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PRICELESS

New Cancer Doc in Oneida

CNYHEALTH.COM

OCTOBER 2019 • ISSUE 238

BREAST CANCER

Shilpa Vyas, a radiation oncologist with Buffalo’s Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, now seeing patients at Oneida Health Cancer Care

SPECIAL ISSUE

Single mom on handling cancer, career, child n How to help when cancer strikes a loved one n Mammography: What you need to know n Organizations help patients during cancer journey n Mammography for men? You bet n A novel approach to treating incurable cancers

P. 18

‘I’m terrified’’

Syracuse Among Most Stressed Cities in U.S.

That’s what anchorwoman Christie Casciano told NewsChannel 9 viewers a day before her two total hip replacement surgeries. She shares her her experience

Running Red Lights a Deadly Practice

Salt City included on list along with Rochester, Buffalo

There were 939 people killed in red light-running crashes in 2017, a 10-year high and a 28% increase since 2012

P.17

Uninsured Rates in Upstate Reach Best Levels Ever Recorded

Chia Seeds

Marijuana Use

Why should we eat more chia seeds? See SmartBites column. P. 15

Highest rate in 35 years among college students. P. 14


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2019


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CALENDAR of

HEALTH EVENTS

Oct. 1 Got Medicare questions? Office for the Aging can help

Coming Soon: ‘Pot Breathalyzer’?

2019 2019KATHRYN KATHRYNFISH FISHLECTURE LECTURESERIES SERIES

June 23 1-2 pm 2019 Kathryn Fish LectureSeries Series October 20th 1-2 Lecture pm 2019 Kathryn Fish 2019 Kathryn Fish Lecture Series 2019 Kathryn Fish Lecture Series

ISIS ISME! Please call for moretherapist information. We have 3 professional therapist that see patients.WW W have 3 professional therapist that see patients. We We have 3 professional that see patients. EL EL EL CO CO ME!E!ME! MCO Please call forinformation. more information. Please call more information. Please call for for more Jim Marshall Farms Foundation, Inc. 1978 New Boston Road, Chittenango, NY 13037 Jim Marshall Farms Foundation, Inc. Jim Marshall Farms Foundation, Inc. Jim Marshall Farms Foundation, Inc.

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This fall The Saint Agatha Foundation will honor the legacy of its founder, Laurie Mezzalingua, with a gala to build on its success supporting thousands of Central New York breast cancer patients. The Promise Continues gala will be held Oct. 24 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown to raise funds to expand the foundation’s footprint while increasing awareness of its mission. Honorary heads of the event are Juli Boeheim, of the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation, and physician Santo DiFino, a retired oncologist and breast cancer survivor. Mezzalingua was diagnosed with breast cancer and bravely fought for 11 years before dying 10 years ago at the age of 41. While fighting her own battle, she became an advocate for others fighting the disease. As she realized first hand the economic impact breast cancer had on patients and their families, she established The Saint Agatha Foundation to provide financial assistance for medical and personal bills, as well as household expenses, for the uninsured and underinsured. The foundation also covers a wide array of personal expenses from gas and grocery cards to utility and household bills while patients are undergoing treatment. Since Mezzalingua’s death, her mother, Kathleen Mezzalingua, has run the foundation, keeping her promise to continue her daughter’s mission.  Over the past decade, Saint Agatha Foundation has helped more than 6,500 breast cancer patients by providing grants of over $11 million to 17 agencies, hospitals and social services throughout six counties in Central New York. In 2018 alone the foundation assisted 750 individuals and their families. Tickets and sponsorship packages are available for purchase at saintagathafoundation.org

ethanol, methanol and acetone. Before the device can be made available for use by police, it will have to be tested on hundreds, if not thousands, of people, Star said. Right now, unlike alcohol, no standard for THC intoxication exists or is written in any state driving laws. Setting a standard for how much THC is too much is a job for medical professionals, not chemical Oct. 22-23 engineers, Star said. Onondaga Office for Aging So don’t expect to have your holds public hearing breath tested for pot anytime soon. Onondaga County seniors, senior Paul Armentano, deputy director service providers and the general of NORML, which advocates for the public are invited to attend two public legalization of marijuana, said estabhearings held by Onondaga Office for lishing a standard for THC intoxicaAging to help plan the future of aging tion is no simple task. services. The Office for Aging asks for “There is zero scientific data adinput on it 2020 and four year service dressing the question of correlating plans.” The hearings will take place the detection of THC or its metabfrom 1 to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 22, olites in breath with psychomotor at the Magnarelli Community Center, impairment, nor am I aware of any McChesney Park, 2300 Grant Blvd., serious scientific investigations that Syracuse; and from 1 to 2:30 p.m., have sought to do so,” he said. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Clay Town Experts, such as AAA and the Hall, 4401 state Route 31 in Clay. National Highway Traffic Safety If special accommodations are reAdministration (NHTSA), oppose quired, call 315-435-2362, ext. 4945. The imposition of such a per se limit, events will be real-time captioned. Armentano said. Summaries of the proposed plan are “Some researchers and the available for review at the Onondaga NHTSA have observed that using County Office for Aging, 421 Monta measure of THC as evidence of a gomery St., 10th floor in Syracuse, driver’s impairment is not supported online at www.ongov.net/aging/news. html or by calling 315-435-2362 and by scientific evidence to date,” he asking for a copy to be mailed. Comsaid. ments are welcome at the hearing, with Moreover, studies haven’t been regard to the 2020 and Four Year Serable to consistently correlate THC levels with levels of impairment, Armentano said. “Ultimately, if law enforcement’s priority is to better identify drivers rd who may be under the influence of cannabis, then the appropriate reDr. William Cesare – sponse is to identify and incorporate Professor of Psychology – Morrisville State College specific performance measures that Sunday April 28th - 1-2pm accurately distinguish those canna- Sunday Neuro Parasitology – Explaining Suicidal Mice April 28th - -1-2pm Sunday April 28th Mary Sorrendino, LMHC, CASAC, BCPC bis-influenced drivers from those Sunday April 28th 1-2pm - 1-2pm Dr. Jim Yonai Next Lecture: July 21st 1-2pm who are not, and to prioritize greater Dr.Dr. – Aging Therapist – Jim Yonai Jim Yonai Issues Affecting and Mental Health Dr. Jim Yonai officer training in the field of drug Reverend Ted Taylor – Retired Minister of Issues Affecting Aging and Mental Health Spirituality in Mental Health Issues Affecting Aging and Mental Health recognition evaluators,” he said. Next Lecture: May 19th Issues Affecting Aging and Mental Health Dewitt Community Church The report was published in Au- Next Lecture: May 19th Next Lecture: May 19th Reverend Mick Keville - Believing the Best Next Lecture: May 19th A Message You’ll Enjoy gust in the journal ACS Sensors. Star Reverend Mick Keville - Believing the Best Reverend Mick Keville - Believing thethe Best Come Visit The Farm! Reverend Mick Keville - Believing Best is its editor-in-chief. See “Chocolate Cream” and the goats. Come Visit The Farm! Come Visit The Farm! Come Visit The Farm! PUBLIC Walk the track and enjoy the farm. SeeSee “Chocolate Cream” and the goats. “Chocolate Cream” and the goats. See “Chocolate Cream” and the goats. IS PU PU BL BL ICBL Walk the track and enjoy thethe farm. IC IC Walk the and enjoy farm. We have 3track professional therapist thatfarm. see patients. PU Walk the track and enjoy the WELCO

Online @ CNYhealth.com Page 4

Saint Agatha Foundation Celebrates 15 Years of Supporting Breast Cancer Patients

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2019

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D

riving while high on marijuana can be as dangerous and illegal as driving drunk, but unlike alcohol, there’s no way to detect pot on your breath. That could change, however, as University of Pittsburgh scientists are working to develop a breathalyzer that can measure the psychoactive ingredient in pot. Although the technology may work, many questions must be answered before police start checking drivers. “We envision that this sensor can be produced as a breathalyzer like an alcohol breathalyzer,” said lead researcher Alexander Star, a professor of chemistry and bioengineering. As more states legalize pot, it’s likely more drivers will get behind the wheel stoned. Since Washington state legalized marijuana in 2012, the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana rose from 8% in 2013 to 17% in 2014, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since current testing relies on blood, urine or hair samples, it can’t be done in the field when a driver suspected of being high is pulled over. Using carbon nanotubes, however, Star’s team has found a way of detecting tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient in marijuana that creates a high, in a user’s breath. These hollow nanotubes are 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. The electrical components of molecules in the breath bind to the tubes. Since different molecules bind at different speeds, the type of substance, including THC, can be detected. Star said these sensors can detect THC with the same accuracy as mass spectrometry, the gold standard for detecting it. So far, the device, which resembles a breathalyzer used to test for alcohol, has only been tested in the lab, using breath samples that also contained carbon dioxide, water,

Are you turning 65 soon? Are you overwhelmed by all the mail, calls and Medicare options? The Cayuga County Office for the Aging offers complimentary, unbiased monthly classes that help seniors make sense of Medicare. You will learn how to determine whether the plan you are considering will give you peace of mind or potential headaches. You’ll learn about how Part D drug plans work and whether EPIC co-pay assistance is an option for you. If your income is limited, you’ll receive information about programs to help pay for your insurance coverage, as well as a listing of the free and lowcost preventive care under Medicare. The class will take from 1 to 3 p.m., Oct. 1, in the basement training room of the Cayuga County Office Building. Registration is required. For more information or to register, call the Cayuga County Office for the Aging at 315-253-1226, or visit its website at cayugacounty.us/507/office-for-theaging under the News & Activities section.

vice Plans, or people may fax them in care of Executive Director Pete Headd, at 315-435-3129. sWritten comments must be received by Friday, Nov. 15.


TV personality Christie Casciano, who recently went through two total hip replacement surgeries, working with strength and conditioning coach Michael Derecola at Strides in Syracuse. I’m that classic story of I wish I had done it sooner,’’ Casciano said. Photo by Margaret McCormick.

TV Personality Talks About Her Two Total Hip Replacement Surgeries “I’m terrified,’’ anchorwoman Christie Casciano told NewsChannel 9 viewers a day before her surgery. By the next afternoon, she was walking with the assistance of a physical therapist and a walker By Margaret McCormick

C

hristie Casciano calls herself “the poster child for hip replacement.’’ The veteran anchor and reporter for WSYR-TV (NewsChannel 9) has undergone two total hip replacement procedures this year and says she feels like a new, “bionic” woman. Recuperation from each procedure kept Casciano off the air for several weeks — and brought a flood of flowers and encouraging words from viewers. She’s still gaining her strength back and has graduated from physical therapy to one-on-one strength and conditioning sessions with trainer and coach Mike Derecola at Strides in Syracuse. On a recent weekday, Casciano showed up at the facility with energy and enthusiasm, wearing a cobalt blue T-shirt that reads, “The Bionic Hip Club, With Custom Parts.” “I feel good. I’m doing better. I’m that classic story of I wish I had done it sooner,’’ Casciano said with a smile. Casciano has worked at NewsChannel 9 for 30 years. She anchors or co-anchors the weekday news at 4, 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. and created the popular “On the Lookout” franchise, a partnership with local law enforcement agencies that has helped officials solve hundreds

of crime cases. She has written several hockey-themed books for children and teamed with NewsChannel 9 colleagues Lou Gulino and Tim Fox to write the book “Syracuse Television History.” Casciano is also a dedicated hockey parent with a passion for figure skating and dancing. If you watch NewsChannel 9 regularly, you know that she is fit, active and adventurous. As part of her reporting, she has climbed into police cars

and cockpits and accompanied DEA officials on raids. She didn’t arrive easily at the decision to have total hip replacement surgeries. Casciano, who is in her 50s, has lived with hip pain caused by arthritis for years. She tried strength training exercises, anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone shots — all of which helped, but only for a short time, she says. When her hip pain became intense, she started using a cane,

Casciano exercising with her coach at Strides in Syracuse. Photo by Margaret McCormick. October 2019 •

which helped to relieve some of the weight-bearing issues she was having. She said she was sitting next to a fire in Ottawa drinking hot cocoa (and not out on the city’s famed Rideau Canal Skateway) when she accepted that surgery was her only remaining option. “I want my life back,’’ she thought. “I want to do things again. I’m so limited. It’s time.’’ According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 300,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States. Improvements in joint replacement surgical techniques and technology have increased the effectiveness of the surgery and made the procedures more common — and not just for senior citizens and the elderly. Patients can expect their new hips to last 20 years or more. Eventually, Casciano made an appointment with orthopedic surgeon Stephen Bogosian of Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists. X-rays revealed extensive cartilage loss in the hip areas, which was causing her bone-on-bone pain. Seeing is believing and when it became clear that surgery could bring both immediate and lasting relief, Casciano signed on for the first of two total hip replacements. In a news segment with Bogosian the evening before her first surgery, in early March, Casciano told viewers she would be off the air for a few weeks. “Arthritis has taken hold and these hips don’t lie,’’ she said, noting that she’s in good hands and company because Bogosian performs six to eight knee and hip replacement surgeries in a day. Hip replacement has shed its image as surgery for your grandparents, Bogosian noted. “We’re doing total hip replacement surgeries on 50 - 40-year-olds and sometimes even 30-year-olds,’’ he said. “Age is not as big a factor as it was before.’’ “I’m terrified,’’ she told NewsChannel 9 viewers. But by the next afternoon, Casciano was walking with the assistance of a physical therapist and a walker. She returned to the anchor desk on March 26, slowly walking into the newsroom using her cane. She had her second hip procedure in late June and returned to work on July 17. She says the procedure — and recovery from it — was easier the second time around. Casciano is looking forward to traveling this fall and winter to watch her daughter play ice hockey for St. Michael’s College in Vermont and hopes to resume some “easy ice skating’’ this season. Shortly after returning to work at NewsChannel 9 after her second surgery, Casciano covered a story on local law enforcement officials training for an active shooter scenario. “It was great to be back in the field,’’ she says. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that before my surgery.’’

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Autism Rates Increasing Fastest Among Black and Hispanic Children

Meet

Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Shilpa Vyas, M.D.

After mid-2000s plateau, prevalence Buffalo’s Roswell Park radiation oncologist now seeing patients at Oneida Health Cancer Care among white Q: Give us an overview of how the tients don’t have to drive long dischildren is also rising partnership with Roswell Park Comtances to be able to access that level

A

utism rates among racial minorities in the United States have increased by double digits in recent years, with black rates now exceeding those of whites in most states and Hispanic rates growing faster than any other group, according to new University of Colorado Boulder research. The study, published in August in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, also found that prevalence of autism among white youth is ticking up again, after flattening in the mid2000s. While some of the increase is due to more awareness and greater detection of the disorder among minority populations, other environmental factors are likely at play, the authors conclude. “We found that rates among blacks and Hispanics are not only catching up to those of whites — which have historically been higher — but surpassing them,” said lead author Cynthia Nevison, an atmospheric research scientist with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. “These results suggest that additional factors beyond just catch-up may be involved.” For the study, Nevison teamed up with co-author Walter Zahorodny, an autism researcher and associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, to analyze the most recent data available from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. IDEA tracks prevalence, including information on race, among 3-to 5-year-olds across all 50 states annually. ADDM tracks prevalence among 8-year-olds in 11 states every two years. The new study found that between birth year 2007 and 2013, autism rates among Hispanics aged 3-5 rose 73%, while rates among blacks that age rose 44% and rates among whites rose 25%. In 30 states, prevalence among blacks was higher than among whites by 2012. In states with “high prevalence,” one in 79 whites, one in 68 blacks and one in 83 Hispanics born in 2013 have been diagnosed with autism by age 3-5. “There is no doubt that autism prevalence has increased significantly over the past 10 to 20 years, and based on what we have seen from this larger, more recent dataset it will continue to increase among all race and ethnicity groups in the coming years,” said Zahorodny.

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prehensive Cancer Center work for a hospital like Oneida Health. A: Roswell Park has collaborated with Oneida Health to establish radiation oncology in Oneida. They had previously done the same for medical oncology. We’re all Roswell Park physicians who are here locally to provide care to the people of Central New York. We’ve brought diagnostic machines, a CT scanner, a Truebeam linear accelerator, and a simulator to the site, and the medical oncology center has all the chemo-related facilities. It’s all done under the guidance of physicians from Roswell Park

of care. We have the capability to perform very focused radiation treatment. We are the only facility in the area with a simulator on site. You don’t have to make any extra visits outside of the area to start your cancer treatment. You’re getting support from highly committed professionals who are committed not just to care, but to research. You’re getting the same care you could expect to get at any other NCI-designated site.

Q: How do you coordinate standards and care and procedures over such a large distance? A: We use the same standards of care in Oneida as they use in Buffalo. All of the treatment plans undergo a very, very meticulous review, not only by me but through a peer review process where all the radiation oncologists at Roswell give their own input. I send all of the information on the patients I’m seeing in Oneida to Buffalo electronically for patients who have something unique in their condition that could use the input of more physicians. We discuss these patients in tumor boards, which are routinely conducted at the main campus in Buffalo. Then they’ll send me their recommendations, and I make sure they’re matching my own to provide a comprehensive approach to the patient’s care.

lo?

Q: What kinds of capabilities has the partnership brought to Oneida? A: What I really want to point out is that Roswell Park is the only NCI-designated (National Cancer Institute) cancer treatment with a presence center in the area. This collaboration has brought the same type of care available in Buffalo to Central New York. It’s right in their backyard now, pa-

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2019

Q: Are you in Oneida full-time? A: Yes. Q: Are you transplant from Buffa-

A: Yes, but I’m fairly recent to Upstate New York. I started working at the Roswell Park main campus, but was hired for the Oneida facility. I was instrumental in getting things started here, establishing the workforce, getting the facility ready, getting the state of the art technology we needed to provide the best care. I’m full-time in Oneida now. Q: What kinds of patients are you seeing? A: We are equipped to treat any cancer. The patients we’ve seen so far have mostly been those with common cancers: breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer. We’ve seen some head and neck cancers, some lymphoma, gastrointestinal tumors, anal and rectal tumors. Q: What is the closest Roswell Park-affiliate to you? Do you work with them, or are you mostly connected through the main campus? A: I think Ithaca might be the closest, but no, regardless of where we are, we all have input into the treatment plan reviews. Basically, the umbilical cord

In the News The leadership from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Oneida Health recently announced the grand opening of the Dorothy G. Griffin Radiation Oncology Center on Oneida’s campus. This is the next step in expanding the reach of the Roswell Park Care Network, which launched in May. Previously in 2017, Oneida Health and Roswell Park affiliated to open a medical oncology center in Oneida. The completed radiation oncology center features four exam rooms, a consultation room, a CT scanner, a Truebeam linear accelerator for radiation therapy and required support facilities, with clinical and quality management provided by Roswell Park radiation oncologist Shilpa Vyas as well as a Roswell Park medical dosimetrist and medical physicists. goes through Buffalo. Q: What applications does radiation oncology have that patients may not be aware of? A: External beam radiation can treat cancer at any site with a machine that delivers radiation externally, with the source away from your body. That’s used for almost all cancers. There are a few cancers, though, where there’s access for an applicator inside the patient’s body. That treatment is not provided at any of the Roswell Park satellite offices because it’s a more specialized treatment. We do that at our main campus in Buffalo. Now, very few cancers qualify for that sort of treatment, mostly some gynecological or prostate cancers. If a patient’s a candidate for that, we can refer them. But external radiation therapy is what we have here at Oneida. Q: How big a staff does Roswell Park maintain at Oneida? A: At this facility it’s the physician, the radiation physicist, the radiation dosimetrist, a central manager, two full-time therapists and a parttime therapist, a full-time nurse, and a front desk person. And we work with Oneida to provide nutritional and social service support.

Lifelines

Name: Shilpa Vyas, M.D. Position: Medical director, Oneida Health Roswell Park Radiation Oncology Previous position: Radiation oncologist with Seattle-based Tumor Institute Radiation Oncology Group/TIROG, providing radiation oncology services at Swedish Cancer Institute and Valley Medical Center Hometown: Bhopal, India Education: Gandhi Medical College; Rani Durgawati University Training: Senior fellow, proton therapy, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle; residency in radiation oncology, Baylor-Scott & White program at Texas A&M University, Temple, Texas Affiliations: Oneida Health; Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Organizations: American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology; American Brachytherapy Society; American Society of Clinical Oncologists. Board-certified in radiation oncology Family: Husband; 5-year old son Hobbies: Cooking, time with son, hiking, reading, music


5.4%

3.5%

8.9%

Upstate New York Uninsured Rates Reach Best Levels Ever Recorded Health coverage Upstate

U

pstate New York’s health insurance uninsured rate fell to 3.5%, the lowest ever recorded, according to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey issued today. The Upstate New York rate compares favorably to a new best record for the state of 5.4%. The national rate rose slightly to 8.9%. (Rates from 2017 were: 4% in Upstate New York; 5.7%, NYS; and 8.7%, U.S.) “These low rates of uninsured present an even better picture than what most people might realize,” said Christopher Booth, the health plan’s chief executive officer. “The real uninsured number is even less because these surveys only record those who report having coverage. There are thousands more who are eligible for coverage but simply have not enrolled in such programs as Medicaid, Child Health Plus and Medicare.” 

New York state

Upstate New York’s health insurance uninsured rate fell to 3.5%, the lowest ever recorded, according to Excellus BlueCrossUnited BlueShield. Map by Excellus States shows breakdown by region.

in upstate New York 4.2%

For example, the uninsured num- has lower levels of health care spendbers reported for 2018 include more ing due to a marketplace of nonprofit than 23,000 New Yorkers aged 65 and health plans and nonprofit hospital older who would likely qualify for systems.” Medicare and more than 107,000 peoView an Excellus BCBS inple under age 19 who would likely fographic illustrating the census quality for Child Health Plus. numbers titled “Upstate NY’s The American Community SurUninsured Rate-infographic (Sepvey is the largest and the U.S. Census Upstate New York’s Bureau’s recommended source for examining uninsured data at na2018 uninsured rate is: tional, state and regional levels. It reports the yearly uninsured rate for geographic areas with populations of than the U.S. rate 65,000 or more. The county-level data than New York’s rate were aggregated to calculate the upstate New York uninsured rate cited by the health plan. “Upstate New York’s uninsured rates have historically been lower than the numbers recorded for the state and nation,” Booth observed. “We believe the more favorable numbers here reflect the fact that the region

3.3% 35% lower + 61% lower 3.1%

3.6% 2018 Uninsured Rates 3.8% 5.4%

3.5%

8.9%

Healthcare in a Minute Upstate

New York state

United States

4.2%

By George W. Chapman

Minimal Waiting Among What Consumers Want

base their payments to providers on their patient outcomes. So, being 100% frank with your provider is critical to a successful partnership.  

sometimes people do die there. He thinks hospitals and physicians need to be better at transitioning patients from acute to comfort or palliative care. Patients and family often feel their physician or hospital abandoned them at the end. The book is highly recommended as most of us are ill-prepared for the end.

Source: 2018 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates. https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=uninsured&table=DP03&tid=ACSDP1Y2018.DP03&lastDisplayedRow=15&hidePreview=true

S

everal surveys have revealed what consumers are expecting from their healthcare providers. In no particular order, the most common expectations are: online appointments; virtual appointments; streamlined paperwork; minimal waiting; answers within 24 hours; updated waiting rooms with amenities like Wi-Fi, water, coffee; trans-

parent pricing; and extended hours. Interestingly, one of the biggest pet peeves of those surveyed was the excessive amount of “threatening” notices plastered all over the waiting area and reception. Retail providers have been quicker to deploy these expectations and have made inroads on the market share of traditional private providers.

3.1%

3.3%

Physician Burnout

Considering the rapid-fire industry changes and continued confusion in Washington, it is no surprise that many physicians suffer from some form of burnout. Medical Economics magazine surveyed over 1,200 physicians: 92% admitted to feeling burned out at some point in their career while 68% answered they were currently feeling burned out. The most common reasons for burnout are: excessive paperwork, poor life balance; time consuming electronic medical records; and loss of control. Seventy-three percent of respondents said they have seriously considered quitting; 80% admitted they have not sought counseling. Coping mechanisms include family, exercising and hobbies. Physicians say they are increasingly powerless as medicine becomes corporatized and dictated by government and profit oriented special interest groups.   

3.6%

3.8%

Home Care Worker Shortage Worsening

Anyone who has had to deal with homecare for themselves or a family member is well aware of the acute shortage of home care workers. The shortage is fueled by a rapidly aging population and advanced technology which makes home care a more viable and preferable option versus nursing homes. By 2050, 19 million of us will be over 85. The president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice says some agencies are seeing 100% turnover in a year and 50% is now considered “good.” The good news bad news is there will be 1.2 million new jobs available by 2026 which is a 40% increase from the number of jobs in 2016. Home care is often a thankless job and it doesn’t pay well. Eighty-seven percent of home care workers are women; 60% are of color; 52% have a high school diploma or less; half receive public assistance like Medicaid or food stamps.

Source: 2018 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates. https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=uninsured&table=DP03&tid=ACSDP1Y2018.DP03&lastDisplayedRow=15&hidePreview=true

AMA’s Position on Healthcare

So where does the American Medical Association stand when it comes to healthcare reform? The AMA is now basically opposed to Medicare for all, but it recently decided to drop out of the industry group Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future (PAHF) which is vehemently opposed to Medicare for all. Rather than start from scratch, the AMA’s position is to strengthen and build upon the existing Affordable Care Act, which it believes can be a vehicle for universal coverage. The PAHF members include hospital, insurance and manufacturing trade associations. The Affordable Care Act was developed with the input of all the major stakeholders (physicians, hospitals, insurers, manufacturers) to provide and fund care for the medically uninsured and under insured. At its peak, it covered over 20 million people.  

Out of Pocket Costs Increase Dramatically

Over the last 10 years, out of pocket costs for employer-sponsored insurance have risen twice as fast

as wages and three times as fast as inflation. Last year, an average family of four spent $4,700 on premiums ($392/mo.) and about $3,000 on deductibles and copays ($250/mo.) That’s $7,700 a year or $642 a month which is a 67% increase from 2009. Wages increased 31% and inflation was 21% over the same 10 years.

What We Lie About

Medical Economics magazine surveyed hundreds of consumers to find out how forthcoming they were with their physician. It turns out about 25% actually admitted they are not. Forty-six percent of them have lied about smoking; 43% about exercise; 37% about alcohol consumption; and 29% have lied about their sexual partners. Why would people lie if they are seeking help? Seventy-five percent of the respondents who lied admitted they were embarrassed. Thirty-one percent lied to avoid discrimination and 22% lied believing their physician wouldn’t take them seriously if they were truthful. While lying only hurts the patient, it will eventually hurt their physician’s pocketbook when insurers begin to

Dealing with Death

Palliative care physician B.J. Miller advocates making end of life care more “human” and less “medicalized.” His 2015 ted talk, “What Really Matters at the End of Life,” has been viewed over 9 million times. He recently co-authored the book “A Beginners Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death.” The book is targeted at the dying, their family and caregivers and their providers. Miller argues hospitals are a terrible place to die. Dying is not an emergency and there’s not much that can be done anymore; so, it is unfair to expect much from a hospital that is designed and staffed for acute care. But October 2019 •

George W. Chapman is a healthcare business consultant who works exclusively with physicians, hospitals and healthcare organizations. He operates GW Chapman Consulting based in Syracuse. Email him at gwc@gwchapmanconsulting.com.

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

October: The Perfect Time to Turn Over a New Leaf

F

all is my favorite time of year. For me, it means all good things: relaxing in front of a cozy fire, making soup on Sunday afternoons, donning my well-worn leather jacket for long walks and turning my attention to all those inside projects I neglected over the summer. The brilliant colors, autumn aromas and industriousness that arrive with the falling leaves really appeal to me. But this hasn’t always been the case. After my divorce, the month of October left me feeling rather melancholy. I missed sharing the beauty of the season with a special someone. And I missed the sunshine as the daylight waned. Nostalgia and wistfulness would creep in, and I just wanted to retreat into myself. For those who live alone, the month of October has its unique challenges. Not one to wallow in a “poor is me” state of mind, I began to develop and employ some strategies to rekindle my love of the fall season. It can be a great time to mix it up, get busy and expand your horizons. Below are elements of my annual fall “game plan.” Take a look and see if one or more of these suggestions might not add a little color to your

life pallet this fall: • Tackle indoor projects. Fall is a great time to accomplish all those nagging indoor projects on your to-do list. I have a long list and I keep it right in front of me — a daily reminder that I have plenty of fun and interesting projects to tackle. Too much idle time is not a friend at any time of year, but it can become downright unfriendly when the weather turns cold. Now is the time to get busy: organize your storage space, do some touch-up painting, update your wardrobe or clean the garage. There’s nothing like being productive to beat the October blahs. Don’t I know it? I just finished coating my flat-roof porch with a sticky tar sealant. Confession: it was messier than it was fun. But, still . . . I’m proud of my accomplishment. • Get up and get going. Staying active when there’s a chill in the air can be difficult. I can remember many a cold morning when all I wanted to do was hit the snooze button, pull up the covers and stay in bed. As nice as sleeping in can be from time to time, I don’t recommend it as a steady diet. In my experience, there’s no better way to start your day than to

wake early and start your day. In the early morning peace and quiet, there is glorious time to reflect and feel gratitude. I use this important “me time” to read, write, and plan my day. As the morning brightens, my energy grows, as does my appreciation for the precious day ahead me. • Enjoy the great outdoors. Fresh air and sunlight are invigorating if you’ve been cooped up all day. I’m grateful every day for Scout, my adorable springer spaniel, who needs to be walked twice a day. Do I feel like walking her all the time? No. Do I feel better after taking her out? Yes, without fail. Whether you have a dog to walk or not, make an effort to leave your house and enjoy the great outdoors. It can help relieve feelings of loneliness and the lure of isolation as the days grow short and get colder. • Learn something new. Going back to school and fall go hand-in-hand. Who among us isn’t reminded of the nervous excitement associated with returning to school in the fall? It’s a great time to expand your intellectual horizons. Each fall I identify a new skill or subject to learn. Last year, I researched how to divide and relocate perennials (my irises and peonies); this year, I’m learning about and practicing meditation. Continuing education opportunities are abundant in this community. Check out colleges and universities, community centers, arts and cultural institutions, your local library, and workshop listings online and in the newspaper for class and workshop offerings. • Invite people in. Over the years, I’ve discovered a few simple and manageable ways to bring people into my world and into my home. One way is to organize a gathering around a TV

show or series — yes, around the TV, as odd as that might sound. For years, I invited my single friends over to watch “Downton Abbey” with me on Sunday nights. I provided the soup and salad; they provided the good company, laughs, and kick-start to my week. And theirs. So, what’s your pleasure? Whether it’s football, a favorite weekly sitcom, or “Dancing With the Stars” — all of these and other TV shows can become reasons to bring friends and family together. The benefits? You’ll hone your cooking skills (boy, do I now have some great soup recipes!) and you’ll connect with people you care about. What better way to enjoy a nice fall evening. There are so many wonderful and meaningful strategies to enjoy the fall season and to ward off the blues that can sometimes emerge during this changing time of year. But these strategies require effort — conscious, creative effort. If you are feeling sluggish, lonely or isolated, try a few of the strategies above. They have stood me in good stead and have reinvigorated my love for the fall season. If you, too, are ready to turn over a new leaf, October is the perfect time!

chronic ear pain, complaining of noises they can’t identify, and struggling to keep up in school. “Often parents and teachers overlook the fact that a child’s behavior may be a sign of hearing loss,” Christensen said. “If parents suspect an issue, they should have their child evaluated by an audiologist. Audiologists have the tools and training to identify hearing loss, degrees of hearing loss, and can

recommend solutions,” she said. About two to three of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears, according to the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. However, many cases go undiagnosed, and the total number of U.S. children with some type of hearing loss is unknown.

Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of “Alone & Content” empowerment boot camps for women held throughout the year in Mendon. She is the author of “Alone and Content: Inspiring, empowering essays to help divorced and widowed women feel whole and complete on their own.” For information about her boot camp, to purchase her book, or invite her to speak call 585-624-7887, email gvoelckers@rochester.rr.com, or visit www.aloneandcontent.com

s d i K Corner

If a Child’s Schoolwork Slips, Don’t Rule Out Hearing Loss

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alling school grades could be a sign of hearing loss in children, according to the American Academy of Audiology. “A child with just minor hearing loss can be missing a significant amount of the classroom discussion,” said academy president Lisa Christensen. “There are children who have been diagnosed with a learning disability when really what they need are hearing aids,” Christensen added in an academy news release. She works at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Along with struggles in the classroom, hearing problems can lead to behavioral issues, lack of focus and even depression in children. Many children with hearing loss don’t recognize that they have a

Page 8

problem, and parents may not recognize the signs. • Look for difficulty following through with assignments and often seeming unable to understand the task. Other tipoffs include not understanding questions and either not responding or not responding appropriately. • Children with hearing problems may struggle to pronounce simple words or repeat a phrase. They may also have articulation problems or language delays. • Does your child often ask you to repeat things, watch your face intently in order to understand what you’re saying or have difficulty hearing on the phone? Those could be signs of hearing loss, too. • Some other red flags: speaking loudly when not warranted, having

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2019


1 IN 13 CHILDREN HAS A FOOD ALLERGY PAINT A PUMPKIN TEAL. The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to provide non-food items for trick-or-treaters so that kids with food allergies can participate without facing risks to their health. Some of the treats that are handed out include glow sticks, rubber balls, vampire fangs, etc.

October 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9


My Turn

By Eva Briggs

What Science Says About Treating Colds With so many things that don’t help — antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, African geranium, vitamin C, vitamin D — what does really work to treat colds?

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’m sitting here surrounded by boxes of tissues. Yes, it’s that time of year again. Cold season. Time for a look at what science says about treating colds. Another term you may hear for the common cold is upper respiratory infection. It means exactly the same thing. Colds are the most common acute illness in the United States. They are caused by an assortment of viruses — rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, enterovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, metapneumovirus. Sadly, infection with one virus offers no immunity to future colds caused by other strains. Symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, cough, low-grade fever and generally feeling yucky. Eventually the common cold will go away on its own. But before you improve, you will feel lousy for 10 days. The cough can linger even longer, especially among smokers. Colds in children often drag on for two or three weeks. When people hear the word infection, they often think antibiotics are the answer. Antibiotics won’t help since viruses, not bacteria, cause colds. Antibiotics not only won’t help, but they can lead to future resistant bacterial infections, and cause side effects including allergic

reactions and diarrhea. A host of other things are ineffective for treating colds. Antihistamines alone, taken by mouth, don’t work. Cough medicines including codeine are no more effective than placebo for cough. Nasal steroid sprays help for allergies but they don’t make cold symptoms less severe or lead to faster recovery. Steam, or heated humidified air, does not speed the recovery from respiratory infections. Also ineffective are Echinacea, African geranium, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Vitamin E actually causes more severe respiratory symptoms than placebo! With so many things that don’t help, what does really work? First, analgesics help for aches pains, and fever. This includes acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Azelastine (brand name Astelin) is a nasal antihistamine that does seem to help, especially in reducing cough. Antihistamines in combination with decongestants are helpful. Nasal decongestants sprays, such as oxymetazolone, can decrease nasal congestion. But use cautiously for no longer than three days. Prolonged use of nasal decongestants leads to rebound, worsening nasal congestion when the dose wears off. A probiotic called “Lactobacillus casei” shortens the course of colds when taken every day throughout cold season. Zinc

Antibiotics not only won’t help with your cold, but they can lead to future resistant bacterial infections, and cause side effects including allergic reactions and diarrhea. started within three days of the onset of a cold, continued until the cold resolves, also reduces cold duration. There is that old standby honey. It actually works better than commercial cough medicines. Honey is not safe for children under 1 year old. The dose studied was half a teaspoon at bedtime for children ages 2 to 5, one teaspoon at bedtime for children ages 6 to 11, and two teaspoons at bedtime for older children and adults. What a great way to support our local New York state apiaries! Local honey contains more of the good ingredients and fewer contaminants than supermarket honey. In children under age 4, overthe-counter cold medicines produce more side effects than benefit. Another useful treatment is petrolatum ointment with camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oils, such as the brand name Vicks VapoRub. Since it works by inhalation, rub it on the chest and throat. For some strange reason, many of my patients believe in rubbing it on the feet. There is no reason to do that. Some diseases resemble the common cold. As I write this in the middle of September, we have already seen our first cases of influenza at the urgent care. Influenza usually starts more suddenly, has a high fever, severe body aches, and a dry hacking

cough. Remember it’s now time to get your flu shot. Bacterial sinusitis often occurs as a complication of an upper respiratory infection. Some characteristics that help distinguish bacterial sinusitis from a cold include failure to start improving in 10 days, fever and double sickening. This last term refers to a cold that starts to improve and then takes a turn for the worse. Allergic rhinitis is associated with nasal congestion and runny nose, sneezing and itching. It often recurs at the same time every year. If you have an upper respiratory tract infection, here are reasons to return to your doctor: fever greater than 101°F, productive cough, shortness of breath, severe headache or severe facial pain. I’ve taken my honey and I’m grabbing my box of tissues now and heading to bed! Eva Briggs is a medical doctor who works at two urgent care centers in the Syracuse region.

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Things You Need to Do to Keep Your Heart Strong By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

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eart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart, which includes blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems and congenital heart defects. However, it is the variety or unhealthy behaviors we exhibit that can increase the probability of these symptoms. “You only have one heart and it has to last you a long time,” said Russell Silverman, a cardiologist at St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse. “It is similar to not taking care of the engine in your car. Once the engine goes, the car doesn’t run. Once you have done significant damage to your heart, it will cause problems with your other organs. If you are healthy to your heart and avoid problematic behaviors, your overall health will be good.” Silverman discusses five risk factors when it comes to keeping your heart healthy.

1.High blood pressure.

your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. “When you have high blood pressure and hypertension, you have a major risk for stroke and you risk congestive heart failure,” said Silverman. “I tell my patients you have to manage your blood pressure.”

2.Salt

Use fresh, rather than packaged, meats. Fresh cuts of beef, chicken or pork contain natural sodium, but the content is still much less than the hidden extra sodium added during processing in products like bacon or ham. If a food item keeps well in the fridge for days or weeks, that’s a tip off that the sodium content is too high. “You have to manage your salt intake and make sure you drink water,” said Silverman. “We haven’t significantly changed the way we preserve food since the days of Christopher Columbus — using salt to prevent spoilage. You don’t want anything in your kitchen with a shelf life of one or two years because you know that means it has too much sodium.”

High blood pressure is a common condition in which the longterm force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it Diabetes may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Blood Diabetes refers to a group of pressure is determined both by the diseases that affect how your body amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood uses blood sugar or glucose. Glucose flow in your arteries. The more blood is vital to your health because it’s an 18.XXX_Urology_MeetTheTeam_Horiz.qxp_Layout 1 11/14/18source 9:28 AM 1 for the important of Page energy your heart pumps and the narrower

3.

cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It’s also your brain’s main source of fuel. The underlying cause of diabetes varies by type. But no matter what type of diabetes you have, it can lead to excess sugar in your blood. Too much sugar in your blood can lead to serious health problems. “You don’t want your vessels and arteries to become stiff. You want blood flow to be smooth because blood runs through your body and provides what you need for your brain, eyes, kidneys, arms and legs. When you have any kind of constriction, health problems will follow.”

4.Cholesterol

Medical experts say to understand your health numbers from blood pressure to cholesterol. To understand high blood cholesterol, it helps to learn about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. However, we also put food in our bodies that elevates our cholesterol. “We recommend a Mediterranean diet, which is high on healthy oils, nuts and healthy fats,” said Silverman. “Bad cholesterol can increase the chances of coronary diseases.”

Russell Silverman, a cardiologist at St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse.

5.Smoking

There has been a slow increase in e-cigarettes and vaping. Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. “Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health,” said Silverman. “It hurts other people with secondhand smoking and causes disastrous outcomes to your own body. Nicotine is highly addictive, and once stored in your body, it can cause tissue damage and damage the vessel wall.”

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U.S. College Students’ Marijuana Use Highest in 35 Years: Study

E M PAT H E T I C

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ollege students’ use of marijuana in 2018 was at the highest level seen in the past threeand-a-half decades, according to the University of Michigan’s annual national Monitoring the Future panel study. In addition, vaping of marijuana and of nicotine each doubled for college students between 2017 and 2018. Researchers collected information from about 1,400 respondents, aged 19 to 22, and found that about 43% of full-time college students said they used some form of marijuana at least once in the past year, up from 38% in 2017, and previous month use rose to 25% from 21%, the Associated Press reported Thursday. The 2018 rates are the highest found in the annual University of Michigan survey since 1983. About 6% of college students said they used marijuana 20 or more times in the past month, compared with 11% of respondents the same age who weren’t in college, the AP reported. “It’s the frequent use we’re most worried about” because it’s associated with poor school performance and can harm mental health, researcher John Schulenberg said. In the United States, marijuana use is greater among college-age adults than any other age group, the AP reported. Thirty-day prevalence of vaping marijuana also increased for college students from 5.2% in 2017 to 10.9% in 2018, a significant 5.7 percentage point increase. Among noncollege respondents, 30-day prevalence was level at 8% in 2017 and 2018. “This doubling in vaping marijuana among college students is one of the greatest one-year proportional increases we have seen among the multitude of substances we measure since the study began over 40 years ago,” said John Schulenberg, principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future panel study.

Page 14

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SmartBites

By Anne Palumbo

The skinny on healthy eating

Why We Should Be Eating Chia Seeds

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hen it comes to nutrition, itty-bitty chia seeds might take you by surprise. While widely recognized for their high fiber content and omega-3 fatty acids, this superfood boasts a bounty of nutrients that do a body good. But let’s begin first with fiber, its most abundant nutrient. Just one serving (about two tablespoons) knocks off close to 50% of our daily fiber needs. Fiber promotes regularity, helps manage blood sugar, and slows digestion to make you feel full longer. It may also prevent heart disease due to its ability to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol. What happens when we don’t eat enough fiber? We get backed up; we may gain weight because we tend to be hungrier and prone to snacking; and we may increase our risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Chia seeds are one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids,

which are unsaturated fats that benefit the cardiovascular system. Although not quite as beneficial as the omega-3s found in fish, the ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) omega-3s found in chia seeds also help heart health by lowering cholesterol, decreasing inflammation, and regulating heart rhythms and blood pressure. Another reason to reach for this powerhouse food? Chia seeds brim with several nutrients that contribute to bone health: calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. In a word, calcium builds bones and helps them stay strong, phosphorous maximizes calcium’s bone-strengthening benefits, and magnesium is essential for absorption and metabolism of calcium. A trifecta of goodness! These popular seeds are an excellent source of tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes good mood, good sleep, and a sense of calm. Tryptophan also helps the body make niacin, an important B vitamin that helps convert food to energy, boosts brain

Helpful tips:

function, and may prevent heart disease due to its positive affect on cholesterol levels: raises “good” HDL while lowering “bad” LDL. Rich in antioxidants and a good source of complete protein, wholegrain chia seeds are fairly low in calories (about 140 per two-tablespoon serving) and have no cholesterol or sodium.

Chia Seed Pudding

Adapted from Chef Giada De Laurentiis: Serves 4

1 cup vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced blueberries for garnish In a medium bowl, gently whisk almond milk, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until blended. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes.

Much Fridge Food ‘Goes There to Die’ Food-waste study reveals trends behind discarded items

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mericans throw out a lot more food than they expect they will, food waste that is likely driven in part by ambiguous date labels on packages, a new study has found. “People eat a lot less of their refrigerated food than they expect to, and they’re likely throwing out perfectly good food because they misunderstand labels,” said Brian Roe, the study’s senior author and a professor agricultural, environmental and development economics at The Ohio State University.  This is the first study to offer a data-driven glimpse into the refrigerators of American homes, and provides an important framework for efforts to decrease food waste, Roe said. It will appear in the November print issue of

the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling.  Survey participants expected to eat 97 percent of the meat in their refrigerators but really finished only about half. They thought they’d eat 94 percent of their vegetables, but consumed just 44 percent. They projected they’d eat about 71 percent of the fruit and 84 percent of the dairy, but finished off just 40 percent and 42 percent, respectively.  Top drivers of discarding food included concerns about food safety — odor, appearance and dates on the labels. “No one knows what ‘use by’ and ‘best by’ labels mean and people think they are a safety indicator when they are generally a quality indicator,” Roe

said, adding that there’s a proposal currently before Congress to prescribe date labeling rules in an effort to provide some clarity. Under the proposal, “Best if used by” would, as Roe puts it, translate to “Follow your nose,” and “Use by” would translate to “Toss it.” Other findings from the new study: • People who cleaned out their refrigerators more often wasted more food. • Those who check nutrition labels frequently waste less food. Roe speculated that those consumers may be more engaged in food and therefore less likely to waste what they buy. • Younger households were less likely to use up the items in their re-

Chia seeds will last two to four years if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place: a pantry or refrigerator. Unlike flax seeds, which need to be ground to reap benefits, chia seeds are absorbed and digested well in their whole form. Dry chia seeds may be added whole (or ground) to smoothies and juices, mixed into yogurt or oatmeal, or sprinkled on top of a salad. Need an egg replacement for baking? One tablespoon of whole chia seeds mixed with three tablespoons water (let sit for 5 minutes) iquals one egg. Stir to distribute seeds if they have settled. Cover and refrigerate overnight; or at least eight hours. Spoon the pudding into four bowls or glasses; top with strawberries and blueberries, adding more of each if desired.

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle colum-

nist, 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 avpalumbo@aol.com.

frigerators while homes to those 65 and older were most likely to avoid waste. Household food waste happens at the end of the line of a series of behaviors, said Megan Davenport, who led the study as a graduate student in Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.  “There’s the purchasing of food, the management of food within the home and the disposal, and these household routines ultimately increase or decrease waste. We wanted to better understand those relationships, and how individual products — including their labels — affect the amount of food waste in a home,” Davenport said. The web-based pilot study used data from the State of the American Refrigerator survey and included information about refrigerator contents and practices from 307 initial survey participants and 169 follow-up surveys.

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Page 15


Parenting By Melissa Stefanec

MelissaStefanec@yahoo.com

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned at the Playground

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he sun is setting earlier and earlier, and spending an autumn evening at the playground is my family’s way of savoring the outdoors before the dark winter evenings set in. One such evening, as we pulled into the playground’s parking lot, my children started scouting the lot for other cars. They offered their usual refrain, “How many cars are here? I hope we meet some new friends.”

For some reason, the power and simplicity of this phrase set in. I’ve heard iterations of it on many occasions; however, that evening, it sent my mind wondering. As adults, we are constantly imparting wisdom on our children. Some days, I have to remind myself to learn from them as well. What can I learn from watching my children play their hearts out? n Don’t be afraid to join the fun — If

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we go to a playground, most of us adults stand around the perimeter. We offer slight correction to our children. We make small talk with each other. We don’t bother with playing, but we should. I’m not saying we should join our kids as they walk up the slide 35 times in a row but playing for just a few minutes can really boost one’s mood. When we leave the playground, we should reflect on how much fun it was to join people who were celebrating life. n When we join the fun, play hard — We should all take a lesson from our kids and put the same fervor and passion into our play as we do our work and other obligations. Kids play hard. It’s how they make the best out of a challenging world. The ways of the world don’t change as we age, but how we deal with the ways of the world does. If we gave ourselves the permission to play hard, it would lighten our loads. n We will get hurt —Life isn’t a constant stream of fun. We all know this. The playground teaches us that pain is inevitable. Whether literally or proverbially, we will all fall flat on our faces. Just when we think we have the hang of something, we will bash some part of our body and momentarily cripple ourselves. It will be hard to get back up. We will cry and dabble in the blame game. However, if we want to have fun again, we will have to find the energy and faith to pick it back up and start again. n Judge people by how they treat others — When we meet someone new, we shouldn’t look at how old or new the minivan they pulled up in was. When we introduce ourselves, we shouldn’t look at how worn or off-label their shoes are; we should look for kindness in their eyes. When someone treats us with respect, that should

be all we need to know about them. n Make new friends and weed out the jerks — If you approach strangers with an open mind and heart, you can usually get along with those strangers. Sure, there is an occasional jerk in the crowd. The person who thinks they are better than others or too cool to engage. We would all do better if we ignored that jerk, moved on the next person and had some fun together. n We’re never too old to play — We grownups don’t dedicate a lot of time to whimsy. Even when we engage in grownup play, there’s an end goal we’re trying to reach. We’re pushing through the workout or teaching our children a board game. It would do most of us some good to climb on a swing, swing through the air and turn our faces to the sky. n The days are not long enough — No matter our age, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. Fun is a funny thing; no matter how much of it we have, it leaves us wanting more. Whether we are young or old, it’s hard to stop having fun and return to the mundane. So, when the opportunity for enjoyment presents itself, we should seize and savor it. n The people having the most fun are kind — When we look around the playground, the jerks aren’t having all that much fun. The people having fun are the ones who found a way to get along with others, even if it took a little extra effort. n Helping someone else makes two people happy — When we see someone struggling, we owe it to them and ourselves to help. Whether it’s going down the steepest slide, getting to the top of the cargo net or hugging a friend during a difficult time, helping makes everyone feel good.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2019


Syracuse Among Most Stressed Cities in U.S. Salt City included on list along with Rochester, Buffalo By Aaron Gifford

U

pstate New York’s three largest cities are among the most stressed places in the nation, a recent study indicates. The list of the most and least stressed small, medium and large U.S. cities, compiled by the Hey Tutor organization using recent data from the U.S. Census, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and a recent Gallop Poll, recognizes Syracuse as the fourth most stressed small city, while Rochester and Buffalo were identified in the medium-sized most stressed cities list at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively. The rankings are based on a stress index ratings that factors in economic inequality, poverty, unemployment, housing affordability, mental health conditions, commute times, sleep habits, and the share of single-parent households. “With the exception of poverty and unemployment, which are at historic lows,” the report says, “most of the factors in the score are largely getting worse, which is creating a more stressed out society as a whole.” The stress index rating for Syracuse was 62.9. For Rochester, it was 68.5, and for Buffalo, it was 61.5. For the overall ranking of stressed cities, which does not factor in population, Rochester was fifth on the list,

followed by Syracuse at No. 10, and Buffalo at No. 14. Specifically, the report listed Rochester’s poverty rate at 32.3% of the city’s population, with an unemployment rate of 9.6%. Nearly 42% of residents in the Flower City (population 210.565) spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and single parents account for 73.7 of households. Persons with significant mental health problems account for 15.9% of the population, and 39.7% of resident sleep less than seven hours per night. The average commute time for Rochester residents is 20 minutes. In Buffalo, the poverty rate was listed at 6.7%, with an unemployment rate of 4.3%. Twenty-six percent of the residents in the Queen City (population 261,310), spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and single parents account for 20.2% of households. Persons with poor mental health make up 11.9% of the population, and 35.3% of the population gets less than seven hours of sleep per night. The average commute time for Buffalo residents is 28.4 minutes. And for Syracuse, the poverty rate was listed in the report at 15%, with an unemployment rate of 4.6%. More than 32% of the residents in the Salt City (population 145,170)

spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and single parents tallied 32.4% of households. Thirteen percent of the city’s population was reported to be in poor mental health, and 36% of residents get less than seven hours of sleep per night. The average commute time to work for Syracuse residents is 24.7 minutes.

Detroit, Newark among top stressed cities The most stressed city on the large city list was Detroit (82.1 rating). Newark, New Jersey, topped the medium cities list (77.7), and Hartford, Connecticut, led the small cities (71.6). By contrast, the least stressed large city was Seattle, Washington (30.7), while Cary, North Carolina (14.8), topped the medium-sized cities list in that category, and Olathe, Kansas (10.2) led the small cities. Cities in the northeast dominated the stressed cities list, while cities in western and southern parts of the nation accounted for the majority of places on the least cities stressed list. Not surprisingly, blue-collar cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Syracuse and Allentown, Pennsylvania were tallied on the stressed lists, while vacation destinations like

The CDC report indicated the following information by city for adult populations (persons over 18):

SYRACUSE Annual medical check-ups

High blood pressure

Binge drinkers(alcohol)

Currently smoke

Physically inactive

Obese

28.8%

18.4%

30%

35.8%

72.7%

High blood pressure

Binge drinkers(alcohol)

Currently smoke

Physically inactive

Obese

31.4%

16.7%

31.8%

38.9%

68.7%

High blood pressure

Binge drinkers(alcohol)

Currently smoke

Physically inactive

Obese

31.6%

18.5%

24%

36.4%

75.9%

High blood pressure

Binge drinkers(alcohol)

Currently smoke

Physically inactive

Obese

31.9%

16.9%

24.2%

29.6%

71.2%

ROCHESTER Annual medical check-ups

BUFFALO Annual medical check-ups

U.S

Annual medical check-ups

October 2019 •

Virginia Beach, Chandler (Arizona), and Centennial, Colorado were on the least stressed lists. New York City is No. 7 on the most stressed cities with an index score of 59.0. Most of the country’s other largest cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta and Phoenix, are not on either top 10 list. According to a recent Gallup poll, the United States is highly stressed, with 79% of Americans feeling stressed regularly. Higher levels of stress correlate with increased health risks and can exacerbate existing medical conditions. People who have chronic stress can experience changes in appetite, increased risks of heart disease, and higher levels of anxiety and depression. Among the leading causes of stress are work, money, health, and the economy. Despite this, many cities in the U.S. are actually quite conducive to reducing stress, the report says. These cities boast more equitable economies and affordable housing. In addition, their residents report strong mental health, sufficient sleep, and a higher proportion of parents remain together. In a related report, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identified chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical preventive service use for the largest 500 cities in the United States. These small area estimates will allow cities and local health departments to better understand the burden and geographic distribution of health-related variables in their jurisdictions, and assist them in planning public health interventions.

Resources In the absence of community outreach efforts to help stressed communities, there are plenty of free resources available online. The Mayo Clinic, for example provides guides for managing stress and emotional wellness: “Once you’ve identified your stress triggers, think about strategies for dealing with them. Identifying what you can control is a good starting point,” the Mayo Clinic advises. “For example, if stress keeps you up at night, the solution may be as easy as removing the TV and computer from your bedroom and letting your mind wind down before bed. Don’t feel like you have to figure it out on your own. Seek help and support from family and friends, whether you need someone to listen to you, help with child care or a ride to work when your car’s in the shop. Many people benefit from practices such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga, meditation or being in nature. Set aside time for yourself. Get a massage, soak in a bubble bath, dance, and listen to music, watch a comedy— whatever helps you relax. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you manage stress. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Make a conscious effort to spend less time in front of a screen — television, tablet, computer and phone — and more time relaxing. Stress won’t disappear from your life. And stress management needs to be ongoing. But by paying attention to what causes your stress and practicing ways to relax, you can counter some of the bad effects of stress and increase your ability to cope with challenges,” the Mayo Clinic advises.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17


Women’s Health

Friends, Family Helped Woman Through Breast Cancer Single working mom faces several hurdles during cancer treatment By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

W

endy Jensen of Jamesville doesn’t have family living near her but she wasn’t alone during her experience with breast cancer last year. During a routine self-breast exam, Jensen discovered a lump. She was 46. Because of her family history of breast cancer, she has always been vigilant about any changes. Jensen’s mother died from breast cancer when Jensen was only 9. A few other relatives have had breast cancer and other cancers. Genetic testing revealed she had the BRCA-1 mutation, which predisposes people to a greater likelihood of breast cancer. She received a cancer diagnosis in May 2018. The cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. Initially, she resisted the diagnosis and sought a second opinion as well as pushing back against the standard course of treatment. “That is typical of someone who lost a parent to a disease with the same treatment,” Jensen said. She had watched her mother die receiving the same treatments recommended to her. That made it difficult to move forward for a short time, even though her care providers wanted to start treatment immediately. She also sought a second opinion because of coinciding but unrelated health concerns. Once she felt sure of what to do next, Jensen received chemotherapy from June through October. In early November, she underwent a bilateral mastectomy to minimize the potential for any future breast cancer. Jensen praised the work of physicians Guillermo Quetell and Tammy Congelli of Syracuse throughout the process. Though she had to lose a lot of her pectoral muscles in addition to her breast tissue to remove the cancerous cells, the surgeons “did a really great job,” Jensen said. She had skin expanders inserted so that she could receive prosthetic implants later. As soon as her allotted eight weeks of post-op rest were up, Jensen was back to lifting light weights again; however, her journey wasn’t over yet. Last January, she began radiation, which lasted a month. In April, she opted for removal of her ovaries for preventive reasons and then had her expanders replaced with prosthetic implants. Just as she was starting to think she was all done, she had to receive an infusion of Zometa. The bone-strengthening medication is to combat the effects of chemotherapy and the removal of her ovaries, which threw her into early menopause. Throughout all of this, Jensen, a single mom, cared for her daughter, Hazel, now 12, while continuing to work from home as a senior management scientist with an environmental consulting company, Environmental

Page 18

Wendy Jensen, a breast cancer survivor, recently went climbing in the Adirondacks. Solutions and Innovations, Inc. Concern for her daughter’s welfare helped Jensen get through the rough times. “I realized I can’t leave this earth right now,” Jensen said. “I need to be a mother and be here for her. Facing what her life would be like without me would be a terrifying thought.” She’s thankful nearby friends helped her out, such as those at the school Hazel attended at the time, Syracuse Hebrew Day School. These friends brought over meals three times a week while she underwent

chemotherapy treatments. “The community absolutely pulled us through,” Jensen said. Her stepmother, Sheila Jensen, flew in from Tennessee every other week to help out during surgeries and chemotherapy treatments and her sister, Jennifer Jensen, also came up from Tennessee often. “My [step] mom kept reminding me that no matter how hard it got, I wasn’t alone,” Jensen said. When Jensen began losing her hip-length, thick hair to chemotherapy, she decided to take charge and

Jennifer Jensen, top left, shares a lighthearted moment with sister Wendy Jensen at Hematology-Oncology Associates’ infusion center. On the right are Wendy and her daughter, Hazel.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2019

shave it off — a traumatic sight at first for Hazel. “I think she might have turned green the day we shaved it off,” Jensen said with a laugh. To lighten the situation, Hazel bought her an electric blue wig as a joke. Ever a good sport, Jensen wore it to chemotherapy sessions and traded wigs with other patients for fun selfies. Though humor helped the mom and daughter cope, Jensen also became aware of how her health weighed on Hazel, not only seeing her mother undergo surgery and treatments, but knowing that breast cancer had taken her grandmother, threatened her mother, and someday “she may have to face tough decisions when she’s 20 or 30,” Jensen said. As a bit of comfort, she said that Hazel’s choices in a decade “could be very different depending on the development of technology in the next 10 years.” Jensen said that although she’s not particularly religious, she’s spiritual and enjoys staying in touch with nature. Engaging in paddle boarding, even if she just paddled out and floated around, helped her through recovery. While relying on the treatments her doctors recommended, Jensen paired the traditional therapies with other modalities such as reiki, acupuncture, massage therapy, and cannabidoil (CBD), an extract from hemp that lacks hallucinogenic effects but is said to support good health and mitigate many negative side effects. “The CBD absolutely helped with the neuropathy side effects,” Jensen said. “I don’t have any longterm side effects. It also helped with the effects of chemotherapy. It was awful but I still feel like I did fairly well.” She also began a Ketogenic diet, which focuses on whole foods, eliminates simple sugars and starches, and includes healthful sources of fat and protein. Jensen followed the book Keto for Cancer by Miriam Kalamian (Chelsea Green Publishing: 2017). “I lost a ton of weight, but more important, the diet stops production of glucose in your body,” Jensen said. “Tumors are fed by glucose so it doesn’t have a source of what it needs to grow. In Germany, they do this commonly. If caught early, that’s all they do.” She’s still eating well and using reiki, guided meditation, and other modalities to “get put back together,” as she put it. She believes that keeping active and taking time for herself also helps her improve. Jensen likes riding her horses, snowboarding, riding her mountain bike, paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, hiking, “and anything outdoorsy,” she said.


Women’s Health

Mammography:

What You Need to Know

M

ammograms continue to be the best primary tool for breast cancer screening. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with some FDA-approved state agencies, certify facilities to perform mammography; and the FDA clears and approves new mammography devices for sale in the U.S. Congress enacted the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) in 1992 to ensure all women have access to quality mammography for the detection of breast cancer in its early, most treatable stages. Always look for the MQSA certificate at the mammography facility, which is required to be displayed, and indicates that the facility met the national baseline standards for mammography.

How Does a Mammogram Work? A mammogram is a series of lowdose X-ray pictures of the breasts. Getting a regular mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer early, because it can show growths in the breast or other signs of breast cancer when they are too small for you or your health care provider to feel them. Thermograms and nipple aspirate tests are not substitutes for mammograms. Regular screenings are important, and the risk of breast cancers varies from person to person, so it’s a good idea to ask your health care provider when and how often you should schedule a mammogram. To get a mammogram, you will need to take off your shirt and bra. While standing in front of the machine, a technologist will position your breast on a small platform. A

clear plastic plate will press down on your breast while the mammogram is acquired. This compression of the breast helps spread out the breast tissue so it doesn’t overlap, allowing for a clearer look at the breast tissue. If you’re worried about how the procedure feels, you should know that most women do not find it painful. Some women may find the pressure on the breast uncomfortable, but it lasts for only a few seconds. FDA regulations already require that facilities provide patients a summary, in easy-to-understand language, of their mammography results within 30 days after the mammogram, and that they make reasonable attempts to communicate the results as soon as possible if indications of potential cancer are found. Under the proposed rule, facilities would also have to provide you with information about whether your breast density is low or high. Dense breasts have a higher proportion of fibroglandular tissue compared to fatty tissue. This is important, because dense breast tissue can make cancers more difficult to find on a mammogram, and is also now known to be an independent risk factor for developing breast cancer. In addition, facilities would be required to advise you to talk to your health care provider about breast density, risks for breast cancer, and your individual situation. The idea is to provide information you can discuss with your provider in order to make better informed decisions, including if you need to take any next steps. As a rule, you should also call your health care provider if you notice any change in either of your breasts. A lump, thickening or nipple

leakage, or changes in how the nipple or skin looks can signal a potential problem.

Why Is Facility Certification Important? Under the MQSA, mammography facilities must be certified by FDA, or an FDA-approved state certifying agency, in order to provide mammography services. Certification is important because it indicates that a facility has met the MQSA requirements for practicing quality mammography. A high-quality mammogram can help detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages. Each mammography facility is inspected every year. During the inspection, an FDA- trained inspector checks the facility’s equipment, staff training qualifications, and quality control records. Each facility also undergoes an in-depth accreditation process every three years in order to be eligible for an MQSA certificate.  The certificate, which is required to be prominently displayed, shows that the facility has met the MQSA quality standards and may legally perform mammography. When you arrive for your mammogram, look for the certificate and if you don’t see it ask where the certificate is in the

facility.

What Is the Difference Between 3-D and 2-D Mammograms? New breast imaging equipment must receive FDA approval or clearance before being sold in the U.S. In recent years, FDA has approved advanced mammography devices that create cross-sectional (3-D) images of the breast from X-rays taken from multiple angles. These devices provide informative images of the breast tissue, and are particularly helpful in evaluating dense breast tissue. Before granting approval, FDA determined there was a reasonable assurance that the new 3-D devices were safe and effective for their intended use. This determination was based on a review of clinical studies involving multiple radiologists and hundreds of cases. FDA also sought input on the safety and effectiveness of the devices from a panel of nonFDA clinical and technical experts. Ask your doctor if 3-D mammography or additional imaging methods, such as ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), are good options for you.’ Source: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Mammography for Men? You Bet Breast cancer screening found effective in men at high risk for the disease

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en at high risk of developing breast cancer may benefit from mammography, or breast X-ray, screening for the disease, a new study shows. The study, published in the journal Radiology online Sept. 17, involved 1,869 men, aged 18 to 96, who had a mammogram at NYU Langone between 2005 and 2017. Some sought testing (diagnostic mammogram) because they felt a mass in their breast, while others had no symptoms and wanted to be screened because a family member had recently been diagnosed with the disease. In total, 41 men were found to have breast cancer, as confirmed by breast tissue biopsy. Among the 271 men who had screening exams,

five had the disease. All with breast cancer had surgery (mastectomy) to remove their tumor. Researchers at NYU School of Medicine and its Perlmutter Cancer Center conducted what they say is the largest review in the United States of the medical records of men who have had a screening mammogram. A key study finding was that mammography was more effective at detecting cancer in high-risk men than is the norm for women at average risk of breast cancer. For every 1,000 exams in these men, 18 had breast cancer. By contrast, the detection rate for women is roughly five for every 1,000 exams. Researchers attribute this result in part to the

lower amount of breast tissue in men. More tissue can mask the detection of small tumors. “Our findings show the potential of mammography in screening men at high risk for breast cancer and in detecting the disease well before it has spread to other parts of the body,” says study lead investigator and Perlmutter diagnostic radiologist Yiming Gao. Current national cancer care guidelines only recommend checking for breast cancer as part of annual physical exams, not using more sensitive imaging tests like a mammogram, for men age 35 and older with BRCA mutations, says Gao, an assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at NYU Langone October 2019 •

Health. Among the study’s other main findings was that men who had already had breast cancer were 84 times more likely to get it again than men who had no personal history of the disease. Men with an immediate relative who had breast cancer, such as a sister or mother, but not a cousin, were three times more likely to develop the disease. “Men at high risk of breast cancer often seek out testing because a female family member had the disease,” says study senior investigator and Perlmutter radiologist Samantha Heller, an associate professor of radiology at NYU Langone Health. “In general, men need to be more aware of their risk factors for breast cancer and that they, too, can develop the disease.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19


Women’s Health Lauren Spiker, executive director of 13thirty Cancer Connects, which recently opened in Liverpool. Photo courtesy of Debra Wallace.

13thirty Cancer Connects Now in CNY

Rochester-based group recently opened a new office in Liverpool — it helps teens and young adults cope with cancer By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

R

eceiving a cancer diagnosis is tough. Lauren Spiker, executive director of 13thirty Cancer Connects hopes to help make the illness easier to bear for teens and young adults and their parents. She founded the organization

when her daughter, Melissa Marie Sengbusch, died in 2000 at age 19. It was known previously as Melissa’s Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation. “I never read in fine print, ‘Be prepared for the unimaginable’ when

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2019

having a child,” she said. “It’s a very isolated experience because the peers — other parents and other teens — don’t want to imagine this.” While she sees much value in investing in research, her organization orients upon helping young people who currently have cancer and need to figure out how to deal with life and canter. “It takes a long time for research results to become useful,” Spiker said. “If you’re a teen or young adult, you need to know right now how to go back to school after being gone six months and now you have no hair and gained 100 pounds. Or how to tell your first boyfriend you can’t have children. Research is so important but for our kids, they have to know how to make their life normal. We feel we do a pretty good job of that.” Spiker realizes that the difficulties young cancer patients face are different in some important ways than those of people at other stages of life face. Stacked on top of a potentially fatal illness, young people with cancer often feel very isolated at a time in their lives when they typically want desperately to fit in. “Our mission is to help them live their very best lives today,” Spiker said. “There’s never a good time to have cancer and being a teen or young adult is uniquely difficult. The challenges they face is unlike other age groups. It’s tough to be a healthy teen or young adult to find your sense of purpose. When that’s interrupted, it disrupts the normal trajectory kids are supposed to follow.” Instead of going along with their friends toward more milestones, they’re sidelined while their bodies, which should be at the healthiest point in their lives, betray them. They also bear the knowledge that some of

the side effects of their cancer treatments can cause them problems for years to come or not materialize until years later. “Their peers are sometimes more important than family for support and day to day actions at that age,” Spiker said. “Their friends’ lives continue the path we expect young people’s lives continue. The friends don’t know how to reconcile and support their friend who is sick.” Spiker’s organization provides a means of peer support that’s normal for this stage filled with new friends who understand what it’s like to have cancer. 13thirty also offers peer support for parents as well. “Sharing hopes and dreams with others is extremely beneficial to kids and parents,” Spiker said. The group offers a peer-community so participants can feel like others understand. The programs include wellness activities and expressive art, such as poetry, sculpting and journaling. They also provide an opportunity for social interaction. “It gives them a chance to normalize the most abnormal circumstances they can find themselves in,” Spiker said. Private grants, general contributions, special events and third-party fundraisers support 13thirty. The organization also welcomes donations of paper products, non-perishable snacks (preferably healthful), bottled water, coffee, gas gift cards for families who live a distance away and, to purchase printer toner, office supply gift cards. The organization just opened its second site, the one in Liverpool, to expand its reach into Central New York.


Women’s Health How to Help When Cancer Strikes a Loved One Four experts weigh in on what to do to help a loved one who just got a cancer diagnosis By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

I

f a friend or loved one receives a cancer diagnosis, it’s only natural to want to reach out in some meaningful way to show you care. Area experts provided a few ideas on what you can do to help. • “Clean the house for the patient. • “Try taking them somewhere special. • “Help with animal care. • “Take them to appointments. • “Just listen to understand and hear what the patient would like during treatment and respect that. Support them in whatever direction they want to go on their journey, whether nutrition, spirituality, alternative health or to maintain their busy life while on treatment.” Jennifer Pichoske, director of nursing for Hematology-Oncology Associates of CNY, East Syracuse • “Sometimes, it’s more the everyday routine things people need help with and sometimes it is more than that. If someone has a friend or loved one who’s diagnosed, it’s sometimes the little things that make all the difference. • “Offer to run errands or buy groceries. Just doing some shopping can be helpful. In the initial stages, they get so busy with all the appointments. • “Run to the cleaners for them. • “Packing lunches can be challenging when they’re so tired. • “Sending over a prepared meal for the family helps, too. With all the busyness, sometimes it’s challenging to make a healthful meal. Send over something cooked or store bought in

containers they won’t have to return. They can toss the box when it’s all done. It makes life so much easier. Many church groups do this and it’s such a nice thought. • “Offer to babysit the other children to give the patient some time alone or do things for themselves. Many of our patients have other children who need care with all of this going on. • “Offer to attend a medical appointment or support group appointment to offer social support. These things can be isolating. A friend there can help them process the information. • “Emotional support goes a long way. • “Be aware that everyone handles a cancer diagnosis differently. Be sensitive to their emotional state. We all have ways we choose to cope but that isn’t necessarily the way someone else handles stress. Understand that people talk about these things differently. That way, you’re not expecting someone to handle things a certain way. That’s the hardest point because you expect them to handle it the way you do. If you give them the room to do so, they’ll let you know. Sometimes it’s little steps and other times, it’s leaps and bounds.” Physician Ranjna Sharma assistant professor of surgery, section chief of breast surgery, Upstate Specialty Services at Harrison Center, Upstate University Hospital • “Have a week’s worth of nutritionally packed healthy meals frozen and ready to heat up. • “Give a gift card for a company like Hello Fresh, which delivers

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healthful meals with easy prep. • “Go grocery shopping for them and stock up their cupboards and fridge. • “Give gift cards to grocery stores and healthy restaurants. Prepare dinner for them at their home for a week or more.” Laurel Sterling, registered dietitian, nutritionist and educator for Carlson Laboratories • “It definitely helped when people provided meals that were sensitive to my needs. Some brought a treat for my daughter, too. • “People always say to ask how they can help. If people asked, it was too much of a brain overload to figure it out while I was undergoing chemotherapy. What was so helpful is if people just took action. Or said,

‘I’m here, I can stop by’ in a text. • “I had several friends who set up a Go Fund Me site for help for my medical expenses. I used every cent for medical bills. • “Cleaning the house or doing yard work was a huge help, and my mom came and did laundry and cleaned so when I felt well, I could go for a walk or do something that was positive for me. • “I appreciated friends asking my daughter over to spend the weekend or on play dates or to do kid things so she could escape watching how I could feel at times. • “One of the huge things that helped me is anytime someone told me about someone they knew who was a long-term cancer survivor.” Wendy Jensen, breast cancer survivor, Jamesville

CANCER BEWARE TOGETHERWEFIGHT hoacny.com October 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21


SURGERY AND RADIATION FOR BREAST CANCER IN AS LITTLE AS ONE DAY

Women’s Health

Why Women Don’t Exercise Enough Less than half of women exercise enough, says CDC By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

O

The Upstate Cancer Center is the first and only in the Central New York region to offer intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) as a treatment option for early stage breast cancer. IORT delivers a concentrated dose of radiation during surgery. The targeted treatments mean less impact to healthy tissue and fewer side effects. And IORT can reduce or completely eliminate the need for follow-up radiation treatment.

nly 49.3% of women over age 18 meet the federal physical activity guidelines for 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity during leisure per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health Interview Survey of 2018. The CDC figures do not include activity while working. Why are so few meeting the guidelines? Fred Wilson, a certified fitness trainer in private practice in Camillus, said that busyness represents one of the biggest reasons more women don’t exercise enough. “A lot of women have a job outside the home,” Wilson said. “Plus, they’re expected to do a lot of things women have always done traditionally like cook and take care of kids. The schedule demands are probably heavier on women than at any time in history.” Some also care for elderly parents or disabled family members. With all of those responsibilities, that doesn’t leave much time for workouts. For some women, however, it’s a matter of priorities. “If you’re interested in something, you’ll make time,” Wilson said. “The women who aren’t active, if they want to become active, need to come to the realization that the fitness lifestyle and getting exercise offers an awful lot of health and psychological benefits.” He advises hiring a personal trainer or joining a gym with a personal trainer available to get both expert guidance and motivation to keep going. Plus, many gyms provide childcare. When Wilson got in shape 15 years ago, he turned to a personal trainer for help. “There are plenty of profession-

als who can steer people right and give up-to-date knowledge,” Wilson said. “The last few years have seen an explosion of information.” For women who don’t like the atmosphere at the gym, or find exercise routines boring, finding a physically rigorous activity can help increase fitness. Dance, martial arts, skiing, hiking and a myriad of other activities can offer both engaging activity and movement. Some of these activities can involve the children. Or, women can use a jogging stroller or bicycle toddler seat for taking little ones along. Trading babysitting duties with another mom trying to get fit can also ramp up the accountability. Amy Bidwell, Ph.D., serves as associate professor and department chairwoman with at SUNY Oswego and is also a Wellcoach Certified Health Coach. She said that logging hours and hours at the gym each week isn’t necessary to increase fitness. Performing smaller chunks of activity throughout the day may actually provide more benefit, according to current research. “Doing it all at once and sitting 23 hours a day is more harmful,” Bidwell said. She offered a few tips for fitting in more movement, such as setting a phone alarm to go off every hour and then exercising for five minutes. “That intermittent exercise is more healthful that exercise all at once,” Bidwell said. “For every hour that you sit, you negate 15 minutes of your long, oncea-day workout,” she said. “If you were able to get up every hour for 5 minutes, it will make a huge difference in insulin sensitivity, heart rate and blood pressure.”

Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Madison Counties

CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

A monthly newspaper published by Local News, Inc. 35,000 copies distributed throughout more than 1,000 high traffic locations, including all Wegmans stores.

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2019 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 276, Oswego, NY 13126. • Phone: 315-342-1182 • Fax: 315-342-7776. Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Contributing Writers: Deborah Sergeant, Jim Miller, Gwenn Voelckers, Deborah Banikowski, George W. Chapman, Anne Palumbo, Melissa Stefanec, Chris Motola, Eva Briggs (MD), Margaret McCormick, Payne Horning, Ernst Lamothe Jr., Mary Gualtieri• Advertising: Amy Gagliano, Cassandra Lawson Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas • Office Manager: Nancy Nitz 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 • October 2019


Study:

More U.S. Teen Girls Are Victims of Suicide

T

he gender gap in teen suicide is smaller than previously estimated, with more girls dying by suicide each year, a new study contends. Suicide death rates among 10- to 19-year-old girls have been systematically underestimated, while rates among boys have been overestimated, according to the report published Sept. 13 in JAMA Network Open. Experts have pegged the maleto-female gender gap in suicide among teens at 3-to-1, but it’s really closer to 2-to-1, researchers said. “The reduced gender gap in suicide is a surprise,” said lead researcher Bin Yu, a doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Florida. “It is really important that we not underestimate the risk of suicide among girls.” The new model found that suicide deaths among U.S. teens have risen continuously during the past decade, and at a more rapid rate than reflected in earlier estimates, researchers said. Conventional methods of estimating annual suicide death rates are flawed, Yu said, because they don’t take into account the generational

risks associated with suicide. For example, this study showed a decline in suicide risk for millennials born between 1980 and 1995, along with an increase in risk for those born after 1995. To develop the best possible estimate, Yu and co-author Xinguang Chen from the UF College of Medicine created a model that combines three factors: a person’s age, the year of their birth, and the year in which they died by suicide. This new way of estimating suicide rates pegged the death rate among boys at 4.9 per 100,000 in 1999 and 8.7 per 100,000 in 2017. Previous estimates placed boys’ rates at 7.4 in 1999 and 10.7 in 2017. Using the new model, suicide rates among girls were 1.7 per 100,000 in 1999 and 4.2 in 2017, compared with earlier estimates of 1.6 in 1999 and 3.5 in 2017. “The persistent suicide increase we see without a tendency to slow down underscores the need for increased effort at all levels for youth suicide prevention, with a further strengthening of suicide prevention interventions aimed at girls,” Yu said.

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Running Red Lights a Deadly Practice That’s Becoming More Common E veryone has done it: breezing through a red light at the last minute. But a new report shows that deaths caused by drivers taking that chance are on the rise in the United States. There were 939 people killed in red light running crashes in 2017, a 10-year high and a 28% increase since 2012, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety researchers. “Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger,” said David Yang, executive director of the foundation. “The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures,” he urged in a foundation news release. Arizona has the highest rate of such deaths, while New Hampshire has the lowest rate, the researchers said. The study found that 28% of deaths that occur at intersections with traffic lights are caused by drivers blowing through red lights.

But the majority of those killed are innocent passengers, pedestrians or cyclists. Nearly half (46%) of people killed in red light running crashes were passengers or people in other vehicles, and more than 5% were pedestrians or cyclists. Drivers who ran the red light accounted for just over 35% of the deaths. Despite the deadliness of the practice, many still do it, the report found. Even though 85% of drivers say that red light running is very dangerous, nearly one-third admit to going through a red light within the past 30 days when they could have stopped safely, according to the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index. More than two in five drivers believe they’re unlikely to be stopped by police for running a red light. While police can’t monitor every intersection, proper use of red light cameras reduced the rate of red light running crash deaths in large cities by 21%, and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signaled intersections by 14%, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

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See the difference.

Are Shorter Folks at Higher Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

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eing shorter than average can bring numerous annoyances, but a new study suggests it might also heighten a person’s odds for Type 2 diabetes. The German study found that each additional 10 centimeters (about 4 inches) of height was linked to a 41% lower risk of Type 2 diabetes in men and a 33% lower risk in women. “We found that larger body height was related to lower diabetes risk,” said study author Matthias Schulze, a professor at the University of Potsdam and department head at the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke in Nuthetal. How might your height make a difference in your risk of diabetes? According to the researchers, it could be that shorter people may gain liver fat more easily, as well as more heart disease and metabolic risk factors such as higher blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation. However, the study didn’t prove a definitive cause-and-effect link, only an association, the researchers were quick to note. Schulze said height alone probably doesn’t cause the “insulin resistance” that then can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Instead, he believes, other factors involved in

growth may play a role in insulin resistance and adult height. And while monitoring shorter people for diabetes and its risk factors might be helpful, it’s not clear that there’s a specific height where additional screening should begin, Schulze said. “As risk continuously increases with shorter height, there isn’t a cutoff height available,” he noted. The study included data from a large German study including about 27,500 people between 35 and 65 years old. They were initially recruited between 1994 and 1998. The current study focused on a smaller group — about 10% of the initial group. Approximately 700 people developed Type 2 diabetes. The link between height and Type 2 diabetes was stronger in people who weren’t already overweight. In that subgroup of people, every 4 more inches of height translated to an 86% reduced risk of diabetes in men and a 67% lower risk in women, the study found. The researchers also found that a longer leg length was associated with a lower risk of diabetes. Findings from the study were published Sept. 9 in the journal Diabetologia.

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any of us will reach a point in life when normal day to day jobs become more difficult, and driving is one of them. Driving can become dangerous when we don’t have all of the essentials to be a safe, defensive driver. As we age, it is common to lose hearing, sight, cognition and motor function. All of these have a tremendous impact on the safety and control we have as a driver. Although not being able to get from place to place independently can be challenging, safety should always be our top priority when it comes to driving. Telling a loved one that it’s time to stop driving can be difficult. A loved one may not always react well to this conversation so it’s important to be empathetic but also firm. From the day we take our first driver’s license exam — and even before that time — we are educated on the dangers of driving and the importance of being cautious. Talking about safety might encourage and inspire a loved one to stay off the

roads even if they see nothing wrong with their driving. Mentioning this idea or starting a simple conversation about dangerous driving and slowly starting to mention old age affecting drivers can help you to set the stage for a more productive and collaborative decision. Providing facts can also help the older adult in your life to understand the importance of this decision. This conversation can make a difference and be influential to a loved one and those around them. Mary Gualtieri is the director of Independent Living at The Nottingham.


By Jim Miller

How to Get Social Security Disability Benefits When You Can’t Work Dear Savvy Senior, What do I need to do to get Social Security disability benefits? I’m 60 years old and have some health problems that won’t allow me to work, but I’ve read that getting disability benefits is difficult.

Laid Up Lenny

Dear Lenny, Getting Social Security disability benefits when you’re unable to work can be challenging. Last year, more than 2 million people applied for Social Security disability benefits, but two-thirds of them were denied, because most applicants fail to prove that they’re disabled and can’t work. Here are some steps you can take that can help improve your odds. Get Informed The first thing you need to find out is if your health problem qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits. You generally will be eligible only if you have a health problem that is expected to prevent you from working in your current line of work (or any other line of work that you have been in over the past 15 years) for at least a year or result in death. There is no such thing as a partial disability benefit. If you’re fit enough to work part-time, your application will be denied. You also need not apply if you still are working with the intention of quitting if your application is approved, because if you’re working your application will be denied. Your skill set and age are factors too. Your application will be denied if your work history suggests that you have the skills to perform a less physically demanding job that your disability does not prevent you from doing. To help you determine if you are disabled, visit SSA.gov/planners/ disability/qualify.html and go through the five questions Social Security uses to determine disability.

Social Security office, or to set up an appointment for someone to take your claim over the phone. The whole process lasts about an hour. If you schedule an appointment, a disability starter kit that will help you get ready for your interview will be mailed to you. If you apply online, the kit is available at SSA.gov/disability/disability_ starter_kits.htm. It takes three to five months from the initial application to receive either an award or denial of benefits. The only exception is if you have a chronic illness that qualifies you for a “compassionate allowance” (see SSA.gov/compassionateallowances), which fast tracks cases within weeks. If Social Security denies your initial application, you can appeal the decision, and you’ll be happy to know that roughly half of all cases that go through a round or two of appeals end with benefits being awarded. But the bad news is with backlog of around 800,000 people currently waiting for a hearing, it can take 12 to 24 months for you to get one. Get Help You can hire a representative to help you with your Social Security disability claim. By law, representatives can charge only 25 percent of past-due benefits up to a maximum of $6,000 if they win your case. It’s probably worth hiring someone at the start of the application process if your disability is something difficult to prove such as chronic pain. If, however, your disability is obvious, it might be worth initially working without a representative to avoid paying the fee. You can always hire a representative later if your initial application and first appeal are denied. To find a representative, check with the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR.org, 845682-1881) or National Association of Disability Representatives (NADR. org, 800-747-6131). Or, if you’re lowincome, contact the Legal Services Corporation (LSC.gov/find-legalaid) for free assistance.

How to Apply If you believe you have a claim, your next step is to gather up your personal, financial and medical information so you can be prepared and organized for the application process. You can apply either online at SSA.gov/applyfordisability or call 800-772-1213 to make an appointment to apply at your local

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

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Medicare, A Simple Explanation

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ocial Security and Medicare are both programs that are household names, but do you know the true difference? Both programs help safeguard millions of Americans as well as improve the quality of life for their family and friends. While Social Security offers retirement, disability and survivors benefits, Medicare provides health insurance. Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people aged 65 or older and younger people receiving Social Security disability benefits. The program helps with the cost of health care, but it doesn’t cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. When you first enroll in Medicare and during certain times of the year, you can choose how you get your Medicare coverage. There are two main ways to get Medicare: Original Medicare Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). If you want drug coverage, you can join a separate Part D plan. To help pay your out-of-pocket costs in original Medicare (like your deductible and 20% coinsurance), you can also shop

for and buy supplemental coverage. Examples include coverage from a Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) policy, or from a former employer or union. Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C) Medicare Advantage is an “all in one” alternative to original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. Part C plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than original Medicare. They also may offer extra benefits that original Medicare doesn’t cover — like vision, hearing, dental and more. If you can’t afford to pay your Medicare premiums and other medical costs, you may be able to get help from your state. States offer programs for people eligible for or entitled to Medicare who have low income. Some programs may pay for Medicare premiums and some pay Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. To qualify, you must have limited income and resources. You can learn more about Medicare, including how to apply for Medicare and get a replacement Medicare card, at www.socialsecurity. gov/benefits/medicare.

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H ealth News Oswego Health Hires New Director of Communications Oswego Health has hired Jamie Leszczynski as its new senior director of communications to oversee the marketing and communications of the entire healthcare system. “As Oswego Health continues Leszczynski to grow and enhance our services to Oswego County to meet the healthcare needs of its residents, timing could not have been more perfect to bring Jamie onboard,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Coakley. “Jamie has over 15 years of experience building and leading successful, communication programs to drive the strategic goals of companies throughout various industries. She has a deep passion to help businesses grow and reach their objectives through implementing innovative, strategic marketing programs. What’s even better is she is personally vested in this community and truly cares about the wellbeing of others. We are excited to have her as part of the Oswego Health family.” In this new role, Leszczynski will develop, implement and evaluate the integrated strategic communication plan to advance Oswego Health’s identity and broaden awareness of its programs, priorities and accomplishments. Leszczynski will write and edit all written and verbal communication for the health system internal and external communications and serve as the public information officer and manage all public relations activities. Leszczynski holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego. At the age of 25 she received the Oswego County’s Forty Under 40 award, organized by Oswego County Business Magazine, and then was recognized again at the age of 32 by BizEventz for its 40 Under 40 in Onondaga County. Leszczynski is also a graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse, class of 2014. Leszczynski is well rooted in the community and for almost a decade has served as chairwoman of the SAVE Central NY Charter (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) to raise awareness surrounding mental health. She has also served as the president of Central New York’s Sales and Marketing Executives between 2014 and 2016. In her spare time she coaches Leprechaun League. Leszczynski has made Oswego her home and resides with her husband Mike, owner of Dynamic Automotive and Home Accessories, and their three children, Maddie, Tanner and Caden. Immediately after receiving her degree at SUNY Oswego in 2004, Leszczynski began her career as the marketing manager for what was

once Oswego County National Bank, where she served for three years. Between 2006-2010 she worked for SUNY Oswego as associate director of annual giving. She was responsible for fundraising to specific segmentations, including all reunion giving, young alumni fundraising, parent giving and oversaw the management of the student telefund. Leszczynski also assisted with content development of major solicitation pieces, branding of the annual fund campaign and management of a portfolio of prospects. For the past nine years, Leszczynski has spent the bulk of her career as the senior vice president for ABC Creative Group, a mid-size advertising agency in downtown Syracuse. There she served as the chief executive in charge of all account services, including oversight of the department that handled account management as well as media buying, social media management and public relations. “I am proud to work for such an amazing organization and staple in this community,” Leszczynski said of her new job. “To have the opportunity to not only promote the skilled talent of our staff, but the opportunity to truly shape the healthcare system throughout the county is just an amazing opportunity.”

Crouse investing $2.5M in pediatric cardiac catheterization Crouse Health has started work on a $2.5 million renovation and upgrade of its 700 sq.-ft. pediatric cardiac catheterization suite, located in the hospital’s Diane and Bob Miron Cardiac Care Center. Work on the upgrade is expected to be completed by the end of November, according to physician Joseph Battaglia, chief of cardiology at Crouse. The current pediatric catheterization lab was constructed in 1999 and is nearing the end of its useful life. It will be replaced by a new, next-generation Phillips cardiac biplane system, which features an image-guided platform designed to provide high-resolution imaging over a large field of view for interventional cardiology, pediatric cardiology and electrophysiology procedures. The project also calls for all new LED lighting and an increase in square footage in the procedure room to help expand circulation and maneuvering in the room. Crouse is home to the region’s only pediatric catheterization program, a partnership with Syracuse-based Pediatric Cardiology Associates that provides life-saving cardiac care to more than 150 infants, young children and teens annually.   In addition to the pediatric cath suite, the Miron Cardiac Care Center features two adult cath labs and an adult electrophysiology lab. Between the four procedure rooms, Crouse performs more than 2,500 interventional and diagnostic cardiac procedures annually.

Loretto hires three new staff members Loretto, a comprehensive continuing healthcare organization which provides a variety of services for older adults throughout Central New York, has hired three new staff. • Laura Roberts joined as as sistant director of clinical services for housing. She will manage and support all of the housing facilities, as well as the residents. Roberts was previously an occupational health nurse Roberts and home health aid training coordinator at

Nascentia Health. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wilkes University, and will receive a master’s degree in nursing education from LeMoyne College in December 2019. • Johaun Jackson, a registered nurse, joined as a nurse educator to support Loretto’s LPN apprentice program. Jackson was previously a nursing director at the Onondaga County Justice Center and an assistant Jackson professor at SUNY Morrisville State College. He holds a master’s degree in nursing from LeMoyne College and is currently completing his doctoral

Health professionals during the launching of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program at Oneida Health’s emergency room. The program will provide services to sexual assault patients 365 days a year, around the clock.

Specialized Care for Sexual Abuse Patients Expanded in Oneida

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epresentatives from Oneida Health and Liberty Resources recently announced the launch of the 24/7 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program at the emergency room in Oneida. “Today marks an important day for local survivors of sexual assault,” said Jacqueline Dawe, chief nursing officer of Oneida Health. “Previously our emergency department’s sexual assault nurse examiner program was limited by the availability of the nurses who could provide this form of specialized care. Moving forward, we will be able to provide this valuable service to our patients 365 days a year, around the clock. We are grateful to Liberty Resources, Colgate University and Community Memorial Hospital for working together to strengthen and improve this form of specialized care to the patients we serve in our communities.” About one in five women and one in 71 men in the U.S. will become victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. Of those survivors, 81% of women and 35% of men report significant short- or longterm impacts such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Sexual assault nurse examiners are registered nurses who have October 2019 •

completed intensive, specialized education, and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of a patient who has experienced sexual abuse. SANE services include emergency contraception, trauma response, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, forensic medical care, and referral to further support services vital for evidence collection to identify and hold offenders accountable. Most important, however, is the survivor’s treatment and recovery. “We welcome Oneida Health as our newest Liberty Resources SANE program partner site,” said Sara Haag, Liberty Resources divisional director. “The partners, team and I could not be more proud of the fact that we’re here today to let the community know that if a survivor calls the Liberty Resources Help Restore Hope Center domestic and sexual assault program’s hotline or walks in to one of these two hospitals in our county, Liberty Resources SANE can now respond to support hospitals with compassionate, trauma-informed, specialized patient care.” The SANE program was launched in 2017 by Liberty Resources Help Restore Hope Center in collaboration with Colgate University and Community Memorial Hospital.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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H ealth News degree with a focus in leadership and education from St. John Fisher College. • Morgan Rowe joined as a marketing associate. Rowe previously served as a marketing intern at Loretto. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations with a minor in business administration from SUNY Oswego. Rowe

Gastroenterologist joins Oswego Health Oswego Health recently wel comed gastroenterologist Vikram Jala to its medical staff. He joins the practice of physician Ajoy Roy, whose office is located in suite 400 of the Seneca Hill Health Services Center. Jala

“The increasing prevalence of obesity has become one of the most challenging problems facing healthcare providers and I know there is a need for liver disease screening and care in Oswego County,” Jala said. Jala has more than 20 years of experience treating a variety of gastroenterology diseases, while performing both upper and lower endoscopy as well as colon cancer screening. He cites the community and location of Oswego County attracted him to the practice, as well as the hospital’s size and facilities. “I have family in the area and have missed the winter sports while practicing in Texas,” he said. Jala most recently was on faculty of UTMB Health as well as practicing in Galveston, Texas. Jala earned his medical degree at Osmania Medical College, located in Hyderabad, India. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the Muglenberg Regional Medical Center in New Jersey. He then completed his fellowship in gastroenterology at Ottawa General Hospital, Ontario, and at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha specializing in transplant hepatology and liver disease.

University Hill Gastroenterology joins Oswego Health Oswego Health announced that the only gastroenterology practice in Oswego County is joining the health system. Physician Ajoy Roy and University Hill Gastroenterology Associates, located at Seneca Hill Health Services Center, officially became part of the health system on July 22 as the Center for Gastroenterology and Metabolic Diseases. “We are excited to have Dr. Ajoy Roy join the health system. Dr. Roy has a long-standing reputation for providing exceptional care to the

community,” said Oswego Health President and CEO Michael Harlovic. “We are pleased to welcome the practice’s physicians, advanced care providers and staff to Oswego Health.” “Oswego Health and I have always collaborated together, this will allow for growth in our practice to better serve the community,” said Roy. “I am thrilled to join Oswego Health to establish a center of excellence in gastrointestinal and metabolic disorder cases.” Oswego Health now provides physician services in bariatrics, breast surgery, cardiology, colon and rectal, general surgery, primary care, orthopedics, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), telehealth, and urology.

Upstate’s Fulk Named Worthington Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association

P Crouse’s medical imaging services team: from left, Chris Farnum, Eric Kendrick, Katelyn Sgroi, Melissa Campbell, Bradford Hellwig, Shannan Sillen (GE Healthcare).

Crouse Unveils MRI Upgrade Equipment

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rouse Health has unveiled its recently-upgraded MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) system. The hospital began the $896,000 MRI upgrade in the spring and had been using a mobile unit for patients during the months-long installation of the new GE Healthcare system. Crouse’s Director of Medical Imaging Services Brad Hellwig said the upgrade provides enhanced image resolution, quicker scans and the ability to perform exams that were not possible with the previous unit, which was installed in 2001. “We are able to reduce overall scan times while obtaining better images, which means we can catch emerging pathologies earlier,” said Hellwig. The upgraded system uses 35%

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less power than previous generation MRI systems and requires a smaller footprint for installation. “This upgrade furthers our diagnostic capabilities and provides enhanced imaging quality in less time to better meet the needs of our patients and their physicians,” says Hellwig, adding that faster scan times reduces patient anxiety and increases overall patient comfort. MRI is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio frequencies to generate detailed anatomical and functional images. MRI scans have an advantage over some forms of scanning because they can image different types of organ tissue without ionizing radiation.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2019

hysical therapist George D Fulk, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the physical therapy education department in the College of Health Professions at Upstate Medical University, has been named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The Catherine Worthingham Fellow is the ATPA’s highest honor and awarded to association members who have “demonstrated unwavering efforts to advance the physical therapy profession for more than 15 years.” The ATPA represents more than 100,000 physical therapists, physical therapy assistants and physical therapy students. Numerous nominations supporting Fulk’s fellowship spoke of his excellence in teaching, research and clinical care. An associate from Johns Hopkins wrote: “Dr. Fulk is an extremely talented individual, critical thinker, and able to add valuable thought and content with insight into any discussion. He will be an asset to the forward-thinking body of current Catherine Worthingham Fellows and is a natural leader of critical discussion.” Prior to joining Upstate in 2018, Fulk was associate dean of health sciences at Clarkson University, where he also served as a professor of physical therapy. He also held

adjunct and faculty posts in physical therapy at Notre Dame College, Nova Southeastern University and the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Fulk’s research, teaching and clinical expertise are in the areas of enhancing motor recovery and quality of life in people with neurological health conditions. Fulk’s field of research has been focused on stroke rehabilitation and assessing the accuracy of technology used to measure post-stroke walking ability. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and the New York Physical Therapy Association, among others. He is editor of one of the most widely used textbooks in the field of physical therapy education, “Physical Rehabilitation” (F.A. Davis Company), and authored dozens of articles in peer-reviewed journals and is a sought-after presenter at professional and academic conferences. Fulk has been a licensed physical therapist for 25 years. Fulk holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brandeis University, a master of science degree in physical therapy from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and PhD in physical therapy from Nova Southeastern University.


H ealth News of the Syracuse region’s American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, presented the awards to Upstate in a brief ceremony July 17. “These three honors from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association are signif-

icant and important to Upstate,” said physician Robert Corona, chief executive officer of Upstate University Hospital. “They reflect our work and dedication of our health care team to provide the best, most appropriate and safest care possible to our patients.”

St. Joseph’s selected as ‘most wired’ hospital

T This is the first year the resuscitation team of Upstate University Hospital was honored by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Members, from left are, Matt Grover, resuscitation program coordinator; Ellen Anderson, adult SWAT team/ICU float and support pool nurse manager, resuscitation program manager; Nicole Staring, adult SWAT nurse; Christina Martino, adult SWAT nurse/ clinical trainer ICU float & support pool; Colleen Diekemper, adult SWAT nurse; Janice Maggio adult SWAT nurse; and Charles Berardi adult SWAT nurse.

A Trio of Awards Highlights Upstate University Hospital Care in Stroke, Heart Failure and Resuscitation A trio of awards from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association have been presented to Upstate University Hospital in recognition of the hospital’s outstanding care for its treatment of stroke, heart failure and resuscitation of adults.   Upstate has received the Get

With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, Gold Plus; Get with the Guidelines-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award; and Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation Bronze Award. Franklin Fry, executive director

he College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) announced that St. Joseph’s Health has earned 2019 CHIME HealthCare’s Most Wired recognition as a certified level 9. The Most Wired program conducts an annual survey to assess how effectively healthcare organizations apply core and advanced technologies into their clinical and business programs to improve health and care in their communities. St. Joseph’s Health stands above the rest as the only hospital in this region to receive the high level 9 distinction. “St. Joseph’s electronic health record and other technologies connect everyone throughout our system with our primary care physicians and our other services lines out in the community, which has resulted in improved patient care and patient engagement,” said Chuck Fennell, vice president for information services and chief information officer at St. Joseph’s. “As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph’s Hospital and all of the ways our pre-

October 2019 •

decessors pioneered health care, receiving this ‘Most Wired’ designation for the 10th year in a row demonstrates yet another way in which St. Joseph’s is committed to innovating health care in Central New York.” A total of 16,168 organizations were represented in the 2019 Most Wired program, which this year included three separate surveys: domestic, ambulatory and international. The surveys assessed the adoption, integration and impact of technologies in healthcare organizations at all stages of development, from early development to industry leading. Each participating organization received a customized benchmarking report, an overall score and scores for individual levels in eight segments: infrastructure; security; business/disaster recovery; administrative/supply chain; analytics/data management; interoperability/population health; patient engagement; and clinical quality/safety. Participants can use the report and scores to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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