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FALL 2011


Growing Good Community Garden Feeds Needy Families


Depreciation Lands Museum New Director Ready for Hydref Festival

North Hills PCPs with Access to UPMC Passavant


Thank you, Pittsburgh. At UPMC Health Plan, we don’t set out to win awards. We simply focus on doing what’s right for our members. Like providing them with access to world-renowned UPMC doctors and hospitals as well as outstanding community hospitals and physicians. Giving them the tools and programs they need to live a healthy lifestyle. And offering them a personal Health Care Concierge and online chat capabilities to answer all of their questions. So when J.D. Power and Associates ranked us Highest in Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in Pennsylvania, we don’t see it as adding another award to the trophy case. We see it as doing our jobs.To learn more visit

“Highest Member Satisfaction Among Commercial Health Plans in Pennsylvania” UPMC Health Plan received the highest numerical score among commercial health plans in Pennsylvania in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Member Health Insurance Plan StudySM . Study based on 33,039 total member responses, measuring 11 plans in the Pennsylvania-Delaware Region (excludes Medicare and Medicaid). Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of members surveyed December 2010-January 2011. Your experiences may vary. Visit

2 724.942.0940 to advertise |


Contents Hampton | FALL 2011 |

FA L L 2 0 1 1

Health and Wellness News You Can Use

What’s Inside



page 2

© 2011 UPMC

Reversing Dementia at UPMC Passavant

13 page 3

Use Your Head to Stop Strokes

page 4

Healthy Eating for Busy Families Achoo! Don’t Get the Flu

page 5

A Matter of Choice Magee’s Fibroid Treatment Center helps women determine the right solution for themselves

page 6

A New Level of Pinpoint Accuracy That’s Patient Friendly

page 7

Welcoming New Physicians What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant


Publisher’s Message | 4 COMMUNITY INTEREST



Family House Polo Match Returns to Hartwood Acres | 5


Depreciation Lands Museum Welcomes New Director | 6


Community Garden Supplies Produce to Needy | 10


Pink Ribbon Round-Up Rides Through North Park | 12


Hampton Celebrates 150 Years | 22


Moms of Multiples Find Support in Numbers


HHS Robotics Team Champs at Botball


HHS Ranked Among America's Best by Newsweek | 32


Girl Scout Day Camp a Mythical Experience | 36


UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use | 13


UPMC Special Insert


Hampton Kids | 28


Real Estate in Hampton | 34







Bill Few Associates | 9


The Vein Institute | 37


Mazzei & Associates | 41


Volunteers at North Hills Community Outreach's Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden help to grow produce that is distributed through two local food banks.

Hampton | Fall 2011 | 3

FALL 2011 Welcome to the Fall issue of Hampton magazine. As the summer winds down, and the kids get ready to go back to school, I sincerely hope that you and your family had some time to get away from it all and relax. It seems that these days, parents driving the family taxi, and kids with their sports/lessons/parties rarely get a chance to enjoy the slow pace of an ever more elusive “lazy summer.” Ask yourself – when was the last time everyone ate together around a family table? When did everyone gather to play a board game? Does anyone remember board games? If your answer was “That one night that the power went out,” then you might be trapped in the 21st century jail of hyper-life. (I made that term up, but I can do that – I’m the publisher.) I’m not an old guy, unless you ask my kids, but I think that life should be simpler. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, should all try to spend some time with each other as a family more than that one night when the power goes out. Family time is an important part of being a community. And every community should value quality time with their families – it’s how we teach our children values, etiquette, and more importantly, how to participate in a family structure so they can pass on to their kids what you have worked so hard to build. Recently, I saw a commercial where a father shut off the main power to the house so that the family could enjoy dinner together and blamed the outage on a thunderstorm. The Xboxes were dead. The Facebook was closed. The kids came downstairs in disillusionment to ask what happened. While the commercial was pushing some tasty dinner product, the message was more palatable – you have to make family time. I would take that message one step further – you have to make family time a priority. I hope that it’s one of yours. Have a great fall! Wayne Dollard Publisher Hello and welcome to the fall issue of Hampton magazine. As I write this, the late summer temperatures are still scorching outside and I find myself wishing away the days until I feel that first crisp breeze of autumn. I have to admit, fall is my favorite season. I love the cooler temperatures, the blazing colors of fall foliage, the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, and the smell of the season’s first bonfires. Maybe it is because there is a part of me that anticipates new chapters in life each September, much like the start of a new school year – only now I am busy getting my children ready to go back to school. Come October, our family’s weekend schedule will become packed with all of the fun fall activities our region has to offer, from trips to the farm for pumpkin picking to a host of fall festivals and not-so-spooky Halloween events. Each year I find it more challenging to fit everything in that we want to do and see. It’s my favorite time of the year for family outings, because no matter where you go or what you do – the western Pennsylvania foliage assures that getting there will be spectacularly beautiful. We hope that you will utilize this magazine to find all the interesting people and places there are to explore in the community during this season and throughout the year.

IN Hampton is a non-partisan community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Hampton area and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PUBLISHER

Wayne Dollard M A N AG I N G E D I TO R

Marybeth Jeffries R E G I O N A L E D I TO R

Dana Black McGrath O F F I C E M A N AG E R

Leo Vighetti WRITERS

Jonathan Barnes Kelli McElhinny

Pamela Palongue Kathy Rudolph


Cassie Brkich Anna Buzzelli Sharon Cobb Susie Doak

Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda


ginography Rebecca Bailey One Way Street Productions A DV E RT I S I N G S A L E S

Derek Bayer Brian Daley Gina D’Alicandro Tina Dollard Rose Estes John Gartley Jason Huffman Lori Jeffries Rita Lengvarsky Connie McDaniel Brian McKee

David Mitchell Tamara Myers Gabriel Negri Robert Ojeda Annette Petrone Vincent Sabatini Michael Silvert RJ Vighetti Nikki CapezioWatson

This magazine is carrier route mailed to all district households and businesses. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Copyright 2011. CORRESPONDENCE All inquiries, comments and press releases should be directed to: IN Community Magazines Attn: Editorial 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 Ph: 724.942.0940 Fax: 724.942.0968

Winter content deadline: October 10

Happy Fall, Dana

4 724.942.0940 to advertise |


Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.

   

 Family House

a Family Event

t has become a late summer tradition that many look forward to year after year. The Family House Polo Event—which serves as the primary fundraiser for Family House, an organization that provides affordable, well-furnished accommodations for those undergoing medical treatment at area hospitals and their families— will come to Hartwood Acres once again on Saturday, Sept. 10. This year, there is an even greater focus on children’s activities at the popular event. “The activities for children have improved yearly thanks to the efforts and input of volunteers at Family House and parents that sit on the committee,” says Dr. Peter Shaw, who has been volunteering with the organization for more than five years. For the past few years he has served as chair of the children’s tent area, overseeing many of the activities including the crowd-pleasing “finger cast” activity and the photo booth. The father of three children, Shaw says he became active in Family House Polo because he wanted to get involved in the community by helping a worthwhile nonprofit organization. Working in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, he was aware of Family House because some of his patients and their families utilized it for lodging while in Pittsburgh for medical care. After touring there, he immediately wanted to get involved. “It truly is a unique place which provides an invaluable service to people who travel to Pittsburgh for medical care with warmth.” Family House’s four locations welcome more than 10,000 guests each year who travel from every state in the nation and from locations around the world.

“I became involved with helping to organize the children’s activities early on because I wanted children, including my own, to enjoy the polo match as much as their parents,” says Shaw. “We have wanted to attract a younger crowd over the last few years, and if children are occupied and having fun, their parents can enjoy the day as well.” The day will include a Boutique Village, vintage car display, and the children’s activities, in addition to the main event – a match between the Virginia Polo Club and Potomac Polo Club. The teams will demonstrate polo shots for spectators before the match and, during halftime, the crowd will be invited onto the field to stomp the divots. This is the 28th year for the match that started in 1983 and has grown to draw more than 2,000 spectators. Over the past 27 years, the event has raised more than $3 million dollars to support Family House, which has grown from the original location in Oakland to include three others – Family House Neville, Family House Shadyside, and Family House University Place. It is the largest hospital hospitality house network in the nation. For more information about the event, visit the website at

Hampton | Fall 2011 | 5

  

The Depreciation Lands Museum New Director Gears Up for

Hydref Fall Festival T he Depreciation Lands Museum has welcomed a new director and is looking forward to its annual Hydref Fall Festival. Robbie Seibert was appointed to the director’s post, replacing Sue Addis Stany who left in May. Seibert had been volunteering at the museum for about a year, and when Stany announced her departure, Seibert asked the board to consider her for the position. “I just love being up here,” says Seibert. “It has been a lot of fun.” 6 724.942.0940 to advertise |


Seibert grew up in the South Hills and lived in Shaler for 17 years before moving to West Deer, just a few miles from the museum. Previously she had worked for the Shaler North Hills Library for nearly 20 years before her retirement. Bringing that experience to her newest position, she hopes to get some new programs started at the museum. For instance, she says she would like to get some story hours going for preschool age chil-

dren that incorporate a historical background. She also is planning to start programs for older youths, 12-15 years, in an effort to gain their interest and keep them on as volunteers as they get older. Another new program, Cooking in the Cabin, will offer the opportunity to cook lunch and learn an enduring craft or skill. These are just some examples of the new programming Seibert is planning to initiate at the museum – programs that she intends to utilize to help support the organization. “Depreciation Lands Museum now is self-supporting, so we need programming to generate revenue to help meet our operating expenses,” she explains. “With aiming for education, we hope people will find the programs to be valuable and will come and see what we have to offer.” One of the most popular offerings at the museum is the annual Hydref Fall Festival, set for Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Continued on next page

Hampton | Fall 2011 | 7

Continued from page 7

The event mirrors what early settlers would have gathered in the fall to do as a community so the workload was spread out, Seibert explains. There are many vendors who participate and event organizers try to encourage those with 18th century items. Volunteers staff each building on the property, performing tasks that would have been done during that time period. Activities include post-Colonial reenactors ; demonstrations by a blacksmith, beekeeper, potter, and weavers; music, food and children’s activities. The Mercantile Store and crafters will be offering items for sale. One of the festival’s featured events is the pumpkin growing contest. (See below) Still, even with all of these efforts, there are many area residents who are unaware of all that the Depreciation Lands Museum has to offer. Many visitors admit to not being aware of the museum’s existence, Seibert says. Located just off Route 8 at 4743 Pioneer Rd. in Allison Park, the living history museum is open Sundays, May through October, from 1 to 4 p.m. Costumed demonstrators throughout the village bring history to life. The museum also opens at other times for special events and by appointment. “It’s hard to get the word out to let people know w e’re here and what we have to offer,” says Seibert. And, as the facility expands its programming and volunteer staff, “we want to be able to meet the demands of the people who call or contact us,” she says. In addition to the Hydref festival, upcoming events at the museum include a Talley Cavey Tavern Night on Sept. 17, and lantern tours on Oct. 22 and 29. Sunday, Oct. 30, is the last Sunday of the reg ular season, but special events will be offered through the winter months. For more information about the museum and its programs, visit the website at


ll summer long, visitors to the Depreciation Lands Museum have been encouraged to plant pumpkin seeds in anticipation of the museum’s Great Pumpkin Contest, which will be conducted during the Hydref Fall Festival. Families who visited were given pumpkin seeds in a cup to take home and start growing. The Great Pumpkin and The Small Pumpkin contests give many opportunities for awards. While the Great Pumpkin title is bestowed upon the heaviest entry, the Small Pumpkin contest offers several categories of competition including the ugliest, funniest, most orange, perfect, lopsided, freckled and more. Those planning to enter the Small Pumpkin contest should bring their pumpkins on the morning of the festival. They will be displayed during the festival and owners may take them back home afterward. Growers hoping to capture the Great Pumpkin title should be aware that the pumpkins will be weighed the morning of the festival, then donated to the museum for the contest. Tickets will be sold for chances to guess the weight of the pumpkins, and those guessing closest will win the pumpkin. Proceeds will benefit the museum. Those planning to enter should contact Phyllis Jones at 724.443.7413 or during the last week of September to make arrangements. Last year’s winning Great Pumpkin, which was grown locally, weighed in at a whopping 102 pounds! 8 724.942.0940 to advertise |


Keep Your Appointment

with your Financial Advisor e all know the importance of a physical checkup with our doctor to assess our health, but a financial checkup with a professional financial advisor is just as important. Too often, many people postpone considering their financial health until retirement or until a major event impacts their life. Now is the time to set and keep an appointment with your financial advisor in order to tell if you are on track to financial wellness. When you meet annually with your financial advisor, you are likely to review your goals and any anticipated changes that may require adjustments to your budget and investment strategy. Consider major changes that could alter your income and lifestyle such as job changes, a new baby, college tuition, a new house or relocation, even an inheritance. Allocating just a few hours annually with your financial advisor will help you prepare in advance for new financial obligations and will make the transitions much smoother.


Now is the time to set and keep an appointment with your financial advisor in order to tell if you are on track to financial wellness. Face it—people are living longer but are not necessarily able to work longer. A long-term plan will help you to avoid financial pitfalls during your life and will set your course toward financial independence. Consider the following questions before a financial checkup? ✓ Do you have specific financial goals? ✓ Is your debt under control?

✓ When was the last time you reviewed the performance of your investments? ✓Are you investing with an appropriate risk level? ✓Are your investments generating a satisfactory rate of return? ✓ Have you started saving for retirement? Financial planning is a process. What you focus on often gets better with time. When you visit your financial planner on an ongoing basis, you are likely to review your cash-flow, pre and post retirement, which may drive asset allocation decisions. In addition, you will assess your tolerance to risk of loss, and gain a new perspective toward preventing emotional decisions. A professional financial planner will also discuss insurance, tax and estate planning concerns. Very few of us have the expertise to put together a comprehensive and balanced financial plan that will build our wealth and achieves financial freedom. There is a better way to navigate! Speak face-to-face with your advisor at least annually. The professional and expert advice you receive now will help ensure your financial wellness and will alleviate future concerns. Wow! Wouldn’t it be nice to not think about retirement but for a few hours a year? So start today—make and keep and appointment with your financial advisor. This Industry Insight was written by Ward L. Garner, CFP®. Bill Few Associates, Inc. 107 Mt. Nebo Pointe, Suite 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412.630.6000

Hampton | Fall 2011 | 9

        garden developed through North Hills Community Outreach,

he Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden, an organic community

will help to bring fresh produce to area families in need. Two food banks supported by NHCO – the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, located in Hampton/Allison Park, that serves residents from Hampton, McCandless, Ross, lower Richland, and upper Shaler; and the North Boroughs Food Pantry, located in Bellevue, which serves serves Bellevue, Ben Avon and Avalon – will distribute produce harvested from the garden to their clients along with dry goods and canned goods. Those who meet income and residency requirements are eligible to utilize the food pantry services once a month for one year. During the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the pantries served 1,248 families. While the pantries do sometimes receive fresh products for distribution, what is donated isn’t always the freshest, explains Rosie Wise, garden coordinator. Items from the community garden will be harvested fresh and taken directly to clients. The land that houses the garden was donated to NHCO by Teresa Amelio back in 2008. She asked that the land be utilized for a garden to provide the needy with fresh produce. This year, the project finally was able to get rolling thanks to a grant from Allegheny Grows, with support from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Grow Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Economic Development. Additional funding was received from the Comcast Foundation and the Grable Foundation. “It really pushed us ahead to have our first planting season this year,” says Wise. Funding from the Grable Foundation enabled NHCO to hire three youth leadership coordinators to work on the garden. They help with any and all garden chores, including weeding, watering, and coordinating volunteer efforts. The garden, which is located on Davis Avenue in Bellevue, has provided an outlet for those looking for volunteer opportunities, Wise says. Volunteer workPhotos by Gary Yon 10 724.942.0940 to advertise |



days are scheduled at the garden, and volunteers have ranged in age anywhere from four to 80 years old. “The garden is a good opportunity for volunteering,” Wise explains. “We often get requests from younger students to volunteer, and this is a good fit.” The experience, she says, is a very hands-on, learn-as-you-go task, with “no green thumb required.” Amelio’s family, who previously owned the land, lived in a house across the street from the property. Because the plot where the garden is now located was never developed, NHCO was able to actually plant in the ground. Several cleanup days were held in March in preparation for the planting, and volunteer Wade Cupcheck cleared the land for his Eagle Scout project. Planting started in late winter/early spring. A volunteer workday was held in April to build two raised beds, one at 2 feet high and one at 4 feet high, to allow those who may have some physical impairment that prevents them from bending to participate in the effort. Grow Pittsburgh helped with plowing in April. Then volunteers utilized the lay of the land, following the property’s contours, in the garden design. Plantings include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, parsley, basil, onions, pumpkins and chard. The food pantries surveyed their clients to see what types of produce they would like to receive. That input was taken into consideration when deciding what types of vegetables to grow in the garden. And some plants, like the chard and parsley, were donated. Chard, planted in April, already has been distributed and is so plentiful that volunteers are working on finding recipes to pass along to food bank clients so they can learn how to prepare it. Tomatoes and peppers were expected to be ready by midsummer. Nearly 75 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the garden, which was held in June.

Hampton | Fall 2011 | 11

rganizers of the Pink Ribbon Round-Up, a two-day charity event for breast cancer research that includes a Westernthemed gala followed by a horseback ride, are hoping to lasso even more supporters this year. This is the sixth year for the event, according to Linda Murphy,  its vice president of public relations. Her friend and event president and founder, Patricia Hodder, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and underwent treatment. Around that time, she and a group of friends started to talk about how they enjoyed riding horses and joked about creating an event involving equestrian pursuits. They thought about doing something to raise funds and awareness. “The whole focus was on the equestrian community in western Pennsylvania,” Murphy explains. What emerged from that brainstorming session was a horseback ride at North Park. But, as organizers were planning the ride, they found that there were many people interested in supporting the effort who didn’t ride. To include those supporters, a Western-themed gala was planned. Now the Pink Ribbon Round-Up is a two-day event that starts with an evening gala, followed by the ride the next morning. This year’s gala is set for Friday, Sept. 30, with the ride following on Saturday, Oct. 1. Each year since its inception, the event has grown steadily in size. What started out with a group of about 20 has grown to an estimated 250-300 at the gala and 30 riders. The gala, which previously had been held at Lexus of North Hills, has grown too large for the dealership, so this year the venue will shift to The Chadwick in Wexford which can accommodate a larger crowd. “People wear boots,


12 724.942.0940 to advertise |


jeans, cowboy hats…it is a really fun casual event,” says Murphy. Honorary chair this year is Mary Robb Jackson of KDKA-TV, a cancer survivor herself. Master of ceremonies is Stoney Richards of Y-108. The ride starts at the North Park Show Ring and is about a three-hour ride through the park, with treats for both riders and horses along the path. It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a picnic buffet. “It’s a really good, fun event,” says Murphy. She says organizers expect the same, if not greater, numbers each year thanks to a loyal group of riders who participate in the event. Each year, attendance at the gala grows as well. “Cancer is a disease that needs to become continuously focused on by the scientific community,” Murphy says. So far the Pink Ribbon Round-Up has raised $170,000 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Pittsburgh affiliate, which ranks as the largest independent fundraiser, according to Murphy. The event goal is to raise $200,000 by 2012. “We are very proud of it,” says Murphy. “Everyone works hard to make it grow. Our focus is to continue to make money for cancer research.” For more information, registration or tickets, visit the website at or call 412.638.9963.

FA L L 2 0 1 1

Health and Wellness News You Can Use

What’s Inside

© 2011 UPMC

page 2

Reversing Dementia at UPMC Passavant

page 3

Use Your Head to Stop Strokes

page 4

Healthy Eating for Busy Families Achoo! Don’t Get the Flu

page 5

A Matter of Choice Magee’s Fibroid Treatment Center helps women determine the right solution for themselves

page 6

A New Level of Pinpoint Accuracy That’s Patient Friendly

page 7

Welcoming New Physicians What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant

Reversing Dementia at UPMC Passavant Normal pressure hydrocephalus is the most treatable form of dementia, using a minimally invasive brain procedure offered by UPMC Passavant’s Cranial Neurosurgery Program Janet Wilson’s world fell apart when the 52-year-old substitute teacher from Cranberry suddenly started experiencing memory loss and tremors in May 2010. CT scans ruled out some problems (such as a brain tumor), so she underwent a battery of tests to determine if she had a rare form of dementia known as normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). The brain’s many tasks include making a clear fluid that protects, cushions, and nourishes itself and the spinal cord. Hydrocephalus occurs when that fluid doesn’t drain properly and puts pressure on the brain.

“We use programmable shunt valves that allow us to use magnets on the skin’s surface to adjust the drainage flow based on pressure,” says Dr. Mintz. “Only my hairdresser knows for sure,” laughs Janet. “The shunt just feels like a little bump on my head.” She also sees Dr. Mintz twice annually for check-ups.

Important warning signs

Seeking help for NPH

“In older adults, the form of hydrocephalus called normal pressure hydrocephalus can cause symptoms of dementia. It’s often misdiagnosed because it mimics those of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease,” explains Arlan Mintz, MD, FACS, FRCS, director of the Cranial Neurosurgery Program at UPMC Passavant.

If you suspect that you or a family member may have NPH, consult with your family doctor, then a neurologist, to start the diagnosis process. The best results are seen with patients with early stages of NPH.

Symptoms of NPH may include: • Memory loss, difficulty in thinking clearly and problem solving • Problems walking • Inability to control bladder

Diagnosing NPH Up to five percent of all dementia patients have NPH, and there is no known cause. The good news is that it often can be treated with a minimally invasive procedure. Janet underwent a battery of memory and gait tests — plus a procedure known as a lumbar drain trial — to confirm her diagnosis of NPH. “During the lumbar drain trial, patients are hospitalized for three days while a catheter in the lower back drains built-up fluids,” says Dr. Mintz. “Patients who show progress are good candidates for having a shunt implanted.” A shunt is a flexible tube that allows the built-up fluid in the brain to drain. Janet started seeing results within 24 hours, noting, “I began feeling like myself again.”


In July 2010, a permanent shunt was inserted in Janet’s brain, connected by a tube to her abdomen, where the clear fluid drains and is absorbed by her body. Two days later, she returned home.

Located in Passavant’s state-of-the-art pavilion, the new Cranial Neurosurgery Program offers comprehensive care to patients with brain-related illnesses and diseases. “Residents of Pittsburgh’s northern communities no longer need to travel far to have access to expert surgeons and a full range of diagnostic and surgical tools,” says Dr. Mintz. For more information, visit

Did You Know? • One in 200 adults over age 55 has NPH. • More than seven million Americans have some form of dementia. • Fourteen percent of assisted living/nursing care residents have NPH.

Use Your Head to Stop Strokes Be smart about your heart — and stroke treatment — to protect your brain The myths about stroke are numerous. Among the most popular — and perhaps one of the most dangerous — is that stroke is something that happens only to older adults. In fact, a recent report by the American Stroke Association showed a sharp rise in stroke hospitalizations among men and women ages 15 to 44, while rates declined by 25 percent among older adults. “The biggest mistake people make is thinking it won’t happen to them,” says Tudor Jovin, MD, director of the UPMC Stroke Institute. “Strokes can happen to anyone, at any age,” he says.

“You’re at risk any time your blood pressure or cholesterol are up. It’s far better to prevent a stroke than to deal with the consequences.” — Lawrence Wechsler, MD

Lowering your risk is the best way to avoid the life-changing impact a stroke can have on you and your family. When a stroke does occur, fast action is critical to minimize damage. The window of opportunity for the most successful stroke treatment is just three hours after onset.

Prevention: What you can do “Heart disease increases your chances of having a stroke, so it’s important to control the risk factors,” says Lawrence Wechsler, MD, chair of the Department of Neurology at UPMC. While you can’t do anything about your age, family history, or ethnicity (African-Americans have a higher incidence of stroke), you can control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking. “You’re at risk any time your blood pressure or cholesterol are up. It’s far better to prevent a stroke than to deal with the consequences,” Dr. Wechsler says.

Treatment: Time lost is brain lost Every minute after the start of a stroke means greater risk of permanent damage or death. One of the best treatments for ischemic strokes — where a clot blocks blood flow to the brain — is the quick administration of the clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA). While UPMC doctors have had success beyond three hours with a special procedure to retrieve the blockage or dissolve it with drugs administered directly into the clot, time is critical. For patients experiencing a hemorrhagic stroke caused by bleeding in the brain, fast action is needed to repair the leaking blood vessel.

Call 911 If you suspect someone has suffered a stroke, call for emergency medical help immediately so treatment can begin without delay. Specialized stroke centers — such as UPMC’s Stroke Institute at UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, UPMC St. Margaret, and UPMC Mercy — have experts available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to diagnose and treat patients. The UPMC Stroke Telemedicine Program also uses technology to provide fast treatment to patients at other UPMC hospitals throughout western Pennsylvania.

Think FAST Use this simple acronym to help determine whether you’re witnessing a stroke:


Can the person smile (or does one side of the face droop)?


Can the person raise both arms (or does one side drift downward)?

Speech: Can the person speak clearly or repeat a simple phrase?


Call 911 immediately if someone exhibits any of these warning signs!

Act FAST Strokes require immediate medical attention, so knowing the warning signs is crucial, says William Kristan, MD, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UPMC Passavant. Stroke symptoms can include sudden onset of: • Paralysis or weakness in the face or limbs, especially on one side of the body • Problems with balance or walking • Vision problems • Slurred speech • Confusion • Problems speaking or understanding • Severe headache To learn more about stroke prevention and treatment, visit



Health Tips from UPMC Health Plan

Healthy Eating for Busy Families America is getting fatter and Pennsylvania is helping to lead the way as one of the nation’s top 20 “most obese” states. Our busy lifestyles encourage unhealthy eating habits, like eating on the run and high-fat/high-sugar snacking. But with a little effort, you can gradually transform your family’s diet from “fat” to “fit”!


Don’t Get the Flu

Start your day off right Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Kids who eat breakfast — especially those packed with “brain food” like protein, vitamin C, and omega 3 — are more alert and focused in school; adults have more energy and concentrate better.

Unpredictable. That’s the best way to describe flu season, which officially begins in late October and winds down in May. Winter is prime flu season, but it can peak as early as October or as late as April.

• Is cereal your family’s breakfast of choice? Look for low-sugar, high-fiber options and top with fresh fruit and low-fat milk (1% or fat-free). • Get your creative juices flowing with easy-to-make fruit and yogurt smoothies. • Crunched for time? Grab a hard-boiled egg and toast, or top an apple or banana with peanut butter for a tasty “breakfast to go.”

It’s impossible to know what the 2011-12 flu season has in store for us. What we do know is that the flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe reactions, and it can even be fatal. Every year, more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized with the flu. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated every year.

Think smart when it comes to fast-food lunches No time to pack your own lunch? Use these healthy strategies when dining out: • Say no to fried, sautéed, or creamy foods. Opt for roasted, grilled, broiled, steamed, or baked meals. • Beware of add-ons (like mayo, butter, and salad dressing) that quickly increase calorie counts. • Replace sodas with water or fat-free or 1% milk. Even diet sodas can be bad for you! • Go online for the nutrition information on your favorite meal. Don’t just focus on calories: look at factors like fat and sodium content.

Make dinner a family affair Eating together as a family offers countless benefits — including serving more balanced, nutritious meals and the chance for parents to serve as “healthy eating” role models. • Talk to your children about portion control, with fruits and vegetables comprising half of every plate. • Reduce the amount of meat your family eats by gradually introducing healthy alternatives into your meals, like fish, whole grains, and beans. • Look for seasonal produce that is grown locally. In the fall, that means vegetables like pumpkins and squash, and fruits like apples and pears. Interested in learning more about nutritious eating? Check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new guidelines at


Who is at risk? Even healthy children and adults can become very sick from the flu and spread it to family and friends. You can pass on the flu before even knowing you are sick!

Who should get the flu vaccine? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over the age of six months gets vaccinated. Those at higher risk for serious complications include: • People age 65 and older • Children younger than five, but especially children younger than two • People with health conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, as well as kidney, liver, and neurological disorders • Pregnant women Others who should get a flu shot: • Health care workers • Residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, as well as family and friends who have contact with a resident • Caregivers of young children, especially infants under six months who are at the highest risk of flu-related complications

What is the best time to get vaccinated? The sooner you get a flu shot, the sooner you’ll be protected. However, experts agree: it’s never too late. If you have questions about getting a flu shot, talk to your doctor. To locate a physician in your area, visit or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Matter of Choice Magee’s Fibroid Treatment Center helps women determine the right solution for them In the past, the leading treatment for UFTs has been a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). “It’s still the only way to totally prevent fibroids from recurring,” says Philip Orons, DO, chief of interventional radiology at Magee. “But women who are planning to have Before embolization children or who are some years away from menopause may want to consider other options.”

Robin Eberle of Butler, Pa., never had a problem with her periods. But when this mother of five hit her mid-40s, her periods became heavier and lasted longer. “There were times I couldn’t even leave the house,” she recalls.


Her gynecologist, Charles Perryman, MD, of UPMC Passavant, prescribed an ultrasound, then an MRI. Based on those results, he diagnosed Robin with uterine fibroid tumors (UFTs) and referred her to the Fibroid Treatment Center at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. As many as three out of every four women have UFTs, but the majority never even know it. For women like Robin, though, these non-cancerous growths in the wall of the uterus can literally take over their lives.

After embolization

The Fibroid Treatment Center Established in 2008, the Fibroid Treatment Center offers the region’s most comprehensive approach to UFTs. “We bring together gynecologists and interventional radiologists with extensive expertise in treating fibroids,” says Richard Guido, MD, the center’s founder and director. “Our focus is educating women on their full options so they can choose the best treatment plan for themselves.” The center also offers women much-valued convenience. “During a one-day visit, you can have necessary diagnostic tests done, the results of these tests evaluated, and then meet with our physicians for a counseling session to determine your best plan of action,” says Dr. Guido.

For Robin, her treatment of choice was a uterine fibroid embolization, a minimally invasive procedure requiring little downtime. Using a thin catheter, about the size of a spaghetti strand, Dr. Orons injected small particles into the blood vessels that “feed” the fibroids to stop the flow of blood to them. “The procedure literally changed my life,” says Robin. The center offers a full range of other options, including pain medication, hormonal therapy, and surgery. It also has a research component that includes trial procedures unavailable elsewhere.

To learn more Women are encouraged to first have a conversation with their doctor if they think they may have UFTs. If you’re looking for a physician in your area, visit or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). You can also visit the Fibroid Treatment Center’s webpage at The center also will host a Community Health Talk at Magee on Thursday, Sept. 29. For details, call 412-641-4435.

Do You Have UFTs? Dr. Perryman says that uterine fibroid tumors can be as small as a pin or as large as a grapefruit. “It’s not clear why fibroids occur, although family history seems to play a role,” he explains. “They’re also seen more frequently among African-American women.”

“Symptoms usually appear in the late 30s and 40s, and they often can be controlled through birth control pills or other medication,” says Dr. Perryman. “But others require more aggressive treatment, such as surgery or uterine fibroid embolization.” For most women, the symptoms of fibroids significantly diminish during menopause.

He advises that women be alert to these early symptoms: • Heavy bleeding • A sense of pelvic pressure • Pain during intercourse

It’s important to know that other conditions can cause symptoms similar to those of UFTs. That’s why it’s vital to have regular checkups, and keep an open line of communication with your gynecologist or family doctor. For more information, visit



A New Level of Pinpoint Accuracy That’s Patient Friendly TrueBeam allows UPMC cancer specialists to enhance treatment and patient comfort TM

Martha Makin of Somerset, Pa., says she’s “done it all” since being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. Not a candidate for surgery, the 69-year-old grandmother first received chemotherapy, followed by multiple radiation treatments that required her to remain still on a hard surface for long periods. But her most recent radiation treatment in April used a new form of technology that left her impressed and enthusiastic. “I was amazed at how fast and comfortable it was,” she says. “It’s definitely my choice for future treatments!”

Determining the right treatment “We see many cancer patients who are not good candidates for conventional surgery, particularly among the elderly,” explains Neil Christie, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon with UPMC. “Additional medical complications or hard-to-reach tumors just make surgery too risky.” Radiation therapy is often used in such instances to shrink or eliminate tumors. For Martha, her age and type of tumor made her a good candidate for the Novalis® powered by TrueBeam STx system, selected by UPMC cancer specialists for the precision, speed, and comfort it offers patients. TM

“TrueBeam is one of the most advanced radiation technology available,” says Dwight E. Heron, MD, FACRO, professor of radiation oncology and otolaryngology, and vice chairman for clinical affairs, Department of Radiation Oncology at UPMC Cancer Centers. “It’s letting us treat challenging cancers of the brain, lungs, spine, neck, and prostate with much greater precision.”

Another UPMC first When UPMC introduced TrueBeam STx to Pittsburgh last November, it became one of the first 20 medical centers worldwide to do so. But like all technologies, TrueBeam is just a tool. Its real potential is realized through the talents of those who use it. “In the late 1980s, UPMC was the first center in the United States to use Gamma Knife® technology for radiosurgery of the brain. Since then, we’ve advanced our knowledge through research and the innovative use of technology,” notes Dr. Heron. “Our multidisciplinary team approach gives patients a highly individualized plan of treatment based on their specific needs. TrueBeam now extends the kind of care we can offer them.”


How it works Some cancerous tumors are located in a hard-to-reach part of the body, while others “float” in an organ, or shift position when a person breathes or coughs. Just like a sharpshooter often struggles to hit a moving target, such cancers make it hard to directly aim radiation at a tumor. “But TrueBeam’s built-in imager produces sharp, ‘real-time’ 3D images that fine-tune a patient’s position during treatment, even while breathing,” explains Dr. Heron. “It’s able to track a tumor’s exact location within a millimeter.” UPMC specialists are combining TrueBeam technology with RapidArc®, another radiotherapy technique that delivers a powerful, faster, more uniform dose of radiation. Radiosurgery and other radiation treatments can now be accomplished two to eight times faster, with fewer side effects reported by patients. “These and other minimally invasive treatments are really redefining how we treat cancer,” notes Dr. Christie. “We’re no longer limited by conventional procedures.”

To learn more The TrueBeam system is housed at the Mary Hillman Jennings Radiation Oncology Center at UPMC Shadyside. UPMC provides access to a number of physicians that can refer interested patients to the center. For a list, visit or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Welcoming New Physicians To schedule an appointment, or for more information about any of our physicians, visit or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Emily S. Burns, MD Internal Medicine

Jennifer M. Holder-Murray, MD Colorectal Surgery

Sameer J. Khandhar, MD Cardiology

William E. Saar, DO Orthopaedics

Jamie M. Cannon, MD Gynecology

Justin S. Hong, MD Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Forozan Navid, MD Thoracic Surgery

Jo-Anne M. Salangsang, MD Infectious Disease

James J. Garver, MD, PhD Gynecology

Henry N. Huie, MD Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Michael R. Pagnotto, MD Orthopaedics

Maddie Sharma, MD Radiation Oncology

Ravindra S. Godse, MD Internal Medicine

Praveen Jajoria, MD, MPH Rheumatology

Amrish D. Patel, MD Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Jonathan P. Shepherd, MD Gynecology

Shailen F. Greene, MD Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Geetha Jeyabalan, MD Cardiovascular Surgery

James F. Pingpank Jr., MD General Surgery

Frank N. Grisafi, MD Orthopaedics

Sandeep Kathju, MD, PhD Plastic Surgery

Michael T. Ryan, DPM Podiatric Surgery

What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant These free events are offered by the Passavant Hospital Foundation Atrial Fibrillation Tuesday, Sept. 20 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. CCAC North Campus Speaker: Sandeep Jain, MD Symptoms, causes, risks, and potential treatment options, such as advanced medical therapy, pacemaker insertion, and surgical strategies will be discussed. Please call 412-369-3701 to register.

Common Foot and Ankle Problems: Diagnosis and Treatment Tuesday, Oct. 18 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. CCAC North Campus Speaker: William E. Saar, DO Learn about the causes of foot and ankle pain, foot and ankle arthritis, and available treatment options. Please call 412-369-3701 to register.

Pain in the Elderly Wednesday, Sept. 21 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speaker: Frank Kunkel, MD Learn how pain in the elderly can be diagnosed and what treatments are most effective without adverse side effects. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.

Shoulder Pain as You Age Wednesday, Oct. 19 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speaker: Joshua Szabo, MD Learn about the causes of shoulder pain and new treatment options. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.

Diabetes Symposium Thursday, Sept. 29 Doors open at 8:45 a.m. Conference Center Legacy Theatre, Cumberland Woods Village Free screenings, vendor displays, informational tables, and presentations throughout the day. For more information please call 412-367-6640.

Weight Loss and Weight Management Tuesday, Nov. 1 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. CCAC North Campus Speaker: Registered dietitian, UPMC Passavant Your body is absolutely unique. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to know about a variety of factors that will improve your health, allowing you to lose weight and maintain the weight loss. Please call 412-369-3701 to register.

Healthy Living with Diabetes Tuesday, Nov. 15 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. CCAC North Campus Speakers: Patrick McCarthy, RN; LuAnn Berry, RD, CDE Please call 412-367-3701 for more information. Wednesday, Nov. 16 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speaker: Patrick McCarthy, RN November is National Diabetes month. Learn what diabetes is, what medicines are available for treatments, and current recommendations for staying healthy with diabetes. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.

Legacy Music Series: Holiday Performance Friday, Dec. 2 7:30 p.m. Conference Center Legacy Theatre, Cumberland Woods Village The Passavant Hospital Foundation staff invites you to enjoy a special musical program called Sounds of the Season. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.

Bridge to Hope Family Support Group Every Wednesday 7 p.m. Conference Center Conference Room #1, Cumberland Woods Village Drug and alcohol addiction and its accompanying tragedies have touched countless Americans from all walks of life and from all backgrounds. The Bridge to Hope provides education and support to affected families. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information. Legacy Music Series UPMC Passavant McCandless Passavant Hospital Foundation is seeking talented musicians who want to help lift people’s spirits and volunteer their time to give the gift of music. Applications are now being accepted for upcoming dates. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.

For more information about classes at UPMC Passavant and affiliated outpatient centers, call UPMC Physician Referral at 1-800-533-UPMC (8762).



UPMC Passavant 9100 Babcock Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15237

UPMC Today is published quarterly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events available at UPMC. This publication is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice or replace a physician’s medical assessment. Always consult first with your physician about anything related to your personal health.

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From horseback riding to whitewater rafting, Megan was always up for an adventure. But an unfortunate ATV accident left her with a broken back and neck, and unable to move her legs. After recovering from 17 hours of surgery, Megan elected to go to the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute for inpatient rehabilitation. It was a daily struggle, but working with world-class doctors, therapists, and state-of-the-art equipment, she worked to sit up, stand, and walk again. She’s come so far, in fact, she’s not only riding her horse again, but she is soon jumping into life’s ultimate adventure. This October, Megan will be, quite literally, walking down the aisle to be married.

To learn more about the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute’s seven locations, including UPMC Passavant, call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762) or visit Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC is ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.


Hampton Township Celebrates



With A Two-Day Celebration


years ago, Honorable Moses Hampton, a judge and member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, signed the required documents to establish Hampton Township in 1861. A two-day celebration to commemorate the 150th anniversary was recently held at The Hampton Community Center. There was something for every resident at the celebration. Family activities such as free swimming, inflatable bouncers, hay rides and a petting zoo were offered. History buffs were treated to 18th Century artillery live fire demonstrations, music and objects courtesy of The Wildwood Longrifles Group and The Depreciation Lands Museum. Community and food

22 724.942.0940 to advertise |


booths gave residents a chance to purchase food, t-shirts and gifts to benefit Hampton Township school groups and organizations. Live music by The Macquires, Swingtet 8 and The Clarks provided a “music festival” atmosphere where neighbors and friends listened and lounged on the lawn to the different styles of music. Finally, a jet flyover, Marine Corps Honor Guard and fireworks by Pyrotecnico provided the community with a poignant and patriotic ending to a special celebration. To learn more about Hampton Township’s history or upcoming events, please visit the website at

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Hampton | Fall 2011 | 25




he chances of giving birth to twins are about one in 80; the chances of triplets are one in 6,400. Sharon Arcuri of Hampton Township, a mother of four, is one of those multiple moms. Twenty three months after the birth of her first child, she delivered a set of twins, and nearly five years later delivered another child. After delivering her twin boys, she joined the North Pittsburgh Mothers of Multiples Club, where other moms in her situation have offered help and support for the challenges and situations that are unique to raising multiples. “It has been immensely helpful,” Arcuri says. “I have received a wealth of information from other women there.” Experiences shared include everything from the basics like potty training and feeding, to socialization issues for older children. Another club member, Connie Vitale, was the one in 6,400 who gave birth to triplets. Three and a half years ago she welcomed daughters Sarah, Jenna and Mia. Because of the unique situation presented to mothers of multiples, having a support network is extremely important, because planning for multiple children doesn’t mean you take the planning for one child and double or triple it. There are specific challenges that present themselves to mothers of multiples, where having the guidance of someone who’s been there before helps. North Pittsburgh Mothers of Multiples offers that guidance, and, while Vitale didn’t find them until after she delivered, the group can

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start helping mothers as soon as they know that they will be having more than one child. “It’s for anybody who is expecting or a mother of multiple birth children – twins, triplets – they’re all welcome in the club. The main focus with the group is to provide support and resources to the members who have specific needs that are different than mothers of a single child,” said Vitale, who also serves as the group’s spokesperson. “There are differences. Normally you would assume you’d need two or three of everything. I had triplets and that wasn’t necessarily the case. The group gave advice. They said you could do with one of these or triple of these or more. There are also complications with the pregnancy that some of the members have experienced, so there’s a lot of emotional support.” Being pregnant with multiples doesn’t always mean multiple upsides. While there are more children involved, the risk factors to the expectant mother increase as well. Multiple birth children often are premature, have a lower birthrate and chance of survival, and increase delivery complications for the mother. Mothers often are in need of bed rest prior to delivery. Mothers of Multiples steps in with that emotional support. The meetings are from 7 to 9 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at the North Hills Community Baptist Church. Annual dues are just $40, and the group holds fellowship events and fundraisers throughout the year.

Mothers of Multiples members learn self-defense techniques during a recent meeting.

“We have monthly newsletters that go out to the club and a club library that moms can borrow books from on specific issues,” Vitale said. “We have mothers of newborns up to teenagers in the group. You form friendships through the group, and you stick around for that and to give support to others as they come on board.” Vitale said the group usually has guest speakers come in to speak on topics such as sibling rivalry, which gets to be a huge issue once the children are toddlers; discipline, getting organized, and other topics of interest to the group. “Right now, because my girls are 3-and-a-half, I’m getting a lot of support on potty training, switching from cribs to toddler beds and choosing a preschool or daycare,” Vitale said. “We have general discussions at our meetings. A recent discussion included preparing the nursery, and breast-feeding multiples. Our membership chair stays in contact with everyone, and there is a club email chain and a website with forums.” For more information on North Pittsburgh Mothers of Multiples, visit or attend a meeting. Expectant mothers and new moms are encouraged to attend a meeting before joining. The address for the meetings is 7801 Thompson Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA, 15237.

Hampton | Fall 2011 | 27

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          

off Kindergartener Sarah White has won first place in the Kindergarten Division in this year’s PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest for her story, titled “The Runaway Bunny.” As her prize for placing first in her division, Sarah won a Nook E-Reader, and was invited to read her story at the 11th Annual Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Summer Reading Extravaganza. The event was held from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, June 12, at the Carnegie Library’s Main Branch in Oakland in the Children’s Room. Following reading time, an awards ceremony was held, during which time winners picked up their certificates and prizes. Throughout the day, the PBS Kids Fun Tent was set up, and select characters from PBS Kids were on hand to meet and greet guests.

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Robotics team members at Botball

HHS Robotics Club Earns World Championship at International Botball Tournament The Hampton High School Robotics Club recently attended the Global Conference on Educational Robotics in Orange County, California, where they became World Champions. In the International Botball Tournament, the team earned first place in the Botball Double Elimination World Championships; sixth place in the seeding rounds; and fourth place for their combined scores of

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seeding, double elimination and project documentation. A total of 63 international teams competed in the International Botball Tournament. Hampton's entry also won a Judges’ Choice Award for Overall Engineering and Design. Club members Adam Farabaugh and Evan Wilson won an award for Best Conference Paper for their submission, “The Camera: Botball’s Most Underrated Sensor.” Club members Oliver Ebeling-Koning, Adam Farabaugh and Evan Wilson were in attendance at the conference. Other members of the club include: Jeff Aquaviva, Matt Doutt and George Uehling. Botball is a standards-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) competition in which teams design, construct and program fully-autonomous robots that accomplish tasks within the constraints of a game. The club is actively seeking sponsorships to continue their participation in this vital STEM-oriented activity that provides real-world experience to high school students. For more information about Botball or the Hampton High School Robotics Club, contact club advisor Mr. Vince Kuzniewski at 

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                          

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a spot on the prestigious list. They included four year, on-time graduation rate; percentage of 2010 graduates who enrolled immediately in college; AP/IB/AICE tests per graduate; average SAT and/or ACT score; average AP/IB/AICE exam score; and AP/IB/AICE c ourses offered per graduate. Principal Jeff Finch is pleased with the results for a number of Only two western Pennsylvania high schools were named to reasons, including making Newsweek’s list in the first year that a this year’s list: Hampton and North Allegheny. Hampton is ranked new selection format was introduced. Making the rankings in the at 335 and North Allegheny is ranked at 372. first run means that there was no manipulation of goals to meet Many of the other schools included on the list are part of the criteria. much larger school systems, some with multiple high schools in “They took us as we are, and that is very rewarding,” one district. Also, the list includes many magnet or academy says Finch. schools, which have high ad mission criteria resulting in enrollNewsweek has been ranking America’s top public high ment of the top performing students in the system, Finch explains. schools more than 10 years and Hampton has earned a spot on Schools of this nature, although considered to be public, often that list four years in a row. But this year criteria for the list receive higher levels of funding. Such schools dominated the top changed, making placement even more challenging. half of the list. Previously the magazine’s rankings were based on data from “What would Hampton look like if we took only the top stuadvanced placement college-level courses. This year, six detailed dents into the high school?” asks Finch. “It’s hard to compare criteria were utilized to determine which 500 schools would earn apples to apples.”

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Finch says he is especially pleased with the most recent Newsweek ranking because earlier rankings were focused more on the degree of challenge, not actual performance. “What I like [about the set of criteria] is that it puts more stock into the quality of performance, not the attempt.” He credits the school’s achievement in large part to Hampton’s community culture. “Culture is a huge driving force in d etermining potential,” he explains. “One thing that is unique about Hampton is that, as a community, the bar is set very high as far as the level of expectation, especially that of our parents.” Most parents in the district expect their children to do well and they place a high priority on academics and education, he explains. Parents are partners in the education of the district’s students. “Here it i s not uncool to be at the top of the class.” Statistics  support that  statement.  Usually about  42 percent of  students graduate with    high honors, so a student could graduate with honors and still not be in the top half of the graduating class. Finch also is quick to credit the expertise of the teaching staff when listing the reasons the school receives national recognition. “Our teachers have the capacity to enrich and go beyond the basics, and the students are willing to accept that,” says Finch. Rather than take an antiquated approach to education under which students were required only to regurgitate facts, the educators at Hampton put priority on the practical application and global importance of what they are teaching. “To retain something, you need to connect it,” he explains. “We challenge kids to combine disciplines and apply what they have learned so that knowledge is retained and doesn’t go away easily, so they truly own that knowledge.” Finch says he is looking forward to the first day of school so that he can pat his students on the back for all that they have achieved. “It’s nice to remind them that the world is a bigger place and, in that market, they are recognized. It is another step toward improving performance.”

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h a m p to n

IN Community Magazines proudly announces a comprehensive look at the Hampton real estate market. In this section, you’ll find interesting information about creating beautiful spaces to live in, and other interesting facts about your community. F E AT U R E S T O R Y

FALL LANDSCAPING IDEAS When the dog days of summer are behind us and that first crisp snap of fall is in the air, energy seems to make a rebound and even the animals around Hampton seem livelier, more alert. It won't be long before we hear the rumbling of the Hampton High School Marching Band drum line and watch the Talbots take the field.During this time, there’s nothing more wonderful than taking advantage of those last days of warmth to get outside and enjoy the outdoors by doing a little yard work. This is a great time to rake up all those leaves on the ground. But don’t just throw them into a trash bag to be hauled away. Leaves are great for composting and may have as much as three times the amount of minerals as fertilizer. They need to be shredded to be easier to work with, but this is easily accomplished by running a mower back and forth a few times over a pile of leaves. Also, be sure to add a little nitrogen

to your compost pile with the leaves. If your summer flowers have faded, be sure to trim back dead leaves and blooms and add some fall flowers for some more vibrant color. Mums and sunflowers can be purchased in pots to accent any garden with a fall palette, but don’t forget purple as a great contrasting color to oranges, yellows and sienna. Some fall flowers with purple accents are pansies, purple coneflowers, asters and mums. All of these will grow well in zone 6. For some green accent, you might try growing some arugula in a pot or self-watering container. This spicy, leafy plant has long been popular in France and Italy and actually grows better in the fall than in the summer. The leaves will add zest to your salads and other fall dishes. Although the planting time for arugula is in the spring, seedlings can be purchased and transplanted, however they also do well if left in containers or pots.

Even if you’re not particularly good at growing plants and flowers, there are many ways to accent your lawn and garden with minimal effort and maintenance. Brightly colored pumpkins placed around pathways and steps give a whimsical touch to decorating. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight and directly on the ground and your pumpkin may well last for two to three months in the cool fall climate. Other low-maintenance decorations for fall are corn stalks and bales of hay. Hay bales also provide extra seating in outdoor areas. Summer may be over but your yard can still be a bright, cheerful place full of beautiful, living things. - by Pamela Palongue

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MAKING YOUR HOME MORE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL GENERATIONS According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., homes where multiple generations of family have blended together under one roof are on the rise. It is not uncommon in Hampton, and throughout the region, to find three generations of a family living under one roof. With economic constraints and the high cost of child care, it is easy to see why children, parents and grandparents living together in one dwelling makes sense in many situations. It’s easy to see why multigenerational dwellings which appeal to the needs of all ages are quickly becoming the trend. From this perspective a ranch-style house on one floor is a good choice. Seniors with mobility problems will not have to deal with steps, but also parents will not have the added worry of their young children falling down stairs. Another important feature of multi-generational homes is the ‘mother-in-law suite,’ which could just as easily be called the ‘father-in-law suite.’ This is generally an area of the house that is designed for an aging parent, giving them

a degree of privacy and independence while still being a part of the nuclear family household. They are sometimes located in a basement for easier access for thosewith mobility issues and often times will have a separate entrance, giving it the appearance of a mini-apartment. They usually always include a bedroom and private bath, however they may also come with kitchenettes and a small living area as well. When accessibility becomes an issue with an older adult, there are many options for making the home more accessible without giving it the industrial-style, nursing home appearance. This is an important consideration when it comes to the re-sale of the house. First of all, if an individual is wheel-chair bound, doorways must be made larger to accommodate the

chair. With a modern contemporary home, this may be accomplished by removing walls for a more open floor plan which appeals to buyers or widening doorways with attractive archways. This will make the change look more intentional and less like a temporary fix for a mobility problem. There are qualified professionals around the Hampton area to help with both the construction and the financing of these types of modifications. Many times it becomes necessary to install grab bars in baths and showers for the safety of senior family members. Although there are many industrial style models from which to choose, there are a few companies on the web that are sensitive to the attractiveness of the grab bars and offer styles in decorative brass and silver. Walk- in showers and baths can be constructed with attractive glass enclosures that fit everyone’s style and are still accessiblefor seniors. A few changes to your home can help make it safer for seniors and children and more valuable when it comes time to re-sell. - by Pamela Palongue

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hose who aren’t involved with the Girl Scouts may not realize that Hampton is home to a summer day camp that is one of the strongest programs in the region. “Hampton has to be one of the longest running and well-established camps in the North Hills,” says Barbro Kelley, director of the day camp and leader for Troop 50339, a Junior troop of 13 girls who are about to enter fifth grade. All Girl Scout troo ps in Hampton are invited to attend the day camp. There are more than 40 troops in the township and that pushes the camp’s attendance to more than 250 campers each year, with more than 100 parent volunteers on hand to help. Each year the all-volunteer-run camp is held during the third week of June for four weekdays. (The fifth day of the week is Hampton’s day at Kennywood.) Camp is held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hampton Community Park. Kelley has served as director for the past four years but has been involved with the program for five years, and the camp itself has been running for more than 20 years. “I absolutely love it; it is so much fun,” says Kelley. “It is so worthwhile to give girls a chance to do what they wouldn’t normally do.” Girls can join Girl Scouts as young as Kindergarten age, as Daisie s, and advance to Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes and eventually, at age 18, become Ambassadors. At the day camp, all ages and levels are welcome to participate. Daisies through Cadettes

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attend as campers, and eighth graders serve as unit aides, while Ambassadors help to run the camp. This year’s theme for the camp was Mythology. A different theme is chosen each year and activities are designed to revolve around that theme. Campers cook outside for two days, and because the camp theme centered on Greek and Roman mythology, many of the foods that were prepared were of Greek origin. “One afternoon it rained the whole time we were cooking chicken on the grill,” Kelley laughs. Other activities included archery, a Medusa head craft, weaving, painting names using the Greek alphabet, dressing in togas, and performing skits based upon myths. And, each year, camp programs include many Girl Scout traditions, such as singing songs, playing games and service to others. This year’s campers collected food for North Hills Community Outreach and planted a tree at the community center in the park. The girls also took a group photo and had it printed on a banner to help boost the spirits of the mom of three scouts w ho is battling cancer, and sent cards to the hospital. Kelley says the theme for next year’s camp already has been chosen. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts, next year’s camp theme will be “Back to Basics” which will include learning skills like starting a fire and playing basketball. Although preparing for camp takes months of planning by the volunteer parents, usually starting around Jan uary, Kelley says, “The girls’ smiles make it worthwhile. It’s pure innocent fun.”

You don’t have to live with painful varicose and spider veins. Should I Have My Veins Evaluated? Q & A WITH A VEIN SPECIALIST: While finishing charts at the end of my day, I took a few moments to listen to my staff answer questions for a patient on the phone. The questions asked were very important as were the answers that were given. Here are some examples:

What is Phlebology? Phlebology is the branch of medicine that deals with veins and the disease of veins. Two organizations dedicated to the advancement of this field are The American College of Phlebology and the American Venous Forum.

Why should I see a board- certified phlebologist to evaluate my varicose veins When it comes to any aspect of your health care, it is important to be proactive in the choice and research of who will become medically responsible for your evaluation and treatment. Though venous disease is not always a visible ailment, it can be a serious health problem leading to more serious issues, so choosing a specialist, or board certified phlebologist for your venous care is a wise decision. Board certification in phlebology identifies a physician who has taken the extra step of becoming specialized in the treatment of venous disease. Not only is the physician often a member of organizations such as the American College of Phlebology (ACP) and the American Venous Forum (AVF) but they have met additional requirements set by the certifying board. After meeting these requirements, he or she must then pass a certifying exam allowing the physician to identify him or herself as board-certified.

Is membership the same as board certification? This question is particularly important as it defines the specialty of a phlebologist. While a physician may be a member of many different organizations, these organizations only require an interest in the field for joining. Thus membership is unlike board certification where qualification is determined through training and testing. Here’s how the ACP defines its board certification: “The establishment of a Board Certification Exam brings recognition to both the field of phlebology and those providers in the field who have the knowledge, skills and experience to provide quality care to phlebology patients.”

I had a free screening at a health fair and was told that I don't have venous disease, but I still have aching, pain and discoloration at the ankles. What should I do? While free screenings can be informative, remember that this is just a brief glance into a patient's venous system. A complete venous exam and venous mapping by a board-certified phlebologist is best to determine if a patient has venous disease. Since a proper venous ultrasound is such an integral part of this evaluation, the American College of Phlebology has set requirements for it that include the following: • A venous ultrasound should be ordered by a physician. • A lower extremity ultrasound should study the entire leg, from ankle to groin. Failure to identify and treat all sources of reflux may result in outright treatment failure. • Evaluation of the venous system should be performed with the patient in the upright position. Sitting or lying down are inappropriate for the detection of reflux or the measurement of vein diameters. • A venous ultrasound should be performed by a trained physician or a registered vascular ultrasound technician (RVT) and then interpreted by a physician.

If I have had an evaluation elsewhere, can I still be evaluated in your office? Of course. A free evaluation is commonly ‘ free’ because patients are often not meeting with a physician, a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner, so this visit cannot be billed to insurance. However, most insurances allow for a second opinion. If you have any questions about the second opinion being covered, contact member services on the back of your insurance card. This Industry Insight was written by Theresa Schneider. Terrance R. Krysinski, MD General Surgeon Board Certified Phlebologist Vein Institute of Pittsburgh 724.934.VEIN (8346)

724-934-VEIN (8346) Hampton | Fall 2011 | 37

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Property Tax Rebate Application Available Online ampton Township School District is offering a property tax rebate program for the 2011-2012 school year, which will benefit senior citizens, widows/widowers and disabled persons on fixed or limited incomes. The program provides rebates to taxpayers whose reported income on their 2010 Pennsylvania Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program (PA-1000) application, Line 1, Proper 2, is $18,000 or less. The rebate will be equal to 50 percent of the Pennsylvania paid standard rebate. Application forms now are available online at the district's website, Claims for a property tax rebate can be filed with the District Director of Administrative Services between July 1, 2011 and April 1, 2012. Each claim must include the following: ■ The School District’s completed rebate form; ■ A signed copy of the PA-1000 for 2010, verifying income; ■ A copy of the PA rebate check received after 7/1/2011 or a copy of the bank statement indicating the direct deposit amount received from the PA Department of Revenue; and ■ A copy of the receipted school tax bill for the 2011-12 tax year. All School District taxes must be current before filing. The program only is effective for one year, and will be considered for renewal by the School Board next year. Questions concerning the policy or how to apply for the rebate should be directed to Jeff Kline, District director of administrative services, at or by calling 412.492.6308. Workshops, which will help instruct residents on how to properly fill out the required paperwork to be considered for the rebate program, will be held this fall. Notices will be posted advertising those events.


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ore than 16 varieties of wines and over 20 restaurant and specialty foods were sampled by guests and gourmets at the fourth annual Food and Wine Classic hosted by The Chamber of Commerce, Inc. The Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a non-profit organization that includes members from the North Shore into Zelienople, and from Route 8 to Beaver County, including members from Hampton area businesses. The Chamber of Commerce, Inc., which serves businesses and communities throughout the northern region, hosted this event in June at the Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center. Since merging the Cranberry Area Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Allegheny County Chamber of Commerce in January of 2010, the Chamber of Commerce, Inc. has grown to approximately 950 members. The Classic was sponsored by UPMC Passavant, Consolidated Communications and many other North Pittsburgh businesses, the evening included wine connoisseurs, beer experts and a chocolate chamber for dessert lovers. “The Food and Wine Classic is part of our six signature events including the Neighborhood Business Expo, Golf Outing, Chamber Chase, Taste of Cranberry and Holiday Social,” said Susan H. Balla, executive director. “Tonight we invited the community to come in and sample food and wine, see what we are all about and help raise money for the recipient that we select to give part of the proceeds to. The funds also go to programs and services for our members.”

“Joining the Chamber is the first step and becoming involved in the Chamber is the second step to success,” said Mike Hall, Chamber board member and owner of General Rental Center in Cranberry. “It is great to have a line of communication to government. They listen to our opinions.” Kathleen Sain, Esq., of Sain Law, LLC, chair of the Chamber board of directors, said, “Merging the two Chambers together was a positive move that has made us stronger,” and continued, “It is also nice to be able to provide service to the community.” Another function of the Chamber is to give back to the community; such as donating part of the proceeds from The Food and Wine Classic to HEARTH. HEARTH provides transitional housing for homeless women with children and permanent affordable rental housing for working families and individuals. HEARTH recently moved from Benedictine Place to temporary housing in Scott Township for their transitional housing. They plan to purchase the former Zoar Home in Shaler for their new facility and are embarking on a $1.5 million capital campaign. “We are using the proceeds from The Food and Wine Classic for operational costs such as rent and utilities,” said Judith Eakin, executive director. “In 2009 we served 15 families and today we serve 32 families.” Along with donations, volunteers are needed to help at both locations. If you would like to learn more about The Chamber of Commerce, Inc., please visit their website at If you would like to find out more about HEARTH, please call 412.366.9801.

Lucy Kish, Rose Vange, Armin and Becky Hooman

Kathy Sain , Chambe r Board of Directors C hair and M ike Hall, Chamber B oard Mem ber

Susan H. Balla, Executive Director

Caryl Skinneir and Henri Chatman

d Ron anning an Crystal M sors vi d A of JRG


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Donna Phillips , Mari William s, Lori Bullman , Diane Munizz a


By Jason J. Mazzei, Esquire

the amount you owe on your credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, and payday loans. We can also force student loan companies to accept lower payments or even no payments for as long as your case lasts. Businesses commonly seek bankruptcy protection when they are in • Bankruptcy will ruin my credit. Not True! • I will lose my home, car and personal belongings if I file. Not True! financial trouble. Why shouldn’t you? Uncle Sam offers businesses and banks a financial bailout when they are in financial difficulty. Where is • Most of my debts are not dischargeable. Not True! your financial bailout? Bankruptcy is not for everybody, and we do • Bankruptcy is immoral. Not True! offer alternatives to bankruptcy filing. For a FREE confidential • I must have no money in order to file. Not True! consultation, please contact us toll free at 1-800-BANKRUPT to • My taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Not True! schedule an appointment for an office near you. Our main office is in • I can lose my job if I file for bankruptcy. Not True! Pittsburgh, but we have offices located throughout Pennsylvania, and • Bankruptcy can not help with student loans. Not True! we have an office that is close and convenient to you. With our • Bankruptcy is only for businesses. Not True! experience in bankruptcy and our low costs, why go anywhere else? Although there may be some limited exceptions to some of the Call us TODAY! 1-800-BANKRUPT or visit us online above myths, for the most part, they are all false when it comes down to the law. If you look up the word bankruptcy in the dictionary, you usually get words like “failure” and “defeat”; however, bankruptcy is simply a person or business declaring they are unable to pay creditors. When playing the game Monopoly, when someone goes “bankrupt,” it means that their debts are wiped out, and they start a new game with a “fresh start.” Like the board game, bankruptcy offers a person or a business the ability to start over with a clean slate by wiping out the debt they are saddled with. Bankruptcy is a legal process conducted under Federal Law, which means it’s the highest form of law in the American legal system. With predatory loans and unfair lending practices on the rise, it is difficult to navigate through the small print and know your rights. Every day there are news stories showing the financial difficulty businesses, states, local governments and businesses are experiencing. It should be no surprise that many families and businesses in your neighborhood are having financial difficulties as well. All around us we see signs of the troubled economy, including rising costs of fuel and increased costs of living. Credit card companies have been tightening their credit limits, and increasing the minimum payments. Home foreclosures are on the rise, with no end in sight. One setback, such as a loss of a job, health trouble, divorce, a new child and a family’s financial troubles worsens. Mazzei & Associates is (800) 226-5787 or (412) 765-3606 Pennsylvania’s #1 debt relief agency who helps people and businesses get though these financially difficult times by filing for relief using CAN the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Mazzei & Associates focuses on personal and small business Foreclosures Medical Bills representation. By limiting our practice to bankruptcy law cases, we are more familiar with bankruptcy law than lawyers who do not limit their Repossessions Tax Levies practice. Concentrating the practice also increases a lawyer's efficiency Creditor Harassment in handling a case, as it is likely that a similar case or matter was Utility Shut-Offs handled before. Our team of experienced lawyers and debt relief Wage Garnishments Collection Calls professionals work together to help people keep their most valuable assets and using the bankruptcy laws for them–not for their creditors. Credit Card Bills Lawsuits We will STOP the foreclosure or tax sale on your home We will STOP the repossession of your vehicle. We will STOP utility shut-offs. We will STOP harassing credit card companies, and reduce or eliminate As a bankruptcy attorney, I hear many misconceptions about bankruptcy. Here are a few examples:



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