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Making New Year’s Resolutions That Stick Why do most New Year’s resolutions fail? We talked to local experts about it

ORTHOPEDICS Orthopedic surgeon Michael Diaz discusses the state-of-the-art technology available at the new Orthopedic Care at Oswego Health in Fulton


Wintertime in CNY Why you are more likely to have a heart attack this time of the year • 10 things you need to do to have a safe season • How to diagnose and treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Page 16

Fitness Trends for 2020

Syracuse has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the country. Local residents share their experience with the disease

What’s Hot, What’s Not



JANUARY 2020 • ISSUE 241

Things You Need to Know About Organ Donation

Green Leaf Lettuce Looking for a great way to lose weight after the holidays.? Go for salads. Page 15


n 12 surprising benefits of zumba workouts n Can mixing yoga with modern high intensity interval training work? Page 8

Excessive Screen Time Study shows average time children spend in front of screens increased from 53 minutes per day at 12 months to more than 150 minutes at 3 years. Page 12


Why more people say …

#TakeMeToCrouse One Team. Second to None. More than 150 experienced, passionate emergency medicine physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social workers, care managers and support staff.

Cardiac Emergencies. We Put Our Heart into Saving Yours. •

Door-to-cardiac treatment times among the lowest in the region

Only area hospital designated by American Heart Association (AHA) as a Mission: Lifeline Gold provider

Strong teamwork with our local and regional EMS partners

Joseph Battaglia, MD Chief of Cardiology Miron Cardiac Care Center

Comprehensive Stroke Center “Crouse is the place you go when you have a stroke.

It’s that simple.”

One of just 15 in New York State

Aggressive door-to-treatment times exceed national average

Earned Gold Plus–Elite Honor Roll status from AHA

— CNY musician Todd Hobin

Proud to be the official healthcare provider of Syracuse Athletics. Best of luck this season to Coach Boeheim and the Orange! #CrouseForTheCuse ®

crouse.org Page 2

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

Declining Life Expectancy a ‘Distinctly American Phenomenon’

Findings shows life expectancy in the U.S. is rapidly falling behind that of other wealthy countries


fter increasing for decades, U.S. life expectancy is on the decline, and a new study reveals some of the reasons behind the alarming trend. The study, published Nov. 26 in the journal JAMA, found that the decline is mostly among “working-age” Americans, or those ages 25 to 64. In this group, the risk of dying from drug abuse, suicide, hypertension and more than 30 other causes is increasing, the authors said.  The findings suggest that life expectancy in the U.S. is rapidly falling behind that of other wealthy countries. Indeed, the particular decline among working-age adults has not been seen in other countries, and is a “distinctly American phenomenon,” said study co-author Steven H. Woolf of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. “Death rates among working-age adults are on the rise,” Woolf said. “We have known for years that the health of Americans is inferior to that of other wealthy nations, but our research shows that the decline in U.S. health relative to other countries began as early as the 1980s.”

Concerning decline The new study analyzed more than five decades of data on U.S. life expectancy. The results showed that, although U.S. life expectancy increased from 1959 to 2014, those figures plateaued in 2011 and began decreasing in 2014. The main culprits behind the decline appear to be drug overdose, alcohol abuse, suicide and a wide variety of organ system diseases among young and middle-age adults, especially individuals who did not complete high school. In particular, declines were seen among people living in some parts of New England, including Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont; as well as those living in the Ohio Valley, which includes Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  These specific regions have been


battered by the opioid epidemic and were among the most hard-hit victims of the collapse of the United States manufacturing sector. Indeed, more than one-third of excess deaths since 2010 have occurred in the Ohio Valley states. In contrast, life expectancy increased for those living along the Pacific coast from 2010 to 2017.

“American phenomenon”  Data from past decades showed that U.S. life expectancy began to lose pace with that of other countries starting in the 1980s, the authors said.  “Historically this [period] was the beginning of the opioid epidemic, the shrinking of the middle class and the widening of income inequality,” Woolf said. Although many countries experienced economic shifts in the 1980s, Woolf suspects that the unique drop is U.S life expectancy may be due to lack of support for struggling families. “In other countries, families that fall on hard times have programs and services available to cushion the blow. In America, people often have to fend for themselves,” Woolf said. Absence of social services may also explain why the study found larger relative increases in mortality among women, “who have even fewer support systems, and more childcare responsibilities,” he added. (See related news under Healthcare in a Minute column).

Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Madison Counties

CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper


AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, WE PAUSE TO WISH YOUA HAPPY AND HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON. We’re proud to care for you, your family, friends and neighbors, as a vital part of your community.

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), Ernst Lamothe Jr., Mary Beth Roach, Kimberly Blaker, Marcia Kester Doyle, Lucy Connery, Lark Allen • 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.

January 2020 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Say hello to healthy.

66 dedicated physicians and healthcare providers. Say hello to a more convenient way to stay healthy in Oswego County. ConnextCare offers a comprehensive set of services family and internal medicine, pediatrics, dentistry, psychiatry, social work under one medical group. Patients within our network can now visit any of the six locations at any time. And because we’re seamlessly connected, our staff can access your medical records at the touch of a button. It’s a faster, more convenient and easier way to keep yourself and your family healthy. Page 4

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

Learn more at connextcare.org — or better yet, stop in to one of our six sites Located in Fulton, Mexico, Oswego, Parish, Phoenix, Pulaski and say hello.

Lack of Specialists Doom Rural Sick Patients Research finds higher death tolls, more hospitalizations in small town USA


esidents of rural areas are more likely to be hospitalized and to die than those who live in cities primarily because they lack access to specialists, recent research found. The study, led by Kenton Johnston, Ph.D., assistant professor of health management and policy at Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, looked at data from Medicare patients who have chronic health problems. The paper was published in the December 2019 issue of Health Affairs. “People on Medicare with chronic conditions such as heart failure or diabetes who live in rural areas have

higher death and hospitalization rates than their urban peers,” Johnston said. “The biggest reason for this appears to be that people in rural areas have less access to specialist physicians like cardiologists and endocrinologists.” Johnston and his coauthors urge policy makers to target innovations to bring more specialist care to rural areas. Some of the strategies they suggest are: • Expanding telemedicine in key areas, such as cardiology, to provide routine specialty care visits through technologies such as video conferenc-


• Adding incentives such as loan forgiveness for physicians to practice in rural areas. • Considering differential payment rates that offer specialists who practice in rural areas. • Incentivizing rural and urban hospitals partnerships. • Bringing urban specialists into rural health systems on certain days of the week. Researchers examined 2006-2013 data from Medicare claims of patients in rural and urban areas who have heart disease, diabetes and other complex chronic conditions. They linked the claims to health care supply data from hospitals that was provided by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and determined rural-urban classifications using a Health Resources and Services Administration database. The researchers defined a rural area as any town with fewer than 10,000 people, and found that 10% of Medicare beneficiaries lived in such areas.

Patients who saw a specialist at least once in addition to a primary care provider compared to those who saw only a primary care provider were 15.9% less likely to be hospitalized for a preventable cause and 16.6% less likely to die. Preventable hospitalizations were highest in rural areas and lowest in metropolitan areas. Residents of rural areas had 40% higher rates of preventable hospitalizations and 23% higher mortality rates than their metropolitan counterparts. Their findings have implications for all Medicare patients with chronic conditions, Johnston said. “Our research shows that all Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions urban and rural have lower death and hospitalization rates when they visit a specialist at least once annually,” Johnston said. “Primary care is important, but it is not enough by itself; specialist care is needed as well.”

Healthcare in a Minute

By George W. Chapman

Life Expectancy in the U.S Has Peaked


ur average life expectancy increased almost nine years from 70 years in 1959 to 78.9 years in 2010. Then it leveled off and started to trend downwards from 2014 through 2018. It’s expected to be 78.9 this year, just as it was nine years ago 2010. Those of us between 25 and 64 incurred the largest increase (6%) in mortality, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The leveling off of our life expectancy over the past decade has been due primarily to drug over doses, suicide and obesity. Other high -income, developed countries

that spend far less on care than we do on healthcare, have not experienced our leveling off or peaking. Fatal drug overdoses increased 386% between 1999 and 2017. Deaths due to obesity increased 114% and deaths due to hypertension increased 79% over the same years. The majority of us are obese and 80% of adults do not meet basic physical activity guidelines. Researchers conclude life expectancy is not only impacted by medical conditions. Social drivers like income inequality and mental distress are in play as well. (Editor’s note: See related story in this issue).

Fraud recoveries up

will pay out-of-network providers a reasonably fair amount. Not surprisingly, the top specialties for out of network claims or “surprise bills” are typically related to a hospital stay or ER visit: emergency medicine, pathology, anesthesiology, radiology, surgery. Surprise billing typically occurs under two scenarios: local private providers simply do not elect to participate in your insurance plan or the providers are employed by an out of area national or regional company that doesn’t participate. Surprise billing occurs more frequently with rural hospitals that often resort, out of necessity, to contracting with out of town physician placement firms.

Government agencies (Office of Inspector General and Department of Justice) have recovered nearly $6 billion in fraudulent provider claims this year compared to about $3 billion in 2018. Recoveries were across the healthcare gamut including a $43 million settlement regarding genetic testing fraud and a $700 million settlement from a drug company over the fraudulent marketing of the opioid addiction drug Suboxone. Both the OIG and DOJ expect recoveries to decrease as providers realize that the government has gotten serious about investigating healthcare fraud and abuse and has dedicated more resources to such.  

Surprise billing

Congress has been addressing this issue recently. Consumers are often unaware that particular providers, usually related to a hospital admission or ER visit, do not participate in their insurance plan, although the hospital does. This results in a “surprise bill” from out of network providers for the balance due after payment from the insurance company. Most insurance companies

Cost of care in 2020

A survey of 296 insurers in 79 countries reveals employer-sponsored insurance costs will rise an average of 7% globally. Forty percent of the respondents believe rates will increase by more than 7% for at least three years after 2020. Twenty-seven percent believe mental health conditions will break into the top three conditions driving up costs over the next five years. The top three conditions driving costs historically have

been cardiovascular, cancer and musculoskeletel. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents also believe costs are driven by inappropriate or unnecessary care.  

Physician shortage addressed

Congress controls the number of residents in hospital residency programs. In turn, Medicare reimburses hospitals for costs associated with their residency programs. Despite the anticipated physician shortage, there has been virtually no increase in the number of approved residency slots since the 90s. There are two bills addressing the MD shortage. The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act would add and pay for 15,000 additional residency slots over five years starting in 2021. The Opioid Workforce Act would add another 1,000 residency slots, over five years, specifically for addiction medicine, psychiatry and pain management.  

Hospital price transparency rule

(WARNING: Reading the following could cause severe confusion, helplessness and an urge to move to Canada.) In a well-intentioned effort to help consumers make informed decisions and to create real price competition among hospitals, Medicare has given hospitals until 2021 to post their “standard charges” which include: gross charges, discounted cash prices, payer-specific negotiated rates, de-identified minimum negotiated charges and de-identified maximum negotiated charges. Hospitals are also required to post their charges and payer specific negotiated rates for 300 “shoppable services.” (Did you get all that?) Besides fueling consumer confusion and suspicion about healthcare costs, this rule will be a nightmare for hospitals to comply. Shopping prices in healthcare sounds good, but it will be a wasted effort if your physician does not have admitting privileges at your selected hospital or your health plan January 2020 •

considers your selected hospital out of network. Also, prices do not reflect outcome. Since most hospital admissions are elective, your physician, for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with price, will have strong preferences for a particular hospital for your particular procedure. I suspect this well-intentioned rule will push us even faster to a single payer system like the one in Canada.

Speaking of Canada

Despite having to wait months to see certain specialists, and the consequential $2 billion lost in annual wages, Canadians are fiercely defensive when it comes to their healthcare. The outcome statistics that ultimately matter the most are: Canadian life expectancy is 82 vs. 79 in the US; their death rate from treatable causes is 59 per 100,000 versus our 88; their infant mortality rate is 4.5 per 1,000 births versus 5.8 for the US. Rural hospitals and physicians fare better in Canada vs. the US because everyone that presents for treatment is a paying customer.  

2020 Medicare Premiums

The standard Part B (physician) monthly premium is $144.60, up about $9 from 2019. The annual deductible is $198. Most seniors will have the Part B premium automatically deducted from their social security checks. The Standard Part A (hospital) monthly premium is $0 because this was paid by you through payroll taxes. If you are hospitalized, your deductible is $1,408. There are daily copays after 60 days. 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

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Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Michael R. Diaz, D.O. Orthopedic surgeon discusses the state-of-the-art technology available at the new Orthopedic Care at Oswego Health in Fulton. He also talks about plans to set up a same-day surgery center in Fulton

Cleaner Teeth, Healthier Heart?


rushing your teeth may be good for your heart, a new study suggests. It included more than 161,000 South Korean adults, aged 40 to 79, with no history of heart failure or the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation. Between 2003 and 2004, participants had a routine medical exam and were asked about a wide range of lifestyle habits, including how often they brushed their teeth. During a median follow-up of 10.5 years, 3% developed AFiband 4.9 developed heart failure. Those who brushed their teeth three or more times a day had a 10% lower risk of AFib and a 12% lower risk of heart failure during the follow-up. The reduced risk was independent of age, sex, wealth, exercise, alcohol use, body fat and conditions such as high blood pressure, according to the study published Dec. 2 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Researchers didn’t investigate how regular brushing might reduce heart disease risk. But previous studies have suggested that poor oral hygiene results in bacteria in the blood, causing inflammation that increases odds of heart disease. The study was conducted in one country and was observational, so it does not prove a direct link between regular brushing and reduced heart risk, said senior author, physician Tae-Jin Song, of the department of neurology at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. But he added: “We studied a large group over a long period, which adds strength to our findings.” An editorial accompanying the study said it is “certainly too early” to recommend tooth brushing to prevent AFib and heart failure. “While the role of inflammation in the occurrence of cardiovascular disease is becoming more and more evident, intervention studies are needed to define strategies of public health importance,” the editorial said.

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Q: How did you come to be at Oswego Health and its new Center for Orthopedic Care in Fulton? A: I had been working at Bassett Healthcare [in Mohawk Valley] for the last 20 years and was pioneering a lot of new technology there, including the NAVIO robotically assisted partial and total knee program, which I first started at A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta. My kids are now all graduating, so we wanted something new and different. My wife got tired of living in Oneonta, which is a little bit secluded, so we thought about moving down south, but one of my other colleagues who had worked at Bassett was here in Oswego, so I figured we should check it out. The administration seemed very productive and excited about building a topnotch orthopedic program. So, with my experience, I thought I could help them build something and do something different and novel for the community. I’ve been here since Dec. 10, 2018. We built the Center for Orthopedic Care, upgraded all of our instruments, including the NAVIO robot. So that’s what brought me here. I’ve been here for about a year now. Q: What do you think the sweet spot is for specialist programs like this in rural communities that are close, but not too close, to bigger urban areas? A: A large segment of the population is increasing in age. What I hear isn’t that the quality of care in Syracuse isn’t great, but that the drive is too much. It’s a 30to 45-minute drive, and at the age of 85, that’s a lot. Their daughter has to take off from work, they have to find parking, they have to wait. You’re looking at a time investment of five or six hours. The population is so busy now,

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

many can’t afford all of those days of multiple family members taking off to transport them. If you can receive quality care closer to home, it’s more convenient for everyone. Patients also just feel so much more comfortable staying in the community. People feel more comfortable staying closer to home; it’s easier for their families to visit and support them, the continuity of care is easier to manage. Q: Is the Fulton program also covering Oswego, or does Oswego have its own? A: No, no. The clinic was placed here because it’s more centrally located. We’re drawing from communities 30 minutes away, even ones to the south like Liverpool and Baldwinsville. The surgeries do happen in Oswego, but the clinic is in Fulton because it’s more centrally located. Q: Do you see this as part of a move to reinvigorate the former A.L. Lee campus’s role as a medical destination? A: I’ve been privy to some of the plans, and it looks like there’s a several million-dollar investment being made in the site. I think the plan is to eventually build a same-day surgery center here, which would provide more jobs in the local environment. So I think it’s helping the community, as well as providing convenience for the local community. Q: Is your role purely clinical now that it’s set up? A: I’m purely clinical at this point both in Fulton and Oswego. I don’t serve any administrative roles. Q: But you did have a role in selecting technology and whatnot? A: Yes. That’s one of the things I could offer. Technology is going to be key in improving outcomes. About 20% of patients are not satisfied with their total knee replacements no matter where they go in the world, no matter where they’re done, and that’s because it’s so diffi-

cult to get it balanced properly to reproduce the proper mechanics of the knee. So, a combination of using the robot and the right prostheses, we’re able to get it to within one degree of where it needs to be. This degree of perfection is achievable with robot technology. Anyone can put in a knee replacement that will last 10 to 15 years. The question is who is going to put in one that will last 35 years. My goal is to provide patients with replacements that will last that long, maybe up to even 40 years. Q: It’s possible to get them to last that long now? A: We don’t know yet, but the current prostheses are rated for at least 30 years. I’ve been doing this 27 years and the ones I put in that long ago were supposed to last 10 years and they lasted for 15 to 20. So, if they’re taken care of, they seem to last longer than anticipated. I’ve never seen one of my replacements fail prematurely from loosening. Q: Is it possible to make adjustments down the road? A: No, and that’s the real important part. It’s like putting a foundation on a house; you’re not moving the house around once you’ve set the foundation. That’s why it’s critical to get it right the first time. With this technology, you’re not getting 80% success, you’re getting 98, 99%. Q: What level of complexity can your program handle? A: We’re basically covered to do most anything but large trauma. My specialties are total hip and total knee replacement. We’ve all worked in trauma centers, so we can do a lot of trauma, but large traumas should go to a trauma center. We do some hand and foot surgery. My colleague does more sports medicine and shoulder replacement and shoulder work. The idea is to slowly build the group and subspecialize it. So our plans in the future are to get a hand surgeon and down the road a foot and ankle surgeon. Q: How do you like your new work environment? A: It’s been absolutely wonderful. One of the reasons I came is because I was working for a large institution where I had 15 partners. Three of my partners I’d never met even though they’d worked there for five years because we covered nine counties. We were very isolated. So, one of the reasons I wanted to come here is it’s more of a family practice atmosphere. We see each other every day and go out to eat together. It’s more collegial, which I think leads to better healthcare. At the same time, Oswego’s a larger community, so it has more amenities available than Oneonta, which is nice. The community support is incredible.


Name: Michael R. Diaz, D.O. Position: Senior attending orthopedic surgeon at Oswego Health Hometown: Ringwood, New Jersey Education: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; Muhlenberg College Affiliations: Oswego Health Organizations: American Osteopathic Association; New York Medical Society; American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopaedics Family: Wife, two adult sons Hobbies: Skiing, travel

January 2020 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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12 Surprising Benefits of Zumba Workouts When workouts are fun, we look forward to them, rather than dread them By Marcia Kester Doyle


ive years ago, a few of my friends told me about a new gym nearby and raved about Zumba, a dance-based fitness class that combines aerobic exercise with resistance training. Zumba classes are popular throughout the country. My friends’ enthusiasm for the program piqued my interest, and although I found the competitive nature of most co-ed gyms intimidating, I knew I needed to do something before I ultimately succumbed to living like a sloth. The first Zumba class I attended was filled mostly with women of all shapes, sizes and ages in a body-positive atmosphere that immediately put me at ease. The philosophy behind Zumba is to have fun while you exercise; to embrace your body and to feel good about yourself while you’re dancing. No matter where you live, the classes are designed to make you feel happy and healthier rather than worrying about your appearance. To my surprise, after a few weeks of attending classes, I discovered that Zumba was not only an enjoyable way to exercise, but also had multiple benefits that improved my physical and mental wellbeing. Since I started doing Zumba, I’ve learned how to salsa, mambo, samba and merengue, and I have more energy now than I ever imagined I would at 60. Here are 12 benefits you can look forward to when you join a Zumba class:


Fun while you exercise. Zumba

is an enjoyable way to improve your physical health in an energetic, upbeat atmosphere. The classes promote body positivity, with an emphasis on having fun and feeling good about yourself. The idea is

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that you don’t have to look or move like others in the class, because there is no right or wrong way to dance. I don’t feel like anyone in the class is watching or criticizing me; they’re focused on their own workout and having fun. And, because it’s fun, the hour goes by quickly, which makes me look forward to exercising, rather than dread it. This helps me stick to a healthy workout routine instead of making excuses to skip the gym.


The cardio is good for your heart. Dancing, like any cardio

workout, gets your heart rate up, which helps you maintain a healthy cardiovascular, respiratory system. It’s also great for building endurance since most of the songs played during class are around 145 beats per minute.


Total body toning. The classes engage every muscle group in specific dance moves, along with squats and twists to tone your entire body.


Uplifts mood and relieves stress. Cardiovascular exercise

releases the highest amount of mood-improving endorphins and neurotransmitters that can signal positive thoughts and eliminate stress. Zumba also helps boost energy levels, improving both alertness and concentration — something many of us feel a decrease in as we get older.


Weight loss. If your goal is to

lose weight, Zumba workouts help to increase your metabolism, burning 600 to 1,000 calories per class (the rate varies depending on the intensity of your workout). A faster metabolism equals faster results in weight reduction.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020


Improves balance, coordination and posture. As with most

forms of dancing, your limbs are moving in different directions, and that takes coordination. You might feel awkward doing it at first, but the more you practice, the better you’ll get at following the dance steps and developing a sense of rhythm.


It’s easy on the joints. With

bone density and joint support decreasing as we age, Zumba’s low-impact workout is easy on the knees. However, you can wear soft knee braces during class for extra protection if you feel you need it. The good news is if you attend classes regularly, you’ll notice increased flexibility over time and a wider range of motion.


Boosts self-confidence. Zumba involves self-expression through dance and a deeper sense of your body’s abilities. After doing it for a while, I began to feel better about my overall health as I built up my cardiovascular fitness and toned my body, which in turn boosted my self-confidence.


You can exercise at your own pace. With Zumba, you can

modify the movements to suit your level of comfort. As your ability improves, you can increase your workout level in a more advanced class.


. Keeps the brain sharp. The dance patterns of Zumba challenge your hand-eye coordination and right-left brain activity. Similar to dancing the Macarena, your arms are doing something entirely different than your legs and

these movements require good memory skills to repeat the sequenced steps correctly.


. Variety of class types. There

are different classes for every level in Zumba, so it’s easy to find one that will suit your needs. Some of these options include: the standard Zumba class, the most common type with a combination of ages from young adult to 70 and older; Zumba Gold, for older adults; Aqua Zumba, a workout done in a pool and STRONG by Zumba, for spot toning.


. Encourages social interaction. This has been my

favorite part of Zumba. I’ve met a lot of fun people who share the same health goals as me, and I’ve made friends. If you’re still feeling a bit intimidated about joining a class, there are plenty of free Zumba videos online to help you practice and get accustomed to the movements. Experts recommend that you do three to four classes per week to receive the full benefits of the workouts. I would also suggest bringing a friend with you to class — the more, the merrier! Zumba has been a game-changer for me, physically and mentally. I’ll always be grateful to my circle of friends who convinced me to dust off my sneakers and salsa my way to a healthier life. Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the book “Who Stole My Spandex? Life In The Hot Flash Lane.” This article first appeared in www.nextavenue.org. Reproduced with permission.


Fitness Trends for 2020. What’s Hot, What’s Not By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


erhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get fit. If so, check out the trends area experts predict as becoming more popular in 2020.

Karen Kemmis, doctor in physical therapy and a registered nurse, Upstate Medical University: n “Some trends have great promise as far as increasing strength, endurance and flexibility. We have to work with them to make adjustments. One of my co-workers went to do CrossFit because so many clients came in and said they did Cross Fit. She signed up for a class not necessarily because people were injured. She signed up for a class of CrossFit to see what it’s about. It’s helpful for professionals to have exposure to these things if we’re going to give suggestions for adjustments.�


Rachel Macri, doctor of physical therapy, Crouse Hospital out-patient physical therapy: n “Burn boxing classes, like kick boxing. Those are popular and I assume that will continue. n “I don’t think people are as excited about CrossFitting. Eighty percent are injured within two weeks. Carol Sames, Ph.D., director, Vitality Fitness program; associate professor, College of Health Professions, Institute for Human Performance, Upstate Medical University: n “I believe wearable technology is still No. 1, as it has been for a number of years now. The technology is coming down in price, but has a lot of information. n “When we look long-term at individuals and the amount of sedentary behavior they have, the more sedentary, the more health risk.

If you look at people who meet the guidelines for physical activity but spend great periods of time sitting, the benefits of exercise aren’t so great. We must eliminate sedentary activity in people, even if it’s getting up to walk a few minutes every hour. We’ll see more airplay about this. n “Fitness programs designed for older adults. Just from a financial standpoint, as older adults start to retire, they have the potential to have more disposable income and time. Baby boomers are interested in retirement years being rewarding. There are boutique gyms that have specific programs only for seniors or older women. You’re seeing at the YMCA. Just from the timing of the classes, like 10 in the morning or activities, like aquatic programming that’s not swimming. It’s good for individuals with chronic pain in the joints or if they’re concerned about falls on land. n “The American College of Sports Medicine has a global initiative: exercise is medicine. The purpose is to get healthcare providers to include an assessment of physical activity every time you see a healthcare professional and provide referrals dependent upon the person’s needs. It may be just encouragement to walk 20 minutes a day, even if it’s walking in your home. When healthcare professionals strongly suggest to people they need to be active, that people will tend to at least listen to a healthcare provider, but when they get information and they provide a prescription that’s even more powerful. There are so many benefits to regular physical activity that don’t exist in pill form. n “Yoga is still a big trend with different variations. We’re getting more people involved. Different ages. n “Home exercise. It’s not for everyone. Some need that social interaction. I think that either for people who have a Difficult time in going someplace or they don’t want to drive to a facility or the nearest one is 20 miles away. That’s always a barrier.�

New Fitness Trends to Help You Achieve 2020 Health Goals


f you need some motivation to achieve your 2020 fitness goals, consider incorporating one or several of these new fitness trends from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). From wearable tech to fitness programming to health and wellness coaching, ACSM’s annual fitness trend forecast can help you. Plus, the trends might even spark ideas for last-minute holiday gifts.   From activity trackers to heart rate monitors to devices that do both and much more, the newest wearable tech offers sophisticated tools to record steps per day, distance run and calories burned. Wearable tech can also support weight management efforts. Setting a daily step goal and using a basic activity tracker to monitor your progress is an easy way to get started moving more and sitting less.



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These classes are good for beginners and experienced exercisers. Strength training can make everyday activities easier; help maintain bone health and promote weight loss.  Personal training. Oneon-one training with a certified personal trainer or exercise physiologist can help you learn proper techniques, try new exercises and keep you accountable. A well-rounded fitness assessment from your exercise physiologist and subsequent tracking over time can help you adjust your training and diet to reach your goals and optimize performance. Body weight training. Popular for building strength and endurance with minimal equipment, body weight training focuses on dynamic movements to build strength and endurance. This type of training can be done almost anywhere, which is great for your budget and home workouts.  Remember, whether you decide to incorporate one, several or none of these fitness trends, make sure you find time to be active. Health and fitness will always be trendy!

4. 5.



High-intensity interval training (HIIT)Â uses repeated cycles of short exercise alternated with rest. Sessions typically last less than 30 minutes yet lead to fitness improvements. HIIT can be good for aging women who struggle with weight gain and are at greater risk of age-associated muscle loss.

Beginning exercisers should start slow. Group training offers a great solution if you want to try new types of exercise. These classes provide motivation, encouragement, a sense of community and a chance to learn proper techniques from instructors.


January 2020 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper


Page 9


Things You Need to Know About Organ Donation

By Ernst Lamothe Jr.


n the United States, the most commonly transplanted organs are the kidney, liver, heart and lungs. On any given day there are about 75,000 people on the active waiting list for organs, but only about 8,000 deceased organ donors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We have come a long way when it comes to successful organ transplants,” said physician Mark Laftavi, professor of surgery and interim chief of transplant services at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. Laftavi explains five things people should know about transplant.


Age is not a factor

In many aspects of life, age is just a number and that includes being a donor. Your biological age does not deter you from giving an organ. It is more the quality of your age. “We have some people who are 60 years old and their health are better than people in their 40’s. But then you have people in their 60’s whose health is closer to someone near the age of 80,” said Laftavi. “Age is no longer the No. 1 factor.” He said the more important factor is the diet and exercise habits of the individual. Those who maintain good overall health oftentimes have good overall organ function. “You just have to make sure you are taking good care of yourself and then you can be a donor at various ages,” said Laftavi.



While the cost of a transplant can be high, much of it can be picked up depending on the insurance you have. In addition, because transplants include tests, medications and follow-up care after you leave the hospital, officials suggest asking your insurance company if the transplant center is in-network with the insurance company, if they have outof-network benefits, what are co-pays for doctor visits, hospitalizations and medications and whether the insurance plan require prior authorization. “We know that cost is always going to be a concern, which is why we focus on setting up each patient with a dedicated insurance social worker who can walk them through it,” said Laftavi. “Plus there are some pharmaceutical discounts that we are able to help people with the financial burden.”


Social support

Both receiving and donating an organ can have many psychological and emotional aspects. Even if the surgery goes well there can be extensive recovery time. That is why family support remains necessary. “There may be some effects of any surgery or even the need for family members to help the person consistently remember to take their medications,” he added. “It is important that you have someone who can take care of you whether that is family, friends or even a neighbor. Society is like a wall and everyone of

Underage Gambling, a Growing Concern in New York State


he explosion of internet gambling and gaming opportunities ombined with the inescapable advertising and marketing of gaming and gambling everywhere from television to the corner store relentlessly expose our children to enticing messages of winning, risk-taking and excitement from a very early age. Alarming statistics reveal that almost 40% of youth aged 12-17 have gambled this past year with in-game items or real money, and 30% of these youth state that they began gambling at age 10 or younger. Youth who gamble are more likely to get lower grades, use tobacco and illegal drugs, get into fights, have mental health issues and become involved in crime. And studies show the earlier a child starts gambling, the more likely they are to have problems due to gambling later in life. Parents of children as young as six years old can reduce the risk of their kids ending up with

Page 10

a gambling problem by talking with them about gambling. Start by asking questions and listening. And, help them figure out sensible alternatives to gambling. To learn helpful tips and view brief educational videos showing real-life scenarios of parents speaking with their children about the possible serious consequences of their gaming and gambling activities, please visit Talk2Kids.org. Elizabeth A. Toomey, team leader at Central Region Problem Gambling Resource Center Program of New York Council on Problem Gambling. To reach her, call 315-748-1188 or email etoomey@NYProblemGambling. org.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

us are bricks, and if one of the bricks are not doing well, then the integrity of the wall is not as strong. We are not meant to do things alone.”


Transplants are safe

Laftavi said no one should have fear about a transplant. In cases like the kidney, a person can live with just one. He has even seen people who were born with just one kidney live long lives. Organ transplantation is often the only treatment for end stage organ failure, such as liver and heart failure. Although end stage renal disease patients can be treated through other renal replacement therapies, kidney transplantation is generally accepted as the best treatment both for quality of life and cost effectiveness. Kidney transplantation is by far the most frequently carried out transplantation globally. “In the early days, we would experience 50% rejection rate with transplants and now we have a 95% success rate. It has been a remarkable achievement,” said Laftavi. “We know there is always fear about any kind of surgery but this really is a life saving procedure.”


You don’t have to be a family member to give a kidney

Though family members may have an increased chance of matching, it doesn’t stop there. Living donation can have better outcomes for those needing a kidney transplant. Friends or even strangers may be a match.

Physician Mark Laftavii “There are a lot of myths about who can give a kidney donation and other transplants and we just want people to be educated about the process,” said Laftavi. “If you have any questions you should ask a physician to make sure that you understand everything involved.” 36,500 transplants in the U.S. in 2018, Here’s the breakdown by organ: Kidney 21,167 Liver 8,250 Heart 3,408 Lung 2,530 Kidney / Pancreas 836 Pancreas 192 Intestine 104 Heart/Lung 32 Source: UNOS — United Network for Organ Sharing — a nonporfit agency, with data gathered in January 2019.

More Than 1 in 4 High School Students Now Vape


n epidemic of vaping by American teenagers shows no signs of stopping, with 2019 data finding more than a quarter (27.5%) of high school students using e-cigarettes. The rate was somewhat lower, but still troubling, among middle school kids — about one in every 10 vaped, according to new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And just as happens with traditional cigarettes, the nicotine found in e-cigarettes can hook teens for a lifetime, with uncertain results for their health. “Our nation’s youth are becoming increasingly exposed to nicotine, a drug that is highly addictive and can harm brain development,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an agency news release. There was a small bit of good news from the new 2019 data: Only 5.8% of high school kids, and 2.3% of middle school students smoke traditional cigarettes. But when all sources of nicotine — vaping, cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookah and smokeless tobacco — are added up, about one in every three high school students (4.7 million) and about one in eight middle school

students (1.5 million) use some kind of tobacco-derived product, the CDC said. For the sixth year in a row, e-cigarettes were the most widely used tobacco product among high school and middle school students, the report found. Many students use more than one tobacco product. Among current tobacco product users, about 1 in 3 middle and high school students (2.1 million) used two or more tobacco products, the CDC found. “Youth use of any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. It is incumbent upon public health and health care professionals to educate Americans about the risks resulting from this epidemic among our youth,” Redfield said.

My Turn

By Eva Briggs

Norovirus 101 Outbreaks peak between the months of November and April. It can strike anyone of any age. It hits children under age 5 and the elderly the hardest


t’s that time of year again. No, I don’t mean holiday season. I mean norovirus season. This nasty little virus is the most common cause of acute vomiting an d diarrhea in the United States. It’s the leading cause of foodborne illness. Outbreaks peak between the months of November and April. Norovirus can strike anyone of any age. It hits children under age 5 and the elderly the hardest. By age 5 years, one out of six will receive outpatient treatment for norovirus. One out of 14 kids will visit an emergency room. And one out of 278 will be admitted to the hospital. Between healthcare costs and lost productivity, norovirus costs about $2 billion per year. Norovirus illness causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It only takes 12 to 48 hours after exposure for symptoms to start. The illness tends to be intense but brief, and most people recover in one to three days. There’s no vaccine to prevent it. And there’s no specific treatment, just rest, fluids and nausea medicines. This tiny virus can infect people who are exposed to as few as 20 viral particles. The viral particles can survive on surfaces for as long as 42 days. A tablespoon of vomit contains 15 million viruses, and a tablespoon of diarrhea holds up to 75 billion! Here are some tips gleaned from a New York Times article about how to reduce the chance of spread. After I read the article to my husband,

he said it might actually be easier to destroy the house and start over next time someone brings norovirus home. n Step 1, keep your hands clean. This means soap and water, particularly scrubbing fingertips and nail beds. Hand sanitizers don’t work. n Step 2, quarantine. If your house has more than one bathroom, designate one as the sick bathroom for sick household members only. The sick people need to stay home and in a separate part of the house. Healthy people must stay away from the sick bathroom and the sick people. Unless, of course, you are the parent or caretaker of someone too young or too sick to take care of themselves. n Step 3, clean contaminated surfaces. This means the toilet, its handle, the sink, the doorknob and anything else that a sick person or their fluids might have touched. Close the toilet lid before flushing so that virus particles don’t aerosolize and spread. Then pour in 1/2 cup of bleach and flush again. The best household product to kill norovirus is bleach. Mix half to one cup of bleach in a gallon of water and use that to wipe down surfaces. Let the bleach solution sit on the surface for at least five minutes (10 minutes is best) before wiping it off. The virus particles don’t die immediately upon contact with bleach. You can also use healthcare grade bleach wipes, which you will probably need to order from the internet. Unfor-

tunately, cleaners and wipes sold for household use are not powerful enough to kill norovirus. Even if the label states they kill 99% of germs on contact. It’s probably a good idea to wear disposable gloves, goggles and a facemask, especially if you are cleaning up after a family member who didn’t make it to the toilet in time. To clean a mess from the floor, cover the fluid with paper towels or sprinkle kitty litter or sawdust on it, then scoop into a plastic bag. Close with a twist tie and dispose. Scrub the area with soap and water. Then disinfect it with bleach as described above. It turns out that there are actually researchers who study vomit and fecal cleanup strategies. And — this is the line that made my husband think he might just move to a new house next time someone gets sick — to really be effective you have to clean everything within a 25-foot radius. Walls. Table legs. Any other surface. Disinfecting rugs and upholstered furniture is problematic because bleach may damage the color. A steam cleaner for five minutes at 170°F could do the trick. Or spray with hydrogen peroxide after testing an inconspicuous area to determine that the item won’t be damaged.

Clothing and linens should be washed on the hot or sanitize setting. Use bleach if possible. Designating specific plates, utensils and cups for sick family members is a good idea. Some dishwashers don’t kill all norovirus. People with type B or AB blood are more resistant to norovirus. That’s of no consolation to my son who has type O blood. His recent bout with norovirus — which required a trip to the urgent care for IV fluids — inspired this article. This is one time where I’m glad he lives hundreds of miles away. So, stay safe out there. Consider stocking up on appropriate cleaning supplies now, especially if you have small children who might bring this plague and pestilence into your household. Eva Briggs is a medical doctor who works at two urgent care centers in the Syracuse region.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

Resolve to Take Good Care Of You In 2020


his morning, as I do every morning, I got up early, made a cup of tea and spent some important “me time” in mindful meditation. This daily routine helps clear my mind and launch my day with a more generous heart. Meditation is one of many ways I take care of myself. But that hasn’t always been the case. After my divorce, I adopted a “What’s the point?” approach to caring for myself and my home: What was the point of getting up early, meditating, exercising, eating healthy meals or putting on lipstick when no one was watching? Who cared whether I made my bed or combed my hair? It’s not uncommon for people who live alone to fall into a “What’s the point?” frame of mind. Leaving the dirty dishes in the sink or wearing your pajamas all day may seem harmless, until you consider the impact these acts of indifference can have on your self-confidence and sense of self-worth. Taking good care — very good care — of yourself is about the value of you. It’s about your intrinsic value to yourself, to your family, and to those you encounter throughout your day. It’s an essential part of feeling

good and living alone with success. Here are some of the benefits: It builds self-esteem: When you take good care of yourself you send an important message to yourself that you are worth treating well, cleaning up after, fussing over and protecting. When I come home after a busy day and walk through my front door, I am reinforced when my house is tidy and the kitchen sink is empty. It means I care enough about myself to maintain an inviting home, even if it’s just for me. The appearance of my home is a visible, tangible barometer of how I value myself — and, this is just one of many examples. My self-esteem gets a boost whenever I exercise discipline and do the things I know will deliver positive and self-affirming results. It looks good on you: When you treat yourself with love and respect, it shows and people notice. It opens up your world. During my “What’s the point?” period — my blue period — I would leave the house without paying much attention to my appearance. My sorry, baggy attire was only

s d i K Corner

Study Finds Children Log Excessive Screen-Time Study shows average time children spend in front of screens increased from 53 minutes per day at 12 months to more than 150 minutes at 3 years


study conducted by the University at Albany, the National Institutes of Health and New York University Langone Medical Center uncovered several new findings about the amount of time children spend watching television or using a computer or mobile device. Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the study found that the average time children spend in front of screens increased from 53 minutes per day at 12 months to more than 150 minutes

Page 12

at 3 years — time periods that greatly exceed recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). AAP recommends that digital media exposure should be avoided for children under 18 months of age, introduced slowly to children 18 to 24 months of age and limited to an hour a day for children from 2 to 5 years of age. Additional findings include:    • 87 percent of children had

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

made sorrier by the dour expression on my face. Needless to say, I didn’t turn many heads nor invite connection with others. But, those were the old days. Today, I take more care. When you care about yourself inside and out, you radiate vitality. It’s intriguing. And it may draw people, compliments and unexpected connections and opportunities your way. Life can be richer. It enables you to better care for others: When your own needs are met and you feel happy with yourself, you are better able to respond to the needs of others. I like the familiar “airline” example: When traveling by plane, we are all given instructions on how to use an oxygen mask in an emergency. We are cautioned to put ours on first if we’re traveling with a child or dependent person. The reason is obvious: if we don’t put our mask on first, we risk passing out and putting both lives in jeopardy. One of the best things you can do for others is to take care of yourself. That way, you’ll be better able — both physically and emotionally — to help your friends and family when they need you. It is essential to your health: Eating healthy, enjoying a good night’s sleep, getting regular health check-ups, and exercising can all contribute to feeling good and alive. But living a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge for those who live alone. Without a partner to coax or inspire you, it’s easy to become complacent. I was having an awful time sticking to my exercise routine, so I decided to become a group exercise instructor. I knew I needed the “obligation” of leading a class to force myself to show up. screen time exceeding recommendations from the American Pediatric Academy. • Children were more likely to be in the highest percentile of screen time exposure if their parents had only a high school diploma or equivalent (more than twice as likely) or were children of first-time mothers (almost twice as likely). • Compared to single-born children, twins were more likely to belong to the highest screen time group. • Children in home-based care, whether provided by a parent, babysitter or relative, were more than twice as likely to have high screen time than those in center-based care. • While screen time increased throughout toddlerhood, by age 7 and 8, screen time fell to under 1.5 hours per day. The researchers believe this is due to time consumed by school-related activities. The team, including Erin Bell, professor of environmental health sciences at UAlbany’s School of Public Health, analyzed data from the Upstate KIDS study. Upstate KIDS, an ongoing cohort-based study co-led by Bell, tracks the ongoing growth, motor and social development of more than 6,000 babies born to 5,000 mothers between 2008 and 2010 in 57 counties of Upstate New York. For this particular study, mothers of nearly 4,000 Upstate Kids participants responded to questions

Believe me, I wouldn’t be going to the YMCA as often had I not become an instructor. It was one way of taking better care of my physical health and it worked! What might work for you? It is rewarding: Self-care can lead to self-discovery. Like anything else, learning how to care for yourself can reveal opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment. It can be fun and it can take you places far and wide. Again, another personal example: I’ve discovered after years of living alone that just like meditation and exercise, travel is an essential part of my self-care routine. Even in retirement, I can go into overdrive and become overwhelmed with life’s demands. Solo travel gives me time to relax, think and re-balance my priorities. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or long vacation, I return rejuvenated and ready to take on what’s next. However you practice self-care, do so with steadfast resolve. As long as you put yourself first and focus on your overall well-being, you’ll enjoy the blissful benefits. Taking good care of yourself can help you acquire the personal strength, resilience, and energy you need to create or re-invent a life that you truly love and live with gusto.

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 on their children’s media habits when they were 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months of age, and then to similar questions when the children were 7 and 8 years old. The study compiled additional demographic information on the mothers and children from birth records and other surveys. “This collaborative study led by our colleagues at Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has made it clear that screen habits are developing earlier than recommended,” said Bell. “Given the concern that increased screen-time may impact child development, our results suggest an important need to develop strategies for reducing children’s screen time at very young ages to better meet the current AAP screen-time recommendations.

Parenting By Melissa Stefanec



10 Resolutions — Not Related to Parenting

or the past few years, I’ve dedicated my January column to “Mommy’s resolutions.” I wasn’t always one for New Year’s resolutions, but being a parent changed my views on the matter. When I became a role model to two of my favorite people in the world, I started putting more emphasis on self-betterment. Most of my past resolutions centered on being a better mother. However, going the distance for their kids isn’t something most moms have trouble with. If anything, most moms fail to go the extra mile for themselves. There are lots of ways I can be a better mom, but trying to be a better Melissa is just as important. Being a better me means being a better and happier mom. So, this year, the resolutions are just for me. Focusing on my mental and physical health

will make me a better parent. It’s that simple. So, whether the tasks (or results) are big or small, here is a list of my resolutions. Maybe by sharing my resolutions I will encourage other parents to take care of themselves in 2020.


Plan (way) ahead for date nights with the hubby

My relationship with my partner is the most important relationship in my kids’ lives. Date nights don’t have to be fancy. It could be as easy as making our favorite snack, opening a bottle of wine and listening to one of our favorite albums. 2020 deserves more couple time.


Plan (way) ahead for time with friends

My friends are some of the most

important people in my life. Sometimes, we are good about getting out together. Other times, we are not. I resolve to ask for more of my friends’ time. I hope they don’t mind.


Spend less time on social media

I’m pretty good about this, but I know I could do better. I’m going set a timer and give myself 15 minutes once a day. Life is too valuable to give to a newsfeed.


Unsubscribe to three mass emails per day

I actually do this one every year, but it’s a good one. Less time on junk mail means more time in bubble baths.


Read at least six books in 2020

This may seem like a low bar to a lot of folks, but for a busy mom, it actually seems achievable. I’m a happier, quicker witted and more empathetic person when I read. It’s too important to skip.


Exercise in the morning, even if it’s in my own living room

I’m actually good about making it to the gym in the evenings, but people like to schedule events during that time. Whether it’s a chorus concert, Lego club or a work event, my evening calendar tends to fill up. No one schedules last-minute meetings or school clubs at 6 a.m.

January 2020 •


Take a couple of vacation days for me


Buy less stuff

In 2019 I took a mini vacation with two of my dearest friends. We didn’t bring the kids. We didn’t bring our partners. It was amazing. It was everything we needed. 2020 needs another mom-cation.

It’s not just the time of year that has my thinking about this; I’m becoming very anti-stuff. Stuff makes for unpacking, storing, cleaning, organizing and other labor-intensive activities. Less stuff means less labor.


Listen to my body

I’m pretty good about going to the doctor, but I’m not so good at stopping when my brain says, “enough.” I’m also not good about resting when I’m worn out or coming down with a cold. I drive myself into the ground. It’s not fun for anyone. I need to stop. So, I need to start listening to my body more and then carry on to resolution No. 10.


Schedule down time

I have a calendar where I maintain a schedule. I get reminders about those events. When my calendar starts to fill up and stress me out, I need to put time on it where I can do nothing. It will be rewarding to get an event reminder for “have a glass of wine and sit on your duff while petting the cat.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Slow Cooking a Recipe for Weight Loss? By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


low cookers such as Sunbeam’s Crock-Pot may be used for far more than beef roasts with carrots and potatoes. Especially for busy people, the slow cooker can make it easier to eat better and maintain healthful weight. It can encourage more careful meal plan-

ning instead of swinging through the drive-through on the way home from work. Maureen Berical, registered dietitian and clinical dietitian with Crouse Health, likes that slow cookers help people do more of their own cooking. “With homemade meals you

have more control and can use minimally processed, nutrient-dense foods,” Berical said. “You could set aside a time each week to plan according to your schedule.” To make it even easier, items like sliced mushrooms, pre-washed baby carrots, frozen vegetables and precut skinless chicken breast tenders can streamline preparation. Many ingredients may be prepared on the weekend and stored in the fridge or freezer until they’re used. Lining the inside of the cooking well — the part where the food goes — with a cooking bag makes clean-up a breeze. Berical said that liners don’t affect the quality or nutrient value of slow cooker meals. “Crock-Pot cooking is awesome because you can have it ready when you get home,” said Laurel Sterling, registered dietitian and nutritionist and educator for Carlson Laboratories. She said that busyness and the allure of grab-and-go food can make it tempting to skip cooking; however, slow cooking can prevent these often unhealthful standbys. Using plenty of vegetables and beans boost nutrition and also lowers calories in soup. Sterling likes making dishes in her slow cooker like stew with beans, turkey chili with lots of vegetables and kale or other veggie soups. “Some recipes are nutrient packed, along with fat-burning,” Sterling said. Making overnight baked oatmeal with steel cut oats, which take longer to cook, along with a few egg whites for protein, can provide a healthful breakfast — a much better way to start the day than grabbing a dough-

nut or other unhealthful item. Julie Mellen, registered dietitian with Upstate Medical University, said that she uses her slow cooker frequently. “You can throw in a medley of vegetables and less expensive cuts of meat, which end up tender,” she said. “It’s a great way to incorporate different food groups and have it hot and ready when you get home. It’s less stressful.” She recommends leaner cuts of meat, vegetables and whole grains. Mellen added that slow cookers have a few caveats, too, such as highfat additions like creamy sauces and fatty cuts of meat. Though slow-cooking meat does make it very tender — even the cheapest cuts — people who want to lose weight and include more vegetables in their diet should use meat as a seasoning instead of the star of the show. The nature of slow cooking causes any meat or seasoning used in the recipe to permeate the vegetables in the crock. People who aren’t so fond of vegetables tend to eat more of them when they’re slow-cooked with some meat. Scaling back certain other ingredients also helps. Sterling said to avoid loading up the crock with pasta, potatoes and starchy items and to limit ingredients that add saturated fat. Those include fatty meats. Pre-made sauces tend to be high in sodium, as are seasoning mixes and canned beans. Rinsing beans can help reduce the sodium. Or, use dried beans that have been prepared according to package directions. If you need inspiration for using your slow cooker more, visit www. crock-pot.com/recipes.html.


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020


The skinny on healthy eating

Heads Up: Green Leaf Lettuce Teems with Nutrients


he desire for “clean eating” consumes many of us in January. After weeks of indulging in rich holiday foods, we’re anxious to get back in the saddle of healthier eating. Salads can help pave the way. Flavorful and nutritious, a healthy salad can fill you up without filling you out, with the key here being “healthy.” Many of my salads include green leaf lettuce and here’s why: its curly leaves have a unique buttery flavor; it hasn’t been dogged by E.coli contamination; and it’s remarkably nutritious. Plus, because of its pliable texture, I often use it to wrap other foods, creating a healthy wrapper that’s low in both carbs and calories. Although lighter in color than some of the dark-green heavy-hitters, green leaf lettuce still packs an impressive good-for-you punch. Looking to shore up your bones? An average serving of green leaf lettuce delivers over 100% of our daily needs for both vitamins A and K — two vitamins that contribute to overall bone health. What’s more, vitamin A also promotes a healthy immune system and good vision,

while vitamin K helps blood clot properly. Green leaf lettuce is especially good for hearts, thanks to many factors: its inflammation-lowering antioxidants (vitamins A and C), its cholesterol-lowering fiber and its healthy dose of folate, a B vitamin that helps to reduce arterial hardening. What makes this fat-free lettuce also good for hearts is its low-calorie count: only 10 calories per 2-cup serving. By consuming nutritious foods that are lower in fat and calories, we’re less likely to become overweight or obese. Excessive weight, according to multiple studies, has been linked to several factors — high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes — which may increase one’s risk for heart disease. As diet-friendly as salads can be, they can quickly go from healthy to unhealthy with unchecked ingredients that add fat, calories and sodium. So, be mindful of the add-ons, especially when dining out, such as bacon bits (100 to 300 calories), croutons (100-200 calories), shredded cheese (100 to 200 calories), and

Experiencing Vision Loss? Consider a Low Vision Evaluation.

By Anne Palumbo

Healthy tips

Choose lettuce with healthy outer leaves: fresh, crisp, bright green. Wash greens right before use under cold running water. One method of washing: immerse loose greens in a large pot of cool water and allow a minute or two for debris to sink to bottom, then rinse under running water and dry with a salad spinner or paper towels. Wash organic lettuce, too. creamy dressings (120-150 calories). As an example, The Cheesecake Factory’s Cobb Salad with many of the ingredients listed above has 1540 calories, 2280 mg of sodium, and 124 g of fat.

Green Leaf Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Walnuts and Feta Adapted from Eating Well

¼ cup balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard 1 clove garlic, minced ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 6 cups (or more) green leaf lettuce 2 apples, such as Honeycrisp or Gala, thinly sliced ½ cup crumbled feta ½ cup dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

For vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, yogurt, oil, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. In an extra-large serving bowl, combine lettuce, apple, cheese, dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds, and walnuts. Drizzle with half of the vinaigrette; toss to coat. Pass the remaining vinaigrette.

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.


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15

well. Instead, opt for a brisk walk for 30 – 60 minutes each day. If you want to do something more vigorous, do 20-30 minute runs or aerobic workouts three to four times a week with weight lifting in between.



Avoid public places during outbreaks


Take an antiviral medication

When you hear of the flu or virus outbreak in your area, stay home if possible. Avoid public places in particular. This will serve double duty by keeping you out of the cold that makes you more susceptible.

10 Tips to Stay

Healthy This Winter By Kimberly Blaker


he medical field has long known people are more prone to catching colds and the flu during the cold winter months. Previously, scientists primarily attributed this to people living and breathing together in enclosed environments. But cold temperatures also make our immune system sluggish and prevent our bodies from fighting off infection. This is according to a 2015 PBS report, “Scientists Finally Prove Why Cold Weather Makes You Sick.” So follow these tips to stave off colds and the flu this winter.


Keep your home warm

Maintaining warmth is essential to ward off winter-related illnesses. So keep your home temperature comfortably warm by setting your thermostat between 68 and 75F. Optimum daytime temperatures for living areas are 70 to 72 F. At night, set the thermostat just a couple of degrees cooler for your bedrooms. What’s comfortable varies from person-to-person. So if you feel cold at 72F, turn it up a notch or two. The idea is to remain comfortable.

2.Dress in layers

Layer your clothing, whether you’re at home or heading out. Wear a T-shirt or cami, long-sleeved shirt or blouse, and a sweater over the top. This way, you can set your thermostat at a moderate temperature and peel off layers to maintain the perfect comfort level. Layers will also ensure you maintain comfort if you go out. When you do leave the house, wear warm boots, gloves, and a hat even if you’ll be outside just briefly. We lose most of our body heat through the extremities. So it’s vital to keep those areas warm.

3.Eat healthily

A healthy diet is essential year-round. But during the cold winter months, certain foods are particularly beneficial to the immune system. The much-criticized starchy

Page 16

potato is an excellent source of nutrition. It’s high in vitamins B6 and C, both of which boost immunity. Collards, kale, and chard, among other dark leafy greens, are high in vitamins A, C, and K. Winter squash, including pumpkin, butternut, spaghetti, and acorn, is high in beta-carotene. Our bodies convert beta-carotene to vitamin A, another vital source that boosts the immune system. Several fruits are also particularly beneficial and protect against winter-related ailments. Citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C. Kiwi packs even more of a ‘C’ punch than oranges. Other fruits that help keep your immune system strong include pomegranates, blueberries, cherries, and even bananas.

4.Drink plenty of water

Dehydration causes a host of health complications. Despite this, most people don’t drink nearly enough water. As a result, health experts say they’re in a state of chronic dehydration. So how much water should you drink each day? A commonly repeated recommendation is eight 8-ounce glasses per day. But why would a 100-pound inactive woman need the same intake as an active 220-pound man? It turns out there’s a formula to determine how much water you should consume. Divide your weight by 2.2. Next, if you’re between age 30 to 55, multiply by 35; and if older than 55, multiply by 30. Now divide your result by 28.3 for the number of ounces you should drink daily. Divide this by 8 to determine the number of cups.

5.Wash your hands

One of the best ways to reduce the spread of germs is by washing your hands regularly. This not only reduces the risk of transferring your bacteria to others. It reduces the risk that you’ll transfer bacteria to yourself. When someone with a cold or the flu touches a doorknob, handrail, or other objects, their germs get

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

transferred to the object. Bacteria can survive this way for several hours. If you come along and touch the germ-ridden object, the bacteria transfer to your hands. Then when you scratch your nose or grab a cookie to eat, you become infected. So when you wash your hands, use soap and warm water. Rub between your fingers and underneath your fingernails. Then rinse your hands well and dry them thoroughly. In public restrooms, use a paper towel to turn off the water and open the restroom door after you’ve washed your hands.

6.Keep active

An active lifestyle is crucial to a healthy heart, lungs, and bones. But a moderately active lifestyle also improves your immune system, according to a 2010 study cited in “Exercise and Respiratory Tract Viral Infections.” Prolonged intense exercise suppresses the immune system, however. So the key is to exercise regularly but in moderation. Unless you’re trying out for the Olympics, a 20-mile run won’t likely serve you

If you’re exposed to the flu, be proactive and nip it in the bud with a prescription for Relenza or Tamiflu. The only catch is there’s a short window of opportunity for these medications to be effective. These treatments must begin within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. So as soon as you feel signs of the flu coming on, call your doctor. If your doctor can’t see you right away, go to an urgent care.

9.Get a massage

According to a 2010 study for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Swedish massage increases lymphocytes, which improve the effectiveness of the immune system. So now you have the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a massage! If regular massages aren’t in your budget, trade massages with your partner to help stave off illness.

10.Get your z’s

When we sleep, our bodies release cytokines, which promote sleep. Certain cytokines also ward off infection. When we don’t get enough sleep, we’re deprived of the protective cytokines, leaving us more susceptible to infection. Sleep requirements vary from person to person. But adults typically need seven to eight hours.

Why the Risk of Heart Attack Rises in Winter By Jim Miller


veryone knows winter is cold and flu season, but many don’t know that it’s also the prime season for heart attacks too, especially if you already have heart disease or have suffered a previous heart attack. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips to help you protect yourself. In the U.S., the risk of having a heart attack during the winter months is twice as high as it is during

the summertime.


There are a number of factors, and they’re not all linked to cold weather. Even people who live in warm climates have an increased risk. Here are the areas you need to pay extra attention to this winter. • Cold temperatures: When a person gets cold, the body responds by constricting the blood vessels to help the body maintain heat. This

causes blood pressure to go up and makes the heart work harder. Cold temperatures can also increase levels of certain proteins that can thicken the blood and increase the risk for blood clots. So, stay warm this winter, and when you do have to go outside, make sure you bundle up in layers with gloves and a hat, and place a scarf over your mouth and nose to warm up the air before you breathe it in. • Snow shoveling: Studies have shown that heart attack rates jump dramatically in the first few days after a major snowstorm, usually a result of snow shoveling. Shoveling snow is a very strenuous activity that raises blood pressure and stresses the heart. Combine those factors with the cold temperatures and the risks for

Mental Health

SAD: Not Just the January Blues By Lucy Connery


anuary marks the end of the holiday season, the beginning of a new year, and is often thought to be a fresh start for a better year and personal growth. However, for many people this time of year is the hardest of all. The holidays can bring stress, emotional distress and unhealthy coping mechanisms like consuming large amounts of unhealthy foods, drinking more alcoholic beverages than usual, staying inside to avoid the cold weather, etc. The National Institute of Mental Health has documented that these behaviors could be indicative of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This condition is characterized by feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness or isolation at the same time of year — spikes in SAD often occur in the

winter time. Seasonal affective disorder can also be a response to memories of losing a loved one, an emotional holiday season, weight fluctuation and even changes in the weather. Not sure if you experience SAD? Symptoms include having low energ, problems sleeping, difficulty concentrating, feeling sluggish or agitated, changes in appetite, and feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt. SAD is very common, affecting millions of individuals a year. Prevention includes regular physical activity, spending time outdoors and eating a balanced, nutritional diet. If you already experience SAD, these methods also serve as a form of treatment. Other treatments for SAD may include light therapy, medications and psychotherapy.

heart attack surges. If your sidewalk or driveway needs shoveling this winter, hire a kid from the neighborhood to do it for you, or use a snow blower. Or, if you must shovel, push rather than lift the snow as much as possible, stay warm, and take frequent breaks. • New Year’s resolutions: Every Jan. 1, millions of people join gyms or start exercise programs as part of their New Year’s resolution to get in shape, and many overexert themselves too soon. If you’re starting a new exercise program this winter, take the time to talk to your doctor about what types and how much exercise may be appropriate for you. • Winter weight gain: People tend to eat and drink more and gain more weight during the holiday season and winter months, all of which are hard on the heart and risky for someone with heart disease. So, keep a watchful eye on your diet this winter and avoid binging on fatty foods and alcohol. • Shorter days: Less daylight in the winter months can cause many people to develop “seasonal affective disorder” or SAD, a wintertime depression that can stress the heart. Studies have also looked at heart attack patients and found they usually have lower levels of vitamin D (which comes from sunlight) than people with healthy hearts. To boost your vitamin D this winter, consider taking a supplement that contains between 1,000 and 2,000 international units (IU) per day. • Flu season: Studies show that people who get flu shots have a lower heart attack risk. It’s known that the inflammatory reaction set off by a flu infection can increase blood clotting which can lead to heart attacks in vulnerable people. So, if you haven’t already done so this year, get a flu shot for protection. And, if you’ve never been vaccinated for pneumococcal pneumonia, you should consider getting these two shots (given 12 months apart) too. Jim Miller is the author of Savvy Senior column, which is published every issue in In Good Health.


Don’t Miss the Next Issue Accepting and recognizing mental health is not always easy or comfortable, but it is not anything to be ashamed of. If you or a loved one is struggling, seek help locally or nationally. Lucy Connery is a health promotion specialist with The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo. January 2020 •

Celebrating 12 years featuring the best in 55+ stories & news

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17


n 2001, Syracuse resident Susan Rusinko began to develop odd physical symptoms. Leg weakness, vision problems and bladder issues plagued her, all of which were out of the blue. A mother of three, Rusinko had just gotten back from a Disney family vacation when she discovered the answer to her symptoms: multiple sclerosis. “Before the diagnosis, I was very active with my kids. We took walks, I played outside with them; we did a lot of stuff. Once you get that diagnosis, things dial down,” Rusinko said. MS is one of the more wellknown autoimmune diseases, along with systemic lupus erythematosus —lupus — and rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune diseases cause the immune system to become overactive, causing the body to attack itself. Sami Abdul-Malak, a Syracuse neurologist, describes autoimmune disease as “trickery.” “The body is fooled into thinking that one of its own tissues or organs are the enemy, creating an immune attack on these tissues,” Abdul-Malak says. MS is a life-altering neurological diagnosis to those who receive it. MS impacts women far more than men, likely due to hormones. MS mainly attacks the central nervous system, leaving patients to suffer with nerve pain throughout their bodies. The disease eats away at the “coating,” or myelin, that protects the body’s nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic. This causes myriad symptoms for the patient, from mobility issues to vision problems and eye pain to depression. Symptom flare-ups are a defining factor of autoimmune illness, so MS patients may be able to go long periods of time without many symptoms. Nearly 20 years later, a recent study done by BlueCross BlueShield revealed that Syracuse has the highest rate of MS in the country. MS is commonly diagnosed in people ranging from their 20s to 50s, and has affected around 1 million individuals in the United States, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. As with other autoimmune diseases, there’s no direct “cure” for MS. Rather, doctors aim to find ways to alleviate symptoms, along with preventing them. Unfortunately, this disease can begin without patient’s knowing that they have it — there’s no instant diagnosis or sign. The elusive nature of MS, like most autoimmune illnesses, makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose. After Rusinko’s diagnosis, she was admitted into a rehab facility outside of Syracuse for four weeks. Fears about how she was going to care for her three sons dominated her thoughts. Sadness would hit when her husband and sons left from visits, so Rusinko bonded with others at the rehab — it was all she could do. At 38, Rusinko was one of the youngest patients in the rehab. It was a somewhat surreal experience, she said. Rusinko’s MS had hit hard, and left her to relearn simple day-to-day tasks from her temporary wheelchair. “People were showing me how to fold clothes from a wheelchair, how to open an oven from a wheelchair, how to open the washer and dryer from a wheelchair,” Rusinko said.

Root of the matter

So, why are Syracuse residents Page 18

Battling MS: Recognizing Autoimmune Disease in CNY Central New York residents tackling autoimmune diseases share their stories By Lark Allen suffering from MS more than anyplace else in the country? There’s no specific reason, but there are a number of possible causes. Environmental factors can be the culprit for MS in certain cases. The Mayo Clinic says low levels of vitamin D can be one of the causes for MS. With Syracuse known for its cloudiness, this immediately comes to mind as one of the reasons the disease rate is high there. What’s more, MS rates are highest in clement regions like the U.S., Canada, and parts of Europe, among other locations, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is another possible reason Syracuse has such high rates. Those who move to an area with low rates of MS in their younger years, however, immediately have a lessened chance of developing the disease. “It’s a disease of the cold countries,” Abdul-Malak says. “If you leave the country of high prevalence before puberty, and you go to a country of low prevalence, you’d get the prevalence of the country you went to.” Some MS patients are questioning the study that named Syracuse the MS capital, however. Donna Denison, an MS patient and local advocate, isn’t buying the recent information. “I question the validity of that estimate of our percentage nationwide. I have no idea what they’re gathering the information for, but I think it’s definitely inaccurate,” Denison says. This isn’t an uncommon assumption. Annette Simiele, associate director for Multiple Sclerosis Resources of Central New York, Inc., isn’t

Mental, emotional drain

Sami Abdul-Malak, a Syracuse neurologist, describes autoimmune diseases as “trickery.” convinced by the study either. “There certainly is some validity to that, but I just caution that one person may have filed five or six claims — are they counting them five or six times? That’s what I don’t know,” Simiele says. Regardless of whether or not the study is 100% accurate, one thing is: Far more people are suffering from an autoimmune disease than you think. A whopping 50 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have some kind of autoimmune disease, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. Rusinko has since gained much of her mobility back, thanks to various treatments. Medications for autoimmune disease can range from steroids, immunosuppressants to

A recent BlueCross BlueShield study shows that Syracuse has the highest rate of MS in the country

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

chemotherapy. Having a “chronic” disease doesn’t mean the patient has to suffer for life. Autoimmune disease patients will often go into a symptom remission, where symptoms are minimal or non-existent. “It’s one of the disorders that we have the most weapons against. In general, medication decreases the rate of attacks by about 40 to 60 percent,” Abdul-Malak says. Some patients, like Denison, may never experience a symptom flare-up of MS at all. While she initially presented with symptoms that were visible enough to receive her diagnosis, they never returned with a vengeance. “I’m one of the fortunate ones who’s never had an attack,” Denison. Finding a doctor who understands what medications work — and which don’t — is key. Jenny Dickinson, a Syracuse RA patient, was diagnosed early this year. Her onslaught of symptoms surprised doctors; they weren’t used to a case that came on so quickly. Dickinson, who’s now doing much better with proper treatment, remembers seeing numerous specialists in the early stages of her diagnosis. Dickinson said being “bounced around” to myriad different specialists — including dermatologists and rheumatologists — is “an interesting journey.”

Emotional disturbances aren’t uncommon with autoimmune disease. Up to 50% of patients will suffer from depression, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Dickinson experienced the emotional effects of having a chronic illness. “I’ve always felt I’m a mentally and emotionally strong person, and this really knocked me off my game. It’s the human factor of your own mortality — you don’t have control over your own body, and your own body is fighting you,” Dickinson says. Often, those who have an autoimmune illness will feel unheard and misunderstood. Symptoms get swept aside or over-exaggerated by those who aren’t familiar with the illness. Likely due to the elusive nature of these diseases, they remain common knowledge to most, but the knowledge stops there. One of the main reasons these diseases are overlooked is possibly because autoimmune disease patients will often have a healthy appearance. CNY resident Deana Fellows, a lupus patient for over 30 years, is used to the response she gets when she tells someone she has lupus. “You’re either going to get one of three things. Either they never heard of it, or they’ve heard of it and they think your joints just hurt and you get a rash on your face, or somebody who knows exactly what you’re talking about,” Fellows said. “Just because I’m functioning doesn’t mean a thing.” Carolyn Vickery, who runs a local MS support group, feels similar to Fellows. “It’s something somebody else has. Unless it involves your family, you don’t learn about it,” Vickery says. Rusinko, whose symptoms are now under control, had to find a new normal since her diagnosis. “You have to figure out how

things are going to go for you, how you’re going to manage,” Rusinko says. A common complaint among autoimmune disease patients in the area is lack of medical resources. It’s not uncommon for patients to travel to larger cities for a more comprehensive medical team. Ruskino goes to doctors in Rochester, Fellows goes to New York City and Dickinson will be making the trip to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore next year. Thankfully, there are multiple MS support groups in Syracuse where patients can share their stories. Aside from Vickery, Denison and Rusinko also lead support groups in CNY and the surrounding area. As with any disease, autoimmune or not, emotional support is key. The shared experience of patients creates a sense of community, and it can lead to deep personal connections. Vickery’s goal as a patient and support group leader is to bring a sense of comfort to those suffering from MS. “If I can help one person get through the pain of the diagnosis, then I’ve done my job,” she said.

“ WHEN T HE Y T EL L YO U WO MEN FIGHT, T HE Y ’R E TAL KING PA S T, PR E SENT, AND F U T UR E .” When Alice was diagnosed with two different types of cancer, including breast cancer, she found support in many different places. Her St. Joseph’s Health care team was honest with her about her options and limitations. The community around her prepared and sustained her through her treatment and recovery. After her recovery, she turned her attention to the women just beginning their journey and has become a resource for other patients alongside the incredible doctors and

Be Alert to Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune disease is sneaky. If you’re noticing unexplained symptoms that come and go, don’t ignore them. Frequently, autoimmune illness will present itself in the form of rashes, unusual fatigue and muscle weakness along with a host of other signs. Below are classic signs of autoimmune disease to watch out for. — Extreme fatigue: Fatigue from certain autoimmune illnesses like MS, RA and lupus is not your typical “sleepy” feeling. It’s a debilitating symptom that hinders daily activities and is an indicator of the immune system working overtime. — Butterfly rash: Also called a malar rash, this blotchy, red rash that appears over the bridge of the nose and onto the cheeks is a sign of lupus. The texture of the skin is typically not affected, and the rash comes and goes. — Joint pain and swelling: RA and lupus both cause joint pain, arthritis, inflammation and tissue damage. Joint issues from lupus are typically not permanent. — Bodily weakness: Muscle weakness is common in autoimmune disease, but is most prevalent in MS. This is due to nerve damage. — Nerve pain: A common symptom of MS, nerve pain can be located in the eyes, sides of the face and throughout the body. Other unpleasant nerve discomfort like itching and stinging sensations are a prominent part of the disease. — Brain fog: Confusion, difficulty paying attention and memory issues are common with certain autoimmune disease, namely lupus. This “foggy” feeling is unpleasant and can become worse during a flare-up. — Sun sensitivity: Exposure to the sun is known to trigger lupus flare-ups. This can also impact the skin of a lupus patient, causing rashes on the skin.

nurses at St. Joseph’s Health. She and many women like her have come through our doors to begin their treatment, and we are honored and proud to fight alongside them all.

Alice W. St. Joseph’s Health patient

A H I GH ER L E V EL O F C A RE | visit womenshealthsjh.org

© 2020 St. Joseph’s Health. © 2020 Trinity Health. All rights reserved.



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Celebrating 12 years featuring the best in 55+ stories & news, Coupon on Page 28 January 2020 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19

Charlie and Therese Bishop on a tandem bike.

Move Along, Inc. Provides Hope to Challenged Nonprofit organization renews spirit of disabled By Mary Beth Roach


en-year-old Myles Favata was born with spina bifida and is in a wheelchair. His parents, Jamie and Diane, had been looking for an activity that their son, who Jamie describes as the biggest sports nut you’d ever meet, could take part in. They were also concerned for his overall health, since being wheelchair-bound forced him to be sedentary. Rick Szymanski was serving in Operation Desert Storm when he got shot in the pelvis. His injuries brought him back to the United States. After awaking from a coma that had lasted more than seven months, this avid outdoorsman figured his life was ruined. Charlie Bishop had loved to bicycle, according to his wife, Therese. But due to a stroke five years ago, he hadn’t been able to enjoy the sport. Then Move Along, Inc. came along and introduced Favata, Szymanski, Bishop and hundreds if not thousands of others with mobility issues to adaptive sports and equipment, giving them a new lease on life. Move Along, Inc. Executive Director Jeff Wright said they are seeing a greater range of disabilities while serving more cases of traumatic brain injury and autism. The local nonprofit provides recreational opportunities through a variety of programs, like such team sports as sled hockey and wheelchair basketball and tennis. It also offers chances for those with disabilities to enjoy kayaking and cycling. “It’s our mission to introduce people to sports,” according to Wright. People come out and give it a try, and it gets them excited again and encourages them to engage in life again, he said. Participation in the Move Along, Inc. sports programs “doesn’t change

Page 20

the reality of life, but it does change your perspective. It gets people active again,” Wright noted. And getting people active helps them both physically and emotionally. Myles and his father learned about sled hockey, and an Internet search led them to Move Along Inc.’s CNY Flyers Sled Hockey program in 2017. Jamie joked they haven’t been able to get Myles off the ice since, and he scored his first goal earlier this fall during a game at Buffalo. Jamie said the sport also feeds Myles’ competitive spirit. That the elder Favata, who is able-bodied, is allowed to play on the team makes it even more meaningful for both father and son. “One of the biggest things with me is I want to be involved,” the

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

father said. Myles likes the physicality of the sport. “I like hitting,” he said, spoken like a true 10-year-old. The sport consists of a sled frame with a bucket seat and foot or leg rest. Hockey skate blades are attached on the bottom, which are adjustable, and can be brought closer together to allow the player to make more precise turns. Short hockey sticks with metal picks on the ends are used to propel the skater forward, with the blade at the end used to hit the puck. Those who cannot push themselves are allowed pushers, individuals who stand behind the sled and push, and their sleds are fitted with a long metal handle in the back. The CNY Flyers play almost a dozen games a season, according to Susan Arnold, the sled hockey program coordinator and equipment manager. They participate in the Empire State Games, which has an adaptive sports category, and a tournament in Canton by the Fort Drum Wounded Warrior Project. The Flyers host a tournament in March on their home ice at the Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center. Arnold is not just the program coordinator; she’s also a “hockey mom.” Her son, Cody, has been participating for years. Born with a genetic condition in which his hips didn’t grow, Cody, along with his parents, were looking for some sport he could play, but nothing appealed to him. That is until he found sled hockey. When he got in the sled, “it was like it became part of him,” Arnold said.

Touching experience

He has found a sense of camaraderie among the team’s members. “I as a parent get the pleasure of watching the smile on my son’s face. He looks forward to this every Sunday during hockey season,” Arnold said. Another team member is Szymanski, who finds that it helps him get out of the house in the winter, and in the summer he takes part in Move Along Inc.’s adaptive kayaking program. “When I was wounded in the leg, I thought my life was over,” Szymanski said. “I was wrong.” With these programs, he said, he’s getting his life back in bits and pieces. Since learning of Move Along, Inc. through the Veteran’s Administration, he said it has helped him

restore his “sense of being.” The adaptive kayaking this past summer was held at several area waterways, including Cazenovia Lake, Baldwinsville Community Park, Onondaga Lake Park and Henley Park in Phoenix. Accessible docks make it easier for paddlers to enter and exit their kayaks. According to statistics from the VA, disabled veterans are three times less likely to end up back in a VA hospital for medical complications if they get out and get active. The ability to be part of a team is especially helpful to vets, who often miss the sense of camaraderie they had in the service, he added. The adaptive cycling program helped Bishop return to cycling. Every other Saturday throughout the summer near Griffin Field in Onondaga Lake Park, Move Along, Inc. featured several different types of adaptive bikes — tandem, hand cycles, recumbent, and a children’s model – for people to try out. For those who are interested in purchasing a cycle, the prices of which can range from $2,500 to $5,000, the opportunity to “test drive” the models before making a buy can better help them choose the bike that’s best for them. The Bishops had visited the program often, and eventually ordered a bike suitable for Charlie. But until it was delivered, the couple was coming to the park and taking the tandem bike out for a ride. Founded by Greg Callen, who is paralyzed from the waist down following a fall, Move Along, Inc. merged with the Syracuse Flyers wheelchair basketball team in 2009 and expanded its mission. Move Along Inc., part of the national Disabled Sports USA, has grown into a program that serves Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties. In addition to various sports opportunities, it also brings its inclusive sports programs to local schools and organizations as a means to promote the public’s awareness of adaptive sports available for those with mobility issues. They have visited more than 40 schools, playing wheelchair basketball with the students and sled hockey on modified sleds suitable for gym floors, and adaptive cycling. For more information on the program or to learn about the inclusive sports programs for a school or community group, visit movealonginc.org.

Home Care by Seniors for Seniors There’s a huge difference in the kind of home care you can receive from someone who really understands what your life is like as a senior. The concerns you have. The need for independence. Someone who, like you, has a little living under his or her belt. Our loving, caring, compassionate seniors are there to help. We offer all the services you need to stay in your own home, living independently.

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How to Manage a Loved One’s Social Media Afterlife Dear Savvy Senior, How do I go about changing or canceling a person’s social media accounts when they die? My sister passed away several months ago and her social media accounts are still active.

Inquiring Sister

Dear Inquiring, I’m sorry for your loss. This a question that’s become more frequent in recent years as most Americans have participated on some type of social media platform. Here’s a run-down of how you can change or cancel some different social media accounts after a loved one dies.

Facebook Let’s start with the biggest and most frequently used social media platform on the web today. When someone with a Facebook profile dies, there are two different things someone with authority over their account can do. You can either “memorialize” it or “delete” it. A memorialized account serves as a place where friends and family can share stories, photos or memories to celebrate the deceased person’s life, with the word “Remembering” shown next to the deceased person’s name. Once an account is memorialized, content the person shared is still visible on Facebook to the audience it was originally shared with, however, the user’s profile will not show up in public spaces such as people you may know, ads or birthday reminders. If you don’t wish to memorialize your sister’s profile, you can also have her account permanently deleted from Facebook. Facebook allows users (when they’re alive) to choose a “legacy contact,” which is a person chosen to look after their account once they’ve passed away, or users can request to have their account permanently deleted after they die. (To do either of these tasks, click on “Settings” on the top right of Facebook, then click on “General” on the left-side menu and then on “Manage Account.”) If your sister didn’t set up a legacy contact before she passed, you can submit a memorialization request at Facebook.com/help — type in “How do I report a deceased person on Facebook that needs to be memorialized?” in the search bar. You’ll be

asked to provide proof of death by providing a copy of either an obituary, death certificate or memorial card. Or, if you would rather have her account deleted, go to Facebook. com/help, and type in “How do I request the removal of a deceased family member’s Facebook account?” This also requires proof of death plus verification that you’re an immediate family member or executor of the account holder.

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Instagram Instagram’s policy on a deceased users’ account is similar to its parent company, Facebook. A deceased users’ account can either be memorialized or removed, which you can request at Help.Instagram. com/264154560391256. Like Facebook, to memorialize an Instagram account requires proof of death, but to remove an account you’ll also need to provide verification that you’re an immediate family member.

Twitter If your sister was a Twitter user, Twitter will work with anyone who is authorized to act on behalf of her estate, or with a verified immediate family member to have an account deactivated. To request the removal of your sister’s account, go to Help. Twitter.com/forms/privacy. After you submit your request, Twitter will email you with instructions for providing more details, including information about the deceased, a copy of your ID, and a copy of the deceased’s death certificate.

LinkedIn If your sister also had a LinkedIn profile, the only option is to delete her account. To request this, see LinkedIn.com/help/linkedin/ask/ ts-rdmlp. You’ll need to provide her name and URL to her LinkedIn profile; the relationship you have to her; her email address; date she passed away; link to an obituary; and company she most recently worked for.


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Dementia Safety During and After Winter Holidays The end-of-year holidays and the start of the new year are a busy time for many of us, and this can be a difficult time for adults with dementia. Environments change with decorations going up and then coming down, lots of new people come and then they are gone, schedules change (sometimes drastically) and then we need to readjust — creating opportunities for dementia patients to become even more confused or frustrated, and for accidentally missing medication or taking too much medication. If you have a loved one who is suffering from dementia, please make sure to take a few extra steps following the holidays to keep these changes as stress-free as possible and ensure that your loved one continues to receive the right medication. Consider using pre-packed pill boxes, using smartphone apps with medication reminders, or in-home machines that sort and dispense your loved one’s medications. Most importantly, though, make sure your loved one benefits from supervision. Even with pill boxes and alarms or reminders, a person with dementia might still miss a dose or accidentally take too much medication if he or she is trying to manage this on their own. If you find that providing care for your loved one becomes too difficult for you — or too risky for them — you may also want to consider the professional caregiving services available at Loretto’s memory care facilities. There are also caregiver support and education programs available through the Central New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, including many at Loretto’s facilities. Loretto is one of the largest providers of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in the region, offering the first residential program in Central New York created especially for affected individuals at its Heritage Community. For more information about Loretto’s services and facilities, visit www.lorettocny.org. And to explore the resources available from the Central New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, visit www.alz.org/centralnewyork. Submitted by Loretto

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Need to Change Your Name On Your Social Security Card?


f you’re changing your name, it’s important to let Social Security know so we can update the information we maintain, send you an updated Social Security card and ultimately ensure we pay you accurate benefits when you retire or if you become disabled. To change your name in our records, you must provide Social Security with documents proving your legal name change and identity. If you are a U.S. citizen, you also must provide our agency with documentation proving your U.S. citizenship.


Q: Can I refuse to give my Social Security number to a private business? A: Yes, you can refuse to disclose your Social Security number, and you should be careful about giving out your number. But, be aware, the person requesting your number can refuse services if you don’t give it. Businesses, banks, schools, private agencies, etc., are free to request someone’s number and use it for any purpose that doesn’t violate a federal or state law. To learn more about your Social Security number, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber. Q: I received a notice from Social Security recently. It said my name and Social Security number do not match Social Security’s records. What should I do? A: It’s critical that your name and Social Security number, as shown on your Social Security card, match your employer’s payroll records and your W-2 form. If they don’t, here is what you need to do: • Give your employer the correct information exactly as shown on your Social Security card or your corrected card; or • Contact your local Social Security office (www.socialsecurity.gov/ locator) or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) if your Social Security card does not show your correct name or Social Security number. For more information, visit www. socialsecurity.gov. Q: How do I report a lost Social Security card? A: You do not have to report a lost Social Security card. In fact, reporting a lost or stolen card to Social Security will not prevent misuse of your Social Security number. You should let us know if someone is using your number to work, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). If you think someone is using your Social Security number, there

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We can’t accept photocopies or notarized copies. To prove your legal name change, you must show one of the following documents: marriage document, divorce decree, certificate of naturalization showing a new name, court order for a name change. To prove your identity, you must show an unexpired document showing your name, identifying information, and photograph, such as one of the following: U.S. driver’s license, state-issued non-driver’s identification card or U.S. passport.

are several other actions you should take: • Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at www. ftc.gov/bcdp/edu/microsites/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877438-4338); • File an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov; • Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling 1-800908-4490, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and monitor your credit report. Q: I want to make sure I have enough credits to receive Social Security retirement benefits when I need them. How can I get a record of my Social Security earnings? A: The best way for you to check whether you have earned enough credits (40 total, equaling 10 years of work) is to open a free “my Social Security” account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to review your Social Security Statement any time you want. Once you create an account, you can: • Keep track of your earnings to make sure your benefit is calculated correctly. The amount of your payment is based on your lifetime earnings; • Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working; • Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S; • Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them; and • Manage your benefits: – Change your address; and – Start or change your direct deposit. Accessing “my Social Security” is quick, convenient, and secure, and you can do it from the comfort of your home. Q: How do I apply for disability bene-

If you don’t have one of those documents available, we may be able to accept your: employer identification card; school identification card; health insurance card or U.S. military identification card. To prove your U.S. citizenship, you must show one of the following documents: U.S. birth certificate, U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad, U.S. passport (unexpired), certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship To get started, fill out the form at www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5. pdf and carefully follow the instructions. In most cases, you can mail your signed application with your documents to any Social Security office. We will return any documents you mail to us. You can also locate your local field office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator to show your required documents in person. In the event you need to replace a lost Social Security card to get a job or obtain government services, but you don’t need to change your name, you can — in most states and the District of Columbia — request your replacement card replacement card online using your my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/ myaccount. For additional information about Social Security Numbers, visit www. socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

fits? How long does it take to get a decision after I apply for disability benefits? A: You can apply for disability benefits online at www.socialsecurity. gov/benefits/. To get a decision on your disability application usually takes three to five months. The time frame can vary depending on: • The nature of your disability; • How quickly we can get your medical evidence from your doctor or other medical source; • Whether it’s necessary to send you for a medical examination; and • Whether we review your application for quality purposes. Create or sign in to your personal my Social Security account at www. socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to check your claim status. Q: I was turned down for disability. Do I need a lawyer to appeal? A: You are fully entitled to hire an attorney if you wish to, but it is not necessary. In fact, you can file a Social Security appeal online without a lawyer. Our online appeal process is convenient and secure. Just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/ appeal or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to schedule an appointment to visit your local Social Security office to appeal. Q: I’ve read there is a five-month waiting period before my Social Security disability payments start. Are there any exceptions to this waiting period? Can I receive SSI during this waiting period? A: While there are no exceptions to the five-month waiting period, you may be able to receive SSI payments if you have met Social Security’s strict definition of disability and meet the income and resource requirements of the SSI program. For more information regarding income and resource requirements of the SSI program, visit www.socialsecurity. gov/ssi.

H ealth News Mickey Moore, NP, Joins Oneida Health Nurse practitioner Michele “Mickey” Moore has recently joined Oneida Health to provide gynecology care to patients in Oneida and Camden. Moore has more than 35 years of experience locally in providing exceptional care to womMoore en. During her career she has worked in an array of different clinical environments related to women’s health, which includes hospital, classroom and outpatient settings; providing her with a comprehensive approach to care. Moore is nationally certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). In addition to providing care clinically, she has also dedicated herself to educating women locally and regionally on numerous women’s health topics through seminars and presentations. In 2010, she received the Statue of Women Award from the local Zonta Club for her dedication to women’s health in Central New York. She will see patients at Oneida Health Women’s Care, 139 Fields Drive, Oneida, and in Camden, 9562 NY-13, located next to Tops.

Upstate adds two urologists to its team Upstate Medical University recently announced the addition of two urologists who are joining its department of urology. • Urologist Tom Sanford will see patients at the Upstate University Hospital’s Downton Campus and focus on urologic oncology as well as robotic surgery for prostate, kidney and bladder. He will also see patients at the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Sanford Medical Center. In addition to his clinical and research work, Sanford will serve as assistant professor. Sanford earned his medical degree from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. He completed a general surgery internship followed by a residency in urology and at the University of California, San Francisco. Sanford comes to Upstate from the National Cancer Institute, where he served as fellow in the urologic oncology branch since 2016. Sanford’s research, which has been published in numerous journals, has addressed various topics, especially cancers of the bladder, kidney, pheochromocytoma. Sanford’s current research focus is on artificial intelligence in medical imaging.

• Urologist Scott Wiener comes to Upstate from the University of California, San Francisco, where he has served as a fellow in endourology since 2017. He will serve as director of the Upstate endourology program at the community campus. A Wiener fellowship-trained endourologist, Wiener brings extensive experience in surgical and medical management of kidney stones. He also specializes in the management of enlarged prostate and urination difficulties in men. Wiener earned his medical degree from Dartmouth College, and completed an internship in surgery and a residency in urology at the University of Connecticut. Wiener’s expertise in kidney stone management is seen in his research and studies on the subject, which have been published in numerous journals. In addition to his clinical and research work, Wiener will serve as assistant professor.

Dr. Carguello Honored by State Association Physician Patrick Carguello, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Pulaski-based ConnextCare, recently received The Paul Ramos Award by the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) at its annual conference in Tarrytown The Paul Ramos Award is presented in memory of the founder of the Betances Health Center on the Lower East Side of New York City who dedicated his life’s work to healthcare and social improvement. “Dr. Carguello is well-deserving of this award and has disCarguello tinguished himself among all the chief medical officers among the approximately 70 federally qualified health centers like ConnextCare across New York state,” said ConnextCare’s President and CEO Daniel Dey. “His leadership has been instrumental to the tremendous expansion of ConnextCare since his hire in 2003, and his influence in promoting quality healthcare for the region has led to national recognition among a variety of agencies. He has been pivotal to the considerable increase in access to primary and preventive health care services in the Oswego, South Jefferson and Northern Onondaga counties and in the documented increase in health outcomes among residents.

Crouse First in CNY to Use Applied Artificial Intelligence to Stroke Care Hospital has partnered with Viz.ai to bring the first FDA-cleared computer-aided triage system to Upstate New York


s a state and nationally recognized leader in stroke care, Crouse Health has partnered with Viz.ai to bring the first FDA-cleared computer-aided triage system to Upstate New York. Viz.ai is an international firm dedicated to using applied artificial intelligence software in healthcare to reduce time to treatment and improve patient outcomes. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, as well as a major cause of permanent disability. The key to effective diagnosis and treatment is reducing the length of time between onset of symptoms and medical intervention. “Crouse Neurosciences continues its commitment to bring the latest and most advanced innovations to our region to benefit patients suffering an acute stroke,” said physician Seth Kronenberg, Crouse’s chief operating officer and chief medical officer. “We are proud to bring transformational technologies, such as Viz.ai, to Central New York.” Crouse is now one of 400 hospitals using the Viz.ai product nationwide and one of just four in New York state using the sophisticated applied artificial intelligence-based technology to help facilitate early access to the most advanced stroke care. The others using the Viz.ai product in the state are Kaleida Health in Buffalo; Mount Sinai Health System and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, both in New York City; and South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside. Crouse Health recently earned the distinction of being the first hospital in the region to receive dual certification as a comprehensive stroke center, reflecting the highest level of regional expertise for the treatment of serious stroke events. The certifications, from DNV Healthcare and the New York State Department of Health, affirm Crouse’s consistent record of pro-

January 2020 •

viding rapid, life-saving treatment for the most complex stroke cases. “Viz.ai’s applied artificial intelligence solutions are being developed by the world’s top stroke clinicians and technical experts,” said physician David Padalino, medical director for neurovascular surgery. “Their solutions have the potential to truly transform the way that we deliver stroke care to our community which we believe will result in improved outcomes for our patients.” When a patient is transported to the Crouse emergency room with a suspected stroke, CT scans are immediately taken to aid in an accurate diagnosis. The cloud-based Viz.ai software analyzes the images automatically to detect a large vessel occlusion (LVO) stroke and then securely transmits those images to the entire Crouse stroke team in real time. “In most hospitals, the CT scan process typically takes 30 to 60 minutes,” according to Crouse Neuroscience Institute Clinical Director Jameson Crumb. “This software cuts that timeframe in half, allowing us to move that patient toward the best individualized treatment plan much quicker and in a more synchronized fashion.” Public health campaigns have been communicating for years that “time is brain.” When a stroke occurs, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a portion of the brain is blocked. The average patient loses nearly two million brain cells for each minute a stroke is untreated. According to Padalino, this deterioration is what contributes to disability or death. However, if the stroke is identified early, there are several medical treatments and interventions that are available to help slow or even halt this process and allow the stressed brain to recover. Better outcomes have been shown to correlate with how quickly these treatments can be initiated, and every minute counts.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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H ealth News FYZICAL Therapy expands services in Oswego When Adirondack Physical Therapy rebranded as FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Center of Oswego last spring, the alignment with the national collaborative allowed the Oswego-based physical and occupational therapy group to expand its specialized rehabilitation services. Located at the original Adirondack Therapy offices at 127 E. First St. in Oswego, FYZICAL Oswego provides individualized, evidencebased treatments of hand therapy, sports, all orthopedics, vision and concussion rehabilitation. The practice has also introduced new specialized balance and vestibular services, as well as a safety overhead support system (SOS), for improving the safety of their patients while they exercise. “Our location and team are the same, but the change from Adirondack Therapy to FYZICAL has allowed us to better serve our patients through expanded niche services,” said FYZICAL Oswego co-owner Michele King. “In addition to the SOS, we have added equipment for testing specific vestibular issues, and a class 4 laser for pain management, all of which are unique to FYZICAL.” According to King, the physical and occupational therapists that are part of the FYZICAL team have been providing outpatient therapy to patients in the Oswego community since 2006, and have always placed an emphasis on whole-body wellness. “Our approach has always been to continually respond to advances in research, technology, science and health care,” said King. “We place a high standard on the level of care that we provide, and our team of therapists have advanced clinical education and training, specialty certifications and years of wellness experience. We have a combined 75 years of experience, three of our therapists are FYZICAL Balance level 2 certified, and one of our therapists is completing the OCS, Orthopedic Certified Specialist. We have a hand specialist, that treats pre and post-surgical upper extremity conditions, including fabricating custom splints and orthotics. “A core requirement of all of our therapists is a caring and helpful personality,” King added. “That’s truly the highest standard.”

Furtney named chief strategy officer at Upstate Susan Furtney has been appointed chief strategy officer for Upstate University Hospital after serving as interim CSO since May. The appointment, effective Dec. 1, was made by physician Robert Corona, chief executive officer of Upstate University Hospital. In this position, Furtney, will oversee the University Hospital strategic planning activities and corporate/business development initiatives working closely with senior leadership from the hospital, colleges and faculty practice to determine Page 24

strategic objectives as well as develop an adaptive strategic action plan. Furtney is a public health pro fessional with more the two decades of business development, strategic planning, consulting, analytics and operations management experience in for-profit and Furtney nonprofit health care and community-based organizations based in New York, North Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky. She most recently held the position of Upstate’s associate administrator for ambulatory services. She holds a master’s degree in public health from Emory University and a bachelor’s of science degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the department of public health and preventive medicine at Upstate Medical University. She serves as president of the Samaritan Center board of directors, and is a member of the Central New York Community Foundation Grants and Community Initiatives Committee as well as a member of the Early Childhood Alliance of Onondaga County.

New doctors have joined St. Joseph’s Family Medicine, one in Cicero and the other in Radisson. They joins a diverse team of highly qualified family physicians at St. Joseph’s Health, providing comprehensive health care to the community. • Physician Alison Stringham Nemeti joined the practice in Cicero. Nemeti earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and Bachelor of Science in biology from Elmira College in Elmira. She completed her medical training with a Stringham residency in family medicine at St. Joseph’s Health Family Medicine in Syracuse.   A board-certified physician by the American Board of Family Medicine, Stringham Nemeti is an active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. • Physician Maryanne Arienmughare joined the practice at Radisson Health Center in Baldwinsville. Arienmughare is a board-certified physician with expertise in

family medicine and obstetrics. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Her residency was at Fairview Hospital in Cleveland and she completed her medical training with a fellowship focusing on obstetrics at the University of Alabama, where she also earned C-section privileges. Prior to joining St. Joseph’s Health, Arienmughare Arienmughare was an obstetrician and a general physician in family medicine at Atascosa Health Center in Pleasanton, Texas. Arienmughare is a certified member of the American Academy of Family Physicians since 2006. She holds certificates in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), basic life support (BLS), neonatal resuscitation program (NRP) and advanced life support obstetrics (ALSO).  Arienmughare is fluent in English and French.

Loretto has new director for facilities, housing and safety Loretto has hired Daniel Cooter as the new director of facilities, hous ing and safety at The Nottingham. Cooter has held numerous project and operations management positions over the past 20 years and served as intelligence analyst as a Cooter sergeant in the United States Army. Cooter is a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, studied mechanical engineering at SUNY Morrisville and mechanical technology at Onondaga Community College. Additionally, he has completed numerous leadership coaching programs including Ahern, Murphy & Associates, Emergent, Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Sandler Training and others.  Cooter is active with the Tully Youth Lacrosse Association, various veteran service organizations and sits on the board of commissioners for the Tully Joint Fire District.

Doctors join St. Joseph’s Health in Cicero, Radisson

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

Crouse Health leadership, elected officials and members of the Camillus Chamber of Commerce during the opening of Crouse Medical Practice in Camillus.

Crouse Medical Practice Opens New Office in Camillus


he physicians, providers and staff of Crouse Medical Practice (CMP) recently celebrated the opening of their new Camillus location at 5417 West Genesee St. They were joined by Crouse Health leadership, elected officials and members of the Camillus Chamber of Commerce. Tours of the new facility were given by Erin Foley, senior director of operations; Chris May, practice administrator; and Carol Storrie, clinical manager. Physician Carl Butch, president and medical director of CMP, welcomed guests and thanked all involved in making the Camillus office a reality. Camillus natives and residents Stephen Senenko, a physician’s assistant, and physician Todd Lentz will be practicing in the new location, along with physi-

cians Martin Noonan, Albert Tripodi and Douglas Zmolek. The office opened to patients on Sept. 16; hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information and appointments, call 315-476-2323. Crouse Medical Practice was established in 2010 by Crouse Health to further align the organization with its physicians and an integrated healthcare delivery network. In a variety of convenient locations, the practice offers an extensive array of services, including primary care, cardiology, endocrinology, pulmonology, sleep medicine, diabetic education, neurology, neurosurgery, stroke care, neurovascular and endovascular neurosurgery, brain tumor surgery, laboratory services, and radiology services.

H ealth News at Springside at Seneca Hill on December 11, 2019:

Staff of Oswego Health during a a presentation of Engagement Champion Awards.

Oswego Health Presents Engagement Champion Awards


ith over 1,200 employees throughout Oswego County, Oswego Health understands the importance of culture within an organization and how that relates to employee morale and retention. On a quarterly basis, Oswego Health recognizes employees that exemplify what it means to be engaged across the organization. This past quarter a total

of 12 employees received an Engagement Champion Award. The Oswego Health engagement committee, made up of directors and managers from various areas throughout the organization, created specific criteria for the award and open nominations for employees that display the values of Oswego Health: teamwork, ownership, communication, quality, compassion,

and respect. In addition, the nominee must go above and beyond to participate and attend events, demonstrate a positive attitude, rise above challenging situations, collaborates well across different departments, embraces the culture, takes pride in the organization and promotes Oswego Health in the community. The following employees who were recognized at a private ceremony

Oneida Health Hospital staff (from left) are Jessica Bryerton, patient experience coordinator; Jane Berry, quality assistant; physician Matthew McKay, president of the medical staff, hospitalists; Jessica Yoxall, director of patient safety and quality; Kaylyn Kimball, quality coordinator; and Suzanne Rohlin, infection prevention employee health nurse.

Oneida Health Joins HANYS Commitment to Excellence Initiative


neida Health has joined the Healthcare Association of New York State’s (HANYS) Commitment to Excellence Initiative which is designed to showcase an organization’s ongoing commitment to quality and patient safety. By joining HANYS Commit-

ment to Excellence Initiative, Oneida Health is reinforcing its dedication to achieving and maintaining quality and safe care to the patients they serve. As part of the initiative, Oneida Health will be responsible for an annual quality improvement pro-

gram which requires board of trustee and senior leadership oversight on a number of objectives related to care. These initiatives include actively using evidence-based best practices for quality and safety, routinely analyzing data and outcomes to inform performance and participation in January 2020 •

Kathy Batchelor, snack bar hostess, (managers: Barbara Bjerklie, Amy Dittly); Jennifer Bonning, clinical quality management coordinator, (manager: Katie Pagliaroli); Jennifer Copperwheat, senior echocardiographer, medical imaging, (managers: Dave Ruel, Megan McManus); Jessica Graves, receptionist, Seneca Hill Manor, (manager: Sandy Beckwith); Michele Hourigan, director of business and community development, foundation, (manager: Margaret Barclay); Steven Leaf, licensed practical nurse, Seneca Hill Manor, (manager: Esther Field); Jill Lee, patient access representative, registration, Central Square, (managers: Sandy Nettles, Julie Struallo); Alissa Miceli, med surg administrative staffing and scheduling assistant, (manager: Cheryl Stilwell); Monita Raponi, patient access supervisor, (managers: Sandy Nettles, Julie Struallo); Amber Shumway, registered nurse RN II, Fulton Urgent Care, (manager: Kelly Montagna); Kimberly Spurling, women’s services director, (manager: Melissa Purtell); Edward Wallace, desktop engineer I, IS&T, (manager: Jeremy Lambert).

HANYS’s educational programs for quality and safety, and to use program insight to further improve overall quality and safety performance. This initiative is yet another step in Oneida Health’s ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality of care. Over the past few years, Oneida Health has consistently been recognized by national entities for its performance in patient quality and safety. In 2019, the hospital was recognized by Healthgrades as being among the Top 2% in the country for patient safety and experience. This is in addition to the extended care facility receiving 5-star recognition from CMS for its quality of care as well as CMS’s recognition of Oneida Health’s hospital based clinics for commitment to high quality, high value care, and improving the patient experience. “Our medical staff and our organizational staff are engaged in our commitments to patient-centered care and to teamwork which in the end has allowed us to achieve these exceptional results,” said Gene Morreale, President and CEO of Oneida Health. “I have a commitment from all in our organization to continue to build on these accomplishments ensuring that our patient outcomes for safety and quality as well as our patient experience are the best that can be delivered. We take great pride in the state-of-the-art technology we are able to offer those who come to us for care as well as the excellent outcomes that we have been able to deliver to date.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Careers in Healthcare

Career: Dental Laboratory Technician Field is growing ‘much faster than average, compared with all other careers,’ according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ith an annual mean wage of $45,520 statewide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and no education requirements, the dental lab tech career offers generous remuneration. Few other positions related to healthcare pay so well with so few education requirements. Lab techs may make and repair orthodontic devices or dental prosthesis like dentures and bridges or crowns. These devices are all custom equipment specially made according to the patient’s forms and the specifications from the doctor. Dental lab techs don’t interact with patients; however, their relationships with doctors require a level of customer service and interpersonal skills. Dental lab techs must pay careful attention to detail and understand why these details will play a large role in the patient’s satisfaction with their experience with their dental professional. “You have to know what you’re doing, pay attention to detail and have good fine motor skills,” said Joe Sofinski, co-owner and dental lab technician at AFX Dental Lab in Syracuse. The firm makes bridges and dental devices, but not orthodontic equipment. “It comes down to functionality and how it works for the patent. Everything you do is for the patient. What the doctor gives you is what you have to work with.” Many in the industry like to think of dental lab work as a blend

of artistry and technical skills. Dental and orthodontic devices must function, but should also look good so patients are pleased with the results. Such fine, detailed work requires specific skills. “The most important thing is they have to have above average manual dexterity,” said dentist Emile Rossouw, chairman and program director of Eastman Institute for Oral Health’s Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics Department in Rochester. “They have to have good hands. They also have to have an appreciation for art. If they have some art genes or talent, that would be fantastic.” Of course, additional schooling would only help a dental tech to advance in the career; however, many employers provide on-the-job training. A few community colleges in the region offer two-year courses, including Erie Community College in Buffalo and Monroe Community College in Rochester. With this kind of experience and education, people may work at orthodontic labs, dental labs, doctor’s offices and larger dental and orthodontic offices. Sofinski, the co-owner of AFX Dental Lab in Syracuse, began working under a senior technician right out of high school in 1987. Later, he completed a training course at a school that’s no longer operating, but only to meet an employer’s requirement. “It definitely helps to know the terminology and know what you’re looking at before you touch it,” Sof-

Dental lab techs may make and repair orthodontic devices or dental prosthesis like dentures and bridges or crowns. Mean wage for the profession is $45,520 statewide. It doesn’t require extensive schooling. inksi said. From there, he continued to work for laboratories. By 2005, he started his own company, AFX. “I like being able to make something artistic that matches existing dental function,” Sofinski said. “It makes the patient happy.” While dealing with some doctors can be challenging from time to time, Sofinski continues to foster good relationships with doctors that helps the work go more smoothly. In the past five years, the use of CAD technology has affected the industry. Many designs he receives

are digital; however physical impressions are still in use. While 3-D printers can create some dental devices like tray aligners, they don’t take the place of dental lab techs. The printers also require skilled technicians to operate them, so their presence in the industry doesn’t mean fewer jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an increase in the demand for dental lab techs to increase by 11% between 2018 and 2028, rated as “much faster than average, compared with all other careers.

What Is Your Cat Trying to Tell You? ‘Cat Whisperers’ Know O

nly a few people seem able to decipher what most people consider unreadable expressions on cats’ faces, researchers find. These “cat whisperers” can discern subtle differences on feline faces that reveal their mood. Women and people in the veterinary field, but not necessarily cat lovers, are most likely to have this ability. “The ability to read animals’ facial expressions is critical to welfare assessment. Our finding that some people are outstanding at reading these subtle clues suggests it’s a skill more people can be trained to do,” study co-leader Lee Niel, a professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, said in a university news release. Before this study, the only rePage 26

search on reading cats’ faces focused on expressions of pain, according to Niel and study co-leader Georgia Mason, a behavioral biologist. “This study is the first to look at the assessment of a wider range of negative emotional states in animals, including fear and frustration, as well as positive emotional states,” Mason said. Both researchers are part of the university’s Campbell Center for the Study of Animal Welfare. Their study included more than 6,300 people from 85 countries who were asked to watch 20 short online videos of cats and judge whether each cat was in a good or a bad mood. The participants’ average score was 12 out of 20 — slightly higher

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2020

than chance. But 13% scored 15 or better and were dubbed “the cat whisperers.” These people were more likely to be women than men, and more likely to be veterinarians or vet technicians. Younger adults tended to outscore older adults, according to the study published in the November issue of the journal Animal Welfare. According to Mason, “The fact that women generally scored better than men is consistent with previous research that has shown that women appear to be better at decoding non-verbal displays of emotion, both in humans and dogs.” A surprising finding was that being a cat lover didn’t improve the chances of being able to read cats’


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✓ Guide for a stress-free holiday season ✓ Dodging dietary dangers ✓ Healthful holiday gifts

Does it Run in the Family? How to create a family health portrait. P. 27

Turning the Tide Against HIV/AIDS


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A Higher Purpose

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It is packed with good-quality protein and it sizzles with impressive amounts of selenium, several B vitamins, zinc and iron. Page 15

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This Thanksgiving: A good time to be grateful for our furry friends. See “Live Alone & Thrive” column on page 8

■ Related: Dog ownership associated with longer life Page 27 Physician Cristian Andrade started at St. Joe’s as a resident in 2003. He was recently named VP for medical affairs at the hospital.


Food for a Healthy Brain What types of food may benefit our brain the most? See page 16

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Research also shows widowed have the highest death rate of all the categories Page 19

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Parsnip, Anyone? Pity the poor parsnip. Often overlooked in favor of its more attractive cousin, the carrot, it begs for us to wake up to its distinct taste, versatility and rich nutritional profile. Page 17

5 Things You Should Know About Hypnosis National board-certified clinical hypnotherapist in Syracuse talks about how people can benefit from hypnosis, hypnotherapy. Page 14

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