if you are divorced, you still may qualify for survivors benefits. For more information, go to

H ealth News VNA leader earns top healthcare credential M. Kate Rolf, president and chief executive officer at VNA Homecare, recently became a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the nation’s leading professional society for healthcare executives. “The healthcare management field plays a vital role in providing high-quality care to people in our communities, which makes having a standard of excellence promoted by a professional organization critically important,” said Deborah J. Bowen, president and chief executive officer of AHCE. “By becomRolf ing an AHCE fellow and earning the distinction of board certification from ACHE, healthcare leaders demonstrate a commitment to excellence in serving their patients and their community.” Fellow status represents achievement of the highest standard of professional development — only 9,100 healthcare executives hold this distinction. To obtain fellow status, candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including passing a comprehensive examination, meeting academic and experiential criteria, earning continuing education credits and demonstrating professional and community involvement. Fellows are also committed to ongoing professional development, and undergo recertification every three years. With more than 15 years of leadership experience, Rolf was appointed president and chief executive officer of VNA Homecare in 2011. She holds a New York State Nursing Home Administrator License as well as a Home Care Executive Certification (CHCE). She is also an active member of several community organizations, including the board of directors of the Home Care Association of New York State, where she currently serves as treasurer, and the Medicaid Redesign Team’s Managed Long Term Care Plan Work Group. Prior to joining VNA Homecare, Rolf served as executive director of Home Care Services at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica. “To achieve this status is an accomplishment and an honor,” Rolf states. “I am privileged to use the FACHE designation, and I look forward to working with my FACHE peers to improve health care in our community.”

Crouse has new VP for nursing operations Betty O’Connor, a registered nurse, has been named vice president for nursing operations at Crouse Hospital, overseeing all nursing and clinical activity related to medical/surgical nursing; the ICU; emergency services; bariatrics; stroke; and dialysis services.

With Crouse since 1979, O’Connor is a graduate of Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and received her Bachelor of Nursing degree from SUNY Utica-Rome in 1990. She has recently completed work to receive the healthcare leadership certificate from the O’Connor Madden School of Business at LeMoyne College, where she is also pursuing her master’s degree in nursing.

OCO Cancer Services Program welcomes doctor Carolyn Handville, program coordinator for Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program Partnership, has announced that Dr. Padma Ram Medical Services, LLC in Oswego is the newest member of the partnership and joins the Cancer Services Program’s network of more than 25 health care provider offices throughout Oswego County. Dr Padma Ram Medical Services, LLC has opened a brand new, full service health care building located at 300 state Route 104 E. The facility is equipped with prompt care, a blood draw lab, an imaging practice as well as general care. With the combination of compassion, expertise, and commitment, the highly skilled staff Dr Padma Ram Medical Services, LLC is dedicated to providing outstanding services to their patients. “We are proud to add Dr Padma Ram Medical Services among our network of health care providers,” said Handville. “Their trained staff provides our community with outstanding patient care and appropriate referrals into the Cancer Services Program. I am happy to announce the office is accepting new patients as well. To schedule an appointment, please call 315-3420030.

Silver Fox Senior Social Club has new director Pam McCarthy, a resident of Jordan, was recently appointed executive director of Silver Fox Senior Social Club in Baldwinsville. She is responsible for overseeing day-to-day functions as well as ensuring the center operates in full compliance with New York state and Onondaga County guidelines governing social day programs. McCarthy has more than 20 years of experience working for social service agencies, including Loretto and Christopher Communities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Keuka College. “Silver Fox has a reputation for providing an exceptional social and recreational day program for seniors as well as respite for their families,” said McCarthy. “Many of our members have been with the program for

years. This speaks volumes as to the services provided.” Silver Fox Senior Social Club is located on the Seneca River at 22 E. Genesee St. in the heart of Baldwinsville. Founded in 2007 as a nonprofit social day program for seniors of varying physical and cogniMcCarthy tive abilities, Silver Fox Senior Social Club provides socialization and recreation, homemade meals prepared daily, medication supervision and personal care, as well as on-site physical therapy through Onondaga Physical Therapy. Transportation for those living in Onondaga County may be available through Call-a-Bus. Flexible private pay membership plans are offered as well as special assistance, if eligible, through the Veterans Administration and Onondaga County Adult & Long Term Care Services.

Upstate announces honors, awards, appointments Upstate Medical University announced the following honors, awards and appointments.   • Eight faculty members have been named Gold Standard Award winners in recognition for their dedication, passion, vision and commitment to their work and Upstate Medical University. The 2014 winners are: Barba-

ra Black, nursing (Manlius); Susan Stearns, PhD, cell and developmental biology (Syracuse);and physicians Jayne Charlamb, surgery (Manlius); David Carter, neurosurgery (Manlius); Vincent Frechette, medicine, (Manlius); Victoria Meguid, pediatrics (Manlius); Gary Nieman, surgery (Manlius); Howard Weinberger, pediatrics (Dewitt). • Leola Rodgers has been named associate administrator of ambulatory services at Upstate University Hospital. Rodgers, who will continue her responsibilities as associate administrator for the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, has been instrumental in integrating Upstate’s EPIC operations throughout ambulatory services. Rodgers lives in Cicero. • Marie E. DeFeo, data manager at the College of Nursing, presented a poster titled, Geospatial Analysis of Oncological Data: A Community Hospital’s Pathway to Preventive Healthcare, at the Seventh Annual Binghamton Biomedical Research Conference April 8 at Binghamton University. DeFeo lives in Fayetteville. • Christopher Dunham has been named director of emergency management for the Upstate University Hospital’s Downtown and Community campuses. In this position, he is responsible for all disaster preparedness initiatives and will serve as the primary contact and liaison with SUNY regarding emergency preparedness issues. Dunham lives in Syracuse. • Kim Spinelli has been appointed as the patient service supervisor for the 9F neuroscience intensive care unit. Spinelli has been an Upstate employee for 28 years, holding several positions, most recently as the patient service leader trainer for unit 9F.

Fulton Medical Center Celebrates Five Years: 116,000 Patients Served Oswego Health is celebrating its fifth anniversary of introducing urgent care services to the Fulton community. The Oswego Health facility, now known as the Fulton Medical Center, has provided urgent care services to more than 116,000 individuals since its opening in late April 2009. The urgent care center, located at 510 S. Fourth St., has a board-certified physician on site. At the urgent care center, minor illness and injuries can be treated, including respiratory ailments, cuts or wounds that may require stitches, sprains, strains or deep bruises, mild to moderate asthma attacks, ear Physician Martin Weitzel, medical director of Oswego infections, sore throats Health’s urgent care center, is pictured with a patient at the insect bites and rashes, healthcare facility, which is celebrating its fifth year. among others.


• Manage & administer skilled nursing care to patients • Registered professional nurse with current NYS License • BSN & experience in a health care setting preferred

OCO Welcomes New Slate of Officers Nieman



• An integral part of the patient care team, acting as a liaison between referral resources, patients, caregivers & field clinicians. • Current NYS license and/or certification • 1+ yr. practical exp. as a licensed occupational therapist and/or • Bachelor’s degree from accredited college preferred

Why Work for Us? • A leader in Home HealthCare for 30+ years • Competitive Pay/Benefits • Continuing Education & Training 

Apply online: 
EOE/AA Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran Executive Director of Oswego County Opportunities Diane Cooper Currier (right) announced the installation of the new slate of officers OCO’s board of directors at the agency’s annual meeting held April 23 at Springside at Seneca Hill. From left are: Vice President Debra Turner; Treasurer Ron Darrow; Board President Connie Cosemento; Secretary Terry Bennett; Past President Joe Caruana; and Diane Cooper-Currier.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

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Oneida Nursing Director Receives Award


herry Willis, hospital nursing director at Oneida Healthcare, received the Central New York Leadership award from the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders (NYONEL) at the 2014 annual conference held in Tarrytown. In her nomination of Willis, Oneida Healthcare Vice President for Clinical Services Janis Kohlbrenner noted that Willis has held a leadership position at Oneida Healthcare for the past 14 years and, as director of nursing, “has greatly impacted the lives of the patients we serve, the nursing staff with whom she works and the community in which she resides.” As an example of her effective leadership, Kohlbrenner cited the “NYONE” Best Practice Award Willis received in 2013 for co-developing the hospital’s education internship program (EIP), in collaboration with clinical educator Beth Kelly. The program provides a structured on-boarding pathway for all new RNs at Oneida Healthcare. “Sherry is continually fostering collaborative relationships with OHC’s medical staff, administration and board of trustees,” Kohlbrenner added. When asked about the future of nursing at Oneida Healthcare, Willis said “I believe that evidence-based practice and the promotion of an advanced nursing degree will drive excellence in nursing. Currently we have over 20 RNs working on their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The knowledge gained allows our nurses to function collaboratively in interprofessional teams and contribute to the de-

Elm Hill Towne Center Camillus

Sherry Willis, nursing director at Oneida Healthcare, displaying the Central New York Leadership award she received for the second year in a row from NYONEL. sign of effective care systems. Serving on our Nursing Practice Council gives our nurses a voice in the development and implementation of sound protocols to drive their professional practice and contribute to achieving optimal patient outcomes.” Willis has been an active member of CNYONEL since 2001 and has held the office of secretary of the organization for the last four years. In presenting the award, CNYONEL President Teresa Bell characterized Willis as “an accomplished, dedicated and respected leader”. “I am very honored to receive this award, and very proud to be a nurse,” Willis said.

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June 2014 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2014

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