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Meet Your Doctor Radiation oncologist Tracy E. Apert talks about how the CyberKnife M6 can treat certain cancers more quickly and efficiently

Clinical Trials There are more than 100,000 clinical trials conducted in the U.S. every year. Some websites can help find the right one




Special Needs Issue Starts on page 19

Things you need to know about healthy sleep

Health Careers

Dogs Can Be a Heart’s Best Friend

Pharmacy technician: Career accepts high school graduates with no experience. The annual mean wage in the Syracuse area is $30,970


Studies show that taking your dog for a walk can benefit your heart health and well-being

Tips to Increase Male Longevity

Starts on page 12

EATING INSECTS Yes, they are good for You

Why You Should Eat Pears

Besides how refreshing and delicious a crisp pear can be, pears are a super source of fiber and a goldmine of phytonutrients

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Medicare, Explained Confused about all the options available through Medicare?

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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.

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

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

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Exercise Really Can Chase Away the Blues … to a Point


xercise is good for your mental health, as long as you don’t overdo it, researchers say. An analysis of data from 1.2 million people in the United States found they reported 3.4 days a month of poor mental health on average. But those who were physically active had 1.5 fewer “down” days a month than those who were not active. Being active for 45 minutes three to five times a week was associated with the biggest benefit. Exercise had the greatest impact on people with diagnosed depression, the findings suggested. In this group, those who exercised had 3.75 fewer days of poor mental health a month than those who were inactive — 7.1 days versus 10.9 days. “Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and there is an urgent need to find ways to improve mental health through population health campaigns,” said study author Adam Chekroud. He is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University. The study included 75 types of physical activity — from sports and exercise, to childcare, housework and lawn mowing. Team sports, cycling, aerobics and going to the gym were associated with the largest reductions in poor mental health days, possibly because they reduce social withdrawal and

isolation, the study authors noted. People who were active three to five times a week had better mental health than those who exercised more or less, according to the study published Aug. 8 in The Lancet Psychiatry. Thirty to 60 minutes of physical activity was associated with the biggest reduction in down days (about 2.1 fewer days each month). But exercising more than three hours a day appeared to be worse for mental health than not exercising at all, the researchers said. The associations seen in the study don’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship, however. “Previously, people have believed that the more exercise you do, the better your mental health, but our study suggests that this is not the case,” Chekroud said in a journal news release. Exercising more than 23 times a month or for more than 90 minutes at a pop was linked to poorer mental health, the researchers said. The links appeared to be universal. “Exercise is associated with a lower mental health burden across people no matter their age, race, gender, household income and education level,” Chekroud said. “Excitingly, the specifics of the regimen like the type, duration and frequency — played an important role in this asso-

ciation.” Researchers hope to use the

information to personalize exercise recommendations.

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Coming October 2018: Vampire® PRP Aesthetic and Restorative Injection Dr. Renée S. Melfi is quadruple certified: • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPM&R) • Pain Medicine (ABPM&R) • Integrative Medicine (ABIHM) • Medical Acupuncture (New York State) Page 4

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

Renée S. Melfi, M.D.

Regenerative Spine & Musculoskeletal Medicine 3400 Vickery Road Syracuse,NY 13212


Had a Stroke. Back on Stage.


Central New York music legend Todd Hobin knew nothing about stroke — but he does now. That’s why he’s raising awareness about stroke risk factors and its signs and symptoms.



A. S. T.




Fact: Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Important to know: Stroke can happen to both men and women — at any age. Good news: Stroke is preventable by managing medical risk factors and healthy lifestyle choices. What to do: Time lost is brain lost. So it’s vital to know the signs of a stroke — F.A.S.T. Four words to live by: Call 911 and say, “Take me to Crouse.“ When it comes to stroke, every moment matters. As one of just 10 hospitals in New York State to have earned Comprehensive Stroke Center status, and with the region’s newest ER and hybrid ORs, Crouse offers the most advanced technology for rapid stroke diagnosis and treatment

Read Todd’s story and learn more:

September 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Sept. 11, Oct. 5

Auburn classes to focus on 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 providing complimentary monthly classes to help you make sense of Medicare. In these classes, 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 noon to 2 p.m., Sept. 11 and 2 to 4 p.m. Oct 5. Registration is required. For more information or to register, call the Cayuga County Office for the Aging at 315-253-1226, or visit aging under the News & Activities section.

Sept. 11

Hearing loss group to hold meeting in Rochester Hearing Loss Association of America Rochester Chapter invites anyone interested in hearing loss to any or all of several events on Tuesday, Sept. 11. All programs are held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, East Avenue at Westminster Road, Rochester, across from the George Eastman Museum. (Enter only through Westminster Road door.) • 10 a.m. Hearing Other People’s Experiences (HOPE) church vestry room. Prospective or new hearing aid users can share their experiences, questions, and hearing loss journeys in an informal round table discussion facilitated by retired audiologist and current hearing aid user Joseph Kozelsky. • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Parish hall. Program begins at noon. “Audiology in Zambia” with audiologist John J. McNamara. One sole audiologist serves the 15 million inhabitants of Zambia, formerly Rhodesia, located in Southern Africa. Audiologist John McNamara, owner of Ontario Hearing Centers, participates in Entheos, an organization focusing on humanitarian services locally and in Third World countries with a philosophy of giving back. McNamara has worked with the hearing impaired population for over 35 years • 7 to 9 p.m. Parish hall Program begins at 8 p.m. “Approach to Tinnitus and Dizziness” with physician Paul Dutcher. Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external sound is present. According to the America Tinnitus Association, an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some form of it. Dutcher, associated with the Rochester HLAA chapter since its inception, explains tinnitus and its management. He will also present his approach to dizziness. He has been on the faculty at University of Rochester Medicine since 1983, having obtained his internship and residency here with a Page 6



Office for Aging Announces Free Classes Onondaga County Office for Aging and the Institute for Caregivers (ICare) recently announced a series of classes for those who currently care for older or disabled persons, or may become family caregivers in the future. The classes are free and open to the public.

September • “Chair Yoga: Take Care of Yourself.” From 4:30 to 6 p.m., Sept. 13 at McHarrie Towne Center; • “Let’s Talk! Mental Health & Caregiving.” From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Sept. 17 at Brookdale Bellevue; • Sleep! Good Sleep! From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Sept. 27 at The Hearth at Greenpoint.

October • “Medicare Options & Changes for 2019.” From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Oct. 1 at Liverpool Public Library; • “Nurture Your Spirit: Fill Your Cup.” From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Oct. 8 at The Hearth on James; • “Caregiver or Employee?” From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Oct. 16 at Manlius Library; fellowship in otology/neurotology at the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles. Many HLAA members are or have been his patients. For more information, visit or call 585-2667890.

Sept. 14

Senior Moments Resource Fair in Auburn Seniors, their families and caregivers are encouraged to attend Senior Moments Resource Fair, an event designed to bring a wide variety of vendors and professionals who will share information about their services and products. Snacks, goody bags and elder attorney consultations will be available. The event, organized by the Human Services Coalition of Cayuga County Elderly Task Group, will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Fingerlakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn. One of the workshops, titled “Practical Help for Vision and Hearing Loss” will be presented at 10:30 a.m. by Anne Costa, a professional with Aurora CNY; another, titled “How to Become Your Own Best Self-Care Advocate,” will take place at 11:45 a.m. and will be presented by Trudy Scarr, a professional of Inspire Care.

Sept. 23

Red, White and Brew to benefit St. Camillus If you love tasting fine wines, craft beers and gourmet foods, then

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

• “Powerful Tools for Caregivers.” 5 to 7 p.m. from Oct. 16 through 20 (six Tuesdays) at The Hearth on James; • “Living Healthy With a Chronic Condition.” From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Oct. 22 through Nov. 26 (six Mondays) at Southwest Community Center; • “Organizing.” From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Oct, 23 and Oct. 30 (2 sessions) at NOPL at Cicero.

November • “How We Change As We Age.” From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Oct. 1 at The Dunbar Center; • “Planning for Aging.” From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 (two sessions) at Sage Upstate; • “Dementia Conversations.” From 5:30 to 7 p.m., Nov. 12 at Brookdale Eastside. The catalog and registration form are available online at www. You may also receive a catalog and/or register by contacting Cynthia at 315-435-2362 ext. 4993 or email: look no further. Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and Restaurant hosts the seventh annual Red, White and Brew wine, beer and food tasting with raffles to benefit The Centers at St. Camillus and its affiliate Integrity Home Care Services. The event takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept, 23. Kitty Hoynes is located at 301 W Fayette St., Syracuse. Tickets are $35 each. In addition to sampling several wines, beers and foods, there will be valuable raffles, sports on every TV in the pub and a cash bar. Attendees will also receive a complimentary gift bag with wine and beer-related swag from event sponsors: Harbor Pharmacy, HealtheConnections, Christopher Community, Inc., Laboratory Alliance of CNY, Brown and Brown Empire State and Marsh, K&A Radiologic Technology Services, Inc. and Marilyn Wurzburger. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 315-703-0732 or in person at Kitty Hoynes.

Sept. 26

Author hosts writing workshop for teens Join author Kerry O’Malley Cerra at the Hamilton Public Library for a teen writing workshop at 5 p.m. on Sept 26. The event is sponsored by the Colgate Bookstore. The workshop will teach teens the best way to create a perfect character. This event is free and open to teenagers and adults. Her book, Just a Drop of Water, will be available for purchase and signing at the event. Just a Drop of Water, a gripping and intensely touching debut middle-grade novel, brings the events

of Sept. 11, which shook the world, into the lens of a young boy who is desperately trying to understand the ramifications of this life-altering event. The book received a Florida Book Award, the Crystal Kite Award, and was named to VOYAs Top Shelf Fiction for Middle Readers’ 2014 list. Cerra holds a degree in social science education from the University of South Florida and continues to use her teaching skills in author presentations at schools across the country. Though she’ll always consider South Jersey / Philladelphia her home, she currently lives in Florida.

Oct. 5

Workshop for women who live alone Do you live alone? Is it a challenge for you? Alone and Content: How to Survive and Thrive on Your Own, is a one-day workshop offered for divorced or widowed women who want to rediscover joy and contentment, and to gain the know-how to forge a meaningful life on their own. You’ll meet others in similar circumstances and learn practical strategies to overcome loneliness, rediscover your true self and socialize in a couples’ world. The workshop takes place at House Content Bed & Breakfast in Mendon from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5. Breakfast snacks/coffee/tea and a delicious healthy lunch will be provided. The workshop fee of $165 includes interactive discussion, empowerment exercises and helpful resources you can trust. Gwenn Voelckers, who writes the column “Live Alone and Thrive,” published monthly in In Good Health, leads the workshop. Voelcker recently wrote the book “Alone and Content — Inspiring, empowering essays to help divorced and widowed women feel whole and complete on their own.” For registration and more information, send an email to gvoelckers@

Oct. 13

Addiction awareness walk takes place in Oswego The VOW Foundation will host its Third Annual Addiction Awareness Walk Event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct 13. This free family friendly event will feature a walk around Oswego for addiction awareness, rain or shine. New this year will be the addition of the first sober celebration of recovery, which will include popular local band Dirtroad Ruckus. Organizers hope to highlight the impacts of addiction on the communities and show that sober living is both fun and rewarding. This year, attendees are encouraged to stay after the walk for refreshments, live music and opportunities to engage with providers from across Oswego County. Local speakers will also share their stories of addiction and recovery, and the impacts of substance use on their lives and loved ones. Narcan training will be provided at the event by COCOAA’s Prevention Director Karyn Grow and will include a Narcan kit. Pre-registration is recommended. For more information, contact Teresa Woolson at 315-402-6119 or E-mail To register, visit

Most Americans Support Gene Editing for Babies to Treat Diseases, Poll Finds


he idea of using gene-editing technology to tweak a baby’s DNA before birth has been the topic of fierce debate for years. But now, most Americans say using this technology on embryos would be acceptable under certain circumstances, according to a new poll. The poll, from the Pew Research Center, found that 76 percent of Americans say that altering an unborn baby’s genetic characteristics in order to treat a serious disease the baby would have at birth is an appropriate use of gene-editing technology. In addition, 60 percent of Americans support the use of gene-editing technology in unborn babies to reduce the child’s risk of developing a serious disease over his or her lifetime, the poll found. However, only 19 percent of Americans say it would be appropriate to use the technology to make a baby more intelligent; the vast majority of Americans, 80 percent, say this would be taking the technology too far. Once the realm of science fiction, gene editing for babies is getting closer to becoming a reality thanks to the development of the gene-splicing technology known as CRISPR, which allows scientists to precisely cut and insert pieces of DNA. In 2017, U.S. scientists announced that they had used CRISPR to edit genes in human embryos to correct a mutation that causes a heart defect. (The embryos were discarded, and they did not progress far in development.) Still, there are many safety and ethical issues surrounding editing human genomes that have yet to be explored. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t allow clinical trials that involve editing the germ line, or making genetic changes that can be inherited. It’s likely that the development

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Ovarian Cancer Awareness

of gene editing will involve testing the technologies on human embryos (as the 2017 study did), but most Americans are averse to this idea: The Pew poll found that 65 percent of Americans say that if gene-editing development requires testing on human embryos, it would be taking the technology too far. (Only 33 percent of Americans say that it would be appropriate to test on human embryos to develop gene-editing technologies.) The poll also found that Americans who are highly religious differ in their acceptance of gene editing compared with those who are less religious. For example, among the highly religious, 46 percent say it would be appropriate to use gene editing to reduce a baby’s risk of disease later in life, while 53 percent say this would be taking the technology too far. Among the less religious, 73 percent say using gene editing to reduce a baby’s risk of disease later in life would be appropriate, while only 27 percent say this would be taking the technology too far. The survey is based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of more than 2,500 U.S. adults, conducted from April 23 to May 6.

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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, Ernst Lamoth Jr., Eva Briggs (MD), Sergey Kravchick (MD), Colleen Farrell, Payne Horning, Marie Kouthoofd • 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.

September 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 7


Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Tracy E. Alpert, M.D. Radiation oncologist talks about how the CyberKnife M6 can treat certain cancers more quickly and efficiently Q: What is the CyberKnife and what’s new with the M6 model Hematology-Oncology Associates is now using? A: We started our CyberKnife program in 2007. It was the first robotic radiosurgery program in CNY, and it changed the way we treated a lot of cancerous and even non-cancerous conditions. Patient outcomes have been very successful over the last 10 years, but we wanted to take advantage of the newest system to deliver high precision radiosurgery to the patients that we care for. The M6 is the newest version of the CyberKnife dedicated radiosurgery system. We spent a lot of time researching it and talking to providers who use it in other radiosurgery centers in NYC and other major centers. We started treating with the M6 in April 2018.

comorbid so they’re high risk for surgery or don’t have good pulmonary reserves. We can treat these patients in one week with CyberKnife with excellent local control. There’s rapidly expanding published data that suggests this is an excellent treatment option. Q: What cancers and tumors respond better to radiation than surgery or chemo? A: Tumors that are well delineated and localized are more amenable to radiosurgery. Cancers that have lower alpha/beta ratios should respond really well to larger doses of

Q: What are some of its features? A: Not only is it faster in treatment delivery, but the algorithms used to calculate radiation plans are improved so the treatment planning process is very efficient. It takes fewer days to derive an excellent plan. The system’s even more accurate, and the real time target tracking has improved. We can lock on to tumors that move with respiration with the automatic motion management system. So patients are more comfortable, they are free-breathing. They don’t have to do abdominal compression or breath holds. We can track tumors that move quite a bit without sacrificing accuracy. Q: So does the machine visibly move with the patient? A: Yes, the robotic arm operates about an imaginary sphere around the patient to distribute radiation through hundreds of beam angles. The table that the patient lays on moves not only in the X, Y, and Z axis, but also tilts, so there’s roll, pitch and yaw. Those table movements are determined by the continual feedback from the image guidance system. That’s how we get sub-milimeter accuracy and can spare the adjacent structures and deliver treatment in the most up-to-date manner. Q: How does it affect outcomes? A: Outcomes improve when we can safely deliver higher doses of radiation to tumors and this is typically limited by target movement or the risk of radiation to nearby normal organs. When we started in 2007, CyberKnife treatment for early stage lung cancer was considered experimental, but now this is a standard option for patients that are medically Page 8

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

radiation in fewer treatments. That makes localized prostate cancer an ideal target for CyberKnife treatment. We can deliver radiation in five days, which is more convenient for the patient than daily treatment of eight to nine weeks. it?

Q: How do you like working with

A: I’ve been working with CyberKnife for over 10 years, and it’s really changed the way we deliver radiation. The treatments are much more sophisticated. The dose delivered to the nearby structures is much reduced. The M6 system reduces the time it takes to start the treatment, and the treatment itself is about one-third quicker for the patients. It’s delivered over one to five treatments and there is no anesthesia involved. It’s outpatient treatment and treatment typically lasts 30 to 45 minutes. You don’t have to fast or stop blood thinners. The recovery time after the treatment is quite short. Q: I understand it’s the only one of its kind in CNY at the moment. A: It’s the only one of its kind in Upstate. There are a few others in New York City, but this is the only one in all of Upstate New York. Q: What made you guys take that plunge? A: It was a strategic decision back in 2006 by the CEO Maryann Roefaro and the HOA physician part-

In the News Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York (HOA) recently replaced its original CyberKnife with an updated, even more precise, faster and effective version known as the CyberKnife M6 Series. Sub-millimeter accuracy means effective treatment with less harm to healthy tissue and long term negative effects. Physician Tracy E. Alpert, board certified radiation oncologist, partner and director of the radiation oncology program at Hematology-Oncology Associates, talks about the impact of the new technology. ners. They decided to invest in the technology with the belief that, with all the patients we serve in CNY, this would benefit the greatest number of patients and allow us to treat things we previously weren’t able to treat. Q: So you must be drawing patients from a huge geographic region. A: Patients will sometimes come from hours away, and because treatment is completed over the course of a few days, they’ll stay in a local hotel for a few nights. Q: Do you see this technology remaining really specialized or do you think it’ll be more broadly dispersed in the future? A: CyberKnife is one example of stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT. SBRT systems are becoming more popular and widely used, but the platform and how it’s used differs from center to center. CyberKnife is the only dedicated robotic radiation platform; there’s a linear accelerator mounted on a robotic arm, and the advantage is that it gives us more ways to deposit the dose and more sophisticated ways to deliver the treatment. There are other platforms that do similar things, but they do not have the ability to make automatic corrections for patient and tumor movement. I think overall that radiation oncology is shifting toward more localized treatment. At the same time systemic treatments like chemotherapy and immunotherapy have become more individualized, so that also changes the way we look at things. So we can give higher doses to a more specific area and let the immune system and the newer treatments take care of the rest.

Lifelines Name: Tracy E. Alpert, M.D. Position: Medical Director of Radiation oncology at Hematology Oncology Associates of Central New York Hometown: Staten Island Education: SUNY Upstate Medical University Certification: American Board of Radiology, certified in radiation oncology Affiliations: St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center; Crouse Hospital Family: Married (Samuel), two daughters Hobbies: Piano, teaching daughters music, watching football and golf

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Healthcare in a Minute

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6/19/17 9:08 AM

By George W. Chapman

Investments Show Telehealth Growing — and It’s Here to Stay


f insurance companies are investing in or partnering with telehealth companies, then you know telehealth or virtual medicine has arrived. Historically, physicians have been somewhat reluctant to embrace telehealth primarily because of low reimbursement. However several factors are contributing to a change of heart including an aging and less mobile population, consumer preference, improved IT security, the continuing shortage of physicians and value or outcome-based reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid and commercial carriers. CIGNA and

Health Care Service Corporation just invested $50 million with telehealth company MDLive, and Anthem has invested $365 million in Samsung and American Well telehealth companies to make virtual visits available on Galaxy mobile phones. Insurance companies are lowering copays and fees for telehealth/virtual visits to cut into expensive and often unnecessary visits to urgent care centers and emergency rooms. They are focused on providing their members with choice, personalization and affordability.

Senior bankruptcy Three percent of seniors will file for bankruptcy this year, and it is a steadily increasing percentage of all bankruptcies. There are several factors for this: more people are retiring from companies that no longer provide pensions, credit card debt, bad investments, lack of planning and an unforeseen calamity. But the looming reason behind most senior bankruptcies is medical debt. Medicare covers 80 percent of physician claims and some drug costs. A chronic condition, serious illness, accident and out-ofpocket drug expenses can easily wipe out hard-earned savings.     Focus on patients As the industry transitions to value/outcome based payments, hospitals and physicians are transitioning from being “treatment-centric” entities to “patient centric” entities. Their focus is on attracting, engaging, managing and retaining patients. In order for this to succeed, as patients, we must bear more responsibility for our care. Providers are implementing strategies to make it easier for us to stay in touch, be informed and be

proactive versus passive in our care. Patient portals, wearable devices, telehealth, patient education programs, specifically targeted information sent directly to your phone, navigators and digital apps are all there to strengthen the relationship. In addition to a patient focus, healthcare systems must eliminate wasteful practices, many of which were driven by fee-for-service or volume incentives, and rely more on data and analytics to manage their patients and their bottom lines.   Fewer docs feel overworked According to a recent survey of 3,700 physicians sponsored by two large MD staffing agencies, fewer physicians feel overworked or are considering retiring early compared to just two years ago. While the survey is somewhat heartening, physician burnout is still a serious issue. • 56 percent of respondents said they feel overworked; • 55 percent say they have less free time than when they first started practicing; • 48 percent of physicians said they spend less time with patients

now than when they first started; • 74 percent of the physicians responding said they recognize the signs of burnout in their colleagues; • 40 percent said burnout effects their job satisfaction and family life; • Only 17 percent of physicians suffering burnout have sought help. The study did not attribute the slight “improvement” in results to anything. One reason for the improvement could be that physicians are getting used to and less frustrated with electronic medical records. Many physicians report spending several hours after work and on weekends keeping their records up.   Market consolidation Bigger is better, especially at the negotiating table. In order to get the upper hand at the negotiating table, hospitals are merging with other hospitals while insurers are merging with other insurers. In order to preserve competition and protect consumers from monopolistic pricing, the Department of Justice must approve and then monitor all mergers. While the common justification for both hospital and insurance mergers is cost reduction, it hasn’t always been the case. The DOJ has split apart mergers when the larger hospital or insurer proceeded to take advantage of their newfound clout in the market and raised prices. According to the Commonwealth Fund, 90 percent of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are either “highly” or “super” concentrated provider (hospital) markets and that 54 percent of MSAs were highly concentrated insurance markets. Provider concentration was higher than insurance concentration in 58 percent of MSAs. Premiums have increased and provider choices have decreased across the board for most Americans, not just those covered by the ACA.    Millennial caregivers A recent article in the Wall Street Journal presented an alarming trend. As the US population grows older, accelerated by aging baby boomers, the age of the average care giver September 2018 •

grows younger. An estimated 6.2 million millennials account for 24 percent of unpaid caregivers, averaging 21 hours a week caring for an elderly parent, grandparent or in-law. One-third of millennials are caring for someone with dementia. By 2050, it is estimated that potential caregivers will increase by only 13 percent while those requiring their care will increase by 160 percent. The places a tremendous personal and financial burden on younger generations who are building their careers and starting their families. Short-term health plans Under the Affordable Care Act, short-term plans were limited to just three months. They were offered primarily to bridge the time one had to wait until the next open enrollment period. The Trump administration has recently finalized a rule allowing insurers to offer short-term plans covering 12 months and then renewable for two more years. These purported “affordable plans” do not have to cover pre-existing conditions or the essential health benefits that were the hallmarks of the ACA. So buyer beware. According to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, “Under the ACA, Americans have seen insurance premiums rise and choices dwindle.” The problem with that statement is health insurance premiums have risen and choices have dwindled for all Americans. Just ask any employer that pays for most of the premium. The ACA is simply a microcosm of the entire health insurance industry.  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

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

Don’t just survive on your own ... THRIVE! Here are six success strategies for living alone and finding contentment


o you live alone? If so, here’s a follow-up question for you: Are you just surviving or are you thriving? There’s a huge difference, of course. Merriam-Webster defines surviving as “continuing to exist.” Thriving means “to grow and develop well and vigorously.” Fear of change or the unknown can keep you stuck in survival mode. Or perhaps it’s lethargy or out of habit that you find yourself just putting one foot in front of the other to make it through your day. That was the case for me after my divorce, until I got tired of the same ol’ same ol’ and wanted to get more out of life. I wanted to experience more, to feel more and to connect more with others. I wanted to find meaning and purpose in my life. Is there something bigger and better out there for you? Inspired


by the word “THRIVE,” here are six success strategies for living alone and finding contentment. Think differently Your beliefs determine the life you have. If you don’t like the results you are getting in your life, take a look at changing the beliefs that are producing those results. You have a choice. Choose to focus on your strengths, your gifts, and this unique opportunity to define what you want out of life and then to create a life that is consistent with your goals and values. Help yourself When you live alone, you need to become your own “nudge,” your own motivator and cheerleader. Setting goals is a wonderful and very effective way to give your life direction and purpose. Goals can put passion into





everyday existence. Goals should be written down; expressed in positive, affirming language; assigned a deadline; be achievable; and reviewed regularly. Rediscover and reconnect A key to living alone successfully is to determine who you are and what you really want for your life. No “shoulds” or other people’s agendas. Identify those things that fully engrossed you as a child or that today completely consume you — those things that make you feel whole, as though nothing is missing. These are your “loves” and they reveal your true self. When you live your life consistent with these loves, you’ll feel less alone, more energized and alive. Invest in your future On your own or with help, there’s no time like now to find out where you stand financially and where you want and need to go. Start today to align your spending with your values, to “find your stuff,” and to create a plan to protect your future. Peace of mind and a sense of empowerment are the rewards for those who come out from under the covers, ask for help if they need it, and get their financial house in order. Vow to banish negative thinking Negative thinking can get in the way of your goal to feel better and to have the life you want. Take deliberate action when negativity creeps into conscious thought: (1)





just turn it off, or (2) give yourself a limited amount of time to dwell on a negative thought and then move on, or (3) replace a negative thought with a positive one or (4) repeat a personal and positive affirmation. Letting go of old ways of thinking, of a negative self image, of anger, of regret or any self-limiting thought or behavior will free you up to embrace your new life and the possibility of feeling whole and complete on your own. Embrace the possibilities You have an opportunity in front of you — an opportunity that many people never have the chance to experience. Today you can, perhaps for the first time ever, fashion a life that reflects your dreams, your style, and your true self. It can be a precious gift — this time of rediscovery and renewal. Embrace it. When that happens, living alone becomes secondary to living fully. Surviving becomes thriving!


Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of Live Alone and Thrive empowerment workshops for women held throughout the year in Mendon. To purchase her new book “Alone and Content” visit For information about her upcoming workshops or to invite her to speak, visit, call 585-624-7887, or email gvoelckers@


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

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My Turn

By Eva Briggs

Eat it fried, baked or with some seasoning: Insects are good source of vitamins.


Yes, they’re good for you Insects are a source of protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats


hile my daughter was an exchange student in Ecuador, she wrote home about a trip to the jungle where she had the opportunity to eat several types of insects. She happily reported that she was one of only two students brave enough to try living giant beetle larvae. As strange as that sounds, many cultures throughout the world regularly consume insects, such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas and mealworms. In Zambia, flying termites are an oily crunchy snack that has been likened to popcorn. But are insects good for you? A recent study examined the health effects of eating crickets. That study suggests a benefit to the human microbiome — the collection of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi and viruses) living in or on the human body. Here’s how the study was done. Twenty healthy adults were fed a regular diet or a diet containing 25 grams per day of cricket meal. The cricket meal was baked into muffins or mixed into shakes. After two weeks, the subjects had a two-week “washout” period of their usual diet. Then to subjects who had been eating cricket meal were switched to an insect-free diet, and those who had eaten a typical diet were fed the cricket meal diet. That allowed each person to serve as his/her own control. The researches analyzed blood samples and stool samples. The study participants also answered detailed questionnaires about their gastrointestinal health. There was no effect on the subjects’ overall gastrointestinal health. A metabolic enzyme associated with gut health increased. There was a decrease in an inflammatory protein

in the blood called TNF-alpha, which has been linked to other measures of well being, like depression and cancer. Also certain beneficial gut bacteria increased, like Bifidobacterium animalis. This probiotic strain that has been linked to improved gastrointestinal function in a commercially available strain called BB-12. Of course this is just a single short study, so it’s too soon to know whether the results will persist over time. One possible explanation for these findings is that insects contain types of fibers, such as chitin, not found in other food sources. While humans don’t digest these fibers, gut bacteria use them as a food source, so their ingestion may alter the bacteria living in the gut. Insects are a source of protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. And while most insects consumed around the world are currently wild-harvested, farming insects for food could be a sustainable way to produce protein at a lower environmental cost. Perhaps. On the other side, there is evidence that even if the cultural yuck factor is overcome, it may be that once production of edible insects is scaled up, the impact of feed, energy, processing and transportation will make bugs no more sustainable than conventional protein sources.

The Upstate Cancer Center provides advanced cancer-fighting technology, including the Vero SBRT. Skilled radiation oncologists, like Upstate’s Anna Shapiro MD, use the Vero to locate, target and treat tumors in real time, sparing healthy cells and tissues. The power of teamwork brings together board certified physicians from varied disciplines to create a highly personalized treatment plan. In addition, Upstate offers more clinical trials than any other provider in Upstate New York. If you’re facing a diagnosis of cancer, turn to the experts at the Upstate Cancer Center. We provide the advanced knowledge, skills and leading technology found at the region’s only academic medical university.

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

September 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11

Dogs Can Be a Heart’s Best Friend Studies show that taking your dogs for a walk can benefit your heart health and well-being By Colleen M. Farrell


nne Proppe has always been an athletic person. A runner, she earned her third-degree black belt at 50. She likes to kayak, too. That’s why, when she felt some shortness of breath during a few runs in 2005, she didn’t think much of it. But it persisted. She suspected she had exercise-induced asthma. Her doctors, though, weren’t convinced. Soon, she found herself undergoing heart surgery to replace an aortic valve. “I was in total shock when they said it was my heart,” she said. Proppe recovered, facing a pancreatic tumor and a lengthy surgery to remove it as well as another heart surgery in the last couple of years. Today, the 67-year-old is still active, and she’s even planning to run in a half-marathon in Las Vegas this fall. The Baldwinsville resident credits a lot of her good health — and ability to overcome obstacles — to her canine companion. “When you have a dog … it doesn’t matter if it’s zero degrees out and a blizzard or 90 degrees out with 100 percent humidity. They want to go,” Proppe said.

She and Riley, a 2-year-old golden retriever, walk or run every day. “I always feel better when I come back, and so does she,” she said. There’s science to prove it, too. One of the most recent studies on how dogs help one’s health came out last fall. Scientific Reports noted that benefits of walking a dog include lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol and triglycerides, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and a higher survival rate following a heart attack. “They increase your physical activity which is really the key in terms of heart health,” noted physician Russell Silverman, medical director of St. Joseph’s Physicians Cardiology Services at St. Joseph’s Health. The study also noted lower levels of stress, improved socialization and emotional status, and stronger immune systems, among other findings, which benefit one’s overall health, Silverman said. Dogs make good companions, get their owners moving, and can help them socialize with others, like by going to the park and striking up a conversation with another dog owner. “All of these things promote

Anne Proppe of Baldwinsville walks or runs every day with her dog Riley: “I always feel better when I come back, and so does she,” she says. good health because they are good for you emotionally, they’re good for you physically, and they give you a sense of need,” he said. Pets in general, but particularly dogs, provide emotional support to their owners, too, said physician Luis Castro, medical director of Primary Care Center West, which is affiliated with St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. “It becomes like a family member or extension of that,” he said. “There are a lot of benefits to having a dog.” Indeed, Proppe, who has always

owned dogs, said her pets push her to do more. She said it could have been easy for her to give in to her health challenges, but having a dog that needed activity kept her going. Plus, her doctors have told her that if she hadn’t been in the relatively good shape she was, she may not have survived the pancreatic tumor removal. “I’m going to keep going. If I can’t run, I’ll jog. If I can’t jog, I’ll walk. If I can’t walk I’ll get a racing wheelchair,” she said. “I want to make sure I have a strong heart, and my buddy is here to help me.”

willing patients with researchers of clinical trial. Or, use the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation at This is a nonprofit organization that will take your information online or over the phone and do a thorough clinical trials search for you, and mail or email you the results within a week or two. Call 877-633-4376 for assistance. Those with dementia and their caregivers can also locate clinical trials at the Alzheimer’s Association TrialMatch at

tion? • What are the risks? • What kinds of tests and treatments does the study involve, and how often and where they are performed? • Is the experimental treatment in the study being compared with a standard treatment or a placebo? • Who’s paying for the study? Will I have any costs, and if so, will my insurance plan or Medicare cover the rest? • What if something goes wrong during or after the trial and I need extra medical care? Who pays? For more information on clinical trials visit the National Institute on Aging (, which has many informative articles including one on “questions to ask before participating in a clinical trial.”

How to Find the Right Clinical Trial There are more than 100,000 clinical trials conducted in the U.S. every year. Some websites can help find the right one By Jim Miller


ach year, hundreds of thousands of Americans participate in clinical trials in hopes of gaining access to the latest, and possibly greatest, but not-yet-on-the market treatments for all types of illnesses. But, you need to be aware that clinical trials can vary greatly in what they’re designed to do, so be careful to choose one that can actually benefit you. Here’s what you should know along with some tips for locating one. Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is the scientific term for a test or research study of a drug, device or medical procedure using people. These trials — sponsored by drug companies, doctors, hospitals and the federal government — are conducted to learn whether a new treatment is safe and if it works. But keep in mind that these new treatments are also unproven, so there may be risks too. Also be aware that all clinical trials have certain eligibility criteria Page 12

(age, gender, health status, etc.) that you must meet in order to be accepted. And before taking part in a trial, you’ll be asked to sign an informed consent agreement. You can also leave a study at any time. Find a Trial Every year, there are more than 100,000 clinical trials conducted in the U.S. You can find them by asking your doctor who may be monitoring trials in his or her specialty. Or, you can look for them on your own at This website, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, contains a comprehensive database of federally and privately supported clinical studies in the U.S. and abroad on a wide range of diseases and conditions, including information about each trial’s purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details. If you want some help finding the right trial, try ResearchMatch. org, a web-based resource created by Vanderbilt University that connects

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

Things to Know Before deciding to participate in a trial, you need to first discuss it with your doctor to make sure it is appropriate for you. Then, schedule an appointment with the study’s medical team and ask lots of questions, such as: • What’s the purpose of the study and can it improve my condi-

Jim Miller is the author of “Savvy Senior,” a column published monthly in In Good Health.


Tips to Increase Male Longevity

Men’s Health

site. Eat in a way that will promote a healthy lifestyle.” • Joanne Wu, an integrative and holistic medicine and rehabilitation physician who specializes in wellness.

men don’t manage 8.sure“Usually, stress well. They should make they have a safe space or a few

Men in New York (and in the U.S.) live shorter lives than women. Here are some suggestions to extend their life expectancy By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


he average New York male has a life expectancy of 77.92 years, according to, compared with 82.79 for women. It’s understandable that men’s life expectancy tends to be shorter than women’s. Many male-dominated occupations such as commercial fishing, forestry, farming, construction and electric line workers tend to be high-risk occupations. Men also tend to engage in riskier hobbies at higher rates than women and riskier behavior in general, such as performing stunts, smoking and using illicit drugs. Men don’t tend to maintain regular doctor visits and ask about health screenings. However, men can take a few steps to increase their potential for a long, healthy life. Two local doctors offer suggestions for a longer and healthy life.

“Work on cancer prevention. One 9. 1. out of nine men are diagnosed “Try to with prostate cancer and that can im- 5.see what you can do to improve pact men’s health because of chronmental health. Many articles talk ic morbidity and coping with the disease aftermath. Healthy weight and diet are important for cancer prevention. “A few anti-inflammatory things can help, like improving vitamin D and vitamin E levels. “Eat enough eggs, fish and fortified foods like milk. Relatively safe exposure to sunlight helps with D. Lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes, watermelon and apricots show good association with improving men’s help and suppressing things that stimulate cancer growth. “Omega-3 fatty acids show variable evident at this point in reducing risk of heart disease and prostate cancer. There’s low relative risk in taking it.

2. 3. 4.

Boxers vs. Briefs and Your Chances of Becoming a Dad A ttention guys: Your tightywhities may not be doing your sperm any favors. Men who wear tight-fitting briefs have sperm counts that suffer in comparison to men who wear boxers, according to results from the largest study to date on the controversial topic. “Men who wore tighter underwear had lower sperm counts than men who wore the most loose underwear,” said senior researcher, physician Jorge Chavarro, an associate professor of medicine with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “This was reflected both in sperm concentration as well as in total sperm count.” Men who wore boxer shorts had 25 percent higher sperm concentration than those who wore briefs, researchers found. They also had 17 percent higher sperm count and 33 percent more swimming sperm in a single ejaculate. However, Chavarro noted that the average sperm count across all

close, trusted friends or family members to confide in. That does a lot for good mental health. It’s not as socially acceptable for them to talk about feelings. That can impact mental health negatively if they don’t have people with whom they can open up. “If they are isolated, they may not eat as well. Having certain, regular connections with others has a bigger impact on physical and mental health than exercise. An article in the Jan. 18, 2018 issue of Forbes says that loneliness has a bigger impact on physical and mental health than exercise, based on a study from Brigham Young University. It said that people who are isolated also don’t eat or sleep as well and may not exercise. “You have to eat properly. If you’re not eating properly, that can impact your physical and mental health. You need the proper balance of foods. Not eating properly automatically can be triggering anxiety and stress.”

types of underwear was well within normal levels. “Even though individual men in this study could have had sperm levels that were low, on average these men were fairly normal,” Chavarro said. “For most men, it’s probably a nonissue,” he concluded. “Men who may benefit the most are men who’ve been trying a while and continue to struggle getting their partners pregnant.” A number of small-scale studies previously have linked tighter underwear to lower sperm counts, Chavarro said. This study has the largest sample size yet, including 656 male partners of couples seeking treatment at the fertility center of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The theory is that higher temperatures caused by body-hugging

about the rise of depression and suicide. Mental health for men is still very under-served. Men need to be more open about it to talk with loved ones and with primary care providers. Depression affects sleep and ability to function at work and their ability to feel motivated to eat well and exercise. The mind-body connection is very, very strong. If we don’t correlate mental health with physical health, we’re not whole. “Maintain a good weight through exercise and nutrition, as it’s good for health. It decreases risk of arthritis, improves cardiovascular health and wellness and decreases cancer risk. “Some foods have high anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Some foods are the oppo-




• Kimberly Fortin, licensed clinical social worker practicing in Weedsport and owner and cheese maker at Fortin Fish Farm in Weedsport.

underwear interferes with the testicles’ ability to produce sperm, a process called spermatogenesis. “We know that spermatogenesis is very, very sensitive to temperature,” Chavarro said. “Even relatively small changes in temperature by choosing a type of underwear that would bring the scrotum closer to the abdomen could, in theory, have an effect on spermatogenesis.” Men in the study were between 18 and 56 years old. Each provided a semen and blood sample, and answered a questionnaire that asked about the type of underwear they most often wore during the preceding three months. Among them, 53 percent wore boxer shorts. The rest wore tighter underwear. Researchers also found that men who wore boxers had 14 percent lower levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH promotes sperm production. Higher levels in men who didn’t wear boxers could be evidence of the body trying to compensate for the challenge to sperm production wrought by tight underwear, Chavarro said. However, those efforts aren’t enough. “Even though they have higher FSH levels, these men still have lower sperm count. Were it not for the

higher FSH levels, their sperm count would probably be even lower,” Chavarro said. “There seems some compensation, but this compensation is not sufficient to bring them back to sperm counts of men who wear looser-fitting underwear.” Although this study adds new information in the ongoing battle of boxers versus briefs, there are a few important caveats, said Dr. Jennifer Kawwass, medical director of IVF and third party reproduction at the Emory Reproductive Center in Atlanta. “It is very important to recognize that the study does not prove a causal relationship between briefs and infertility, but rather an association between briefs and a lower, though still normal, sperm count that may or may not be a cause of infertility,” she said. So don’t run out and buy a pack of boxers because you’re worried about your sperm counts, Kawwass added. “This study does not necessarily suggest that men should alter their clothing preferences and tendencies; the study was conducted among men in an infertility clinic and the results may not be generalizable to men in the general population,” she said. “Additionally, the differences in hormone and semen analysis parameters were not different enough to be identified as the primary cause of infertility.” The study was published Aug. 8 in the journal Human Reproduction.

September 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Men’s Health

New Dads Can Get the Baby Blues, Too


ostpartum depression isn’t limited to moms. Rates of depression among new fathers are similar to those among new mothers, and more needs to be done to help these men, two psychologists say. “Recent research has shown that roughly 10 percent of new dads experience postpartum depression, and up to 18 percent have some type of anxiety disorder,” said Dan Singley, of the Center for Men’s Excellence in San Diego. “Unfortunately, few psychologists receive focused training regarding identifying, assessing or treating common men’s issues in the period from conception to a year or so post-childbirth,” Singley said in a news release from the American Psychological Association. Men tend not to seek mental

health services during this period, so theres a lack of scholarly attention to this vulnerable group, Singley added. Singley’s work on male postpartum depression was scheduled for presentation Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco. Sara Rosenquist is also addressing dads’ postpartum depression at the meeting at the same time. “The predominant narrative has attributed these experiences to hormonal changes and fluctuations specifically related to pregnancy and birthing,” said Rosenquist, of the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health Psychology in Cary, N.C. “It is highly unlikely that the hormonal disruptions of pregnancy and birthing would explain the whole picture if fathers and adoptive parents all experience postpartum

depression at the same rates,” added Rosenquist. Factors that could trigger anxiety and the “baby blues” in new fathers include sleep deprivation, exhaustion, time away from work, gender role conflict and concerns about being a good parent, the psychologists said. New and expectant fathers should be screened for signs of depression, Rosenquist and Singley believe. However, identifying depression in men can be a challenge because

Men’ Health: Treating Peyronie’s Disease By Sergey Kravchick, M.D.


eyronie’s disease (PD) is a curvature of the penis that is usually associated with a palpable area of fibrosis. The curvature is usually obvious when the penis is erect but is occasionally noticeable even when the penis is flaccid. The penile curvature is often preceded by painful erections and may be associated with erectile disfunctions. The rate of PD is reported to be 0.39 to 3 percent. However, that is probably an underestimation because of the embarrassment most men feel about having this condition. The etiology of PD is still unclear. More recently, PD has been thought to result from vascular trauma or injury to the penis. The injury may be insignificant or involve only microscopic vessels and tissues.

Presentation and Initial Treatment Men with PD may present with any combination of the following: penile pain, which is more pronounced

Urgent Care People you know and trust

Page 14

during erections; penile angulation; an indentation in the shaft, typically at the site of the plaque (causing an hour-glass deformity in the shaft); decreased erectile function. If the disease is diagnosed within the first six months of the onset, an attempt of nonsurgical therapy is worthwhile. It can be oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (pain management), colchicine, pentoxifylline, or potassium aminobenzoate. Even if it is not initially successful, such therapy should be maintained for about six months. If the plaque and/or penile angulation have remained unchanged for six months, the condition can be assumed to be stable and treatment modalities could be considered. Typically, PD lesions become stable at 12 to 18 months after symptom onset.

Intralesional treatment • Intralesional collagenase clostridium histolyticum in combination with modeling (elongation and stretching of the plaque) when penile curvature is between 30 and 90 degrees. This treatment includes

eight injections of 10,000 U over 24 weeks. The adverse events include penile ecchymosis, swelling, pain and corporal rupture. • Intralesional interferon -2b (potential adverse events: sinusitis, flu-like symptoms, and minor penile swelling). • Intralesional verapamil (potential adverse events: penile bruising, dizziness, nausea, and pain at the injection site). Surgery • Tunica plication is the most common surgical strategy used to treat PD patients. The most commonly reported curvature improvement post-surgery occurred in more than 90 percent of patients. This surgery is not a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) and the most appropriate candidates for plication surgery are patients with intact erectile function or with ED responsive to oral medications, vacuum pump therapy or intracavernosal injections. • Plaque incision or excision and/or grafting results in curvature correction in the setting of a relative-

For fast convenient care, visit one of our urgent care centers or go online to our NEW Care OnDemand.

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

they can have different symptoms than women, Rosenquist said. “Women are more likely to report feelings of sadness and frequent crying, whereas men are more likely to feel irritable and socially disconnected,” she said. One thing that can help men avoid postpartum depression is support from friends, Singley said. “Fathers who maintain solid social support networks experience a buffer from the conflicts and demands associated with parenting,” he said. ly low risk of serious adverse events. The success rate reported for this surgery is more than 80 percent. The best candidates for this procedure are patients with intact erectile function or ED responsive to oral medications or vacuum pump therapy. For the patients with erectile dysfunction and Peyronie’s disease, penile prosthesis surgery might be the most appropriate option. Adjunctive intraoperative procedures, such as modeling, plication or incision/ grafting, can be performed during this surgery. Upstate Urology offers these treatment modalities to patients with Peyronie’s disease. Physician Sergey Kravchick specializes in general urology, endourology, male health: chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and testicular pain and practices at Upstate Urology at UHS and Wilson Hospital in Binghamton.

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The Paquettes: When Jeff Paquette of Mexico, Oswego County, found out he would need to have a kidney transplant, his wife Marlene didn’t hesitate. She decided to donate one of hers.

It’s A Match Oswego County man gets new kidney — from his wife By Payne Horning


t was a conversation the Paquettes hoped they would never have. In June of 2017, the couple sat down with a team of doctors at Strong Memorial Hospital to discuss their options for a kidney transplant. Jeff’s only kidney was diseased, and he was in need of a replacement. As they were talking about the process of putting Jeff on the waiting list and how long it could take to find a match, his wife Marlene volunteered hers. “We hadn’t even discussed it,” Marlene said. “I just knew that I was going to try.” Offering her kidney turned out to be the easy part, Marlene says, the difficulty was what followed. Marlene had to go through a series of tests, including bloodwork and scans, to ensure she was in good health. She was. Then, there were more tests to ensure the two were a match. They were. And then she had to stay completely healthy leading up to the procedure. Even a cold could postpone it indefinitely, which was easier said than done for an operation that was scheduled in February. Marlene says it may have just been a coincidence that she and Jeff were a match, but she believes it was much more. “I just think I had it in me that we would,” She said. “They ask you many times why are you doing this. And I just said I always thought there was another reason we were together, deep down. There’s a reason that we met. Maybe this was meant for me to be his donor down the road.” Marlene says she was not surprised they were a match, but Jeff was that she even offered to begin with. “I couldn’t believe she wanted to donate to me,” Jeff said. “I was very humbled and emotional at the time to think she would do that for me.” Fortunately, the operation, which took place in February, was success-

ful and Jeff’s body has thus far not rejected the new kidney. But Marlene says the work is not finished. Both have regular checkups and must stay on top of their potassium intake, as well as drink at least three liters of water a day. It’s little sacrifice, Marlene says, for her husband of 36 years. To honor her selflessness, Jeff nominated his wife for the New York State Senate’s Women of Distinction Award. “I felt she deserved to be recognized,” Jeff said. “There aren’t many people who are living donors. She is a hero for that in my book.” In addition to that award, Marlene won a New York State Gift of Life Medal of Honor. Marlene says she appreciates the recognition, but that’s not why she did it. Love pushed her, she says, despite the many opportunities she was given to opt out. “You can literally back out up until the time they knock you out,” Marlene said. “And they said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ And I said ‘Yep, I’m ready let’s go.’ My sister looked at me and said, ‘I can’t believe how calm you are.’ I go, ‘I’m not really calm, I’m just ready. We’ve been talking about this and now the day is here, let’s do it.’” The kidney transplant changed the Paquettes’ lives in more than one way. It took their relationship to a whole other level, as Marlene puts it. The couple has since become advocates for those in need of organ donations, and those who have gone through the process. Jeff shares his experiences and tips online with people who are about to undergo the operation. And the two recently participated in the Rochester River Run, a 5K walk/run event to raise awareness and funds for those who await, undergo and recover from transplant surgery.

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Pharmacy Technician: Promising Career in Healthcare

Career accepts high school graduates with no experience. The annual mean wage in the Syracuse area is $30,970 By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


he outlook for the career of pharmacy technician is bright for the next several years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS forecasts job growth for pharmacy technicians at about 12 percent between 2012 and 2026, which is faster than average for all other job titles. The pay is good, considering that it’s a career that accepts high school graduates with no experience and offers on-the-job training. The annual mean wage in the Syracuse area is $30,970. The BLS also states that in the Syracuse area, 560 people work as pharmacy technicians. Their work locations vary much more widely than the white-coated professional behind your local drugstore counter. They can work in general and surgical hospital settings, independent doctor’s offices, industrial settings, drug stores and general food store locations. The latter two categories may involve more personal contact with patients. Pharmacy techs working in industrial settings tend to make more money, but may require education or

experience. The growth in the pharmacy tech career is partly because of the growing population of aging baby boomers and their increasing need for medication. Pharmacy technicians are also working in ways they hadn’t previously, according to Claire Schum, inpatient pharmacy operations manager at University of Rochester Medical Center. She holds a doctorate degree in pharmacy. “We just opened a human donor milk lab, and they’re also involved with the medication reconciliation process when patients come to the ER,” Schum said. “They may have a lot of medications and the techs work with patients to make sure home medication is ordered to make sure it’s an accurate amount.” Although previous experience isn’t required, Schum said it’s helpful, as are good math skills, attention to detail, and an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Pharmacy technicians must pass a pharmacy technician board exam within a year of beginning employment with UR Medicine. It’s not a state requirement — some

Is the BSN Worth It? Starting in 2020 new RNs would be required to earn Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


eginning in 2020, new registered nurses will be required to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) within 10 years of their initial licensure. Existing registered nurses will be grandfathered in. But is earning the BSN worth it? Yes, according to Marion Ciciarelli, representing Oswego Health. “Research has shown a higher percentage of baccalaureate nurses on a unit improve patient outcomes such as decreased patient falls, fewer medication errors and a reduction in morbidity and mortality,” she said. One example is a 2003 study by Linda Aiken, Ph.D., RN, of the University of Pennsylvania, which states that increasing the number of baccalaureate trained nurses improves patient outcomes. In addition to improved patient outcomes, Ciciarelli also thinks it will help nurses. Many health care organizations want bachelor-trained nurses, especially for positions in management and leadership. “Career-wise, having a BSN Page 16

allows a nurse to more readily enter into higher education programs — master’s and doctoral — which would allow individuals to enter into much needed roles such as nurse educators,” Ciciarelli said. Nearly all positions for nurses involving research, technology or education require the BSN. Without the additional education, these higher-paying positions are usually out of reach. Physician extenders — physician assistants and nurse practitioners — are in greater demand to help fill in the gaps because of the physician shortage. Baccalaureate-trained nurses can further help extend the care because of their additional training. RNs often serve on multi-disciplinary teams where many of the other members have received at least bachelor’s level training, such as occupational and physical therapists. The additional training can “strengthen our nursing skills and critical thinking and provides us with the education to step forward as leaders and do more,” said nurse

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

employers don’t require it — but Schum said that legislation is underway that would require it statewide. Instead of formal classes, wouldbe pharmacy techs can also study textbooks on the subject and then take the exam, but Schum said without pharmacy experience, “it might be difficult.” Pharmacy techs can look forward to several career opportunities by cross training to become supervisors or work in a variety of ways as specialists. “If they’ve been here awhile, they can specialize in robotics, training, team lead, information analyst or milk lab specialist,” Schum said. The milk lab handles donated human breast milk. The advanced pharmacy technician positions offer “an opportunity to take more of a leadership role,” Schum said. “There are a lot of things they can move into.” Schum said that many people

enjoy working as a pharmacy tech because they’re involved with patient care and making a difference in their lives, though not directly in contact with patient care. “Helping patients can be very satisfying,” she said.

Andrea Lazarek-LaQuay with Nascentia Health in Syracuse. Lazarek-LaQuay said that part of the reason for the nursing shortage is a lack of educators. Without advanced nursing degrees, nurses can’t educate more nurses. Most schools’ RN-to-BSN program takes one year full time or two years part-time. Because many RNs are still working when they want to earn their BSN, many schools work with students to offer online classes that they can work on at any time. Ciciarelli said that Oswego Health offers educational assistance to all employees with at least six months of continuous, full-time service or one year of continuous parttime service. Oswego Health covers 100 percent for full-time employees and 40 percent for part- time employees up to $3,000 per calendar year. “The course must be job-related or part of a development plan recommended by a supervisor,” Ciciarelli added. Many other health care institutions work with RNs through tuition reimbursement programs because they want to employ more BSNs, too.

Le Moyne offers some classes online, most of its RN to BSN classes are on campus. Any hospital with magnet status actively seeks baccalaureate-trained nurses. The American Nurses Credentialing Center began its magnet recognition program in 1993. The hospitals with magnet status demonstrate more satisfaction among their RNs, low nurse turnover, and improve patient outcomes. By employing more baccalaureate-trained nurses, hospitals can better achieve their goals. The organizations are also required to hire more BSN employees, especially for nursing leadership roles. Ginnie Cronin, Ph.D., director of graduate nursing at Le Moyne College, thinks that the competition for nursing jobs will increase as there will be more BSN-trained nurses. “There’s much more marketability,” Cronin said. “Certain positions right now in the hospital you can’t get unless you have a BSN. like clinical nurse educator, nurse managers. Certain areas would be cut off to those who don’t have a bachelor’s degree. They can also go on for other positions with a master’s degree.”

Pharmacy Tech: Some Students May Go to School Free The federally-funded Health Profession Opportunity Grant ( hpog) works in affiliation with area educators to offer free classes to financially eligible and qualified people interested in pharmacy technician and other health professions. Students who complete the course and pass the board examination can begin working at up to $17 per hour, depending upon the employer.


whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Toss greens in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Divide greens among six plates. Top with pear slices, dividing equally. Sprinkle with cheese and walnuts. Drizzle lightly with remaining dressing and serve.

The skinny on healthy eating

Pears: A Sweet Treat You Should Eat


hy reach for a pear? Besides how refreshing and delicious a crisp pear can be, pears are a super source of fiber and a goldmine of phytonutrients — those beneficial compounds found in plants that are thought to have health-protecting qualities. One medium pear — with its skin on — boasts nearly 6 grams of fiber, which, for many, is about a quarter of our daily needs. Conveniently, pears deliver both soluble and insoluble fiber. Pears’ soluble fiber — pectin — helps regulate blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol, while pears’ insoluble fiber promotes regularity. A well-run system improves bowel-related health problems, like constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. Adequate intake of fiber is a long-established factor in reducing our risk of both heart disease and Type 2 diabetes; and in the case of pears, this benefit may be even more pronounced due to the helpful combination of both kinds of fiber. Like most fruits and vegetables, pears come packed with important

phytonutrients that help to quell inflammation and mop up cell-damaging free radicals. Many experts believe that the work of these naturally occurring compounds may thwart the development of certain cancers and other life-threatening diseases. Nicely low in calories — about 100 per medium pear — pears can help with weight maintenance and loss. In fact, studies support that the more fresh fruit and vegetables someone eats, the less likely they are to gain weight. Modest calories notwithstanding, a pear’s high fiber and water content may also contribute to weight control, as both nutrients help us to feel fuller longer. Although pears contain natural sugars in the form of fructose, they have a low glycemic index (GI), according to the American Diabetic Association. The GI is a scale from one to 100 that ranks how foods affect blood sugar. Because of their impressively high fiber content, pears unleash sugar into the bloodstream slowly, providing us with a steady stream of energy. What other nutrients do pears

Helpful Tips

bring to the table? Pears are a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C, bone-building vitamin K, and energy-producing copper.

Pear, Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad Adapted from Bon Appetit-Serves 6

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon minced shallot 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1/3 cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste 5-6 cups of mixed greens 2-3 medium, ripe pears: halved, cored, thinly sliced lengthwise 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola 1 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

If you want a ripe pear to eat immediately, press a finger gently into the top of the pear where the stem joins the fruit. If it yields to pressure, the fruit is ripe. A ripe pear will last in the fridge about three to five days. If you want to eat the pear in a few days, the top should be hard. Hard pears, stored at room temperature, will ripen in a few days. You can speed things up by placing the pears in a paper bag with a ripe banana or apple. Whenever possible, eat the nutrient-rich skin. If you eat canned pears, choose versions packed in 100 percent fruit juice (versus sugary syrup).

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle colum-

nist, food guru, and seasoned cook, who has perfected the art of preparing nutritious, calorie-conscious dishes. She is hungry for your questions and comments about SmartBites, so be in touch with Anne at

Whisk first four ingredients in small bowl to blend. Gradually

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Things to Know About Sleep By Ernst Lamothe Jr.


good night’s sleep is sometimes referred to as one of the best free medicines a person can get. And too often the general public is suffering from a lack of it. “The importance of good sleep is something that I really stress to people. It cannot be overlooked,” said Timothy Curtis, registered respiratory therapist and manager of respiratory care for St. Franciscan Companies in Syracuse. “Not having good sleep can affect you while you are driving, at work and at home.” Curtis offers five tips for attempting to reclaim that needed good sleep.


Go to sleep at the same time and that includes the weekends. Your body has a rhythm that requires sleeping at a regular time. Even though as adults we don’t always like routine, going to bed at the same time each day has significant benefits. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will actually help you sleep better at night. Sporadic sleeping patterns can cause problems throughout the week. “You need to put your body on a schedule,” said Curtis. “When you go to bed at the same time and maintain a regular seven or eight hour

sleeping pattern, it helps your body become more routine. The moment you decide to sleep at random times during the week, you can find yourself more tired or waking up in the middle of the night at various times.”


Eliminate electronics from your bedtime routine You carry it around with you everywhere you go all day. At some point, you have to put it down. But too often, we not only take it to bed, but we stare at the screen for hours and then expect to get a good night’s sleep when we are done. “The blue light that a phone emanates prevents you from going to sleep for many reasons,” said Curtis. “When you are looking into that screen, it activates your brain because of the visual images. Once your brain is activated, it can often take another 45 minutes to an hour minimum for it to deactivate and for you to settle down into a restful pattern. Sometimes it can take many hours, especially if you choose to actively respond to work email or do any kind of work on your way to going to bed.”


Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow There are many advantages to having a good mattress. Your body will be well supported with no

pressure points pressing against your pressure-sensitive parts while lying horizontal. Your spine can be well aligned with the rest of your body and your body weight well distributed across your frame and sleeping surface. “You don’t want your body to be restless. There is a reason why not everyone can sleep on an airplane,” Curtis added. “When you don’t have a comfortable bed, it can cause you to wake up during the middle of the night. Also a mattress can collect a lot of dust that could cause allergies. You should consider changing your mattress every eight to 10 years.”


Evaluate your bedroom environment Simply put, darkness and a smoothing atmosphere can lead to better sleep. “When you are looking at your sleeping environment, you want to make sure you don’t have too much light around you. You can either reduce the light by closing your shades, wearing a sleeping mask or even noise cancelling headphone.”


Go to bed when you are tired and have a bedtime ritual It seems simple enough. Yet it is one of public’s biggest mistakes and reasons why they struggle sleeping. Sometimes people go to bed early and figure sleep will just hit them or they do the opposite and push

Timothy Curtis, registered respiratory therapist and manager of respiratory care for St. Franciscan Companies in Syracuse. through and stay awake even when their bodies want to go to sleep. Both are mistakes. Also what you do before you sleep can be just as important as when you come to sleep. Expert suggests finding a routine and relaxing activity as you prepare for slumber. “You don’t want to do anything that is going to make you hyper,” said Curtis. “Consider meditation and light reading before you go to bed. Even exercising can be great. Exercising keeps the muscles toned which will allow you a better night’s sleep.”

Le Moyne, Crouse Hospital Now Offer “Degree in Three” Program in Nursing


o help address the regional and nationwide shortage of nurses, Le Moyne College and the Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital have announced the creation of “Degree in Three,” a new three-year dual degree program in nursing. The first of its kind in Central New York, the program will provide students with dual matriculation at both Pomeroy and Le Moyne colleges, culminating upon completion in an associate in applied science with a major in nursing from Pomeroy and a bachelor of science with a major in nursing from Le Moyne. The program will begin in January 2019. The three-year program has been designed to address two key challenges in nursing. In January 2018, New York state passed legislation requiring all graduates of diploma and associate degree nursing programs to earn a bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing within 10 years of graduation. The current shortage of RNs, as well as nurse leaders and educators, is predicted to persist and even worsen in the coming years. “Le Moyne is pleased to partner with Crouse on this exciting new opportunity in nursing education. The three-year program provides the best of both worlds: an on-campus experience and extensive clinical practice,” says Margaret Wells, dean

Page 18

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

of the Purcell School of Professional Studies. The plan of study can be completed in three years, including winter and summer courses. With a condensed period of study, tuition costs will be lower than a traditional four-year degree at a private college. Students will enjoy the campus experience at Le Moyne, includWells ing student services and on-campus housing, while benefitting from the extensive nursing educational resources at Pomeroy. Student support for success will include academic advisement, peer mentoring and tutoring. All financial aid and tuition payments will be coordinated through Le Moyne, including a variety of federal and state aid, student loans, scholarships and awards. In addition to the full complement of Le Moyne’s academic resources, the program provides extensive clinical opportunities and support. Nursing students are able to practice skills and gain valuable

knowledge in the clinical learning and simulation Lab, a life-like environment with high-fidelity mannequins, hospital technology and a mock operating room. Nursing practice at Crouse is guided by the principles of relationship-based care, which students learn from nurses who are committed to transforming care and exceeding the expectations of patients and families. “We are excited to expand our collaboration with Le Moyne through this innovative program that will benefit our students and the community we serve,” says Rhonda Reader, vice president of clinical services and nursing quality and dean of the Pomeroy Reader College of Nursing. For more information about the new Le Moyne/Pomeroy three-year degree program, contact Le Moyne College via email at admission@ or call 315-445-4300, or contact Amy Graham, assistant dean for enrollment at the Pomeroy College of Nursing, at 315-470-7481 or email

Special Needs More Families Willing to Adopt Special Needs Kids By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


t may seem like children with special needs would wait longer for a permanent home; however, according to Michael Hill, associate director at Adoption Star, Inc., an increasing number of potential adopting families express interest in adopting a special needs child. Hill said that the 2012 adoptive placements comprised of 73 percent healthy newborns, 15 percent at-risk for developing special needs, and 12 percent born with special needs. In 2017, the agency placed 63 percent healthy newborns, 26 percent at risk for developing special needs and 11 percent born with special needs. He explained that in general, the agency has a larger pool of children who have or may potentially have special needs, in part because of the opioid epidemic exposing babies to drugs in the womb and causing them to be form addicted to opioids. The agency has also made mandatory an adoptive parent training weekend. “Part of that is sharing a lot of information about kids at risk for special needs or who have special needs,” Hill said. “Because everyone has to come for classes, we can talk all about situations where a pregnant woman has pre-identified issues and that may affect the child. We can share uniform, consistent information on parenting a special needs child. Being able to educate people on the topic makes families more

open to adopting a special needs child.” While that’s good news for the agency and children they serve, Hill wants more families to understand the differences between general adoption and special needs adoption. Adoption Star is based in Amherst, Western New York, but places kids statewide. “Particularly over the course of the last five years, we’re finding at our agencies there are more and more prospective adoptive families who are willing to adopt a special needs child or one who potentially will have special needs,” Hill said. The agency’s Shining Star program offers financial assistance to help cover special needs adoption costs so adoptive families can allocate more funds toward their new child’s needs. Some may need early intervention services, specific medical care or additional assistance for home health or childcare. The Family Star program helps

Few Providers Offer ‘Special Needs’ Dentistry By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ew people relish a visit to the dentist. For patients with physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities, professional oral health care can become even more difficult. Only a few providers in the area offer “special needs” dentistry to ensure they receive proper care. Robert Dietz, dentist and owner of Dietz Dental in Camillus, said that the most important aspect of his office’s care is “years of experience and training in working with people with special needs,” he said. “There’s not a magic answer, but patience and adapting to the patient.” He took an elective course in dental school on special needs dentistry, which he said helped him feel equipped and comfortable working with special needs patients. His staff has learned through on-the-job training, he said. If a patient cannot tolerate treat-

ment at all, he can provide it at North Medical Center while the patient is under general anesthesia. “Not having problems in these patient populations is more about educating their caretakers and parents,” Dietz said. “It’s about keeping away from processed sugars, increasing fluoride rinses that we might not do as much on other patients. It’s better to not have a problem in the first place than to treat it.” Though a pediatric practice, Little Jaws Big Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in DeWitt also focuses on special needs patients. “For individuals with special needs, dentistry is pretty much the same, only you have to feel out the parents and the child to see what their specific issues are,” said Tansy Schoonmaker, one of the dentists and the co-owner of the practice. Her staff’s soft skills include pa-

link adoptive parents to the resources that can help them meet their child’s needs, providing information, referrals and support groups for parents. New York state also provides regional permanency resource centers. These state-funded centers provide post-adoption support services, which include respite care, support groups, medical care, and, as needed, referrals. Hill encourages prospective adoptive parents to do their own research on the children they may parent, both into the child’s medical records and history as provided by the adoption agency, and how these can affect the child’s development. “It’s important to collect and review that information,” Hill said. “Go into parenting with eyes wide open, regardless of whether you’re adopting or it’s your biological child. Prenatal records and medical history of the biological family help you understand the potential challenges that may exist.” Hill said that some pediatricians can help prospective parents review the records and understand their implications. Sites such as March of Dimes (, Mayo Clinic (, and the American Academy of Pediatrics ( may also help. Patricia Pennock, senior case worker in the family services unit for Oswego County Department of Social Services in Mexico, said that one reason some people don’t consider special needs adoption is because these children “require more care and time and there are so many more options for people to become parents with IVF and surrogacy.” But her organization does provide training classes, referrals to support services and ongoing support such as a parent support group and training sessions. Pennock wants parents consider-

ing adoption of a special needs child to talk with someone who provides social services at an agency. “It only takes a little time to learn more,” she said. “Do some reading. There’s a lot of good materials out there. Talk with family and friends and explore it. There are special needs children who need a good home and there are a lot of people who could meet that need but need more information.” To meet the challenges in special needs adoption, Judy Geyer, interim executive director at New Hope Family Services in Syracuse, said that many options for assistance exist. “Special needs children almost always come with assistance from the state,” Geyer said. “They usually qualify for that, but you have to apply. Parents receive something from the state to help with expenses with a special needs child.” The agency also counsels potential parents about the additional responsibilities for a particular child. “We’ve been blessed over the years to have families that want to adopt a special needs child,” Geyer said, “but there aren’t as many couples who are willing to adopt a child with special needs as a healthy child.” New Hope primarily places healthy newborns but will contact other entities if they cannot find a placement for a child with special needs. “It’s self-sacrificing,” Geyer said. “They have to have love and devotion to that child. Any of the parents would say, they’re the ones being blessed. Each child is created in God’s image and is precious. Whether born healthy or not, that child has a definite purpose. It’s wonderful there are couples who will step up and say, ‘We will adopt a child with special needs.”

tience to take more time, developing a special plan for them, discovering their triggers, and working with parents to find ways to improve the whole experience. She encourages parents to remain calm about a visit because oftentimes, children pick up on their parents’ mood. Parents should also start visits at age 1 as with any other child to build early familiarity with dental visits. “If you start at age 8, it’s much harder than at 1,” Schoonmaker said. “Routine is important for children in general.” Some accommodations are simple, such as scheduling a visit for earlier in the day when the office is quieter or calling from the car so staff can usher the family right into the exam room to avoid sitting in the waiting Schoonmaker area. Some patients enjoy distractions like favorite comfort toys, TV or conversation; others prefer no stimulation.

“Some don’t like flavors,” Schoonmaker said. “We have a lot of flavor-free things, like floss, toothbrushes and toothpaste.” Introducing dental care to patients who may have received little of it in the past relies upon going slowly. “Just like with anyone, especially if their first time, we do tell, show, do,” Schoonmaker said. “We may use a puppet or if their child brings in their own stuffed toy, we’ll show them on it.” Some parents like to visit in advance to make a picture book to show their child before the first visit. Or even try a dry run before any work happens. “We know you know what’s best for your child,” Schoonmaker said. Some children cannot leave their wheelchairs, so Schoonmaker and her staff treat them in their wheelchairs. The office can also use medication to reduce anxiety, sedation or, if necessary, general anesthesia, all based upon doctor approval. “It really comes down to the fact that each child is so very different, whether they have special needs or not,” Schoonmaker said. “You shouldn’t be scared.”

September 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19

Special Needs

Is Autism on the Rise or Are We Better at Catching It?

Latest CDC autism figures from April show 15 percent rise


he latest analysis published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concludes that autism might be more prevalent than previously estimated. They are now calling for more effort to be made toward early detection. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are conditions that affect development. They impact the ways a person interacts with other people and alter how they perceive the world. And, though every case is different, the most common symptoms include delayed speech development, trouble interacting with peers and repetitive behaviors. As for prevalence, in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that it affected one in 68 children — about 1.5 percent of all children. However, as of April this year, they updated this estimate. The revision comes off the back of the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. This tracking system follows more than 325,000 8-year-old children, which accounts

for around 8 percent of all 8-yearolds in the United States. The ADDM assesses the young participants for any characteristics of ASD. It is the largest network of its type and the only one that also follows the health and education of each child. The data come from 11 communities in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The new results were published in April. According to the analysis, in 2014, one in 59 children — or 1.7 percent — had ASD. That represents a 15 percent rise from two years ago. Also, boys were four times more likely to receive a diagnosis than girls. Why has the figure changed? There are many potential ways to explain why the percentage of children with ASD may have risen. For instance, improvements in the identification of ASD in minority populations could be part of the answer. Although, ASD is still more likely to be diagnosed in white children than Hispanic or black children. Physician Stuart Shapira, an as-

sociate director for science at CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, explains: “Autism prevalence among black and Hispanic children is approaching that of white children. The higher number of black and Hispanic children now being identified with autism could be due to more effective outreach in minority communities and increased efforts to have all children screened for autism so they can get the services they need.” Improving diagnostic services in minority communities is vital; the earlier ASD is caught, the more successful interventions tend to be. If children are put in contact with support services at an early age, they are more likely to reach their full potential. Interestingly, autism rates across the 11 communities varied. Five regions had similar levels (1.3–1.4 percent), but the highest rate was seen in the New Jersey community, which hit one in 34 (2.9 percent). The researchers believe that this disparity might be due to differences in the way that autism is documented and diagnosed in different areas.

After the 2016 results were published, many concluded that the rise in ASD had paused. Now, some believe that this may not be the case. The take-home message from these findings is that diagnosis needs to occur earlier. For instance, they found that fewer than half of children who identified as having ASD received their diagnosis before they were 4. Also, although 85 percent of children with ASD had medical notes outlining concerns about their development by the age of 3, only 42 percent of them had received a developmental evaluation. “Parents can track their child’s development and act early if there is a concern,” explains Shapira. “Healthcare providers can acknowledge and help parents act on those concerns.” “And those who work with or on behalf of children can join forces to ensure that all children with autism get identified and connected to the services they need as early as possible,” he adds. “Together, we can improve a child’s future.”

Kelberman Center: Not Just a Preschool

Center planning to transform Utica facility into a 60-unit apartment building. At least 20 units will be for people with autism By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ne in 59 U.S. children will be diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For many, the support they receive early in life makes a difference with how they fit in with their community and also the opportunities available to them for socialization, recreation and employment. The Kelberman Center, with offices in Syracuse and Utica, serves autistic people and their families in all of these areas, beginning with preschool for children diagnosed as early as 2. The Kelberman Center provides early intervention through the preschool. While the preschool has helped many people know about the Kelberman Center, that’s not all the organization offers. “A lot of people may know of just one area that we focus on,” Eryn A. Balch, manager and director of business operations at Kelberman Center. “A lot say, ‘We thought you had only a preschool!’” Through different life stages, the Kelberman Center works with more than 65 different school districts. “We work with them with a spePage 20

cific child,” Balch said. “We can do training for teachers so people with autism can be successful in regular classrooms. The school will have a budget for activities that support them.” The Kelberman Center also organizes social events, including a bowling club, cooking group, camping, equine therapy, Lego club and activities at the Root Farm in Sauquoit in the Mohawk Valley region. “A lot of times, it’s great to meet other families who ‘get it’ and share their struggles and successes,” Balch. As participants grow up, the Kelberman Center offers a program for pre-vocational services. This year marks the second supported internship program with Utica College. “We help with job coaching and trying different career skills,” Balch said. “Utica College lets our students work in different departments throughout the campus,” Balch said. The 10-month program allows participants to work alongside a job coach. “They follow a curriculum with how they can better communicate with others,” Balch said. “It’s a very successful program.”

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

Family support and classes help families learn better strategies for both communicating better and activities of daily living. Many clinic services are covered by Medicaid and insurance. Fundraisers also help the Kelberman Center provide services at low or no cost to families in need. “The clinic has really gotten off the ground in the last few years,” Balch said. She added that the Kelberman Center plans to look at independent living options, including 24-7 supported residence. “From a parent’s perspective, ‘What will happen when I’m not here anymore?’” Balch said. “We’re still in the early stages, but we’re looking at the former Sunset School building in Utica to make it Sunset Independent Living.” The organization has purchased the building at 2507 Sunset Ave. with tentative plans to transform it into a 60-unit apartment building. At least 20 units will be reserved for people with autism who may need some support. “A ‘paid neighbor’ will be someone on-call who can help just in case they need it,” Balch said. “A lot of

Erin A. Balch, director at Kelberman Center. young adults with autism have a routine and things they do during the day but overnight is sometimes more difficult. A place to go where you know people are there to help opens up a world of opportunity.” As a mixed-use building, it may also contain office space on the first floor. The organization hasn’t entirely finished its planning at this point. Balch said that the Kelberman Center hopes to expand to a greater geographic area. “There are a lot of families in need, we’re finding,” Balch said. “We want to continue to grow to meet the needs throughout central New York. We want to work more closely with schools. “Fifty thousand kids across the US age out of school-based services every year. In 10 years, that’s half a million people who’ll need some kind of support. Many are willing to find a way to be independent.”

Special Needs

Arise: Much More Than Independent Living Centers Nonprofit works with more than 7,000 people with disabilities By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


rise has become well-known in the community for its non-residential, independent living centers for people with developmental disabilities. But the organization offers many program — so much more than it did in its beginning. In 1979, the nonprofit started up in a laundry room at then-St. Mary’s Hospital in Syracuse with the notion that people with developmental disabilities have equal rights — a novel idea at the time. Today, Arise serves people in Onondaga, Oswego, Madison, Cayuga and Seneca counties. In addition to its non-residential independent living centers, Arise offers assistance in advocacy and accessibility; basic needs and assistance; education, employment and skill building; health and wellness; and recreation and art to more than 7,000 people of any age

or disability. “We believe that the person with the disability is in charge,” said Tania Anderson, CEO. “They come to us with a vision of how they want their life to be or with whatever issue or problem they need to solve to be successful in the community. We give them the tools and resources to do that. The person receiving the services is in charge.” More than half of the agency’s board members have a disability and many of staff members either have a disability or a family member who does. “We live the life and completely understand where people are coming from,” Anderson said. Arise plans to expand geographically with more services becoming available in Cayuga County and expanded mental health services in Oswego County.

“We’re constantly growing our community habilitation program,” Anderson said. “Our mental health program is growing.” She added that Arise’s inclusive recreation program is a “gateway program,” meaning it’s a point at which many will connect with Arise initially and then seek further interaction with the organization. ARISE’s adaptive ski program held at Toggenburg Mountain attracts skiers of any ability. Many use the popular adaptive design program, where volunteer physical therapists, occupational therapists and designers build custom, adaptive equipment out of cardboard that may be too expensive or simply isn’t available commercially. “Volunteers build it and paint it,” Anderson said. “It’s really quite sturdy. It’s a grassroots program.” The program especially helps

September 2018 •

Arise CEO Tania Anderson. children who may quickly outgrow expensive equipment. Volunteers also build ramps for people in Oswego County and plan to expand this service into Cayuga County. “There’s a shortage of accessible housing, so it’s a benefit to let people stay in their own homes and be able to access the community as well,” Anderson said. As in its inception, advocacy remains a big part of Arise’s purpose, whether it’s a change that helps people gain greater access to the community or an organizational change, such as more opportunity to enter a program that would help. “Our one, fundamental aspect is advocacy, which sets up apart,” Anderson said.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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2018 9/11 Remembrance Run Run, walk, ruck, volunteer or spectate. However you do it, come out to honor, reflect and remember those lost on Sept. 11 with Team Red, White & Blue at this 9.11K (5.56 miles) run around Oswego. The race begins at 9:30 a.m., Sept. 9 at the Oswego East Side Fire Station. For more information, contact Nate Beasley at

Giving Veterans Purpose Team Red, White & Blue looks to enrich the lives of nation’s vets, families and communities By Marie Kouthoofd


ounded in 2010, Team Red White & Blue — a national nonprofit organization — and its more than 123,000 members are bringing veterans, their families and American citizens together through social interaction, community physical fitness and shared experiences in more than 210 communities worldwide. Avoiding the negative stereotypes and deficit-based terminology sometimes associated with service members, this nonprofit is infiltrating the nation with its positive, strengthbased approach to veteran reintegration. Powered by the field of positive psychology, RWB focuses on veteran health, individual and collective strengths and what’s right in people. Highlighting Team RWB’s community-based model, the “Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy, Research,” an international peer-reviewed journal, says it’s all in the equation — the enrichment equation that is: “Enrichment = Health + People + Purpose.” Reverse culture shock Referring to what research calls “reverse culture shock,” Nate Beasley, Oswego chapter captain of Team Red, White & Blue, said veterans, upon their re-entrance to civilian life, can in some instances feel as if things are falling apart. “They don’t have a sense of purpose, they don’t have the direction and nobody is forcing them to get up in the morning to do their physical training,” he said. In line with Beasley’s observations, the above peer review identified “reverse culture shock” as a major variable for returning vets. Documenting the vast differences between military and civilian life, the research findings point out how returning vets, having adopted Page 22

military values, language and norms, can often feel estranged to the life they once knew. Without the social connectedness we as humans instinctually desire, our returning vets may feel they don’t belong, a lack a sense of purpose and hence fall between the cracks. RWB seeks to fill these theoretical cracks. Although RWB’s purpose struck a chord with Beasley years prior, it was in 2014 when he joined forces with surrounding chapters to officially form the Oswego chapter. Initially enlisting for four years as a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter mechanic, this 44 year-old veteran signed up for the delayed enlistment program at the age of 17. Shortly after enlisting, Beasley was selected and qualified for the helicopter crew chief program. “The crew chief flies in the helicopter, is the gunner and requires a lot more training,” Beasley said. Before he knew it, his four-year college plan had morphed into a six and then 10-year enlistment, serving from 1992-2002. Following boot camp at Paris Island, S.C., Beasley was deployed to various locations around the world, including places such as Jacksonville, N.C., Okinawa, Japan, Kosovo and Bosnia. As with many service members, some of Beasley’s experiences left him with painful memories and unseen scars. In turn, Beasley resorted to smoking up to two packs of cigarettes a day and downing a fifth of whiskey in the evenings. “I went down a bad path for a while,” he said. Although physical fitness tests are mandatory in the military, Beasley began resorting to doing only enough to get by. “I remember smoking a cigarette between pull-ups and sit-ups and I could still pound out a six-minute

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

mile, but it would hurt, hurt bad and most of the time I would get done and I would cough to the point where I was almost throwing up,” he said. “It was in Okinawa where I actually began to run for sport,” Beasley noted. Having run his first 10K race in Okinawa and finishing his first Marine Corps Marathon in 1998, Beasley successfully replaced his previous addictions with athleticism and running became his new passion. On guard for nation After a two-year stint in Saudi Arabia, Beasley returned to his hometown of Watertown in 2004, where he joined the National Guard and met his future wife, Lesley. Shortly thereafter, as a part of the National Guard, he was assigned to the Nine Mile Point and James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plants in Scriba. He eventually worked up to a full-time position in security management. Marrying in 2006, the Beasleys have two healthy and energetic additions to their family: Peyton and Braydon, aged 7 and 9, respectively. It wasn’t until 2010 when he met some Syracuse RWB members at a local race that his fire was re-ignited. “I really bought into the theory behind RWB because being active and physically fit is what worked for me,” Beasley said. “When I turned 40 [in 2014], I decided to sign up for a full ironman in Lake Placid,” he added. An ironman triathlon involves three consecutive events — a 2.4-mile open-water swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. Training was rigorous and demanded a great deal of energy and time. Being careful not to take away from the family, workouts began at 3 a.m. or 8 p.m. and totaled approximately 20 hours of week, including

either a 15-to-17 mile run or a 90-to100 mile bike ride on the weekends. “I lost 20 pounds in that evolution,” Beasley said. “I think people see us [RWB] running down the street with a flag on Wednesdays and think we are just a running group, but we have so much more to offer,” Beasley said. “I was talking to a World War II veteran and encouraged him to come out and join our coffee social. We sat and talked awhile about his and my experiences and you can tell he doesn’t get a lot of opportunity to talk about those experiences,” Beasley said. “So people, no matter what age, can get just as much out of a coffee social as those going out for the run on Wednesdays.” With 476 members frequenting the Team RWB Oswego Facebook page —— the group formed a separate member page for member interaction and achievements alone. Shortly after creating the new page, relationships began to flourish, achievements and positive messages abounded, connections were made and friendships were formed. Some members were getting together for a run, walk, bike ride, dinner and even coffee. “It’s one of the greatest things we ever did. I’ve seen so many genuine relationships form out of this team, and really, that’s what RWB is all about,” said Beasley. Life-changing allegiance “Being a member of Team RWB has impacted my life in so many ways. As a civilian, I’ve been able to connect with members of my community who I might never been able to otherwise,” said Caitlin Pollard, Team RWB Northeast program manager, former communications director and a member since 2014. “I’ve always been a strong supporter of our military veterans, but this group has given me an opportunity to truly give back in a purposeful way,” she said. “Our motto is, ‘It’s Our Turn’. Previously as our community engagement director, I was able to fully embrace that phrase and develop opportunities for members to come together to make our community better,” she said. Pollard noted that it’s not just a run club or fitness group. “Our members are like family and we create each event we do with the same purpose and meaning behind it. The sense of pride I have pulling on one of our infamous red shirts is like nothing else,” she said. “Meeting Nate [Beasley] and starting the Oswego chapter was one of the best decisions I’ve ever been a part of and I’m grateful I found this group every, single day,” she added. The team’s website is at www.

Parenting By Melissa Stefanec

The Emergency Column


ummer — it’s a time for so many wonderful things. Family vacation, time with friends, playing outside, exercise, farmer’s markets, festivals, barbeques, parties — the list of fun feels endless. However, all these wonderful things take time, and time is a very limited resource for my household. Between fulltime jobs, school, extracurricular activities, hobbies and other responsibilities, things get a little crazy. In all this craziness, I find myself wishing I had a couple of columns stashed away for a non-rainy day. In a perfect world, I would have something generic, wonderful and ready to print. That way, when life got away from me, I wouldn’t be writing a column from the passenger seat of my car while my family speeds away to my in-law’s house. (This is all purely metaphorical, I assure you.) I am a born planner. The motto ‘Always be prepared’ doesn’t quite do my love for planning justice. So, I find it a little surprising I don’t have an emergency column. Quite frankly, I’m a more than a little disappointed in myself. However, I don’t want to spend too much time beating myself up, so here is a list of ways I plan ahead. Maybe my advice can make the life of just one reader a little saner. And, let’s face it, who among us couldn’t use a nugget or two more sanity? Birthday party gifts Birthday parties for my daughter’s friends have a way of sneaking up on me because (gasp) they aren’t my top priority. Rather than realizing Amazon Prime can’t get me a gift in nine hours or dragging myself on an 11 p.m. Target run, I keep a stash of small birthday gifts on hand. I try to make them something a boy or girl would like. Snacks and water bottles There will be many things I regret in my life, but I can say, with near certainty, I not will regret keeping fruit snacks in my purse. I am proud to say a bag of snacks typically rides shotgun with me. I keep my kids’ car seat cupholders stocked with reusable water bottles. I don’t like dealing with just about anyone when they are hungry or thirsty, and my kids are certainly no exception. Greeting cards and stamps Life comes with occasions. People celebrate landmark events. They do nice things for us. They encounter tragedy. If I didn’t keep a stack of decent greeting cards on hand, I wouldn’t be as thoughtful as I want to be. I want to let people know I am thinking of them. Sending a note lets me do that. However, if I had to make a special trip to the store each time I wanted to send a card, it just wouldn’t happen.

Boo-boo kit I have first-aid kits in my house. I have them stashed in our vehicles. I keep Band-Aids in my purse. I have tick kits in our vehicles. When my son cuts his finger at the store, I know a single super hero Band-Aid can solve all of our woes and save the ears of fellow shoppers. At home, I also try to keep common medicines on hand (e.g., pain relievers, antihistamines, cough/cold medicines and stomach medicines). A change of clothes My kids are 7 and 4, but I still try to keep a change of clothes for them (and myself) at all times. I keep a bag with clothes in the car. I pack a bag for the smallest of outings. I don’t want our days derailed by a minor accident or spill. I don’t want to be stressed out when my kids trash what they are wearing two minutes into an outing. We all do better when there is backup outfit on hand. Sunscreen and insect repellant I keep travel-sized tubes in my purse. I keep full-size versions in our cars. Every time I pack a bag to go anywhere, sunblock and insect repellant go in it. I don’t want a day of fun to result in three days of suffering for my sunburned or chewed-up kids. A sketchy frozen pizza There are nights when I need an emergency dinner and don’t want the price tag associated with eating out. I keep one forbidden dinner item in the freezer at all times. Typically, I don’t let my kids eat standard prepared foods, so when I pull out the emergency dinner, they are glad to eat it. If a frozen pizza can save your day, why not let it? Ziplocs Ziplocs are great at containing just about anything. Need an emergency garbage can for a tissue with bodily fluids on it? Check. Need a baggie for a tick you found on your dog or kid? Check. Need a place to stuff 30 dirty wipes into? Ziploc has your back. These little buggers are lifesavers.

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Stomach bug helpers I usually have sports drinks, applesauce, popsicles, noodle soup mix, microwave rice and frozen tube yogurts on hand. You never know when a nasty stomach bug is going to run through the house. The last thing I want to do when one hits is stuff the family into the car for a grocery store trip. Gifts for teachers I’m not talking about sassy mugs or whimsical desk plaques. I like to keep gift cards on hand. You never know when you will want to recognize someone special in your kid’s life, and I find pre-paid caffeine does the trick. September 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper


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Back to School What Should Your Children Do If They’re Bullied at School? By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


o your children know what to do when they’re bullied at school? While no victims are to blame for experiencing bullying, their response at times can help diffuse some “entry level” bullying from escalating further — if they know what to say and do. Jumping in and trying to micromanage the situation may backfire. Many children feel ashamed about bullying or fear retribution if they ask adults for help. Confiding in trusted adults who take their experience seriously can help children develop strategies for dealing with bullying and reduce the risk of the bullying escalating. Nancy A. Natale-Radecki, licensed clinical social worker and owner of Three Rivers Therapy in Oswego, said that good communication can help children the most. Listening to what’s going on the child’s life makes a big difference in becoming aware of and helping navigate a

bullying situation. That way, children feel freer to tell their parents what’s going on. By asking open-ended questions about their day, relationships and how things are going at school, parents can get a better idea of how their children feel. Natale-Radecki said that many times, children don’t express their feelings. She also believes that building children’s self confidence represents the foundation of bullying prevention. Children who have a niche where they shine brightly — academics, sports, clubs or other activity — can feel more confident in themselves and ignore bully taunts, according to Natale-Radecki. “Embrace your uniqueness and don’t worry about being judged by it,” Natale-Radecki said. “Don’t allow the outside forces to influence how you feel inside.” It may help bullied children to

realize why some kids bully others. Sometimes, it’s because they’ve been bullied themselves and want to gain control in a social setting instead of feeling like they can be victimized again. By diffusing the situation and offering friendship, some bullying victims can make a friend. “It’s helpful to know why they bully,” Natale Radecki said. “It doesn’t solve the problem but it gives you perspective. Kids in pre-puberty age are starting to realize how others interpret the world. It’s always good if they can empathize. It’s a key aspect to feel we can operate in our value system or our true self.” Deflating the drama by ignoring the bully’s remarks may work with some bullies who try to provoke others for attention. Humor can also deflate bullying attempts and help prevent other children from taking the bully’s side. Responding to bullying effectively depends upon the age. Natale Radecki said that children under age 10 may not be able to verbally deal with bullying. Older ones may be

Heads Up on Head Lice By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


bout 6 million to 12 million head lice infestations occur annually among US children 3 to 11 years of age, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. “Head lice are not a health hazard, a sign of uncleanliness or a vector for disease,” states the National Institutes for Health on its website. Upon their child’s diagnosis of head lice — usually at school or the pediatrician’s office — many parents head to the drugstore to buy an overthe-counter remedy, some of which contain pesticide; others contain dimethicone, a silicone-based product that smothers the lice and prevents them from managing water. But they have other choices. Marnie Murray and Lisa Saul coown Naughty Nits in Cicero, which also has offices in other Upstate locations. “The pesticides are designed to kill the bugs, but not the eggs,” Murray said. “The resistance rate is high after 40 years. ‘Super lice’ are resistant to permethrin-based treatments.” Stronger preparations are available by prescription. But Naughty Nits uses a different method. Instead of killing with chemicals, the company uses AirAlle FDA-approved medical device that dehydrates the lice and eggs. With a 30-minute treatment, followed by a 30-minute combout, the client should be lice-free. Page 24

“It’s a silver bullet,” Murray said. “It’s relaxing, stress-free and chemical free but deadly to lice and eggs. It has a specifically designed, one-use tip.” She said that the device has more than 500,000 uses worldwide without incident. Naughty Nits doesn’t take insurance; however, Murray said some people have submitted their itemized receipts with mixed results. “People think they can use the blow dryer, but that can burn the scalp,” Murray said. “AirAlle is similar to a blow dryer, but it’s gentle. It has a similar sensation but it’s different technology.” She reassures parents that they don’t have to go crazy cleaning their home; however, items that have come into direct contact with their child’s head should be cleaned with hot water. Items that can’t be cleaned with hot water may be sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks to kill the lice. “People are always looking for ways to make sense of their world and they want to know where it’s coming from,” Murray said. “She was at a softball tournament and they were sharing helmets. They spend a lot of time being angry at a friend, cleaning like crazy and the whole time, it came from the babysitter. By the time you figure it out, it’s been six to eight weeks and you’ve already spread it.” She has parents fill out a form that asks what they’ve already tried.

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

Home remedies include kerosene which is very dangerous and should not be tried olive oil, Listerine, Coca-Cola and mayonnaise. Murray said those folk remedies don’t work. Others rely on pesticide-based treatments. “They spend about $200 usually and multiple people have it in their household,” Murray said. “What they don’t realize is time is money. If they try things that don’t work, they’ll be missing school and work. Naughty Nit’s most expensive treatment is $169. The facility also offers an “express” treatment for $119 and a DIY topical treatment that’s less. The company also sells a line of organic preventative items that contain tea tree, rosemary, mint, citronella and eucalyptus which Murray said ward off bugs to prevent re-infestation after a bout of lice. “They have 93 percent efficacy in clinical trials,” she said. “When you’ve had head lice they leave pheromones on your head that’s very difficult to get off that’s imperceptible to humans. You have to have something in your hair that’s a different scent to mask that.” Don’t share Physician Joanne Wu, board-certified in integrative and holistic medicine, lives in Rochester and Buffalo. She recommends oil of tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus used

able to learn how to diffuse minor verbal bullying confrontations. Trusted adults can also help children differentiate between verbal digs and bullying that can quickly turn dangerous. “Teaching them to have compassion with themselves first and staying grounded in themselves in their truth will then empower themselves to stand up for themselves and others as well,” said Niccole R. Lorenzo, mental health counselor and owner of Branches of Growth, LLC in North Syracuse. She also encourages parents to lead by example. Encouraging violence, one-upping bullies or other negative engagement won’t help. “By leading with compassion and empathy, we can allow children to learn empathy to understand another person’s feelings and perspective,” Lorenzo said. “They’ll feel more connected to other people.” Children should know to let an adult know right away if they don’t feel safe.

in a carrier oil for both treating and preventing head lice. A few small studies seem to indicate at least a measure of efficacy in essential oils, she said. “The important thing is don’t share implements,” she said. “Any materials that come in contact with the child’s head should be cleaned.” All household members and those in close contact should be checked for head lice, too

Lice? Doctor Recommends OTC Permethrin Physician Bridget Messina, who works at the division of general pediatrics in Buffalo, said that the main treatment her hospital — Oishei Children’s Hospital — uses is approved in children older than 2 months: permethrin. “It’s made from a natural chrysanthemum extract, though it’s synthetic,” she said.  Lower concentration permethrin is available over the counter. Messina said that permethrin has low toxicity, though some children may be a little sensitive.   She’s not convinced hot air treatments are effective.  “One study was done fairly recently that showed an effect, but it wasn’t blinded,” she said. “The people knew they were getting the treatment. It leaves way for some interpretation bias. The study wasn’t big enough to say whether it works or not.” She thinks that the combing performed after the hot air treatment is what’s working.

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How Medicare Covers Diabetes Dear Savvy Senior, How well does Medicare cover diabetes? I’m 66 years old and was recently told by my doctor that I have pre-diabetes. If it progresses to full-fledged diabetes what can I expect from Medicare?

Recently Retired Dear Recently, Medicare actually provides a wide range of coverage to help beneficiaries who have diabetes, as well as those who are at risk of getting it — but they don’t cover everything. Here’s a breakdown of what Medicare covers when it comes to diabetes services and supplies along with some other tips that can help you save. Screenings — If you have pre-diabetes or some other health conditions that put you at risk of getting diabetes — such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, are overweight, or have a family history of diabetes — Medicare Part B (medical insurance) will pay 100 percent of the cost of up to two diabetes screenings every year. • Doctor’s services — If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, Medicare will pay 80 percent of the cost of all doctor’s office visits that are related to diabetes. You are responsible for paying the remaining 20 percent after you’ve met this year’s $183 (for 2018) Part B deductible. • Prevention program — Just launched in April, the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program provides lifestyle change programs offered by health professionals to help you prevent diabetes. This is available for free to all Part B beneficiaries who have pre-diabetes. • Self-management — If you have diabetes, Medicare covers 80 percent of the cost of self-management training to teach you how to successfully manage your diabetes. • Supplies and medications — Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of the cost of glucose monitors, test strips (100 per month if you use insulin, or 33 per month if you don’t), lancets, external insulin pumps and insulin (if you use a pump), after you’ve met your deductible. If, however, you inject insulin with a syringe, Medicare’s Part D prescription drug benefit will help pay your insulin costs and the supplies needed to inject it — if you have a plan. Part D plans also cover most

other diabetic medications too. You’ll need to check your plan for coverage details. • Nutrition therapy — Medicare will pick up the entire tab for medical nutrition therapy, which teaches you how to adjust your diet so you can better manage your condition. You’ll need a doctor’s referral to get this service. • Foot care — Since foot problems are common among diabetics, Medicare covers 80 percent of foot exams every six months for diabetics with diabetes-related nerve damage. They will also help pay for therapeutic shoes or inserts as long as your podiatrist prescribes them. • Eye exams — Because diabetes increases the risks of getting glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, 80 percent of dilated medical eye exams are covered each year, but eye refractions for glasses are not. For more information, see “Medicare’s Coverage of Diabetes Supplies & Services” online booklet at

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Other Insurance If you have a Medicare supplemental (Medigap) policy, it may pay some of the costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. Call your plan’s benefits administrator for more information. Or, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan (like an HMO or PPO), your plan must give you at least the same diabetes coverage as original Medicare does, but it may have different rules. You’ll need to check your policy for details.

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Financial Assistance If you’re income is low, and you can’t afford your Medicare out-ofpocket costs, you may be able to get help through Medicare Savings Programs. To find out if you qualify or to apply, contact your state Medicaid program. Also, find out if you are eligible for “Extra Help” which helps Medicare Part D beneficiaries with their medication expenses. Visit prescriptionhelp or call Social Security (800-772-1213) to learn more.

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

We Do The Same Walk Every Day. So Why Do I Keep Forgetting The Way? If you have just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or think you might have early signs of the condition, it may be difficult to think about what comes next. But thinking about your future is exactly what researchers around the world are doing-right at this moment. For example, we’re currently looking for people to join a new clinical study called GRADUATE II. The study will assess how safe and effective an investigational drug is at slowing the progression of early (also known as ‘prodromal’) or mild Alzheimer’s disease. And we are looking for people like you to take part.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Making the Decision: Staying at Home vs. Assisted Living


t’s a decision we will all have to make as we age: Is it better to age in place at home or is it time for assisted living? It isn’t an easy question to answer, and the option that works for one individual may not be the best choice for another. No matter what you choose, there are solutions available to receive the care you deserve, while living the best quality of life possible. Staying at Home

Those who want to stay at home like being in a familiar place with a feeling of maintaining independence and control over daily routines. You may also get more personalized care from family or a designated set of caregivers. But maintaining the home and its property may become overwhelming. If you have reduced mobility or can’t get out of the home on your own, you may also feel isolated. Some adjustments may need to be made to your home in order to allow you to age in place. And there is less supervision at home in the event of a fall or medical emergency. Programs like PACE CNY can step in to help provide a wide spectrum of care and services for individuals who would otherwise qualify for nursing home care, but want (or need) to remain in their home.

an assisted living community is that professional staff is available around the clock. There are opportunities for socialization and daily activities for a heightened quality of life, and no need to worry about maintaining a home and its property. Assisted living residences also provide a safe living environment with access to assistance when it is needed. Some seniors may feel that they have less privacy in an assisted living community, and have trouble adjusting to a group environment. And for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s or those who need more than basic assistance with dressing, bathing and daily activities, assisted living may not be the best option. In this case a skilled nursing facility may be recommended. Choosing the right type of care can seem daunting, but Loretto has professionals available to answer all of your questions. With 19 specialized care programs ranging from assisted living to memory care, skilled nursing and rehab, Loretto offers expert guidance through a holistic approach to care. This means addressing the mind, body, and spirit of the individuals to help find the best programs and services for each person. To contact Loretto or PACE CNY for more information, visit www.

Assisted Living One of the biggest advantages of

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

Medicare, Explained


ocial Security and Medicare have a few things in common. Both programs help safeguard millions of Americans as well as improve the quality of life for our family and friends. Although both programs are household names, many people may not be familiar with the details of Medicare. Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people aged 65 or older. The program helps with the cost of health care, but it doesn’t cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. You have choices for how you get Medicare coverage. If you choose to have original Medicare coverage, you can buy a Medicare supplement policy (called Medigap) from a private insurance company to cover some of the costs that Medicare does not. Medicare has four parts: • Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay). Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care. • Medicare Part B (medical insurance) helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services. • Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and

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Part B. Some plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D) and other extra benefits and services. • Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage) helps cover the cost of prescription drugs. Some people with limited resources and income may also be able to get Extra Help with the costs — monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments — related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,900 per year. You must meet the resources and income requirement. Medicare’s different parts are further explained in our publication at EN-05-10043.pdf. If you can’t afford to pay your Medicare premiums and other medical costs, you may be able to get help from the state. States offer programs for people eligible for or entitled to Medicare who have low income. Some programs may pay for Medicare premiums and some pay Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. To qualify, you must have Medicare Part A and have limited income and resources. You can learn more about Medicare, including how to apply for Medicare and get a replacement Medicare card, at

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

H ealth News Loretto hires new directors, administrator

Loretto has recently hired the following professionals: • Physician Diane Zeni deFerrante has been hired as the medical director of skilled nursing for all three skilled nursing facilities: Loretto Health & Rehabilitation, The Commons on St. Anthony and The Nottingham RHCF. deFerZeni rante comes to Loretto from Crouse Hospital where she specialized in palliative care. She’s held previous positions at Cortland Regional Medical Center, Hospicare and Southern California Permanente Medical Group, among others. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Tufts University, and also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, San Diego. • Patricia Vail Dellonte has been hired as director of development for Loretto Marketing and she will be the director of development for Foundation at Loretto. Dellonte has more than 30 years of experience in governDellonte ment affairs and comes to Loretto after working as the district director for the Office U.S. Rep. John Katko. She’s held previous positions at Office of U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, Welch Allyn, U.S. House of Representatives, The White House, among other government offices. Dellonte holds a bachelor’s degree of science in organizational management from Keuka College. • Daniel Morphet has been hired as the administrator at The Commons on St. Anthony in Auburn. Morphet has more than 20 years of experience working in healthcare as an administrator, vice president, and a consulting administrator. Morphet Morphet comes to Loretto after working as an administrator at the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare. He has held positions at LeRoy Village Green, Eastside Nursing Home, The Greens of LeRoy Independent Living, and Crest Manor Living and Rehabilitation Center. Morphet holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and health care administration from Alfred University. He is also a New York state licensed nursing home administrator.

Teens protest against tobacco in Cazenovia

One hundred fifty teens representing every region of New York state July 12 rallied in Cazenovia against deceitful marketing by the tobacco industry that kids find appealing. Protesting that they have #SeenEnoughTobacco, youth speakers cited 13 as the average age of a new smoker in the state, calling attention to the problem of tobacco marketing in stores where kids can see it. They demanded support in holding the tobacco industry accountable for its marketing and promotional activities that have been shown to cause young people to start and continue smoking. In welcoming the group to the region, New York state Sen. David J. Valesky said, “Today’s rally is a strong statement from teens who understand the dangers of smoking and tobacco industry marketing targeted at their age group. I applaud the students who traveled from all over the state to be here to share the message that they want tobacco marketing targeted at teens to stop.” “The average age of a new smoker in New York state is just 13, and it seems like tobacco companies would do anything to grab kids’ attention,” said Lauren Cybul, graduate of Pittsford Sutherland High and last year’s New York State Youth Advocate of the Year Award winner. “They use colorful signs, walls of tobacco products, special discounts and displays and put most of their marketing in stores where 75 percent of teens shop at least once a week. And the more kids see tobacco products, the more likely they are to start smoking. We’re here to say we’ve seen enough tobacco.” The demonstration was sponsored by Reality Check, an organization that encourages youth to become leaders in their communities in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry.

St. Joe’s Named a ‘Best Regional Hospital’ St. Joseph’s Health Hospital has been named Best Regional Hospital in Syracuse and Central New York for 2018-19 by U.S. News & World Report, and ranked No. 10 in New York state. This is the fourth consecutive year St. Joseph’s has received the Best Regional Hospital designation. It comes just shortly after St. Joseph’s was named the only hospital in Syracuse and Onondaga County to earn the highest rating for patient safety by Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, and the only CNY hospital to be named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Orthopedics, Bariatrics, Obstetrics and Heart Care by the Women’s Choice Award. The annual Best Hospitals rankings, now in their 29th year, are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or for common elective procedures. St. Joseph’s Health Hospital was recognized as high-performing in the following procedures and

conditions: • Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair • Aortic valve surgery • Heart bypass surgery • Heat failure • Colon cancer surgery • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) • Hip replacement • Knee replacement “Consistently receiving this recognition each year demonstrates that St. Joseph’s Health and our patients continue to see the benefits of the investments we are making as leaders in the health care industry,” said Leslie Paul Luke, president and CEO at St. Joseph’s Health. “This is a direct result of our commitment to greater population health, properly utilizing the continuum of care that we offer, and listening to our patients and our colleagues.” For the 2018-19 rankings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions.

Upstate to train people to work with people with autism

The College of Health Professions at Upstate Medical University has launched a brand-new degree program that will train behavior analysts to help people with autism and related disorders. The behavior analysis studies master’s program addresses a pressing health concern in New York state autism. Graduates of the new, six-semester (24-month) program will be licensed healthcare professionals able to provide therapeutic services for people with autism and related disorders. That work may include conducting assessments of problem behaviors or language deficits, developing treatments to increase pro-social behavior and caregiver training. Behavior analysts can land jobs in medical settings, schools, community-based programs or private

Members of the Oswego Health gala’s planning committee pictured from left are Hope Mazuroski, Mary Ann Drumm, CEO of CRA Medical Imaging and committee chairwoman; Michele Hourigan, Darcy Antonucci, and Carrie Penoyer.

CRA Announced As ‘The Visionary Sponsor’ for Oswego Health Foundation Gala The Oswego Health Foundation announced that CRA Medical Imaging is the visionary sponsor for its inaugural Fire and Ice Gala to be held Saturday, Oct. 13 at The American Foundry in Oswego. “CRA Medical Imaging is honored to be the visionary sponsor this year for the inaugural gala, working

See next page September 2018 •

in partnership with Oswego Health to bring excellent healthcare to the community,” said Mary Ann Drumm, CRA CEO and gala committee chairwoman. Oswego Health invites community members to support and attend the gala, which will offer a fun evening to support healthcare. The event includes cocktails, dinner, a brief program, dessert and dancing. Serving as the emcee is Molly Matott, a meteorologist for CNYCentral, with the musical entertainment of the Billionaires. It begins at 6 p.m. To learn more about the event, please visit

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 27

pathways to pathways to independence independence

pathways to Coordination of Services

Health News

practice. After New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill in 2014 mandating insurance pay for applied behavior analysis therapy for autism, Upstate took a look at how many analysts were working in the state and found the vast majority were in the New York City area, said Program Director Henry Roane, Ph.D. This new course of study should help fill the gap for trained professionals in Upstate New York, Roane said. “We’re ecstatic about it,” he said. “It’s something that’s going to be really good for children and families in New York state. It will be something that will retain people in Central New York. Often they would move out of the region but now we can keep them right here and they can help families in this region.” Roane said the program at Upstate will be especially effective as

students will work with a variety of departments including pediatrics and psychiatry. “It’s a nice way to bring together a lot of different aspects and positive features that Upstate has in regard to developmental disabilities and autism,” he said. Upstate is planning to enroll a small class this fall. After a lengthy approval process from the New York State Education Department that culminated with approval in late July, those involved with the program are eager to see it grow over the next several years. “This is an extremely important degree program for Upstate to offer as there’s a huge need for skilled practitioners especially due to the prevalence of autism in New York state,” said College of Health Professions Dean Katherine Beissner.


(Meals, Nutrition, Transportation, Medical Appointments, etc.)

Coordination in of Services Assistance Locating Appropriate Housing

(Meals, Nutrition, Transportation, Medical Appointments, etc.)

Assistance in Locating Appropriate Housing Arranging Care Services Arranging In-Home In-Home Care Services Coordination of Services (Meals, Nutrition, Transportation, Appointments, etc.) Financial AssistanceMedical forfor Housing Financial Assistance Housing

Assistance in-7551 Locating (315) 565 -7551 (315) 565 sasyr .org/pathways sasyr .org/pathways Appropriate Housing

Coordination of Services (Meals, Nutrition, Transportation, Eligibility: Arranging In-Home Care Services MedicalEligibility: Appointments, etc.) Active Medicaid Medicaid, A Chronic Physical Disability, Need for In-Home Care A Chronic Physical Disability Assistance in Locating Financial Assistance for Housing Appropriate Housing Need for In-Home Care Crouse Partners with Syracuse Community Health to Encourage Student Reading Arranging In-Home Care Services Kronenberg, MD, stopped by SCHC Fulfilling its mission of proFinancial Assistance for Housing

(315) 565 -7551 sasyr .org/pathways Eligibility: Eligibility: Active Medicaid Active Medicaid A Chronic Physical Disability A Need Chronic Physical Disability for In-Home Care Need for In-Home Care Page 28

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

moting community health, Crouse Health has partnered with the Syracuse Community Health Center (SCHC) President and CEO Mark Hall and Chief Administrative Officer Craig Williams to help city school children succeed in their educational achievements. Crouse CEO Kimberly Boynton and Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operating Officer Seth


recently to celebrate the “Sustain the Gain” Summer Reading Healthcare Initiative and meet some of the participating students and families. Crouse’s donation is providing a book to 250 second- through fifthgrade students and their families to help encourage increased reading habits at home. The partnership is part of Crouse’s overall diversity and inclusion initiative.

First Liver Transplant Clinic Opens in Syracuse


he University of Rochester Medical Center’s solid organ transplant team is opening an ambulatory clinic site at St. Joseph’s Health. The location will offer care closer to home for the hundreds of UR Medicine liver transplant patients who live in Central New York, the Mohawk and Hudson valleys, Capital and Northern New York regions. Appointments began on Aug. 14. The UR Medicine Liver Clinic will provide services once a week, every Tuesday. Staffed by the UR Medicine liver team, care includes: • Early liver disease assessment, to determine need for a full transplant evaluation; • Ongoing liver care in collaboration with the patient’s gastroenterologist; • Post-transplant follow-up appointments. “For patients who have traditionally had to drive two or three or four hours to Rochester in all weather conditions, sometimes quite often, this Syracuse-based clinic means easier access for them, with less time and expense spent traveling for appointments,” said physician Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro, chief of the division of solid organ transplant at the URMC. “Having the opportunity to locate UR Medicine liver transplant specialists at St. Joseph’s allows us to better serve our patients and our extensive network of physician partners, bringing liver transplant care to their own backyard.”

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“When we partnered with URMC through an affiliation with Auburn Community Hospital last year, we recognized the specific areas of specialty expertise that each of us brings to patients across the greater Upstate New York area. Now we are able to offer these patients the excellent experience they’ve come to expect from St. Joseph’s Health with enhanced access to the lifesaving transplant services from URMC,” said Leslie Paul Luke, president and CEO at St. Joseph’s Health. The UR Medicine solid organ transplant program is the only liver transplant program available in Upstate New York. The team has performed 1,700 liver transplants over the past 26 years, providing a second chance at life for patients from across Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Patient cases have doubled in the last two years. The one-year survival rate for UR Medicine liver recipients is 93.7 percent, and one-year graft survival is 92 percent, both of which exceed the national average. UR Medicine provides lifesaving kidney and pancreas transplants. It also specializes in living-donor liver and kidney transplants, as well as paired donor exchange kidney matches, all of which greatly expand the donor pool for patients. The UR Medicine team coordinates care with valued physician partners from across the service area to ensure communication and the highest quality continuity of care.

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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

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FOR QUESTIONS OR TO MAKE A REFERRAL, CALL 315.464.1500 September 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 29

H ealth News “I had cancer...

cancer never had me.”

New $32 Million Cardiovascular Center Opens at St. Joseph’s Health

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A hybrid operating room at the new St. Joseph’s Cardiovascular Center in Syracuse.

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

fter $32 million of investment and just under a year of construction, St. Joseph’s Health officially opened in August a new 45,000-sq.ft. cardiovascular care center that will allow the hospital to become a destination center for all cardiac services by providing a dedicated space for the integration of services to enhance the patient experience and provide the highest quality of efficient care. The newly named St. Joseph’s Health Cardiovascular Institute is the most awarded heart care program in the region and is ranked among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the nation. The center will be named for physician A. John Merola, who has been closely aligned with St. Joseph’s Health for more than 50 years and helped create the family medicine residency program in the 1970s. Merola is honorary chairman for the 150th anniversary campaign and generously donated a $3 million contribution toward this project.   In addition to the new, expanded, state-of-the-art electrophysiology lab that opened last year, the new cardiovascular center renovated existing space in the hospital to consolidate four previously separate work areas for catheterization, electrophysiology, interventional radiology, and access into one central interventional location — creating a comprehensive care approach for patients. The project also added:  • Larger, more efficient patient rooms;  • 15 additional patient bays (up

from 19 to 34), plus with 6 PACU bays — for a total 40 patient bays; • seven special procedure rooms; • a new hybrid operating room;  • new, state of the art equipment offering lower doses of radiation exposure for patients and improved imaging; • larger registration and waiting area with fireplace overlooking Onondaga Lake;  • additional consultation rooms and increased privacy for patients, families and providers to meet and discuss care; and • a new patient tracking system so visitors know when family members are in prep, procedure, post procedure-recovery. Benefits of the new integrated suite include improved patient-family satisfaction, enhanced operational efficiencies, centralized prep and recovery space, easily accessible and contiguous family waiting space, cross-trained staff, integrated supply chain, and integrated patient care. “The suites in the new center enable our physicians and teams of caregivers to expand and innovate with cutting edge procedures that have been pioneered at St. Joseph’s, like the trans-catheter aortic valve repair (TAVR) procedure,” said physician Joseph Spinale, chief medical officer at St. Joseph’s Health.  “The cardiovascular center is critically important to the future health of CNY residents in particular because heart disease is the second leading cause of early death in our region.

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Daniel Baldwin Actor moves to CNY to be with family, open production company and help give back

Inside Dr. John McCabe: Former hospital CEO: Nothing to Complain About Retirement Small Nest Egg? You Still Have Time

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

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