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in good Meet Your Doctor Physician Mary Abdulky is president of Onondaga County Medical Society. She talks about the creation of a program to help avoid physician’s burnout, drug abuse in Syracuse and why we need more primary care physicians

August 2017 •  Issue 212

The American Red Cross needs your blood, and it needs it now. The group has issued an emergency call for donations. Over the past two months, there have been about 61,000 fewer donations than what is needed, the organization said.

By 18, more than half of adolescents were still virgins, new CDC survey reveals


CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper


Not ‘Doing It’

Things You Should Know About Healthy Aging


Help Andrew Get His Therapy Dog The family of Andrew Indelicato-Dyer, a seriously disabled 10-year-boy from Baldwinsville, is trying to raise money to buy him a therapy dog. See story inside.

Helpful Summer Reads for Those Who Live Alone

Bye-Bye Flu Shot. Hello Patch?

Early results look promising for dissolvable microneedle vaccine

Stressed-Out Kids How to help kids cope with stress as they go back to school

Stay Healthy

Experts discuss steps parents can take to make sure their kids are healthy for school


Home Blood Pressure Monitors They are wrong seven of 10 times, according to a new study

Most U.S. Teens Aren’t ‘Doing It’ By 18, more than half of adolescents were still virgins, new CDC survey reveals


urologyIGH.10.25x6.75.qxp_Layout 1 8/19/16

ex is everywhere in the media, and so you may be convinced that today’s teens are always looking to “hookup.” But new federal research says it’s just not so. Instead, the study found that most teenagers in high school aren’t sexually active. “The myth is that every kid in high school is having sex, and it’s not true,” noted physician Cora Breuner, a professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital, who reviewed the findings. “It’s less than half, and it’s been less than half for more than 10 years,” she said. The study found that only 42 percent of girls and 44 percent of boys aged 15 to 19 reported having sex at least once. And Breuner said that finding is nothing new. Going back to 2002, fewer than half of older teens told researchers that they are sexually active, federal data show. Further, most teens who choose to go all the way wind up losing their virginity to someone they’re 1:12dating, PM Pagethe 1 survey shows.

Three out of four girls said they were “going steady” with their first sexual partner, and a little more than half of boys said the same. By comparison, only 2 percent of girls and 7 percent of boys said they lost their virginity to someone they just met. “There’s this myth that kids hook up quite a bit and have sex with someone they literally just met,” Breuner said. “This dispels that myth, that our teenagers are having sex with people they don’t know.” The statistics come from in-person interviews conducted with more than 4,000 teenagers across the United States between 2011 and 2015. The survey was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breuner believes that HIV is the main reason teens think twice before having sex these days. Back in 1988, 51 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys between 15 and 19 said they were sexually active, but those numbers dropped to today’s levels after word spread of a sexually transmitted disease that could kill, Breuner said. Teens also appear to be more aware of the lifelong consequences of pregnancy, said lead researcher Joyce Abma, a statistician with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. About 89 percent of teen girls and 80 percent of teen boys said they

would be upset if sex led to pregnancy, the survey found. Comparatively, only 11 percent of girls and 20 percent of boys said they would be pleased if that happened. Sexually active teens are more apt to use protection these days. Nine out of 10 teenagers reported using some method of birth control the last time they had sex, compared with 83 percent of teens back in 2002. “That’s a pretty significant increase, and that hasn’t leveled off like we saw with sexual experience,” Abma said. Condoms are the most commonly used method of contraception among teens, with 56 percent of teenage girls saying they used one during their last sexual encounter. About 31 percent of girls are on the pill, and about 13 percent said they use some other form of hormone-based contraception. About 22 percent used both a condom and hormonal contraception when they last had sex. Contraception is probably more widely used because teens have better access, Breuner said. In many areas, kids can obtain contraception without having to involve their parents. The new study was published June 22 in the CDC’s National Health Statistics Report.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

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Aetna Medicare is a PDP, HMO, PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Our SNPs also have contracts with State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in our plans depends on contract renewal. See Evidence of Coverage for a complete description of plan benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability may vary by service area. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. Members who get “Extra Help” are not required to fill prescriptions at preferred network pharmacies in order to get Low Income Subsidy (LIS) copays. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. The Part B premium is covered for fulldual members. Our dual-eligible Special Needs Plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the state and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details. Other pharmacies, physicians and/or providers are available in our network. The formulary, pharmacy network, and/or provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Aetna complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATTENTION: If you speak a language other than English, free language assistance services are available. Visit our website at or call the phone number listed in this material. ESPAÑOL (SPANISH): ATENCIÓN: Si usted habla español, se encuentran disponibles servicios gratuitos de asistencia de idiomas. Visite nuestro sitio web en o llame al número de teléfono que se indica en este material. 繁體中文 (CHINESE): 請注意:如果您說中文,您可以獲得免費的語言協助服務。請造訪我們的網站 或致電本材料中所列的電話號碼。 Y0001_4002_9196_FINAL_1 Accepted 01/2017

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 3



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Page 4

Aug. 12

LaFayette concert to benefit food pantry

5K Run For Your Health in Oswego

The Columbian Presbyterian Church will host the LaFayette Community Band’s performance at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 1. The concert will benefit LaFayette Outreach, an organization that provides a wide variety of social services to the LaFayette community and school district, the Onondaga Nation and the southern part of Onondaga County. The church, where the concert will take place, is located on the corner of routes 11 and 20 in LaFayette. In addition to live music, the event will offer free refreshments. Suggested donation: $2; For directions or any additional questions, send an email, call 315-6773293 or visit

• Vocational Services

620 Erie Blvd. West, Suite 302  315.472.7363

Aug. 1

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

Aug. 1, Sept. 13, Oct. 2

Medicare questions? Free seminar to help seniors Cayuga County Office for the Aging is sponsoring complimentary monthly classes to help seniors make sense of Medicare. Here participants will learn how to determine whether the plan they are considering will give them peace of mind or potential headaches. They’ll learn about how Part D drug plans work and whether EPIC co-pay assistance is an option. If their income is limited, officials at the office for the aging will provide information about programs to help pay for insurance coverage, as well as a listing of the free and low cost preventive care under Medicare. All classes will be held in the basement training room of the Cayuga County Office Building. Classes are scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1; from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13; and from 2 to 4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 2. Registration is required and all classes are open for enrollment now. For more information or to register, call the Cayuga County Office for the Aging at 315-253-1226, or visit under the News & Activities section.​

The Oswego Health’s second annual Run For Your Health 5K walk/ run will start 8: 30 a.m., Aug. 12, at its Seneca Hill campus in Oswego. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is the presenting sponsor of the event. The 5K run/walk will start and end at The Manor, 20 Manor Drive in Oswego winding its way through Oswego Health’s Seneca Hill campus including Springside, Oswego Health’s premier retirement living community. There will also be a onemile fun run for kids, aged 4 to 12 that will be held at 8 a.m. Awards will be presented to the top three overall male and female 5K finishers and the top male and female 5K finishers by age group. Timing is provided by Auyer Race Timing. There is a $30 registration fee. To complete the registration process, please visit foundation/run-for-your-health-5k/

Aug. 13

Addiction group plans walk event in Oswego The Addiction Awareness Group, started in 2016 by parents Cori Welch and Amy Pelow, is planning its second Addiction Awareness Walk for Aug.13 in Oswego. The event is free and open to the community to spread awareness about the growing problem of addiction. The walk will start and end at the Oswego Elks Lodge, 132 W. Fifth St., Oswego, with pre-registration now open. The day of the event, registration and sign-in will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the walk will start at 11a.m. Entertainment, raffles, vendors and education and support services will be available for those with an addiction and their family and friends. If you would like to sponsor, pre-register to walk, donate raffle items, order a T-shirt or volunteer to help, call 532-8518 or email The group meets on the second Tuesday at Farnham Family Services at 283 W. Second St. in Oswego. The August meeting, on the Aug. 8, will include time to create a sign/poster to carry during the walk.

Senior Nutrition Program Needs Volunteers The Cayuga County Office for the Aging senior nutrition program is seeking volunteers in the rural areas to deliver a hot noon meal to homebound seniors in northern and southern Cayuga County. Volunteers are needed as drivers, delivery partners and substitutes. Delivery times require about

two hours during the morning. Mileage reimbursement is available. If you are interested in helping the seniors in the Cayuga County community and have a few hours to spare, call Marissa at the senior nutrition office at 315-253-1427, or email for more information.

Welcomes the following providers

R. Matthew Cambareri, MD 4820 W. Taft Road—Suite 108 Liverpool, NY 13088 315-413-0004

han, D.O.

d Lane NY 13215 7020

Vijaya Seepana, MD 308 West Seneca Street Manlius, NY 13104 315-682-5080

Matthew Procopio, MD 436 Hinsdale Road Camillus, NY 13031 315-488-0996

Mary Geiss, D

Joy Commisso, M.D.

Ashley Barnard, PA 1259 Fisher Avenue Cortland, NY 13045 607-756-4600

5566 Jordan R Sean Bresnahan, DO Elbridge, NY 13 182 Intrepid Lane Syracuse, NY 13215 315-218-7020315.689.183

8393 Elta Drive Mary Geiss, DO Cicero, NY 13039 5566 Jordan Road Elbridge, NY 13060 315.698.0290 315-689-1833

Accepting New Patients Visit our website at Joy Commisso, MD, MPH 8393 Elta Drive Cicero, NY 13039 315-698-0290

Jacqueline DePaulis-Fiumano, NP 182 Intrepid Lane Syracuse, NY 13215 315-218-7020

August 2017 •

Sue Stucker, NP 9677 Brewerton Road Brewerton, NY 13029 315-668-3908

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Inlet, NY

“Sunsets by the Lake” Concerts Saturday Evenings @ Arrowhead Lakefront Sunday, August 20, 2017

Gary Rudd Memorial Golf Tournament Benefits the Inlet Volunteer Emergency Services, Inc.

September 16 & 17, 2017

Inlet Fall Festival

Over 50 vendors will offer a multitude of products in Fern Park. There will be children's activities, raffles, live music, jugglers, and food.

Farnham Family Services is a private, NYS licensed, not-for-profit organization that helps people with substance use and behavioral health disorders by providing high quality, recovery oriented and strengths based outpatient treatment and prevention services that are available to all residents of Oswego and surrounding counties.


Opiate Treatment Program Coming in Fall 2017


Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Mary Abdulky, M.D.

President of Onondaga County Medical Society talks about the creation of a program to help avoid physician’s burnout, drug abuse in Syracuse and why we need more primary care physicians Q: How does the Onondaga Medical Society advocate for doctors? A: We work together with legislation experts and meet with politicians local, state and federal government and discuss issues throughout the year.

Q: How did you become interested in heading the group? A: My kids are in college, so I have more free time now. I thought it would be a good time to give back to the community. One of my friends introduced me to the group and then I worked my way up to being the president. Q: What kind of impact would you like to have? A: Well, it’s only one year, so it’s too short, but I have some ideas. We started putting together a program to help with physician burnout. It’s becoming a problem lately among physicians. We’re also trying to put together a program on the prevention of chronic diseases.

Farnham Family Services 282 W, 2nd St Suite 200 Oswego, NY 13126 Tel: 315-342-4489 Farnham Family Services Schuyler Commons 113 Schuyler st, Suite 1 Fulton, NY 13069 Tel: 315-593-0796


@ Page 6

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

If we have time, I’d like to put together a nucleus for a drug treatment program that the president who takes over next year can build upon. Q: How big a problem has serious drug abuse become in the county? A: Oh yeah, this is a big problem, especially in the Syracuse area. We’re working with the public health commissioner on that and we’re hoping we can do something about it next year. We’re trying to do both physician and public education for now. We’ve been promoting a survey the public health commissioner put together for physicians to get some ideas about how we can approach this. We’re still working on that. Q: How does your organization respond to all of the uncertainty caused by rapidly changing health care laws? A: We are trying to get physicians voices to the politicians. We’re hoping that the result of “repeal and replace” will help both patients and physicians, but hopefully we’ll see the final results soon so we know what we’re dealing with. Q: Given the number of foreign-born physicians in Onondaga County and Central New York, does the Onondaga County Medical Society have a stance on political issues like travel bans? A: When we met with officials at the legislative breakfast in February, we were against the initial travel ban because it affected a number of physicians and residents in the Syracuse area, but the revised travel ban isn’t

going to affect people working in the United States. Q: Do you think Onondaga County is ready to deal with the challenges related to its aging population at this point? A: It’s a problem, really. We need more primary care doctors. That’s a problem all over the United States, not just our county, but we need a lot more. So, we’re advocating for that. We need more slots created for residency programs in primary care. The problem isn’t just baby boomers, but regulations and physicians choosing to join hospitals, which cuts down on available outpatient care. Q: How do you attract physicians to the area? What is the appeal for someone coming from a bigger city, another state or from another country? A: It’s a little tough because usually people who come to Syracuse or stay here have some family connection to here. Not that many choose to relocate here from out of state, and that’s our problem here. We might be able to offer better contracts and get some of their medical school loans paid if they work in underserved areas. It would also help if we could recruit more local students; they’re the ones most likely to stay in Syracuse. Our school accepts a lot of outof-state students whereas some states take mainly local students. We’re very competitive here. But local applicants would probably stay. Q: What would a program to get local students into medical school look like? A: It’s the school’s decision, of course, but they could choose who they take. Locally, as an organization, our members have provided funding through the Upstate Alumni Foundation for scholarships to help cover some costs for two local Onondaga County high school students to attend the Upstate University Medical School. Also, the medical society’s Alliance organization provides modest scholarships for several Onondaga County high school graduates to pursue medical careers. I would encourage other community health organizations and institutions to make even more opportunities available. This would benefit all of us who live here. Q: What are the biggest concerns physicians in the area have? A: The major thing within the last few years, after the introduction of the electronic health record, is physician burnout. The rates of suicide and depression among physicians has been climbing up. That’s why we concentrated on it this year. We’re conducting two-hour sessions every month on how to deal with workload and overcome these problems.


Name: Mary Abdulky, M.D. Position: Rheumatologist with Arthritis Health Associates in Syracuse and president of Onondaga County Medical Society Hometown: Damascus, Syria Education: University of Damascus; New York Medical College Affiliations: St. Joseph’s Health; Crouse Hospital Organizations: Onondaga Medical Society, American College of Rheumatology Family: Married, one son, one daughter Hobbies: Oil painting, ballroom dancing

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August 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Home Blood Pressure Monitors Wrong 7 of 10 Times: Study Checking your device against ones used at your doctor’s office may be advised, experts say


illions of older people often turn to do-it-yourself home blood pressure monitors to track that vital health sign. But a small, new Canadian study suggests that readings from the devices are wrong most of the time and could put patients at risk. A team led by Jennifer Ringrose, of the University of Alberta in Calgary, tested dozens of home monitors used by 85 patients averaging 66 years of age. The researchers found the units weren’t accurate within five mmHg of blood pressure about 70 percent of the time. And the devices were off the mark by at least 10 mmHg about 30 percent of the time, the investigators added. That inaccuracy could have serious consequences for people’s health, Ringrose said. “Monitoring for and treating hypertension [high blood pressure]

can decrease the consequences of this disease,” she said. “We need to make sure that home blood pressure readings are accurate.” One U.S. expert in diabetes and its related heart risks agreed that the findings are troubling. “This study highlights why it is so difficult to treat hypertension,” said physician Robert Courgi. He’s a specialist in diabetes care at Northwell Health’s Southside Hospital in Bay Shore on Long Island. “If the home blood pressure monitors were more accurate, we would have a better chance at successful treatment of hypertension,” he said. Should people who have bought and use these monitors toss them out? Maybe not. According to Ringrose, there are a number of ways to minimize inaccurate readings with the devices. First, she said, “compare the

blood pressure machine measurement with a blood pressure measurement in a clinic before exclusively relying upon home blood pressure readings.” Also, “what’s really important is to do several blood pressure measurements and base treatment deci-

sions on multiple readings,” Ringrose added. Home monitoring may still be very useful,” she said, “because it “empowers patients and [it] is helpful for clinicians to have a bigger picture rather than just one snapshot in time.”

Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Five Health Insurance Myths

Alexis Pozen is a professor of health economics at CUNY School of Public Health. She recently debunked five widely held myths about health insurance. • 1. “The ACA forced millions to buy insurance they didn’t want.” Not true. Both before and after the ACA, the majority of the uninsured have consistently claimed they want coverage. Cost, life changes (job, school, divorce, etc.), denial of coverage, insurance not available through their employer, were most often cited as reasons for lack of coverage. Before the ACA, 45 million people lacked insurance. Since the ACA, 2010, 20 million people opted in and got decent coverage. • 2. “Expanding coverage saves money”. Unfortunately, not true. The costs from increased demand for services has far overwhelmed any savings due to improved health, at least so far. • 3. “Health insurance companies make massive profits”. Not true. In 2010, when the ACA was introduced, the average profit margin for publically traded health insurance companies was 3 percent, well below the profits of drug and medical device manufacturers. Insurance profits tend to be more aligned with economic growth (GDP) than any price gouging or denial of services. • 4. “People on Medicaid are free loaders”. Not true. Most, 67 percent, of “able bodied” Medicaid recipients work. Just 30 percent of Medicaid recipients are considered “able bodied” and they account for only 20 percent of total Medicaid spending. 44 percent of Medicaid recipients are kids. The bulk of Medicaid spendPage 8

ing, 60 percent, is for the elderly and disabled. • 5. “Job-based insurance means your employer pays and the government doesn’t.” Again, not true. The cost of coverage is actually borne by the employee indirectly, through lower wages than a competitive market would otherwise support, and directly through increased out of pocket expenses (employee contribution to premium, deductibles and copays). By not taxing employer-based premiums, the government forgoes hundreds of billions in revenue annually. This government “subsidy” was worth $275 billion last year. The government subsidy is what has tied employment to insurance. Taxing premiums frees up job seekers to choose employment based on their skills/interests vs. what the employer offers for coverage.

2016 Open Payments

Each year, for transparency purposes, the federal government issues a report that shows how much money went from drug and device manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals. Last year, over $8 billion went to 631,000 physicians and 1,146 hospitals; up $90 million from 2015. About half or $4 billion was for research; about $3 billion was for travel, meals and consults; and the remaining $1 billion was for ownership and investment interests.

Job Loss Projection

Most of the publicity and concern around the proposed American Health Care Act has been about the projected loss of insurance by 23 million Americans. Little attention has been given to the projected

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

loss of jobs in the healthcare sector as a result of the loss of 23 million insured paying customers. According to research by the politically neutral Commonwealth Fund, nearly 1 million healthcare jobs would be lost by 2026. Researchers believe that initially, if the ACA is repealed, the economy would gain about 864,000 jobs in other sectors because of the end of ACA taxes (which would only add to the federal deficit if not offset with other revenues.) The initial gain of 864,00 jobs, however, would be short-lived and eventually turn around into job losses. New York state is among top 10 states in predicted job losses.

Balance Billing

This is a bill you could receive from an out of network provider, hospital or physician, for the difference between their normal charge and what your insurance pays. This typically occurs in an emergency situation where you are transported by ambulance to an out of network hospital or when you are attended to by an out of network physician at an in-network hospital. In most of these cases, you aren’t in control. Only 21 states afford consumers some sort of protection from balance bills. Only 6 of those states provide comprehensive protection and New York is one of them.

Coming to a Mall Near You

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, malls are very appealing to healthcare systems looking to expand their primary care footprint. Many malls, conveniently located but faced with declining occupancy, are nego-

tiating very competitive occupancy rates with providers. Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville has been an anchor tenant at the One Hundred Oaks mall since 2009. The mall, once considered almost dead, now has a 98 percent occupancy rate. Dana Farber in Boston took space in a mall near Chestnut Hill where in addition to primary care opened a gym and wellness facility for patients and staff. The increase in these hospital-based outpatient centers is due primarily in response to the encroachment of for-profit retail clinics, like Walmart, in the marketplace.

New Surgeon General

The president has nominated physician Jerome Adams to be the U.S surgeon general. The 42-yearold Adams, an anesthesiologist, was appointed Indiana Health Commissioner in 2014 by then-governor Mike Pence. Adams took the lead in Indiana’s fight against opioid addiction. Adam’s nomination is sure to be approved. Trump fired the former surgeon general Vivek Murthy in April.

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

Wanted: Therapy Dog

Baldwinsville family raising money for son’s therapy dog. He wants a Goldendoodle By Matthew Liptak


ndrew is a friendly fellow. When I entered his family’s home in Baldwinsville he was there to greet me with an outstretched hand and big smile. His mother called him a “little gentleman.” But Andrew Indelicato-Dyer has many challenges other 10-year-old boys don’t face. He has three health conditions that have drastically impacted his life. They’re enough so that his mom told me, with teary eyes, that Andrew may not live to see his 30th year. She wants the time he has to be as full as possible. To do that they need a special dog — Andrew wants a Goldendoodle. The small family lives off a modest income, and therapy dogs come cheap, so they started a Gofundme page for Andrew and his dream dog. So far they are about halfway there to raising the $2,000 they need to buy a puppy. But they could use help to meet their goal. Andrew suffers from three issues: Mowat-Wilson syndrome, Hirschsprung’s disease, and hypoplastic left heart. “That’s where the left side of his heart didn’t grow,” Andrew’s mom, Tiffany Indelicato, said. “The left side is meant to do all the work. It’s meant to do the pumping of blood and the oxygenating of it.” The mother said Andrew’s heart has 87 percent less capacity than it should have. “He had three openheart surgeries to correct that,” she said. “Now his blood is oxygenated, but it’s still not as high as it should be. It never will be.” But this is just one of the problems Andrew has to face. He also suffers from Mowat-Wilson syndrome, a condition that affects many parts of the body. Because of it, Andrew’s features are a bit different than other children’s and he also has an intellectual disability. He can’t communicate with words.

“We’ve done sign language with him, but because the fine motor skills are also delayed, it’s hard,” Tiffany said. “He communicates with us with a lot of grunting and ‘ooohing’ and ‘awwwing.’ He’s a very happy kid. He definitely lets you know one way or the other how he’s feeling.” Andrew definitely hasn’t lost his zest for life. He’s passionate about buses, both riding in them and watching videos about them. He’s also crazy about the movie and cartoon series “How to Train Your Dragon.” He repeatedly introduced me to his toy dragon when I went to meet him. A therapy dog could help Andrew in multiple ways. The family already had a boxer named Pluto for seven years, before he suddenly died from cancer. Andrew’s physical therapist suggested the dog to help increase his ability to cope with sudden changes in his environment. “She had suggested a puppy would be really great for him,” Tiffany said. “He will be more used to dealing with unexpected things. The dog is going to want to run around and Andrew basically has to get used to it. That will in turn allow him to go out in public to things like the fair so that when loud noises or unexpectedness comes up he will be able to tolerate that.” Tiffany has noticed Andrew has regressed into being more fearful around these stimuli since Pluto died. She was going to wait a year to grieve the loss of their old dog, but now believes she can’t wait that long. She’d like to get a dog for him before the new year. Because they hope to get a Goldendoodle, Tiffany Indelicato believes she can teach it to do other things for her son — to watch over him, prevent him from going up the dangerous stairs, and even warning the rest of the family when Andrew’s health is at imminent risk. Andrew has visited a puppy and

Andrew Indelicato-Dyer is a seriously disabled 10-year-boy from Baldwinsville whose family is raising $2,000 to buy his therapy dog. Here Andrew, center, appears with big sister Cali Indelicato-Dyer, left, and mom, Tiffany Indelicato. The family recently started a Gofundme page for Andrew and his dream dog. the interaction was a huge success. “I was astonished with the way that they interacted with each other,” Tiffany said. “Andrew didn’t get scared. The dog would come right up and lick him in the face. He would hide his face and stuff but he wasn’t terrified — nothing. Because the puppy is still a puppy he was nipping on Andrew a little bit on his

feet. He was very gentle with the puppy. They were just playing. It was so sweet.” As of the interview $877 had been raised to purchase Andrew’s pup. About $500 through Gofundme, and $300 through a kind friend of the family who put a collection jar out at her storefront.

How to Help Andrew Get His Dream Dog If you would like to help Andrew get his dream dog go to www. and pitch in. No amount is too small or too large, his mother said.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

Addiction Syringe Exchange Program Helps Thousands with Clean Needles ACR Health program has more than 2,500 participants By Matthew Liptak


ore than 2,500 people have enrolled in the syringe program at ACR Health in Syracuse. The program and others like it around the state have been critical in combating the spread of HIV and hepatitis C. “Syringe exchange is a very effective public health initiative,” said Julia LaVere, director of ACR’s syringe exchange programs. “In the ‘90s, 50 percent of people contracting HIV came from injected drug use, and it’s now down to 3 percent in New York state.” LaVere said there has been some pushback from those who believe programs like hers actually encourage drug use. She has a clear answer to those who oppose syringe exchange. “That is a constant battle,” she said. “I just reiterate that we are helping people where they’re at. Drug use is going to happen. Obviously our ultimate goal is cessation of drug use. We want people to stop using drugs, but until they’re ready to stop using drugs they’re not going to. We need to provide them with the resources to do it safely until they’re ready to make that next step.” In the same vein, although the nonprofit doesn’t have a position on whether the use of drugs should be decriminalized, LaVere does support supervised injection facilities. “We support that idea,” she said. “We always do our programing based on community need. If we did

Julia LaVere, director of ACR’s syringe exchange programs. sistent encouragement from the folks at ACR to finally see a provider. ACR doesn’t push treatment on its clients, but always wants to let them know it’s there for them when they’re ready to accept it. a needs assessment and we really “With that shame and stigma, saw that the community needed it as walking into a typical medical proit comes about and there was state vider is really [difficult],”LaVere said. funding for that—legislation would “Often they’re turned away. They are have to be put in place first—we stigmatized, so people are not seekwould seek that if we determined the ing the medical care they need until community had a need for it.” it’s unavoidable. We at ACR Health The work that ACR does save have a medical clinic in our building, lives, said LaVere, who has heard it in and we provide that care to people first-hand accounts from clients. that would normally be pushed away “I just actually happened to walk in other medical settings.” in on an exchange and the client said, ACR has naloxone (Narcan) pro‘Are you the boss?’ I said ‘Yes.’ She grams for overdose prevention. That said, ‘This lady here saved my life.’ has been a main focus lately. She had some medical concerns and “We provide individual and my staff was adamant that she need- group training so that people are ed to get the care she needed.” trained as to how to respond to an Drug users often have trouble overdose and have the naloxone on taking care of their health needs. hand to use,” LaVere said. There is a strong stigma associated The use of heroin has reached with drug users using health facilepidemic levels across the country ities. They often need gentle, perand in Central New York. ACR has

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been working so its most dangerous impacts can be mitigated. But try as they might there are many overdoses yet, and the battle is far from over. “It seems to be touching everyone,” LaVere said. “It’s not a... certain demographic. We’re seeing it touches the lives of many, including the middle class children that people don’t often suspect [of] drug use. It’s touching everyone. Nobody is immune from it.” ACR Health is continuing the fight, and even has plans to expand the program further. The nonprofit hopes it can spread the success the clinic has had with cutting the transmission of disease. “We’re very harm-reduction based and we need to meet people where they’re at, help them with what they want help with — with an ultimate goal of helping them reduce or stop using while remaining alive,” LaVere said. For more information on the program go to exchange.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

Addiction Farnham to Open Opioid Treatment Program in Oswego


arnham Family Services plans to open Oswego County’s first opioid treatment program (OTP) to combat what it calls a “heroin epidemic” in the region. According to the nonprofit, residents of Oswego County have faced the opioid epidemic with little to no services in the area. If an individual wants OTP services he or she would need to travel to Watertown, Rochester or Syracuse. Farnham’s OTP will be licensed and supported by Oswego County Mental Hygiene, NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASAS), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program will offer medication-assisted recovery services to individuals with opioid substance use disorder. The medications, when taken as prescribed, will allow the individual to discontinue use of heroin and illicit opiates with diminished or alleviated symptoms of withdrawal, reduced or alleviated cravings and

can provide a blockade effect if other opiates were to be used, according to Farnham. The patient does not get “high” when taking the medications properly, according to Farnham. The three medications for treating opioid substance use disorder are methadone, buprenorphine and vivitrol. Farnham plans to offer all three depending on patient needs and preference. In addition to medication, the program will offer patients support services by a multidisciplinary treatment team that will include a physician, registered nurses, master’s level therapists, support staff and more. Services offered include individual counseling, group therapy, physicals, family involvement, case management and referrals to other services as needed. Medication-assisted recovery services have proven to give patients the opportunity for decreases in illicit opiate use, opiate related overdoses, criminal behavior and spread of infectious disease, while improving health, wellness and overall functioning, according to Farnham.

Crouse to Expand Access to Substance Abuse Treatment Services


rouse Health has been awarded a $16,325,000 grant through the Department of Health’s Statewide Healthcare Facility Transformation Program to expand access to substance abuse treatment and recovery services based on regional need. Due to increased demand, Crouse has outgrown its current treatment location at 410 South Crouse Ave. A site that is over 100 years old; current wait list is 125 patients. Crouse submitted a funding request last year to expand access to treatment and increase outpatient capacity by relocating existing services from the current 34,000 square-foot facility to a larger site within the city of Syracuse. Working with OASAS, Crouse has evaluated a number of potential locations but has not yet selected one. Crouse Chemical Dependency Treatments Services is CNY’s only

hospital-based and longest operating substance abuse provider, providing treatment and recovery services since 1962. Increasing access to care will enable CDTS to expand treatment, counseling and primary care services for an additional 350 patients annually. Crouse is one of seven CNY organizations selected to receive an award from this funding. The award — which is in addition to a state economic development grant for $1 million received in 2016 — will allow Crouse to move forward with plans to expand access to lifesaving healthcare services so that patients, staff and the community will finally have the facility they deserve, with much needed and expanded services available. Project planning and associated activities will resume over the coming weeks and months.  

ACR Health: New Help Available to Combat Opioid Crisis


CR Health has just been notified that it has received funding to establish a drug user health hub, further expanding its existing services for drug users. The initial grant is for $250,000 for a one-year period, which began July 1. Services will include medically-assisted treatment, buprenorphine prescribing; opioid overdose prevention or aftercare and safety planning for individuals who have experienced overdose; linkage and navigation for substance use treatment; and cultural competency campaigns and training for others providers to ensure medical, mental health,

substance use or other services are available and appropriate for people who use drugs. Alexandra Punch has become ACR Health’s first director of drug user health with responsibility to manage operation of the safety first medical clinic, office of alcohol and substance abuse services, and substance outreach, to help substance users reduce risks and enter treatment when ready. “The opioid crisis is multi-faceted. It’s important that we recognize and treat the entire individual, not just one aspect of their life,” said Punch.

Addiction: The Language Factor Associated Press Stylebook changes language rules dealing with addicts. Health professionals say it’s a step to help de-stigmatize substance dependency

or many years, “person first” language has been the standard among media members and professionals in mental health, such as “person with disabilities” instead of “disabled person.” The Associated Press’ 2017 Stylebook, journalists’ go-to book for writing and language standardization, has extended person first language to addicts — make that “persons with addictions.” The exceptions include the names of organizations or quotations. While it may seem an inconsequential use of phrases, words are powerful and they can affect treatment. Diane Oldenburg, senior public health educator at Oswego County Health Department, said that the change reflects a desire by professionals to de-stigmatize substance dependency in the hopes of promoting treatment. “In health care, we’ve always tried to be patient-centered, not illness or diagnosis-centered,” she said. “You try to be aware that we’re dealing with people, not diseases. The person does come first. “People don’t want to be defined by their diagnosis.” By reducing patients to a diagnosis, clinicians don’t view them as whole people with other aspects to their lives, Oldenburg said. Lindsay Rowe, licensed clinical social worker at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and in private practice in Syracuse, believes that attaching words such as “junkie,” “addict,” “druggie” and “dirty/clean” to those who struggle with substance abuse disorders unnecessarily shames them. “I’ve always been trained to use person-first language because one of the big things is it de-stigmatizes some of these challenges like addiction,” Rowe said. For some, the stigma could delay life-altering or even life-saving treatment. Others identify those terms both with addiction and with people

who are unemployed, homeless and without an intact family structure. Yet some people who dependent on drugs can adequately keep other areas of their lives reasonably unaffected while they continue to risk health complications that include overdose. Many group treatment programs begin with participants introducing themselves and calling themselves the very disparaging terms professionals denounce. Rowe said that first admitting there’s a struggle represents the first step toward recovery; that’s why recovery groups emphasize naming the problem forthrightly. That change to person-first language represents one of the major shifts in treatment of substance abuse: moving from the behavioral model to the health model, according to Carolyn Grisko, clinical director of Beacon Center, an addiction treatment center with various locations in in Upstate, including Oneida and Cortland counties. She said that since professionals have only recently identified a biological element, it will take time to adjust to the new language. “We encourage people to think they’re not defined by their addiction,” Grisko said. “Family members or significant others with addiction or alcoholism is easier with person-first language as they feel more comfortable. It’s more approachable and less harsh.” She said that the change in language reflects the emergence of person-centered treatment models that focus on why the person became dependent on a substance. Treating each patient the same is not as effective as learning their backgrounds and how they became dependent. Grisko said that about 10 percent of the population deals with some sort of addiction but far fewer seek professional help. She believes that person-first language makes it easier for them to obtain treatment. “Everyone comes in with a different story,” Grisko said.

Lindsay Rowe

Carolyn Grisko

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


August 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11

Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

Helpful Summer Reads for Those Who Live Alone


hhhhhh … summer. Long, luxurious days that stretch into equally lovely and languid evenings. Vacations by the shore. Hours at the pool. And all those trips by car or plane to exotic places or peaceful retreats — holiday rituals ripe with unlimited time to spare and to fill with books, glorious books! What better time than summer to reference the New York Times’ summer reading list and lose yourself in that spy or romance novel you didn’t get to during the busier, cooler months of the year. What? This doesn’t ring true for you? This depiction of summer and its corresponding “reading vacation” doesn’t resonate? I hear you. For those who are newly divorced or widowed, summer can be — yes — lovely. But it can also be long. In fact, it can be too long. And it can be lonely, especially if you are accustomed to traveling with a spouse and/or your family during the summer months. On your own and perhaps without the resources or resolve to travel alone or to embrace all that summer has to offer, you may be interested in a different sort of reading list.

Introducing … “Helpful Summer Reads for Those Who Live Alone.” While my recommendations may not be thrillers or page-turners, these books may be just the ticket for your summer reading vacation: • “Flying Solo: Single Women in Midlife” by psychologists Carol Anderson and Susan Stewart. This incredible book comes with my highest recommendation. Written in the mid-’90’ss, this book is as relevant as ever, so don’t let the copyright date dissuade you from picking it up. The authors, both Ph.Ds with extensive training and experience in marriage and family counseling, interviewed single women throughout the country, most of whom did not intend to be on their own in midlife. From the book jacket: “The authors share women’s stories and their practical advice on being single, transforming loneliness, redefining the importance of work, developing friendship and support networks, and living with and without intimacy.” This book is so good and offers so many helpful insights about women and their life choices that I’ve recommended it to my married friends, as well. It’s a must read!

• “Living Alone & Loving It:

A Guide to Relishing the Solo Life” by Barbara Feldon. Remember

Get Smart, the middle-’60s classic television comedy featuring a bungling secret service agent Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) and his effervescent sidekick, Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon)? I loved that show! Remember his cool shoe phone? But, I digress. Barbara Feldon found herself living alone in New York City after a relationship impasse, and she wrote about her experience in a quick little read that charts her personal path from despair and loneliness to “one of the most enriching and joyous periods of her life.” In this book, Feldon covers both the practical and emotional aspects of living alone, including how to nurture a glowing self-image, value connections with friends and family, develop your creative side and end negative thinking. • “Single: The Art of Being Sat-

isfied, Fulfilled, and Independent” by Judy Ford, a psychother-

apist in private practice. Perfect for a younger audience, this smart and funny book is described as “hip” and the “ultimate companion” for single women everywhere. It is a touching and uplifting collection of true-life experiences and practical tips that uphold the most enduring relationship you have on this earth: the one you have with yourself. Check it out! • “On My Own: The Art of Being a Woman Alone” by Florence Falk, another psychotherapist in private practice. While densely written, this book examines and illuminates the essential role that being alone plays

in women’s lives. You’ll be moved and inspired by the intimate stories of women from all backgrounds and perspectives, and you’ll welcome Falk’s frank discussion of her own journey through uncertainty to acceptance, and ultimately to a more positive and empowered aloneness. • “Second Acts: Creating the

Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire”

by Stephen Pollan. A life coach and financial expert, the author of this highly useful and accessible text is determined to help readers reinvent their lives and to find personal fulfillment and happiness. Writing from personal experience, Pollan invites men and women of all ages to participate in a series of exercises that enable them to work through self-limiting barriers to discover their potential and live the life of their dreams. If this is your summer to turn over a new leaf, try turning a few pages in one or two of the books above. Each has held important messages for me and helped light my way. Chances are that you, too, will find some words of wisdom to guide you toward inner freedom and feeling whole and complete on your own. Enjoy!

Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of “Live Alone and Thrive,” empowerment workshops for women held throughout the year in Mendon, NY. For information or to contact Voelckers, call 585-6247887 or email: gvoelckers@rochester.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

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Critical Blood Shortage Raises Concern


Red Cross officials calling on people to donate blood to alleviate shortage By Matthew Liptak


he American Red Cross has run into its seasonal blood shortage, but this year the lack of enough blood supply is worse than usual. May and June led to real drops in donation. “To give you a comparison, last year when we were facing a shortage we were down about 39,000 units [nationally],” said Patty Corvaia, communications manager for the American Red Cross. “This year we’re down 61,000. That’s pretty significant.” Corvaia explained that during the summer months, there are fewer community blood drives by businesses and churches because people are on vacation. “On top of that, more than 20 percent of our donations come from high school and college students, and with school being out, we aren’t able to have blood drives there. This season is always a tough time for us, but this year it is even worse.” The Red Cross has issued a blood emergency. “People just need to come out, roll up their sleeve, and give an hour of their time and donate blood,” said Syracuse chapter donor specialist Katie Stepanian. “We’re facing a critical blood shortage. What we do know is that blood donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.” The American Red Cross is the primary supplier for blood to all Syracuse-area hospitals, Corvaia said. According to the organization’s statistics, one person in three will require a blood transfusion in their lifetime. The Red Cross serves about 90 hospitals in New York state alone and requires about 1,000 donations a day to keep up with their demand, Corvaia said. The blood goes to a variety of patients, many in critical condition or battling dangerous diseases. “These patients are very ill,” she said. “One car accident patient may need up to 100 blood transfusions. That’s a lot. We’ve had situations where [there are] pediatric patients as well. A lot of people don’t think that: babies, toddlers, children who are either facing childhood cancer or are born with a heart defect — blood has to be there. The key is the blood has

to be at the hospital when the patient needs it. It’s so important that it’s there.” Giving whole blood takes about an hour all together. One donation can save up to three lives, according to the Red Cross. The donor comes in, goes through the entry process, donates (which takes about fifteen minutes), and then there is a rest period. Donors can also give platelets (used often for cancer patients), plasma, and double red cell donation. The organization is working hard to get out the word that the need is extra strong this summer. “We have our schedule set with sponsors,” Stepanian said. “Now it’s a matter of getting donors to come out and give this summer. We are encouraging our donors to give. They’re having a special promotion right now. There’s a Target e-card for donors that give between July 26 and Aug. 31. Anyone who comes to donate will receive a $5 Target gift card via email. That’s an incentive through our partnership we have with Target.” The Syracuse community, and the nation at large, has a real need for blood right now. As the blood can’t be made artificially, donors are the only possible source for people who need it. The organization encourages anyone able to call 1-800-REDCROSS to set up a time to donate. Or go to and enter your zip code to find a drive near you. Walk-ins are always welcome too. The Red Cross is also encouraging anyone who might be interested in starting their own drive to get in touch with them. “If you’re a business, a community leader or a individual and you’d like to sponsor a blood drive reach out to us at 1-800-RED-CROSS,” Stepanian said. The organization also wanted donors to know how greatly their donation is appreciated. “We are so grateful for our donors,” Stepanian said. “We know everyone is very busy and summer is a challenging time. But we urge possibly even new donors to role up a sleeve. If you’re not sure a blood donation is for you, go online and you can read a little bit more about eligibility. We always need new donors.”

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How to Help

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross has added more than 25,000 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.


IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13


The skinny on healthy eating

What’s Great about Lean Ground Beef


hen it comes to nutrition, lean ground beef — defined by the USDA as ground beef with no more than 10 percent fat — might take you by surprise. While mostly recognized for its high protein content, lean ground beef also boasts a bounty of vitamins and minerals that do a body good. But let’s begin first with protein, its most abundant nutrient. A small 3-ounce lean patty (about the size of a deck of cards) delivers a whopping 25 grams of complete protein, which, for many, fulfills about half of the daily recommended amount. That’s a lot of protein for less than 200 calories! Indeed, choosing lean beef to meet or bolster your protein intake may actually be a calorie-saver, as it often takes more than twice the calories to get 25 grams of protein from beans, nuts and grains. A powerhouse nutrient, protein is essential for growth, tissue repair, energy and proper immune function. Lean ground beef sizzles with impressive amounts of several B vitamins, including niacin, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Niacin helps improve circulation and may lower the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s; vitamin B12 is essential for keeping

nerves and red blood cells healthy; and vitamin B6 is especially important for regulating mood and preventing mental fatigue. All B vitamins help the body convert food to energy. This popular beef also rocks with zinc, knocking off about 40 percent of our daily needs in one serving. Immune-boosting zinc helps expedite wound healing, calm out-of-control inflammation, and promote testosterone production. No surprise: The leaner the

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ground beef, the more you’ll save on calories, total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Go grass-fed if you’d like to save a little more on cholesterol and shield yourself from hormones and antibiotics. Although most grainfed ground beef contains hormones and antibiotics, some major chains offer grain-fed ground beef that has neither.

mixture into the muffin cups, press lightly, and bake accordingly: for larger muffins, bake for about 35 minutes; for smaller muffins, bake for about 25 minutes. No matter the size, the muffins should register 160F when tested with a meat thermometer. Let stand for five minutes before serving.

Tasty Meatloaf Muffins

Use freshly ground beef one to two days after purchase; ground beef that’s been frozen will last about three to four months. Ground beef that’s gray on the outside but red on the inside should be fine to eat: being covered with plastic wrap is the benign culprit. Ground beef that’s gray throughout, however, usually indicates spoilage and should be tossed or returned. Prevent potential food poisoning by always cooking your ground beef to 160F. Hosting a party with hamburgers or a ground beef casserole? According to the USDA, the cooked ground beef should not be left out for more than two hours.

Adapted from Serves 5-6 1 teaspoon canola oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 medium carrot, shredded 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup low-sodium tomato sauce 1 pound lean ground beef ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon Frank’s Hot Sauce (optional) ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper ½ teaspoon salt 1 large egg Preheat oven to 350°. Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and shredded carrot; sauté for about five to eight minutes. Add dried oregano and minced garlic; sauté one minute more. Cool. In a medium bowl, combine onion mixture, ¼ cup tomato sauce, and the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Lightly coat five muffin cups with canola oil (if making smaller muffins, prep 10). Spoon the meat

Helpful tips

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

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

Crouse Radiology Introduces New Ultrasound Imaging Test to Detect Liver/Kidney Cancer


rouse Health has introduced a new imaging test to detect liver and kidney cancers that up until now has only been available in larger markets such as Boston, New York City and Philadelphia. It’s called contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS). According to physician Thomas Green, chief of radiology for Crouse, the procedure uses contrast agents called ‘microbubbles’ that are revolutionizing traditional ultrasonography, dramatically improving the precision of diagnostic sonograms and expanding the clinical scope of a widely used imaging modality. Once injected in the patient’s arm, the microbubbles go directly to the suspected area of the liver or kidney, improving visualization of blood flow, the cardiovascular system and the movement of blood into vital organs, particularly the liver and kidney. “Liver and renal lesions are very common” says Green. “Differentiating benign from malignant can be difficult and expensive. Traditionally, this has been done with enhanced CT scanning, enhanced MRI or some-

times nuclear medicine.” (CEUS) has advantages over all three, says Green. For example, there is no radiation as there is with CT and nuclear medicine. There is also no renal toxicity to the patient or concerns with iodine contrast allergy as there is with iodinated CT contrast. There are no issues with metallic implants, internal pacemakers or claustrophobia as there is with MRI. And, the test is significantly less expensive than the other modalities, which is important, especially with today’s high deductible insurance plans. The exam takes approximately five minutes and can often answer the benign/malignancy question without further testing. The limitations are the same with any ultrasound — the lesion must be seen with regular b-mode ultrasound in order to evaluate it with CEUS. Green, who recently received certification in CEUS from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, says Crouse is expecting the number of cases using the modality will increase once providers learn of its availability.

Oswego Awarded $13M for Behavioral Health Services


swego Health has announced it was awarded a $13 million grant from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to transform its behavioral health services in the county. “This is wonderful news for Oswego Health,” said President and CEO Michael Harlovic. “I’d like to thank Gov. Andrew Cuomo for recognizing the importance of providing exceptional behavioral health services locally and that health system is the healthcare leader to delivery these important needed services.” Oswego Health has provided behavioral health services to county residents for more than 35 years. The health system provides care at its BHS division at the Oswego County Building on Bunner Street in Oswego, and at its Child and Family Services Department on North Second Street in Fulton. “The continued development of behavioral health services is an important initiative of the health system’s board of directors and I look

forward to working on the outlined improvements to our hospital and outpatient services,” Harlovic said.

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

Health CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Local News, Inc. 5,000 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. © 2017 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: Jim Miller, Gwenn Voelckers, Deborah Banikowski, George W. Chapman, Deborah Sergeant, Matthew Liptak, Anne Palumbo, Melissa Stefanec, Chris Motola, Ernst Lamothe Jr. Eva Briggs (MD), Elizabeth Ferry (MD), Caryn Hughes• Advertising: Amy Gagliano, Cassandra Lawson • Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas • Office Assistant: Kimberley Tyler 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.

August 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15

Stressed-Out Kids How to help kids cope with stress as they go back to school By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


chool children have plenty to stress about, from their studies to friends to news to their family’s own struggles. It’s unhealthy — not to mention impossible — to eliminate all sources of stress. Local experts shared how you can help your children better cope with stress. • “Be involved with their lives. • “It’s OK to set boundaries. That’s what the child wants them to do and they don’t realize it. Parents have to absolutely stay involved and know what’s going on.” Roz Odin, pediatrician with Child Health Care Associates in Liverpool, • “One of the most important things parents can do is model wellness, healthy living and balanced living. That means that you’re showing and living that life. It’s not just what you say. • “There are plenty of coping skills kids can use in times of stress, but I really encourage parents to show their kids in their own way. It’s not working yourself to death and never having fun. Are you choosing healthy coping mechanisms? Kids area always watching.” • “I encourage parents to provide structure, a framework for kids. Set up their daily activities or routines so they know what to expect. There’s comfort in that which can eliminate unpredictability. That includes healthy eating, healthy sleeping schedules. • “Kids are generally overscheduled these days. When do they have downtime? Don’t have them pick three sports. They should pick their favorite. There should be time for what’s really important like schoolwork, tutoring, exercise and fun. That’s ultimately a way we release stress: hanging out with friends or playing games. • “Family mealtime is time for connection during the day. There’s a direct link between human connection and mood. One of the best ways Page 16

to de-stress is to connect. • “Let them know that no matter what, they can talk with you about things. If you don’t have that relationship, it will be hard for kids to come to you when stressed and things aren’t going well for them. • “We never want to see our kid struggling, but when they go through challenges, those are learning opportunities. Those can be challenging, yet important learning opportunities. Lindsay Rowe, licensed clinical social worker at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and in private practice in Syracuse • “It’s important to find and create a space and time for parents and children to process thoughts and feelings related to the day so kids don’t feel like they have to carry whatever it is that’s bothering them alone. Their parents are a safe place to talk about what’s bothering them. • “When children feel their parents are a safe place, they’ll feel they can share what’s happened in school in their world. The parents then have the ability to help them navigate it in a healthy and safe manner. • “Social media: Explore the fact that social media is the space we choose to present to the world. Someone might only post the good things going on in their lives, but everyone has struggles and challenges. Just because they have new shoes and are going on a cool trip doesn’t mean all areas of their lives are perfect. It is about teaching children social is only one part of others’ experience. Learn how to set their own boundaries about what they choose to share. • “Use mindfulness skills to help manage stress when trying to meet the demands of academics and planning for college. • “Getting outside, taking a moment of fresh air and finding a safe person to talk to, listening to a song that’s calming. things like that. Leslie Shaffer Hereba, licensed mental health counselor in private practice in Syracuse and owner of Unaome Healing Center in Syracuse.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

Stay Healthy This School Year By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


eyond routine vaccinations required for school, you can do much more for helping your children stay healthy this year. Of course, supporting good health is important year-round; however, it’s easy to let a few things slide during the long, lazy days of summer. Here what the experts say: • “We encourage parents to pack healthful lunches and snacks. It helps support the immune system to fight infections and provides vitamins and minerals help them grow well. • “Sleep is really important. Most healthy kids need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each night. Recent studies are showing that kids are losing sleep due to over use of digital devices. John Hopkins University recommends putting away electronic devices one hour before bedtime and read or something. Sleep is as important as diet and exercise. • “With flu, we encourage everyday prevention like staying home when you’re sick, covering nose and mouth with your elbow when sneezing and throwing tissues away. • “Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available for washing. • “The flu shots change each year, with a little different formula. It’s based upon what’s predicted to be going around so it is important to get one every year. • We encourage kids to keep their hands away from their faces because that’s a great way to spread germs to others. • “Kids are a lot more involved in a variety of activities, so they are busy. The rigors of school do make for a ‘perfect storm’ for them to get sick. They get too little sleep, experience more stress and eat less nutritious meals.” Diane Oldenburg, senior public health educator, Oswego County Health Department

• “Kids don’t think breakfast is important. It is. If they don’t have time for a sit-down breakfast, a healthful bar or snack they can eat quickly. • “They need to eat the school lunch; the parents should make sure the children are not eating junk food all day long. • “Kids should drink more water, not juice and soda. Flavored water is a good alternative. They should get an updated list of medication if they take any, and an allergy game plan for the school. • “When you’re not feeling great, realize that and not do all your extra-curricular activities. A priority is school and class work. Kids need to remember that. • “I recommend no TVs in the bedroom. It won’t be a good night’s sleep if they’re excited. Improve sleep hygiene. • “For proper hand washing, use a reasonable amount of soap, put both hands together to make suds for at least 30 seconds, singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice. Dry the hands. Wash the hand after using the bathroom, before preparing or eating food and any time they’re soiled. Parents need to model this. • “Know when they need to stay home. You have the child who can’t miss a day and they’ll go when sick. If the child has a 100.5 fever, the child shouldn’t go. If there’s no fever and they feel up to it, they can go. You are somewhat contagious with a mild, common cold, you can still go to school. But if you are sick, get rest. If the child has unexplained rashes or feeling like they really need to lie down. Also, an upset stomach, along with different behavior like wanting to lie down, means the child should stay home. Roz Odin, pediatrician with Child Health Care Associates, Liverpool

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Sanctimommies and Sanctidaddies

“Sanctimommy is a portmanteau of two words, sanctimonious and mommy. The word is a colloquialism used to refer to a person, usually a female, who has very opinionated views on child rearing and presents them upfront without any sense of humility.� For those of you running on even fewer hours of sleep than I am, that translates into something like, “a made-up word, which combines two real words, used to describe a parent who thinks he or she is superior to the rest of us pathetic hacks. This parent isn’t afraid to make you aware of this opinion.� (For those of you on even less sleep, Merriam Webster defines sanctimonious, the root of our new vocab word as, “hypocritically pious or devout.�) This concept got me thinking a few different things: 1) would a Google search turn up results for a sanctidaddy (spoiler alert—barely); 2) who actually has these sorts of people in every day their lives; and 3) what do I do when confronted by someone with this mentality? So, here are the answers to my questions.

1 – Google did turn up a few results for sanctidaddy (in this case,

475 to sanctimommies’ 41,000). Apparently, a handful of daring feminists, who charge on in the pursuit of equality, have started hashtags like @ sanctidaddy and #sanctidaddy. They recognize women do not have the moral and social superiority market cornered. To correct this social injustice, I encourage men and women alike to start tagging their favorite sanctidaddies on social media. Identifying the problem is the first step to the solution, so let’s not play gender favorites when it comes to sanctimonious parenting. Be a frontrunner.


– Apparently, there are a lot of people out there who are voluntarily and involuntarily surrounded by sanctimonious parents. Parent-to-parent shaming is all the rage in some circles. Some people drive themselves mad to appear perfect. I cannot identify or surround myself with these people. If you are going to be judgy about the fact my child

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– When faced with betterthan-thou parenting, there are lots of ways to handle it. The one that I try to employ first is certainty. Maybe, when a mom at soccer practice casually says her daughter will only drink organic milk, that’s not braggy, but an exclamation of exasperation. Maybe when a dad says he would never let his kids play so close to the lake, it’s because he had a bad experience with kids playing near water. I promise to check myself before I label someone a sanctimommy or a sanctidaddy. Sometimes, people may just be trying to make small talk and may not be good at it. Or, even more likely, they are too distracted to be fully invested in a conversation. I wonder what strange or pseudo-rude things I have muttered when I am running interference on my two-andhalf year-old. I also wonder how I come across when I am so tired and fraught with responsibility that I can barely form a coherent sentence. Before I label a person, I will try to exercise empathy and feel the situation out. If, after exercising prudence, I feel I am in the condescending presence of a sanctimonious parent, I will just quietly plan my escape. I will try my best to not laugh at the mom who says her child won’t need baby gates because it will be taught to listen. I will not correct the dad who says children can be potty trained in a weekend’s time if you just follow Dr. Craptastic’s fool-proof toddler toilet plan. I will instead smile, nod, and move along. I won’t take offense or retaliate. Knowing that sanctidaddy’s weekend potty-trained kid is going to pee on him when co-sleeping is all the consolation I need.

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few weeks ago, I convinced myself my children were playing together nicely enough for me to sneak in potty break. During these glorious and uninterrupted 37 seconds, I came across a parenting article that was about sanctimommies. Because I’m only half as hip as I think I am, I wasn’t sure what this term meant. A week later (which was coincidentally the next uninterrupted potty break I enjoyed), I googled the term. Here is what our friends at Wikipedia had to say:

Wig Studio

My Turn

By Eva Briggs

Alcoholic Liver Disease About 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis; about 25 percent develop cirrhosis


any people are aware that there is a connection between drinking alcohol and developing liver disease. There are actually three broad categories of liver disease caused by alcohol: fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. Alcoholic fatty liver disease is the earliest form of liver disease to develop. It develops in almost every heavy drinker who consumes more than 60 grams of alcohol daily. Sixty grams is the equivalent of five 12-ounce beers, or five 5-ounce glasses of wine, or five 1.5-ounce shots 80-proof liquor. It’s the actual amount of alcohol that counts, no matter how it’s ingested. Beer and wine aren’t inherently any “safer” than hard liquor. Up to 40 percent of moderate drinkers develop fatty liver disease. Triglycerides and other fats accumulate in liver cells in fatty liver. How and why this happens isn’t completely known. It seems to be a combination of too much fat coming in (the body making too many fat molecules and delivering too much of ingested fat to the liver) plus too little fat out (decreased metabolism to break down and remove fat.) Risk factors for alcoholic liver disease include the amount of alcohol consumed, being a female, obesity, diabetes and viral hepatitis infections. Alcoholic fatty liver disease often

produces no symptoms. There isn’t any specific blood test, though substances called transaminases, or liver enzymes, may be two or more times higher than normal. Ultrasound reveals the fatty infiltration and sometimes liver enlargement. The prognosis is good. The liver reverts to normal in almost everyone who stops drinking. But people with fatty liver disease who continue to drink have an increased risk of developing other more serious forms of alcoholrelated liver disease. Alcoholic hepatitis is a more serious condition of liver inflammation. Symptoms can be mild, such as poor appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain and distention, nausea and vomiting. More severe alcoholic hepatitis can produce liver enlargement, yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), fluid in the abdomen (ascites), swollen skin blood vessels (spider angiomas), fever, and brain inflammation causing confusion (encephalopathy). There isn’t a specific blood

test for alcoholic liver disease. It’s diagnosed based on history, exam and abnormal blood work. Sometimes liver biopsy is needed for diagnosis. The prognosis is variable. Some people improve greatly with treatment and alcohol abstinence, while more severely ill patients can become sicker and die of their disease. Cirrhosis is the third and most serious form of alcoholic liver disease. Alcohol isn’t the only cause of cirrhosis, and about half of patients with cirrhosis have some other cause. Cirrhosis is the replacement of normal liver with fibrous scar tissue. Patients initially develop fatigue. The liver no longer removes bilirubin, a waste product from the breakdown of red blood cells, so it accumulates to cause jaundice, yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes. The skin becomes itchy. The liver can’t make the normal amount of blood clotting factors, leading to bruising and abnormal bleeding. The

fibrous tissue in the liver raises the pressure in the portal vein, a major blood vessel that transports blood form digestive organs to the liver. This makes fluid back up into the abdomen and legs. The abdomen becomes distended and bloated from the fluid, which sometimes becomes spontaneously infected. The legs and lower body can swell massively. Toxins building up the blood stream contribute to confusion and mental changes. Varices — internal varicose veins in the esophagus and stomach — can rupture and bleed. The presence of cirrhosis is a risk factor for liver cancer. Cirrhosis is generally not reversible. Medicines and nutrition can help. Sometimes surgical procedures are used to alleviate portal vein hypertension. Select patients who stop drinking might be able to receive a liver transplant. Not every heavy drinker goes on to develop severe liver disease, as environmental and genetic factors clearly play a role. Only about 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis and about 25 percent develop cirrhosis. Alcohol-related conditions are the third most common cause of preventable death in the United States. Eva Briggs is a medical doctor who works at two urgent care centers (Central Square and Fulton) operated by Oswego Health.

The Question of Transvaginal Mesh By Elizabeth Ferry, M.D

M Now available at most Tops Friendly Markets in Central New York. The paper can also be found at all Wegmans plus more than a 1,000 high traffic locations. Page 18

esh implants have been used for more than 50 years in a variety of different surgeries. Generally, they are implanted to provide more support in a weak spot of the body, such as a hernia. In the early 1990s, pelvic surgeons started using mesh as a sling to support the urethra and prevent stress urinary incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence is any unwanted leakage of urine during activities such as laughing, sneezing or coughing. Later on, larger pieces of mesh were also used to support the bladder during a surgical repair for prolapse, or “dropped bladder.” The mesh was placed through the vagina (transvaginal mesh) in both cases to provide a stronger repair, while also decreasing operating and recovery time. In July 2011 the FDA issued a safety communication expressing concern for an increase in the number of women having complications following surgery using transvaginal mesh. A thorough review was performed and, ultimately, it was

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

determined that transvaginal mesh used for prolapse repair had a higher than expected rate of complications, such as infections, pain, and erosion of the mesh. The mesh kits used for prolapse repairs were subsequently reclassified as “high-risk” devices.   The mesh slings used for stress urinary incontinence were also closely reviewed by the FDA, but determined to be both safe and effective. This position was shared by The Society of Urodynamics and Female Urology and the American Urogynecologic Society. These organizations released a shared statement in 2014 acknowledging the mesh sling’s safety and success rates, as well as the procedure’s ability to help “millions of women with stress urinary incontinence” with “a simple outpatient procedure that allows them to return to daily life very quickly.” The difference in the safety of the mesh procedures is thought to be due to how and where the mesh is placed, rather than the mesh itself. Urine leakage is not a condition that women ‘just need to deal with,’

and while a mesh sling may not be the best treatment for every woman, it is a great option for some. If you or someone you know needs an opinion from an expert before surgery that may involve mesh, please call 315-464-1500 to schedule an appointment with one of the female doctors at Upstate Urology. Phsyician Elizabeth Ferry completed medical school at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, and urology residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She is currently an assistant professor of urology in the department of urology at SUNY Upstate Medical University, specializing in female and general urology.

Golden Years


Things You Should Know About Healthy Aging

By Ernst Lamothe Jr. most likely respond differently to ging is never fun. But it and healthy eating. You don’t have doesn’t have to be incredibly to be heavy for you to have problems treatment than a younger person’s. For example, serious side effects from painful either. There are variwith your bones. Long term arthrichemotherapy are more likely. ous pieces of advice that are designed tis can cause various other health However, Shawl focuses on preto assist seniors in enjoying some of problems.” ventable cancers such as colon, prosthe best years of their life. In order tate and lung as well as some early to be healthy, happy and entertained Heart disease detection cancers like breast cancer. during their golden years, there are In the United States, “Some of these cancers are some certain precautions to take. Physician the most common type of of the most preventable when you Ajaz Shawl, a faculty member for St. heart disease is coronary artery think about it,” said Shawl. “Most Joseph’s Family Medicine Residency disease (CAD), which can lead to Physician Ajaz Shawl is affiliated with St. lung cancer cases are from people in Syracuse, talks about six factors heart attack. You can greatly reduce Joseph’s Physicians Internal Medicine. smoking cigarettes, colon cancer is that cause problems for seniors. your risk for CAD through lifestyle one that if you get your routine colo“Aging can take a toll on you but changes and, in some cases, medinoscopies any issues can be spotted the good thing is there are ways to cation. About 610,000 people die of Dementia and Diabetes and treated immediately. Even with slow down the process,” said Shawl, heart disease in the United States There have been some who has been a practicing physician every year — that’s one in every four breast cancer, if you receive your studies that link health-relatyearly mammograms then early defor more than two decades. “If you deaths, according to the CDC. Heart ed issues to dementia. Whether that tection can save your life.” can avoid some unhealthy habits, disease is the leading cause of death is high blood pressure or diabetes, it Shawl said it all goes back to hav- can cause problems in your vascular you have an opportunity to live a for both men and women.  ing a relationship with a primary care system which can lead to dementia longer, healthier, more pain-free life.” “The good thing now is that our physician who can remind patients lifespans have increased over the or other memory-related problems about your routine exams. Arthritis past few decades where people have later in life. Osteoporosis is a bone the ability to live past 85 years old “One thing that I would tell disease that occurs when the more regularly than before,” said Chronic bronchitis all my patients is that the body is body loses too much bone, makes Shawl. “However, if you slip into Chronic obstructive pulinterconnected. There are so many too little bone or both. As a result, high blood pressure and cholesterol, monary disease (COPD) is ailments that are tied to each other,” bones become weak and may break you are more likely to get a stroke used to describe progressive lung dis- Shawl added. “That is why the best from a fall or, in serious cases, from and heart attack. You can even start eases including emphysema, chronic advice is to eat right, exercise and sneezing or minor bumps. According having problems in your kidneys bronchitis, refractory asthma and maintain as healthy a lifestyle as you to the Centers for Disease Control that can lead to problems in other some forms of bronchiectasis. This MP Order Propo will appear the classification of: by increasing can.” and Prevention, osteoarthritis is the This areasad in our body. You haveat to be disease is characterized most common chronic condition of very careful because once you begin breathlessness. Many people mistake Falls NYproblems, it is very difthe joints, affecting about 27 million to Rome have heart their increased breathlessness and As people start to age, Americans. It can affect any joint, but ficult to get back 100 percent to your coughing as a normal part of aging. falling becomes one of the with inlife.” Home Date 05/2014 In the early stages of the disease, you biggest health casualties in their it occurs most often in knees, hips, former lower back and neck, small joints may not notice the symptoms. COPD lives. Whether that is because they Date: March 17, 2014 Acct# A1ZGFE Rep: GRIMALDI, JENNIFER L Size: HCN6 Ad Id: AM Cancer of the fingers and the bases of the can develop Sales for years without notice- lack a strong core to keep balance As an older adult, cancer thumb and big toe and can cause able shortness of breath. or are unaware of too many home treatment can be more chalsevere arthritis pain. “If left untreated it can grow to hazards, it can be the beginning of a lenging or complicated. This is be“Arthritis is something that pneumonia,” said Shawl. “Pneumohealth downfall. Shawl said there are cause older adults are more likely to can truly impact your quality of nia is one of the most common causes more than 2.5 million people sufferhave chronic health conditions, such life,” said Shawl. “That is one of the of death in seniors.” ing from hip fractures after the age as diabetes or heart disease. Even reasons why we tell our seniors that of 65. they must maintain an active lifestyle when you are healthy, your body will








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Living With Purpose May Help Seniors Sleep Soundly


eniors who believe they have a purpose in life may sleep better, researchers say. Those who have good reasons to get up every day are less apt to have problems that keep them awake at night, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, according to a new study. People tend to have more trouble sleeping as they age, the researchers added. “Helping people cultivate a purpose in life could be an effective drug-free strategy to improve sleep quality, particularly for a population that is facing more insomnia,” said study senior author Jason Ong. He’s an associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. The study included more than 800 people between the ages of 60 and 100 who did not have dementia. Those who said their lives had meaning were 63 percent less likely to have sleep apnea and 52 percent less likely to have restless leg syndrome. They also had a moderately better quality of sleep. Sleep apnea is a common condition where a person’s breathing pauses several times an hour. This disruption causes excessive sleep-

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handful of over-the-counter “personal sound amplification products” fared as well as an expensive hearing aid in helping people pick up more words in conversation, researchers report. While the study took place in a sound booth, “in this controlled environment, some of these devices helped people with mild to moderate hearing loss as well as a hearing aid,” said study author Nicholas Reed. He is an audiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in Baltimore. An estimated 16 percent of Americans have trouble hearing, and the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that almost 30 million people could benefit from hearing aids. But hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars, and Medicare doesn’t cover them, the researchers noted. “Hearing aids are regulated medical devices and should all be able to aid someone with hearing loss,” Reed said. “While not all hearing aids are the same, they should all be able to meet this minimum requirement of making sound louder at appropriate frequencies and with minimal distortion.” In contrast, personal sound amplification products, available at stores and online, aren’t regulated and can’t be marketed as hearing aids. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says they’re supposed

to be used by people without hearing problems to help them hear distant sounds. The devices fit in or around the ear and make use of Bluetooth technology. Should you go out and buy one of the amplification devices instead of getting a hearing aid from a hearing specialist? Some audiologists will refuse to fit you for one, and the U.S. government doesn’t consider them appropriate for people with hearing loss. In a sound booth, the study’s participants listened to sentences with “speech babble noise” in the background. The participants tried to understand what was said without any hearing assistance; while using a hearing aid (costing $1,910); and while using personal sound amplification products bought online and at a pharmacy (one was $30, and the others cost between $270 and $350). The researchers measured the average accuracy — the percentage of the time that the participants understood the sentences. It was 77 percent without a hearing aid, 88 percent with the hearing aid, and 81 to 87 percent with four of the amplification devices (Sound World Solutions CS50+, Soundhawk, Etymotic Bean and Tweak Focus). “The results suggest that the devices are technologically and objectively capable of improving speech understanding in persons with hearing loss,” Reed said.


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Dental Implants Have Come a Long Way New techniques make implants cheaper, more secure and with more natural look By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ntroduced in the mid-1960s, dental implants have come a long way in the materials used and the procedure to place them. Implants can replace a missing tooth to fill a gap in the smile. Strategically placed implants can also help secure a bridge or denture so the wearer feels more comfortable with the prosthesis since they won’t need adhesive to hold them in place. Implants can also replace up to a full mouth of teeth with a natural look that’s undetectable from natural teeth in both form and function. Eliminating dentures improves the patient’s ability to enjoy food, since dentures cover the taste buds on the soft palate. Patients also don’t need to worry about dentures slipping, since implants are considered permanent tooth replacements. David Pierce, dentist at Baldwinsville Gentle Dentistry, said that a pre-surgery CT scan helps the surgeon better visualize and plan the implant before performing the surgery and achieve a more precise placement. “That allows you to design the tooth ahead of time and place the implant,” Pierce said. “It all flows pretty smoothly.” Pierce also uses platelets to help improve healing speed. Before the procedure, the patient’s blood is drawn. Spinning the sample in a centrifuge extracts the platelets that are put back into the surgical site “for quicker healing,” Pierce said. “The

Page 22

Sample of mini implant procedure by Todd Shatkins, cosmetic dentist and director of dentistry at Aesthetic Associates Centre for Plastic Surgery and Dentistry. He said that using a titanium screw instead of steel has helped create a stronger bond to the bone, as well as decrease the healing time recovery time is less and there’s less chance of infection. Platelets drive the healing process.” Todd E. Shatkin, cosmetic dentist and director of dentistry at Aesthetic Associates Centre for Plastic Surgery and Dentistry in the Buffalo area, serves as president of the International Academy of Mini Dental Implants. Along with CT scans, he uses mini dental implants which require what he described as “pinhole sized openings” unlike the larger incisions required for many traditional implants. The smaller incision lessens pain, healing time and the risk for infection, Shatkin said. Some people with long-term tooth loss lose bone over time. Using mini dental implants, a procedure for which Shatkin said he has developed and taught to dentists worldwide, does not require as much bone nor the need for bone grafting and sinus lift surgery, which are common with

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

larger-sized implant screws. In fact, Shatkin calls it a “non-surgical technique” that requires no sutures or stitches. Patients need only local anesthesia and can resume normal activity right away. “You can put a crown or a denture on almost immediately,” Shatkin said. He added that mini implants cost 30 to 50 percent less than traditionally sized implants because patients spend less time in the chair. General dentists trained in the procedure can insert them, which means that patients won’t require referrals to dental surgeons. Once the screw is secured into place, the crown is added. The twopart mini implant is stronger and more secure than the multiple parts of the traditionally-sized implant. Shatkin also operates Shatkin FIRST, a dental lab that makes the appliances for his dental office and offices worldwide. He said that using

a titanium screw instead of steel has helped create a stronger bond to the bone, as well as decrease the healing time. Many of Shatkin’s patients can leave with new teeth within an hour-even a full mouth of implants. Shatkin said that most patients accept implants well. Even older patients who cannot tolerate surgery well are usually good candidates for the procedure since it’s minimally invasive. His success rate is more than 95 percent.

Many of Todd E. Shatkin’s patients can leave with new teeth within an hour. He is the president of the International Academy of Mini Dental Implants and practice in the Buffalo area.

By Jim Miller

New Medicare Cards Debut Next Year Dear Savvy Senior, I just received my Medicare card in the mail and was surprised to see that the ID number is the same as my Social Security number. I know it’s a bad idea to carry around anything that displays my Social Security number because it makes me vulnerable to identity theft. Wasn’t the government supposed to stop putting Social Security numbers on Medicare cards? New Beneficiary   

Dear New, Many people new to Medicare are surprised to learn that the ID number on their Medicare card is still identical to their Social Security number (SSN). After all, we’re constantly warned not to carry our SSN around with us, because if it gets lost or stolen, the result could be identity theft. But the card itself tells beneficiaries to carry it with you when you are away from home so you can show it at the doctor’s office or hospital when you need medical care. Here’s what you should do to protect yourself.

New Medicare Cards

For starters, you’ll be happy to know that the government is in the process of removing SSNs from Medicare cards, but with 58 million beneficiaries, it’s a huge undertaking that will be implemented gradually. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will start sending the new cards in April 2018, but it will take until December 2019 before SSNs are removed from all cards. Under the new system, a randomly generated 11-character Medicare Beneficiary Identifier will replace the SSN-based health claim number on your new Medicare card, but your Medicare benefits will not change. You will receive information in 2018 letting you know about the new Medicare card, with an explanation of how to use the new card and what

to do with your old one. You can start using your new Medicare card with the new number as soon as you receive it, and there should be a transition period in 2018 and 2019 when you can use either the old card or the new card.  

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Protect Your Identity

Until your new Medicare card is issued, here’s what you can do to protect your SSN on your current card. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a national consumer resource on identity theft, recommends that you carry your Medicare card only when you visit a health care provider for the first time, so the provider can make a copy for their files. Otherwise, make a photocopy of your card and cut it down to wallet size. Then take a black marker and black out the last four digits of your SSN, and carry that instead in case of an emergency. If your Medicare card does happen to get lost or stolen, you can replace it by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213 or contact your local Social Security office. You can also request a card online at MyAccount. Your card will arrive in the mail in about 30 days.  If your Medicare card that contains your SSN gets lost or stolen, you’ll need to watch out for Medicare fraud. You can do this by checking your quarterly Medicare summary notices for services or supplies you did not receive. You can also check your Medicare claims early online at (you’ll need to create an account first), or by calling Medicare at 800-633-4227. If you spot anything suspicious or wrong, call the Inspector General’s fraud hotline at 800-447-8477. Also, watch for other signs of identity theft. For example, if someone uses your Social Security number to obtain credit, loans, telephone accounts, or other goods and services, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission at IdentityTheft. gov (or 877-438-4338). This site will also give you specific steps you’ll need to take to handle this problem.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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The Social Ask Security Office By Deborah Banikowski District Manager, Syracuse

Why It Pays to Keep a Careful Eye On Your Earnings Record Whether you’re ready to retire, just joining the workforce, or somewhere in between, regularly reviewing your Social Security earnings record could make a big difference when it’s time to collect your retirement benefits. Just think, in some situations, if an employer did not properly report just one year of your work earnings to us, your future benefit payments from Social Security could be close to $100 per month less than they should be. Over the course of a lifetime, that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in retirement or other benefits to which you are entitled. Social Security prevents many mistakes from ever appearing on your earnings record. On average, we process about 236 million W-2 wage reports from employers, representing more than $5 trillion in earnings. More than 98 percent of these wages are successfully posted with little problem. But it’s ultimately the responsibility of your employers — past and present — to provide accurate earnings information to Social Security so you get credit for the contributions you’ve made through payroll taxes. We rely on you to inform us of any errors or omissions. You’re the only person who can look at your lifetime earnings record and verify that it’s complete and correct. So, what’s the easiest and most efficient way to validate your earnings record? • Visit myaccount to set up or sign in to your own my Social Security account;



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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

Q: I just started my first job and my paycheck is less than I expected. Why am I paying for retirement benefits when I have a lifetime to live before retirement? A: Besides being required by law, you are securing your own financial future through the payment of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The taxes you pay now translate to a lifetime of protection, whether you retire or become disabled. And when you die, your family (or future family) may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work as well. Aside from all the benefits in your own future, your Social Security and Medicare payments also help today’s retirees. To learn more, visit our website at Q: I am nearing my full retirement age, but I plan to keep work-

• Under the “My Home” tab, click on “Earnings Record” to view your online Social Security Statement and taxed Social Security earnings; • Carefully review each year of listed earnings and use your own records, such as W-2s and tax returns, to confirm them; and • Keep in mind that earnings from this year and last year may not be listed yet. If you notice that you need to correct your earnings record, check out our one-page fact sheet at www. Sooner is definitely better when it comes to identifying and reporting problems with your earnings record. As time passes, you may no longer have past tax documents and some employers may no longer be in business or able to provide past payroll information. If it turns out everything in your earnings record is correct, you can use the information and our online calculators at www.socialsecurity. gov/planners/benefitcalculators. html to plan for your retirement and prepare for the unexpected, such as becoming disabled or leaving behind survivors. We use your top 35 years of earnings when we calculate your benefit amounts. You can learn more about how your benefit amount is calculated at www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs/10070.pdf. We’re with you throughout life’s journey, from starting your first job to receiving your well-earned first retirement payment. Learn more about the services we provide online at

ing after I apply for Social Security benefits. Will my benefits be reduced because of my income? A: No. If you start receiving benefits after you’ve reached your full retirement age, you can work while you receive Social Security and your current benefit will not be reduced because of the earned income. If you keep working, it could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. Higher benefits can be important to you later in life and increase the future benefit amounts your survivors could receive. If you begin receiving benefits before your full retirement age, your earnings could reduce your monthly benefit amount. After you reach full retirement age, we recalculate your benefit amount to leave out the months when we reduced or withheld benefits due to your excess earnings. Learn more about Social Security reading our publication, How Work Affects Your Benefits, at www.

CEO Maryann Roefaro to Be Honored by Hospice for Volunteer Service By Caryn Hughes


ospice of Central New York depends heavily on their volunteers. They are all special in their own way, and each one makes a difference. Maryann Roefaro, the CEO of Hematology-Oncology Associates of CNY, is certainly special and has been making a difference at Hospice of Central New York for 15 years. Roefaro’s first experience with hospice was during her former mother-in-law’s illness. She said, “I don’t know what our family would have done without the support and assistance during her end-of-life journey.” When she first became the CEO of HOA there was a hospice employee on site to facilitate referrals. “Hospice and HOA services are indelibly intertwined and I felt very strongly that I wanted to get more involved,” she said. She gave hospice a call, went on a tour and she was sold. Soon after, she was asked to be on the hospice foundation board of directors where she served for six years, then another six years on the hospice operating board. She also served terms as president on both boards and many years as chairwoman of the September Song committee, which is the hospice’s major annual fundraising event. Roefaro has been a passionate committee member, reaching out to her colleagues for corporate and personal support of hospice’s fundraising events. Her desire to help recently led her to raise money for hospice while training for the New York City marathon. Her efforts brought in over $11,000 to help Central New York families get the

services they need at the end of life. After that effort, she solicited some other runners to encourage people to solicit support as they train for an upcoming race, an effort that has been very successful. “The mission is precious,” she said. “The leadership and staff are outstanding, and the availability of resources available through hospice for families dealing with death is a jewel in our community. Many families fear hospice, as they perceive it means the end but that is not my perspective. Hospice can assist in the end-of-life journey in so many ways — they help a family cope, plan and encourage meaningful passage.” She continued, “Volunteering feeds the soul... and giving is a powerful tool that can help to create the conditions for a joy filled life. I give with all my heart, but the fulfillment and joy that comes back is immeasurable.” While passion is important in choosing volunteer work, there is still the need to find time. In addition to her role as CEO HOA, she is an author, marathon runner, wife and mother. She says, “It’s all about priorities and allocating your time wisely. I worked very hard during my career to balance my work and family. I would not be successful without my family’s love, support and some sacrifice. Thankfully, my husband is very supportive.” When asked what has kept her involved for so long, she responded, “It’s a privilege to be part of an organization that means so much to a community and provides vital services.” Hospice of Central New York

Maryann Roefaro, the CEO of Hematology-Oncology Associates of CNY will honor Roefaro at the September Song Event Sept. 15 at Traditions at The Links. This event is hospice’s biggest fundraiser of the year and will provide essential funds for end-of-life services for local families. For more information on how to honor Maryann Roefaro this Septem-

ber call 315-634-1100. Caryn Hughes is the development director at Hospice of Central New York and has been employed there for 25 years. She is a LeMoyne College alum, mother of four grown children, community volunteer, avid skier, and tennis player.



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7/25/2017 PM25 IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • 2:13:19 Page

H ealth News Physician assistant joins OCO medical staff

New president at St. Joseph’s Health auxiliary

Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) Oswego Center for Reproductive Health has welcomed Dinah Olson, a physician assistant, to its staff of medical professionals. Olson most recently worked for Comprehensive Gynecology in Syracuse and had previously worked at OCO Health Services. As part of OCO’s medical staff Olson works with women and men of all ages throughout their reproductive years from adolescence to post-menopausal in regards to all aspects of their reproductive Olson health, from routine exams and preventative care, to visits for current health issues. “Working for OCO again is a wonderful opportunity,” said Olson. “I enjoy the field of reproductive health, so when I decided to come back to Oswego, I was very happy to find OCO needed someone in this field.” OCO’s Health Centers offer a wide range of confidential sexual health services for females and males from routine visits, birth control, STD testing and treatment, to breast and cervical cancer screenings. “I’ve always been a fan of OCO Health Services’ mission of providing quality, affordable, comprehensive health services in a sensitive and caring manner,” added Olson. “It’s important we serve those that find it difficult accessing healthcare services. I’m happy to be back with OCO,” added Olson.

The auxiliary of St. Joseph’s Health officially announced the appointment of Colleen Curley Prossner as the new board president during its annual luncheon May 16. Prossner is the executive director at the Catherine Cummings Theatre at Cazenovia College and has been a St. Joseph’s Health auxiliary board Prossner member for 11 years. She replaces past president Laura Spring, who is an attorney with Cohen Compagni Beckman Appler & Knoll, PLLC in Syracuse. Also during the May luncheon, and as spring’s last official order of business as president, the auxiliary presented the St. Joseph’s Health Foundation with a gift of $245,000. The funds for this gift were generated from the services that the auxiliary offers and manages throughout the hospital, including the coffee shop, gift shop, TV and telephones, vending machines, baby photos, and annual wine tasting event in the fall. This donation will support St. Joseph’s Women’s and Children’s Service line as part of the foundation’s 150th anniversary campaign, including renovation of the Labor and delivery and neonatal intensive care units. The Auxiliary of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center is an organization of approximately 600 men and women dedicated to serving the needs of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. Dating all the way back to the establishment of the hospital, the group currently has more than 30 committees and service projects and

Crouse Partners with 100 Black Men of Syracuse Crouse Health Neurosurgeon Eric Deshaies was the featured presenter at a recent health and wellness forum sponsored by 100 Black Men of Syracuse. The physician spoke Page 26

about the impact of stroke on the African-American community and the latest medical advances being used at Crouse to save lives.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

is directed by a volunteer board.

Heartburn center at St. Joe’s appoints director St. Joseph’s Health has announced that physician Atul Maini has been appointed medical director of its new heartburn center. Maini is a board certified general surgeon and a fellow of American College of Surgeons. He has been a surgeon with St. Joseph’s Health for six years, and was selected as one of “America’s Top Surgeons” in 2009. The heartburn center at St. Joseph’s Health is the first dedicated and comprehensive heartburn treatment center in the greater Syracuse region.

Michael A. Harlovic Appointed President and CEO at Oswego Health Oswego Health, one of the largest employers in Oswego County, has appointed Michael Harlovic as its new president and chief executive office. Harlovic, who started at the position July 3, comes to Oswego Health with more than 31 years of healthcare experience, having started his career as a registered nurse and steadily advancing through the years to the position of president and CEO of Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Allegheny General Hospital is one of eight hospitals located in western Pennsylvania and New York that are a part of the Highmark Health, a vertical integrated diverse health services company, offering insurance and other health-related services to individuals in 50 states. While serving as president and CEO at Allegheny General, Harlovic developed successful patient experience initiatives, oversaw some $2.3 billion in gross revenues and developed innovative programs that recruited and retained physicians and staff. Most of Har-

Maini brings with him extensive experience in advanced laparoscopic surgery including thyroid, breast cancer and abdominal surgeries; as well as a Maini proctor for training other surgeons in performing da Vinci robotic surgery. He is a member of multiple professional societies including American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, and the Massachusetts Board of Medicine. lovic’s healthcare career was spent at Allegheny Valley Hospital, part of the same healthcare network, which serves the northern and eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Harlovic has compared this 200-bed facility where he worked for 21 years to Oswego Health, in terms of the size of the service area, the number of employees, having outpatient centers and distance to a larger city. “The board and I believe that the community will find Michael possesses the necessary leadership skills and experiences that will allow Oswego Health to build upon its recent exceptional advances in quality care and customer experience,” said Oswego Health board chairman Adam Gagas, who also led the CEO search committee. “We look forward to working with him as he continues the development of quality initiatives and new healthcare services needed by community residents.”

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