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• Paul Brozda: The Roller Coaster Man • The Santa Watch Continues in Monroeville • Health and Wellness: The Whole Story



“I’d like to have my questions answered in just one phone call.”

Here’s the Plan At UPMC Health Plan, we believe customer service should be a service to you, not a headache. That’s why we offer you a personal health care concierge. A live person who lives here and can answer all your questions in just one phone call. Sure, we win awards for our customer service. But it’s the reaction we get from satisfied members that we find most rewarding.

To find out more visit


From the Publisher At this time of year, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the journey with us that was 2012. And while we’ve endured extremes of nature via the summer heat waves and Hurricane Sandy, as well as the onslaught of a presidential election that ate up any time available between our favorite shows, we still have much to be thankful for. IN Community Magazines continues to grow, and for that we thank you, our readers and our advertisers. Our readers help shape these magazines. Those of you who took the time to call, e-mail or write in with your ideas and events are the ones who set our table of contents. We pride ourselves on the fact that we listen to you and your ideas because, in the end, this is your community and you know it best. So I continue to encourage you to send in your ideas to our editor at: I wish to thank our advertisers for your continued support of IN Community Magazines. By advertising with us, you are supporting your community by underwriting the cost of the editorial content that those who read these magazines enjoy and look forward to each issue. Because of you, our readers can be entertained and informed. In this last issue before 2013, I urge our readers to support the advertisers who support your community magazine before you make your holiday gift lists. If you like this magazine, let them know and make a point to stop in their businesses. They’re not just trying to sell you something, they’re also your neighbors and community sponsors. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and the best that 2013 has to offer! Enjoy your fall with the ones you love, Wayne Dollard, Publisher

Miracles Happen Everyday... Have you or someone in your family ever experienced a miracle in your life?

Spring content deadline: 1/30/13

A check arrives from an unexpected source, just as the house was about to be foreclosed upon? Someone was healed, despite all odds and predictions? Or maybe you were reunited with someone by circumstances that were far too phenomenal to be called coincidence... If you have, we would love to hear your story and so would your friends and neighbors. Because at the end of the day, we could all use a little hope and encouragement. Miracles really do happen all the time! Please mail your story to: IN Community Magazines Attn. Pamela 603 East McMurray Road, McMurray, PA 15317 or you can email them to Pamela at: Photos are welcomed with submissions, but not required.

Every child could use an adult to For a 3rd grader, it’s a volunteer reader in her school’s library, while for a high school student, it’s help with science homework. For thousands of children throughout Allegheny County, a volunteer is making a big difference on their outlook on school and life. It’s all part of “Be 1 in a Million,” the initiative that’s recruiting thousands of volunteer readers, tutors and mentors in our area. Whether someone has an hour a week or an hour a year, there are volunteer opportunities in every corner of Allegheny County. From being an email book buddy with an elementary student to offering tech tutoring at a local library, caring adults are stepping up to help shape a student’s life and our region’s future. “Be 1 in a million” is an initiative of United Way of Allegheny County. Anyone wanting to learn more or search the hundreds of volunteer opportunities available should visit

Reaching your target audience has never been easier…or less expensive. Contact us at 724.942.0940 2 724.942.0940 to advertise



IN West Monroeville is a non-partisan community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Monroeville 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.

IN Monroeville | WINTER 2012 |



Monroeville Church Reaches Out to Haitian Children ................ | 15 Habitat for Humanity Monroeville Youth Groups Lends a Hand ... | 30 on the cover


Monroeville Historical Society The Importance of Baking Bread .............. | 34

Monroeville Treasure Hunt employees inspect their vast array of jewelry and coins.

Health and Wellness ...................... | 36 industry insight

The Circulatory Centers ............. | 10 NovaCare Rehabilitation .............. | 33 30



community interests

Monroeville Public Library Events ............................................. | 4 Celebrate Monroeville ....................................................................... | 11

Business Spotlight

Treasure Hunt ................................ | 9 Supercuts ........................................ | 14 Cover photo by Wayne Dollard

Sukkot Under the Stars ................................................................... | 19 UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News ...................................... | 21 Santa Watch in Monroeville ............................................................ | 48 Features

Paul Brozda – The Roller Coaster Man .................................... | 6 Racing Greyhounds as Therapeutic Companions ............... | 12 We Want to Cover You! Do you have an event coming up that you’d like to publicize? Do you have an event that you want us to cover? Let us know! Go to and fill out the form. Events will be announced in the upcoming issue. If our deadlines don’t match yours, we may decide to send our photographers to cover the event for an upcoming issue. We’re looking for fundraisers, charity drives, social functions, class reunions, church festivals, awards presentations and more! If you’re not sure you have an event worth featuring, give us a call at 724.942.0940 and we’ll help you out!

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 3

News Library from the

There’s more than one way to experience a book. If you’re an audiobook fan, you might want to try a title from the library’s Playaway collection. Playaways are small mp3 players (about the size of a deck of cards), which come pre-loaded with one complete audiobook. Simply pop in a triple-A battery, plug in your headphones, and press play. You can rewind, fast forward, pause the playback, and take the portable player wherever you go. The library has dozens of titles and is always adding more, so be sure to stop by and check out the collection! The library also has Playaway View, an all-in-

one video player that comes pre-loaded with top quality videos just for kids, from organizations like National Geographic and PBS Kids. Look for it in the Children’s Room.

Playaways & Playaway Views


Downloadables With an MPL Library Card in hand, you can access free downloadable ebooks for your Nook, iPad, or Kindle, as well as free eaudiobooks and evideos from any location. Check out the library homepage at for more, or to start checking out ebooks today! Be sure to stop by the library if you need help getting started.

Information on Literacy at the Monroeville Public Library

Teen Writing Group

Every Monday afternoon 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. The Teen Writing Workshop is a program open to any and all teen writers, regardless of writing interest or previous experience. We have writing tips, helpful hints, and even a chance for you to have your writing read and reviewed by the rest of the group. Call 412.372.0500 ext.18 for more information.

Teen Book Club

Second Tuesday of every month, 4:30 5:30 p.m. Nov. 13 – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte Dec. 11 – The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan January 8 – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The Monroeville Public Library supports the Pennsylvania Library Association’s “PA Forward” initiative, a statewide action plan to help Pennsylvania residents improve literacy skills they need in five key areas: Basic, Information, Civic/Social, Health, and Financial. Please visit the MPL Reference Desk or call us at 412.372.0500 ext. 4 for assistance with finding information or to schedule a oneon-one tutoring session with a Reference Librarian.

The board and staff of the Monroeville Public Library wish to thank our sponsors, runners and volunteers for making our first Book Blast 5K Walk/ Run a great success! EVENTS FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES Family Puzzle Day

Sunday, Nov. 18; stop in the program room between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. No registration needed.

Family Craft Time

Christmas – Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7:00 8:30 p.m. Registration begins Nov. 23

Christmas Storytime

Children age 3 - 5, Wednesdays, Dec. 11 and 18, 10:15 - 11 a.m. or 1:15 - 2 p.m.

Friends of Monroeville Public Library Dear Friends and Neighbors, Thank you all so much for your help and patronage during our annual Used Bag Sale! From November 7 - 11, we were able to raise money to enhance library services and activities throughout the year. In the winter, the library is open 7 days a week is used frequently. In this tough economic time, it is our pleasure as Friends of the Monroeville Public Library, to help our library update and upgrade certain projects each year. For those of you who donated used books, games, puzzles, CDs and DVDs, thank you! For those of you who cleaned, 4 724.942.0940 to advertise


sorted, cataloged and did the heavy lifting, we thank you. And for those of you who made purchases, thank you also. It is truly heartwarming to see so many people come together for the benefit of all! These items will go to new owners who will appreciate them once more. Have a wonderful holiday season, and enjoy those bargains! Yours truly, Diane Lindsey, President Friends of Monroeville Public Library

Dr. Nina Zetty Named New Superintendent of Gateway Gateway is pleased to announce that Dr. Nina Zetty has been named the new Superintendent of Gateway School District. The Gateway Board of Directors hired Dr. Zetty at their Regular School Board Meeting Sept. 26. The Directors gave Dr. Zetty a unanimous 9-0 vote of confidence. Prior to joining Gateway, Dr. Zetty was the Superintendent of Peters Township School District (PTSD) in Washington County, PA. She served as Superintendent of PTSD since 2008 and, prior to that, served the District as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment starting in 2006. She also served as Bentworth High School Principal in 1998 before being promoted four years later to Assistant to the Superintendent of Bentworth School District, also located in Washington County, PA. She was also the Instructional Principal at Keystone Oaks High School (Allegheny County, PA) and was a teacher for eight years at Jefferson-Morgan School District in Greene County, PA. A life-long learner, Dr. Zetty earned her B.S. and M.Ed in Secondary Education and Computer Science from the California University of Pennsylvania, and her Ed.D from the West Virginia University.

Her Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility is from Duquesne University. “We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Zetty to the Gateway family of schools,” said Dave Magill, Board President. “Our extensive search with PSBA (Pennsylvania School Boards Association) yielded many fine candidates, but Dr. Zetty stood out among the group. Her experience and leadership coupled with her proven ability to increase academic performance across the board is why we chose her to pilot Gateway.” “I am honored to be selected as Gateway School District’s next Superintendent of Schools. I look forward to working with another outstanding administrative team and staff focused on improving student achievement,” Zetty said. Dr. Zetty is expected to begin her tenure with Gateway School District after she is released from her duties at PTSD, according

to contractual agreements. Dr. Zetty is a resident of Brownsville, Fayette County, PA, where she resides with her husband, John. She has two grown children and three grandchildren.

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 5

Paul Brozda:

The Roller Coaster Man


By Marilyn Wempa

hat began as a six-year-old enjoying his first roller coaster ride grew into a remarkable hobby during the next 40 years. Paul Brozda says he didn’t know what to expect on that first ride in 1972 and doesn’t remember what he liked best. Maybe it was the clank-clank-clank of the coaster’s chain as it strained to pull the passenger car up a steep incline, or the wind against his face during the thrilling descent to the bottom of each dip. Maybe it was the screams of excited riders. All Brozda knew was that he loved riding roller coasters. “My first roller coaster experience was on Kennywood Park’s ‘Jack Rabbit’ coaster. I was there attending the St. James Catholic School picnic, and I still love the thrill of the stomachleaping experience of the Rabbit’s double-dip today,” Brozda said. Seeking to relive these thrills has motivated this Monroeville resident to visit more than 100 amusement parks, one as far 6 724.942.0940 to advertise


away as Myrtle Beach, S.C., called Family Kingdom. He has fond memories of visiting Pittsburgh’s West View Park to attend the Union Carpenters’ picnics for many years. “It was a wonderful park, and I was sad to see it demolished,” he said of this once-popular local site. Not only does he visit amusement parks as often as possible to ride roller coasters, but Brozda is also a 20-year member of ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts). This group encourages its members to attend ACE conventions to meet others who love exchanging information about new and old coasters.


hat is unique about Brozda’s passion is that he also designs and builds wooden coaster models, and his dream is to offer workshops to teach others how to make these structures that are amazing works of art and engineering. “I made the first model when I was 17 to test my dexterity,” he said. “It took about four months of my spare time, but I enjoyed

“I still love the thrill of the stomach-leaping experience of the Rabbit’s double-dip today.” seeing the completed model. This experience whetted my appetite to make bigger models.


he ‘Racer’ model is 14 feet long and 3 feet wide and stands 4 feet, 3 inches high. The ‘Whip the Dips’ is 5 feet long, 2-1/2 feet wide and 2-1/2 feet high, and the ‘Figure 8,’ which was my first model, is made of toothpicks and 2-1/2 feet long by 1 foot high.” Each model is displayed on a custom black lacquered showcase decorated with wire figures (fashioned by Paul) of park visitors enjoying their day eating cotton candy, playing with children, or relaxing on a bench. The two larger models are made from thin pieces of ripped pine wood, secured with glue. “Ripping takes skill and patience,” Brozda explained. “Cutting the 2”x4” thin wood is like slicing cheese or lunch meat with a meat slicer, but I never use any materials bought from a hobby shop for my coasters built to one-eighth-inch scale.” These models are wired with electricity to power his handmade coaster cars, which are filled with riders fashioned with wire, glue, and paint. The cars are made from ripped pine to one-eighth-inch scale, and each tiny seat is upholstered with cotton and black electrical tape. “I can run three cars at one time on the ‘Whip the Dips’ and four large cars on the ‘Racer’ that could hold 192 riders. The ‘Racer’ has three high inclines and nearly fills one side of the room.” The base of the tracks is made of laminated pine that has been bent into a configured shape and designed like a work of art to please the eye. It is covered with rails of aluminum flashing so the cars run smoothly and fast. It’s exciting to see and hear the cars traversing the dips and curves of the models at a fast speed just like full-size roller coaster cars. Brozda also has a full-size cotton

candy machine, a popcorn machine and several pinball machines in his basement that complement the room’s amusement park theme. He rents the carnival-like cotton candy and popcorn machines to others for parties and enjoys playing the pinball electro-mechanical machines he repairs for income.


he best coasters I’ve ridden in the larger theme parks were at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, and King’s Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. Smaller parks have the most charm,

Continued on page 8

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 7

Continued from page 7 however. I enjoy Waldamer Park in Erie with its new coaster called ‘Ravine Flyer II,’” Brozda notes. “I also love Knoebel’s Amusement Resort. It has two wonderful coasters, the ‘Phoenix’ and ‘The Twister,’ hidden between huge pine trees. It’s located in Elysburg, Pa., near Danville. “The most unique park is Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., run by a former nun and her family. Not only do the colorful decorations depict the holidays, with Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas themes, but I believe it is the cleanest one in the United States,” he adds.


nyone who hears Brozda describe coasters or sees his models understands his dedication and passion for roller coasters. His friends say he’s really a fun guy. When asked his age, Brozda just smiled and replied, “46, going on 12!” Monroeville Arts Council has invited him to display one of his striking roller coaster models at its art show next summer. Look for time and date information in future articles.

“I made the first model when I was 17 to test my dexterity…This experience whetted my appetite to make bigger models.” 8 724.942.0940 to advertise


Get a Head Sta on Your rt Holiday Budget!

Tis the Season to Sell!

The Holidays Are Just Around the Corner and Gold Prices Are Near Record Highs!


here’s never been a better time to consider exchanging unwanted jewelry or coins for usable currency that can provide funds for family vacations and other long-held desires. It is a very opportune time to liquidate your precious metals and it is Treasure Hunt’s practice to offer the highest possible amount, right from the start, with no need to negotiate. The philosophy of the founder was and continues to be, honesty, integrity and exceptional customer service. This philosophy has resulted in Treasure Hunt setting the bar in the gold and silver-buying industry. Nearing its 50th year in business, Treasure Hunt is one of our region’s most reputable buyers

In 2002, an ounce of gold was worth less than $300. Now, 10 years later, that same ounce of gold is worth over $1,600. and sellers of gold, silver and rare coins. The Monroeville store, which has offered exceptional customer service for the past six years, is conveniently located on William Penn Highway. In 2002, an ounce of gold was worth less than $300. Now, 10 years later, that same ounce of gold is worth over $1,600. Treasure Hunt has always been a family business. It was originally titled

Coins Inc., and had humble beginnings as a leased department in Gimbels Department store. After John Robert Meredith’s passing in 1995, his son John Rotheram Meredith purchased the company and moved the base of operations to Mount Lebanon under the name Treasure Hunt. Along with his sister, vice-president Jeannette Meredith Dodd, he expanded from the South Hills into Cranberry, Monroeville, Irwin, Allison Park, Latrobe, Belle Vernon, Indiana and McKnight Rd. in Ross Township. Each branch is staffed and managed by family and friends. Every Treasure Hunt employee has a heart of gold. Please stop into Monroeville and meet us!

Bring Your Unwanted Gold, Silver, Jewelry and Coins to our Monroeville Location!

GOLD: 10k,14k, 18k, 22k gold jewelry, Krugerrands, Maple Leafs, Gold Eagles H silver jewelery H sterling silver flatware H gold and silver bullion H gold and silver coins H coin sets and paper currency MONROEVILLE 3747 William Penn Hwy • Monroeville, PA 15146 (Near Petsmart and Bed Bath & Beyond) 412-374-9991 • Monday-Thursday 10:00 to 6:00; Friday 10:00 - 5:00; Saturday 10:00 t0 4:00 Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 9



Celebrate le l i v e o r n o M On Thursday, September 13, area businesses and residents came together to celebrate the Monroeville area with an informative and entertaining event which featured food from the area’s best restaurants, stage performances by local youth and community groups, children’s activities and shopping! Many residents brought nonperishable food items to benefit Monroeville food pantries.

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 11

Retired Racing


Make Great Therapeutic Companions

By Autumn A. Altieri ost people are aware that greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog, but many may not know that they can be trained to be therapeutic companions for children, the disabled, and the elderly. Richard Adamson of Monroeville happens to be an expert on the subject of handling dogs, and in his experience greyhounds can be very successful when used in this capacity. Adamson has been involved in using dogs for therapeutic purposes since 1999, and has been handling greyhounds for the past three years. He, along with his girlfriend Doris Lazenby (who is a dog trainer), works closely with Steel City Greyhounds Inc., which is a nonprofit, allvolunteer organization dedicated to rescuing retired racing greyhounds. Marci Anderson started Steel City Greyhounds in 2002, and the organization proudly celebrated its 10th anniversary on November 4. Anderson states that most of the greyhounds come from West Virginia and there are generally two to four of them available for adoption at any


12 724.942.0940 to advertise


given time. The dogs stay at a pet resort where potential adopters can visit them. Adamson and Lazenby help Steel City Greyhounds by volunteering to take the dogs to “meet and greet” events in front of local businesses in hopes of finding people interested in becoming “parents” for the greyhounds. Once the adoption process is complete, the dog may then be trained for therapeutic interactions if the parent is interested. The parent may also be trained to handle the dog properly and take the dog to meet with clients in need of therapeutic services. Adamson and Lazenby also work closely with the Westmoreland County Obedience Training Club, which offers many dog training programs; one of which is the Canine Good Citizen (CGC). The CGC training is a five-week program that teaches the dogs to meet 10 criteria, including coming when called, reacting to distractions, sitting and staying, greeting and displaying

Greyhounds can be trained to be therapeutic companions for children, the disabled, and the elderly. comfort among strangers, etc. The dogs are then certified through Therapy Dogs Inc. to ensure that they have met all therapy guidelines as well as physical and vaccination requirements. nce the greyhounds have been trained and certified, Adamson, Lazenby, and other trained volunteers take the dogs to elementary schools, hospices and nursing homes throughout Westmoreland and Allegheny counties. Adamson and Lazenby take their dogs Gracie and Ruby, who are a rescued greyhound and a Doberman respectively. One program Adamson is most proud to be involved in is “Read to the Dogs,” which helps students develop their reading skills by allowing them to read out loud to dogs. By reading to them, as opposed to their classmates, the students feel more comfortable when they have to sound out words and are not embarrassed when they make mistakes. Adamson also endorses the value of working with dogs in order to foster self-esteem among people with intellectual, psychological, or emotional disabilities. Several years ago he worked with a student with bipolar disorder. Adamson taught the young man how to handle dogs and how to take the dogs to visit with clients in need of therapeutic services. Knowing that he could handle and control the dogs properly greatly increased the young man’s self-esteem and made him feel more in control of his own life. According to Adamson, greyhounds make great therapeutic companions because they are actually quite docile. Though they can reach high speeds, they are often called “40-mile-per-hour couch potatoes,” because when they are not racing they are often happiest curled up on the couch. They can also be easily trained and do not bark excessively. While greyhounds make loving companions and exceptional pets, many are not adopted after they retire from racing. The sad truth is that many are not able to find homes and are put down once they can no longer race. The Humane Society website reports that “in 2000, an estimated 19,000 greyhounds were killed. This includes 7,600 puppies who were farm culls, and another 11,400 ‘retirees’ who were not rescued. Other greyhounds are either sold to research labs, returned to breeding facilities to serve as breeding stock, or sent to foreign racetracks, sometimes in developing countries with appalling track conditions.” According to a 2010 fact sheet from GREY2K USA, which is the largest greyhound protection agency in the United States, “there


are no verifiable statistics on the number of dogs killed nationally. Estimates range from 3,000 to 8,567.” These troubling statistics make the work of Adamson, Lazenby, and Steel City Greyhounds all the more important and inspiring. It has improved the quality of life for these animals, as well as their new families. It has given the dogs a new purpose after their racing days have ended while also enriching the lives of their adoptive parents and those with physical or intellectual disabilities. If you or someone you know may be interested in adopting a retired greyhound, please visit for more information.

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 13

Monroeville stylists Monica, Erin, Melissa, Lisa, Kayla, Lauren, Tiffany and Tammy are ready to help you with your new look today.


utting hair isn’t just a business for Supercuts stylists, it’s a way to give back to the customers they love and the community they call home. Guests know that they can always count on superb service and a welcome smile when they visit the Moroeville Supercuts. Our expertly trained stylists offer a multitude of services including haircuts, waxing, blow-outs, color and more. As the owner of the Supercuts franchise in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Laurel Slaughter-Odelein has not only added over 350 jobs to the region through her stores, but she and her employees have also been supporting local schools, sports teams, civil services and charities in those communities for more than 20 years. “We support the communities we serve,” Slaughter-Odelein said. “Giving back is important to us because the communities have given us so much.” Supercuts also invests in its employees

14 724.942.0940 to advertise

“We take what they’ve learned at school, provide additional and ongoing education, and look to retain these employees for many years,” SlaughterOdelein said. This strategy is apparently working because Supercuts was just rated one of the top places to work in 2012 by a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette survey. “It’s an honor to be recognized as a great place to work,” Slaughter-Odelein said. “Our employees are happy and that attitude is passed onto our guests. We not only offer a superior salon experience at an affordable price, but our locations are full of people who love and take pride in what they do and the community they serve.” If you haven’t already experienced the full services Supercuts offers, please visit us soon. Supercuts has 30 Pittsburgh area locations; the nearest one in Monroeville, is located at 4145 William Penn Highway, and is open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information on all Supercuts locations and services visit, or to call ahead for faster service, call 412.373.3536.

serving you and your community


through extensive training programs and prides itself on hiring aspiring stylists graduating from local trade schools. “Pittsburgh is filled with talented people and we are thrilled to be able to hire vibrant employees, many of whom have recently graduated and are entering the work force for the first time,” Slaughter-Odelein said. Supercuts hires only licensed stylists and mandates extensive education with two weeks of in-store training before stylists are sent to Supercuts’ own Hair Stylist Academy. Stylists attend an advanced training course conducted by the Supercuts Certified Trainer/Artistic Director. New stylists must pass the five-day, 40-hour course before they are able to actively work on the floor of the salon. After mastering this level stylists will continue to undergo regular training to enable them to keep up with the latest styles and trends.

Monroeville Church

Reaches Out to Haitian Children

Gabriel Thelus, a native of Jacsonville, Haiti, which is located in the mountains about 200 miles from the capital of Port-auPrince, visited Pittsburgh for the very first time and spoke at Cross Roads Presbyterian Church in Monroeville on September 30. Thelus, a leader in his community and the son of a poor Haitian farmer, attended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., earning an associate degree in agronomy in 1994. Following his graduation, he returned to Haiti to realize his father’s dream, which has become his own: to work for the betterment of living conditions of the people in his village and to overcome poverty. On his visit to Cross Roads Church he was presented with 200 dresses and 100 pairs of shorts for Haitian children by the ladies of the church. An enterprising seamstress, Karen Kutz began sewing the clothing two years ago when a young lady she knew was planning to travel to Africa with the Peace Corps. After she had sewn scores of children’s garments for the trip, the young lady was reassigned to the Ukraine! Since the clothing would be too lightweight for the Ukrainian climate, Kutz began to search elsewhere for a beneficiary of the beautiful sundresses and shorts. A friend’s daughter was making a mission trip to Haiti and knew of Thelus’ work in Jacsonville. In addition to Kutz’s contribution, ladies of the church donated fabric for more clothing and helped with sewing pieces together that Kutz had cut. Thelus was extremely grateful for the clothing he received on behalf of the children. Through his leadership and the efforts of a local association which he founded, Thelus has built the first chapel in the village, an elementary school, a bridge, a mission house and is currently working on a medical clinic. Besides using his agricultural education to plant and harvest community gardens, Thelus is providing jobs for residents with training and local construction projects. In addition to raising much-needed funds for building a primary care clinic for villagers who lack access to local health care, Thelus’ presentation provided a firsthand look at daily life experiences in one of the poorest countries of the world and illustrated how he is working with others to improve and extend lives. Haitian life expectancy is currently just 48 years. It is Thelus’ hope that a medical clinic will address multiple needs for basic care, including a reduction in the number of deaths from preventable conditions. It will also provide prenatal care, reducing child mortality, and will offer dental and vision screening.

on Gabriel Thelus and his work, For more information please visit the website

Gabriel Thelus and Haitian children. The ladies of Cross Roads Presbyterian Church who sewed clothing for the Haitian children. Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 15



Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 17

Get to Know Your Local Senator

Jim Brewster By Matthew J. Fascetti hey say leaders are born, not made. Certainly some leadership skills can be taught or learned through experience, but there is a special quality that all leaders have that can’t be explained. You either have it or you don’t. Anyone who knows State Senator Jim Brewster would agree that he has always had it. Senator Brewster grew up in McKeesport and excelled both academically and athletically. He graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a degree in education. Prior to his involvement in politics, Senator Brewster was a fraud investigator with Mellon Bank and later held a vice president position there. He became a McKeesport City Councilman in 1995, and served as council president for seven years prior to being elected mayor in 2004. During his years as McKeesport mayor, Senator Brewster was credited with bringing $27 million in state, county and federal dollars to the city. He also helped develop the Palisades, McKeesport Point Marina and Greater Allegheny Passage Trail at the Waterfront. Currently, Brewster is serving the 45th Senatorial District, which includes all of Monroeville and Pitcairn. There are several major objectives he is currently working on. Job one is a complete overview of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). He has major concerns about the effectiveness as well as the fairness of the tests. First, he wants a thorough review of the content. Then he plans to talk with teachers, students and parents to make sure that the test content is implemented properly. For example, the test is taken in March; would it be more helpful to take it at the end of the year, after three additional months of learning have passed? Lastly, the test is extremely expensive. Brewster wants to see if costs can be better managed. Brewster has embraced Marcellus Shale activity and has also been involved in bringing in money to improve roads and infrastructure. He believes the 45th district has a bright future and is proud to be playing a role in that. Senator Brewster has served as a director or board member for: the Allegheny League of Municipalities; Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities; Municipal Risk Management; Allegheny County Air Quality Control; McKeesport Development Corporation and Penn State Greater Allegheny. He was also recently appointed to the board of directors at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust, Inc. and Long Run Children’s Learning Center and is chairman of the McKeesport Housing Authority and McKeesport Democratic Committee. His many accolades include being elected to both the McKeesport Area School District Hall of Fame and McKeesport Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. He was also honored as “Mayor of the Year” in


18 724.942.0940 to advertise


2010 by the Pennsylvania Mayors Association, and “Friend of Youth” by the McKeesport Optimist Club for founding the “Toys for Tots” program and starting a youth basketball program at the McKeesport Salvation Army. Senator Brewster is married to the former Linda Leah. They have three daughters and six grandchildren. For more information on Senator Jim Brewster or to contact his offices, please visit the website at

“This is an extremely important undertaking,” says Brewster. “Where schools fail, communities fail. The first question everyone asks when they move into a new area is, ‘How is this school district?’ This issue must be resolved; we need higher test scores across the board.”

are searching for something that reaches them.” Because Jews are commanded to eat in the sukkah to commemorate the holiday, merely entering the sukkah and sitting and having something to eat is fulfilling the commandment, according to Rabbi Schapiro. Also it’s not just eating—any activity you can do in the sukkah adds to the celebration. Chabad is an international organization with 4,000 centers throughout the globe. Its purpose is to bring the message of Judaism to people all across the world. It’s a Jewish outreach program bringing the joys of Judaism through religious school, social services, life cycle events, celebration of holidays, educational classes and other offerings. Chabad Jewish Center in Monroeville also observes other holidays, such as Hanukkah, which celebrates the Miracle of the Oil. At that time, December 8 this year, Chabad will have an event that offers people the chance to learn how to make olive oil, connecting a tactile experience to the holiday. “When people learn how things are done, they learn more appreciation for it,” Rabbi Schapiro said. Chabad Jewish Center does not have a membership fee; people contribute to keep the effort going. The organization’s approach offers the chance for people to connect with their faith, Rabbi Schapiro said, and people from all different Jewish backgrounds and affiliations take part. “When you approach people and give them the opportunity to learn about Judaism at their pace, it works better,” Rabbi Schapiro said. “Life is a journey. People are looking to take steps.” To learn more, visit Chabad Jewish Center in Monroeville’s web site:

A Program for Chabad

By Jonathan Barnes The story of the ancient Israelites getting manna from heaven to eat during their 40 years of wanderings in the desert is well known, but fewer know that “Clouds of Glory” also protected them. Sukkot remembers and honors this miracle. “They had different kinds of shelters, but they were protected from all harm in the desert,” Rabbi Mendy Schapiro said. As the rabbi of Chabad Jewish Center in Monroeville, part of Rabbi Schapiro’s role is to help Jews celebrate the holiday of Sukkot, which honors the divine protection provided in the desert. For many generations, the holiday has been a time of thankfulness. The holiday, which was Sept. 30 through Oct. 7 this year, is an important one. It starts two weeks after Rosh Hashana, and is one of three holidays mentioned in the Torah. The celebration culminates in the holiday of Simchat Torah, when the reading of the Torah cycle is completed and started again in its entirety. “We start it right away to show there is a cycle to continuing to grow in our journey in life,” Rabbi Schapiro said. The sukkah, a small shelter erected in the driveways and yards of many Jewish homes, is a very visible reminder of the holiday at this time of year. But it’s more than just a symbol; it’s a place designated for the observance of Sukkot. Chabad Jewish Center set up a sukkah with food in it, so that visitors could eat and have fellowship with others during the holiday at a sort of open house event. Dozens of people came and did just that. “People like to participate in the holiday,” Rabbi Schapiro said. “I find that many people

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 19


IN Community Magazines is seeking nominations for its Community Awards for Service Excellence (C.A.S.E) We know that what makes communities great are the special people who volunteer their time, talent and effort to help others. ICM would like to honor those special people, but we need your help. IN Community Magazines’ C.A.S.E. Dinner will recognize volunteers from each of ICM’s 36 magazines. Awardees will be selected in the following categories:

Youth Volunteer of the Year (21 years and younger); Small non-profit of the Year (staff of 10 or less); Large non-profit of the Year (staff of 11 or more). Awardees and those who nominated them will be honored at the awards dinner in Spring 2013. During the dinner an awardee from the Volunteer of the Year and Youth Volunteer of the Year categories will be selected to receive a donation for his or her chosen charity.

Name of nominee_____________________________________________________________________________________ Address:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone:_____________________________________________ Email:____________________________________________ Category (circle one): Volunteer of the Year, Youth Volunteer of the Year (21 years and younger); Small non-profit (staff of 10 or less); Large non-profit (staff of 11 or more) Which IN Community Magazine is this nomination for?____________________________________________________________ Name of person submitting nomination_______________________________________________________________________ Address:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: ____________________________________________ Email: ___________________________________________ Why are you nominating this person or non-profit organization? (Please, submit a type written statement of no more than 600 words) Send nomination form and statement to: Monica Haynes, IN Community Magazines, 603 E. McMurray Road, McMurray, PA 15317 If you have any questions, please, contact Monica Haynes at 412-254-8704 Deadline for nominations is 1/31/2013. 20 724.942.0940 to advertise


UPMC TODA Seeking Nominations forY Community Magazine

Health and Wellness News You Can Use | Winter 2012-13

Community Service Awards

Stay Well This Winter Some people seem to sail through winter without a sniffle or a grumble. These simple steps may help you do the same: Spend some time in the fresh air, de-stress your holiday planning, wash your hands often, get plenty of sleep, and get a flu shot.

What’s Inside 2 3 4

In a Heartbeat Absent From Pain Butt Out: New Reasons to Quit Smoking Brittle Bones

5 6 7

Shedding More Than Pounds Growing Up With Heart Disease We’re Here for You

© 2012 UPMC

In a Heartbeat

UPMC East is cutting minutes and saving lives by opening blocked arteries in record time.

James Colwell was relaxing after building a retaining wall when he began to feel pressure in his chest, along with nausea and sweating. He didn’t think it was a heart attack but told his daughter to drive him to UPMC East, located just 10 minutes from his Penn Hills home. “It turns out I was having a major heart attack. If I had waited any longer or traveled to a hospital farther away, they may have been calling the undertaker,” says James, 75, who works full time as an independent broker heading up the Colwell Agency.

Door-to-balloon time National guidelines call for hospitals to perform an angioplasty within 90 minutes — starting from the moment a patient enters the hospital until the balloon is inflated and blood flow is restored. According to Dr. Aziz, since UPMC East opened in July all procedures have been performed within those guidelines — most of them in less than 60 minutes. “Time is critical. The sooner we restore blood flow through the arteries, the less damage there will be,” says Dr. Aziz. UPMC East has a team of heart doctors, nurses, and specialists on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to treat serious heart conditions. One reason the door-to-balloon time is so impressive is because so many team members live near the hospital, enabling a team to assemble within 20 minutes. “Our location makes it easier — and faster — for patients and their families to get here. It’s easier for our response team to get here, too,” says Dr. Aziz.

An obvious choice James says going to UPMC East was an “obvious choice.” “I wouldn’t go anywhere else but UPMC. I’m just glad I didn’t have to get on the Parkway East and head into town,” he says. “When you’re having a heart attack, or any emergency, the quicker you can get to an emergency room, the better off you are.”

He was rushed to the cardiac catheterization lab where Abdulrab Aziz, MD, chief of cardiology at UPMC East, and a team of nurses and technicians jumped into action. Dr. Aziz quickly restored blood flow with a balloon angioplasty and stent. James felt immediate relief — less than an hour after first experiencing symptoms. He had survived a blockage in his left anterior descending artery, which is a major artery to the heart. Blockages there are often fatal.


UPMC East’s connection with the renowned UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute means patients have access to internationally acclaimed experts, as well as sophisticated life-saving treatments, and technology. While the hospital provides a full range of noninvasive diagnostic imaging, catheterizations, and emergency interventions, patients needing open heart surgery, such as a coronary bypass or valve replacement, are transferred to UPMC Shadyside or UPMC Presbyterian for treatment. Because UPMC East’s cardiologists also are on staff at those hospitals, patients continue with the same physician for follow-up care. “That continuum of care is very important and appreciated by patients,” says Dr. Aziz. To schedule an appointment with one of our cardiologists, visit, or call toll-free 1-800-553-UPMC (8762).

Absent From Pain Most of us think of anesthesiology as the medical specialty that “puts you to sleep,” but it’s really all about pain relief.

internal medicine, pharmacology, and surgery. Many also pursue subspecialty training in such areas as pain medicine, and pediatric, cardiothoracic, or obstetric anesthesia. In today’s complex surgical suites, anesthesiologists lead an entire team of skilled professionals, which can include a certified registered nurse anesthetist, resident physician, student nurse anesthetist, and anesthetist assistant. “It’s a true team effort, with each member playing a distinct role in delivering patient care,” says Dr. Williams. Anesthesia’s role in health care extends far beyond the operating room. Anesthesiologists offer pain management in a variety of settings, enhancing the daily lives of patients with chronic diseases or complex medical conditions.

Getting to know you For minor operations, you’ll typically meet your anesthesiologist at the hospital, shortly before surgery. For major surgeries, you will be asked to participate in a pre-surgery consultation. “With patients who live at a distance, we’re now using telemedicine to conduct pre-op visits,” says Dr. Williams. “It allows us to get to know you, address your questions and concerns, review options, and determine if any additional tests or consultations are needed.”

What to tell your anesthesiologist

Anesthesia makes possible some of modern medicine’s greatest miracles. Can you imagine undergoing surgery without it? The father of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is generally credited with bringing the term into popular use in 1846, though references to anesthesia can be traced back to 1741. The term is based on a Greek word meaning “lack of sensation.” “Anesthesiology uses medicine to eliminate your ability to feel pain or other sensations,” explains John Williams, MD, the Peter and Eva Safar Professor and chair of the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Anesthesiology. “Your anesthesiologist partners with your surgeon to manage your vital functions before, during, and after surgery. Everything from breathing, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, body temperature, blood clotting, and fluid loss is consistently monitored.”

A team of professionals Anesthesiologists are physicians who complete four years of residency after finishing medical school. Their extensive preparation includes training in cardiology, critical care medicine,

Prior to surgery, you’ll be asked to provide information about yourself. “Be candid and comprehensive. What you share will be held in strict confidence,” advises Dr. Williams. Be sure to include the following: • Previous reactions you or other family members have had to anesthesia • Any food, medicine, or latex allergies you have • Prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medications you take • Your use of alcohol or recreational drugs

Did You Know? There are four basic categories of anesthesia: Local: Numbs a small, specific part of your body Regional: Numbs a larger area of your body, usually below the waist Twilight: Sedates and provides pain relief General: Renders you unconscious



Health Tips from UPMC Health Plan

Butt Out Despite dire health warnings, one out of five Americans still smokes. If you’re one of them, here are some new reasons to crush that butt. Before you light up your next cigarette, consider this: With every puff, you’re inhaling more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of them are poisonous, and about 70 can cause cancer. And no organ or tissue in the body is immune to this toxic cloud. Most people know that cancer, heart disease, and lung disease are major health threats caused by smoking. But are you aware that smoking increases your risk of getting diabetes by 44 percent? That’s just one of the not-so-obvious reasons to put that butt out. Here are five more. 1. See the difference. If you smoke, your risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, doubles. Smokers also have double the risk of developing cataracts.

Brittle Bones Osteoporosis is quickly becoming a national health care concern.

It’s estimated that 10 million Americans now have osteoporosis and 34 million are at risk. Whether you’re young or old, male or female, chances are good that you — or someone you love — will be affected by the disease. “In osteoporosis, your bones become thin and brittle, putting you at increased risk of a bone fracture,” says Susan Greenspan, MD, UPMC’s director of osteoporosis prevention and treatment. “In advanced stages, simple acts like lifting a baby or sneezing can lead to a fracture.” Here are four facts everyone should know about osteoporosis: 1. Osteoporosis can appear at any age. But after the age of 50, one out of every two women — and one out of every four men — are likely to experience a fracture due to the disease. These breaks occur most often in the hip, wrist, and spine. 2. Osteoporosis is silent. It’s often diagnosed only after a fracture. Menopause, family and medical history, physical build, and your lifestyle and diet can increase your odds of the disease.


2. Heal better. Smoking weakens the body’s ability to heal from surgery, disease, broken bones, and even minor back strains. 3. Now hear this. Smokers are more likely to develop a hearing loss. Exposure to secondhand smoke also puts former smokers and nonsmokers at risk. 4. Stand tall. Smoking weakens bones and raises the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures in men and women. 5. Keep your head. If your mind is cloudy, smoking may be the culprit. It’s been linked to memory problems and poor reasoning skills in middle-aged smokers.

You’re not just hurting yourself The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that secondhand smoke kills about 50,000 people every year and sickens many more. Children who live with a smoker are especially susceptible to lung and breathing problems, and they run an increased risk of hearing loss as adolescents. If you’re among the eight out of 10 smokers who want to quit, talk to your primary care doctor. To locate a doctor in your area, visit or call toll-free 1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Sources: American Academy of Ophthalmology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Journal of the American Medical Association.

3. You can take proactive steps at any age to promote bone health. These include: eating foods rich in calcium, such as milk, cottage cheese, and calcium-enriched juices; exercising (weight-bearing exercise like walking); stopping smoking; and limiting alcohol use. If needed, consider taking a calcium supplement and vitamin D daily. 4. The good news is early detection is easy. If you’re 65 years of age or older, Dr. Greenspan recommends talking to your doctor about your risks. A simple bone mineral density test can assess your bone health. To learn more about osteoporosis, talk to your primary care provider, or visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s website at

Shedding More Than Pounds Bariatric surgery helps free patients from a range of life-threatening health problems.

It’s well known that bariatric surgery can produce impressive weight loss. But there’s increasing evidence that it offers other health benefits, too. For example, a recent Swedish study showed weight-loss surgery can prevent diabetes among individuals who struggle with obesity. That news came as no surprise to Anita Courcoulas, MD, professor of surgery and chief of the Section of Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “It’s another study demonstrating the lasting impact of bariatric surgery on health improvement,” says Dr. Courcoulas. “The changes are real and durable.”

Is bariatric surgery right for you? Current national guidelines recommend bariatric surgery for patients who are 80 to 100 pounds overweight and with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40, or a BMI of 35 or more for those with one or more significant obesity-related health conditions. Those guidelines may change, though. For example, at UPMC — one of the most highly funded centers of bariatric research in the country — Dr. Courcoulas is heading a study examining the impact of bariatric surgery on diabetic patients with lower BMIs (30–35). She predicts more and more patients will seek out bariatric surgery for health reasons — not just weight reasons. “We’re just beginning to understand its full potential,” she says.

Bariatric Surgery Centers at UPMC Each of UPMC’s four bariatric surgery centers has been named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Our multidisciplinary approach to weight loss through both surgery and lifestyle changes is available at: UPMC Hamot: Offers gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, and gastric sleeve. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Amjad Ali, MD, or Rodolfo Arreola, MD, call 814-877-6997. UPMC Horizon: Offers gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, gastric sleeve, and revisional surgery. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Christopher Myers, MD, call 724-588-6660.

A life-altering surgery According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, an estimated 72 million Americans are considered obese and nearly 200,000 undergo bariatric surgery annually. UPMC is a leader nationally in bariatric surgery and in the number of bariatric procedures performed annually. Dr. Courcoulas says bariatric surgery (including gastric bypass, gastric band, and gastric sleeve) can help reverse a variety of serious obesity-related health conditions, such as: • Diabetes • Heart disease

• High blood pressure • High cholesterol

• Sleep apnea

UPMC St. Margaret: Pittsburgh Bariatrics offers gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, gastric sleeve, and revisional surgery. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Joseph Colella, MD, or LeeAnn Peluso, MD, call 412-784-5900. Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC: Offers gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, gastric sleeve, revisional surgery, and clinical trials. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Anita Courcoulas, MD, director, Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery; George Eid, MD; Giselle Hamad, MD; Carol McCloskey, MD; or Ramesh Ramanathan, MD, call 412-641-3632. Each center offers free monthly information sessions. To learn more about bariatric surgery, or to find out if you’re a candidate, visit



Growing Up With Heart Disease Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is responding to the special challenges facing adults born with congenital heart disease.

The ACHD Center — a joint program of Children’s Hospital and UPMC Presbyterian — provides specialized transition support and care for patients with congenital heart disease. “Despite surgery, patients can experience complications as adults, including arrhythmias, stroke, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. Our care and follow-up enables these young people — now in their prime — to lead long, productive lives,” Dr. Cook says.

A healthy outlook Before her diagnosis, Alexis thought she was in great shape; she had lost 100 pounds, was running daily, and had completed a two-mile race. But her conditioning actually helped disguise her declining health. After undergoing surgery at Children’s last April to restore blood flow, she now realizes how much better she feels. This summer, she ran the race again.

Alexis Laney was only 14 months old when she underwent open heart surgery in Cleveland to repair a faulty valve. She had annual checkups until age 17, when her pediatric cardiologist referred her to an adult cardiologist. She scheduled sporadic checkups, but stopped going after giving birth to a son in 2005. “I felt fine,” says Alexis. Now 27, the young wife and mother finally gave in to her family’s urging last year and saw a cardiologist near her home in Youngstown, Ohio. Although her EKG and echocardiogram were normal, he urged Alexis to see a specialist at the Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, saying, “I don’t know what to look for, but they will.” Tests conducted by Stephen Cook, MD, director of the ACHD Center, found scar tissue blocking blood flow to her aorta — a serious condition putting her at risk of sudden death. “I was shocked. I could have collapsed and died,” Alexis says.

Lifelong expert care Alexis is part of a growing population of adults born with heart defects who had lifesaving heart surgery as newborns and children. Thanks to advances in medicine and improved surgical techniques, “the number of adults with congenital heart diseases has outgrown the number of pediatric congenital heart disease patients,” says Dr. Cook.


“Last year, I was better conditioned, but I couldn’t breathe after the race. This year, I felt fantastic,” Alexis says. “I’m glad I went to Children’s. I’m more confident about exercising now. I know my heart can take it.”

ACHD Center Fast Facts A single childhood surgery is seldom a permanent cure for patients born with a heart defect. The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center provides lifelong care and follow-up for patients with congenital heart disease who are: • Ages 18 and up with conditions ranging from simple to severe • Women of childbearing age needing pregnancy counseling or contraception • Adolescents (13 to 17) who receive guidance, support, and care during their transition to adulthood For more information, contact the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center at 412-692-5540 or email

We’re Here for You

You’ll find the best of UPMC at strategic locations throughout the eastern suburbs, giving you and your physician even more resources for care.

Location, location, location. It influences almost every decision we make — from where we live to where we shop. Location is especially important when it comes to making health care decisions. You need quality services that are convenient and accessible — without the hassles of driving the Parkway East or dealing with construction woes. “With higher gas prices, increased traffic, and less free time, people place a high priority on good medical care that’s closer to where they live and work,” says Laura Gailey Moul, vice president, operations at UPMC East. “That’s why UPMC continues to expand its level of high-quality health care services to the Monroeville community.” UPMC’s outpatient facilities in the eastern suburbs serve people of all ages, offering: • Cardiovascular care • Chemotherapy • Imaging and diagnostic procedures • Pediatrics (Children’s East, which includes imaging and diagnostic services, medical services, and outpatient specialty services, and Children’s Express Care) • Physician specialties including ear, nose, and throat; gastroenterology; general surgery; heart and vascular; neurosurgery; orthopaedics; pulmonary; urology, and many more • Rehabilitation and physical therapy • Same-day surgery • Senior care • Sleep medicine • Women’s health (UPMC Womancare Center, which offers a range of imaging services, as well as general ob/gyn and women’s specialty physician services)

A medical complex serving patients and physicians A new physician office building opened recently at 400 Oxford Drive, which is adjacent to 600 Oxford Drive. Open for many years, 600 Oxford Drive houses imaging, UPMC Center for Rehab Services, and several physician offices. The result is UPMC at Oxford Drive, a medical complex with ample free parking and easy access to labs, x-rays, and other testing facilities, as well as primary care and specialty physician offices. “UPMC at Oxford Drive is a one-stop option,” says Ms. Moul. “Patients can see their primary care doctor, get necessary lab work and other testing done, or visit a specialist, all in the same location.” For Shawn Naseem, MD, an internal medicine physician with Primary Care Associates of Monroeville–UPMC, and his colleagues, the decision to move to UPMC at Oxford Drive was an easy one. Located on the top floor of the new building, their office space — newly built specifically for a primary care practice — is both functional and comfortable. “It is a warm and open environment that our patients and staff love.”

“Having so many other skilled medical specialists in such close proximity is a great advantage,” he adds. “We work very well together and communicate with one another. I know they are the very best at what they do, and I trust them to take care of my patients.” “Patients and physicians alike benefit from having such a comprehensive array of services and specialists available,” says Ms. Moul. “And UPMC East is a natural extension of our commitment to this area, offering convenient access to specialty care and inpatient services for primary care physicians and their patients.”

Do you have a PCP? Whether you have a minor concern or a more serious medical issue, your primary care physician (PCP) is the first line of defense in getting well and staying well. If you don’t already have a PCP, it’s best to find the right one before you get sick. “A PCP is equipped to deal with all kinds of health problems, whether simple or complex,” says Dr. Naseem. If you need advanced care, your PCP is the most effective and efficient link to specialists or other services and treatments. “For patients and their families, having a PCP to coordinate their care with specialists and other providers is a huge relief,” adds Dr. Naseem. “We are your advocate and guide in the broader health care system.” To locate physicians in the eastern suburbs, visit, or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762).




2775 Mosside Blvd. Monroeville, PA 15146

UPMC Today is published quarterly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events available at UPMC. This publication is for information 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.

Follow UPMC East on Facebook.

take time to take care of you Holidays are for celebrating all of the things that make life special. Don’t let a major illness, injury, or even a sore throat keep you from enjoying them. UPMC East physicians’ offices are open and conveniently located near you. Our physicians are accepting new patients, and in most cases even offer same-day appointments. Just call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762) or visit Care and we’ll get you an appointment with one of our doctors. It doesn’t matter why you need us; it matters that we’re here if you do.

Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC is ranked among the nation’s top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.

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Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 29

Monroeville Youth Group is Changing the World,


House at a


By Jennifer Brozak merican teenagers are often portrayed as selfish, impulsive, attention-seeking troublemakers by the media and the general public. However, a group of teenagers from two Monroeville parishes is on track to shatter that stereotype. During the last week of June, more than 60 volunteers – 50 high school students and 13 adults – traveled to the town of Bellaire in Belmont County, Ohio, to work with Habitat for Humanity, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing families in need with safe and affordable housing. The students comprise a youth group from two Monroeville congregations, St. Bernadette Catholic Church and North American Martyrs Catholic Church. During the youth group’s time in Bellaire, they worked on multiple projects, according to Lauren Gates, the youth minister for both parishes. At four different locations, the group sealed basement walls, installed wall and ceiling insulation, tore out carpeting and painted walls. Younger students who were not permitted to be on a worksite helped with landscaping, painting, drywall and cleaning. “The fourth location was our building site,” Gates said. “Before we arrived at that location, all that had been built were four basement walls. We sealed the outside of the basement with tar, we assembled the floor and support beams, hammering in all of the wood by hand. We then assembled the wall studs, covered the outside with plywood, and then lifted them into place. Due to lack of supplies and time, this was all accomplished in only four days. We are hoping next year to complete an entire house, start to finish!”


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Dee Dee Adams, a St. Bernadette parishioner who helps to coordinate the Habitat for Humanity trip, said, “It’s not easy work and these students take on the task without complaint and work very, very hard.” During the week-long trip, the group stayed at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, in what Gates describes as “the heart of Bellaire.” “We ate in their church social hall, and slept in classrooms in the elementary school across the street,” she said. The youth group has been making this kind of annual trip for 11 years, traveling to places like Deep Creek, Md., and Garrett County, Pa. However, the past two years have focused on Bellaire, a town that Gates said misses the “good old days.” “It’s a small town, fairly clean, but economically depressed,” said

Gates. “It has railroad tracks, small shutdown businesses and mostly ‘mom and pop’ places.” The group plans on returning to Bellaire in June 2013. “This is a small town that has been left behind by the moving coal trade,” said Adams. “There is so much work to be done there and there is a real sense of accomplishment when the youth are able to help.” Both Gates and Adams say that teens who participate in the trip are truly moved by the experience. “When I ask the teens about their proudest moments, they will tell me one of two things,” said Gates. “First is when the walls of the house are first lifted into place and the project starts to look like a house. That reality sinks in – they realize they can see the physical product of their hard work. “Secondly, they are most proud when they

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Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 31

Continued from page 31 meet the families of the houses they are building. They know they are no longer just ‘building a house,’ but they are making a home for a specific person who they know and grow to love.” Gates said that the project also earns the respect and appreciation of community residents, who randomly stop by project sites to thank the group for their hard work and dedication. “It impacts our teens,” said Gates. “They feel empowered, like they can really make a difference in this world by helping someone else. They carry this pride and confidence home with them. This trip teaches them that by

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giving back to a community, by thinking of others before themselves, they can become better people and make their entire world a better place to live.” In fact, Gates said, many of the teenagers who participate say that the trip is the highlight of their high school career. “This should be an encouragement to all people who think teenagers are selfish, and don’t contribute to this world. If you empower one teen, that teen can change the world,” she said. The youth group meets each week and hosts a different social event and service project each month. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the trip or the youth group can contact Gates at

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 33



Monroeville Historical Society

The Importance of Baking Bread: By Marilyn K. Wempa Each spring, 140 Gateway School District fifth-graders arrive in big yellow school buses at the McGinley and McCully log houses in Monroeville. “They come to tour our two historical houses to learn how people lived before the invention of indoor plumbing that allows water to flow from faucets and indoor toilet facilities. Our docents stress that electricity to power lights, washing machines, computers and televisions was not available when the houses were built in the 1840s and 1790s,” explained Lynn Chandler, president of the Monroeville Historical Society. The students gather in the kitchen after playing the antique pump organ, learning how food was kept from spoiling in a spring house, and holding an iron heated by kerosene before boarding their buses at the end of the one-hour tour. There they enjoy the special

experience of tasting the butter they churned during their visit by putting it on a piece of fresh bread. The bread tastes so good because it is baked in an old-fashioned beehive outdoor oven on the grounds of the McGinley House. The baking of bread and churning the butter segment of the students’ visit is led by long-time MHS member Connie McClain, who still likes the challenge of baking bread in the outdoor oven after more than 10 years. “I enjoy baking and cooking, so baking bread in the 36-year-old stone oven is special to me because it’s out of the ordinary,”



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Honoring Our Past



McClain explains, adding, “I love it when visitors smile and say they really enjoy the taste and texture of the warm bread fresh out of the oven.” The oven behind the house is put to the test several times a year for the society’s annual educational and recreational events. In addition to the annual visit by all of Gateway’s fifth grade students, demonstrations of the oven are held in June for the society’s Children’s Old-Fashioned Activities Day and for its October Heritage Day Festival. Corn bread and a lambshaped cake are added during the latter two events. This year’s Heritage Day Festival was held on October 13. It included crafts, reenactors, and demonstrations. McClain and her son Dan never seem to grow tired of experimenting with baking various items in the oven. They, along with volunteers and visitors, had fun making and eating pizza for a special Father’s Day open house this past June. After chopping the dried wood, Dan stacks it inside the cave-like oven early in the morning to build a fire to create the hot coals that heat the bricks to bake bread. “Most of the coals are removed before the bread is put inside with a long wooden paddle,” McClain said. The intense heat necessary to bake the bread to a golden brown cannot be achieved inside the kitchen fireplace. However, like other historical society members, they are concerned that this and other visitors’ special experiences will soon be a thing of the past. “The oven is literally falling apart,” McClain notes. “Every time the door is opened, mortar falls inside the oven and a stone has fallen out near the door. When a fire is built, smoke comes out the many cracks in the oven when it should only escape from the chimney. These cracks are allowing heat to escape. If there is no oven to bake bread as settlers did in years past, the anticipated experience of tasting the churned butter could also be lost.”



1. Chocolate Bundt Cake and Corn Bread made in the stone oven 2. Bread baking in stone oven 3. Connie McClain in settler’s attire explains the outside oven’s purpose to Gateway fifth grade students. 4. Monroeville Historical Society old-fashioned beehive outdoor oven 5. Volunteer Ernie Carns removing fresh baked bread from outdoor stone oven 6. Monroeville Historical Society members Lois Alworth and Joan Brooks instruct children how to churn butter at Heritage Day Festival 7. McCully House 8. McGinely House

“Our deteriorating oven is not repairable so we need to find a better design and better construction materials,” according to MHS events chair Mary Lou Span. “We need a new one so this tradition can continue. Our goal is to construct the most efficient oven in the most economical method possible, using funds raised from donors to employ a stonemason, possibly assisted by volunteers such as a scout troop. Our hope is that we will be able to offer this unique experience using a new oven for next year’s events. The society will be happy to sell the oven’s Belgium blocks or trade them for help in this project.”

For more information or to offer help with this project, you may contact Mary Lou Span at 412.245.1527 or Photos courtesy of Monroeville Historical Society


Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 35

By Matt Fascetti

Many people think of health and wellness as just diet and exercise. While those are two key components, there are many more factors that affect an individual’s overall vitality. Other areas of focus include dental and vision; specialties such as podiatry and audiology; preventative measures such as chiropractic visits and acupuncture/ massage. Even feel-good procedures such as hair replacement and cosmetic surgery can boost a person’s demeanor and self-confidence. With all of these areas of wellness to consider, it can be a daunting task to pay for the treatments and procedures that enhance the quality of our lives. So how do we decide what to spend our health-care dollars on? Which procedures are the most effective and beneficial? The following is a review of what to consider when choosing a healthier lifestyle.

• Fitness • Exercise is the one thing most doctors stress when the subject of health and wellness is broached. Certainly there are other factors such as genetics, eating, smoking, drinking and medication that can play a significant role, but exercise is at the core of health and wellness. So what is the best way to stay fit? There is no perfect answer as it is different for each individual’s needs and desires. There are many ways an individual can exercise on their own such as walking, running, biking, hiking, at-home workout DVDs or weight training, just to name a few. Many Americans join gyms to help them stay fit. There are advantages to having a gym membership which include a wide array of equipment, fellow members to help motivate you, professional trainers and a monthly monetary obligation that can help you stay committed to your fitness goals. Unfortunately, gym memberships are not covered by health insurance, so it is up to the individual to not only foot the bill but to select one that best suits our needs. Most gyms have monthly payments, but some also have yearly or bi-yearly options as well. Depending on the facility and the region you live in, the average gym membership can vary from $10 a month to $100 a month. While gyms, fitness programs and personal trainers can be an excellent way to achieve cardiovascular 36 724.942.0940 to advertise


health, just remember they are not the only way. If money is tight there are plenty of free alternatives that may work just as well for you.

• Acupuncture and Massage • If you’ve ever been treated to a massage, you probably don’t need a list of of advantages to persuade you to have one on a regular basis. Massage is the manipulating of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being. Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, joints or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, and feet. There are over 80 different recognized massage modalities. The most cited reasons for introducing massage as therapy have been client demand and perceived clinical effectiveness. Massage is usually only covered by insurance in very special circumstances, so be prepared to pay out of pocket for these services. According to, acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force known as qi or chi, ( pronounced CHEE), believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.

In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body’s natural painkillers and increase blood flow. Reasons for having an acupuncture procedure include Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Fibromyalgia, headaches, labor pain, low back pain, menstrual cramps, migraines, Osteoarthritis, dental pain and tennis elbow. As with massage, acupuncture is generally not covered by insurance.

• Chiropractic Care • According to, chiropractic care is a natural method of health care that focuses on correcting the causes of physical problems from subluxations or misalignments of the bones in the body, especially the spine. The field of Chiropractic is considered holistic, improving people’s lives by optimizing the functioning of the nervous system. Every cell in the body is controlled by the nervous system, including taste, touch, smell, hormones, digestion and cardiovascular. Chiropractic does not just treat symptoms or problems, but allows for a healthy nervous system, so the body functions better. A healthy nervous system has the ability to resist disease and ill health. Chiropractic restores the body’s nervous system, thereby increasing its resistance to illnesses. Chiropractors are able to determine and remove blocks to the nervous system by locating subluxations or misaligned vertebrae and adjusting them. There is one issue that will arise with chiropractic care…visits are sometimes not covered by insurance. Although suggested by many health care practitioners, including primary care physicians, some insurance companies still consider chiropractors luxury visits in some instances. One session with a chiropractor can cost anywhere from $35-$100 depending on the region you live in, with additional fees for more completed procedures. When it comes to chiropractic care, one must decide if the benefits outweigh the cost.

Our Health & Wellness


Orthopedic Associates of Pittsburgh was established more than four decades ago. Originally in Oakland, Monroeville opened in 1978 and White Oak in 2002. We have evolved from a general orthopedic practice into a sub-specialty practice encompassing hand & upper extremity, foot & ankle, Orthopedic Associates total joint replacement, sports medicine and spine.We will strive to provide the finest Of Pittsburgh service and care for your orthopedic needs. 412.373.1600 AIO has seven locations in the Pittsburgh area and Wheeling, offering easy access to the latest in vision care procedures and technology. In fact, AIO is the first Western PA practice to offer the ALCON LenSx® for LASER CATARACT SURGERY and the Constellation Visual System® for ADVANCED SUTURELESS VITREORETINAL SURGERY. In the hands of our renowned Associates in Ophthalmology, AIO surgeons, these eye care advancements increase the accuracy, reduce the time, and 1.800.246.1000 provide a faster recovery for our patients. Pittsburgh Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, Inc. specializes in hearing assessment, hearing rehabilitation and hearing aids. We are an independent private practice working with over 10 hearing aid manufacturers, providing the highest quality of care to our patients. Dr. Laura Di Pasquale-Gregory, Au.D. and Dr. Lori Pittsburgh Audiology A. Howard, Au.D., are both Board Certified & Hearing Aid Center Doctors of Audiology and offer a complete hearing healthcare plan to each patient. 412.373.4270

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 37

Health & Wellness • Podiatry • Podiatry is the specialty devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the foot. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, most people log an amazing 75,000 miles on their feet by the time they reach age 50. Regular foot care can ensure that your feet are up to the task. With proper detection and intervention, most foot and ankle problems can be lessened or prevented. Many people are unaware of the many issues that can affect feet. Arthritis, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), peripheral neuropathy, common injuries (sprains, strains and fractures), Haglund’s deformity (bony enlargement of the back of the heel bone), heel pain and tendinitis can all create mobility problems for individuals. There are various skin disorders including athlete’s foot, corns and calluses, psoriasis, skin cancer of the feet, as well as toe joint and nerve disorders such as bunions, hammer toes and neuromas to consider. Individuals may also suffer from ingrown toenails. Some basic but effective foot care tips include washing your feet daily, making sure to rinse off all soap and water especially between the toes and trimming nails straight across and not overly short to avoid cutting or digging at corners. Over the counter medications are not recommended for removing corns or calluses. A qualified podiatrist should be consulted for treatment and removal. Wear clean socks or stockings changed daily and

make sure that they are not too tight. Always wear properly fitting shoes. If you do suffer a foot ailment, there are various ways to treat them. Prescription, custom orthotics, which are specially-made devices, are designed to support and comfort your feet and may correct the problem. For more severe issues, surgery may be needed in cases when pain or deformity persists.

• Audiology • Audiology is the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and management of hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children. It is an important component to health and wellness, yet it tends to be ignored unless there is a noticeable problem. Individuals should get their hearing checked yearly to ensure that everything is as it should be. An audiologist, commonly called an ear doctor, prescribes and fits hearing aids, assists in cochlear implant programs, performs ear or hearing related surgical monitoring, designs hearing conservation programs and provides newborn screening programs to test hearing levels. Audiologists may also provide hearing rehabilitation such as auditory training, speech reading and listening skills improvement. What many people don’t realize is that almost all types of hearing loss are treatable by an audiologist. No one should ever feel there is no hope with hearing loss. Some hearing related problems include occupational; earwax blockage; hearing loss related to aging; acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor on the hearing nerve; Meniere’s disease, a serious tumor on the nerve ending; ringing in the ears; and fluid on the ear. Most hearing-related procedures and tests will be covered by most insurance companies.

• Family Medicine • According to the American Academy of Family Medicine (AAFP), family practice is health care for the individual and family that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences. The scope of family medicine encompasses all ages, both sexes and every organ system of the body. Common services provided in family medicine include bone density screenings, EKGs, hospital care, immunizations and flu shots, lab services, minor surgery (warts, lesions, stitches), newborn health, gynecology and obstetrics, school and sports physicals and preventive visits. Family Medicine physicians work closely with patients to prevent disease and offer them a long and healthy life. Healthy lifestyle, exercise and weight control are often points that are stressed to all members of the family. For those with a personal history of chronic disease, specific measures are taken to ensure that they are being monitored and that their disease is being managed effectively. This is usually achieved with regular health maintenance exams and by keeping up with what is going on in their lives. The main focus and advantage of family medicine is the very personal and intimate care that is normally received. The attending physician almost becomes a member of the family. Another particular benefit of family medicine is that it concentrates on education as well. Everyone in the family should understand what good healthy living is and all the ins and outs of how to achieve health goals. This is done with open discussions with your physician.. 38 724.942.0940 to advertise


Our Health & Wellness


• Vision Care • Many of us take our vision for granted. But we would certainly be completely lost without it, so it is essential we take good care of our eyes with regular exams and wearing glasses or contacts, if needed. According to the Vision Council of America, approximately 75% of adults need some sort of vision correction. Although drugstores sell nonprescription glasses for reading, which means anyone can buy them without seeing an eye doctor for an exam, there is no substitute for a professional vision exam by an eye doctor, with a customized prescription for glasses or corrective lenses.

Circulatory Centers 1.800.426.9601

Approximately 30% of the American population is near-sighted and must use glasses for activities such as driving and schoolwork. About 60% of Americans are far-sighted meaning that they have trouble reading or sewing without glasses, but can focus well at a distance. The majority of young people who wear glasses are near-sighted. As people age, they are more likely to need vision correction for far-sightedness. About 25% of people who wear glasses to see distances will end up needing reading glasses or bifocals as they get older. The recommendations for the frequency of vision exams varies somewhat, but generally individuals are advised to have an eye exam somewhere between one to four years, depending upon their age group.

New Story 1-877-622-7245

At Circulatory Centers, you are in good hands. Over the past 30 years, we have specialized in treating only vein issues and vein disease. Our board-certified doctors and vascular surgeons are experts in diagnosing and treating circulatory issues caused by veins dysfunction. Patient advocates assist with insurance coverage, often handling the claim process from start to finish. We stand by the quality of care we provide. After all, we are the vein treatment provider doctors recommend most! New Story offers a unique family-like learning environment and a host of therapeutic services to help children achieve success while dealing with the most serious and complex educational and behavioral challenges. New Story’s ten schools are private licensed schools serving children from kindergarten to 21 years. New Story services and programs are provided in public/private schools, the community or the home.

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 39



Laser Accuracy Now Available for Patients Undergoing Cataract Surgery

Laser Cataract Surgery Uses Latest FDA-Approved Technology

It’s a fact of life that over time our vision may not be what it once was – crisp images and vibrant colors gradually fade. This change in our vision affects most of life’s activities – reading, driving, being active, enjoying nature, and so much more. Cataracts can affect all of us as we age. What Are Cataracts? Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. They are the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is estimated that more than 22 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts, and that more than half of the population will experience this condition by the time they are 80 years old. In a healthy eye, light passes through the lens and is focused on the retina. The retina transfers the image into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. As cataracts form, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and the images sent to the brain are not as sharp and vivid as they once were. What Is Available to Treat Cataracts? Treatment of cataracts involves surgery to remove the cloudy natural lens, replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL. With more than 3 million cataract surgeries performed each year in the United States, it is the most commonly performed elective medical procedure under the Medicare system. Standard cataract surgery is covered by most insurance plans, as well as Medicare. These IOLs, or implants, are effective in restoring vision and a cataract will not develop again. Although standard IOLs produce clear vision, patients will likely need glasses or contacts due to remaining astigmatism or presbyopia. Astigmatism causes blurriness or visual distortion due to an irregularity in the dome-shaped curvature of the front surface of the eye, the cornea. Presbyopia is the hardening of the natural lens, which causes a loss of focus on objects up close. The ability for the lens to change shape in order to focus for near vision is typically lost as people age, so reading glasses become necessary.

Presbyopia usually begins around the age of 45 and it affects everyone sooner or later. Custom Cataract Surgery involves the use of special advanced technology – IOLs and surgical techniques. These special IOLs and techniques are very successful in helping people reduce or eliminate their dependency on glasses by decreasing nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Multifocal and Accommodating IOLs improve vision at all distances. Toric IOLs improve distance vision and correct astigmatism. Laser Accuracy for Customized Cataract Surgery The latest technological advance is laserassisted cataract surgery. Until now, standard cataract procedures and custom cataract surgeries were performed manually by the surgeon, making several small incisions with a blade. A manual procedure allows for a margin of error that can increase risks and affect outcomes. With the introduction of the first FDA-approved laser for cataracts, called LenSx®, this image-guided laser allows the surgeon to perform incisions with efficiency and precision without the use of a blade. The laser also assists in breaking up the lens so that removal of the cataract requires less ultrasound energy. Additionally, the laser allows for better management of astigmatism, increasing the likelihood of not needing glasses for distance after surgery. Patients who undergo cataract surgery with implantation of a standard IOL will likely have presbyopia the rest of their lives, requiring glasses for reading and any close work. Those who choose to have cataract surgery along with implantation of a special or “lifestyle” lens will likely not need glasses for most anything they do – near, far, or in between. As expected, this new technology comes with additional costs. Cataract patients who elect to have customized surgery may still use insurance for the standard portion of the procedure, but will pay the cost of the custom upgrade out-of-pocket. Undergoing Laser Cataract Surgery is an important decision involving one’s vision. Patients should be sure to discuss all the available options and any questions they have with the doctor who will perform their procedure. This is the best way to get clear, candid answers that apply specifically to the individual. Lifestyle and visual needs are also important considerations and should be taken into account when making decisions about cataract surgery.

Lisa M. Cibik, MD, FACS Director of Cataract Services Associates in Ophthalmology

A board-certified surgeon, Dr. Cibik is one of the most productive cataract surgeons in the United States. She has lectured nationally on advancements in cataract removal techniques/technology and is currently involved in the investigation of several new ophthalmic medications and devices. John P. Nairn, MD Eye Surgeon Associates in Ophthalmology

A board-certified and fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist, Dr. Nairn is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association, Pittsburgh Ophthalmic Society and the Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology. He has published numerous articles and lectured extensively throughout the country.

Associates in Ophthalmology, AIO 1.800.246.1000 AIO has seven locations in the Pittsburgh area and Wheeling, offering easy access to the latest in vision care procedures and technology. In fact, AIO is the first Western PA practice to offer the ALCON LenSx® for LASER CATARACT SURGERY and the Constellation Visual System® for ADVANCED SUTURELESS VITREORETINAL SURGERY. In the hands of our renowned surgeons, these eye care advancements increase the accuracy, reduce the time, and provide a faster recovery for our patients.

Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 41

Health & Wellness • Geriatrics • Geriatric medicine is quite unique because it usually deals with health issues related to age such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and more. Despite these challenges, geriatric wellness is better than it has ever been before. People are living longer and taking better care of themselves. Retirement goals for the senior citizen of today differ widely from the objectives of retirees in years past. Today’s senior has a desire to not only stay healthy and prevent disease, but is passionate about living an active lifestyle. Exercise has been shown to increase longevity and quality of life. According to, the five categories of fitness include aerobic fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition and flexibility. For the geriatric exercise participant, balance also plays a huge role in the development of a wellness program. For example, working on strength and balance to prevent falls is important, but in reality a trip, slip or fall will eventually happen. Exercises that build bone density and joint integrity along with flexibility are important to prevent fractures and other injuries.

The American College of Sports Medicine exercise guidelines for men and women 65 and older includes cardiovascular exercise at a moderate pace for 30 minutes, five days a week to improve aerobic fitness. It is also recommended that older adults engage in strength training two days per week. The focus should be on large muscle group exercises that mimic activities of daily living, such as standing, reaching overhead and pulling. It is also suggested that flexibility exercises be added at least two days per week. One should also utilize balance exercises to create a well-rounded program that focuses on both performance and prevention. The bottom line is, today’s world offers better opportunities than ever before for seniors to live and be healthy for many years to come..

• Cosmetic Surgery • Cosmetic surgery is very popular in the United States these days. In fact, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Americans spent a staggering $10.7 billion on cosmetic surgery in 2010. According to, the most popular cosmetic procedures include liposuction, breast augmentation, BOTOX®, eyelid surgery, thermage, facelift, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck and buttocks implants. While cosmetic surgery is generally a safe procedure, when it does go bad, results can be disastrous. The key is to research your doctor thoroughly, making sure he/she has extensive experience and many references from

At the New Story Monroeville School, our students face the most serious and complex emotional and behavioral challenges. Our students come to us with a wide range

of diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Downs Syndrome, Schizophrenia, etc. But at New Story, it’s not about a student’s diagnosis – it’s about providing an environment and services that encourage growth, learning and goal achievement. Our vision is for all children to grow and develop as individuals in preparation for meaningful adult lives. ew Story offers families hope. For our parents, they want what any parent wants for their child – a fulfilling, meaningful, good life. Our goal at New Story is for our students to acquire the skills and motivation needed to be able to return to their home school districts. We are committed to working individually with each child until their educational and behavioral goals are met.

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Our Health & Wellness


satisfied patients. Insurance does not usually cover cosmetic surgery, so it is a rather expensive, completely out of pocket expense. For example, a liposuction can cost around $10,000. The only kind of cosmetic surgery that is generally covered by insurance is for conditions that may interfere with someone’s overall health and wellness. Good health is not just a linear concept of adhering to a rigid routine for everyone. Each individual is different, and his/her personality, lifestyle and priorities must be taken into account..

Shealer Chiropractic 412-823-5710

At Shealer Chiropractic, P.C. in Penn Hills, Dr. Brent has the experience to provide the highest quality chiropractic care each time you come to see us. But we’re also people just like you - we have families and pets and we participate in sports activities. We combine our expertise with a responsive and caring attitude to make you as comfortable as possible with our practice.

• Dental Work • Dental care is a vital aspect of health and wellness. Many people incorrectly believe that dental care is important for aesthetic reasons only, but this is far from the case. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, there is a link between poor oral health and conditions such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, although researchers are not sure of the role that oral health plays in causing heart problems. Recent studies have also shown that women with periodontal disease are at three to five times greater risk for delivering a preterm infant than those who are periodontally healthy. There may also be a link between oral health and diabetes, Alzheimer’s and certain immune disorders. Whether you have a cracked tooth, a cavity, braces, dental implants or are needing a simple whitening or cleaning, dental care is a priority for most people. Because the costs of dental care keep increasing, some are choosing to cut out dentist visits all together. This is not recommended. However, if carrying dental insurance is not an option, then an individual should still stick to routine check-ups. According to, the national average cost for a regular cleaning can range anywhere from $50-130 depending on the region in which you live. Skipping these checkups and cleanings can lead to more serious issues down the road that can cost thousands of dollars. In the meantime, as is the case with most health-related issues, prevention is the key. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss after every meal and you drastically increase your odds of having great oral health.

Current issues of this magazine are also available online.


Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 43

Health & Wellness • Hair Restoration • It is no secret we live in a society where looks are important to many people. So, naturally, hair replacement has become more and more popular. According to, hair loss is primarily caused by a combination of aging, a change in hormones, and a family history of baldness. As a rule, the earlier hair loss begins, the more severe the baldness will become. Hair loss can also be caused by burns or trauma, in which case hair replacement surgery is considered a reconstructive treatment, and may be covered by health insurance. Baldness is often blamed on poor circulation to the scalp, vitamin deficiencies, dandruff, and even excessive hat-wearing. All of these theories have been disproved. It’s also untrue that hair loss can be determined by looking at your maternal grandfather, or that 40-year-old men who haven’t lost their hair will never lose it. Hair replacement surgery can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but the results are not always what you envisioned. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon. It’s important to understand that all hair replacement techniques use your existing hair. The goal of surgery is to find

the most efficient uses for existing hair. Hair replacement candidates must have healthy hair growth at the back and sides of the head to serve as donor areas. Donor areas are the places on the head from which grafts and flaps are taken. Other factors, such as hair color, texture and waviness or curliness may also affect the result. Transplant techniques, such as punch grafts, mini-grafts, micro-grafts, slit grafts and strip grafts are generally performed on patients who desire a more modest change in hair fullness. Flaps, tissue-expansion and scalp-reduction are procedures that are usually more appropriate for patients who desire a more dramatic change. Remember, there are limits to what can be accomplished. An individual with very little hair might not be advised to undergo hair replacement surgery.

• Pediatrics • Arguably, pediatric medicine is one of the most important areas of medical practice because it involves our children. This branch of medicine deals with the care of infants, children and adolescents. The ages treated usually range from birth to 18 years. According to, pediatrics differs from adult medicine in many aspects. The obvious body size differences are paralleled by maturational changes. The smaller body of an infant or neonate is substantially different physiologically from that of an adult. Congenital defects, genetic variance and developmental issues are areas of greater concern for pediatricians. Treating a child is not like treating a miniature adult. A major difference between pediatrics and adult medicine is that children are minors, and in most jurisdictions, cannot make decisions for themselves. The issues of guardianship, privacy, legal responsibility and informed consent must always be considered in every pediatric procedure. In a sense, pediatricians often have to treat the parents and sometimes the family, rather than just the child. Adolescents are in their own legal class, having rights to their own health care decisions in certain circumstances. Pediatrics is a fairly new practice, only becoming a specialty in the mid-19th century. Today it is one of the biggest medical specialties in the United States, mainly because individuals tend to care more for their children than they do themselves and are therefore more likely to seek regular and consistent medical care for their children..

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It Was a Great Day ! n r i a c t i P for O

n Saturday, September 29, Pitcairn residents and neighbors gathered at the Pitcairn Ball Fields for food, music and fun. Some of the bands that entertained visitors included Wee Jams, Dallas Marks, Buddy Mac Band and the Continental Dukes Band. Kids had fun with face painting, pony rides, spin art, crafts and a balloon walk. The day was capped off with fabulous fireworks! Festivities were made possible by the Pitcairn Council and the Parks & Recreation Board.

1. Members of the Navy ROTC Sea Cadets prepare before start of Pitcairn Community Day 2. Kim Spruce, outreach coordinator primary care and Warren Jackson 3. Joan Connelly of Pitcairn Church Fellowships puts out frisbees during Pitcairn Community Day

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Decoding Cat Behavior

Cats are known as mysterious creatures. While some of the things they do can be puzzling at times, you don’t have to be a super sleuth to decode your pet’s behaviors. Here are answers for common questions about feline quirks. What does it mean when my cat rubs her chin and body against me? A lot of cat owners assume that rubbing is a sign of affection. What it might actually mean is that your cat is marking her territory. Cats have scent glands in their cheeks and sides. So when they rub on something, the cat is leaving its personal mark, depositing pheromones. This lets other cats know that they’ve staked a claim to a particular bit of territory – including you. So in a quirky feline way, it is a sign of affection. When my cat sniffs something, sometimes her mouth is open and lips are pulled back – what is that about? The feline sense of smell is much stronger than that of humans. While people have about five million odor-sensitive cells in their noses, cats have about 200 million. Cats also have an extra olfactory organ, called the Jacobson’s organ, located on the roof of the mouth and connected to the nasal cavity. So when your cat gets a whiff of something unusual or especially interesting, she will open her mouth and inhale the scent so it reaches the Jacobson’s organ. This intensifies the smell and gives your cat more information about whatever she is sniffing. I’ve heard that spaying or neutering cats makes them lazier – is that true? Spaying and neutering can help cats live longer lives, prevent unwanted litters and reduce territorial behaviors. However the hormonal changes that come with spaying and neutering can cause an up to 20 percent increase in appetite and an up to 30 percent decrease in metabolism. These changes mean that spayed or neutered cats are almost 3.5 times more likely to be overweight than other cats, putting them at an increased risk for obesity which can lead to other health issues, such as diabetes, arthritis and non-allergic skin conditions. It’s important to help spayed and neutered cats maintain a healthy weight and add years to their lives. Check online or at your favorite pet store for spayed/neutered feline foods that can help control your cat’s appetite and support its decreased energy needs. Monroeville | Winter 2012 | 47

The Santa Watch Continues in



ccording to Minnie Elfkin, Public Relations Coordinator for Santa Claus Operations North America, the iconic Christmas figure will be keeping a dizzying schedule of public appearances this holiday season. During November and December, Mr. Claus will be visiting as many cities and towns across the U.S. as possible, including appearances in Monroeville and Pitcairn. Those wishing to consult Mr. Claus to make a particular gift request should check the shopping malls and local holiday parades. Mr. Claus also may be seen in the vicinity of 34th Street in New York City and any cold, mountainous region where reindeer may live. In other news from the North Pole, Prancer has been placed on the injured disabled list, although he is expected to be healthy for the Christmas Eve event. A young reindeer named Techno is being called up from the farm team as a possible replacement if Prancer is unable to fly by Christmas. Elfkin stresses, “Presents WILL BE delivered on time and there will be no lapse in service regardless of personnel changes.� Elfkin also reminds homeowners to leave the damper open to provide easier access through the chimney. This season Mr. Claus is watching

by Pamela Palongue

his cholesterol intake and low fat snacks are much appreciated. Elfkin also reports that the United Federation of Elves has been working on some exciting, new toys this season that should please any toddler or preschooler. Children are alerted to be on their best behavior, now that Santa Claus has skype capabilities. Although there have been many imposters, there is still no official Santa Claus website at this time. Santa Claus cannot be liked on Facebook or followed on Twitter due to the covert nature of his operations in the North Pole region. Those children wishing to write Mr. Claus should send all correspondence to the usual address, Santa Claus, North Pole. All children in the Monroeville area are requested to go to bed no later than 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus will be arriving in Pitcairn at 2:17 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and Monroeville at 2:18 a.m. In order to receive a present from Santa, children should make sure to pick up their toys and eat all their vegetables. In the meantime, keep a sharp eye toward the northern sky and watch for flying reindeer and twinkling lights.

s a m t s i r h C y r r e M a l l A o and to All a G T oodnight. 48 724.942.0940 to advertise


Helping Students Manage Money Money management is one skill that can be difficult for young adults to master as they head off on their own. But no matter what stage of life – whether they’re entering college or the work force – every young adult should learn how to handle their money. Establish a Budget. Sit down together with your student and map out all monthly expenses including room and board or rent, books, supplies, food, personal care and medications, transportation, gas, entertainment and payment for phone, mobile devices, cable and Internet access. Stick to the budget Prioritize needs vs. wants. Have your student do the math on how much some of their “necessities” will cost them, and then talk about how to weigh purchase decisions. Find ways to spend less. A little planning can help young adults spend less and get more value for their dollar out of cellphone use, food, clothing and entertainment. Be smart about credit cards. Make sure your student understands the impact of interest rates; discuss setting limitations on using a credit card to avoid non-academic debt (emergencies, travel, school expenses, etc.). Equipping your student with some basic financial skills will help them make wise money choices now and for the rest of their lives.

B u s i n ess D i r ec to ry



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IN Monroeville  

IN Monroeville Winter 2012

IN Monroeville  

IN Monroeville Winter 2012