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Meet Your Doctor Theresa J. Waters is a new cardiologist at St. Joe’s. She talks about ways we can keep our heart (and health) in good shape

JUULING More than 20 percent of New York state high school students use e-cigarettes — one brand, JUUL, which looks like a USB flash drive, accounts for more than half of the users


JUNE 2018 • ISSUE 222

Is Complementary Medicine For You? About one-third of Americans use complementary or “integrative” medicine, according to the most recent statistics offered by the National Institutes of Health. But is it right for you? Page 15 ALSO INSIDE n Cancer: Can Complementary Medicine Help? n What is Naturopathy? n Benefits Extend Beyond Wellness: Mayo Clinic

Gardening Isn’t Just for Adults

Top Weight Loss Mistakes Men Make

Also Inside: Is Vegetable Gardening Worth It?

Many men possess plenty of motivation to lose weight; however, self-sabotaging behavior thwarts their efforts. Area experts weigh in

New Shingles Vaccine New shingles vaccine approved by the FDA is believed to be 97 percent effective in people under 69 and 90 percent effective in those 70 and older

Boost Vitamin C with Sugar Snap Peas A cross between snow peas and regular green peas, sugar snap peas have a lot going for them.

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Already in Town This season, illnesses tied to ticks, mosquitoes are soaring. CDC says incidence of ticks tripled from 2004 to 2016.

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Agencies Partner to Create Shelter for LGBTQ Youth Rescue Mission Alliance and ACR Health plan to open shelter in early 2019


he Rescue Mission Alliance and ACR Health are now ccollaborating to open an emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youth. The 10-bed shelter will serve runaway and homeless youth with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth aged 12 to 17 in Syracuse and Onondaga County. The Rescue Mission and ACR Health are in the process of securing a house for the youth shelter. “Being a self-professed Christian, leading a faith-based organization that has cared for the needs of the homeless for 130 years, I cannot in good conscience ignore the dire needs of homeless LGBTQ young people who are struggling to survive on the street while largely going unnoticed and underserved,” said Rescue Mission Chief Executive Officer Dan Sieburg. “This shelter will help our community fulfill the serious unmet need for safe housing for runaway and homeless LGBTQ youth,” said ACR Health Executive Director Wil

Murtaugh. “ACR Health’s Q Center has extensive services for LGBTQ young people, but has only limited ability to provide housing. Our rapid re-housing caseload is maxed out, but the need for housing remains significant.” The need for additional emergency housing for runaway and homeless youth has become apparent in recent years. Facilities in the area capable of housing youth are frequently near or at capacity. The Rescue Mission is forced to turn youth away from its emergency shelter in Syracuse, which serves adults 18 and older. Homelessness affects many segments of the youth population, but LGBTQ youth are at greater risk. Nationally, 40 percent of all homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. The primary reason LGBTQ youth experience homelessness is family rejection of their sexual orientation or gender identity which often results in youth being forced from home by family. LGBTQ youth also suffer physical and sexual assaults at higher rates. “Nationally, more than half


Announcing a new shelter for LGBTQ youth are Stan Ayres, of Plymouth Congregational Church, which is donating $50,000 to the project, Wil Murtaugh, ACR Health executive director, and Dan Sieburg, Rescue Mission chief executive officer. of homeless LGBTQ youth who accessed services at youth shelters reported discrimination and victimization based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Murtaugh said. “This shelter will affirm LGBTQ youth and offer a safe place to receive help and services.” The Runaway & Homeless Youth Shelter will allow the Rescue Mission and ACR Health to bring what they each do best to the project. The Rescue Mission has extensive experience establishing and operating emergency shelters and permanent residences. ACR Health has a prov-

en record providing counseling and programming to youth, specifically LGBTQ youth. The agencies are in the process of locating a suitable house for the shelter, completing renovations and furnishing the space. Fundraising for the youth shelter is underway with a goal of $500,000. The Plymouth Congregational Church in Syracuse has gifted $50,000 toward the project. Sieburg and Murtaugh said plans call for the shelter to open to youth in early 2019.


From 2012-2016, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s annual operating margin has averaged 0.3 percent, considerably lower than the average of the four major for-profit health plans. Based on a comparison of earnings before interest and taxes, we would have needed to collect $1.6 billion more in premium revenue to achieve the same level of earnings as the major carriers over that period. Because we’re a business, not a charity, we need to earn a margin. But we do not pay dividends to shareholders. That works in your favor. We’re a nonprofit health plan, so we deliberately budget for low margins to keep coverage more affordable. We know you have other important things that matter. We’re neighbors helping neighbors build healthier communities.

A nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

Quality health plans & benefits Healthier living Financial well-being Intelligent solutions

Aetna Medicare

Learn more about Medicare Call today to learn more

Turning 65 soon? You can get medical and prescription drug coverage in one simple plan

John Karatzas 315-766-5290 (TTY: 711) 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday – Friday A licensed sales agent will answer your call.

Aetna Medicare has plans that work hard for you. Our plans offer you: • $0 monthly plan premiums • $5 copay for primary care physician and $35 copay for specialist office visits • Allowance for eyewear and dental

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

©2017 Aetna Inc. June 2018 •


IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Americans Are Getting Herpes


erpes infection rates are dropping among young Americans, and safer sex practices may be one reason why. Roughly 12 percent of adults were infected with genital herpes (HSV-2) in 2015-2016, down from 18 percent in 1999-2000, a new government report found. The same promising trend was seen with HSV-1, a form of herpes that causes sores around the mouth and lips, sometimes called fever blisters or cold sores. Forty-eight percent of Americans had the condition in 2015-2016, a drop from 59 percent in 1999-2000. “The report tells us that two of our most prevalent viruses in the U.S population, HSV-1 and HSV-2, are steadily declining, said report author Geraldine McQuillan. She is a researcher with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). McQuillan added that other countries have seen a similar decline in the past two decades, and “improvements in living conditions, better hygiene and less crowding” may explain that drop. Health experts suggested the findings aren’t entirely unexpected. “Though many factors may be at play, probably the largest impact is that young people are choosing to begin to be sexually active at later timeframes,” said physician Matthew Hoffman. As evidence, he pointed to a 2015 report that indicated that 44 percent of teen girls and 47 percent of teen boys had had sexual intercourse between 2011-2013. Those figures represent a 14 and 22 percent drop, respectively, over the last 25 years. Hoffman was not part of the CDC study team, but serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology with the Christiana Care Health System, in Delaware. Blacks faced the highest risk for genital herpes, while Asians faced the lowest risk, the findings showed. “Though this report is a positive trend, it continues to reflect that there is a very significant burden of disease with lots of affected people,” Hoffman said. “Moreover, we need to continue to work to develop strategies that are effective in preventing the further dissemination of the disease.” The findings were reported in the February issue of the CDC’s NCHS Data Brief.

June 3

ACR Health sponsors new AIDS Walk/Run

Participate in the 26th Annual AIDS Walk/Run and be a part of the fight to end AIDS. ACR Health’s AIDS Walk/Run on Sunday, June 3, at Beaver Lake Nature Center near Baldwinsville is the largest event in all of Central New York that supports programs and services to fight HIV and AIDS.  The event, sponsored by Empower Federal Credit Union and Cathy J Berry MD & Associates, starts at 10 a.m. – rain or shine. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on event day. The AIDS Walk/Run benefits ACR Health and features a 5K fundraising walk, 5K timed run, and a 10K certified run. The event is known for its generous supplies of free food, drinks, and fundraising incentives. Participants are encouraged to fundraise a minimum of $25. Those raising more receive great incentives. All proceeds stay in Central New York to benefit ACR Health’s four cornerstone causes: HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ equality, addiction, and poverty. Register online to participate in the AIDS Walk/Run at ACRHealth. org/events or call AIDS Walk/Run Headquarters at 315-898-2599. 

June 4, July 10, Aug. 6

Got Medicare Questions?

Are you turning 65 soon? Are you overwhelmed by all the mail, calls and Medicare options? The Cayuga County Office for the Aging is offering complimentary monthly unbiased classes to help you make sense of Medicare. You will learn how to determine

whether the plan you are considering will give you peace of mind or potential headaches. You’ll learn about how Part D drug plans work and whether EPIC co-pay assistance is an option for you. If your income is limited, we’ll provide information about programs to help pay for your 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. The current schedule is: 5 to 7 p.m. on June 4, July 10 and Aug. 6. Check The Citizen newspaper and the Cayuga County Office for the Aging’s Senior News & Views for the details. Registration is required. For more information or to register, please call the Cayuga County Office for the Aging at 315-253-1226, or visit under the News & Activities section.

June 14, 15

CNY-CAN brings patientcentered research speaker to Syracuse FOCUS Greater Syracuse and CNY-CAN announce that physician Joe Selby, chief executive officer of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), will be the featured presenter at the FOCUS Forum at 8 a.m. Friday June 15 at Loretto Health & Rehabilitation Center, Cunningham Building, 700 E. Brighton Ave., Syracuse. The event is free and open to the public and light breakfast refreshments will be offered. For more details and to register go to Selby also will discuss pa-

June 23

Amyloidosis group holds meeting

Cardiologist Omar Siddiqi from Boston University Medical Campus will be the guest speaker during an amyloidosis support group meeting 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., June 23, at the Weiner Conference Room at Rochester General Hospital, 1425 Portland Ave., Rochester. Amyloidosis is a life-threatening rare disease often misdiagnosed and under-diagnosed — early diagnosis is vital for a chance of survival.  The group wants to raise awareness of the disease. For registration or more information, call 866-404-7539 toll free (leave a message if no one is there). Locally, call MaryAnn Kraft 585-334-7501 or send her an email, thumbelinamk@ 

Lend a Helping Hand at the CNY Ronald McDonald House


Local nonprofit organization seeks summer volunteers

onald McDonald House Charities of Central New York is encouraging community-minded individuals to sign up to volunteer this summer at the CNY Ronald McDonald House. The local nonprofit organization relies heavily on volunteers to assist with preparing home-cooked meals, providing office support and participating in general housekeeping duties. The generosity and support of volunteers helps the organization save approximately $100,700 annually in service hours.

“Volunteers are truly the heart of our home,” said Beth Trunfio, executive director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York. “Without their support, we would not be able to provide the services that we offer at the CNY Ronald McDonald House and continue to make it a comfortable place to stay for families that are going through the unthinkable.” The house serves as a temporary home for families who travel to Syracuse from across New York state and northern Pennsylvania, and in some

cases, foreign countries. The house provides the convenience of a private room and warm bed, a home-cooked meal and supportive environment, all while keeping families whose children are seriously ill or injured close to Syracuse-area hospitals and medical centers. Interested adults and students over the age of 18 are invited to apply to become volunteers. For more information or to fill out an online volunteer application visit or emailvolunteer@rmhcny. org.

Excellus Looking for Owners of Unclaimed Funds


undreds of people and companies in Central New York, and thousands across the state, have not cashed more than $2.1 million in checks issued by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and its parent company. These checks were issued to members and providers in 2014, but were never cashed. If the funds aren’t claimed by the Page 4


tient-centered research at the Dean and chairman of medicine’s grand rounds at SUNY Upstate Medical University at 4:30 p.m. Thursday June 14. The visit follows nearly three years of CNY-CAN’s community engagement work sponsored by PCORI and in part by the Health Foundation of Western & Central New York. CNY-CAN, the Central New York Citizens Aging Research and Action Network, is a joint effort of FOCUS, SUNY Upstate Medical University’s division of geriatrics, the Southwest Community Center, and HealtheConnections. Since 2015 CNY-CAN has drawn together hundreds of patients, caregivers and health professionals to discuss the kinds of health care research that is most important for patients who want to live well as they age. CNY-CAN partners and researchers have developed five research proposals with patient and caregiver input and support from PCORI. The Forum is presented with support from Loretto and the Health Foundation of Western & Central New York.  

end of August, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is required to turn the money over to New York state. A complete list of names of people and companies with checks to claim is available on the company’s website at  “This is money that was paid for claims or refunded premiums,” said Jim Reed, regional president,

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “It rightfully belongs to our members or providers, and we want to make sure they have one more chance to claim it before it goes to the state.” Most of the checks that have yet to be cashed were allocated to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield members and providers, who may have forgotten to cash the checks, moved and left no forwarding address, or died. 

To claim a check prior to Aug. 31, current Excellus BlueCross BlueShield members can call the phone number listed on their member identification card. Former members, or those calling on behalf of the estate of a family member, can call Excellus BlueCross BlueShield at 1-800-4991275.  Checks will be mailed to claimants on or before Aug. 31.

I invite you to join me in creating a legacy gift through your will or financial plans. Together we can do great things for Central New York. – Jack Gorham

UPSTATE LEGACIES: Lifesaving and life-changing “She and I were one. What they did for her, they did for me.” The appreciation is evident in Jack Gorham’s voice when he talks about the “angelic” way Upstate University Hospital physicians, nurses, physician assistants and staff treated his wife Colleen throughout her 17-year journey with cancer.

For Jack it’s personal!

Jack and Colleen were overwhelmed by the compassion of the Upstate team, particularly in the radiation oncology department. Over the years, Colleen was treated for three different cancers beginning with breast cancer, followed by skin cancer and eventually throat cancer. As she came out of her 60th (and final) treatment, the physicians and staff gave her a standing ovation for her courage and bravery. Jack wants to help maintain this level of care and compassion for future cancer patients. That is why he has remembered The Upstate Foundation in his will. It’s also personal for you. Every dollar donated to the Upstate Foundation has an impact on our community’s health and well-being as every dollar stays right here in Central New York to help assure happy, healthy and longer lives for your loved ones, friends and neighbors.

For free and confidential information on how to make a low cost, high impact legacy gift contact, or have your professional advisor contact, John Gleason at 315-464-4416 or email us today at Our legal name is THE UPSTATE FOUNDATION INC. June 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Theresa J. Waters, D.O. Want to keep heart in good shape? ‘Diet and exercise are the biggest things,’ says new cardiologist at St. Joe’s. ‘I usually recommend the Mediterranean diet as a heart-healthy diet … and exercise 30 minutes a day’

Could Time in a Sauna Lower Stroke Risk?


lder adults who like to bask in the heat of a sauna may be less likely to suffer a stroke, a new study suggests. The study, of more than 1,600 Finnish adults, found that those who hit the sauna at least four times a week were about 60 percent less likely to suffer a stroke over the next 15 years versus people who had only one weekly sauna session. Finland is the birthplace of the traditional sauna which involves sitting in a room filled with dry heat at temperatures that top 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Sauna bathing is ingrained in the Finnish culture, and most people do it at least weekly, according to the researchers on the new study. So it’s not clear whether the results would extend to other types of heat therapy from steam rooms to hot tubs that are more common in other countries, said lead researcher Setor Kunutsor. But the findings do build on evidence that traditional saunas benefit people’s cardiovascular health, said Kunutsor, a research fellow at the University of Bristol in England. Past studies have found that frequent sauna users have lower rates of heart disease and dementia, compared to infrequent users. There’s also evidence the sessions lower people’s blood pressure, and make the blood vessels less stiff and more responsive to blood flow. It’s those effects, said Kunutsor, that might explain the lower stroke risk seen in this study. The findings are based on 1,628 adults who were between the ages of 53 and 74 at the outset. None had a history of stroke. The findings were published online May 2 in Neurology.

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Q: How did you come to be at St. Joe’s? A: I’m a native Syracusan. I did my training at Upstate in Syracuse. I would say that, to me, St. Joseph’s is the heart hospital of our town, so I always wanted to practice where we had the best cardiac care. So I’d been wanting to interview at St. Joe’s. The cardiologists here are smart, easy to work with and have excellent camaraderie. Q: What got your interested in cardiology? A: Most doctors in training change their interest multiple times. When I first started out, I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist. When I was in medical school, the first system we did was cardiology. I took a liking to the heart. It’s a system

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

that has so much. I love science. I like to study pathology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology. The heart has all of that. You need to know the anatomy, how it functions, lots of medications that you have to know about. It’s pretty much everything I love about medicine in one system. There’s a lot to learn and a lot you have to keep learning. I rotated with cardiologists at St. Joe’s as a medical student and took a liking to it. Q: What’s your typical patient profile? A: I’d say my typical patient profile is a male between the ages of 45 and 60 years old. Their typical complaints are chest pains or palpitations. Heart attacks, heart failure, valvular heart disease, atrial fibrillation, aortic stenosis. These are some of our most common diagnoses. Q: In addition to your previous experiences as a student at St. Joe’s what other factors weighed into your decision to practice at St. Joe’s? A: I feel that we offer top of the line cardiac care. We have bypass surgery — for a while we were the only hospital in town that had an extensive bypass program. We do structur-

al heart disease. We’re introducing the Watchman procedure. We have a lot of state-of-the-art technology. Q: Do you perform surgeries yourself? A: No, I’m not an invasive cardiologist. Q: What should people approaching middle age do to keep their heart in good shape? A: Diet and exercise are the biggest things. I usually recommend the Mediterranean diet as a heart-healthy diet — and exercise 30 minutes a day five days a week. And I’d say meet with your primary care doctor to monitor for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Those would be your best bet for avoiding heart disease. And if you do develop a chronic condition, of course you’ll want to get it under control. Q: What’s something you find patients either don’t know about their heart or underestimate the impact of? A: I think people may not realize just how important your BMI [body mass index] is. Obesity is a problem. When you’re obese, you’re at higher risk for heart problems. Your weight is very important to your heart health. So it’s important to move more and eat less and make sure you have a healthy BMI. Q: What’s your strategy for helping patients lower their BMI? A: I tell people portion control. When you go out to eat, cut your meal in half, put half in a to-go box. Everything is super-sized in America. I also tell people to get into an exercise routine. When the weather’s nice, walk. I like to ball room dance. I try to find what patients like to do and add a healthy touch to it. When it’s something they like to do, they’re more likely to be able to work it into their routine and be more successful at losing weight. Q: I’ve talked to a few physicians who were talking about ways and strategies for “prescribing” exercise. One actually went so far as to get personal training certification. A: As an osteopathic physician [D.O.], my medical training is a little bit different. We’re taught to approach the patient as a whole, so we learn about muscle strengthening and alignment. So we have stretches and exercises that I show patients in the office. But cardio activity is really the most important. I can’t really show them how to do that in the office, but I can recommend activities for them to try. I can also send them to physical therapy for evaluation and therapy.


Name: Theresa J. Waters, D.O. Position: Cardiologist at St. Joseph’s Medical Center Hometown: Syracuse Education: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine; Albany Medical College (internal medicine internship and residency); SUNY Upstate (cardiology fellowship program) Affiliations: St. Joseph’s Medical Center Organizations: Camp Good Days and Special Times; American College of Cardiology, American Medical Association Family: Husband, one son, one daughter Hobbies: Ball room dancing, golf, boating, church


T: 9.75” x 13.75”

B: none


Say hello to healthy. NOCHSI is now ConnextCare. Say hello to ConnextCare, Oswego County’s largest connected primary care network. And while our name may be new, our physicians and staff are the same familiar faces from NOCHSI. They’re just a little more connected. To you. Learn more at, or better yet, stop in to one of our six main sites and say hello.

June 2018 • 91881_CC_Ad_Vert.indd 1

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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5/23/18 11:34 AM

U.S. Illnesses Tied to Ticks, Mosquitoes Are Soaring


iseases transmitted by biting insects — ticks and mosquitoes in particular — have more than tripled in the United States over the past decade, a new federal government report shows. These pests caused more than 96,000 cases of illness in 2016, up from roughly 27,388 in 2004 and part of a continuing increase in insect-borne diseases, CDC researchers said. “Zika, West Nile, Lyme and chikungunya — a growing list of diseases caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick or flea — have confronted the U.S. in recent years, making a lot of people sick. And we don’t know what will threaten Americans next,” CDC director, physician Robert Redfield, said in a statement. Several factors are likely behind the increase, researchers said. Mosquitoes and ticks are increasing in number and moving into new

areas, carrying with them the diseases they transmit through their bite, the report said. For example, Aedes aegypti — the mosquito most responsible for transmitting Zika — has now expanded its range into as many as 38 states, the report found.

Overseas travel also is contributing to the increase, with travelers picking up insect-borne illnesses in other lands and bringing them back to the United States. Further, nine new germs spread by mosquitoes and ticks have been discovered or introduced since 2004,

seven of those in ticks alone. “The data show that we’re seeing a steady increase and spread of tickborne diseases, and an accelerating trend of mosquito-borne diseases introduced from other parts of the world,” physician Lyle Petersen, director of the division of vector-borne diseases in the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said in a statement. Tick-borne diseases are mainly found in the eastern continental United States and areas along the Pacific coast, the researchers said. West Nile virus, the major mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States, can be found widely distributed across the country. Dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses were almost exclusively transmitted in Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Though rare, plague was the most common disease resulting from the bite of an infected flea. The findings were published May 1 by the CDC as a Vital Signs report.

Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Medicare: More Than $59 Billion Lost to Fraud


he lead article in the current AARP Bulletin explains Medicare fraud. Last year, Medicare spent $591 billion on claims. Medicare covers about 58 million senior and disabled Americans so that works out to $10,000 per enrollee. (11,000 to 12,000 people a day become eligible for Medicare.) According to Medicare, 10 percent of the $591 billion was lost to fraud which comes to about $1,000 a year per enrollee. However, many experts in the field believe the amount of fraud could actually be more. Commercial carriers like BlueCross BlueShield, Aetna, Cigna, United, etc., all investigate suspicious claims before paying them. Medicare pays claims and investigates after paying them. Crooks have opened phony pharmacies or

medical equipment stores, submitted phony claims using stolen social security numbers, made millions and closed down before Medicare got wise. The federal government spends a lot of money chasing fraud. The key is to prevent it in the first place. A major change is the current discontinuation of social security numbers for Medicare identification. All enrollees will have a personal ID number this year. The format will look like this: 1GJ5 HB5 LR72. Another change is the enrollment of Medicare members into Advantage plans that are run by commercial carriers. Finally, Medicare recipients can help fight fraud by reviewing their bills and reporting any service or item items not received. The Medicare fraud hotline is 800-633-4227.

DNA sequencing he medical community agrees that this will help them pinpoint your treatment. In 2015, President Obama introduced the Precision Medicine Initiative and Cancer Moonshot projects as a way to get individually tailored treatment plans. While most insurers still consider DNA sequencing as “experimental,” which is their way of saying they won’t pay for it, the tide is turning. The Geisinger Health System, based in Pennsylvania, recently announced it will make DNA testing a routine part of preventive care, just like mammograms, colonoscopies and cholesterol tests. The “forecasting” provided by DNA testing allows physicians to provide active versus reactive treatment. Geisinger expects 10 percent to 15 percent of their patients will benefit from the testing. While most industry experts see the benefits of DNA testing, they are

concerned about privacy and the use of the results, which will predict the diseases a person is prone to, by life and health insurance companies.


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Uninsured rate up The number of uninsured Americans is heading in the wrong direction, according to a Commonwealth fund survey. The number of uninsured has increased to 15.5 percent as of March 2018. That is up from 12.7 percent in 2016 and is expected to increase further, primarily due to the gutting of the Affordable Care Act and particularly due to the repeal of the individual mandate. Premiums for those seeking insurance on the exchange will increase as younger and healthier people drop coverage. Drug prices continue to be virtually uncontrolled and add significantly to everyone’s premium increases, not just those on the exchange. According to a congressional report, drug

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

prices have risen 10 times faster than inflation in just the last five years. Both President Trump and HHS Secretary Azar have vowed to bring drug prices down. Physicians with computers The paper record is virtually dead. A computer in the exam room, either hand held or on a stand, is as evident as an exam table. Computers are part of everyday life. Ironically, healthcare has historically been well behind other industries when it comes to computers. So, that all being said, just what does the average patient think of providers using computers in the exam room? The University of Texas conducted a study to find out. Participants were asked to watch two videos with exactly the same script. In one video, the physician used a computer. In another video, the physician used a notepad. Seventy-one percent of participants preferred the physician without the computer and ranked him higher on communication and professionalism. Realizing the computer is here to stay, researchers believe strategies that mitigate the perceived negativity of computers in the exam room are imperative to effective communication between provider and patient. Hopefully as providers become more familiar with their electronic medical records, their “art of eye contact,” while inconspicuously using their computer, should improve.     NPs and PAs Just as computers and electronic records are now generally accepted integral parts of healthcare, so too are advanced practice clinicians better known as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. There are now about 375,000 active NPs and PAs as compared to about 950,000 active physicians. The anticipated physician shortage would certainly be worse without the 375,000 advanced practice clinicians. By now, most of us have come into contact with a NP or PA in the course of our care. Initially used primarily for follow up care,

to the care provided by a physician, NPs and PAs now see new patients and provide acute care. In many instances, a NP or PA is the only provider on duty at many practices. Value-based care reimbursement and financial incentives for team-based care have further stimulated the use of NPs and PAs in both primary and specialty care settings.   Veteran’s care In response to recent criticism of the care provided by the VA system, the VA Mission Act of 2018 has been introduced to Congress. It allows vets to seek care from private, non-VA providers in the general community. A caveat is the veteran’s VA-based provider must agree that private care in the community is the best interest of the veteran. Timely access to care would be a critical consideration for the ultimate approval to go elsewhere. If the veteran is denied approval to receive care elsewhere, there is a clinical appeals process.  Rural healthcare CMS has recently vowed to take into consideration how their proposed policies and payments might, inadvertently, negatively impact rural-based physicians and hospitals. Sixty million of us live in rural areas which have higher rates of poverty and under-insurance as well as larger gaps in the delivery systems versus urban areas. CMS plans to increase its rates for telemedicine and make it easier for rural providers to bill for them. 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

39 Reasons Why

Central New York Moms Choose Crouse T

here are many reasons why Crouse delivers more babies than any other hospital in upstate New York, not the least of which are the amazingly skilled, compassionate and highly regarded OB providers who choose to deliver at Crouse Health. If you’re pregnant — or planning to be — don’tyou want the very best for both you and your baby?

U.S. Motorcycle Deaths Dropped 6 Percent Last Year


otorcycles are still deadlier than cars, but there’s some good news: Nearly 6 percent fewer bikers died on U.S. roads last year than in 2016, a new report says. Preliminary data indicate that there were 4,990 motorcyclist fatalities in the United States in 2017 — which is 296 fewer than the year before, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). But even with that reduction, motorcyclists account for a disproportionate amount of all traffic deaths. Deaths per mile traveled are 28 times higher among motorcyclists than among people in passenger vehicles, the report noted. “Motorcyclist fatality numbers have fluctuated from year to year over the past decade,” said report author Tara Casanova Powell. “While we are cautiously optimistic about this projection, we really need to see a sustained trend downward toward eventually eliminating motorcyclist fatalities altogether,” she said in a GHSA news release. Last year, motorcyclist deaths fell in 30 states, remained the same in two states and rose in 18 states, according to the report. In 2016, one-quarter of motorcy-

clists who died had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, the highest percentage of any vehicle type. Data suggest that trend continued in 2017. Several states had an increase in distracted riding-related motorcycle deaths in recent years. And one state (Virginia) had more than double the number of such deaths between 2016 and 2017. Motorcyclists are aging, and riders over age 40 now account for the largest share of motorcyclist deaths nationwide, the findings showed. The average age of motorcyclists killed in 2016 was 43. And in onethird of states, the majority of 2017 motorcyclist crashes involved older riders. A particularly active hurricane season in 2017 may have led to fewer motorcycle riders on the roadways, Powell pointed out. But, she added, “clearly, we can’t — and shouldn’t — rely on bad weather to prevent motorcyclist deaths.” Recently, some states have considered ignition interlocks as a way to reduce alcohol-impaired riding. These prevent a motorcycle from starting if alcohol is detected on the rider’s breath.

Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Madison Counties

CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

A monthly newspaper published by 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. © 2018 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, Anne Palumbo, Melissa Stefanec, Chris Motola, Eva Briggs (MD), Kyra Mancine, Mahmoud Chehab, M.D. • 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.

Crouse Obstetrical Care Providers Cathy J. Berry, MD & Associates Cathy Berry, MD Krystal Foree, MD Carol Lopes, MD Janet Ortolani, CNM Alia Rezek, CNM Christian Health Services Eugene Bailey, MD CNY Obstetrics & Gynecology PC Leonard Marotta, MD CNY Women’s Healthcare PC Catherine Bailey, MD Stephen Brown, MD Maria Ciciarelli, MD Mai-Anh Thi Doan, MD Jaya Nemani, MD Sarah Schoch, MD Crouse Midwifery Group Mary Thompson, CNM Family Medicine Services Group Cinthia Elkins, MD James Greenwald, MD Loftus, Ryu, Bartol, MDs PC Reem Akkawi, MBChB Suzanne Bartol-Krueger, MD Kelli Corniello, DO Erin Hill, MD William Loftus, MD Richard D. Semeran, MD PC Richard Semeran, MD University OB/GYN Associates, Inc. Nicholas Baranco, MD Helene Bernstein, MD Maureen Burke, MD Hans Cassagnol, MD John Folk, MD Leah Kaufman, MD Jennifer Makin, MD Renee Mestad, MD John Nosovitch, Jr., MD Robert Silverman, MD George Stanley, MD Brian Thompson, MD Jodi Wallis, DO Charina Carissimi, CNM Kathleen Dermady, CNM Mary Hartman, CNM Women’s Wellness Place Sara Quinn, MD

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

Juuling: E-cigs Craze Hooks More Kids By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ou’d surely notice the tell-tale odor of cigarette smoke on your child if he or she were lighting up. But e-cigarettes make nicotine addiction stealthy. E-cigarettes use water vapor as the means to deliver nicotine. Their use is skyrocketing among young people. According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, 20.6 percent of New York state high school students use e-cigarettes, compared with 4.3 percent who smoke. While it may appear e-cigarettes

offer a harmless, smoke-free diversion, physician Leslie J. Kohman said there is an effort to prevent young people from using them. “The American Cancer Society strongly recommends that every effort be made to prevent the initiation of e-cigarettes by youth,” she said. Kohman serves on the board of directors of the Eastern Division Board of the American Cancer Society. She’s also a thoracic surgeon specializing in thoracic oncology at Upstate Medical University. Ironically, marketed as an alternative for established smokers or ces-

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sation aid, e-cigarettes contribute to youth picking up smoking combustible cigarettes, according to a 2018 report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. “For decades the tobacco industry has been known to deceptively market their products toward young people,” said Deborah Mendzef, coordinator at the CNY Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at St. Joseph’s Health. The design of one brand, JUUL, appears to be a sleek, cylindrical USB flash drive and even charges in a USB port. JUUL’s replaceable cartridges, which contain the nicotine “juice” come with flavors adolescents like,

More than 20 percent of New York state high school students use e-cigarettes — one brand, JUUL, which looks like a USB flash drive, accounts for more than half of the users such as mango, fruit medley and crème brulee. Add to that the novelty of a gadget, the rebellious notion of smoking and the false sense of security in smokeless tobacco and it’s little wonder that JUUL use has become popular. So many children use that brand that the slang term “Juuling” was coined to describe the habit. JUUL products comprise half the e-cigarette market. In a statement on the company website, JUUL Labs CEO Kevin Burns said that the company is “committed to deterring young people, as well as adults who do not currently smoke, from using our products. We cannot be more emphatic on this point: No young person or non-nicotine user should ever try JUUL.” Despite the statement, the fad of Juuling has become widespread enough that schools have developed policies about e-cigarettes because of the potential for harm. “No one should smoke cigarettes, and every effort should be made to get smokers off all forms of tobacco and to prevent everyone, especially youth, from starting to use any tobacco product,” Kohman said.

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“Smokers are strongly advised to use proven cessation methods, such as prescription medications and counseling, to quit smoking.” Though likely less harmful than combustible cigarettes, little is known about the full extent of the harm caused by e-cigarettes. “Nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain,” said Christopher Owens, director of the CNY Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at St. Joseph’s Health. “Electronic nicotine delivery system products deliver nicotine, the drug that facilitates and maintains addiction. He added that “there is growing evidence that electronic nicotine delivery system products contain many harmful chemicals that can have a negative effect on the body when inhaled or ingested.” These chemicals include formaldehyde, toluene, cadmium, lead, nickel and benzene. JUUL’s website states that their product “contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm,” according to California Proposition 65. Mike Seilback, vice president of Advocacy and Communications at the American Lung Association New York in Albany, wants the federal government to find out exactly what the products contain. Many brands of e-cigarette cartridges, for example, are imported from China and have no oversight as to what is in the chemical cocktail that produces the flavor. JUUL’s website states that some components of their products are domestic and some

are imported. “The FDA still hasn’t regulated these products in a way that we know exactly what is in these products,” Seilback said. “We know that when some of these products over the entire market were lab tested, ones claiming to be nicotine free weren’t.” He isn’t sure if that was intentional or lab errors; however, he said that “inhaling anything into your lungs, say anything of something mixed in lab thousands of miles away, isn’t the safest thing to do.” Seilback believes that the Juuling trend has reversed decades of work to make tobacco use unappealing to young people. “We now see teens proudly declaring they are JUUL users,” Seilback said. “They might hide it from their parents, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s cool to their peers in identifying with these products. “We’re alarmed we might see a generation of youth who are addicted to tobacco products without realizing the long-term effects.” He’s also troubled by e-cigarettes that don’t contain nicotine (though all JUUL products do), since they encourage and glorify the habit which can readily lead to nicotine-containing products. Seilback believes that e-cigarettes were developed to groom a new generation of smokers to keep tobacco companies profiting. Parents should talk with their children about the dangers of e-cigarettes, especially since no long-term studies indicate that e-cigarettes are any safer than combustible cigarettes.

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Page 11

Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

What My Garden Has Taught Me


ardening season has finally arrived, as witnessed by the abundance of daffodils, forsythia and gorgeous flowering trees. June is the perfect time for us to dig in and get our hands dirty! And it’s a good time to reflect the many life lessons that gardening offers to those who live alone. It has taught me the value of planning, preparation, patience, and pleasure — four essential “P’s” for a bountiful garden and ... a bountiful life. Fertile ground exists in each of us, and a little tending can produce beautiful results. Here’s what I have learned: n Plan. Realizing the garden of your dreams begins in your imagination, followed by careful planning. Diagram your garden and it will help you avoid planting bulbs on top of bulbs or mistaking a poppy for a weed. Likewise, envisioning your life

goals and committing them to writing can help you flourish and grow. n Cultivate. Good, cultivated soil promotes healthy, deep roots. When you add fertilizer to your garden you are rewarded with abundance. Adding essential ingredients to the foundation of your dream garden (and your dream life) will nourish all that follows. You can’t go wrong with good, nutritious food; a walk in nature; a good book; soothing music; or saying “yes” to a new adventure that’s been tugging at your heart. n Plant. So many choices! Revisit your plan and embed your carefully selected seeds or seedlings with a tender, loving touch, being careful not to overcrowd or plant more than you can manage. And remember: We reap what we sow, so follow your dreams. Plant a rose and you get a rose; plant a dandelion and you get a dandelion. Seed your future with healthy choic-

s d i K Corner

Kids of Youngest, Oldest Moms at Risk of Developmental Issues: Study


hildren with the youngest and oldest mothers may be at increased risk for developmental vulnerabilities, a new study reports. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 100,000 children and found that overall, 21 percent of them had at least one developmental vulnerability at age 5. The rate was highest (40 percent) among those born to mothers age 15 and younger. It then steadily decreased to the lowest rate (17 percent) among children born to mothers aged 30 to 35, and then rose to 24 percent among children born to mothers aged 35 to 45. Social and economic disadvantages accounted for at least half the increased risk of developmental vulnerabilities among children born to Page 12

young mothers, according to the authors of the study, published recently in the journal PLOS Medicine. “To our knowledge, this study is the largest scale evidence internationally on the relationship between maternal age at childbirth across the whole distribution of maternal ages and early childhood development,” Kathleen Falster, of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues wrote. “Further research to better understand the mechanisms that underlie the elevated risk of developmental vulnerability … may inform policies and interventions to promote positive child development across the population,” the researchers added in a journal news release.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

es that promote well-being. n Weed. We all need room to breathe and positive space in which to blossom. It holds true for your garden and your life. Gardening is all about consistent caretaking. Slack off, even for a few days, and all things unwelcome show up and take root. Weed out the negativity and any dream-stealing toxins that contaminate your life, dash your hopes, or spoil your fun. When you pull out the bad, you can more easily focus on the good in your life. n Prune. When weeding is not enough, a major pruning may be just what the arborist ordered. A job, relationship or home that no longer satisfies or meets your needs may need a hard look. It may be time to pull out that pair of “life loppers.” n Mulch. Mulching keeps weeds at bay and the ground moist, and returns nutrients to the soil. It also adds a finishing touch. Mulch offers a blanket of protection, in the same way that regular doctor appointments, insurances, and safety measures protect our lives. We can learn a lot from mulching. n Wait. We all know that good things come to those who wait and it’s not just what comes out of the Heinz ketchup bottle. When you exercise patience, go slowly, and enjoy the gradual unfolding of a flower, an idea, or a friendship, your life can be savored and more deeply appreciated.

Each year, I look to my garden to remind me that growth takes time. n Enjoy. Before you know it, your labor of love and patience will pay off. Take pleasure in the transformation as the colors, textures, and fragrances emerge. Too often, we fail to stop and smell the roses in our gardens and in our lives. So get busy, then step back and take a good look. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as admiring what you’ve accomplished. It’s reason to celebrate! By osmosis, gardening has taught me how to take better care of myself. I have absorbed its rich messages and learned how to nurture my inner garden and growth as a women on her own. I encourage you to grab a spade and join me. Beauty, growth, and an energizing sense of renewal can be yours, season after season after season.

Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of Live Alone and Thrive, empowerment workshops for women and author of “Alone and Content,” a collection of inspiring essays for those who live alone. For information about her workshops, to invite her to speak, or to purchase her new book, call 585-624-7887, email her at, or visit www.

Treating Overactive Bladder Small changes in behavior and diet may decrease urinary frequency in people with overactive bladder By Elizabeth Ferry, M.D.


f you find yourself running to the bathroom or always knowing where the closest bathroom is, you are not alone. Bothersome urinary frequency, or overactive bladder, impacts over a third of women during their lives. This may also involve urinary leakage or getting up during the night to urinate, but even when it does not, urinary frequency may become very bothersome and decrease quality of life. Treatment may be as simple as adjustments to diet or activity. Consumption of foods or beverages that are carbonated, caffeinated, alcoholic, highly acidic, sugary or contain artificial sweeteners may be very irritative to the bladder. Common offenders are coffee, soda, seltzer water, and even diet supplements such as apple cider vinegar.

Not all irritants impact your bladder the same way. Knowing what makes your bladder need to urinate more frequently may enable you to avoid the bathroom by avoiding those specific foods or beverages. Keeping a diary of what you have consumed on “bad” bladder days may help to identify triggers for overactivity. In addition to attention to diet, there are other small changes in

behavior that may decrease urinary frequency. People who have developed trouble walking or getting around may benefit from trying to urinate every two to three hours, rather than waiting until there is an urge to urinate. Getting up to urinate at night can be decreased by stopping fluids after dinner. Improvement in other medical conditions, especially better control

of diabetes or sleep apnea, may also decrease nighttime urinary symptoms. If your bladder is still controlling your day or night, talk to your doctor. A urologist could help to determine the cause of your bladder symptoms and tailor a treatment plan for you. Treatment options may include bladder retraining or physical therapy, medicines, or minimally invasive clinic or surgical procedures, depending on your preferences and specific needs. While this condition is common, it is not something that you need to live with. Physician Elizabeth Ferry is a Watertown native. She 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.

IN A LIFE TIME OF MOMENTS THAT MAKE YOUR HE ART BE AT, A SINGLE INSTANT COULD CHANGE E VERY THING. At St. Joseph’s Health, our nationally recognized, multi-specialty cardiovascular team offers the widest range of diagnostic and treatment options in the region. Our cutting-edge heart and vascular facilities and state-of-the-art technologies help us work as a unified team to achieve your best-possible outcome, because. . .


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

• Page 13 5/22/18 11:33 AM


The skinny on healthy eating

Boost Vitamin C with Sugar Snap Peas


cross between snow peas and regular green peas, sugar snap peas have a lot going for them. One, the entire pea is edible, including the pod. Two, they’re a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that promote good health. And three, they’re low in calories (only 40 per one-cup raw), deliciously crunchy and a terrific vehicle for hummus and vegetable dip. One of the most notable health benefits of sugar snaps is their high vitamin C content: one cup boasts nearly 100 percent of our daily needs. This workhorse vitamin speeds wound healing, boosts immunity and aids in the production of collagen. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C also helps to neutralize free radicals — unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness, aging and premature wrinkling. During the summer, vitamin C is especially important for heat regulation. According to research, vitamin C helps to prevent serious problems caused by excessive heat — such as

heat stroke and heat rashes — by keeping sweat glands in good working condition. Sugar snaps are surprisingly good for bones, as they boast decent levels of four important nutrients that contribute to normal bone growth and overall bone health: vitamins A and K and the minerals manganese and iron. Beset by osteopenia now, I’m always on the lookout for foods that will fortify my bones and prevent osteoporosis later. Hearts benefit from this tasty pea, too. From its low fat content to its cholesterol-clearing fiber to its folate (a B vitamin that may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by nearly 20 percent), sugar snaps may keep our tickers tocking longer. Are sugar snaps full of sugar and bad for diabetics and others watching their sugar intake? No! According to the American Diabetic Association, we should snap up this non-starchy vegetable with its complex carbs, low glycemic index and relatively low amount of sugar. Non-starchy veg-

Helpful tips

Look for pods that are bright green and crisp (when broken in half, they should make a snapping sound). They can be refrigerated for two to three days, but will be sweetest if cooked or eaten raw as soon as possible after purchase. Do not wash until ready to use.

etables like sugar snaps keep blood sugar in check and can actually aid in the prevention of diabetes.

Sugar Snap Peas and Noodles with Ginger-Sesame Sauce Adapted from Cookie and Kate 8 ounces soba noodles or spaghetti noodles of choice 3 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut diagonally in half 2 cups frozen edamame 3 large carrots, peeled and julienned 1 medium red pepper, chopped 2 tablespoons minced shallots (optional) ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro Ginger-Sesame Sauce ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 small lime, juiced 2 teaspoons sesame oil 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar 1 clove garlic, minced 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger 1 teaspoon Sriracha or pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Bring a big pot of water to boiling. Add the soba noodles and cook for five minutes. In the last 20 seconds of cooking, add the sugar snap peas. Drain and rinse the noodle-pea mixture in cool water. Drain again. Prepare edamame according to package directions. Drain. Place the noodles and peas in a large bowl. Add the carrots, pepper, edamame, and shallots. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and add to the noodle mixture. Top the salad with cilantro and serve.

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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

Snack Your Way to Your Eating Nuts Linked to Lower Odds of Having AFib Summer Weight


ealthy snacking throughout the day can help you maintain your ideal weight, or even drop a few pounds in time for swimsuit season. “When you snack on the right foods, you tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day,” said Patricia Salzer, a registered dietitian and health and workplace wellness consultant at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “You’ll feel fuller longer and be less likely to overeat or reach for unhealthy foods.” In addition to looking good at the beach, individuals who stay at a healthy weight reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer, Salzer said. Rather than snacking on cookies or chips, Salzer recommends having a handful of raw almonds. She divides a day’s serving (about 23 almonds) into snack size bags and leaves them in key locations such as her desk, purse and the beverage cup holder in her car. Another healthy snack idea is to pair a small amount of cheese with whole grain crackers. The protein in the cheese will keep you from feeling hungry, Salzer said. The Centers for Disease Control Page 14


and Prevention offers the following healthy snacking tips: n Try three cups of air-popped popcorn instead of oil-popped popcorn. You’ll consume 73 fewer calories. n Avoid the vending machine. Pack an eight-ounce, nonfat, no sugar added yogurt. That’s 82 fewer calories compared to a package of six peanut butter crackers. n Consider packing vegetable sticks and fresh fruit, “nature’s fast food,” Salzer said. n Substitute a sugary 12-ounce can of soda with a bottle of carbonated water for 136 fewer calories. nI nstead of chocolate sandwich cookies or other sweet snacks, eat a bowl of berries or a juicy peach. For fresh fruit ideas that will help you manage your weight, visit

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

n a large study, Swedish researchers found that eating nuts three or more times a week was associated with an 18 percent lower chance of having AFib. It also helped cut the odds of heart failure. “Even a small increase in nut consumption may have large potential to lead to a reduction in incidence of atrial fibrillation and heart failure in this population,” the study said. Lead research Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, said nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fatty acids, protein, fiber, minerals, vitamin E, folate, and other chemicals. Previous studies have suggested that eating nuts may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and can improve blood cholesterol, help blood vessels work better, and prevent weight gain. The researchers analyzed data from two Swedish studies in which 61,364 people had completed a questionnaire about their eating habits and were followed for 17 years. People who ate nuts tended to be better educated and to have healthier lifestyles than those who didn’t. They were less likely to smoke or to have a history of high blood pressure. They weighed less, got more exercise,

drank more alcohol, and ate more fruits and vegetables. Each extra portion of nuts eaten during the week was associated with a 4 percent decrease in the chance of having AFib. Researchers also saw less heart failure with people who ate moderate (but not high) amounts of nuts. The researchers say this might be related to higher weight gain with more consumption. The researchers say they cannot rule out that the links are due to things they didn’t account for, such as income and occupation, because these were not known. But they say the strength of the study lies in its large size and the large number of heart disease cases reported.

Complementary MEDICINE


Is Integrative Medicine Right for You?

ny approach that differs from conventional — or Western — medicine is typically considered complementary and alternative, or CAM. But these practices have become much more mainstream, leading to growth in the health care ap-

proach called integrative medicine, which draws on traditional and non-traditional systems tailored to each individual’s needs. The U.S. National Institutes of Health agency that reports on CAM therapies has even changed its name to the National Center for

Complementary and Integrative Health, to better reflect this shift in philosophy. Getting familiar with integrative health will help you decide if it’s the approach you want. Integrative medicine focuses on your well-being and considers all aspects of your health: physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental. It draws on whatever medical approaches — traditional or alternative — will serve you best. Integrative medicine centers are now part of many leading institutions across the United States, such as the University of Arizona, Duke, Scripps, Vanderbilt and the University of California, San Francisco. Board certification for practitioners from the American Board of Integrative Medicine was introduced in 2014. These advances have made it easier to find integrative doctors and medical centers.

Key Tenets of Integrative Medicine:

• Creating a partnership between patient and practitioner. • Using conventional and alternative methods as needed, and less-invasive yet effective interventions when possible. • Focusing on prevention and promoting good health as well as treating illnesses. • Training practitioners to be models of health and healing. Prevention is a hallmark of integrative care because it’s easier, less expensive and better for people to avoid an illness rather than have to treat and manage one. Integrative medicine also recognizes that physical illnesses can affect you emotionally and vice versa, so all aspects of your well-being are addressed.

Cancer: Can Complementary Medicine Help? Experts say a number of therapies can help in the treatment of cancer and its side effects By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ll any patient with cancer wants is healing and to reduce side effects during and after treatment. An increasing number of patients turn to complementary medicine. Physician Az Tahir, who practices internal holistic medicine in Syracuse and Rochester, said that some cancer patients come to his practice for improving their health overall — and thus improve their chances of beating cancer with traditional care — while others don’t plan to pursue traditional care. “Natural treatment can improve the effect of chemotherapy and radiation and support in reversing the cancer,” Tahir said. He cautions against panacea “cures” promised by some. “If someone says they can cure cancer with homeopathy alone, I don’t agree with that,” Tahir said. “We have to apply the basics, like nutrient, stress reduction, good sleep, physical exercise and supplements. Then apply essential oil, acupuncture and homeopathy. “Some practitioners are giving the wrong impression that if you just do homeopathy you’ll be cured. If they still have stress going on at home, this won’t help.” The point at which the cancer is detected also makes a big difference. While it’s never too late to try healthful lifestyle changes, once an aggressive cancer has metastasized, it’s harder for any approach to make headway. “Patients’ bodies are changing so rapidly. They need a lot of support,” said physician Joanne Wu,

who is a certified yoga instructor and integrative wellness coach, board certified in rehabilitation medicine and holistic medicine. Wu is part of the integrative oncology program of Wilmot Cancer Center at University of Rochester. Since treatments like chemotherapy and radiation kill healthy and malignant cells, they take a toll on patients’ bodies. Wu said that using complementary modalities helps mitigate these effects. “Co-morbidity like depression, anxiety, nerve damage that increase falls are common side effects not well managed with the traditional model,” Wu said. Acupuncture often helps control pain. Yoga, as another example, reduces stress, depression and anxiety, while improving sleep. Physician Kaushal B. Nanavati, director of integrative medicine at Upstate Cancer Center and assistant professor at Upstate Medical University, believes that “complementary augments traditional medicine.” Nanavati authored “The Core 4 of Wellness” (CreateSpace: 2016), which emphasizes the basic foundation of health. Nanavati said that by starting with the fundamentals to “optimize body, mind and spirit,” patients feel more like they’re “living with cancer, not dying with it. A person with cancer is more than the cancer.” Patients receive counseling about nutrition, physical exercise, stress management and spiritual wellness. Nutrition includes eating whole foods, plant-based nutrition, and healthful sources of protein, Nanava-

ti said.. How it’s prepared makes a difference, too, since high-heat cooking and charring has been linked to higher risk of cancer. While all produce is healthful, “we know that vegetables such as cruciferous ones like kale, spinach, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and asparagus have good evidence that they are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory,” Nanavati said. “That’s important.” He said Upstate Cancer Center employs a nutritionist dedicated to cancer care, who can help patients with food options. Physical exercise has been proven to help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence for people with breast, lung and many other cancer types. A study by the World Health Organization states those who engage in seven hours of moderately intense activity weekly have a 40 percent lower chance of premature death of any cause. Nanavati said that stress raises cortisol levels in the body, which leads to oxidative stress, which leads to pre-cancerous state in the cells. Deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation and engaging in meaningful religious activities can all contribute to lowering stress levels. Nanavati said that studies indicate 10 minutes of deep abdominal breathing daily can reduce stress hormones and promote better sleep. Nanavati added that there’s evidence that acupuncture can help with nausea. He said that overall, cancer patients should “work with people who have training in cancer. Supplements June 2018 •

that they think are supportive can counteract the effect or magnify the effects.” Leslie Eimas, licensed massage therapist and founder and president of My Oils Life, in Fayetteville, believes that complementary medicine “is vital” to anyone with cancer. Eimas said that essential oils may be used to promote a healthy immune system and healthy cell growth, as well as reduce stress, pain and insomnia. She also has training in polarity therapy, a type of hands-on energy modality that she says helps the body get into balance to improve sleep, mood and stress levels. “It’s very targeted working on the nervous system, pain, and the digestive system,” she said. “People just feel calmer and sleep better.” Leslie J. Kohman, SUNY distinguished service professor, is surgery medical director of Ambulatory Palliative Care Program and director of outreach for Upstate Cancer Center and Upstate Medical University. “It is very difficult to identify a trusted source of internet information,” Kohman said. “ Patients must remember to tell their doctor about all supplements they are taking and non–traditional approaches they are using. Many complementary and integrative modalities are extremely beneficial for cancer patients; however, cancer patients are also vulnerable to unsupported promises by unscrupulous promoters of treatments that have no proven benefits. Your doctor is always your best source of reliable information about what should not be trusted.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Excellus: More MEDICINE People with Diabetes Need Benefits of Integrative Medicine Eye Exam Extend Beyond Wellness: Mayo Clinic


ates of diabetic eye exams for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield members are higher than statewide and national averages. However, according to a new analysis of medical claims by the health insurer the rates are below target goals set for commercial, Medicare and Medicaid populations. “People with diabetes live with an increased risk of becoming blind, a condition that can be prevented most of the time by getting a complete eye exam each year. Early detection allows for early treatment,” said physician LouAnne Giangreco, chief medical officer, health care improvement for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “It can be challenging to make time in our busy schedules to prioritize our health. We are working with partners in the health care community to provide diabetic patients with those important reminders to have regular eye exams.” Excellus BlueCross BlueShield collaborates with a variety of health care partners in the Rochester area to reinforce the importance of regular diabetic screenings. For example, in addition to regularly working with network providers to help identify gaps in care for diabetic members, Excellus BCBS helps support a diabetic care coordination program with Lifespan for older adults with diabetes. The program’s goal is to increase patient compliance to help reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations.  Excellus BCBS reports data based upon a random sample of medical record reviews of members with diabetes. Comparisons of compliance rates of the members of other insurers are also reported.  Diabetes is a serious health condition where the body does not produce or properly use insulin to digest sugar (glucose). Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage many parts of the body, including blood vessels and nerves in the eye. This damage can lead to diabetic eye disease and can result in blindness. “If our numbers were a representative sample of the population of Upstate New York, it would mean that approximately 180,000 out of 540,000 people with diabetes are not getting the eye exam that could save them from a major life-altering condition,” said Giangreco.  Excellus BCBS is working with local providers in the community to remove barriers to screening for diabetic patients. A recent Excellus BCBS grant provides retinal cameras to select UR Medicine primary care practices to improve screening rates. Installation and training for primary care personnel will be provided by the David & Ilene Flaum Eye Institute. The goal of the program is to screen diabetic patients in the primary care setting at their normal appointments, removing the need to see a specialist or make another appointment unless an abnormality is found.

Page 16


ntegrative medicine has become an increasingly popular way to enhance treatment for health concerns. At Mayo Clinic, two forms of integrative medicine acupuncture and massage have already helped numerous patients. In a review of several case studies in Explore, Mayo Clinic researchers examined the potential role of integrative medicine as a therapeutic and diagnostic benefit when combined with a patient’s treatment plan. A massage therapist’s ability to have hands-on contact with a patient and potential for seeing patients for multiple sessions not only can relieve symptoms, but also aid diagnostic detection. Such was the case in a study where Mayo Clinic researchers observed a patient who underwent a partial small bowel resection and was being followed up with massage for persistent pain. The massage therapist detected tenderness upon palpating an area and alerted the patient’s

care team. Subsequently, the team found an intestinal leak and infection in the abdominal cavity. “We have done over two dozen studies on massage and acupuncture showing the benefits that both treatments have on patients. Skilled practitioners of integrative medicine are able to be a member of the care team and contribute their expertise, while also delivering care directly to patients,” says physician Brent Bauer, director of research for Mayo Clinic’s integrative medicine program, who is the lead author. Acupuncture is another treatment that has been widely noted for its role in helping with chronic pain management. “Our experience with patients at Mayo Clinic confirms that we see a tremendous number of patients for which acupuncture is a central part in their pain management strategy,” says Bauer. Along with pain relief, acupuncture also can play an important

role in assessing underlying health issues. Another case study focusing on acupuncture treatment at Mayo Clinic revealed that a mass was identified on a patient who initially was referred for acute upper-back pain. The acupuncturist noted a small mass in the muscle and brought it to the attention of the primary doctor. Subsequently, an ultrasound of the area was ordered, which showed that the mass was positive for sarcoma. As these case studies show, bringing acupuncture and massage into the clinical setting can have benefits that extend beyond therapeutic wellness. Acupuncturists and massage therapists can bring another level of healing and a second set of eyes to a patient’s overall treatment plan. As Bauer notes, “That is the definition of integrative medicine in a nutshell — combining the best of both worlds to optimize health and healing for our patients.”

Some Essential Oils Can Cause Pets to Become Sick By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ssential oils aren’t just a hippy hobby or millennial fad. The global market should reach $13.94 billion by 2024, according to San Francisco-based Grand View Research, Inc. In the United States, oils are used primarily for health, spa/relaxation, and household cleaning among consumers. People want a natural, safe way to stay healthy, rejuvenated and hygienic. However, those who use essential oils should also consider their animal companions when using the product. Some oils can cause pets to become sick or die if used incorrectly. Physician Joanne Wu is an integrative wellness coach, board-certified in rehabilitation medicine and holistic medicine who sees patients in Syracuse. She said that pets’ smaller size can require greater dilution of essential oils to keep them safe, such as a single drop in a teaspoon of “carrier oil” such as coconut or olive oil, for example. The amount of dilution necessary correlates with the weight of the pet. “Don’t put oils directly on the skin for any mammal,” Wu said. “Avoid mucus membranes around the mouth and eyes. Like any product, it will sting, even though it’s natural.” Pets should not drink water containing essential oils, she said. Leslie Eimas, licensed massage therapist and founder and president of My Oils Life, in Fayetteville, sells Young Living oils. Like Wu, she tells pet owners to dilute according to the size of the animal. “Start small and use in moderation,” she said. “Err on the side

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

of caution. Observe how the animal responds. I’ve been using Young Living Essential Oils for 12 years. My dogs lick my hands when I have oils on them. If they run away, it may not be the right oil or too much. Each animal will be different.” She said the company sells oil blends specifically for animals, which can make it easier to find safe, effective oils. Cat livers don’t process oils in the same way as humans and dogs, so don’t use them with cats — internally or topically — unless under veterinary direction. Dogs should take them internally only with veterinary guidance. Oils safe and useful for external use on dogs can include citronella, eucalyptus and geranium for repelling fleas. Don’t apply the oils directly. Instead, make a large batch and soak a leather or fabric collar in the solution. Allow the collar to dry and it’s ready for use. “There’s not a lot of natural substances for ticks from an evidence-based standpoint,” Wu said. “We usually still recommend more chemicals at this point. Make sure you check them regularly on the body.” That’s especially true after a hike through a forest or tall grass, where ticks like to await hosts. Dogs and cats may also benefit from calming oils used in a diffuser, including sage, ylang ylang, and cedar. Lavender is okay for dogs, but not cats. Avoid using “hot” oils, such as cinnamon bark, on pets, as they can

ingest the oil while grooming. Samantha Kingsley, animal wellness consultant with Natur-Tyme in Syracuse, advises against using diffusers in enclosed areas near small pets like birds and animals in tanks because the concentration could be too high compared with a human and they can’t move away from the diffuser. Instead, she uses hydrosol, water that’s left over after the distillation process. “It doesn’t have the hard-to-process elements,” Kingsley said. Use diffusers for only brief periods in well-ventilated areas. Promptly clean up any spilled essential oils, as pets may step in them and lick it off their feet. Secure essential oils away from curious pets. Treat any accidental exposure as a pet health emergency and call your veterinarian immediately. Veterinarian’s Money Digest ( recently listed the following oils that pet owners should avoid in a non-exhaustive list:

For dogs:

Clove, garlic, juniper, rosemary, tea tree, thyme, wintergreen

For cats:

Cassia, cinnamon, citrus, clove, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, peppermint, spruce, tea tree, thyme Other oils may also make pets sick. Consult with a veterinarian to ask about any specific oils and do not use an oil if you feel uncertain.

Complementary MEDICINE

Complementary Medicine Becoming Mainstream One third of Americans report using some form of complementary medicine By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


bout one-third of Americans use complementary or “integrative� medicine, according to the most recent statistics offered by the National Institutes of Health. Complementary medicine describes using evidence-based practices to support health in conjunction with — but not replacing — Western health. “Alternative health� tends to describe modalities replacing Western health care. Leslie Eimas, licensed massage therapist and founder and president of My Oils Life, in Fayetteville, said that skepticism about her modalities has decreased. “My gynecologist purchases essential oils from me,� Eimas said. “I think people are much more open and realize they want all the help they can get. “Doctors are becoming more aware that rest, exercise and nutrition are important.� Eimas said she has new clients who are nurses and has even had a few doctors refer people to her. Many complementary medicine methods have ancient roots. Their recent growth in popularity represents a desire for more natural ways of supporting good health, according to physician Joanne Wu, a certified yoga instructor and integrative wellness coach, board certified in rehabilitation medicine and holistic medicine, specializing in wellness. She sees clients in Syracuse and other Upstate locations. Wu said that many patients have

become turned off from rising costs and the side effects of Western medicine’s surgery and medication. “Invasive treatments have a lot of long-lasting, irreversible side effects,� Wu said. “People want to use everything that’s natural that will help them in the long run.� The holistic approach of complementary medicine, which addresses the person’s overall health rather than only reducing symptoms, appeals to many patients because it seems more personable and addresses the cause of the problems. Wu sees modalities that promote the mind/body connection as among the most popular, including yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and mindfulness. “These reduce stress and pain and have been proven to improve outcomes,� she said. Natural approaches include eating a balanced diet of whole foods and using supplements and herbs. Wu cautioned that one drawback of supplements and herbs is the lack of regulation on the products, so consumers must ensure they seek high quality items. Les Moore, doctor of naturopathic medicine, certified herbalist and licensed acupuncturist, directs the Center for Special Medicine in Pittsford, near Rochester. He has served as president of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians and co-founded the White House Health, Tourism, and Recreation Task Force on Obesity. “In the past, the two paths were

separated, Western and complementary medicine,� he said. “Now, more are sharing information on either path you choose to go or if you choose both paths.� According to Moore, Western primary care physicians should know the modalities their patients choose and complementary medicine practitioners should know about any prescriptions and procedures in their clients’ care. It’s up to patients to ensure everyone knows what’s going on. Although more cooperation has made coordinating care easier, insurance coverage would make complementary care more accessible to all patients. Moore said that complementary care’s emphasis on preventing health issues and taking the least invasive method possible makes it generally less expensive and less time consuming than many conventional therapies. Increasing volumes of clinical evidence proving efficacy has been driving the trend of complementary

Older GLBT adults:

medicine, according to physician Az Tahir, who practices internal holistic medicine in Syracuse and Rochester. “Many prominent medical doctors have found that putting patients with complicated cases on regimens of better nutrition and exercise gives better outcomes,� Tahir said. He has observed at his own practice that good nutrition, stress reduction, adequate sleep, exercise, social support and supplements supports the improvement of patient health. He said like likes to “diagnose modernly and treat naturally.� “I think what’s happening is more and more we have clinical evidence that the natural approaches are very important for health, not only medications,� Tahir said. He referenced nutrition, drinking water, stress reduction, adequate sleep, proper exercise, supplements and social support as essential for creating a foundation of good health. “Doing all of these can reverse all kinds of diseases,� he said. “I’ve seen amazing results in my practice.�


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018


t’s a Tuesday night that could be any Tuesday night, in any place and with any family, but it’s my Tuesday night with my family. My daughter, who is 6, starts getting annoyed with her brother, who is 3. Their fight has something to do with robots and proper housing. My daughter believes the blocks they are playing with have not been split between the two of them equally and, thus, her robot’s house is woefully inadequate. Some verbal back-and-forth ensues, and then my daughter decides she is going to settle the score. She knows how she is going to get more blocks. She hauls off and pushes her brother out of the way to retrieve what she believes is her fair share of robot housing materials. Yes, this is my life — but how cool is it my kids build houses for their toy robots? As parents, we are all familiar with watching our kids do things they should not. When things get out of hand, we intervene and play the role of just disciplinarian. In this case, I gave a speech I know by heart. It’s the one where I say, trying to solve your problems with putting your hands on someone else actually makes more problems and sadness for everyone involved. I have several iterations, and I bet my kids can recite them all by heart. At the end of the speech, I usually tell the offender(s) to go to their room and regroup and then come back and apologize to the afflicted party. Sometimes, an “I’m sorry” is offered immediately. Sometimes it’s screamed in anger. Sometimes it’s whispered or muttered so the offended party only catches vapors. Other times, it’s said in hopes of avoiding consequences. Every once in a while, it’s offered sincerely. There are many times when it’s not offered at all. That’s because — and let’s be honest here — saying I’m sorry and conveying that sorrow and really meaning it are all very challenging things to do. There are a lot of adults out there who go to their graves as novices at giving a sincere apology. Saying “I’m sorry” involves a level of emotional maturity that takes a lot of practice and discipline. When we ask our children to say I’m sorry, it’s a tall order. However, it’s a lesson that has to be taught. As much as I like to think telling my kids to be sorry is enough, it’s not. It’s a start and a small start at that. Telling kids to say I’m sorry doesn’t teach them how to be sorry. The best way to teach kids the meaning of remorse is to model it. So, what I am about to write is unpopular with a lot of parents. It goes against a lot of old-fashioned parenting, but I think it needs to be considered. When you do something wrong to your children or in front

of your children, tell them you are sorry. Teach your children you are not infallible by recognizing your fallacies. Teach them we are all human and therefore all make mistakes. Teach them that strong people say I’m sorry. Then, show them you are sorry. When you raise your voice to your children, say I’m sorry and don’t stop there. Explain to them that sometimes mommies and daddies have a hard time handling their emotions. Make sure they understand how much you love them, even when you are angry. Give them whatever reassurances they need, whether emotional or physical. When you offend your spouse or another loved one in front of your kids, make sure they are in earshot when you offer your apology. Demonstrate to them we all make mistakes and step out of line, even with the people we love. Teach them mistakes and hurt can be healed with a simple phrase or a simple touch. Explain to them we are all works in progress. We all have bad or difficult days. We all get grouchy or snappy. Teach them this is normal human behavior, but don’t excuse it. Lead by example and recognize when you are having a bad day. Tell them tomorrow is another day — another day and another chance to do better. Some parents I know believe apologizing to children shows weakness and a lack of defined leadership. Some parents think parents should be the boss, no matter how wrong they are. That mindset is only half true. Parents should be the clear authority in their homes. Whether right or wrong, what they say goes. However, never recognizing your faults only shows your children a lot of weakness. It shows them they need to be perfect and authoritarian adults, which I bet isn’t something most of us want to actually teach our children. The strongest and best leaders can admit when they are wrong. After they admit they are wrong, they take steps to rectify that wrong. When I think about people I have looked up to and listened to in my life, that list doesn’t include people who thought they were always right, no matter what the cost. The people I admire most are the ones strong enough to admit fault, express remorse, move on, and keep growing. Showing remorse and wanting to make amends isn’t something you should grow out of it, it’s something you should perfect over the course of your beautiful life. Teach your children to grow and how to be sorry. The world and your life will be a better place for it.

Men’s Health

“Social pitfalls can be another factor people have to pay attention to. Look to find other ways to socialize while trying to lose weight, instead of going out drinking or eating big meals at restaurants.” -Jill Murphy, certified personal trainer. E. Syracuse

Top Weight Loss Mistakes Men Make By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

“One of the biggest diet mistakes is that a lot of people have been taught to stay away from fat. Other than trans fats, which are horrible, Omega 3 fats are good for the body. People can be counter-productive. Omega 3 is part of the brain’s building blocks and they’re anti-inflammatory. “When people go to low-fat diets, they’re still eating sugar and that’s a main culprit behind losing weight. Depending upon the person, some people go for something quick and just count the calories and don’t pay attention to the fact that there’s additives in there. The packaged foods can be detrimental to your health if eaten regularly. “If someone’s going to just count calories, a calorie of protein and sugar do very different things. Your body needs protein, essential fatty acids, but it doesn’t necessarily need carbohydrates. It can make it on its own in the liver. If people still are eating sugar, they’ll get to a place where they can no longer lose weight. “Guys tend to think they need protein, protein, protein and tend to overeat protein. It throws your portion sizes off. If you’re going for a low carb diet, too much protein can convert into glucose. “Men tend to focus only on weights without cardio. Cardio helps burn the fat, so do both of those. A lot of guys like to go run. If you do have to go inside, do a machine. Find something you like to do. Machines can be daunting for people to do 35 or 45 minutes. We tell clients to do light intervals, where you do faster for one minute and then, to recover, a minute where’s it’s lighter. Boot camp classes and spin class are other ways to get your cardio in to find a way you may enjoy. “Guys tend to not be as detailed. Just saying ‘I’m going to cut down on what I eat’ and not being detailed won’t work.

“Guys who are married should have their wives come in to learn about the diet because they’re a big support. Get your significant other involved or lean on others for support. “Reaching out for helps is a big.”

— Jill Murphy, certified personal trainer and co-owner Mission Fitness in East Syracuse “Not a lot of them eat regularly. Their dietary patterns are to eat when they can. They think they need protein shakes and do tons of weight lifting, but not eating often enough slows the metabolism. “A lot of guys are still learning about how to cook healthfully. It’s still something they’re not very comfortable with. “Alcohol is something a lot of people still enjoy to relax, but a couple of beers at the end of the day or glasses of wine are not conducive to weight loss. “As our metabolism slows down as we age, a lot of fat storage is in the midsection. That is a big concern for men. “It’s about making sure you’re persistent but self-compassionate. It’s not all or nothing. “There’s no magic diet. The more you go to one extreme to eliminate things, the more likely you will be to not be able to stick with it. Extreme diets can jumpstart your diet, but it’s not sustainable. “It’s the same with exercise. Find something you’ll stick with.”

— Physician Joanne Wu, certified yoga instructor and integrative wellness coach, board certified in rehabilitation medicine and holistic medicine specializing in wellness, in Syracuse and other cities in Upstate New York.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Tomato plants are easy to grow and remarkably productive. Tomatoes are longseason, heat-loving plants. They can grow in pots just about anywhere you have a sunny spot — no garden bed required.

Dennis Ouellette, owner of Ontario Orchards in Oswego. “It’s a complex process,” he says of growing a vegetable garden. “But the rewards usually outweigh the difficult experience.”

Is Vegetable Gardening Worth It? Exercise, fresh air and the freshest produce available are some of the best reasons to vegetable garden, say experts By Deborah J. Sergeant


f you’re gardening only to save money, it’s probably not worth it, according to Dennis Ouellette, owner of Ontario Orchards in Oswego. “If you figure out your inputs and the value of your time, it’s a wash,” he said. But he still think people should vegetable garden “if not only for the quality and freshness of it, and the varieties of it, and to really understand the production at the commercial as well as the private, residential level,” he said. Once consumers battle pests, weather, weeds and harvesting issues, Ouellette said they have a better idea of how difficult it is for commercial growers to pull it off year after year. “It’s a complex process,” he said, “but the rewards usually outweigh

the difficult experience.” Ontario Orchards sells both produce and items needed to grow gardens. Area experts say gardening offers many benefits and, with a few modifications, most people can garden well into their retirement years. “You’re in charge,” said Jim Sollecito, New York state certified lifetime senior landscape professional, who owns Sollecito Landscape Nursery in Syracuse. “The stuff you grow yourself is always healthier because you’re in charge. Physical participation in gardening can improve one’s mobility and relive stress and the stiffness of arthritis.” Busy people may feel like they don’t have the time to garden. Sollecito encourages them to consider edible landscaping. Berry bushes, for example, don’t need the intensive

care that strawberry plants require for weeding and watering. “Strawberries are hard to grow,” he said. “You can’t put them in landscape and they require renovation every few years.” Sollecito plants rhubarb, a perennial, in beds with other plants. Their edible stalks, complemented by large leaves, works well in landscaping. He also likes combining tomatoes in a bed with weigela for a pleasing mix of color, foliage and fruit. He likes juneberries, which offer early bloom and berries by the end of June. Sollecito recommends Polana red raspberries and Bristol black raspberries. “Those are two things that just about any home could have along the border of the property because they don’t need 12 hours of sun,” he said.

Gardening Isn’t Just for Adults


till having a hard time getting your kids to eat fruits and veggies? Studies show one solution is to grow your own. Kids get excited as they watch a garden yield fresh foods and are more motivated to eat what they helped grow. It gives kids a good understanding of what it takes to get vegetables to the dinner table and teaches them about healthy food choices. Gardening is also a great way to take a break from all the technology, and get into extra exercise and enjoy being outdoors. Whether you have a small patio bucket or can allocate square

Page 20

footage in your backyard, start your planning now. It’s important to know which growing zone you are in, so use online resources to determine your right climate zone and planting times. To get kids interested, the Arizona Farm Bureau suggests looking through colorful seed catalogs together and letting them help pick out choices. But you don’t need to bore them with every planning detail. Keep their responsibilities age appropriate. Older children can be more involved in the planning and design of the garden, harvesting and even preserving some of the yield. Younger children can help with

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

planting seeds, weeding and watering, but try and get them their own age-appropriate tools and gloves that fit them, according to the farm bureau. Little ones will enjoy their tasks more with gloves and tools sized for small hands. You should also give the kids their own space and vegetables so they have a sense of ownership with a gardening space all their own, within Mom’s and Dad’s larger plot.

He also likes elderberries, the Adams and York varieties, both for their late flowering in July and tasty purple berries. “They’re lovely landscape plants with great, edible fruit without spraying,” Sollecito. The buds of daylilies are also edible. Sollecito said they taste like cucumber “with a peppery aftertaste.” Pepper plants’ shiny leaves and medium height also help them blend right into landscaped beds with full sun. If you’ve downsized, you may not have the space to garden like you used to. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy eating what you’ve grown. Sollecito said that container gardening can help people with small yards, patio homes and even apartments grow food. “Make sure you use pots with a hole in the bottom,” he cautioned. Drilling holes into a five-gallon bucket or a plastic bin and filling it with soil can provide a portable growing pot for a patio. Garden centers also sell pouch plants and containers meant to hook on railings or hang from porches.

Men’s Health

Building Muscle Size Vs. Strength Experts say they usually go hand in hand By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ome men hit the gym to build muscle size. For them, it’s about the bulging biceps and pectoral muscles, ripped abs and thick legs. For others, such as runners, gaining more strength could help them perform better at their sport, but increasing size may inhibit them. But to reach either goal, guys need to use different resistance training methods, according to several sources. Jill Murphy, certified personal trainer and co-owner of Mission Fitness in East Syracuse, said that controlling the entire movement up and down “will create more muscle size. Don’t use momentum or gravity. And it’s a lot safer. Do the movement slowly.” Perform three to four sets of six to eight repetitions each. After each set, the muscle should feel fatigued to the point of exhaustion and unable to perform the movement with proper form. If the goal is building greater strength, lift weight light enough to allow three to four sets of a maximum 12 repetitions. The type of resistance — exercise bands, dumbbells, weight bench, isometric movements or body weight exercises — doesn’t make much difference in building strength or size; however, the equipment does make a difference in likelihood of injury to novices. Experiencing an injury can result in long lasting inactivity. So which resistance training equipment is best? They all bring different pros and cons. For example, weight machines with cables tend to encourage more fluid movements than free weights, but it’s mostly seated. Novices tend to rely on gravity and momentum to move free weights instead of keeping them in control throughout the entire range of motion. But free weights can encourage

more creative means of incorporating weights, such as enhancing body weight movements. Those can help keep you with the program, since you can do them anywhere. “Body weight exercises can be very effective at building lean muscle mass, especially when utilizing single leg exercises and concentrating on engaging your core throughout the movement for added stability and balance,” said Susan Wood, who has a doctorate in physical therapy and works at St. Joseph’s Health Outpatient Physical Therapy at Northeast Medical Center. Isometric exercise holds a static pose, such as a plank, to the point of muscle exhaustion to build muscle. Wood also mentioned certain yoga poses as helpful. Kettle bells’ irregular shape work the core muscles more, giving more value to each workout. But they can be unwieldy and bulky to store for home workouts. Resistance bands are portable, inexpensive and easy to store. They’re also versatile. “Resistance bands can provide lean muscle mass for the whole body,” Wood said. However, like body weight exercises, they may not offer enough challenge eventually. Men tend to focus on certain physical focal points — chest, back and arms — but should instead strengthen and build the whole body to avoid injury. It’s also important to eat a balanced diet and take rest days between resistance training days. On the rest days, a light aerobic exercise can keep you moving, such as walking, bike riding or swimming. Or, you can work a different muscle group per day, such as upper body one day and lower body on alternating days.



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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21

Giving Back Le Moyne student living with rare condition, which requires surgeries twice a year, started nonprofit to find cure By Maria Pericozzi


hen Kelleigh Gustafson was 4 years old, she was diagnosed with massive arteriovenous malformations, affecting the right side of her head, neck and chest. Now, at 21 years old, she is living with AVM, while starting a nonprofit organization to set up and pay for research to find a cure. AVM is when one’s arteries multiply at a dangerously high rate, creating a mass that can be potentially fatal. When AVM occurs, capillaries, which connect high-pressure arteries to low pressure veins, are missing. Gustafson is at risk for hemorrhaging, headaches and increased pressure on the heart. “My family was told there is very little more that can be done for my disease,” Gustafson said. “Where it is, it is getting harder to treat and the risks are outweighing the benefits.” Gustafson’s condition is rare because of the location. Where most AVM occurs in areas that can be surgically removed, Gustafson’s is on the right side of her head, affecting her sensory organs, trachea, esopha-

gus, brain and heart. “There is no cure, so all of the treatment is very experimental,” Gustafson said. Gustafson’s doctor wanted to move her toward a non-aggressive form of treatment in a pill form and start research for it, but there was scant funding. “We started Kelleigh’s Cause as a way to host fundraisers and raise awareness for the disease,” Gustafson said. “All the money raised goes to that medical research.” More than $150,000 has been raised which funded the purchase of Zebrafish to test the drugs on, and a medical researcher for two years who focuses of AVM. “We really hope we can find a cure for this disease,” Gustafson said. “Once that happens, we want to fund the development on that drug.” Donations can be made at www., where you can get a list of upcoming events. Surgeries Every six months, Gustafson has extensive surgeries, planned around

Kelleigh Gustafson, left, a Le Moyne student suffering from a rare disease, has started a nonprofit, Kelleigh Gustafson AVM Research Fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin, to do research on arteriovenous malformations (AVM). With her is (from left), physicians Sharham Eisa-Beygi (inaugural Kelleigh Gustafson AVM research fellow), Ramani Ramchandran (director of research) and Patricia Burrows (Kelleigh’s physician).

her school schedule. Gustafson is a senior at Le Moyne College in Syracuse. “Since I was 4 years old, I’ve had surgeries twice a year to slow down the spread of it and contain it in one area,” Gustafson said. Gustafson said a few times she has had life-threatening reactions to the medicines and treatments, causing her to be in the hospital for months at a time. “My whole life I’ve been going in and out of hospitals to try to keep it calm and not have any symptoms,” Gustafson said. Gustafson’s family is active, and

she has tried to play every sport, but doctors have not allowed her to play certain sports. She discovered golf and can play it as much as she wants at Le Moyne. When Gustafson was a junior in high school, she started Kelleigh’s Cause. While the hope is to find a cure, the end goal for Kelleigh’s Cause is to become a place for people to turn to for those who have AVM or other rare diseases. “We want to be the support system,” Gustafson said. “We want to develop more support for people in the community [and be] a source for them to turn to for help.”

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Incontinence, urethral stricture disease, vesicovaginal fistula, reconstructive surgery, transgender care DMITRIY NIKOLAVSKY, MD Pediatric urology, treatment of hernias and hydroceles, robotic surgery, urinary tract infections, penile abnormalities MATTHEW D. MASON, MD Reconstructive urology, incontinence, prosthetics, urinary fistula, neurogenic bladder, urinary diversion. Robotic surgery STEPHEN BLAKELY, MD

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Pediatric urology, treatment of hernias and hydroceles, robotic surgery, urinary tract infections, penile abnormalities JONATHAN RIDDELL, MD General urology, male health, urologic oncology, enlarged prostate, kidney stones. At Upstate Urology of Auburn. RYAN SIDEBOTTOM, DO Urologic oncology, robotic and laparoscopic surgery of prostate, kidney, bladder and adrenal


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018


New Shingles Vaccine Provides Better Protection for Seniors Dear Savvy Senior, A good friend of mine got a bad case of shingles last year and has been urging me to get vaccinated. Should I?

Suspicious Susan Dear Susan, Yes! If you’re 50 or older, there’s a new shingles vaccine on the market that’s far superior to the older vaccine, so now is a great time to get inoculated. Here’s what you should know. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a burning, blistering, often excruciating skin rash that affects around 1 million Americans each year. The same virus that causes chickenpox causes shingles. What happens is the chickenpox virus that most people get as kids never leaves the body. It hides in the nerve cells near the spinal cord and, for some people, emerges later in the form of shingles. In the U.S., almost one out of every three people will develop shingles during their lifetime. While anyone who’s had chickenpox can get shingles, it most commonly occurs in people over age 50, along with people who have weakened immune systems. But you can’t catch shingles from someone else. Early signs of the disease include pain, itching or tingling before a blistering rash appears several days later, and can last up to four weeks. The rash typically occurs on one side of the body, often as a band of blisters that extends from the middle of your back around to the breastbone. It can also appear above an eye or on the side of the face or neck. In addition to the rash, about 20 to 25 percent of those who get shingles go on to develop severe nerve pain (postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN) that can last for months or even years. And in rare cases, shingles can also cause strokes, encephalitis, spinal cord damage and vision loss. New Shingles Vaccine The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new vaccine for shingles called Shingrix (see, which provides

New vaccine is 97 percent effective in preventing shingles in people 50 to 69 years old, and 91 percent effective in those 70 and older, says manufacturer much better protection than the older vaccine, Zostavax. Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, Shingrix is 97 percent effective in preventing shingles in people 50 to 69 years old, and 91 percent effective in those 70 and older. By comparison, Zostavax is 70 percent effective in your 50s; 64 percent effective in your 60s; 41 percent effective in your 70s; and 18 percent effective in your 80s. Shingrix is also better than Zostavax in preventing nerve pain that continues after a shingles rash has cleared — about 90 percent effective versus 65 percent effective. Because of this enhanced protection, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone aged 50 and older, receive the Shingrix vaccine, which is given in two doses, two to six months apart. Even if you’ve already had shingles, you still need these vaccinations because reccurring cases are possible. The CDC also recommends that anyone previously vaccinated with Zostavax be revaccinated with Shingrix. You should also know that Shingrix can cause some adverse side effects for some people, including muscle pain, fatigue, headache, fever and upset stomach. Shingrix, which costs around $280 for both doses, is (or will soon be) covered by insurance including Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, but be aware that the shingles vaccines are not always well covered. So before getting vaccinated, call your plan to find out if it’s covered, and if so, which pharmacies and doctors in your area you should use to insure the best coverage. Or, if you don’t have health insurance or you’re experiencing medical or financial hardship, you might qualify for GlaxoSmithKline’s patient assistance program, which provides free vaccinations to those who are eligible. For details, go to Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 23

Early Signs of Dementia: The Key to Early Diagnosis By Cynthia Nigolian


une is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, the perfect time to understand the signs of dementia. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease provides the maximum amount of time to benefit from treatments and allows the patient’s family to plan for future care. Many forms of dementia begin with subtle symptoms that worsen over time. Some of these symptoms are:

Short-term memory loss: loved ones may remember events from years ago, but forget what they had to eat earlier in the day. Trouble finding the right words:

loved ones may begin calling things by the wrong name, not knowing the word for something or repeating themselves in conversation. Changes in mood: your loved one may seem more sensitive, fearful, anxious, depressed or confused, especially when they are out of their comfort zone or their normal routine.

Decreased interest in hobbies or social activities: loved ones may

become apathetic toward hobbies or social activities they used to enjoy, often due to the changes they’re experiencing in many early signs. Familiar tasks become difficult: your loved one may begin having trouble balancing a checkbook, recording a TV show, using settings on a microwave or driving to a familiar location.

If you notice any of these symptoms in a family member or friend, the first step is to schedule an appointment with his or her doctor. There are also support and education programs available through the Central New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, including many at Loretto’s facilities. Loretto is one of the largest providers of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in the region, offering the first residential program in Central New York created especially for affected individuals at its Heritage Community. For more information about Loretto’s services and facilities, visit And to explore the resources available from the Central New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, visit www. Cynthia Nigolian is a mastered nurse with national certification in gerontological nursing. She has held positions as a staff nurse in critical care, nurse educator, nurse manager and clinical nurse specialist in gerontology within the acute care health setting. Her focus is on geriatric best practices to improve outcomes of care for at risk older adults.

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

Three Ways Your Social Security Payment Can Grow After Retirement


ou made the choice and now you are happily retired. You filed online for your Social Security benefits. They arrive each month in the correct amount exactly as expected. But did you ever wonder if your Social Security check could increase? Once you begin receiving benefits, there are three common ways benefit checks can increase: a cost of living adjustment (COLA); additional work; or an adjustment at full retirement age if you received reduced benefits and exceeded the earnings limit. The COLA is the most commonly known increase for Social Security payments. We annually announce a COLA, and there’s usually an increase in the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount people receive each month. By law, federal benefit rates increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). More than 66 million Americans saw a 2 percent increase in their Social Security and SSI benefits in 2018. For more information on the 2018 COLA, visit www.socialsecurity. gov/cola. Social Security uses your highest


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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

Q: What is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit? A: The maximum benefit depends on the age you retire. For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be $2,788. However, if you retire at age 62 in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be only $2,158. If you retire at age 70 in 2018, your maximum monthly benefit would be $3,698. To get a better idea of what your benefit might be, visit our online Retirement Estimator at estimator.html. Q: If I receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, what is the effect on my benefits if I work? A: In most cases, your return to work would reduce your benefit amount. Unlike Social Security disability, there is no “trial work period” for people who get SSI disability benefits. If your only income besides SSI is from your work, you can earn up to $1,585 in a month (in 2018) before we stop your payments. Re-

35 years of earnings to figure your benefit amount when you sign up for benefits. If you work after you begin receiving benefits, your additional earnings may increase your payment. If you had fewer than 35 years of earnings when we figured your benefit, you will replace a zero earnings year with new earnings. If you had 35 years or more, we will check to see if your new year of earnings is higher than the lowest of the 35 years (after considering indexing). We check additional earnings each year you work while receiving Social Security. If an increase is due, we send a notice and pay a one-time check for the increase and your continuing payment will be higher. Maybe you chose to receive reduced Social Security retirement benefits while continuing to work. You made the choice to take benefits early, but at a reduced rate. If you exceeded the allowable earnings limit and had some of your benefits withheld, we will adjust your benefit once you reach full retirement age. We will refigure your payment to credit you for any months you did not receive payments. Your monthly benefit will increase based on the crediting months you receive. You can find additional information about working and your benefit at

porting wages each month helps us pay the correct amount of SSI. Timely reporting may also prevent you from owing us money or may allow us to pay a higher amount. We have several publications about SSI, including Reporting Your Wages When You Receive Supplemental Security Income, available at pubs. Note that there are other work incentives that can help you return to work when you receive SSI. You can read about them in What You Need To Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI), also available at pubs. For more information, visit our website at Q: I prefer reading by audio book. Does Social Security have audio publications? A: Yes, we do. You can find them at Some of the publications available include What You Can Do Online, How Social Security Can Help You When a Family Member Dies, Apply Online for Social Security Benefits, and Your Social Security Card and Number. You can listen now at www.

H ealth News PAWS of CNY expands in Oswego County PAWS of CNY, Inc., Central New York’s largest nonprofit provider of pet-assisted wellness services, plans to increase its presence in Oswego County thanks to a grant from the NBT Bank Fund, a component fund of the Oswego County Community Foundation (OCCF). The organization projects its grant-funded marketing efforts will result in a 70 percent increase in Oswego County volunteers by the end of the year. Also, it has established partnerships with two new long-term care facilities to provide pet therapy services. According to Amy Dumas, PAWS of CNY board of directors member and manager of new volunteer services, the financial support received from OCCF has been critical in helping PAWS of CNY meet its goals of expanded pet therapy services in Oswego County. “PAWS of CNY has been providing regular pet therapy services to nursing homes, schools, libraries, and to SUNY Oswego for over a decade,” said Dumas, “Yet over the past four years, we have seen the need for additional support in Oswego County. We have been committed to remaining a reliable partner of pet-assisted wellness services to facilities in Oswego County, and adding Oswego-based, qualified pet therapy volunteer teams to our organization will be critical in helping us meet this commitment.” The grant funds received from OCCF were used to support email marketing, collateral development, social media outreach and digital advertising efforts targeting residents of Oswego County. Since executing its marketing campaign, Dumas reports that seven Oswego-based applicants have passed PAWS of CNY’s initial pet therapy evaluation test, with two

Ben Walsh, Syracuse mayor, with Aileen Balitz, president and CEO of The Centers at St. Camillus.

applicants completing all phases of the pet therapy-certification process. Also, eight more applicants will be scheduled to begin the evaluation and certification process before the end of the year. Individuals in the Oswego County area who are interested in becoming pet therapy certified by PAWS of CNY should apply at pawsofcny. org/apply.

Laraque-Arena to co-lead statewide maternal mortality task force Physician Danielle Laraque, president of Upstate Medical University, has been appointed by Gov. Cuomo to be one of four leaders of the statewide Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Disparate Racial Outcomes. The task force is part of a comprehensive initiative to target maternal mortality and reduce racial disparities in health outcomes, building on the state’s commitment to addressing maternal mortality across the state. The multi-pronged initiative includes efforts to review and better address maternal death and morbidity with a focus on racial disparities, expanding community outreach, and taking new actions to increase access to prenatal and perinatal care, including establishing a pilot expansion of Medicaid coverage for doulas.  “Maternal mortality Laraque should not be a fear anyone in New York should have to face in the 21st century,” Cuomo said. “We are taking aggres-

Friends of St. Camillus volunteer members and event co-chairs Shirley Cruickshank, left, and Cheryl Crockett.

The Friends of St. Camillus’ Event Raises Funds


he Friends of St. Camillus’ “Thank You for Being a Friend!” annual Fashion Show and Luncheon held April 28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Syracuse, gathered 125 guests and netted $7,000 to benefit residents and patients and their families at The Centers at St. Camillus. Presenting sponsors were

the Geddes Federal Savings and Loan Association and the Kinney Drugs Foundation. Co-chairpersons for this event were Cheryl Crockett of Camillus, who also successfully chaired last year’s event, and Shirley Cruickshank, president of the Friends of St. Camillus, of Syracuse.

Former Oswego Health CEO Now Heads Hospital in Ogdensburg


laxton-Hepburn Medical Center announced the appointment of Charles (Chuck) Gijanto as interim chief executive officer. Until early 2017, Gijanto served as president and CEO of Oswego Health. He replaces Nathan Howell who served as the hospital’s chief executive since September 2014. “We are happy that Chuck has agreed to fulfill the role of interim CEO,” said Joe Tracy, co-chairman of the CEO search committee. “He brings a wealth of experience to Claxton-Hepburn that will help provide stability to the organization until a permanent CEO is identified.” The search for the interim CEO utilized a professional search firm that screened over 40 potential candidates and presented the top four candidates for the search committee’s consideration, according to a hospital press release. Gijanto was the unanimous choice of the search committee. During his more than 30-year career, Gijanto has filled the role of chief executive officer, chief financial officer or chief operating officer in several hospitals: Fletcher Allen Health Care, CVPH, Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass., and Massena Memorial Hospital. Most recently, he served as president and

sive action to break down barriers that prevent women from getting the prenatal care and information they need. This comprehensive initiative will work to correct unacceptable racial disparities in maternal mortality and help ensure a healthier and stronger New York for all.” The Taskforce on Maternal Mortality and Disparate Racial Outcomes will provide expert policy advice on improving maternal outcomes, addressing racial and economic disparities and reducing the frequency of maternal mortality and morbidity in New York state. The task force will comprise OB-GYNs, hospital representatives, secretary to the governor and chair of the New York State Council on Women and Girls Melissa DeRosa, Lt. Gov.Kathy Hochul, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and appointees from Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, as well as other stakeholders and members of the community.  “It is an honor to serve as cochair on the New York State Department of Health Task Force for Maternal Morbidity and Mortality to address the numerous health factors that can lead to the pregnancy-related death of a mother,” said Laraque-Arena. “This is a public health issue in New York and across the nation, and it will take strong coalition and shared resources to solve it. Thanks to Governor Cuomo for June 2018 •

CEO at Oswego Health. “I’m thrilled to have been selected to lead Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center and very much look forward to working with the with everyone to further the mission of the organization and to build upon the great work that has been done these past few years under Nate Howell’s leadership,” Gijanto said. “CHMC and its affiliated organizations have a great legacy in the region and I am excited to be a part of it. Healthcare is an extremely challenging environment right now, I am committed to rolling up my sleeves and helping to move us forward to meet those challenges.” Gijanto currently resides in Ticonderoga. His education background includes a master’s degree in health systems administration from Rochester Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Siena College. 

leading our efforts here in New York state.”

St. Joseph’s earns ‘A’ rating for patient safety

St. Joseph’s Health Hospital received an ‘A’ rating in the latest Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades for its efforts in protecting patients from harm and meeting the highest safety standards in the U.S. According to a news release from the organization, St. Joseph’s is the only hospital in Syracuse and Onondaga County to receive this high rating, one of only eight in New York state, and one of only 750 ‘A’ rated hospitals in the country.  The safety grade assigns an A, B, C, D or F grade to hospitals across the country based on their performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other harms among patients in their care. “This is the only national rating of how well hospitals protect patients from preventable harm and death, such as medical errors, infections, and injuries,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Receiving an ‘A’ safety grade means St. Joseph’s Health Hospital is among the best in the country for preventing these terrible problems and putting their patients first, 24 hours a day.” “Transparent third-party expert ratings like these reflect our commitment to keeping patients safe

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 25

H ealth News from preventable harm and medical errors,” said Leslie Paul Luke, president and CEO at St. Joseph’s Health. “Leapfrog analyzes everything from our culture and our leadership, to our staff’s communication with each other and with patients, to patient recovery, infection rates, and even hand hygiene. This rating further demonstrates the success of our efforts to continuously improve quality, safety and efficacy of care across our continuum.”

Crouse earns stroke center designation from DNV GL Healthcare Crouse Health has received certification from DNV GL – Healthcare as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, reflecting the highest level of regional experience for the treatment of serious stroke events. DNV GL Healthcare is one of the leading accrediting agencies in the U.S.

The DNV GL – Healthcare Comprehensive Stroke Center certification is based on quality standards established by the federal Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association, and affirms that the recipient hospital addresses the full spectrum of stroke care — diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education while establishing clear metrics to evaluate outcomes. With this latest designation, Crouse becomes one of just 10 hospitals in New York state to have earned Comprehensive Stroke Center certification. “Not only is this great news for Crouse, it is also great news for our patients and the community,” says Crouse Health CEO Kimberly Boynton. “Working together with our physicians, nurses, interventional techs and the rest of the clinical team, this designation is a reflection of Crouse’s clinical excellence in meeting the most rigorous quality and process standards in treating stroke,” adds Boynton. Crouse has been a New York State-designated Primary Stroke Center since 2007. Compre-

hensive stroke centers are typically the largest, best-equipped hospitals in a given geographical area that can treat any kind of stroke or stroke complication. Crouse is the only hospital in the region equipped with two hybrid operating room suites, allowing the stroke team to provide the most advanced endovascular stroke rescue capabilities. “With stroke care you must have the best clinicians and resources, but also the ability to act organizationally with extreme efficiency because of the time-critical nature of these events,” says physician Tarakad Ramachandran, medical director of Crouse’s stroke program. “Official certification from DNV GL validates all the effort we have put into this program to ensure the health and safety of our patients.” “Achieving certification shows commitment to excellence,” says Patrick Horine, CEO of DNV GL - Healthcare. “And it helps demonstrate to your community that you are performing at the highest level.”

Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc. has changed its name to ConnextCare. The rollout of the new name was celebrated recently with a special breakfast reception for the entire ConnextCare staff and board of directors. Attending the function are, from left, Penny Halstead, senior administrative assistant, Richard S. Shineman Foundation; Tricia A. Peter-Clark, vice president-chief operating officer, ConnextCare; Karen Goetz, executive director, Richard S. Shineman Foundation; Dan Dey, president-chief executive officer, ConnextCare; Michael Backus, chairman, ConnextCare Board of Directors; and Patrick Carguello, Sr., vice president/chief medical officer, ConnextCare.

NOCHSI Changes Name to ConnextCare Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc. has announced it has changed its name to ConnextCare. The health care network, which has served Oswego County residents since 1969, adopted the new name, ConnextCare, to better reflect its growth in staff, services and locations, according to Daniel Dey, president and chief executive officer. ConnextCare employs a staff of 235, including a 54-person team of health care specialists, in multiple locations across Oswego County — all integrated into one unified system of care. “We’ve grown quite a bit since we were founded in 1969, in the scope and quality of our services as well as the geographic reach of our care. Our new name, ConnextCare, better communicates the strength of our growing and highly connected system of care,” Dey said. “It signifies that we are more than just one provider, or a single facility. We are an integrated network of care across six locations using the most up-toPage 26

date technology to deliver the best local care.” ConnextCare recently expanded its service delivery reach from primarily northern Oswego County to the entire county, doubling in size through the acquisition of primary care practices from its community partners Oswego County Opportunities and Oswego Health. ConnextCare has six primary care locations and six school-based programs, providing health care services within proximity of every Oswego County resident. The network also recently added several new services, including behavioral health, dental services and diabetes management. Other than new signage, patients will not experience any operational changes due to the name change, according to Tricia Peter-Clark, vice president of operations.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2018

Oswego Health general surgeon Yuriy Zhurov uses the new VISERA 4K Ultra HighDefinition (UHD) System, which provides him with unprecedented clear and sharp real time images during surgery. Oswego Health surgeons and operating room staff utilize two 31-inch monitors placed on either side of the operating table giving the entire operating staff the ability to monitor the procedure. In the photo with Zhurov are anesthesiologist Scott Palmer, physician assistant Mary Ditzer and scrub nurse Hayley Jones.

Oswego Hospital First To Install 4K Ultra High-Def Imaging System


swego Health has installed the latest high-definition equipment in its operating rooms, providing its surgeons a big screen view when performing surgeries. Oswego Hospital’s four major operating rooms are among the first in Central New York to have installed this new equipment. “This is the latest technology, providing remarkably clear and sharp real time images when I operate,” said general surgeon Yuriy Zhurov. The equipment, a VISERA 4K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) System, delivers four times the pixels, higher

resolution, better light and a wider color gamut than high-definition. The system utilizes the same Sony technology used for the filming of Netflix 4K shows and other TV programs. The system was created to address unmet needs in surgical imaging by improving visual elements, such as resolution, light, and color, essential for laparoscopic and arthroscopic surgery. This is achieved through an optimized 4K imaging chain that works seamlessly together to improve visibility and provide an immersive experience that brings the entire surgical team into the operation.

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