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in good Meet Your Doctor Trained as an electrical and computer engineer, Fayetteville physician Wendy Scinta recently became the president of Denver-based Obesity Medical Association. She talks about her expertise, weight loss

Surviving the Holidays Gwenn Voelcker, author of ‘Live Alone and Thrive’ column, discusses 12 tips that will help those who live alone

Perfusionist Professionals in High Demand Starting salary for new professionals is about $80K


Things You Should Know About STDs

Magic Pill cnyhealth.com

December 2017 •  Issue 216


CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Is there anything that aspirin doesn’t treat? It has been used to prevent heart attack, relieve headaches, pain and many other conditions. 12 things you need to know about it. Page 18

‘Lights of Love’ Brightens Syracuse’s Skyline, Helps Raise Money for Crouse Hospital Campaign marks its 30th year this year

Physician James Brown of St. Joseph’s Health talks about key things people need to know about STDs

Fighting Stubborn Cough?

Not many things you can do if you’re stuck with cough, doctors say

Photo provided

Oh, pistachios ‘Along with almonds, walnuts, cashews and other nuts, pistachios play an important role in our weekly diet — perhaps even a starring role.’


Savings Lives The introduction of self-driving cars would save perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives over a 15- to 30-year period, according to a new study

‘Lights of Love’ Brightens Syracuse’s Skyline, Helps Raise Money for Crouse By Matthew Liptak


or the 30th holiday season this year Crouse Hospital is featuring more than 3,000 lights around the clock tower on top of its headquarters on 736 Irving Ave. in Syracuse. Dubbed “Lights of Love,” the lights are part of a major fundraiser for the hospital auxiliary, which uses the event to generate revenues for hospital projects. Lights of Love represents both a sign of holiday spirit and a sign of the community’s charity. Anyone can buy one or more of the white Christmas lights that outline the building in honor of a hospital employee or in memory of a loved one. The minimum donation asked is $15. “This is the very tippity-top of the Crouse portion of the building,” said auxiliary director Janet Izzo. “As you’re coming down all the major highways, 690 and I-81, it’s part of the landscape as much as the Carrier Dome is. It’s the only thing lit up in the sky, so it sort of looks like a house on top of the building. You certainly notice it. It’s an iconic part of the landscape.” Izzo knows many residents are

aware of the lit Crouse building, but she wants to get the word out to more people that the lights are actually a fundraiser. It is a way for the auxiliary to raise financial resources for a particular Crouse project each year. This year the donations are going toward buying new equipment for the new Pomeroy Emergency Services Department. “There’s always availability,” she said. “There’s always the ability to add more lights. There’s not really a nicer way to remember somebody that received care at Crouse or at another hospital. A light in the sky during the holiday season is a beautiful way to remember someone.” Izzo herself has bought three lights on the clock tower in recent years. One for each of her children who she delivered at Crouse. “We received great care,” she said. “They were well taken care of. I was well taken care of. It’s a nice little addition to the end-of-the-year campaign that we support.” The lighting ceremony took place Nov. 27 on the second floor of the Marley Education Center, in a board room that offered an unobstructed view of the lights. They will remain on until 2018 approaches, Izzo said.

She said the ceremony, like the community itself, is a unique piece of living in Central New York that people can participate in. “It’s a little bit different from other lighting ceremonies…this one serves a purpose and gives back to

the community and pays it forward,” she said. “That’s really what the holiday season’s all about.” To donate a light go to www. crouse.org/give/auxiliary/lights/ or call 315-470-7530.


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

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Aetna Medicare is a PDP, HMO, PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Our SNPs also have contracts with State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in our plans depends on contract renewal. See Evidence of Coverage for a complete description of plan benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability may vary by service area. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. Members who get “Extra Help” are not required to fill prescriptions at preferred network pharmacies in order to get Low Income Subsidy (LIS) copays. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. The Part B premium is covered for fulldual members. Our dual-eligible Special Needs Plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the state and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details. Other pharmacies, physicians and/or providers are available in our network. The formulary, pharmacy network, and/or provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Aetna complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATTENTION: If you speak a language other than English, free language assistance services are available. Visit our website at www.aetnamedicare.com 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 www.aetnamedicare.com 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 www.aetnamedicare.com 或致電本材料中所列的電話號碼。 Y0001_4002_9196_FINAL_1 Accepted 01/2017

©2017 Aetna Inc. December 2017 •


IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Love Their ER About half of Americans get health care in ER


hen Americans need medical care, almost one in two people choose the emergency room, a new study reveals. “I was stunned by the results. This really helps us better understand health care in this country,” said physician David Marcozzi. He is an associate professor in the University of Maryland’s department of emergency medicine. “This research underscores the fact that emergency departments are critical to our nation’s health care delivery system,” Marcozzi said in a university news release. “Patients seek care in emergency departments for many reasons. The data might suggest that emergency care provides the type of care that individuals actually want or need, 24 hours a day,” he added. The analysis of data from several national sources showed that there were more than 3.5 billion emergency department visits, outpatient visits, and hospital admissions during the 1996 to 2010 study period. U.S. emergency department visits increased by nearly 44 percent over the 14-year period, the findings showed. Outpatient cases accounted for nearly 38 percent of visits, and inpatient care accounted for almost 15 percent of visits. In 2010, there were nearly 130 million emergency department visits, compared with almost 101 million outpatient visits and nearly 39 million inpatient visits, according to the report. Black Americans were much more likely to seek emergency department care than other racial/ ethnic groups. In 2010, black people used the emergency department almost 54 percent of the time. The rate was even higher for black people in cities, at 59 percent, the researchers said. The study also found that Medicare and Medicaid patients were more likely to use the emergency department. Certain areas of the country also appeared to have a fondness for the emergency room. Rates of emergency department use were much higher in the South and West — 54 percent and 56 percent, respectively — than in the Northeast (39 percent). The findings suggest that increasing use of emergency departments by vulnerable groups may be due to inequality in access to health care, the study authors noted in the news release. The study was published online recently in the International Journal of Health Services.

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Finding happiness: SUNY Oswego sociology professor Tim Delaney examines “Friendship and Happiness: The Connection Between the Two” in his latest book coauthored by Auburn native Tim Madigan of St. John Fisher College.

Professor Co-authors Book on Friendship, Happiness, Connections


rom the theories of Aristotle to relationships on Facebook, the latest co-authored book by SUNY Oswego sociology professor Tim Delaney examines “Friendship and Happiness: The Connection Between the Two.” Delaney’s frequent co-author, St. John Fisher College philosophy professor and Auburn native Tim Madigan, first proposed the idea of a book based on Aristotle’s three types of friendships and carrying principles forward to the electronic age. As a result, the book starts rooted in Aristotle’s categories: friendships of utility (“certain people you’re friends with because they can help you, and vice versa”), friendships of pleasure (“people you associate with because they are fun and you do things together”) and friendships of the good (“the highest order: the friends who are with you for good times and bad times”), Delaney explained. The book examines a number of theories and transposes these ideals into the modern realm, looking at

such relationships as best friends, close friends, casual friends, work friends, ex-friends and friends of friends. Delaney particularly notes how electronic friendships have developed as an increasingly large part of people’s social circles. “Many of us have friends on social media we’ve never met face to face, but you see their posts and interact and feel like you really know them,” he said. “We have slowly been socialized into this cyber world to find it the norm, so it’s not surprising we treat cyber relationships as real.” The authors ponder the question: Is a Facebook friend a “real” friend? “Electronic friends are as real as we make them,” Delaney said. “If it has meaning to you and to the person you’re connected to, then these are real friendships, real relationships.”  

Introducing happiness The book’s exploration of hap-

piness “just seemed like a natural progression,” Delaney said. “Most of us can recognize that if you have good friends, you’re more likely to be happy.” Thus “Friendship and Happiness” examines the same question so many self-help books do — “What’s the secret to happiness?” -— albeit from a philosophical and sociological standpoint. “The first thing you have to do to be happy is to not be unhappy,” Delaney said. “It sounds simple, but all the self-help books can’t make anybody happy if they’re unhappy. They have to eliminate the sources of their unhappiness first.” The book explores these sources and what people can do about them. They cite studies finding happiness has many corresponding benefits: Happiness is good for one’s health, relationships, productivity and prosperity at work, generosity, resilience and creativity; happy people also have better attitudes toward academic attainment, satisfaction, altruism and self-esteem. The interdisciplinary partnership meant they were able to combine philosophical concepts like ethics with sociological topics like morality, socialization and group behavior. They draw upon British philosopher Bertrand Russell’s noteworthy 1930 book, “The Conquest of Happiness,” as well as many different theories and ways people find happiness. Delaney said sociology complements these concepts because it can explain how groups form and how friendships develop from that. To help inform the book’s viewpoints, Delaney and Madigan surveyed students from their respective institutions on such topics as what qualities make a good friend, their views on electronic friendship and how many good friends they have. As in many of his books, Delaney said examples from popular culture help illustrate points, incorporating everything from “Friends” (naturally) to “Seinfeld,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” to “When Harry Met Sally.” Ultimately, he said, the book can find use in philosophy or sociology classes, but can be enjoyed by anybody wanting to know more about friendship or happiness. “Overall, it’s a feel-good theme and we keep it a positive theme,” Delaney said. The book is available on amazon. com

‘Holiday Angels’ Sought to Help ACR Health’s Patients


CR Health’s much acclaimed holiday angel program is seeking new volunteers to step forward and help, due to the growing number of individuals it serves. ACR Health’s holiday angel program pairs community members (angels) with a qualified ACR Health client and their family. The holiday angel gets a list of needs the family has, and then makes holiday purchases based on the list.  The lists usually contain requests for basic needs like clothing, bathroom items such as towels, kitchen


supplies or personal items like shoes or a coat. Participating Angels can buy as many or as few of the items on the list as they wish. Many community groups, churches, or extended families pool their resources every year to sponsor an ACR Health client and members of their family. According to ACR Health, several hundred people rely on holiday angels for whatever holiday gifts come their way. “We are always impressed by the stunning generosity of the holiday angels,” said ACR Health’s Director of Major Gifts Frances Hradil.


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

“Poverty is a constant companion for many of our clients and their families. They often have nothing to give their loved ones at holiday time. Thanks to our Angels, they do.” ACR serves Cayuga, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and St. Lawrence counties. Holiday angels are needed across the organization’s nine-county service area. If you would like to be a Holiday Angel, call 800-475-2430, or email events@ACRHealth.org.


Board-Certified Obesity Medicine Specialist



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

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

December 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Getting Self-Driving Cars on the Road Soon Might Save Lives


he sooner driverless cars make their way onto American roadways, the sooner thousands of lives will be saved each year, a new report suggests. For that reason, the RAND Corporation research team that did the analysis is cautioning against delaying the introduction of driverless cars — which they call “highly automated vehicles” (HAVs) — under any misplaced premise that current technology might be somewhat less than “perfectly” safe. “We were surprised by the magnitude of life savings by the introduction of HAVs,” said Nidhi Kalra. She is senior information scientist and director of RAND’s San Francisco office. The RAND report, released online early November, warns of the cost of forgoing somewhat safer self-driving cars in favor of waiting for hugely safer cars that might take many more years to develop. The safety record would improve even more by getting self-driv-

ing cars on the roadways “so that technology that was only just better than humans when introduced could become much better, much faster,” Kalra said. Specifically, the introduction of self-driving cars that are just 10 percent safer than cars driven by humans would save perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives over a 15- to 30-year period. Those are lives that would otherwise be lost if such cars were kept off the road in anticipation of ones that are as much as 75 to 90 percent safer than human drivers, the researchers said. At issue is the fact that driverless cars will probably never be perfectly safe, experts acknowledge. Weather, traffic and cyber security issues are vulnerabilities that will endure, even if risks currently linked to human error get reduced or eliminated. But when considering when to actually launch self-driving cars on U.S. roads, the question remains: How safe is safe enough? “Nearly perfect autonomous

vehicles may be extremely difficult to achieve without widespread deployment,” Groves said. “Fortunately, the industry and observers are quite confident that autonomous vehicles that are safer on average than humans can be achieved through current development procedures.” Still, “it may be a very long time before these vehicles can operate in all possible conditions at a performance that is many times better than human drivers,” he stressed. “And

yet, they may offer huge benefits in some conditions, even when the improvement over human drivers is modest.” That’s because human driving can be deeply flawed, undermined by a variety of factors such as fatigue, distraction and drunk driving. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that more than 90 percent of car crashes are the result of driver-related errors.

Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Insurance Market Dominance Critics of the Affordable Care Act have been quick to point out that insurance choices on the exchanges in several markets are limited to only one carrier or at least a dominant carrier. But lack of choice is not limited to the exchanges. The exchanges merely reflect what is going on across the country: commercial insurance is becoming increasingly concentrated in many markets which can be bad for employers, consumers and providers. Carriers have been quick to abandon markets where they have less than a 10 percent market share, leaving even more market share for the already dominant insurer. Physicians are particularly cognizant of the increasing concentration and dominance of certain carriers in their respective markets. According to a survey by the American Medical Association, last year 43 percent of metropolitan markets had a single carrier with over 50 percent market share. It was 40 percent in 2014. Overall, 69 percent of metro markets experienced a “significant absence of health insurer competition” resulting in a “highly concentrated” rating based on federal guidelines used to assess competition. To maintain competition and reduce the risk of monopolies, federal judges have prevented the proposed mergers of Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna. To counter, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) point out that increased hospital mergers also threaten market competition. The FTC and Department of Justice remain wary of all mergers, purportedly for improved services and cost reductions, that end up increasing prices in a market.

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Uninsured Number Goes Up According to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index survey, the number of uninsured increased to 12.3 percent in the third quarter of 2017 after an all-time low of 10.9 percent at the end of last year. Considering the uncertainty and confusion caused by Washington, this comes as no surprise considering: the cost sharing reduction payments (subsidies) and the individual mandate have been threatened; the enrollment period was cut in half; and outreach and advertising budgets were slashed. Open enrollment for 2018 ends Dec. 15.  

Confidence in Congress Low In a recent poll of its members, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) revealed that 89 percent of over 1,500 respondents said they had “low confidence” in their politician’s ability to solve the nation’s healthcare problems. Ten percent expressed moderate confidence, leaving just 1 percent with high confidence. Instability, uncertainty and lack of vision were cited as reasons for low confidence.

Patient Non-compliance Costly Most physicians rank “patient non-compliance” as a major contributor to poor outcomes. An article that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated the cost of non-compliance was $100 billion a year….over 10 years ago. Non-compliance is especially high in patients being treated for HIV, high blood pressure, mental health disorders

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

and childhood illnesses. Not taking medications as prescribed is also considered non-compliant behavior leading to poor outcomes. Behavioral Economics in medicine has not come up with any easy answers for improving patient compliance. Increasing out of pocket payments, high deductibles and copays, could be a contributing factor to patient non-compliance.

Opioid Scam One hundred forty people a day are dying from opioid overdoses. As if that isn’t bad enough, there are unscrupulous providers trying to enrich themselves at the expense, if not the life, of others. A 74-year-old physician and two of his staff were arrested in NYC for writing thousands of medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone and fentanyl thereby flooding the local community with the highly addictive opioids. The physician charged $200 to $300 cash for a “patient visit” resulting in over $2 million. The “patients” then sold the drugs to a local dealer who then sold the drugs on the streets.

Genetic Testing Closer It is becoming cheaper and simpler all the time. Right now it costs about $100 on average. Mail order tests like “23andMe” and “Color Genomics” are practically mainstream. Experts think these tests will cost almost nothing in a few years and will be paid for by all insurances. The results of the genetic testing will help physicians to be more targeted or precise when ordering treatment plans for problems like cancer and high risk pregnancies. Patients determined to be at risk for diseases like

cancer can be treated preventively which would save payers millions over the long run.

Merger Mania Not to be outdone by insurance company and hospital mergers, CVS Health (the pharmacy benefits management company, not the drug stores) has offered to buy mega insurance company Aetna for $70 billion. CVS Health would pay for Aetna with cash and stocks. CVS Health figures once they own an insurance company with its 52 million members, it will be able to negotiate lower prices for drugs.

Nurse Shortage A survey of over 3,300 nurses conducted by a national recruiting firm revealed 36 percent of respondents plan to retire in a year. Other surveys show 73 percent of baby boomer nurses plan to retire in the next three years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts nursing jobs will increase 15 percent from now until 2026. The healthcare industry will be hard pressed to replace all the experience and institutional knowledge that will retire with the baby boomer nurses. George W. Chapman is a healthcare business consultant who works exclusively with physicians, hospitals and healthcare organizations. He operates GW Chapman Consulting based in Syracuse. Email him at gwc@gwchapmanconsulting.com.

my story

pathways to independence

“I call it the big little hospital,” said Joe Caruana, of Hannibal. “It’s big in service, but still small enough to make you feel at home. And, it’s just seven miles from my house.”

Coordination of Services

Joe and his family have used several services at Oswego Hospital, including the Emergency Department and Surgical Services. “It’s been excellent from the first person to the last,” he said. “Everyone is friendly, helpful, efficient and courteous. They stick to their schedules too, just as they promise, including the physicians.”

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

Assistance in Locating Appropriate Housing Arranging In-Home Care Services Financial Assistance for Housing

Joe, a former Hannibal Superintendent of School adds, ” The physicians are key and the nurses are first class. I’m happy they are in our county.”

(315) 565 -7551 sasyr .org/pathways

— Joe Caruana Oswego Health



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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 7


Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Wendy Scinta, M.D Trained as an electrical and computer engineer, Fayetteville physician recently became the president of Denver-based Obesity Medical Association. She talks about her expertise, obesity medicine Q: You’ve recently become president of the Obesity Medical Association. Tell us a bit about your organization. A: To give you an idea of what obesity medicine is: it’s a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss that is non-surgical. It involves a combination of nutrition, exercise, behavioral modification and medical management. Those are our four pillars. Doctors who get board-certified in obesity medicine have to be board-certified in something else first. My first certification was family medicine. Q: So straight to the point: how did we get so fat? A: It’s a combination of moving a lot less and eating a lot more. Q: But don’t Americans go the gym a lot more than people in most other countries? A: I think we go to the gym in spurts, but I also think we go to the gym more because we walk so much less than people in most other countries. We take an average 2,500 steps a day where the rest of the world gets closer to 10,000. So, I think we end up moving less than most other countries. But the bigger problem is the food that we eat. It’s the quantity and the quality. If you ask me what the biggest perpetrator is, it’s that shelf-ready food and fried foods that are delicious, convenient and cheap. It’s the science of making non-food food that has really led to this obesity epidemic.

factoring in genetic factors, begins at the moment of conception. So, if we aren’t working on the treatment of the people who are having babies, then we’re going to constantly be delivering babies who are predisposed toward obesity. Our organization is very active on the political front, though. We’ll be in Washington for the international conference on obesity and marching on the hill in favor of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act, which is trying to help get coverage for obesity treatment medications and get parity with other diseases. Our organization was also one of the first ones to pull together the caucus which now has finally passed obesity as a true disease within the American Medical Association. It’s such a lengthy process on getting this recognized as a true disease. In getting there, I hope we can start getting some

Q: Given how entrenched the cultural and social aspects seem to be, how do you avoid getting stuck just playing defense on obesity? A: Yeah, it’s been about 40 years since we identified the problem and, if anything, we’re worse now than then in just about every category. If you’re trying to apply for a grant for obesity, everything is in prevention. There’s very little effort put into the treatment aspect of it. Obesity,

“It’s been about 40 years since we identified obesity as a problem and, if anything, we’re worse now than then in just about every category.” Page 8

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

payment for treatment as well as prevention. You have to do both, but we haven’t really been able to up to this point. Q: Why has an obesity-focused approach encountered so much resistance? A: I think the thing that makes obesity medicine unique is that it’s encompassed in every other field. A lot of diseases we deal with — cardiac, pulmonary, kidney, cancer — oftentimes the foundation of those diseases is obesity. So here we are kind of attacking it from a different front. We’re not trying to just treat it, we’re trying to reverse it. It’s completely different way of thinking about medicine. I used to be an electrical engineer before I became a doctor. So to me it makes perfect sense that we should deal with the system that’s causing it. Q: So, what do we do if we’re already fat? You see so many different approaches to diet and exercise, from calorie restriction, to avoiding foods, to intermittent fasting. A: It’s a $100 billion industry. As far as treating it effectively, you’ve got to have all of the pillars I mentioned. You have to attack it from a nutritional standpoint. You’ve got to put the right behavioral pieces in place. You have to move, though not so much that you can’t find the nutritional component. And, and this is largely ignored, utilize some of the great medications we have available that can help bring the weight down and maintain it. Q: What are some of those medications? A: There are a few of them. Those oldest is phentermine. It does two things. It increases metabolic rate and controls hunger at the level of the hypothalamus. Unfortunately, phentermine sounds like fen-phen, which combined phentermine and fenfluramine. Fen-phen was linked to heart disease. But phentermine, which was around before, during and after, is proven safe after 60 years. There are so many components of obesity that are hard to touch on in a short interview, but a couple things

happen when you become obese. You have an insatiable appetite over a period of time because the hormones that control hunger don’t work well anymore. But the bottom line is, the more obese you become, the more obese you become because your metabolic processes are running amok. Q: With medications are we talking spot treatments or lifelong use? A: So, that’s one of about six medications I use. Any medication you use to help someone to lose weight has to keep being used. We know from the Biggest Loser contestants five years later that our bodies really fight to get us back to our set point. So you’re fighting a system that is desperately trying to get you back to your highest weight. One of the best defenses against that, besides exercise — if you can exercise an hour and a half each day, you’re going to be fine — but those of us who can’t make that kind of time for it, having a medication to help with that process really helps. But you have to keep it up long-term. Q: Is there any way to actually lower our set points? A: No. That’s the short answer. The studies that they’ve done on hormonal regulation have shown that, even five years after you’ve lost weight, your body is going to be fighting to bring you back to that weight. It’s horrible that we’re made that way. I think we’re failing as a country at this is in part because we have so many anti-pharma movements. And then we have things like the big and beautiful movement. Of course, it’s OK to look beautiful, but if you have underlying health issues, you’re still going die younger. So, we have some movements pushing people away from what could help long term. Q: You mentioned your background in engineering. I’d expect that to translate more into a surgical specialty. A: I love surgery! I think that’s one of the reasons I became a family practitioner, because it gave me the opportunity to do some surgery. But for me, obesity medicine was the perfect correlation because you’re dealing with all these crazy systems that are running the show and have negative feedback loops.

Lifelines Name: Wendy Scinta, M.D., M.S. Position: President of the Obesity Medical Association; medical director of Medical Weight Loss of New York in Fayetteville, board-certified weight loss physician Hometown: Buffalo Education: Clarkson University; University of Rochester; Upstate Medical University; residency in family medicine at Duke University Career Highlights: Served on the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, author of the book “BOUNCE, A weightloss doctor’s plan for a happier, healthier, and slimmer child” Affiliations: Upstate University Hospital; Crouse; St. Joseph’s Medical Center; Auburn Memorial Organizations: Obesity Medical Association Family: Married, three children Hobbies: Running, biking, swimming

U.S. Preemie Birth Rates Rise 2 Years in a Row


fter nearly a decade of decline, the preterm birth rate in the United States has risen for the second year in a row, the March of Dimes reports. And racial and ethnic disparities are driving the increase, the group added. The premature birth rate rose from 9.63 percent in 2015 to 9.8 percent in 2016, and the number of preterm births increased by 8,000, according to the group’s new report. The premature birth rate was 9.57 percent in 2014, according to the March of Dimes. “The U.S. preterm birth rate is among the worst of highly developed nations,” said Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes. “This report card is a public wake-up call, an urgent call to action on the health of our nation’s moms and babies.” Compared to white women, black women are 49 percent more likely to deliver preterm. For American Indian/Alaska Native women, the number is 18 percent. “Moms and babies face a higher

risk of preterm birth based on race and zip code,” Stewart said in a March of Dimes news release. A baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered premature. A full-term birth is around 40 weeks. Each year, more than 380,000 babies are born preterm in the United States, putting them at increased risk of death before their first birthday, lifelong disabilities and chronic health conditions. Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant death in the United States, the organization says. And preterm birth is associated with more than $26 billion annually in avoidable medical and societal costs, according to the National Academy of Medicine. “We must address the social and environmental factors that impact health,” said Paul Jarris, chief medical officer of the March of Dimes. “Only by improving the broader social context for health will we be able to level the playing field for mothers and babies in every community.”

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

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In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2017 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 276, Oswego, NY 13126. • Phone: 315-342-1182 • Fax: 315-342-7776. Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Contributing Writers: Jim Miller, Gwenn Voelckers, Deborah Banikowski, George W. Chapman, Deborah Sergeant, Matthew Liptak, Anne Palumbo, Melissa Stefanec, Chris Motola, Rakesh Khanna (MD),, Eva Briggs (MD) • 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.

December 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

Surviving the Holidays: 12 Tempting Tips


hether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the winter solstice, the holidays can be anything but merry if you are newly divorced or widowed. I know I dreaded the month of December after my divorce. That was until I made a deliberate decision to fight the Bah Humbugs and instead embrace good tidings and joy. Inspired by the holiday favorite, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” I offer the following 12 tips to help those who live alone rediscover some meaning and merriment this time of year. Slow down. Better yet, stop what you’re doing altogether. Take a few moments to ask yourself what the holidays really mean to you. Rebirth? Hope? Peace and love? Generosity and goodwill? Revisit your most deeply held beliefs about the season and make a conscious decision to participate in the holiday rituals that align with your values and spiritual underpinnings. Be realistic and give yourself a break. For those who live alone, some degree of loneliness can



Page 10

be considered normal during the holidays. It’s a good time to remember that feelings of loneliness aren’t terminal, nor are they a “state of being” reserved for single people. Loneliness has very little to do with being alone. It has everything to do with your state of mind. Now’s a good time to remind yourself that your happiness is in your hands, and that there are positive, healthy steps you can take to avoid the chill of loneliness. Create new holiday traditions, especially if you’re bemoaning the loss of irretrievable traditions of a “past life.” Consider instituting your very own signature tradition of helping others. When you give of yourself, you reap two big rewards: First, you’ll develop connections with people who share your spirit of giving and second, you’ll nurture your soul. Volunteering, especially this time of year, can be as fulfilling as it is uplifting. On that note, if volunteering doesn’t fit into your schedule, bake some holiday goodies



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

for your colleagues at work or leave a little something on a neighbor’s doorstep. When you are thinking about and doing for others, you get outside yourself and feel less lonely — more a part of the world and of this season of giving. Be the instigator. Identify a holiday concert or event you’d like to attend and invite family or friends to join you. Take on the role of social secretary and you’ll gradually feel your holidays and social life becoming more active and interesting. Decorate your home or apartment. Do it for you. It will help put you in the spirit of the season. Hang a wreath on your door. Accent your mantel. Bring the holidays inside your home and you’ll feel its essence inside your heart. Invite people over. It will give you an incentive to decorate, if you don’t feel motivated to do it for yourself. No need to plan a party or go overboard. Just having a few friends over for brunch or to watch a holiday special on TV can lift your spirits (and theirs). Send holiday cards. Take this occasion to say “hello” and make connections. I love getting an unexpected card from a longlost friend, and I delight in tracking down and sending out season’s greetings to those who might be surprised to hear from me. Sure enough, good things come from reaching out to others. I encourage you to address a few envelopes this season.

5. 6.

7. 8.


Include yourself on your gift list and spoil yourself with comfort. Read a best-seller by the fire. Schedule a massage. Treat yourself to that luxurious bathrobe you’ve admired for weeks. Welcome children into your home. Children add a wonderful dimension to the holidays. Host a cookie party or otherwise put yourself with children. Their silliness, curiosity and wonder will add to your joy this season. Let go of the notion that you need to be married or in a romantic relationship to enjoy the holidays. Life is all about personal connections, and there are plenty to be found in friends, neighbors, colleagues, even people you meet in passing. No final tip. No “drummers drumming.” Just my warmest wishes to all of you who live alone. Have yourself a merry little “whatever” and enjoy the season to the fullest. You have a choice. Choose to be with people rather than isolate. Choose to appreciate what you have rather than focus on what you’re missing. I promise you this: Embrace even half of the tips above and you will find more joy this season. Cheers!

10. 11. 12.

Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of “Live Alone and Thrive,” empowerment workshops for women held throughout the year in Mendon. For information or to contact Voelckers, call 585-624-7887 or email: gvoelckers@rochester.rr.com.

Long Sleeves on Doctors’ White Coats May Spread Germs


octors may want to roll up their sleeves before work, literally. A new study suggests that long sleeves on a doctor’s white coat may become contaminated with viruses or other pathogens that could then be transmitted to patients. In the study, the researchers had 34 health care workers wear either long- or short-sleeved white coats while they examined a mannequin that had been contaminated with DNA from the cauliflower mosaic virus. This virus infects plants and is harmless to humans, but it is transmitted in a way that is similar to that of other, harmful pathogens, such as Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea, said physician Amrita John, an infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, who led the study. John presented the research in San Diego, Oct. 6, at an infectious disease conference called IDWeek 2017. The health care workers wore gloves while they examined the mannequin, then removed the gloves, washed their hands and put on a new pair of gloves before examining a second, clean (non-contaminated) mannequin. After the health care workers had finished examining both mannequins, the researchers swabbed the workers’ sleeves, wrists and hands, and tested the samples for DNA from the cauliflower mosaic virus. Each of the 34 participants completed the exam twice (once wearing short sleeves and once wearing long sleeves), for a total of 68 “simulations.” They found that, when the health care workers wore longsleeved coats, 25 percent of the simulations resulted in contamination of their sleeves or wrists with the virus DNA marker, compared with none when the health care workers wore short-sleeved coats. In addition, about 5 percent of health care workers who wore long sleeves contaminated the clean mannequin with the virus DNA marker, while none of the health care workers who work short sleeves contaminated the clean mannequin. These results provide support for a recommendation “that health care personnel wear short sleeves to reduce the risk for pathogen transmission,” John said. Such a recommendation already exists in the United Kingdom — in 2007, the country’s department of health introduced a “bare below the elbow” policy for hospitals, which recommended that health care personnel wear short sleeves. In the United States in 2014, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America said that health care facilities might consider the adoption of a “bare below the elbow” policy.


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Crouse Awarded $250,000 Grant for Pre-term Birth Prevention


ach year, more than 1,000 premature and critically ill infants are cared for in Crouse’s Baker Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the region’s highest level NICU as designated by the New York State Department of Health. To help prevent pre-term birth, Crouse has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Central New York Care Collaborative (CNYCC), to develop strategies for hospitals and physicians in CNYCC’s program area to increase the use of proven effective actions to prevent pre-term birth in the region. The project will begin with a survey of the eight regional birthing hospitals and all providers in the region to gather information on how they currently care for women who may not be able to carry their baby to 37 weeks, the “normal” gestation time. A baby born before 37 weeks is considered a preterm birth. Based on survey results, Crouse will develop and share educational materials on best practices for use by providers. Education materials will be uploaded to a website and discussed at one-on-one meetings, webinars and community forums. As the initiative progresses, Crouse will solicit feedback from participating physicians to determine if project in-

terventions have had an effect on the number of babies born prematurely. According to Joan Dadey, Crouse’s director of women and infant services, the hospital will work on the initiative with Upstate Medical University OB-GYNs, Crouse’s partner in working with pregnant patients for over 40 years. “Crouse and Upstate have had a unique partnership to provide services as the Regional Perinatal Center (RPC). Crouse is the clinical site of the RPC and provides the expertise required by the most acutely sick or at-risk pregnant women and newborns, while Upstate houses the outpatient program,” said Dadey. The RPC is responsible for support, education, consultation and improvements in the quality of care for pregnant women and their babies in the 18 hospitals that make up the RPC region, which stretches north to St. Lawrence County and south to Broome and Tioga counties. “This long-time collaboration makes Crouse and Upstate Medical University OB-GYNs highly qualified to begin this new program and, over time, we look forward to reducing the number of preterm births in the region,” says physician Robert Silverman, chief of Crouse’s department of obstetrics and gynecology.

Upstate Now Offers Nitrous Oxide for Women in Labor Upstate University Hospital is adding another option for moms to control labor pains. Nitrous oxide is now being offered to moms giving birth at the Family Birth Center at its Community Campus. Upstate is the only area hospital to offer nitrous oxide as an option for pain relief during labor. While the use of nitrous oxide to quell labor pains is starting to make a comeback in the United States, it has been used in Europe for this purpose for years with safe outcomes for mother and child. Nitrous oxide lost favor in the U.S. with the popularity of the epidural, an anesthesia that blocks pain in a particular part of the body. “We’re pleased to be able to offer this alternative to women who want some element of relief from labor pains,” said Laurie Fegley, nurse manager of the Family Birth Center. “It’s a very user-friendly anesthetic for mom, as she is in complete control of how often she needs the pain relief.” Fegley said women should discuss pain relief options with their health care providers. “The staff at the Family Birth Center is knowledgeable about all pain relief options for labor and will talk with patients about each option,” she said. “Some pain relief options may not be available to every women, depending on their health history, but largely the decision of what pain relief to use is up to each patient.” Nitrous oxide is a clear colorless gas inhaled through a mouthpiece or

mask that goes over the mouth and nose. The mask is controlled only by the patient, therefore enabling the patient to use at her convenience when painful contractions start. The mask is not strapped to the face, but held in the hand for use as needed. During the use of nitrous oxide, women remain awake and alert with complete motor and sensory function, allowing women who use nitrous oxide to walk during labor, if appropriate. Nitrous oxide does not block pain like some other drugs do, nor does it numb the body, rather it relaxes the patient which helps take the edge off pain or enables the patient to disassociate from the pain. A benefit to using nitrous oxide over other pain relievers is that side effects dissipate quickly after the patient stops breathing nitrous oxide. Some women may experience drowsiness, lightheadedness, nausea or dizziness using nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide has a rapid onset, usually providing pain relief within 30 seconds. If the nitrous oxide is not providing a level of pain relief desired by the patient, it can be stopped and replaced with another anesthesia. Not all women may be candidates for using nitrous oxide during labor. Certain situations, conditions will rule out this option, such as a documented Vitamin B-12 deficiency, or laboring before 35 weeks. The American College of Nurse-Midwives calls nitrous oxide an inexpensive, simple, reasonably safe and effective analgesic.

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online at testing centers. Those who pass both tests are credentialed as a “certified clinical perfusionist.� Starting salary locally is about $80,000. Those who are on-call or work in more urban areas can make about $100,000 within a few years. “Their employment is a matter of life or death,� Searles said. “You have to be ready for emergency. Be prepared every day for the most unlikely event. It can be stressful, but with proper training and experience, you have confidence to know whatever goes wrong, you can solve it.� He compared the risks to that of driving a car. Many things can go wrong on a serious level, but most of the time, it doesn’t, and the proper precautions reduce the risk. In addition to managing job related stress, perfusionists must also feel comfortable with a varied schedule. Emergencies can pop up at any time, requiring a level of flexibility from perfusionists. A scheduled eight-hour shift can change to a 16hour shift with little notice. “If you really want a predictable life, knowing you’ll punch out at 3:30 every single Thursday for 25 years, this is not the right job,� Searles said. Despite the stress and scheduling demands, Searles said that the work is “extremely satisfying.� Though he spends plenty of time at the college, he also maintains his skills and credentials in the OR. “I never have to wonder if what I did that day was important,� Searles said. “All cardiac patients consider they might not wake up. I make sure they do wake up. Sometimes the work is easy, sometimes it’s hard but it really matters to the patient. They come in sick but go home with a better quality of life.�

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dozens of open positions in Central New York.� He attributed the shortage to the number of retiring perfusionists, rather than a lack of interest in the career path. Although enlarging the program at SUNY Upstate and other schools may seem an easy solution, Searles said that the school focuses on quality rather than quantity. “It’s discouraging to me as a program director to hear people say ‘We’ll hire any graduate and train them,’� Searles said. “An issue with such a young field is we went from no training to on-the-job formalized training to the curriculum we have now. Some busy heart centers have schools and have been around a long time, but there are big cracks in the process. “The career as a whole is just over 50 years old. Some remember being trained in the hospital by their surgeon.� SUNY’s 21-month program requires a bachelor’s degree, though not necessarily in medicine (though that certainly helps). “We’ve even had people with a bachelor’s in English,� Searles said, “but a background in nursing, anatomy or biology is best. We cast a wide net and sort out the net later.� The applicants’ personality type matters also. Searles said that those who can remain calm and pay attention to details over a long period of time perform better. He likens it to the same skills as required for flying a plane, along with monitoring lots of technical and physiological data. After completing the coursework successfully, students sit for two certification examinations offered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, offered every six months

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By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant ost laymen don’t know that a perfusionist is the person who operates heart and lung equipment and monitors patient vitals during major surgery or while they await healing or major organ transplant. Though not a well-known title, the position is hard to fill, like many health care specialties. “The specialized positions in a hospital setting are in great demand,� said Natasha Glynn, director of health care staffing for CPS Recruitment in Liverpool. “There are only so many who do specialties.� She said that many hospitals fill in their specialty positions with temporary workers while they search for permanent candidates, perhaps hoping the temps will “fall in love with the area and want to stay.� Staffing agencies also help fill the gaps. Glynn believes that part of the reason for the growing need for advanced health care workers is the aging baby boomer population. Along with other health issues, heart and lung issues need surgical intervention and thus would require perfusionists. SUNY Upstate offers the only training for perfusion in the state, except for the program in Long Island. According to Bruce Searles, an associate professor and chairman of the department of cardiovascular perfusion at SUNY Upstate, only 16 schools nationwide teach perfusion and they produce 120 graduates per year. At Upstate, about 70 people apply for the six to seven openings for new perfusion students each year. “Employers have quite a shortage,� Searles said. “All of our graduates in this program get jobs, many before they graduate. There are

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper


Page 13

My Turn

By Eva Briggs

Double Vision: Why You Should See an Eye Doctor Right Away


iplopia, the official name for double vision, means seeing two images of a single object. The two images could be side by side, one above the other or displaced diagonally. Binocular double vision occurs when each eye perceives the image in a slightly different position. It happens only when both eyes are open. Close either eye, and the diplopia disappears, leaving a single object. Only people old enough to have a mature visual system experience binocular diplopia, because young children simply suppress the information from one eye. (that’s why children with crossed or otherwise misaligned eyes — strabismus — don’t complain about seeing double. Unfortunately this can cause vision loss in the suppressed eye if not treated.) Monocular double vision happens when one eye sees two images of a single object. Close the bad eye, and the diplopia resolves. But close the good eye, and the diplopia persists. Some questions a doctor will ask to help sort out the problem include: Does covering either eye make the diplopia disappear? Are the two ob-

jects side-by-side, one above the other, or at an angle? And is the diplopia the same no matter which position your head is in, or does it change when you turn or tilt your head? Usually binocular diplopia occurs because the nerves and muscles controlling eye movements malfunction and prevent the eyes from lining up properly. Rarely it occurs when the images in each eye are a different size, for example as a potential complication of Lasik or cataract surgery. Some possible causes of binocular diplopia include: • Myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder in which antibodies to the chemical acetylcholine causes muscle weakness often starting in the eye muscles. • Decompensation of a preexisting eye deviation (phoria). Some children have a weak eye muscle causing an eye to intermittently turn in our out. With time children often outgrow this condition. But it might return later in life leading to diplopia. • Cranial nerve palsy affecting the third, fourth and sixth cranial nerves, the three nerves that control the eye muscles. Something could be pressing on the nerve in its course from the brain to the eye. Or there

could be a problem inside the brain, such as a stroke or tumor, affecting nerve function. Thyroid eye disease can arise in patients with a form of overactive thyroid called Grave’s disease. Multiple sclerosis, a disorder caused by the loss of a substance called myelin, an important component of the sheath that surrounds nerves. Convergence insufficiency, where the eye muscles aren’t able to maintain the inward turning position of the eyes required for near tasks. Monocular diplopia occurs because of a problem with light transmission to the retina of the affected eye. Possible causes include corneal distortion or scarring, multiple openings in the colored part of the eye (iris), cataracts, abnormal position of the natural lens or of a lens implant, problems with the jelly-like material

called vitreous which fills the eye, or disorders of the nerve cells that act like a camera at the back of the eye (retina.) Wow, those are a lot of things that can cause diplopia! That’s why anyone with double vision should see an eye doctor right away.

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

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Meet Your Provider

What is Neurofeedback and How Is It Done? Syracuse Neurofeedback: Train your brain to optimize mood, attention, behavior, sleep and performance Q: Is this a scientifically based approach? A: Yes, neurofeedback grew out of research by scientists at NASA and other prestigious institutions. Because of its dependence on computer technology, neurofeedback grew slowly through the’ 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Now it is a fast evolving approach that is spreading around the globe as an effective method of addressing dysregulation of the nervous system as a root cause of mental health challenges, developmental disabilities, chronic pain, and the symptoms that individuals so frequently struggle with after concussions and other brain injuries. Neurofeedback is used for peak performance training by Olympic athletics, performers, CEOs and others who aim to achieve their very best.

Priscilla Young is a certified neurofeedback coach with Syracuse Neurofeedback. Q: What does Syracuse Neurofeedback do? A: At Syracuse Neurofeedback we train the brain to regulate its own behavior more effectively. Physician Daniel Amen describes the brain as “the super computer that runs your life.” In his bestselling book, “Making a Good Brain Great,” he states that, “Brain dysfunction is the number one reason people fail at school, at work and in relationships. When the brain is ineffective so are we.” Our goal is to tune up your super computer by calming your nerves, regulating your physiology, helping you sleep, sharpening your focus and clarity of thought, and giving you optimum control over your mood, behavior and performance.

Q: How does neurofeedback work? A: We have learned over the past decade that the brain is more vulnerable to injury than we ever understood before, and far more capable of rewiring itself than we believed in the past. Brain science is now focused on “neuroplasticity,” the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neurofeedback is an exercise for the brain that harnesses that potential.  Q: What can neurofeedback training achieve? A: At Syracuse Neurofeedback we measure our client’s progress through performance testing, documenting gains in sustained attention,

impulsivity, speed of response, and consistency. Sometimes we see clients move from a standard deviation below the norm to a standard deviation above the norm. In addition, we offer symptom tracking software that enables clients or their parents, to track the how symptoms are changing, with graphs documenting the improvements observed by clients and their families. Q: What happens during a neurofeedback session? A: Neurofeedback is a form of brain exercise designed to strengthen internal regulatory networks. Through electroencephalography (EEG) sensors lightly pasted on the scalp we monitor brainwaves. The computer program sends information about the brain’s electrical activity back to the client in the form of a video game or video display that responds to the client’s brainwave activity. Visual, audible, and tactile feedback reflect the client’s brainwave patterns back to them. The brain recognizes the feedback as a reflection of its own behavior. Through observation and reinforcement the brain learns to regulate its bioelectrical system more effectively. Neurofeedback is pleasant and relaxing. Our goal is to guide the client to the brain state where they feel the most comfortable: alert, mentally and emotionally calm, and physically relaxed. The response to this training process is often quick and profound. With adequate reinforcement the effect can last a lifetime.

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Helpful Tips

The skinny on healthy eating

Pistachios Do a Heart Good


very December, my husband and I get a gift tin of roasted pistachios from my aunt. No surprise, they’re gone in a day, what with the way we swarm and crack and devour the tasty kernels. Not too long ago, Auntie’s tin would have provided our pistachio fix for the year. But these days, December isn’t the only month we eat pistachios. Along with almonds, walnuts, cashews and other nuts, pistachios play an important role in our weekly diet — perhaps even a starring role. We frequently reach for pistachios because they’re so good for hearts. Numerous studies have shown that pistachios in particular can help reduce bad cholesterol and that the omega-3 fatty acids present in pistachios can help lower blood pressure and protect against abnormal heartbeat. What’s more, pistachios are rich in L-arginine, an essential amino acid that makes arteries more flexible and less susceptible to blood clots. On top of everything, pistachios contain a decent amount

of cholesterol-lowering fiber. If you’re worried that pistachios — and their high fat and calorie content — are bad news for health and weight, it’s time to refresh your thinking. Most of pistachios’ fat is good-for-you unsaturated fat; and, relative to other nuts, pistachios have fewer calories than most (about 160 per 50 kernels). According to a Harvard study, in fact, frequent nut eaters were less likely to gain weight. “Nuts are high in protein and fiber, which delays absorption and decreases hunger,” said physician Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Compared with other nuts, pistachios boast a roster of nutrients and are an especially good source of protein, vitamin B6, copper and manganese. And while pistachios may not pack the antioxidant punch of walnuts or pecans, they do dish out two antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin—that promote eye health.

Pistachio-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Zesty Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4

¾ cup shelled pistachios ¼ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs (suggest panko) 1 teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced in half, horizontally) ½ cup plain Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced ½ teaspoon ground coriander salt and pepper to taste ¼ cup chopped, roasted pistachios Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil baking sheet (if using a baking rack, line sheet with foil and then lightly oil rack). Finely grind nuts in food processor. Add bread-

Monitoring your weight? Sodium intake? Opt for unsalted pistachios in their shells (studies show you’ll eat less). When buying in bulk, look for pistachios that have their shells opened at one end and an intact kernel (the greener the kernel, the fresher the nut). And take a whiff: If they smell off, they’re probably rancid. Pistachios will last longer when stored in a cool, dark, dry place. They can also be stored in the fridge for up to 6 months or the freezer for up to a year. crumbs and all the spices up to the chicken breasts and blend, using on/ off turns. Transfer mixture to a plate. Coat chicken with nut mixture (lightly pressing mixture into chicken), and place on prepared baking sheet or rack. Bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice into thin strips (if desired). While chicken is cooking, whisk together remaining ingredients for yogurt sauce; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken on a bed of fresh or sautéed greens; drizzle with sauce; garnish with chopped pistachios.

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle columnist, food guru, and seasoned cook, who has perfected the art of preparing nutritious, calorieconscious dishes. She is hungry for your questions and comments about SmartBites, so be in touch with Anne at avpalumbo@aol.com.

Want to Avoid Salt? Turn Up the Spice


f your taste buds lean toward spicy, you might be doing your heart a favor, new research suggests. Spicy foods may increase salt sensitivity, thereby dampening the desire to consume heart-harming salty food, researchers in China say. “High salt intake increases blood pressure and contributes to cardiovascular disease,” said study author Zhiming Zhu, a physician. “Thus, reducing salt intake is very important for health. “We find that the enjoyment of spicy foods significantly reduced individual salt preference, daily salt intake and blood pressure,” he added. Zhu is director of Daping Hospital’s Center for Hypertension and Metabolic Diseases at Third Military Medical University in Chongqing. The research team conducted a mouse study alongside a human trial of more than 600 Chinese adults. Both correlated blood pressure levels with intake of spicy and salty dishes. Foods like chili that dial up the heat essentially change the way the brain interprets salt, or sodium, intake, explained Zhu. As spice consumption goes up, the result is a notably reduced craving for salt, according to his study. The World Health Organization Page 16

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

(WHO) has identified salt reduction as the “key dietary target” in a push to cut the risk of dying from non-communicable illnesses by 2025. Zhu and his associates pointed out that people in most of the world routinely take in far more than the WHO’s recommended limit of 5 grams of dietary salt a day. The American Heart Association advises consuming no more than a single teaspoon of salt — about 2,300 milligrams of sodium — a day. In the United States, three-quarters of all sodium consumption comes from processed and packaged foods and/ or restaurant meals. For the new study, the researchers assessed participants’ preferences for salty and spicy flavors, and linked those tendencies to blood pressure levels. The biggest consumers of spicy food were found to consume about 2.5 fewer grams of salt daily, compared to those with the blandest palates. The spice lovers also had systolic (upper) and diastolic (bottom) blood pressure levels that were 8 mm Hg and 5 mm Hg lower, respectively, on average, the findings showed. The findings were released online Oct. 31 in the journal Hypertension.

Avoid Chapped Skin By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


t’s chapped skin time. But you don’t have to endure flaky, red, irritated skin this winter. Local experts offer a few tips for avoiding chapped skin. The most important means of staying smooth is moisturizing. “Your skin needs moisture to stay smooth,” said Ramsay Farah, dermatologist with Farah Dermatology in Syracuse. “As you age, retaining moisture in the skin becomes more difficult. Your skin may become dry and rough as it loses water and oils.” Selecting the right product makes a difference in its efficacy. Lotion is too thin. Farah likes moisturizers that are occlusive and thick. “They are the most helpful because they seal in the moisture that the skin requires,” he said. “Those that have ceramides in them — natural oils — that are particularly helpful, as are ones that contain urea. And so it’s worthwhile trying several over-the-counter brands to find the one best suited for you.” Many people like Cetaphil and CeraVe, available over the counter, and Avene by prescription. Some dermatologists formulate products specific to patients’ needs. Applying products before bed and after hand washing helps restore moisture; however, people who wash and use hand sanitizer often, such as those in health care and food service, will need to remain vigilant with moisturizing. “Avoid washing, showering or bathing in very hot water,” Farah said. “This is actually more drying.” He recommends using lukewarm water and limiting the shower or water exposure to 10 minutes. Use a mild soap containing oils such as olive oil. Farah recommends patting the skin dry after Ramsay S. Farah a shower, since rough towel drying can further dry the skin. Apply a moisturizer within

three minutes to lock in moisture. Fragrant or deodorant soaps can further dry and irritate chapped skin. Farah recommends mild, unscented soap, especially ones that contain natural oil such as olive oil. Though moisturizing after a shower is ideal, “I’ll take any other time of the day for moisturizing,” said Elizabeth Arthur, dermatologist at Helendale Dermatology in Rochester. “The biggest thing is establishing a routine. You have to find what works for you and for your time.” Arthur keeps hand cream near her bed to remind her to apply some before she goes to sleep. Many find that keeping moisturizer near the sink, in their bags and on their desks keeps it handy all the time. Some people apply heavy moisturizer and then don gloves before bed; however, if the gloves cause their hands to sweat in the night, that can aggravate skin problems, so use lightweight cotton gloves. These are Elizabeth Arthur. available in the skin care aisle. Plan ahead for housework. Most household cleaners can dry out hands, as can dishwashing, so wear latex gloves. “If you can’t wear gloves, wash afterwards with a mild soap and lukewarm water, and put on that good moisturizer afterwards,” Arthur said. Using milder, more natural cleaners can also help prevent drying. Keeping skin covered while outdoors aids in retaining moisture in the skin, so don gloves each outing no matter how brief and wear a scarf around the face for prolonged exposure, such as for a day of sledding. Since dry air is part of the reason skin becomes chapped in winter, using a humidifier in the bedroom can augment a skincare routine, along with staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and taking a vitamin E supplement.

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Aspirin: The Magic Pill Among other things, people use it to prevent heart attack, fight headaches, relieve pain, protect against Alzheimer’s, decrease risk of breast cancer — a new study now shows it also reduces the risk liver cancer for certain patients By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


our medicine cabinet likely holds a pill that reduces cancer risk, risk of heart attack, and acute damage during a heart attack. It also relieves aches and pains. Is there anything aspirin can’t do? The humble white pill seems to live up to Bayer’s claims that it’s a “wonder drug” on many levels. Recent research from Taiwan indicates that taking a low dose of aspirin immunology at Roswell Park Cancer daily may reduce risk of liver cancer Institute, led a study on the effects of for certain patients. aspirin in cancer patients, “Aspirin Presented at The Liver Meeting and Acetaminophen Use and the Risk hosted by the American Association of Cervical Cancer.” for the Study of Liver Diseases in “Compared to nonusers, frequent October, the research indicates that aspirin use was associated with daily aspirin therapy appears to sigdecreased odds of cervical cancer,” nificantly reduce risk of liver cancer the study results stated. “A slightly that’s related to hepatitis B. Current therapies, such as antivi- larger association was observed with ral medicine, reduce liver cancer risk; frequent, long-term use of aspirin. Acetaminophen use was not associathowever, the therapy is not approed with the risk of cervical cancer.” priate for many hepatitis B virus The research suggested that patients. Prescribing aspirin could “frequent, long-term use of aspirin provide a more widely tolerated and is associated with decreased odds of inexpensive treatment. The Taiwan researchers reviewed cervical cancer.” The study included patients with data from patients seen between 1998 cervical cancer and controls — womand 2012 as the basis for their study. en suspected of having but not ultiThey compared 1,553 patients remately diagnosed with a neoplasm. ceiving daily aspirin for a minimum Patients taking aspirin at least once of 90 days with 6,212 patients who never did. The cases of liver cancer in weekly for more than six months, up to daily tablets for more than five the treated group proved markedly Bugow’s years, experienced a 47 to 54 percent lower than the control group in five Driver Rehab reduced risk of cervical cancer. years. dan@bugows.com The study further stated, “These Further clinical research will be findings warrant further investigaSenior Driver and Evaluations Teens, disabled needed to confirm the initial adults findtion in a larger sample size to charings. Driver Evaluations & Training acterize better the subset of frequent, Kirsten Moysich, distinguished 315-341-8811long-term users, with better-defined professor of oncology, departments www.bugows.com of cancer prevention and control and dosing regimens, and information on

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HPV status, screening practices, and cervical cancer histology.” While the research appears promising, Moysich advises women to obtain regular Pap smears, “which is the most effective way to detect cervical lesions before they are even cancerous,” she said. “There is strong evidence that regular aspirin use protects against cardiovascular disease and colon cancer,” she added. “There is growing evidence that regular aspirin use protects against breast cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer and head and neck cancer; however, individuals should consult with their physician to determine if an aspirin regimen is right for them.” Taking an aspirin acts as a sort of first aid for heart attack. People experiencing a heart attack can also experience less heart damage by taking aspirin. Many times during a heart attack, small bits of plaque in an artery break loose and partially clog the blood vessel. Platelets signal the blood to clot. The clot can completely block the rest of the artery. A dose of 325 mg. of uncoated aspirin helps protect the heart from damage by inhibiting those platelets from forming clots, thus buying time for physicians to physically clear the blockage or use clot-busting drugs. How the patient takes aspirin makes a difference. Swallowing an aspirin whole slows its benefit, since it needs more time to enter the blood stream. Chewing the aspirin takes less time — only five minutes — to begin providing benefit, compared with 12 minutes for swallowed aspirin. Physician Sharon Brangman, chief of Geriatrics at Upstate University Hospital, said that the research on aspirin reducing risk of heart

12 Things You Need to Know About Aspirin In “12 Things You Should Know About Aspirin” (US News & World Report: Oct. 28, 2017), writer Sarah Baldauf listed a few of aspirin’s emerging benefits and a few caveats, summarized below: Aspirin can: 1) Cut pre-eclampsia risk during pregnancy. 2) Reduce risk of developing colorectal cancers. 3) Lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer.  4) Throw off test results for prostate cancer.  5) Offer some protection against Alzheimer’s disease.  6) Help prevent strokes—unless you also take ibuprofen 7) Prevent asthma in middle-aged women.  8) Protect against Parkinson’s disease.  9) Provide zero protection against heart attacks in people with diabetes.  10) Offer no protection to sufferers of heart attack or stroke who are “aspirin resistant.”  11) Cause stomach troubles such as gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach ulcers—particularly with long-term use of the drug. 12) Be less effective in women.  attack focuses on men. “It’s not clear that if daily aspirin holds the same benefits for women or older adults,” she added. She warns that with older adults, daily aspirin can increase chances of bleeding ulcers or gastritis. “If you’re 85 and taking an aspirin for several years out, it’s not clear that’s a benefit,” she said. “You should discuss it with your doctor.”


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Parenting By Melissa Stefanec MelissaStefanec@yahoo.com


Finding Your Inner Superhero

f anyone caught my column last month, she or he might think I need a good therapist or a week’s worth of sleep. Both of those things are much needed by most of the parents I know, so I think I am good company here. Parenting can be tough and, on its tougher days, it can be crushing. It will make you question almost everything about yourself. It will make you hard on yourself. That’s all right though, because parenting is somehow both overwhelming and overwhelmingly beautiful. Last month’s column was written from the point of view of one of those just plain overwhelming times. But, this is a new month, and for all the times parenting brings you down, it also lifts you up. Thus, this month’s column is dedicated to my superhero moments. The moments where I impress my own worst critic — myself. Hopefully these moments will help parents of any age stop and realize the superpowers they possess. In my world, small victories are victories with a capital V. I hope you can take the time to see the victories in your world, because to your children, they are big victories. Here is a list of my superpowers.

Calming touch When I see my kids unsure or nervous of a situation, I can just give them my hand. Handholding reassures them and lets them know I’m there to protect them. When kids get older, they likely don’t want to hold hands, but something as small as a touch on the arm or a pat on the shoulder can remind them you are there, in more ways than one.

Healing touch When my kids are inconsolable, some love and a hug from mommy can make all of the difference. When they have just a minor booboo, a kiss can make it disappear. As a parent, you are literally a healing force. How cool of a power is that?

Almost-eternal patience You know how kids are always the worst-behaved for their parents? Who among us hasn’t talked to someone else who cares for our kids and heard a lot of praise from that person, only to think, whose kids are they talking about? That’s because moms and dads have a whole lot of patience. More patience than we likely extend to other people. I love my kids and am very forgiving of them. My patience may not be eternal, but it’s pretty amazing.

Master interrogator Parents have a way to getting to the bottom of things. Maybe we wouldn’t solve a real forensics case, but when it comes to our families, we are master detectives. Parents have

a sixth sense for when their children are being dishonest or not telling us the whole story, and we have our ploys to make them reveal themselves.

Divisibility Ever feel like the amount of stuff you accomplished in a day should’ve taken four people to achieve? That’s because parents have the super power of being able to multiply themselves. On days you kicked butt, take a moment to recognize this power. It’s awesome.

Hidden senses The same intuition that lets us get to the bottom of things also tells us when something isn’t right with our children. If you listen to that intuition, you can help your child through some really tough stuff. We may not be mind readers, but we aren’t too far off either. It’s a sixth sense that most parents have regarding their children. When it’s yielded, it can be a game changer.

Supersonic hearing Parents have a way of hearing the important stuff. When kids are up to no good, we catch the drift. When kids are actually hurt, we can pick their tiny voices out of a group of 50 kids. We can also differentiate between real cries of pain and putting on an act. We hear distress cries from our children whether we are across the room or across a field. Our ears were made for their voices.

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Eyes in the back of your head This is an oldie but a goodie. I’ve seen my kids try to get away with so many things because they think I am not watching or otherwise distracted. We may not catch them in the act of every transgression, but we also catch a lot more than they think we do.

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Truly everlasting love

This is every parent’s superpower, and it’s the best one. Barring major atrocities, there really isn’t anything my kids can do to make me stop loving them. On the flip side, there isn’t anything I can do to make them stop loving me. Pause and think about how amazing that is. How often in your life do you come across a love like that? It’s really something. So, next time you find yourself falling short of expectations, running on empty or failing a lot, remember your super powers. We all have times where we feel less than — less than perfect, less than adequate, less than our best selves. For all the days you are less than, your children believe you are more than human. Remember all the special stuff you can do for your kids. For most of their lives, you really are a superhero to them.

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What Really Works to Fight a Stubborn Cough?


f you’re looking for a cough remedy this cold season, you might be out of luck. Nothing has been proven to work that well, according to a new report from the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). After reviewing clinical trials testing everything from cough syrups to zinc, an ACCP panel came to some less-than-positive conclusions: Overthe-counter medicines — including cold and cough products and anti-inflammatory painkillers — cannot be recommended. Nor is there evidence supporting most home remedies — though, the group says, honey is worth a shot for kids. Every season, most people probably battle at least one cold-induced cough, said report author, physician Mark Malesker. And they apparently want relief. In 2015, Americans spent more than

$9.5 billion on over-the-counter cold/ cough/allergy remedies, according to the report. “But if you look at the evidence, it really doesn’t support using those products,” said Malesker, a professor at Creighton University in Omaha. Unfortunately, he said, there have been no big advances made since 2006 — the last time the chest physicians issued guidelines on treating cold-related cough. So what do you do when a hacking cough keeps you up all night? A couple of studies have found that honey may bring some relief to children age 1 and up. (Honey should not, however, be given to babies younger than 1 year, the physicians’ group says.) There was also “weak evidence” that zinc lozenges might help ease adults’ coughing — but it wasn’t enough to recommend them, according to the report. Plus, it says, zinc

can have side effects, including a bad taste in the mouth, stomach cramps and vomiting. What about storied home remedies, like Grandma’s chicken soup or neti pots for nasal irrigation? There’s no strong evidence for them, either, the review found. On the other hand, Malesker said, if your favorite tea or soup makes you feel better, use it. “It’s very frustrating that we haven’t found a good way to address this,” said David Beuther, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health, a Denver hospital that specializes in respiratory diseases. A simple cold-related cough is generally something healthy people can wait out - but it can be miserable, Beuther pointed out. And while a quick fix might be tempting, simply slowing down could help, Beuther said. “Sometimes you just need to take a day off and let yourself rest,” he noted. Beuther also recommended that people drink enough water to stay hydrated — which may help break up any thick mucus that is causing the cough.

Whatever Happened to Inhaled Flu Vaccine?

the inhaled, “mist” style flu vaccine has not been recommended since the 2015-16 flu season since investigators with the Centers for Disease Control o whatever happened to inhaled percent among the overall populapercent of the US population receives and Prevention discovered it ineffecflu vaccine? tion during seasons when most cirvaccination. tive. For the needle-phobic, culating flu viruses are well-matched Fear of needles may be partially “Therefore, the Advisory Cominhaled flu vaccine provided an easy to the flu vaccine,” according to the to blame, but inhaled flu vaccine isn’t mittee on Immunization Practices way to acquire vaccination. A quick Centers for Disease Control and Precoming back this year. recommended against its use until sniff and you’re done--no pain and vention (CDC). Rochester-based physician the manufacturer could provide new Be a part of an important to help understand how the brains no bandage required. The CDC recommendsstudy annual flu Nancy M. Bennett, chairwoman of evidence of its effectiveness,” Bennett Injected flu vaccine reduces risk vaccination for anyone older than 6 the CDC’sthose Advisoryon Committee on said. ofpercent typically individuals from the Autism Spectrum! of flu “between 40 and 60 developing months old; however, only aboutdiffer 40 Immunization Practices, said that (By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant)


Be a Researchers part of an important study to help want understand how thehow brains of typically at Syracuse University to understand developing individuals differ from those on the Autism Spectrum! children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing children process andwant puttotogether information. Researchers at Syracuse University understand sensory how children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing children process and put together sensory information.

Participation would involve comingcoming to our lab to for our approximately 5, 2-3 hour visits and Participation would involve lab for approximately 5,completing paperwork and experiments while wearing an EEG cap (pictured left). Ages 6-30 invited to participate! 2-3 hour visits and completing paperwork and experiments while You willan earnEEG $10 an hour for each time youAges visit the lab. You will also contributing to science! wearing cap (pictured left). 6-30 invited tobeparticipate!

To learn more or to get involved in this study please contact: You will earn $10 an hour for each time you visit the lab. You Dr. Natalie Russo, 426 Ostrom Ave, Syracuse University will also be contributing to science! n

Lab Phone: 315-443-2428 Page 20

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

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To learn more or to get involved in this study please contact: Dr. Natalie Russo, 426 Ostrom Ave, Syracuse University, Lab Phone: 315-443-2428

Kidney Stones: Some Key Things to Prevent the Problem By Rakesh Khanna, MD


n the United States, kidney stones are a common health problem that will affect nearly one in 11 individuals at some point in their lifetime — and the prevalence is increasing. On top of that, if you have had a stone episode, you’re at high risk of having another. It is estimated that the risk of recurrence is 50 percent within 10 years. Given how common stones are, how painful they are, what can we do to prevent kidney stones? If I have already had a stone episode, what can I do to prevent another one? The first thing to do is drink a lot of fluid. The components that make up stones are present in the urine. The more dilute the urine is, the less likely these components will come together and form stones. The goal is to maintain a urine output of at least 2.5 liters a day. That means you have to drink at least 2.5 liters a day and if you are physically active and sweating a lot, in effect you actually need to drink a lot more. Most types of fluid are OK to drink. The exception is probably cola. One study showed that those who reduced their cola consumption had a lower stone risk as compared to

those who did not. It’s also important to try to drink fluids throughout the day and not just at one point in time — in other words, it’s better to have a glass of water every hour during the day, instead of eight glasses of water in the evening. In the first case, the urine is likely to be dilute throughout the course of the day, whereas in the second the urine will be very dilute in the evening but will be very concentrated in the daytime. For most people, their urine tends to be most concentrated in the morning when they wake up (they have been sleeping so they are not drinking any fluids). So, if you happen to get up for whatever reason, before going back to bed, have a glass of water. The second thing to do is to limit sodium intake in your diet. The goal is to limit to less than 2,300 mg daily. This is not only important to prevent recurrent stones, but it is also important if you have high blood pressure which is an important risk factor for heart disease. If you know your stone is composed of calcium oxalate (this is the most common stone type), you should try to limit your intake of

oxalate-rich foods. Some common examples are spinach, potatoes, and nuts. This is not easy because oxalate is found in a lot of foods (a list of foods can be found on the internet). While low oxalate alternatives do exist, it can be quite difficult to remain on a low oxalate diet. All you can do is try your best. You should not restrict calcium intake, unless the levels of calcium in the urine are high (this can only be determined through lab testing). Lowering your calcium intake actually results in a higher stone risk. Citrate is a crucial molecule that blocks calcium stone formation. Low citrate levels are a common risk factor for stone disease. A diet high in fruit and vegetables can increase urinary citrate levels. Conversely, a diet high in non-dairy animal protein is a double insult to your body: not only is it an acid load on your body (this will use up your citrate, therefore result in lower levels, and increase your stone risk), it can also increase levels of uric acid in your urine which is stone forming substance and increase your stone risk! It is a double insult. I hope this overview is helpful.

Contact: Making Connections for Hundreds of Thousands of Local Residents With different phone services, including its suicide prevention hotline, agency gets 80,000 calls a year By Matthew Liptak


ontact Community Services is a nonprofit that has been around for almost half a century now with the mission of supporting the mental and behavioral health of local children and adults. Since 2006 its staff has almost tripled and its budget has grown from under $1 million to almost $5 million. “I started here in 2006,” said Contact Executive Director Patricia Leone. “We now have a full-time staff of 58, and a part-time staff of close to 100. We have about 65 volunteers. We’ve grown significantly in the last 11 years.” According to Leone, with its different phone services, including its suicide prevention hotline, the East Syracuse-based organization takes about 80,000 phone calls a year. It gets about 115,000 visits a year to the 211cny.com community services database. Contact was started as a crisis hotline in 1971. That hotline continues today and by itself takes about 15,000 calls a year, Leone said. It is run entirely by highly trained volunteer, backed by staff. “It was grassroots,” she said. “The community saw a need for a crisis hotline. There was a local pastor who brought together a group of volunteers. They’re the ones who incorporated Contact as a 501c3.” Contact grew its services slowly,

How to Reach Contact

To reach out to the Suicide Hotline call 1-800-932-2616 or to find local information on services call 211, or go to CNY211.com. but by the following decade it had perceived some new ways to serve the public. “In the early ‘80s we began doing work in schools,” Leone said. “We’re still doing that today as well. That part of the agency is really promoting positive mental health early on as a way to avoid a crisis in the future.” The organization’s education arm is working with many area schools to channel kids away from crisis and negative behaviors. They have at least one major program in each level of primary and secondary education. For the youngest students, Contact directs the Pax Good Behavior Game. This program trains teachers on how to implement strategies in the classroom around self-control for children. “I think we had one school in Syracuse that had over 300 referrals for disruptive behavior before they started Pax Good Behavior Game

Patricia Leone and last year they had zero,” Leone said. “It’s so amazing.” For middle-schoolers, Contact provides youth development services in several schools with the Syracuse school discrict. It does a summer learning and enrichment program in Liverpool, after-school programing and day support to students in middle schools in Syracuse. December 2017 •

Please take care of yourself. Poet and Pulitzer Prize winning Edna St. Vincent Millay once wrote “It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another—it’s one damn thing over and over.” Rakesh Khanna is a urologist with Upstate Urology, Upstate Medical University.

At the high school level Contact provides student assistance counselors in all five of the Syracuse City School District high schools as well as in the North Syracuse Central School District. “They’re there to support kids around any social, emotional, mental health or substance or alcohol abuse prevention issue they might have. Kids are often coming in because there’s something going on at home [or] they might be having relationship issues either with a parent or a friend, with a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. They just need someone to talk to.” But Contact may be most well known for its crisis hotline and 211cny.com. The crisis line is perhaps the most critical service, but it can also be the most challenging. “That’s been one of the most challenging things to fund,” she said. “Everybody acknowledges the need for those services, but it’s very hard to find grants that will fund that. Onondaga County has been incredible. They really have gotten behind the hotline and the 211 information referral. But that’s somewhat unusual in the state.” There are other programs too, that help. Teen Talk is one such program. They look at issues of importance to young people. “These are teens doing this themselves,” Leone said. “They explore it. They research it. And they do videos on it to get the word out there in our community. It’s teen voices for good choices. They have a website platform, podcast platform. They’re doing videos. It’s pretty exciting.” Contact hopes to continue to fulfill its mission of supporting the mental and behavioral health of children and adults. The organization is there to help 24 hours a day.

IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21

Stay Mentally Healthy This Season By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


at right. Exercise. Get medical check-ups. All of these may help you maintain better physical health. But what about mental health? Of course, genetics affect health, but by good self-care, you can reduce your risk of experience issues. Try these tips from local experts: From Scott Mooney, psychologist and owner Beacon Psychological Services in Oswego: • “For many people, they find that structuring their day incredibly helpful, like getting up and eating at the same times. • “Every day, engage in relaxation techniques. It can be anything that elicits the relaxation response. • “Have a purposeful life and reason for being. A lot of people struggle when they retire because they need something to do. • “I have all my clients consider their spirituality, whether manifest with religion or philosophical world view, helps people make sense of the world and interpret the events that happen to us. •”Have intellectual stimulation. Learning things is very important so you feel productive and moving forward.” From Susan Hartman Brenizer, licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in DeWitt: • “In my field we talk about a ‘Happiness Set Point’, which is very real. Fabulous vacations, for instance, may make you feel very happy at that time, but what is more important is a daily set point that we can actively work on. Yes, genetics and family of origin experiences in our formative years is very important, but just like with physical health, there is much within our control to increase our ‘Happiness Set Point’ on a more regular basis. • “A psychological ‘hack’ so to speak is to try not to compare yourself with others but compare yourself

to your own ancestors. I had Irish immigrant grandparents, for example, and I am so grateful for them. As well, they endured such hardships to come to the US and have a family and make a new life for all of my family. • “People who have regular social contact with friends and family, who are connected within their communities, who strive for increased social contact are simply happier. • “Having integrity in working hard is associated with happiness. A job well done, no matter what you do for work, creates happiness. Being free from constant financial worries, and living within your means is associated with happiness.” From Sharon Brangman, MD, chief of Geriatrics at Upstate University Hospital: • “Develop healthy ways of managing stress. In general, as a society, we don’t have healthy ways of managing stress. It can even be good stress. If you don’t manage it well it leads to anxiety and depression. • “Good mental health starts with a good night’s sleep. We don’t value a good night’s sleep. People who don’t get enough good nights’ sleep can become cognitively impaired. The brain uses sleep to tidy up the Brangman brain. Without adequate sleep, you’re not giving your brain that chance.” From Nancy A. Natale-Radecki, licensed clinical social worker, owner Three Rivers Therapy, Oswego: • “Start the day off with a small, brief meditation. It helps put yourself into a place where you’re focused on the moment and what to expect in the day.

• “Self-care is something a lot of people don’t prioritize. They focus on others but don’t take care of themselves with diet, exercise and sleep. I always try to help people get into a routine with sleep, as well as with diet and exercise. One person doing a triathlon means another walking for 10 minutes on lunch or lifting weights when they get home Natale-Radecki from work. It’s OK to individualize your routine as long as you focus on taking care of the three aspects. • “I always encourage people to try to be aware of their inner critic who wants to lead them to a place of negative feelings. Bring out your inner coach who has self forgiveness, self compassion and self love. Allow yourself to be imperfect and accept that. Move past it and don’t ruminate on it.” From Douglas Goldschmidt, licensed clinical social worker in Oswego: • “People should do self-hypnosis. They do it all the time but they don’t often do it in a way that’s sup-

portive. People keep saying, ‘Oh, I’m really nervous’ or ‘I’m so depressed’ or that they can’t do anything right. They keep repeating these negative statements. We can also use it to get positive conceptions of ourselves and positive ways of understanding what’s going on around us. • “Practice compassion, gratitude and forgiveness. Gratitude brings a good sense of your relationship with others and the world. It takes you away from negative and focuses on things that are positive. Compassion allows you to interact with other people and get a sense that they go through their own difficulties of life. Forgiveness is about giving up your suffering that involves another person. You don’t forgive the act but the person. • “Be active and get out, even if you feel Goldschmidt terrible. Unless you’re in a deep depression, there’s no excuse to get up, get a shower and go to work. You’re not owned by your emotions. Few people have significant depression or anxiety disorders.”

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omplaining of burnout and job dissatisfaction, many U.S. doctors plan to reduce their work hours or leave medicine altogether, a new study reveals. “Our findings have profound implications for health care organizations,” according to the researchers from the American Medical Association (AMA), the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University. The study found that about one in five doctors intends to reduce work hours in the next year. And about one in 50 intends to leave medicine for a different career within the next two years. The demands of electronic health records were among the challenges leading to job dissatisfaction. If only 30 percent of those doctors follow through on their plans to leave medicine, that would mean a loss of nearly 4,800 doctors. That’s about the same as losing the graduating classes of 19 U.S. medical schools in each of the next two years, the researchers explained. Replacing physicians is expensive for institutions. One recent analysis estimated the cost at $800,000 or more per doctor. “In addition, turnover is disruptive to patients, staff and organizational culture,” the study authors wrote. “An energized, engaged, and resilient physician workforce is essential to achieving national health goals,” said physician David Barbe, president of the American Medical Association. “Yet burnout is more common among physicians than other U.S. workers, and that gap is increasing as mounting obstacles to patients’ care contribute to emotional fatigue, depersonalization and loss of enthusiasm among physicians,” Barbe said in an AMA news release. “The AMA is urging Congress, hospitals, and health plans to recognize the coming crisis as an early warning sign of health system dysfunction. America’s physicians are the canary in the coal mine,” he noted. Nearly 6,700 physicians across all specialties participated in the 2014 survey. The results were published Nov. 1 in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – CNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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

Want to Avoid Catching a Cold or the Flu? Simply Wash Your Hands By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


he best way to reduce your risk of catching a cold or influenza doesn’t cost a thing and is something you already know how to do: hand washing. “There are a lot of ways to help prevent the spread of viral and bacterial infections, such as getting a flu shot and staying home from work if you get sick,” said Terri Hammill, director of infection prevention and environmental services for Oswego Health. “The most important step is one of the easiest: washing your hands regularly.” Most colds and flu aren’t transmitted through the sneezes of sick people. They’re spread through germs left behind on hard surfaces that people pick up later. Good, old-fashioned hand washing removes viruses from the hands so they aren’t transmitted into the body. Unfortunately, people don’t wash their hands as well or as often as they should. Quick rinses, just rubbing the fingers together a moment or skipping soap don’t work that well. “You should wash your hands with soap and water, scrubbing all surfaces of your hands — don’t forget those nails — for at least 15 seconds, after you use the bathroom, before you eat, and any time your hands are visibly soiled,” Hammill said. Hammill said that proper hand washing means using warm water and soap, vigorous rubbing and scrubbing the fronts and backs of the Hammill hands, between the fingers and under the fingernails. Anti-bacterial soap isn’t necessary to kill germs. Duration also makes a difference. She recommends washing for at least 15 seconds. After rinsing, drying on a towel applies more friction to the hands rather than using a hand dryer. She covers the handle with a paper towel to avoid contaminating her hands by touching the handle. Pearl Lavalette, manager of in fection prevention and control at St. Joseph’s Health, said that in addition to washing hands, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when a sink isn’t available can also help reduce expoLavalette sure to germs. “Hand sanitizer is effective against the common cold and influenza, and is appropriate to use to protect against these illnesses,” she

said. She advises people to wash or use hand sanitizer “often throughout the day” including “after coughing, sneezing—even if they should cough or sneeze into the crook of their arm —, or blowing their nose; and before preparing food, eating, drinking, or touching their eyes or their face.” Since most people pick up a cold or case of the flu by transferring the germs from their hands to their eyes, nose or mouth, it’s important to avoid touching the face while in public. Living in a germ-free bubble isn’t advisable--or possible. It’s all about cleanliness balanced Ferenchak with sensibility. “You can’t be a germ freak, but you have to use common sense, too,” said physician R. Paul Ferenchak, owner of My Country Doctor in Lafayette. In addition to keeping hands clean, Ferenchak advises people to coughing into the crook of the elbow and avoiding shaking hands after blowing the nose to help curtail the spread of germs, along with simply avoiding people known to be sick and staying home when sick. In addition, managing stress, eating a balanced diet and exercising all help support overall health, including a healthy immune system, which can also help the body fight off colds and flu.

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Things You Should Know About STDs By Ernst Lamothe Jr.


ew cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States reached an all-time high in 2016, according an annual report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 1.6 million cases of chlamydia, 470,000 cases of gonorrhea and 28,000 of syphilis reported last year. And the diseases are on the rise in many groups, including women, infants and gay and bisexual men. Local health agencies are aware that the issue continues to persist despite consistent education and proactive medical testing. “You have gonorrhea and chlamydia significantly increasing and are very much prevalent today,” said physician James Brown, medical director for the women and children’s service line at St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse. “It has a lot to do with the sexual activity in this country and this is a situation that cannot be ignored.” Brown offers five tips and observations about the subject of sexually transmitted disease and HIV.


Talking It’s a simple step but often the first one ignored. Having a frank and candid discussion with your partner, partners and physicians about the issue can be uncomfortable. However, not as uncomfortable as actually having a sexually transmitted disease. In addition, Brown said, patients have become more comfortable having conversations with him about the issue. “I just think in the world we live in today, I have found that patients are more open to the conversation

with their doctors as well as between partners,” said Brown. “You have to be able to talk about these issues. Everyone has a past so you should talk to each other about that and even go testing together. You have to get over any embarrassment.”


Testing Young women account for nearly half of all diagnosed chlamydia infections, but syphilis and gonorrhea are increasingly affecting new groups of people. Half of the men in those two groups also had HIV, according to the report. Brown said there are too many avenues now, including testing inside emergency rooms, for people to avoid taking this necessary step. “We even asked that it be incorporated into someone’s annual physical. A lot of people are surprised when we ask,” said Brown. “We just want to give people every opportunity to get answers they need.” Another reason why physicians push the need for testing is because many STDS are asymptomatic. “Many of the symptoms can be so minor that you could have a long term infection and not know,” said Brown. “It is just a big myth that you have to feel burning or irritation or have some sort of discharge. That is simply not always the case.” It is one of the reasons Brown said that the CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection


Resurgence Between 2015 and 2016, syphilis rates rose nearly 18 percent, according to the CDC. Most cases occurred among men, especially gays and bisexuals. Onondaga County has the dubious distinction of having some of the state’s highest rates of sexually transmitted disease. “In Central New York, we are peaking and seeing more cases in some STDs such as syphilis. There is a huge resurgence and it can be more of a silent infection and problem than most people realize,” said Brown.


Treatment Gonorrhea rates rose among both men and women in 2016, but the largest increase (22 percent) was among men, and many new gonorrhea cases were among gay and bisexual men. Gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis all can be cured with antibiotics. But if left undiagnosed and untreated, they can have serious health consequences including infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and increased risk for HIV transmission.

James Brown

people aged 11 to 12 get two doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV. “HPV is a very difficult disease to discuss with people,” said Brown. “It is unlike other STDs where you can have it in your system for decades. It doesn’t mean that someone has been unfaithful. There is just so many various types of strains.”


HPV awareness HPV, short for human papillomavirus, is a virus that can cause certain cancers and diseases in both males and females. Unfortunately, because HPV often has no signs or symptoms, many people who have the virus don’t even know it. There are about 100 types of HPV. At least 40 of them can infect the genital area. CDC recommends


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Upstate’s Community Campus Earns Honor for Surgical Outcomes Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus has received national recognition for its outstanding surgical outcomes for patients. The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) has recognized the Upstate Community Campus as one of only 68 out of nearly 700 ACS NSQIP participating hospitals to have achieved meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care. This is the second consecutive year that Upstate’s Community Campus has received this honor, which was presented at the ACS Clinical Congress in October in San Diego. “Being honored for outstanding surgical outcomes for the second straight year is a testament to the dedication of our surgical teams in ensuring that our patients have the safest surgical outcomes possible,” said Nancy Daoust, chief administrative officer for the Upstate Community Campus. “The safety of our patients is our top priority and this recognition by the American College of Surgeons is evidence of our unyielding commitment to patient safety.” The Upstate Community Campus, along with the other hospitals selected, is honored for achieving a composite meritorious outcome related to patient management in eight clinical areas: mortality, unplanned intubation, ventilator use greater than 48 hours, renal failure, cardiac incidents (cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction); respiratory (pneumonia); SSI (surgical site infections-superficial and deep incisional and organ-space SSIs); or urinary tract infection. ACS NSQIP tracked surgical outcomes in the following areas were tracked: general, vascular, urology, gynecology, orthopedics, ear, nose and throat, plastics and gynecology. Risk-adjusted data from surgery cases for 2016 were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated meritorious outcomes. ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that measures and enhances the care of surgical patients. This program measures the actual surgical results 30 days postoperatively as well as risk adjusts patient characteristics to compensate for differences among patient populations and acuity levels. The goal of ACS NSQIP is to reduce surgical morbidity (infection or illness related to a surgical procedure) and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure) and to provide a firm foundation for surgeons to apply what is known as the “best scientific evidence” to the practice of surgery.

Women’s Health

Special issue of In Good Health. Don’t miss the January edition For information on editorial and advertising, please call 315-342-1182 or email editor@cnyhealth.com Page 26

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

By Jim Miller

Assistance Dogs Provide Help and Love

Dear Savvy Senior: What can you tell me about assistance dogs for people with disabilities? My sister, who’s 58, has multiple sclerosis and I’m wondering if an assistance dog could help make her life a little easier.

Inquiring Sister Dear Inquiring, For people with disabilities and even medical conditions, assistance dogs can be fantastic help, not to mention they provide great companionship and an invaluable sense of security. Here’s what you and your sister should know. While most people are familiar with guide dogs that help people who are blind or visually impaired, there are also a variety of assistance dogs trained to help people with physical disabilities, hearing loss and various medical conditions. Unlike most pets, assistance dogs are highly trained canine specialists — often golden and labrador retrievers, and German shepherds — that know approximately 40 to 50 commands, are amazingly well-behaved and calm, and are permitted to go anywhere the public is allowed. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of assistance dogs and what they can help with.

Service dogs

These dogs are specially trained to help people with physical disabilities due to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, chronic arthritis and many other disabling conditions. They help by performing tasks their owner cannot do or has trouble doing, like carrying or retrieving items, picking up dropped items, opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, assisting with dressing and undressing, helping with balance, household chores and more.

as ringing telephones, doorbells, alarm clocks, microwave or oven timers, smoke alarms, approaching sirens, crying babies or when someone calls out their name.

Seizure alert/response dogs

For people with epilepsy or other seizure disorders, these dogs can recognize the signs that their owner is going to have a seizure, and provide them with advance warning, so he or she can get to a safe place or take medication to prevent the seizure or lessen its severity. They are also trained to retrieve medications and use a pre-programmed phone to call for help. These dogs can also be trained to help people with diabetes, panic attacks and various other conditions.

Finding a Dog

If your sister is interested in getting a service dog, contact some assistance dog training programs. To find them, Assistance Dogs International provides a listing of around 65 U.S. programs on its website, which you can access at AssistanceDogsInternational.org. After you locate a few, you’ll need to either visit the website or call them to find out the types of training dogs they offer, the areas they serve, if they have a waiting list, and what upfront costs will be involved. Some groups offer dogs for free, some ask for donations and some charge thousands of dollars. To get an assistance dog, your sister will need to show proof of her disability, which her physician can provide, and she’ll have to complete an application and go through an interview process. She will also need to go and stay at the training facility for a week or two so she can get familiar with her dog and get training on how to handle it. It’s also important to understand that assistance dogs are not for everybody. They require time, money, and care that your sister or some other friend or family member must be able and willing to provide.

Guide dogs

For the blind and visually impaired, guide dogs help their owner get around safely by avoiding obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps, negotiating traffic and more.

Hearing dogs

For those who are deaf or hearing impaired, hearing dogs can alert their owner to specific sounds such

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

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


lot of people have a difficult time understanding the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Both programs begin with the letter “M.” They’re both health insurance programs run by the government. People often ask questions about what Medicare and Medicaid are, what services they cover, and who administers the programs.

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Let’s start with Medicare. Medicare is the national healthcare program for those aged 65 or older and the disabled. You pay for some Medicare expenses by paying the Medicare tax while you work. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the agency in charge of both Medicare and Medicaid, but you sign up for Medicare A (hospital) and Medicare B (medical) through Social Security. You can apply for Medicare online from the convenience of your home at the link on our website: www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare/. If you’re already receiving Social Security retirement benefits when you reach age 65 or are in the 25th month of receiving disability checks, we will enroll you automatically. Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (prescription drug) plans are available for purchase in the insurance marketplace. Social Security administers a program called Extra Help to help people with low income and low resources pay for premiums, co-pays, and co-insurance costs for Part D


Q: My daughter is 19 years old. In her senior year of high school, she had an accident that paralyzed her. It doesn’t look like she will be able to work in the near future, and since she has never worked she hasn’t paid Social Security taxes. Can Social Security still help her? A: Your daughter may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI is a needs-based program paid for by general revenue taxes and run by Social Security. It helps provide monetary support to people who are disabled and who have not paid enough in Social Security taxes to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. To qualify for SSI, a person must be disabled, and have limited resources and income. For more information, visit our website and check out our publication, You May Be Able To Get SSI, at www.

plans. You can find out more about Extra Help and file for it at www. socialsecurity.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp. Each year, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services publishes Medicare and You available online at its website at www. medicare.gov/medicare-and-you/ medicare-and-you.html. This publication is a user’s manual for Medicare.


Each state runs their own Medicaid program under guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicaid offers care for the most vulnerable among us. While it does not require paying taxes while working, it does have guidelines about how much income and resources you can have to qualify. Medicaid provides coverage for older people, people with disabilities, and some families with children. Each state has its own eligibility rules and decides which services to cover. The names of the Medicaid program may vary from state to state. You can read about each state’s Medicaid program at www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/ by-state/by-state.html. You can find each state’s Medicaid contact information at www.medicaid.gov/aboutus/contact-us/contact-state-page. html. Medicare and Medicaid are two of the major insurance programs that provide healthcare to the American public. Understanding each program, as well as how the two programs differ, can help you and those you care about find the right healthcare program.

socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Q: I usually get my benefit payment on the third of the month. But what if the third falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday? Will my payment be late? A: Just the opposite. Your payment should arrive early. For example, if you usually get your payment on the third of a month, but it falls on a Saturday, we will make payments on the Friday prior to the due date. Find more information about the payment schedule for 2017 at www. socialsecurity.gov/pubs/calendar. htm. Any time you don’t receive a payment, be sure to wait three days before calling to report it missing. To ensure that your benefits are going to the right place, create a my Social Security account. There, you can verify and update payment information without visiting your local office. Please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ myaccount to create your account.

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

H ealth News Beissner to lead College of Health Professions Katherine Beissner has been named dean of the College of Health Professions at Upstate Medical University. Beissner has served as interim dean of the College of Health Professions since December 2016. She joined Upstate a year earlier as professor and chairwoman of the department of physical therapy education. From 1986 to 2014, she served in a Beissner variety of faculty and administrative roles in the department of physical therapy at Ithaca College, including as interim associate dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance.  At Upstate, Beissner oversees a college that offers degrees in 10 allied health professions, from cardiovascular perfusion to respiratory therapy. Graduates of the college are among the most in demand as the number of jobs in the allied health field continues to grow.  Beissner serves on various university committees, including the university executive committee. She also served as co-chairwoman of the Presidential Symposium on Society and Health, held in March.  Beissner has contributed to dozens of publications and journals, writing on such topics as health care at home, geriatric pain management and pain neuroscience education. Her research has looked at pain, impairment and function, predominantly in the older adult population.  She holds a PhD in instructional design, development and education from Syracuse University, a master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center. 

Nascentia Health honors outstanding employees Nascentia Health recently recently presented three employees with Heart of Home Care Awards. Presented biannually, the awards recognize employees in good standing who set an example for their peers by going above and beyond in their daily work. The award qualifications are based on the system’s foundational pillars: quality and service; growth; people; finance and investment; and facilities. Employees are nominated by their peers, and a committee led by the system’s human resources department votes to determine the winners. Nascentia issued a news release with a short description of each recipient: • Amber Blom — provider

relations coordinator. She provides superior customer service each and every day. Whether training new employees, assisting her peers, speaking with providers or working to resolve contract issues, she is always personable, patient and polite. Blom is a dedicated and loyal employee whose positive attitude and bright smile have helped her develop an excellent rapport with both her coworkers and the system’s providers. She has worked for Nascentia Health’s managed long-term care plan for one and a half years. • Lexi Devine — community health nurse. In her short time with Nascentia Health, Devine has proven to be a true asset to the system. She is a hardworking, dedicated employee who never hesitates to go above and beyond to develop positive relationships with the system’s home health aides and the clients they serve. Her patience and professionalism in handling challenging situations is commendable, and she serves as a true role model for her peers. She takes great pride in her work, and her passion for helping others is obvious. Devine has worked for Nascentia Health for one year. • Gary Fitzgerald — entitlement coordinator. As an entitlement coordinator for Nascentia Health’s managed long-term care plan, Fitzgerald puts members’ needs above all else. He is an enthusiastic and dedicated employee who regularly steps up to offer support and guidance to his peers. Fitzgerald is an honest and dependable team player who possesses excellent collaboration and communication skills and brings out the best in everyone he works with. He has worked for Nascentia Health for two and a half years.

New operating room directior at Oswego Health Joining Oswego Health as its operating room director is Shannon Campbell. Campbell arrives at Oswego Health with more than 11 years of experience working in the operating rooms of Crouse Hospital, which included serving as a supervisor who oversaw a staff of 30. “I’m excited to be working at Oswego Health and have this opportunity to Campbell grow professionally and personally,” Campbell said. “I am also looking forward to working with the physicians and staff,” Campbell said. During her career, Campbell, a Syracuse native, has advanced from a licensed practical nurse to registered nurse. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Keuka College, graduating summa cum laude, and is currently earning her master’s degree in health administration with

St. Luke’s Tara Searor Receives LeadingAge New York ‘Employee of Distinction Award’   Tara Searor, a certified nursing assistant with St. Luke Health Services in Oswego, is the recipient of a 2017 Long Term Care Employee of Distinction Award. Searor received the award during a ceremony held recently in her honor at St. Luke. The statewide award presented by LeadingAge New York, an association representing mission–driven, nonprofit continuing care providers, recognized Searor’s outstanding commitment and professionalism over her 11-year career with the local healthcare provider. Pictured a concentration in business operations through Capella University. Campbell is certified as an operating room nurse. (CNOR). It was during her early training that she learned that she wanted to provide care in an operating room setting. “I did an observation in the operating room and just fell in love with the whole process and decided that this was the kind of nursing I wanted to do,” Campbell said. Campbell will oversee the staff and the day-to-day operation of Oswego Hospital’s seven suite surgery center. This state-of-the-art facility features the latest technology, where physicians perform a wide range of procedures, including ambulatory, minimally invasive, orthopedic, bariatric and general specialty surgeries.

NICU at St. Joseph’s Hospital gets award St. Joseph’s Health Hospital has been named a 2017 Guardian of Excellence Award winner for Neonatal Intensive Care Patient Experience by Press Ganey. The award recognizes top-performing health care organizations that have consistently achieved the 95th percentile or above in their performance. The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement in health care. Presented annually, the award honors clients who consistently sustained performance in the top 5 percent of all Press Ganey clients December 2017 •

presenting the award is (left to right) Jim Thomas, representing NYS Sen. Patty Ritchie; James W. Clyne, president and CEO of LeadingAge New York; award winner Tara Searor; St. Luke’s Diane Garcia, who nominated Searor for the award; Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow; and Terrence Gorman, St. Luke chief executive officer and administrator. Searor received a resolution by the New York State Legislature honoring her and other award recipients from across the state. for each reporting period during the course of one year. Only six hospitals across the country received the Neonatal Intensive Care Patient Experience award (including St. Joseph’s), out of 187 hospitals that are surveyed nationwide. According to a news release, St. Joseph’s is the only hospital in New York state to receive the Guardian of Excellence Award for NICU Patient Experience, and the only hospital in Central New York to receive any Guardian of Excellence award from Press Ganey this year. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Health Hospital is a Level III NICU, equipped and staffed 24 hours a day with registered nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners and board-certified neonatologists specially trained in the care of infants born prematurely and/or with special needs. The NICU nursery is located on the same floor as labor and delivery, the mother-baby unit and the birth place. St. Joseph’s is also the only “baby-friendly” designated hospital in Central New York. “Each year, sick or premature infants from 16 Central New York counties receive care in our NICU,” said Leslie P. Luke, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health. “This award represents an important recognition from the industry’s leader in measuring, understanding and improving the patient experience.”

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H ealth News Local “Age Out Loud” effort recognized internationally Loretto has won an international award for its efforts from this past May, which was Older Americans Month. To celebrate Older Americans Month, local Loretto residents and PACE program participants met with Onondaga Hill Middle School’s Good News Network club to discuss how they are “Aging Out Loud.”  (video from the students’ interviews can be seen at https://youtu. be/9WOafiPgFA8). Loretto’s “Age Out Loud” campaign took home the Gold MarCom Award in the “Traditional and Social Media Campaign” category. In addition, the nonprofit organization also received the Gold MarCom Award in the “Marketing and Promotion” category for its “Let’s Play Ball” campaign for health care referrals, as well as an Honorable Mention for its “Employee Communications.” Other MarCom Award Gold winners include AARP, IBM, and Samsung, among others.

The Nottingham recently won “Health Care Facility of the Year” award. Shown are workers from Loretto, including staff from The Nottingham in Jamesville and from Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center on Brighton Avenue. Loretto President & CEO Kim Townsend (in red) is in the middle, with “Nurse of the Year” recipient Vicky Lyman on her right and The Nottingham’s Executive Director Jennifer Ingerson on her left. Photo provided.


Loretto Recognized for Facility, Nurse of the Year

t the Oct. 26 Excellence in Healthcare Awards event in Syracuse, Loretto’s Nottingham was recognized with the Healthcare Facility of the Year award and Loretto nurse Vicky Lyman received the Nurse of the Year award.

Nurse of the Year

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Vicky Lyman is a nurse at Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center on Brighton Avenue in Syracuse, and has been with Loretto for almost 20 years. In that time, she has introduced numerous innovations and improvements to drive the effective management of infections and wounds across Loretto’s system, some of which have been adopted across the state. Lyman has focused her career on ensuring that Loretto advocates for proper methods of wound care and infection control that not only accelerate healing or minimize impact and spread of infection, but also ensure

optimal patient comfort and quality of life. She also continues to advocate for advancing and improving these practices in her role with state organizations. Lyman’s work continues to be recognized by practitioners and organizations — such as the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology — as innovative and advancing best practices, and some of her work has led to better standards in the industry. With APIC, she helped write the syllabus for NYS license renewal for RN and LPN on infection control, and now all RNs and LPNs statewide have to take the course every four years to renew their license. She also collaborated with NYS Department of Health on the development of an antibiotic stewardship program.

Healthcare Facility of the Year The Nottingham residence in Jamesville is currently working on expanding services for memory care.

The Nottingham also provides a community lecture series on various topics (stroke prevention, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, fall prevention, safe driving, financial planning, scam prevention, etc.). It has a pool that is open to the local senior community and other services such as a voting site, hair salon (Reflections Salon) open to the community; physical therapy/occupational therapy center is also open to the community, and the staff is a resource to for senior services. It also promotes dining events that are open to residents’ families and the community. The Nottingham also participated in the development of a community volunteer program (One-to-One) in collaboration with Interfaith Works. And it holds many workshops for its residents regarding the use of the new technologies — iPhones, iPads, etc.


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

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

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