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Syracuse Woman Magazine

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

november PUBLISHER'S WORD..........................................................................6

WBOC LEADING WOMAN Rhonda Cabrinha: A culture of giving back................................................................ 8 KINDNESS COUNTS Giving back makes your heart whole............................. 10

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WISE WOMAN Linda Dwyer........................................................................................ 12

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SPECIAL FEATURES Into the Fire: Dewitt native Morgane Rigney on front lines of western wildfires................................................................... 14

Arts Survival....................................................................................... 24

ON THE COVER Vicki Brackens: Opening Doors for Entrepreneurs....................................... 19

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WOMEN'S HEALTH Gotta Go? Safe and effective treatments available for bladder control issues Dr. Shane Sopp, Urogynecologist................................. 28 Want to have a healthy bladder? Start now. Heather Shannon, MS, CNM, WHNP, MPH............. 30

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INSPIRE Karen Belcher: Food Bank of Central NY..................................................... 32 Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Respects and reflections.................................................... 34

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS.......................................................................... 36 UPCOMING EVENTS..................................................................................... 38

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November 2020

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PUBLISHER'S WORD

So many good people filling so many needs David Tyler

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deadly global pandemic. An economy in shambles. A deeply divided nation. Families unable to see loved ones. Vast swaths of our country ablaze. As I walked through Wegmans the other day, a woman passed by wearing a t-shirt with only two words on it: “2020 SUCKS!” While her wardrobe may be a little blunt for my taste, the sentiment rings true. We are living through an incredibly tough year. All of the above-mentioned challenges have affected my life or the lives of friends and family members, but what we’ve gone through in 2020 is minor compared to the difficulties faced by those who have lost work, or lost loved ones to the pandemic, or struggled with depression or substance use disorder flowing out of the endless stream of bad news, or become homeless or food insecure. There is a lot of need out there – perhaps now more than ever. The focus of this month’s edition of Syracuse Woman Magazine is philanthropy, and we’ve focused our attention on some of the people and organizations who are putting their time, effort and money into building a better, stronger community. On the cover is Vicki Brackens, a local businesswoman who has created the Jelly Bean Angel Fund, which provides money and support for budding entrepreneurs, mostly women and people of color. It is Vicki’s passion to finally say “Yes!” to people who are used to be told “No.” We also meet Karen Belcher, the new executive director of the Food Bank of Central New York. Karen describes how food insecurity has sharply increased during 2020, and what the Food Bank is doing to combat this growing need. And we explore the arts community in Central New York, where empty theaters and cancelled festivals have left so many artists without work and arts organizations on the brink of collapse. We talked to the people at CNY Arts to find out how the community can help support these people and organizations that bring so much joy into our lives. 2020 has been a terrible year, but there are many people putting their effort and resources into ensuring those that are struggling the most receive the supports they need to make it through this difficult time. They deserve our thanks and praise.

David Tyler

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PUBLISHER

David Tyler dtyler@eaglenewsonline.com

DESIGN

Andrea Reeves

PHOTOGRAPHERS Austin Gebhardt Alice G. Patterson Nancy Miller David Tyler

CONTRIBUTORS Alyssa Dearborn Farah Jadran Jason Klaiber Heather Shannon Dr. Shane Sopp David Tyler

Cover photo by Alice G. Patterson

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PAST EVENTS

The American Heart Association Go Red for Women and Circle of Red getting it done Virtual Style! The Circle of Red Reception, sponsored by Stickley Audi & Co., had over 116 virtual participants and is anticipated to raise over $30,000 from this virtual event . A great time was had by all who zoomed in as the AHA Syracuse raised awareness for the #1 Killer of Women, heart disease. Photos courtesy of: Me'Shae Rolling, Franchise Owner/Operator, EventPrep, Inc.

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WBOC LEADING WOMAN

RHONDA CABRINHA A culture of giving back Alyssa Dearborn

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honda Cabrinha never planned on having a career in the insurance industry, but she has built a career and worked her way up the ladder to become the president of Ellis, Moreland & Ellis. At the insurance agency, she not only found an opportunity to provide reliable insurance coverage to others, she also found a way to be a charitable force for the surrounding community. “As an insurance agency,” Cabrinha said, “I feel that we help the community all the time because we are protecting peoples’ assets. So, if somebody has a car accident, or a fire in their home, or some kind of financial loss, we’re there to help them. We are locally owned, we’re here in the community, so we feel we help out in that way.

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And, of course, we try to help out a little with our charity of the month.” The bulk of Cabrinha and Ellis, Moreland & Ellis’ charitable work is through, what Cabrinha called, their charity of the month. It was an idea that the company president heard worked well within other local companies, so she implemented her own version of the idea at the agency. “Since February of 2016, any of my employees that participate in our charity of the month get to dress casually on Fridays.” She explained, “If you come in here on Friday, you see people with jeans on and dressed very casual. They love it. So it kind of took off from there.”

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“Every month I try to choose a local charity that is not like a huge non-profit that gets tons of donations.” She continued, “We tend to choose smaller ones. Like this month, we’re actually working with Vera House. We’re also making a couple of gift baskets for their charity auction in December. We’ve done pillows and items for Positively Pink Packages, a charity that gives out gift baskets to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. We made pillows and donated food for the place at the airport where people in the military can go when they’re traveling. So we made travel pillows for them. We just try to do things of that nature.” Even though she was the one who brought a charitable spirit to Ellis, Moreland & Ellis, she emphasized that it is not just one person who brings a focus on philanthropy to the company.

Syracuse Woman Magazine

“I just want to make it clear that it’s not me alone doing this.” She explained, “It’s the whole agency that pulls together to do things for the community. My employees are very, very generous and I appreciate that.” While these efforts are for the good of the community, rather than the prosperity of the company, they have had the secondary benefit of team-building and developing a sense of comradery among Ellis, Moreland & Ellis employees. “I feel very fortunate for what we have in life.” She said, “What I’ve been given, it feels good to help the underserved or the underprivileged. We try to do a broad range of what we help do for the community. I just feel that it’s important to—based on what we have—to give back. It makes a better community for everybody if everyone just gives a little.” SWM

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KINDNESS COUNTS

Giving back makes your heart whole Farah Jadran

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y now, you have heard “it’s better to give than receive,” but have you really thought about it? When you’re willing to share or give to others, the feeling you receive is always exponentially better than getting a material item in your hands. “Things” don’t necessarily last forever, but your knowledge, wisdom, love and genuine character are always with you. As we celebrate philanthropy this month, I reflect on all the incredible efforts in our community. Countless people are doing for others in Central New York and beyond. In the more than 12 years I have worked as a journalist and lived in Syracuse, I have met so many people leading missions to help others and provide services. I have also had the great honor of serving on nonprofit boards and volunteering at events. Outside of officially working with an organization, there are literally hundreds of ways to energize your philanthropic spirit every day. As a reporter, part of my job is to deliver information to the community I serve. Along the way, as you can imagine, I’ve met so many people leading long-running nonprofits but also people just starting on a mission. I want to share with you two examples of how kindness and philanthropy multiply through In My Father’s Kitchen and The Kia Foundation Inc. - both based in Syracuse. In My Father’s Kitchen, led by co-founder John Tumino, offers street outreach to our homeless neighbors. One of the most thoughtful things I have learned from John and people who are no longer homeless thanks to IMFK is this - truly seeing people and making them feel valued - means more than you may ever truly know. Smiling at someone or waving could change their outlook on any given day and even change their long-term outlook. The Kia Foundation Inc. helps low-income pet owners better care for their beloved animal companions. Whether it’s through the pet food pantry or at their new storefront on James Street, Sam Washington and Kate Berry want people to know if they love their pet, there are resources available to get them supplies and care. For some of our neighbors, me included, pets are like family. I came across this quote by Barbara De Angelis recently and I think it is quite fitting, “Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” Why not be a giver in life? The gifts are special and everlasting. Kindness can change someone’s heart. It can help others realize there is a world around them and more to life than possessions and petty arguments. Kindness can be the message you wear and walk with because you choose to live life with genuine gratitude for each day you are given. Tomorrow is not promised. Why not spend today being kind and being positive? SWM Farah Jadran is the anchor of CBS5 This Morning and CBS5 News at Noon for CNYCentral in Syracuse. Farah also served as editor of SWM for more than four years after she helped launch it in January 2011. If you or someone you know is spreading kindness in our community -- tweet at her -@FarahJadran using #BeKindSyracuse.

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WISE WOMAN LINDA DWYER

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SPECIAL FEATURE: INTO THE FIRE

Into the Fire

DEWITT NATIVE MORGANE RIGNEY ON FRONT LINES OF WESTERN WILDFIRES David Tyler

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ive years ago, Morgane Rigney was working in Syracuse handling emergency calls at a security monitoring company. The 2008 Jamesville-DeWitt graduate liked her job – enjoyed the intensity that came with being in a high-pressure environment – but sought something more. “I had a mid-twenties crisis where I asked ‘Do I want to be doing this for the rest of my life?’” she said. When her inner voice answered back ‘no,’ it was clear that a change was needed. A friend was living in Flagstaff, Ariz., working on a trail crew there. She asked Rigney to join her, and she jumped at the chance. She spent a year working on the trail crew, and loved working outdoors, but wanted something more challenging, so when recruiters from the fire service came around, she took the chance. Four years later, she’s glad that she made the jump. Rigney is a member of Mormon Lake Hotshots, based in Flagstaff, one of 110 mobile Hotshot crews in the country who specialize in fighting wildfires. The Hotshots are a part of the U.S. Forestry Service and were originally formed in California in 1940. They’re nicknamed the Hotshots because they often work the most intense parts of a wildfire and earned fame from the feature film Only The Brave. Rigney recently returned to Flagstaff from fighting the Bobcat Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles, which had burned nearly 115,000 acres and consumed more than 200 structures, killing one person.

Prep, Burn, Hold

In late September, Central New Yorkers may have noticed the haze of high-elevation smoke from the fires out west. This fire season, and each of the past few seasons have been some of the most intense on record, with millions of acres and thousands of homes and structures being consumed by wildfire. The number and size of the wildfires this season have caught the attention of the nation, but for Rigney, now a senior firefighter with the Hotshots, the intensity of the job remains the same. “Even though there’s a ton of big fires all over the region,” she said, “at the end of the day, that’s not going to change our tactics that much, because we can only fight one fire at a time.” The Mormon Lake Hotshots are a 20-person team that makes up a small but critical component of fighting a massive fire like the Bobcat Fire. Rigney estimated there were 800 people on that fire, with about 100 in support providing food and supplies for teams on the ground fighting the fire. While the job changes from fire to fire based on the terrain and vegetation, the plan usually revolves around three major tasks: Prep, Burn, Hold. “On the truly massive fires, nobody’s going to be at the front of the fire trying to stop it,” Rigney said. Instead, after evaluating the terrain, they put together a plan for containment to determine where they’re going to make a stand against the raging flames. Continued on page 16 November 2020

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Jamesville-DeWitt graduate Morgane Rigney, on the scene of the Bobcat Fire outside of Los Angeles in September. Syracuse Woman Magazine

Photo by Austin Gebhardt

“Hey, I’m a lady… I’m a pretty skinny lady, and I’m able to do this job, and there’s a place for you here. Getting more diversity in the job is really important.”—Morgane Rigney

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SPECIAL FEATURE: INTO THE FIRE

Into the Fire from page 15

Photos by Austin Gebhardt

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Morgane Rigney hauls debris while setting a fire line on the Bobcat Fire outside of Los Angeles last month.

To say that the work is grueling is an understatement. During the season, which for the Mormon Lake Hot Shots stretches from April through September, the team is deployed to fire scenes for 14-day stints, and if they’re needed, that deployment can be extended to 21 days. To sustain themselves for up to 72 straight hours in the burning wilderness, they carry three days of food and water. That plus their equipment means they’re

carrying about 50 pounds into some of the most rugged terrain our nation has to offer. For those carrying a chainsaw, which Rigney did for the first time this season, the load is over 70 pounds. They work the fires for 16 hours a day. Sometimes, there are sleeping arrangements provided for them. More often, they sleep on the ground, ready to awaken and tackle the fire at a moment’s notice. Once their deployment ends, they have two days of rest before they’re sent off to the next site. “About 80 percent of it is pure mental grit,” Rigney said. “But it gets easier every season. It still sucks. It’s still really hard. But I think your body gets used to it.” She likened the physiques of most of the guys on the crew to professional soccer players. The job requires strength, but just as important is endurance and the ability to be nimble. “The guys I work with, they’re all very, very strong,” she said, “but they can also run seven miles at a sub-seven (minute) pace.” In the offseason, “I let off the gas pedal for a month and half to let my body heal a little bit” before starting training for the next season, she said. That starts with a lot of weight work followed by a ton of cardio exercise. “You don’t train for fires, because you can’t,” Rigney said. “Spending a couple of hours in the gym or even running 10 miles, it doesn’t compare to setting line for 16 hours a day.” She said the Hot Shots train for Criticals, which are the first two weeks of training prior to each season when the supervisors push the teams to the maximum.

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“We’ll scout and we’ll come up with an overall plan of exactly where we’re going to be able to box that fire in,” she said. Then they go about the exhausting work of setting a fire line. “Setting line” involves two to four chainsaw teams blowing out everything within a 30-foot swath before diggers move in to cut a two- to three-foot wide channel right down to the mineral earth. These lines can be a mile long, and more often than not, need to be set in places that are inaccessible to heavy machinery that could aid in the task. Winds, and thus fire, are dramatically affected by mountainous terrain, and often wildfires grow more powerful as they’re fueled by updrafts flowing up steep hillsides. “A lot of time, we’ll put line on these super steep ridge lines, and then we’ll set the fire from the line and push it back down the slope toward the main fire,” she said. “If it does cross our hand line, we jump on it immediately and try to contain it before it gets too big.”

‘Pure mental grit’


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“The first two weeks of the job, they basically run the s*** out of you,” Rigney said. “They try to wash out new guys [who might not be able to keep up.]” “The first fire we get on, in April or May, everybody kind of hurts a little bit,” she said. “But then you get into it.”

Safety is number one

Central New Yorkers watching coverage of the wildfires see aerial shots of massive flames and interviews of residents who have survived harrowing escapes from the wrath of the fires. It begs the question, do you ever get scared? “I was a lot my rookie season, but I think the things that look scary, generally aren’t really dangerous, and the things that are dangerous are things you figure out with time,” Rigney said. “There’s a lot of things that look scary to people who aren’t familiar with fire behavior and what fire does,” she continued. “95 percent of the time it’s not the fire itself that I’m ever scared about, it’s about other potential injuries that occur when fighting the fire.” Because they're rarely fighting fires on flat terrain, falling debris is one of the primary causes of injury. “I know a couple of people who got smoked by a rock,” she said. “You can get pretty beat up.” When in these situations, Rigney said she’s on constant lookout for hazards. Still, when faced with a massive wall of flames, it’s natural to react. “Intellectually, I know that I’m fine,” she said. “But it’s kind of a human thing to see these incredibly powerful flames 15 feet away from you and it’s kind of a natural response for your heartbeat to go up a little bit.” Rigney is the daughter of Kerin and Michael Rigney of DeWitt. They’re proud of their daughter and pleased that she found something she’s passionate about. Knowing that they’re concerned for her wellbeing, Morgane is in frequent communication with her parents. “She’s very cognizant of the kind of worry that it might cause us,” Kerin Rigney said. “She is a person who is just really careful. She believes that safety is number one. That really gives us a lot of solace.”

‘There’s a place for you here’

In Rigney’s first year, four years ago, she was the only woman on the 20-person team, and for most of her time with the Mormon Lake Hot Shots, she’s been either the only woman or one of two. When she started, she feared she would be treated like the “token woman” and not given the opportunity to truly show what she can do. That’s not been the case. “It’s always been, ‘you’re on the crew. you’re going to carry and do just as much as everyone else,’ and the expectations are just as high, which makes for a really great environment for everyone,” she said. “I’ve personally never had any issues. I work with a bunch of really incredible professionals.” She hopes that by telling her story, more young women will consider getting into fire fighting. “I want girls that are at J-D High School, and they’re looking for a career path … I want to be able to say to them, ‘Hey, I’m a lady … I’m a pretty skinny lady, and I’m able to do this job, and there’s a place for you here,’” she said. “Getting more diversity in the job is really important.” SWM Syracuse Woman Magazine

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COVER STORY VICKI BRACKENS

VICKI BRACKENS

Opening Doors for Entrepreneurs Jason Klaiber

Photo by Alice G. Patterson

"Charity, Brackens said, denotes an acute need, whereas philanthropy looks at the root of a situation and attempts to apply dollars to solve the problems..."

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COVER STORY VICKI BRACKENS

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“Having someone say ‘yes’ to whatever your venture happens to be gives you the confidence to move forward.” — Vicki Brackens

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f you’re wondering what it is that will get your foot in the door and put you on the right track to entrepreneurial success, Vicki Brackens will tell you that it all starts with the word “yes.” Whenever or wherever it may come along and no matter how ecstatic the utterance, she can attest to the power of this affirmative reply to light a fire under someone from that point onward. “Having someone say ‘yes’ to whatever your venture happens to be gives you the confidence to move forward,” Brackens said. The field of interest fund she opened with the Central New York Community Foundation, named the Jelly Bean Angel Fund for Innovation, came about to assist with and validate the endeavors brought forth by budding entrepreneurs—most of all women and people of color—who had been hearing the word “no” on a continual basis.

Even if some proposed projects don’t end up making it big, Brackens said the momentum the fund provides to various local undertakings can make long-term differences as far as how welcome these up-and-comers feel in the entrepreneurial community and how fully their talents can be revealed. Her special purpose fund, which started grantmaking about eight years ago, has supported programs that link area entrepreneurs with academic institutions for the purpose of developing innovative ideas. One such program is the Good Lawns project, a year-round service born out of the Good Life Youth Foundation based at the South Side Innovation Center in Syracuse. Good Lawns works with a small group of teenagers to make money by mowing grass, clearing leaves and shoveling snow. Brackens said the foundation, which she has supported through grants for three separate years, has grown larger as an enterprise mainly because of teamwork and its “impeccable execution.” Another effort bolstered by the Jelly Bean Angel Fund was With Love, a teaching restaurant on North Salina Street run by Onondaga Community College’s Workforce Development Program. Continued on page 22 Continued on page 22

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Photo by Alice G. Patterson

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COVER STORY VICKI BRACKENS

Opening doors from page 21

The experimental kitchen became known for offering a culturally diverse range of dishes, rotating themes every six months as students learned the necessary steps for keeping a restaurant afloat and properly guiding employees. Brackens’ fund has also helped the nonprofit Upstate Venture Connect to increase student participation in the Upstate Unleashed conference and awards luncheon, which annually brings together innovators from across the region. Brackens said the resulting “power in numbers” could partly contribute to someday making Central New York an innovation hub in the vein of Boston or Silicon Valley. Before establishing her fund in 2011, Brackens served on the board of the CNY Community Foundation and as investment committee chair. During her time in those roles, she came to see the foundation as prudent, trustworthy and committed to a broad-based influence within the local community. She furthermore began to acknowledge the misunderstanding between charity and philanthropy. Charity, Brackens said, denotes an acute need, whereas philanthropy looks at the root of a situation and attempts to apply dollars to solve the problems that eventually would result in certain needs. Now, going forward, she plans to prop up her philanthropic fund as something others can replicate, so long as they heed her father’s often-relayed advice that the best way to eat an elephant is one piece at a time. Many times individuals won’t try to get involved with a very big problem because they see it as something so large that they cannot impact,” Brackens said. “It may take you a long time to eat it, but you’ve gotta take that first bite.” Vicki Brackens also owns the planning and investment firm Brackens Financial Solutions Network, the affiliated firm Heritage Financial Partners and World of Cheddar, a company which explores how gaming can affect learning and behavioral change. The Central New York Community Foundation, which covers Onondaga, Madison, Oswego, Cayuga and Cortland counties, overlooks over 700 funds altogether. Brackens’ fund was titled after the familiar names she and her wife Earlene Jones had given each other, “Jelly Bean” and “Angel” respectively. SWM

Photo by Alice G. Patterson

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“Many times individuals won’t try to get involved with a very big problem because they see it as something so large that they cannot impact. It may take you a long time to eat it, but you’ve gotta take that first bite.” — Vicki Brackens Philanthropy Edition


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SPECIAL FEATURE

The arts in CNY struggle to survive the pandemic COVID ARTS RELIEF FUND CREATED TO HELP BRIDGE FUNDING GAP David Tyler

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mpty theaters, canceled arts and crafts shows, and concerns about visiting museums and galleries have put Central New York’s arts community in financial peril. Elizabeth Lane is the program director for CNY Arts, a local non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and celebrating arts in the seven-county Central New York region. Based on a recent survey of its members, Lane estimated that arts organizations and individual artists in the region have suffered revenue losses of upwards of $50 million since the pandemic began. And with the spread of the coronavirus ramping up again this fall, it doesn’t appear that a quick end to the downturn is in sight. The survey CNY Arts recently commissioned showed that only 6 percent of arts organizations and 11 percent of individual artists have been left financially whole through the pandemic. More than 75 percent rate the pandemic’s financial impact from “severe” to “extremely severe.”

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Lane said that most of the arts organizations in Central New York have been able to sustain themselves through the downturn using a mix of grants and CARES Act funding, but as federal assistance has dried up, those revenue sources are dwindling. “The data from the survey shows that organizations would start to run out of cash on hand toward the end of October if there was no relief,” Lane said, and CNY Arts is beginning to hear from some of its member organizations that they may be forced to close permanently. “Particularly those seasonal organizations that completely canceled their summer programs, they’re really struggling to figure out what to do in 2021 and into the future,” Lane said. “There are quite a few organizations that are struggling to get by.” Even for those museums, galleries and sites celebrating local history that have been able to open their doors the struggle to attract patrons persists.

Philanthropy Edition


“There are layers upon layers of impact financially, but also from a mental health standpoint,” Lane said. “The fact that this is what they love to do and they’re passionate about and they can’t do it, my heart breaks a little bit.”

“They’re not really seeing the same numbers of people,” Lane said. Patrons are staying away, in part, because of concerns over the spread of the virus, but for the historic sites, which are heavily dependent on student visits during the fall, the elimination of all school field trips has dropped their attendance numbers.

Individual creators hit hard

While some visual artists have been able to find a marketplace on the internet, it doesn’t compare to the arts festivals that pepper the calendar during the summer months. “The summer is such a huge arts and cultural season for visual artists,” Lane said, noting that events like the massive Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Syracuse is a tremendous revenue generator for area artists. “With all of that closed they really did not have revenue opportunities at all this summer,” she said.

And because many artists – both performance and visual – are also teachers, the inability to hold in-person privateinstruction during the lockdown has also hit been a financial blow. The average artist in Central New York lost just under $17,000 in revenue from March 1 to September 30, the survey showed. And as the pandemic goes on, the monthly rate of revenue loss continues to escalate. “There are layers upon layers of impact financially, but also from a mental health standpoint,” Lane said. “The fact that this is what they love to do and they’re passionate about and they can’t do it, my heart breaks a little bit.” A review of the comments in the survey show just how devastating this has been on a personal level. “This pandemic is devastating professionally and personally and will be devastating for myself and the entire arts community in Central New York for years to come,” one artist responded. “I have

Continued on page 26

Continued on page 26

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Arts Survival from page 25 lost opportunities to exhibit my work both individually and in group exhibits and sales of my artwork [have] completely evaporated.” “I don’t know how I am going to be able to keep my home,” another responded. “I applied for social services … I have enough food, but they only provide $208 for housing for myself and my child … I don’t know where in the world we can rent for that.”

Arts are big business

The cancellation of performances and festivals doesn’t just hit artists and arts organizations in the wallet. It is also a blow to restaurants, hotels, even babysitters. A 2018 study by LeMoyne College and CNY Arts showed that the arts had a positive overall annual economic impact of $99.4 million on the Syracuse area and sustained more than 3,300 jobs in the community. With so much at stake, CNY Arts, in concert with the Central New York Community Foundation, has established the COVID-19 Arts Impact Fund with the goal of providing $1 million in grants to area artists and arts organizations. To date, the fund has already received $162,000, and needs to receive an additional $75,000 in donations by the end of the year to unlock matching grants of $75,000 promised by the John Ben Snow Foundation and the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation. The CNY Community Foundation has also promised matching grants of $100,000. The money is already being distributed. In September, Lane said CNY Arts issued 15 mini grants of $450 to struggling artists and arts organizations. In October, another series of grants of between $1,000 and $10,000 were issued.

Courtney Rile is both an artist and a partner with Daylight Blue Media Group, a photography and video production company that works with a variety of arts organizations around Central New York documenting exhibits and performances. In the first couple of months of the pandemic, Daylight Blue had all its bookings canceled, but as time went on the company has been helping artists and arts organizations create virtual performances and exhibits. It has required an investment in equipment as well as a rethinking about how to engage in video production in a contactless manner. “We’re not where we were in February, by any means, but things have stabilized for us, and we are finding new creative ways to deliver content to audiences,” Rile said. “We are bridging that gap between the performer and the performing organization and the audience.” “Artists are going to continue to create. That’s never going to stop,” she continued. “It’s been really great to see how organizations are being really creative. It will change the nature of our experience in the future, permanently I think.” Many of the performances that have gone on during COVID are supported by grants, Rile said, so that funding stream was established prepandemic. The future of arts funding is very much up in the air, however. “Arts funding isn’t very good to begin with and a lot of these organizations are struggling to survive without COVID,” Rile said. “The additional impact of COVID could be enough to make some organizations fold. It might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back, because the situation wasn’t great before.” SWM

“Arts funding isn’t very good to begin with and a lot of these organizations are struggling to survive without COVID,” Rile said. “The additional impact of COVID could be enough to make some organizations fold. It might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back, because the situation wasn’t great before.”

Innovating on the fly

If there’s a silver lining in all of this, its that the arts industry is adapting to the new reality and innovating how it makes the arts available to the public despite the pandemic.

November 2020

Editor’s note: Contributions to the COVID-19 Arts Impact Fund can be made at cnycf.org/ cnyartscovidimpact or by mailing a check payable to: CNY Arts COVID-19 Impact Fund, c/o Central New York Community Foundation, 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202. Corporate matching-gifts are welcome.

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Syracuse Woman Magazine

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WOMEN'S HEALTH

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL BL

Gotta Go? SAFE AND EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS AVAILABLE FOR BLADDER CONTROL ISSUES Dr. Shane Sopp, Urogynecologist

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ou’re not alone. Up to 54 million women in America suffer from bladder urgency or leaking urine (Urinary Incontinence), including tens of thousands from the Syracuse area. I treat or have this discussion with over a dozen women a day. So why are so many of you suffering in silence? Is it an embarrassing topic to bring up ? It can’t be less embarrassing than buying those pads. Do you feel it is a negative rite of passage with age? I treat women from 16 to 90 (half of women over 50 have incontinence). Is no one asking you the question? I ask the following: ‘Do you: have frequency, urgency, get up at night, leak on the way to the bathroom, put the key in the door and fly over the furniture, leak with coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, running or sex?’ If this is resonating with you, keep reading. We’re just getting started. And it’s so easy to correct! There’s a tendency to lump all types of urinary incontinences into one problem, but there are many types with different cures. And I already know what you’re thinking: “I don’t want to take another pill” or “I don’t want that mesh surgery.” But I’m the messenger, so please indulge me. We can easily divide urinary urgency and incontinence into the three most common categories: Over Active Bladder Syndrome (OAB), Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI), and Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). Continuing in ‘English,’ let’s do this visually. Imagine your bladder is a muscular balloon that relaxes and fill, and then contracts and empties. Also imagine that there is a straw emptying the balloon, and that’s your urethra. OAB is urinary urgency to go to the bathroom. UUI is leaking on the way to the bathroom. Normally, your bladder relaxes and fills with urine and then contracts and empties it. Both OAB and UUI happen when the bladder ‘relaxing cells’ and ‘contracting cells’ are out of sync. During the relaxing (the filling phase) the contractors

November 2020

misbehave and prematurely contract. Your brain and bladder connection aren’t ready for this, and thus the unexpected urge and “get outta my way.” SUI is a physical, or mechanical problem with the urethra. I wish we had named this ‘Strain Urinary lncontinence’... your urethra doesn’t need Xanax! Think of the urethra like a footbridge that’s suspended in place by bungy cords. When you step on that bridge, you don’t want it to drop or bounce.

The same goes for SUI. You have ‘ligaments’ that hold the urethra (straw exiting the bladder) in place so that when the force or pressure from coughing, etc pushes on it, it stays put. However, if the ligaments are stretched or torn (from forcefully pushing out those beautiful children or with aging, etc), the urethra drops and you leak. Now let’s work our way up the treatment ladder, remembering that we have

different problems that require different treatments, and it’s quite common for many women have all three problems. UUI + SUI = Mixed Incontinence.

The treatment algorithm for OAB/UUI has three levels of treatment Level 1: Behavioral modalities and pelvic floor physical therapy These can be tried for all incontinences. You may need frequent appointments, for weeks or months. Healing is not always predictable (FeMani Wellness2020). Level 2: Medication (covered by insurance) OAB and UUI are treated similarly. First, think about what we need to do: relax the bladder. This can be done by two different mechanisms of action (MOAs)...HCPs

Philanthropy Edition


ADDER HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH love acronyms! One category of medicines ‘block’ the contracting receptors, and another ‘enhance’ the relaxing receptors. The most common side effects with the blockers are constipation and dry mouth, but about 85 to 90 percent of people don’t get them. In the enhancer (only one medication), only about 5 percent of people may get constipation. There’s a rare incidence of increased blood pressure, and the risk is not increased if you’re on BP medication and stable. There is a third medication or add-on treatment for OAB/UUI Local Estrogen with a vaginal cream or suppository. The bladder also has estrogen receptors, and when they no longer receive estrogen in perimenopause or menopause, the contracting receptors overpopulate. Some women actually get a three-fer: treatment of vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and OAB/UUI. And by the way, estrogen does not cause breast cancer. Level 3 Bladder Botox or Sacral Nerve Modulation (covered by insurance): If medications don’t work, we have two additional treatments for OAB/UUI: Botox, which is painlessly injected into the bladder in 5 minutes and lasts about six months or Sacral Nerve Modulation. This sounds high tech, but it’s actually one of the simplest and most efficient procedures I do. It’s akin to a tiny pacemaker for the bladder; the battery/stim lasts 15+ years and is rechargeable. I doubt I’ll forever be able to say this, but our success rate with this has been 100 percent.

The treatment algorithm for SUI has two levels of treatment Level 1: Behavioral Modalities, Kegels and Pelvic Floor PT

Level 2: Mid Urethral Sling The Mid Urethral Sling goes under the urethra to support it from dropping. In order to understand the remarkable biotechnological advancements that got us to this procedure, you must understand that for decades before the evolution of slings (in the late 1990s), we had to perform a two to three hour, rather bloody procedure, through a C-Section-like incision to support the urethra. While there are many different types, sizes, and placements of slings, and I’ve taught most, my personal preference is the single incision sling. It’s less than the length and width of a Bandaid, can be inserted through a one-inch incision inside and behind the vagina, in 15 minutes, under sedation, with no down time, no post pain (99 percent of time), and no intercourse pain (99 percent). Easy-peasy. Slings are FDA cleared and not related to previous ‘mesh’ issues. These should be done by experienced surgeons who routinely perform them. Final thoughts: talk to a professional other than Dr. Google, and don’t become someone who says, “I wish I had done this years ago.” SWM

DR. SOPP HALF PAGE AD

Syracuse Woman Magazine

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WOMEN'S HEALTH

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL BL

Want to have a healthy bladder? Start now.

Heather Shannon, MS, CNM, WHNP, MPH

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ow often do you think about going to the bathroom? Do you plan events around where the nearest bathroom is? Do you shy away from taking a long road trip or jumping on a trampoline? Have you stopped taking your favorite fitness class or stopped your morning run? Be honest. For many of us, when we were younger, urinating was no big deal. Right? In fact, teenagers will only urinate approximately three to four times per day. But as we get older, it is harder to ignore bladder signals or urges to go to the bathroom. If we do not act on it relatively soon, we find we end up having problems, such as incontinence (leaking urine). Many of us will experience unwanted incontinence with laughing, sneezing, exercising or losing urine at first sign of having to “go.” We might even develop a constant urge to urinate, which is a sign of an overactive bladder. Because of these unwanted problems, women spend a lot of time thinking about ways to protect clothing and prevent leakage of urine that they will stop them from going to events or participating in activities. Thankfully, there are ways to treat many of the urinary problems women encounter, but of course, prevention is the best. In order get back to better bladder habits, it is important to understand how your bladder works and why it is important to listen to the signals. First, let us learn about our anatomy. Where is your bladder? Your bladder is in your pelvis, is located in front of your uterus, and is a hollow, muscular, balloon-shaped organ expands as it fills with urine. It receives urine from the kidneys through two tubes called the ureters. A normal bladder acts like a reservoir and can hold 1.5 to 2 cups (10-16 ounces) of urine for two to five hours. On average, women urinate every three to four hours and no more than twice at night. Of course, how often you urinate depends on what and how much you drink throughout the day and can be affected by certain medications. Lastly, the urethra is a single tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside and is located above a woman’s vaginal opening, below the clitoris. The bladder will send you a signal as a sensation that you have to urinate called urge. Luckily, you can control the urge until you are able to get to a bathroom.

November 2020

Philanthropy Edition


ADDER HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH When it is time to urinate, your brain sends a signal to the opening of the urethra to relax and then to the bladder muscle to squeeze or contract causing urine to flow through the urethra. It is not okay to ignore the urge for long periods as this causes a weakening in the bladder muscle and decreases proper functioning. With the many missed opportunities to empty the bladder, you can develop urinary problems such as painful urge or more frequent urine leakage. This is why it is important to listen to your bladder signals to urinate whenever you have the urge when younger. What can I do now to help limit bladder problems in the future? First, think about how much liquids you are drinking every day. It used to be recommended to drink eight glasses of water a day, but that is no longer the case. The current recommendation is to drink when you are thirsty (American Urological Association, 2020). In addition to thinking about how much to drink, you should look at the types of beverages you are drinking i.e. soda, sports drinks, specialty coffees/teas or flavored water. Besides empty calories in many of these beverages, there is no nutritional value and many of them contain caffeine or artificial sweeteners that will increase your need to empty your bladder more often. Best option is to choose water above all others.

Syracuse Woman Magazine

A healthy woman, at any age, should urinate when they have the urge, which is about every three to four hours. Holding your urine too long can increase risk of developing a weak bladder, cause urine leakage, and interfere with signals from the bladder to the brain. Having regular bowel movements (BM) daily or every other day is also very important to your bladder health. With constipation, you tend train with a BM which weakens your pelvic floor muscles and puts added strain on your bladder, causing urine leakage. In addition, obesity is linked to increased urinary urgency, frequency and leakage. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight will decrease your chances of developing these symptoms. Now back to those missed activities. In order to reach or maintain optimal bladder health, you should drink water when you are thirsty, empty your bladder whenever you feel the urge (if not every three to four hours) and control for constipation. Of course, we cannot forget to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes making good food and beverage choices, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise. If you continue to have problems with leaking urine or going frequently, despite changes you’ve made, call your health care provider now. Don’t wait. Get back to the activities you want and enjoy! SWM

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INSPIRE

KAREN BELCHER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FOOD BANK OF CENTRAL NEW YORK

Jason Klaiber

November 2020

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fter the executive director post at Food Bank of Central New York opened up in January of this year, the idea of filling the vacancy in an official capacity seemed furthest from Karen Belcher’s mind. The staff member of 19 years still took the helm in the interim, but she looked forward to someone else stepping in once the food bank’s search committee finished reviewing applications. In March, however, things took a turn when the country entered lockdowns in response to a growing number of coronavirus cases. According to the food bank’s board president Mark Ciaralli, Belcher dealt with the uncertainty brought on by the crisis through hard work and “exceptional performance,” helping to facilitate open lines of communication with affiliated agencies like pantries, soup kitchens and social services organizations while thinking of fallback options in case any of these partners halted operations. With many people in the community left without a job or a steady income, the food bank sent out more shipments of food than usual, at times making contactless deliveries to those avoiding the grocery store or trips outside the house altogether. From March through August, the food bank distributed over 13 million pounds of food, representing roughly a 63 percent increase in comparison to the same six-month time frame in 2019. Over the past several months, the food bank has also elevated focus throughout its 11-county service area to what Belcher calls “non-traditional” collaborations, including work with colleges, libraries and other establishments that exist Philanthropy Edition


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outside of the food bank’s typical distribution model. Belcher’s leadership through the spring and summer in turn convinced her that she could take on the role of executive director, so she decided to submit an application to be on the list of candidates. “I threw my hat in the ring, and I guess the rest is history,” Belcher said. She was named to the position on Sept. 10, becoming the successor to Kathleen Stress, who left the food bank to join the Onondaga Community College Foundation. “It’s exciting,” Belcher said. “I’m proud and humbled by being able to be executive director for the food bank.” Belcher said the years she spent under the guidance of former executive directors Tom Slater and Stress taught her how to run an organization and manage staff. “They’re a big reason why I am in this position now,” Belcher said. “They have both been huge mentors to me in my professional career.” After receiving her bachelor’s degree in finance from SUNY Institute of Technology, Belcher worked for a bookkeeping office before stints at Catholic Charities and later the public accounting firm Dannible & McKee. Knowing she wanted to pursue the non-profit route instead of accounting, Belcher interviewed for and secured the role of controller at Food Bank of Central New York in 2001. Her passion for the organization grew significantly as time went on, to the point where she was certain it was one of her missions in life to provide food for people in need. “To know I was helping a family or a senior or a child to hopefully have a hot, nutritious meal at the end of the day was rewarding,” Belcher said. Syracuse Woman Magazine

She eventually headed up the financial management side of the food bank, a duty that involved overseeing annual audits, grants, budgets and bimonthly meetings. In 2014, she became Chief Operating Officer. In moving from interim executive director to the permanent position, Belcher has begun formulating her vision for the future of the food bank. “When you’re interim, you kind of hang back and don’t impose too much of that because someone else is potentially coming in,” she said. Belcher said her vision would call for the formation of more partnerships with foundations in the community, allowing the food bank to provide nourishment for people separately seeking mental health support or financial assistance, for example. “As you look at hunger, it’s a piece of what someone may be facing in their life, so it’s one bucket out of maybe 10 that they may have around them,” Belcher said. Food Bank of Central New York also offers nutrition training, recipe demonstrations and a range of assistance programs, such as its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which ensures that low-income children continue to receive breakfast and lunch during their summer break from school. Another program refers individuals to outreach coordinators who then assist them with food stamp applications and recertification. For more information, visit foodbankcny.org. SWM Belcher resides in Mexico, New York, with her husband of 22 years and their two daughters. Her hobbies include gardening, baking and canning.

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INSPIRE

RUTH BADER GINSBURG Alyssa Dearborn

Editor’s note: Syracuse Woman Magazine contributing writer Alyssa Dearborn recently traveled to Washington D.C. to pay her respects to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. These are her reflections on the visit and the iconic United States Supreme Court Justice.

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s I exited the metro at Capitol South, riding up the escalator and passing a couple of Washington DC police officers, I found a street-side tree to wait by for my friend. It was only five days since I first heard the news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died and only two days since I told my friend that I was planning a visit to D.C. It had been a very last-minute adventure and I would only be in the city for a little bit more than a day. But no matter how last minute or brief the adventure would be, I was determined to pay my respects to one of the most important women America would ever know. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a hero for so many women in the United States and the days following her death were marked by collective mourning that I wanted to witness for myself. As I waited, I watched some of the passersby on their way to and from the memorial at the Supreme Court. There was no dress code for people wanting to pay their respects to Ginsburg.

Many had dressed their best as if they were attending her actual funeral, wearing dresses and suits with shoes not meant for trekking around the city. Others were dressed more casually. Some of these casual dressers sported shirts bearing the face and words of the woman they had traveled to visit. Every now and then I would see someone proudly wearing a white and lacy collar similar to the ones that Ginsberg often wore. As they passed, a vendor on a street corner shouted to them, begging for them to buy his wares. He was selling a variety of politically charged buttons and pins, most of them Notorious RBG themed. If someone did not bring their own RBG memorabilia, as they progressed up and down the streets, there would be plenty of opportunities to obtain some. My friend eventually arrived from the metro and we began to walk up the street together. We followed the direction of the crowds and were directed by traffic officers. The variety of groups attending

Detail, "The Four Justices" oil on canvas by Nelson Shank, is a tribute to the four female U.S. Supreme Court Justices. The entire painting measures seven feet wide by five-and-a-half feet tall.

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was noticeable and extraordinary. There were families bringing young people, couples holding hands, lone travelers looking to experience history on their own, and countless groups of female friends. The fellow groups of women attending the memorial of a true champion for women’s rights hit home for me. Had it not been for women like Ginsburg championing for women’s rights long before my friend and I were even born, the same groups of young women traveling to pay their respects may instead be marching for rights that should have already been granted to them. Many can agree that there is still much work to do on the field of women’s rights, but women like Ginsberg made the fight easier for the next generation of women across the country. American women of all ages know this and the loss of an icon like Ginsburg hit American women particularly hard. It is a loss that can only be processed together. The women attending together in groups seemed to be joining together in mass mourning. We all have so much to owe to her. There were so many people traveling to pay their respects to the late Supreme Court justice. No matter how long the line and no matter how many people were already waiting in that line, people were willing to wait. We had to walk nearly ten blocks to find the end of the line leading to the courthouse. Just when we thought that we had reached the end of the line, we saw that it was only a small break to make way for traffic. The line would continue on to the other sides of the sidewalk. As I walked to meet the end of the line, I noticed that almost everyone attending brought along some sort of offering. Many carried single stem flowers and small bouquets to leave on the court’s steps while others brought along handmade signs expressing hope and thanks. I opted to write a note expressing all of my own complicated feelings about Ginsburg’s passing. It is one of those kinds of notes that I know would never be read. But just as those bringing flowers knew that their gifts would never be received, I brought and left my note as a way to participate in a national mourning. It was a way to grieve with my fellow women and explore my own feelings. My friend and I waited hours just so that we could see the casket of Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrapped in the American flag. We left our own offerings with the masses of flowers, signs, and messages. The long wait was worth experiencing a tiny moment of history. Had I not traveled and waited so long, I knew that there would be an unsatisfied feeling of regret. But it was not the sight of the casket on the steps of the court nor was it the thousands of people present that was the most historic feeling. What was most impressive was the overwhelming sense of love. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was intensely loved by the nation—that was evident by the crowds of people waiting in line just to see her casket and pay their respects. But the numbers of people there also proved just how much she loved this country. Any regular person with the same health prognosis would have retired from her intense job position years ago. But Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not a regular person. Her love for the welfare of our country outweighed her desire to retire. She put her country first in almost every one of her choices. She was a woman of great responsibility and patriotism. The love she had for the United States and the women who live here was felt all throughout the nation. No matter where one leans politically, one cannot help but see that her adoration for America was felt like a wave all throughout the city that day. She loved America and—from what I saw throughout Washington DC— she was very clearly loved back. SWM Syracuse Woman Magazine

Store Hours:

Mon-Fri 9:30-5:00 Saturday 9:30-3:00 Closed Sunday

We have all your outdoor needs! SPORTING GOODS

625 Burnet Ave, Syracuse • 315-472-7874

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS

Joins Crouse Medical Practice Emily Weston, RN, FNP-S, has joined the pulmonology team at Crouse Medical Practice’s downtown location. She earned an master’s in nursing/family nurse rractitioner from SUNY Polytechnic Institute; a bachelor’s in nursing from SUNY Upstate Medical University; and her associate’s degree from Crouse Hospital’s Pomeroy College of Nursing.

Wassel tabbed for director of social services position

The Centers at St. Camillus has named Mary Wassel as its new director of social services. Wassel has been active in the health care field for more than 25 years with a focus on long term care services. She received her Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in gerontology from SUNY Cortland and was integral to the first upstate New York student symposium on aging in coordination with SUNY Stony Brook. Wassel received her master’s degree in social work with a concentration certificate in gerontology from Syracuse University and has worked in a variety of aging services, from adult day care, home care and assisted living to Hospice, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services in both proprietary and not-forprofit settings. She has served on a number of boards of directors for long term care providers and was a selected panelist for SUNY Cortland alumni to speak on careers in health care. Wassel is a 2014-15 graduate the LeadingAge NY Leadership Academy, where she served as a coach for four years. Wassel’s passion is to provide long term care education and serve the community with a fresh, innovative outlook, as well being part of a supportive interdisciplinary team.

Joins St. Joe’s Women’s Health team

St. Joseph’s Physicians welcomes Melissa Bunce, physician assistant to St. Joseph’s Health Women’s Health Services in Auburn. A board-certified physician assistant, Bunce brings more than 17 years of clinical experience to St. Joseph’s Health Women’s Health Services. Before joining St. Joseph’s Health, Bunce served as a physician November 2020

assistant in primary care, internal medicine and HIV medicine at clinics in Arizona and Texas. Prior to that, Bunce worked in Syracuse as a physician’s assistant in gynecology, performing patient exams such as pap smears, breast exams, assessments as well as developing suitable treatment plans such as hormone therapy. Bunce is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and holds basic life support certification from the American Heart Association. Bunce is also an HIV specialist certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Bunce earned her master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Le Moyne College and her bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University New York Geneseo.

New doctor joins OB-GYN practice

St. Joseph’s Health has welcomed Dr. Monideepa Baruah to its Health Primary Care Center OB-GYN in Syracuse. In her new role, Baruah joins a team of diverse and highly qualified specialists to provide comprehensive women’s care to the community. Dr. Baruah is a board-certified physician with more than a decade’s experience in women’s healthcare. Before joining St. Joseph’s Health, Dr. Baruah served as an OBGYN for Slocum Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford. While there, she focused on testing, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring diseases and issues related to women's health and providing medical counsel and support to women during pregnancy and childbirth. Dr. Baruah earned her bachelor of medicine degree from Gauhati Medical College and Hospital in Guwahati in India and completed her medical training with a four-year residency with Baystate Health Medical Center in Springfield, Mass. Dr. Baruah is a certified physician by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) and a fellow of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FACOG). She assumed her new role in July.

Two promoted at Oswego Health

Oswego Health has announced the recent promotion of Theresa Fitzgibbons to director of clinical quality and patient safety. Theresa has been a licensed registered nurse since 1998 and began her career at Oswego Health in 2007 as a per diem RN in the intensive care unit. In 2008 she Philanthropy Edition


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joined Oswego Health fulltime and has served in various roles over the years including seeing patients at several primary care practices, RN case manager in 2013, RN clinical documentation specialist in 2014, and DSRIP coordinator in 2018. Heather Elen was recently promoted to human resources operation manager. Elen began her career at Oswego Health in 2016 as a senior recruiter and quickly advanced to recruiting and retention manager in 2017, before becoming employment manager in 2019. In this newly created position at Oswego Health, Elen will focus on overall compensation, benefits, recruiting, employment, reporting, and compliance. “Heather has been instrumental in assisting the department with making various improvements across recruiting, employment, and employee relations,” stated Vice President of Human Resources Marq Brown. “In the new role, I’m confident she will help streamline our processes in order to make our department more efficient.” Elen earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from University of Phoenix.

industries. Prior to becoming a business owner, she was the director of special events and conferences at the Institute for Veterans & Military Families at Syracuse University, where she was responsible for vendor procurement. She made history in 2018 when she became the first franchise owner/operator of EventPrep, Inc. in New York state and the northeastern territory. Just The Basics Financial Literacy is her micro-socio business enterprise. Additionally, Brooks-Rolling is an author and certified educator in personal finance; and is the executive producer of the 2021 Financial Empowerment Summit. Brooks-Rolling is MWBE-certified with the city of Syracuse, New York state and the NY/NJ Minority Supplier Development Council. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, having attended on a full fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Brooks-Rolling volunteers on a number of executive and advisory boards and contributes philanthropically to the Syracuse community. The UMEA is a minority chamber of commerce for the 16-county Upstate New York region. To learn more about UMEA visit www.upstatemea.com.

Brooks-Rolling named UMEA executive director

The Upstate Minority Economic Alliance (UMEA) has named Me’Shae Brooks-Rolling as its new executive director. Brooks-Rolling has served as interim executive director for the past year managing the organization’s day to day operations. “On behalf of the board of directors, we are excited to have Me’Shae join UMEA as our executive director,” said Calvin Corriders, president of the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance and regional president, Syracuse market at Pathfinder Bank. “Me’Shae brings a diverse skill set that will prove beneficial to our minority business community. As interim executive director she has helped this organization grow in impact and reach, and connect more minority and women-owned businesses to the resources they need to grow and succeed.” As executive director, Brooks-Rolling will work with minority businesses to help them grow and expand, engage in strategic networking, and identify technical assistance and financial support resources they may need. She will also be responsible for managing stakeholder relationships. Brooks-Rolling is a serial entrepreneur who brings more than 25 years of experience in special events, conferencing and hospitality Syracuse Woman Magazine

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UPCOMING EVENTS Wednesday, Nov. 11 – Sunday, Nov. 22

Sunday, Nov. 22

What: Info:

When: 3 p.m. What: Beethoven left an indelible mark on the future of both symphonic and chamber music: his masterful Concerto for Violin, Violoncello, and Piano seamlessly combines the two, featuring Symphoria’s own Sonya Stith Williams, violin, Heidi Hoffman, cello and Rob Auler, piano. This performance will be livestreamed. Info: For more information and to purchase tickets for this event, visit experiencesymphoria.org.

Talley’s Folley at Syracuse Stage

Kate Hamill (playwright Pride & Prejudice) and Jason O’Connell (Salieri in Amadeus) star in Lanford Wilson's 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning Valentine of a play. Receive virtual access to Syracuse Stage’s 2020-21 season by calling (315) 443-3275. syracusestage.org

Thursday, Nov. 12

Beethoven’s Legacy

Free Open Figure Drawing

Friday, Nov. 27 – Saturday, Dec. 5

Monday, Nov. 16 - Friday, Nov. 20

When: Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m., Friday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. What: For 35 years, the Everson’s annual Festival of Trees has dazzled visitors of all ages. This year, discover the newly reimagined Festival of Trees & Light, celebrating diverse traditions as we embrace light as a symbol of hope, warmth, and welcome. The 2020 Festival blends time-honored traditions, including a selection of beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, and holiday décor, with public performances and a new multi-day online auction. The Festival culminates with a virtual Festival Finale packed with performances, special appearances, prize drawings, and final auction bidding. Enjoy with friends from the comfort of home and share a Sensational Swag Bag of goodies delivered to your door (included with premium ticket). Info: www.everson.org

When: 6 to 8 p.m. What: Enjoy an evening of figure drawing through the study of a model right from your own home. In collaboration with Open Figure Drawing Inc. This event is free and available on Zoom. Participants must preregister. Info: Openfiguredrawing.com

A Welch Jewelers/Syracuse Woman Magazine Annual Holiday Ladies Week to Remember

When: 4 to 8 p.m. Where: 513 South Main Street, Rte. 11 North Syracuse, NY 13212 What: Get together with your friends and make your wish lists at this annual open house. Have fun, snack on hors d'oeuvres, win prizes and register to win a $500 gift card. Must make pre-register to attend. Follows all COVID guidelines. Info: 315-847-3801 for reservations, welchjewelers.com

Festival of Trees & Light

Is chronic, disabling knee pain dominating your life and preventing you from enjoying your day to day activities? Do you feel that you are not receiving the individual care you deserve?

It may benefit you to make an appointment with

Thomas V. Smallman OrthOpedic SurgeOn

5100 West Taft Road, Suite 2R Liverpool,NY Dr. Smallman is solo practitioner with over 30 years experience with CHRONIC KNEE PAIN in Adults and Children. He will provide you with individual attention and implement a treatment plan for your specific condition. Please contact Heather at (315) 457-4400 for an appointment Also visit his website at www.tvsmallman.com November 2020

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Syracuse Woman Magazine

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Profile for Eagle Newspapers

Syracuse Woman Magazine - November 2020  

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