Syracuse Woman Magazine - January 2022

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CROUSE FULL PAGE

JAN UARY 2022

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

january GUEST COMMENTARY...........................................................................6 PAST EVENTS Hope... dressed in Heels......................................................................8

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SPECIAL FEATURE Demand high for Upstate's Refugee Health Clinic...............................................................

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OUT & ABOUT Clay & Craft Studio....................................................................

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ON THE COVER Donna Farchione A believer in breathe............................................................. 16

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WOMEN'S HEALTH Ladies confidential: Sexual response at every phase.......................................

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WISE FEATURED ENTREPRENEUR Devin Negrete.............................................................................. 23 SELF CARE This year, care for yourself by reducing stress and increasing joy......................................................

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INSPIRE Dr. Renee Melfi .......................................................................

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UPCOMING EVENTS............................................................................. 36

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MOVERS & SHAKERS.......................................................................... 38

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GUEST COMMENTARY

Start the new year right by being kind to yourself Beth Hurney

A new year is often accompanied by personal resolutions

to “do something better” or add something new to our already full “to do” lists. Typically, inherent in this process is the emotional roller coaster of unbridled motivation and eagerness to begin that eventually turns into frustration, anger, and disappointment at our inability to achieve what was probably an unrealistic New Year’s resolution to begin with. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we choose to start a brand new year, full of opportunity and promise, in this self-devaluing way? This is so counterintuitive to the value of personal health and wellness. So let’s start 2022 in a new way…in a self-valuing way…in a way that promotes health and wellness! Let’s start by just being KIND… to ourselves. Be kind to your body…be kind to your mind…be kind to your spirit. Sounds simple, right? Yet, we all know too well how truly difficult this can really be. We have been dealt some heavy blows over the past two years, on top of our struggles that existed prior to the pandemic. We all have them…the struggles that keep us up at night. Yet so much of the struggle is out of our control. But kindness? We absolutely got that! Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “you cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Don’t wait… be kind to yourselves right now. The moment you begin being kind to yourself, you begin being kind to others. What a gift! Kindness and self-love ignite a personal journey of wellness that we ultimately share with others. According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the eight dimensions of wellness include: physical, emotional/mental, spiritual, financial, intellectual, social occupational, and environmental. As you begin the new year, I encourage you to explore each area in your own lives. You may think you are a pinnacle of health because you eat right, exercise, and renew your spirit regularly. However, are you constantly burdened with financial worries? Is your job a good fit for you? Do you surround yourself with positive people? Are you taking care of others and neglecting yourself? You may not have explored these as areas of wellness before now, but each dimension adds to or takes away from your overall health. Remember that you cannot give what you do not have. Dalai Lama XIV stated that “love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” These necessities start with self. Don’t wait…you are worth the investment! Wishing you a year of kindness, compassion, health and true wellness.

SyracuseWomanMag.com contact@syracusewomanmag.com

PUBLISHER

David Tyler dtyler@eaglenewsonline.com

DESIGN

Andrea Reeves

PHOTOGRAPHERS Alice G. Patterson Rick Policastro Kelly Jo Smart

CONTRIBUTORS

Alyssa Dearborn Jason Gabak Beth Hurny

Jason Klaiber Heather Shannon Susan Spina

Cover photo by Alice G. Patterson

ADVERTISING SALES

Renée Moonan Linda Jabbour 315.657.7690 315.657.0849 Rmoonan@eaglenewsonline.com Ljabbour@eaglenewsonline.com

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Unlike any other publication in the Syracuse area, our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, home matters, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local Syracuse women. Ads are due on the 15th of the month prior to publication. The print magazines will be distributed locally in over 350 locations and will be in your inbox electronically by the middle of every month. The publication is available free of charge.

CONTACT OUR HOME OFFICE 315.434.8889 | 2501 James Street, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206

The magazine is published 12 times a year by Community Media Group, LLC and Eagle Publications, 2501 James St., Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206 Copyright © 2022 Community Media Group, LLC. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publishers. Syracuse Woman Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Community Media Group, LLC and will not be returned.

Beth Hurny is the executive director of Prevention Network.

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Celebrating the spirit of women

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n November, the YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County celebrated the Spirit of American Women at Drumlins Country Club. Spirit of American Women highlights the empowerment and accomplishments of women, girls, and families served through YWCA programs. It is also a fundraiser that showcases the power of individual philanthropy.

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PAST EVENTS

Hope…dressed in heels Photos by Rick Policastro

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n November, Hope for Heather held its Hope & Heels fashion show at the Syracuse Marriott to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. The well-attended event featured a fashion show as well as many vendors, raffles and auction items. Ovarian Cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancers in the United States and the fifth leading cause of cancer death among American women. Each year, approximately 20,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 15,000 women die of the disease. SWM

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PAST EVENTS

Hope... from page 17

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Demand high for Upstate's Refugee Health Clinic

Members of Upstate's Refugee Clinic team are front row, from left: Mary Jo Lakomski RPH, Andrea Shaw, MD, Ayan Mohamed PA. Middle row, from left: Mariya Collins, Mairbeth Schoeneck and Dawn Kelly. Back row, from left: Liban Mohamed, Sarah Bartnicki LMSW, Nicole Mozo RN.

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o say the Refugee Health clinical service at Upstate’s University Health Care Center is busy is an understatement. Syracuse has always been a sanctuary city, embracing and supporting the arrival of immigrants and refugees, but this year, Syracuse is anticipating more new arrivals than it has in years. The two lead resettlement organizations, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County and Interfaith Works, were already poised to accept 1,400 refugee arrivals, when a global crisis in Afghanistan increased demands and 250 new Afghan arrivals were accepted this year to start a new life in Syracuse. As the international crisis unfolded and the local resettlement community reached out for medical support, Upstate stepped up to the plate. In less than one month from seeing human tragedy across international news, Upstate met its first Afghan families in early September. Upstate’s internal medicine and pediatric clinics shuffled their already busy medical teams to ask “how can we help?” The Refugee Health team at Upstate, led by Dr. Andrea Shaw, is currently meeting more than 10 new Afghani patients each week to ensure timely health screenings, immunization updates, and rapid integration into primary care. The team includes staff from internal medicine and pediatric clinics, residents, and Farsi and Pashto-speaking medical and pre-medical students who joined the effort to introduce 250 Afghan arrivals to a medical home. These new arrivals are in addition to the weekly refugee families that routinely establish care at Upstate arriving from sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

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“Whether our patients are fleeing a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan or spent the last decade in a refugee camp, they all come from a traumatic past and face significant barriers to assimilation upon arrival in Syracuse,” Shaw said. “Our medical team is privileged to work with dedicated community partners in this effort. It truly ‘takes a village’ to do this work well.” Communication in healthcare is essential and the Refugee Health team knows there will always be “one more step” to ensure that a patient with low health literacy truly understands a plan. Shaw says, despite a small staff and limited resources, the Upstate team works with patience, kindness, and compassion to build bridges of trust, essential to understanding and supporting a patient population that speaks more than 40 registered languages. “Most people come to us from a place across the globe where they would only seek medical care if they were really sick; rarely engaged with preventative care or chronic disease management with little acknowledgment that mental health may be a concern,” Shaw noted. One of the biggest challenges for Shaw and her colleagues is introducing a highly diverse patient population into a complex health system. This is difficult work, Shaw said, “But the rewards are great, especially when you see a group of people thrive and contribute to a safe new life here,” Shaw said. The future for this clinic is bright as it transitions to the Center for International Health, which will be its new home in the future Nappi Wellness Institute, set to open spring 2023. SWM

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OUT & ABOUT

Clay & Craft Studio Jason Gabak

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hen two inherently creative friends decided to pool their talents, a new business was born in the Elbridge community. Located at 243 E. Main St., to the left of Happy Star, Clay & Craft recently opened its doors. The product of longtime friends Robin Smart and Amy Lewis, Clay & Craft combines their two creative outlets. Smart has operated Turkey Foot Pottery for a number of years while Lewis has been working on Main Street Designs. “This is something we talked about doing for a while,” Smart said. “We’ve known each other and been friends for 30 years. What we've each been doing has been evolving and last year we thought we’d try to find a place and have a go at doing this.” With Main Street Designs, Lewis offers a variety of items from handmade and event décor to customized and personal-ized unique gifts to decals and stickers and just in time for the holidays, Christmas decorations and other specialized items. “Amy does a little bit of everything,” Smart said. “There is something for everybody.” JAN UARY 2022

Turkey Foot Pottery is the product of a long journey for Smart, who said she started taking an interest in pottery while in high school. “I learned to throw pottery in my high school art class. All of my study hall time was spent ‘studying’ in the art room sitting at the wheel teaching myself to throw,” Smart wrote. When she turned 40, Smart said she decided to buy her own pottery wheel and get back into her craft and after taking her work to be fired to other potters she eventually bought her own kiln and her work grew from there, creating a wide variety of pottery pieces. While Smart and Lewis were each having success with their work, the idea of opening a physical space was always under consideration. Smart said it seemed like once the idea was in place it was a matter of finding the right location. But that was easier said than done. Smart said the search had its ups and downs until the current location became available. “We were looking and one place would be too small or one place wouldn’t work out,” Smart said. “But then this 600-foot space opened up and it was perfect.” H E ALTHY BODY & M I N D EDITION


13 Friends Amy Lewis and Robin Smart recently opened Clay & Craft in Elbridge.

Having a physical storefront allows the two crafters a chance to share their work more directly with the public. “This is a way people can come in and casually see what we do,” Smart said. Lewis and Smart both have pieces on display and for sale, but they also take custom orders. Depending on quantity and what kind of piece, Smart said Lewis can even customize many of her pieces such as cards, the same day. For custom pottery pieces, Smart said she needs a little more lead time, but pieces like her succulent planters are available and popular, she said. The store space also has the advantage of providing a workspace for Smart, who said she plans to host workshops and give people the opportunity to try their hand and working with clay on a potter’s wheel. Smart said she and Lewis had a soft opening and have been in the process of getting the shop organized the way they envisioned it and getting a sign hung outside, but so far, the business has had a warm reception. “It’s been good,” Smart said. “We’re looking forward to seeing more people and showing them what we do.” SWM

"There is something for everybody." —Robin Smart

For more information visit clayandcraftstudio.com. Photos by Kelly Jo Smart.

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COVER STORY

DONNA FARCHIONE A believer in breathe Jason Klaiber

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COVER STORY

A believer in breathe DONNA FARCHIONE Jason Klaiber

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uring a motivational speech he gave in Boston years ago, the late self-help author Wayne Dyer asked those gathered to individually pick the one topic they would unearth if given an uninterrupted day for research. In the crowd that day was Donna Farchione, who said she had driven in all the way from Syracuse only to grow flustered that nothing definitive was coming to mind. She kept pondering the question to no avail, scrounging for the unexplored field of interest that excited her most— whatever it was. The next morning in the shower, however, a sudden curiosity about the ancient practice of yoga sprung into her head, and she knew right then that she had her answer. At that point, she had never stepped into a yoga studio to the best of her recollection and Baron Baptiste VHS tapes had been her only exposure to the discipline. But that shred of familiarity soon evolved into regular training sessions with Skaneateles-based instructor Judiann Cesta. Sometime in 2008, while on the road to Erie, Pa., to visit her daughter at Gannon University, Farchione would end up taking her first but not her last step into breathe, the combination yoga studio, organic juice bar and retail boutique in Rochester that Cesta had given her stamp of approval. “It was a life-changing experience,” Farchione said. “I walked through the doors and I looked around and I thought, ‘I’ve never been into a place like this.’” What remains Farchione’s clearest, fondest takeaway from that auspicious afternoon at breathe was the moment her class instructor read a passage from Melody Beattie’s book, “Journey to the Heart.” “It was about being a square peg trying to cram itself into a round hole and how sometimes the best thing you can do is leave a situation,” she said. Upon mentioning that the message had resonated with her, she was taken aback when the teacher ripped out the page from the book with no hesitation and handed it to her to keep.

“That generosity and just the way I was treated as a stranger really blew me away,” Farchione said. Move ahead to 2022, and not only has the Syracuse native held onto that page and purchased her own tear-away copy of Beattie’s meditation book, but she also co-owns the only breathe establishment outside of the five in Rochester. The space at 6823 E. Genesee St. in Fayetteville was officially opened by Donna and her husband, Rick, in 2017 following a series of conversations the couple had with franchisor Cyndi Weis. Beforehand, Donna had been running a speech pathology company while at the same time going to Syracuse University for a master of arts degree in marriage and family therapy and racking up hours as a part-time yoga instructor in Camillus. Sticking with the soft, lowercase stylization of its logo for its facade, the family-run wellness hub next to Wegmans has welcomed in everyone from high school students to retirees regardless of their level of yoga experience. Visitors will see an archaic South Indian door leading to the yoga studio, a touch meant to bring to the business both a sense of reverence to the original yogis and a connection to them through time. The studio employs a contemporary spin on those preserved elemental teachings, using Baptiste’s methods as inspiration for an adaptable approach centering on physicality, self-inquiry and personal authenticity. Continued on page 18

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Photos by Alice G. Patterson

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COVER STORY

Breathe from page 17 One style offered at breathe is restorative yoga, a type of routine characterized by full-on relaxation and the use of props such as bolsters and blocks. People looking for the next step up would gravitate toward yin yoga, which involves three-to-five-minute periods of stretching and a focus on the connective tissue between muscles. The Fayetteville studio also hosts an active but relatively “slow-paced” class called “Foundations” as well as two different power classes focused on exercises that build cardio endurance and strength. Either before or after their conditioning sessions, guests will select from a choice of smoothies, juices, teas, coffee roasts or one-ounce wheatgrass drinks just a few feet away at the beverage bar. They can also treat themselves to gluten-free and vegan snack options or some other menu items containing honey. The attached retail side features “carefully sourced” crystals, candles, books, ornaments, essential oils and clothing from cashmere sweaters to graphic tees embellished with expressions of positivity. Now nearly five years into operating the ternary business, Farchione said she sees the threads that weave through her credentials as a therapist, speech pathologist and yoga trainer, and even her earlier aspiration to be an actress: that being the importance of vulnerability, the task of getting in touch with the psyche, and the emphasis on bettering the relationship with oneself.

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Week in and week out, she goes back and forth between breathe and her therapy practice in the Lyndon Office Park on the same street, always keeping in mind the “line of integrity” that both directs and corrects her actions. Reflecting on the last year-and-a-half stretch, Farchione said the Syracuse breathe made it through months of the pandemic and accompanying restrictions in large part by switching to outdoor yoga sessions held on the nearby lawn and in local parks. She said it helped on that end that the summer of 2020 produced a negligible amount of rain-related cancellations, that Wegmans paused its use of pesticides on its grass, and that participation for several of those sessions revolved around charitable donations. As the days have gone on, the business has voluntarily continued to maintain a temporary half-capacity limit for its yoga studio, which can ordinarily fit 70 yoga practitioners at max. Even so, Farchione said the location has not lost its purpose as a non-competitive haven in the area for anyone looking to reduce feelings of stress and isolation. Similarly, the 57-year-old business owner has not abandoned her own intention to make the practice of yoga and the unlocking of its benefits her lifelong pursuit, from now until that last Shavasana pose. SWM

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WOMEN'S HEALTH

Sexual response at every phase Heather Shannon

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id you know there are actual studies on sexual behavior and anatomy and physiology of sex? The first study conducted on sexual behavior and reported in the Kinsey Reports in 1948 and 1953. From 19571990s, Masters and Johnson took it a step further and studied anatomy and physiology of sex through laboratory data and used both men and women subjects. What these researchers discovered are the phases of sexual response: excitement phase, plateau phase, orgasm and resolution phase. If you ever wondered what happens to your body during sexual response, this is the article for you. In the excitement phase (initial arousal), men and women will experience chemical changes that cause certain bodily changes. We call them excitatory chemicals. They are dopamine, norepinephrine, testosterone, estrogen, nitric acid and acetylcholine. The body’s response is increase in muscle tension, heart rate and breathing. The skin will flush and a rush of blood will flow to breasts and genitals, causing swelling in the area tissues. This phase lasts minutes to hours. In the plateau phase (full arousal/excitement), physical changes continue to intensify the chemical response and increase in advancing muscle tension and sensations. This phase lasts up to the point of orgasm, which is the involuntary muscle contractions in the genital area and lasts a few seconds.

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In resolution phase (after orgasm), the body (genitalia) will return to its normal level of functioning and sizes. There is a general sense of wellbeing, fatigue and relaxation. Women are capable of returning to orgasm, while men need a refractory period (more time) to restart the phases. Women are multiorgasmic, where men are not. Studies have found that orgasms can relieve pain through the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that has been found to play a large part in our happiness, attractiveness, love, affection and sexual response. Yes, this is the same drug used to induce labor. Scientists continue to study the benefit of oxytocin release and some practitioners have begun using it in treatment of certain medical conditions. Orgasms tend to get better with age. For young women between the ages of 18-24, 61% experienced an orgasm the last time they had sex. While women in their 30s, 65% experienced an orgasm. 70% of women will have an orgasm when they are in their 40s and 50s. Keep in mind, not every woman will or must have an orgasm when they have sex. Most of the time, an orgasm occurs with genital (clitoral) stimulation. So what’s the “G-spot”? Some women will experience an orgasm without clitoral stimulation which has been called vaginal orgasm. There is real science behind this. A German physician and researcher,

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Dr. Ernst Gräfenberg found an area in the upper top part of the vagina along the path of the urethra (urinary tube). He found this area has a rough texture and is believed to be a place where many nerves connect, becoming the erotic zone for women. When stimulated, it produces an orgasm. Why does it seem like there are many sexual problems men and women experience? Let’s explore a little further. In the United States, 40% of men and women have concerns with sexual dysfunction and 12% of those consider it distressing. With sexual dysfunction, the most common complaint is the lack of desire (libido), 22% of the general population share this complaint. Postmenopausal women make up 15%, while men make up 5% of the population. Other sexual dysfunction complaints by women are impaired arousal, inability to achieve orgasm and painful sex. To be considered a dysfunction, symptoms must reoccur or be persistent and will usually cause personal distress. Symptoms can increase with age and is a result of menopause, depression, medical conditions, certain medications (especially antidepressants) or fear of pregnancy. Many childbearing age women find their lack of desire is a result of fatigue from disrupted sleep, overworked, distracted by children and worry and responsibilities in and outside the home to name a few. The fix for this is reducing stressors and take care of yourself. The reality is easier said than done. Patience, understanding and strong communication skills with your partner are huge benefits to improving libido. Another option is to speak to your health care provider who can help with the medical aspects of libido. How can you improve sex? Maintain open clear communication with your partner. Adapt to a new lifestyle that decreases your stress and improves your fatigue. Have an evaluation by your health care provider. Consider vaginal lubricants or estrogen cream, if you are postmenopausal and are a candidate for it. Introduce sexual devices or become creative, to add spark back into the relationship. Lastly, sex therapy has up to an 85% success rate, but not widely sought out for fear and embarrassment. Talk to your health care provider about which medications or medical conditions affect your libido and what options for improvement are available to you. SWM

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SELF CARE

This year, care for yourself by reducing stress and increasing joy Susan Spina

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o you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life? Daily stresses and how we handle them significantly affect our emotional wellbeing and happiness. Focusing on your own needs and mental health is important for staying balanced and healthy. We all believe that we will be happier and less stressed when things settle down and our lives are better, so we look toward the future. But it’s so important to take time to live in the present. These quick tips can help keep you mindful about managing stress. 1. Take a minute when you first wake up to think about what you are grateful for and remain focused on that thought all day. 2. Be kind to yourself and work toward being more mindful of your thoughts and how they impact your mood throughout the day. 3. Are you hard on yourself? If so, identify those thoughts and how they impact you. Focus on your strengths and what you can accomplish in the moment. Remember, everyone has strengths and weaknesses; no one is perfect. Identify and tap into your strengths to change negative beliefs about yourself. If you have made mistakes, forgive yourself, move forward, and learn from them.

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4. Always be kind to yourself and others. Be your best self! Do not judge others or their circumstances and instead focus on being positive and supportive. By practicing kindness, you will find peace, connectivity, support, and compassion from within and from others. 5. When you are being self critical, ask yourself what you would say to a close friend going through the same situation you are. Be as kind and supportive of yourself as you would be of a friend. 6. Reduce stress by recognizing what the source is and what you can control. If the news upsets you, reduce the amount of time you spend reading or watching it. If social media causes anxiety, replace screen time with a positive activity such as books, walks, hobbies, volunteering, and spending time with family. If a friend or family member is a negative presence, give yourself permission to set boundaries and reduce inter action to get balance and peace of mind. It’s impossible to change someone’s personality but you can change how you respond to them. 7. Give yourself something to look forward to. Make sure that you engage in meaningful activities every day to enhance quality of life and experience more joy — even if it is just something small that makes you feel good. Susan Spina is a licensed clinical social worker with Nascentia Health.

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WISE FEATURED ENTREPRENEUR

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INSPIRE

DR. RENEE MELFI

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There’s nothing as females that we can’t do Alyssa Dearborn

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s a spine interventionist, Dr. Renee Melfi knows how it feels to be one of the only women in the room. The underrepresentation of women in the sciences is something that she has noticed for years. “Even things like high school classes and then college where you’re looking primarily at sciences, I think in my physics lab in high school I was literally the only female in the lab.” Dr. Melfi explained, “As I went further on in my training, the field I chose was called physical medicine and rehabilitation, and that is very large, broad specialty. Then as I became more specialized in my specialty, which is inter-ventional spine procedures, I started going to their international meetings, like their annual meeting that they would have every year. I would look around and there were only a handful of women in a hotel conference center where there’s probably 700 physicians attending.” As a member and instructor for Spine Intervention Society, she has been attending the annual meetings for 19 years. Within those years, the gap in women’s attendance has been closing. However, Dr. Melfi has noticed the persisting gap in leadership. “I noticed a few years ago I was invited to give a lecture at their international meeting. I was one of two females giving a lecture over a three-day conference. And I actually brought it to the attention of one of the board members and I think his response was something like, ‘Well, there’s no other good candidates.’ And I said, ‘You can’t possibly mean that. Look around the room.’ I think as a woman in this field, my hope now is to try to advance and give a chance to some of the younger females coming out of fellowships in interventional programs because it is hard to look at the roster of those conferences and see one or two females.” Since that time, she said, the administration and board are now aware of the misrepresentation, and there is now a greater number of females giving presentations and the international annual scientific meeting. Working hard to become one of the leading experts in her field has helped her in her goal to better help her patients. In a time when most practitioners are a part of a large medical group or employed by hospitals, Dr. Melfi strives to be an exception. “Twenty years ago, it was more common for there to be small to mid-sized groups as well as a large group here and there. In the course of my practice career here in Syracuse that’s very much transitioned,” she said.

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By choosing not to follow the trend of becoming a part of a large practice with many mid-level practitioners, she said she is able to give patients very personalized care as well as additional medical options such as patient stem cell injections, a procedure that uses the patient’s own stem cells to assist in pain management. “I wanted to have the autonomy to remain my own boss in medicine and do things the way I want to and take care of patients the way I want. So instead of just following this trend where medicine is getting very big, I made the very conscious decision to go the other way where I am intentionally staying as small as I can. I want to be the option where someone can have a very personalized experience.” Being an expert in interventional medicine provided Dr. Melfi with opportunities that have taken her all around the country. After finishing her fellowship with Dr. Charles Aprill - the then most renowned interventionist - in New Orleans, she decided to return home to Central New York. “It was actually challenging.” she said when asked about what it was like to leave and then return home, “I left for all of my training and I’m very close with my family. I never had a big worldly experience when I was growing up. I had consciously made the decision that I will go wherever it is required to get the best education I could.” But just as she made the conscious decision to move away, she made the conscious decision to return to Syracuse. “I felt like I was missing everything with my family.” she said, “My grandma was still alive and my niece and nephew were little kids and were growing up. I was missing every event because I was a flight away, I wasn’t a drive away. The cities I lived in were significantly larger, so moving back to Syracuse was an adjustment. Another reason not just for family was that I loved the outdoors. I think Upstate New York is just gorgeous if you’re interested in outdoor activities. Those are all things that I had missed and I had really wanted those opportunities in my life again. This is my home. Home is where the heart is.” Just as Dr. Renee Melfi makes it her mission to provide the best specialized care, she also wants women to be able to work towards their goals like she was able to. “I think women should continue to always aim high.” she said, “I don’t feel like we should be limited by things that we see as barriers in terms of the number of years of schooling that it takes to accomplish something. There’s nothing as females that we can’t do and I think it really comes down to belief in self, poise, and hard work. I don’t think there’s a thing that someone can’t accomplish if she works hard. Women should try to accomplish anything in terms of what they’re interested in and be okay if they’re the only female in the room." Because she had the great fortune to train with her mentor, Dr. Aprill, she feels it is her duty to be an instructor and pass on the skills that he taught her. She met the rigorous qualifications to become an instructor for the Spine Intervention Society, the international organization of which Dr. Aprill was a co-founder. “There’s very strict criteria for advancing to position of instructor for this organization, and I’m one of two females in the entire United States that is a certified instructor for the Spine Intervention Society and one of seven in the entire world,” she said. “Since Dr. Aprill passed earlier this year, I feel even more passionate to pass down his extraordinary expertise.” SWM

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UPCOMING EVENTS Daily through January 14

Lights on the Lake What: If you didn’t make it to Lights on the Lake prior to the holidays, the fun continues through Jan. 14. Now in its 32nd year, Lights on the Lake is a two-mile long drive-through show featuring: Towering holiday displays, larger-than-life Land of Oz, North Pole station, twinkling fantasy forest, colorful section arches, fairytale magic grand finale, and memorable animated scenes. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. When: 5 to 10 p.m. daily Where: Onondaga Lake Park 6790 Onondaga Lake Trail Liverpool, NY 13088 Info: www.onondagacountyparks.com Friday, Jan. 7 to Sunday, Jan. 9

Jurassic Quest What: The largest and most realistic dinosaur exhibit in North America is back, bigger and better. More than 100 photorealistic dinosaurs are ready to delight Syracuse-area families when Jurassic Quest® opens at the New York State Fairgrounds for a limited run January 7 through 9. When: Friday, Jan. 7: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 8: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 9: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Where: New York State Fairgrounds 581 State Fair Blvd, Syracuse, NY 13209 Cost: $22 for kids and adults, $19 for seniors Info: https://www.jurassicquest.com/events/syracuse-ny Sunday, Jan. 9

American Starburst What: Symphoria offers music of North and South America with this eclectic program. Selections include Starburst by Jessie Montgomery and Symphony No. 3 (At the Camp Meeting) by Charles Ives. Chilean composer Enrique Soro’s stunning Andante Appassionato and Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland complete this program. When: 3 p.m. Where: St. Paul’s Cathedral, 220 E. Fayette Street, Syracuse 13202 Info: experiencesymphoria.org

JAN UARY 2022

Sunday, Jan. 9 to Sunday, Feb. 13

Wild About Theater! What: An exciting new program at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo with Redhouse Arts Center and Open Hand Puppet Theater. Throughout this 6-week program, kids ages 10-15 years will learn various theatrical skills, such as: improv, teamwork, design, stage presence and basic puppetry. Using the different exhibits at the zoo and the animals for inspiration, participants will also work as a group to write, design and perform an original show in the outdoor amphitheater on the last day of the program. When: Sundays from Jan. 9 to Feb. 13, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Rosamond Gifford Zoo 1 Conservation Pl, Syracuse, NY 13204 Info: rosamondgiffordzoo.org Wednesday, Jan. 19 – Sunday, Feb. 6

The Yoga Play at Syracuse Stage What: The Yoga Play offers theater-goers 90 minutes of side-splitting laughter. A fun-filled new comedy by Dipika Guha, a talent to watch and recipient of a Venturous Playwright Fellowship by The Lark. When: Performances take place daily except Mondays and Tuesday, Jan. 25 Where: Syracuse Stage, 820 E Genesee St, Syracuse, NY 13210 Info: syracusestage.org Saturday, Jan. 22

Toast of the Town What: Pianist Natasha Paremski and Symphoria toast the New Year with two amazing works by George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and his Second Rhapsody. You’ll remember Quinn Mason’s gorgeous music from the 2020-21 season, and you’ll love his Toast of the Town Overture. Aaron Jay Kernis’s poignant Elegy honors all who have suffered during the COVID crisis. When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Crouse-Hinds Concert Theater 411 Montgomery St, Syracuse, NY 13202 Info: experiencesymphoria.org

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

Nurse to receive National Kidney Foundation honor

Cheyenne Fasce, a registered nurse who has worked in acute and chronic adult and pediatric dialysis and has helped to develop and grow Upstate’s Outpatient Pediatric Dialysis, will be honored with a top nursing award from National Kidney Foundation (NKF). Fasce has been named as the recipient of the Foundation’s Council for Nephrology Nurses and Technicians’s Carol Mattix Award. The annual award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the care of dialysis patients. Fasce will receive the award during the NFK’s spring clinical meetings in April 2022. Fasce works closely with Child Life Specialists as well as other departments at Upstate to obtain grants and funding for materials, games, and activities to keep her patients entertained and distracted during long treatments and training appointments; as well as securement devices for catheters to promote safety and positive body image, free of charge to the patient. She is currently pursuing her master of science degree in nursing. Fasce's goals after finishing her degree are to continue as an APRN in pediatric nephrology/adult nephrology with an aim to increase access to home dialysis access and resources for rural and underserved/financially limited patients.

Pagliaroli promoted at Oswego Health

Oswego Health has announced the recent promotion of Kathryn Pagliaroli to vice president of clinical services and integrated healthcare. Pagliaroli began her career at Oswego Health in 2001 as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit and quickly advanced to clinical trainer in 2004, RN case manager in 2008, patient services/staff development manager in 2011, director of quality management in 2013, director of clinical quality and patient safety in 2014, before becoming corporate director of integrated healthcare in 2020. In this newly created position at Oswego Health, Pagliaroli will provide executive leadership and guidance for care coordination across the healthcare system. She will oversee ancillary services, including laboratory, pharmacy, medical imaging, dietary and rehabilitation services. She will act as a liaison, in collaboration with senior leadership to develop and sustain a culture that supports quality, access to care, and collaboration across all Oswego Health locations as well as its strategic partners throughout the community. “Kathryn has been a true asset for Oswego Health and the recent pandemic proved how critical her leadership is to the organization. From managing relationships internally and externally with the Department of Health and our community providers to managing quality of care to patient satisfaction, we could not think of another person more suitable for this new role,” stated Michael Harlovic, president and CEO of Oswego Health.

Pagliaroli earned her master of science management from Keuka College in 2009 and her bachelor of science in nursing in 2001 from Roberts Wesleyan College. In 2019, Pagliaroli was selected for a leadership award from the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders and currently serves as region president for the Central New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders.

Library director honored

On Friday, Nov. 7, at a ceremony in Syracuse, Skaneateles Library’s Director Nickie Marquis became the recipient of the Mary Bobinski Innovative Public Library Director Award from the New York Library Association. The award recognizes a public library director who has developed or implemented an innovative program leading to an increase in financial support and/or usage of their library. It was established in 2010 to commemorate the memory and accomplishments of Mary Bobinski, director of the Amherst Public Library in Erie County from 1973-2006. She was a past president of NYLA’s Public Library Section and past president of the Public Library Directors Association. Marquis began working at Skaneateles Library in 2012 and has been working diligently since then to bring the library up to modern standards. For Marquis, this award came as a true honor when she heard about it a few weeks ahead of the ceremony. “I was completely surprised and very touched by the whole thing,” Marquis said. “It feels wonderful to be recognized for the work I do, but this award really belongs to the staff and trustees of the library. It's so important to us that everyone who walks in our doors feels welcome and finds something that excites them. Each person on our staff contributes to that.”

Stirpe seeks out Women of Distinction

Assemblyman Al Stirpe will celebrate the 10th anniversary of his Women of Distinction Awards on March 12, 2022 at Stone’s Lakeside (a woman owned business). His office will be sending out the nomination forms to everyone in his district, which includes the towns of Clay, Cicero, Manlius, Pompey, Fabius and Tully. All nominations are due by Feb 11, 2022 for the event in March. This year’s categories are: Education, Community/Civic Affairs, Business, Healthcare, Volunteer, and COVID Hero. For more information, contact oneillm@nyassembly.gov.

Cheers to a New Year and Thank You for keeping us the...

ONLY WOMEN'S MAGAZINE IN CNY! JAN UARY 2022

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