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Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you - TA Baron
Welcome to the premier issue of Moon Magazine! You may be asking yourself, “What is this new magazine and why am I getting it?” Allow me to answer that. I founded IN Community Magazines over a decade ago with the belief that people want to read news about their community and the people who live and work there. They want positive, uplifting news, and information about their municipalities and schools. We are supported entirely by advertising, not taxpayer dollars. While we do offer school districts and municipalities the opportunity to purchase pages in our magazines, we give them rates that, in most cases, are less than what they are paying to put out their own newsletters to constituents. We accept no advertising for alcohol, tobacco or firearms. We can guarantee that what you read in our pages will be family-oriented, upbeat and something that you can be proud of. In fact, we encourage you to submit your ideas for stories to our managing editor, Marybeth Jeffries, at firstname.lastname@example.org. What’s a good story? That depends on you! We routinely cover nonprofit organizations and the good they do in the community. We cover fundraising events. We feature local houses of worship. We want to know about the Boy or Girl Scout troop that’s working on a community project. We want to feature the team that makes WPIALs. We want to feature the team that is just starting out as a club sport. We’ve done features on centenarians, librarians and veterinarians. If you think hard enough, I bet that you can think of at least one person who’s making a difference in your community. That’s what we want to know about. I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with you,
Wayne Dollard Publisher
WINTER 2010 IN Moon is a non-partisan community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Moon area and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PUBLISHER
Wayne Dollard AS S I STA N T TO T H E P U B L I S H E R
Mark Berton email@example.com M A N AG I N G E D I TO R
Marybeth Jeffries firstname.lastname@example.org O F F I C E M A N AG E R
Leo Vighetti email@example.com E D I TO R I A L AS S I STA N T
Jamie Ward firstname.lastname@example.org WRITERS
Jonathan Barnes Kelli McElhinny Pamela Palongue GRAPHIC DESIGN
Michael Andrulonis Cassie Brkich Anna Buzzelli Susie Doak Pati Ingold
Bill Ivins Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda Tracey Wasilco
P H OTO G R A P H E R S
Rebecca Bailey Garyyonphotography.com One Way Street Productions
As the holiday season approaches, I hope you'll step away from the list making and cookie baking for just a few minutes to enjoy the information we have compiled for this edition of In Moon. As always, our goal is to offer a bit of insight into the community. Some of our most interesting features focus on residents and their passion in all things “community.” As you are going through your busy days (and holiday parties) please don't forget to let us know about any person or organization who you feel would be interesting for us to feature. We get some of our best story ideas and are so inspired, by our readers! The amount of good will and charitable activity that seems to flow from the In Moon Community is amazing and awesome. From all of us at In Community Magazines, we hope your holiday will be filled with a good dose of of peace and a little bit of joy that you’re surrounded by the love and companionship of those who mean the most to you.
A DV E RT I S I N G S A L E S
Nicholas Buzzell David Mitchell Brian Daley Tamara Myers Gina D’Alicandro Gabriel Negri Tina Dollard Robert Ojeda Rose Estes Annette Petrone Beatriz Harrison Tara Reis Jason Huffman Vincent Sabatini Jessie Jones Michael Silvert Connie McDaniel RJ Vighetti Brian McKee This magazine is carrier route mailed to all district households and businesses. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Copyright 2010.
CORRESPONDENCE All inquiries, comments and press releases should be directed to: IN Community Magazines Attn: Editorial 603 East McMurray Road McMurray, PA 15317 Ph: 724.942.0940 Fax: 724.942.0968
www.incommunitymagazines.com Marybeth Jeffries Managing Editor 2 724.942.0940 to advertise
Winter Issue Deadline: January 31
Contents Moon Township | WINTER 2010 |
W I N T E R 2 0 1 0 -1 1
Health and Wellness News You Can Use
Here’s to a Happy, Healthy Winter If winter isn’t your favorite season, look inside for some great ways to keep your health and spirits intact.
© 2010 UPMC
Falls Are No Laughing Matter
The Difference a Number Can Make New UPMC Rehab Institute President
Be Happy and Healthy this Winter Are You Sad? Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder
New Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Patients
21 page 6
When Kids Get Hurt, We’re Ready
UPMC Offers Expanded Imaging Services in South Hills
Publisher’s Message FEATURES
Wings Over Pittsburgh Takes flight after one-year hiatus By Spc. Justin Snyder | 4
Cardio Exercises: Keeping the most important muscle fit | 12
Back Pain: Many causes, few cures | 18
Those Unwholesome Christmas memories By Pamela Palongue | 30
The Perfect Hostess Gift
Newbury: A Unique Place to Work and live
Winter is the Perfect Time for Outdoor Play
Q & A With Pediatrics South
The challenges of breastfeeding By Scott L. Tyson, M.D. | 8
A Simple Way to Feel Good About Your Legs Again By Dr Christina Teimouri DPM | 20 Drugs in Your Drinking Water?
ON THE COVER
The stained glass windows at St. Margaret Mary Church in Moon Township. The figures depicted on the stained glass windows symbolize the Sacraments and the Biblical History. The windows are a beautiful reminder of what we have to be thankful for this holiday season.
Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.
Moon| WInter 2010 | incommunitymagazines.com 3
Wings Over Pittsburgh
TAKES FLIGHT AFTER ONE YEAR HIATUS By Spc. Justin Snyder, 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment U.S. Army Photos by Staff Sgt. Michel Sauret
The Challenger II biplane, of Team Oracle, conducts some warm-up flight tricks during the Wings Over Pittsburgh show hosted by the 911th Air Force Base in Moon Township on Sept. 11, 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michel Sauret)
The Challenger II biplane, of Team Oracle, shoots up into the sky during the Wings Over Pittsburgh show hosted by the 911th Air Force Base in Moon Township on Sept. 11, 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michel Sauret)
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CORAOPOLIS, PA. — Just north of the Pittsburgh International Airport, it is nothing out of the ordinary for the residents of Moon Township to hear the roaring engines of arriving and departing airplanes on a daily basis. They have also grown to expect the daily traffic jam of cars commuting to and from the city. However, they were not used to the United States Army Golden Knights parachuting out of planes. This was the sight seen by an estimated 5,000 observers during the opening festivities of the “2010 Wings Over Pittsburgh” event hosted by the 911th Airlift Wing at the Air Force Reserve Command Center. “That was like a once in a lifetime thing,” said Christopher Adams. “This is a really nice event that I’m glad my family got to chance to experience.” Created in 1999 as an open house for the community to see the importance of the base, the event had been held annually around Fathers Day up until last year when they were forced to cancel due to a lack of resources and manpower.
The free-to-the-public event was moved to Sept. 11 and 12 this year to coincide with Patriot’s Day in remembrance of the World Trade Center attacks. Over 175,000 people attended on the first day. The air show featured military and civilian aerial demonstrations, multiple static displays and food vendors as well as activities for children. “We don’t always think of our service members as human beings,” said Adams, a native of Pittsburgh. “This gives us a chance to get up close and personal and see what they do for us.” For Army Sgt. Matthew Parsons, this was a chance to talk with the general public about his military occupational skill and get to know more about military aircraft. “People don’t generally know what we do as a whole,” said Parsons, a 303rd Tactical Psychological Operations Soldier. “To be able to meet and greet the people who support us on a daily basis—that’s a great thing.” The show also allowed service members of all different branches to work together. Multiple aircraft from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines were on display for the public’s viewing pleasure.
Rod Boyer, a native of Boyers, Pa., shows his grandson Alex around an Apache helicopter. (U.S. Army photo by Soldier Spc. Justin Snyder)
A line of people leads to an F-18F Super Hornet jet where they can take a closer look into the cockpit . (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michel Sauret)
A C-17 Globemaster airplane is parked and open to the audience . (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michel Sauret)
Christopher Adams Jr., a native of Pittsburgh, tries on an Army Combat Helmet from Army Sgt. Matthew Parsons. (U.S. Army photo by Soldier Spc. Justin Snyder)
“It’s really cool that the people get to see us all out here working together as one,” said Parsons, a native of Pittsburgh. “It’s kind of like when you are overseas. We all have the same mission in the long run, and being able to communicate and work together here in country is definitely a plus.” While the event serves as a way for the public to learn, service members are also learning about the different aircraft. “For some soldiers, this is an opportunity to see some of the aircraft they will find when they head down range,” said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jose Grau, 452nd Air Mobility Wing. “To be able to see a C-17 or a Blackhawk here could prove very helpful later on.”
Rhianna Yocum, 11, of West View, PA, jumps up to take a better look at an F-18F Super Hornet jet airplane. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michel Sauret)
Moon| WInter 2010 | incommunitymagazines.com 5
316th ESC Soldiers Lead Pittsburgh Veterans Day Parade oldiers from the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, headquartered in Coraopolis, Pa., and subordinate units march through Downtown Pittsburgh during the cityâ€™s Veterans Day Parade, November 11. The mission of the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) is to serve as the logistics command of a combat theater. The ESC plans, coordinates, synchronizes, monitors, and controls operational-level logistics operations for the Army component commander, joint task force, or joint task for headquarters for the area. The 316th ESC has units in the states of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The unit has eight subordinate brigades comprised of more than 10,000 soldiers in approximately 110 battalions, companies and detachment-sized units. The 316th ESC is a subordinate command of the 377th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) located at Belle Chase, Louisiana (near New Orleans).
(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michel Sauret, 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
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Happy Holidays Patricia Vierling 412-262-4630
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Moon| WInter 2010 | incommunitymagazines.com 7
PEDIATRICS SOUTH: DR. SCOTT TYSON
TALKS ABOUT THE CHALLENGES OF BREASTFEEDING.
ccording to the Centers for Disease Control, three out of four new mothers start out breastfeeding. But after the first few months, those numbers drop sharply. In Pennsylvania, the CDC finds between 30 and 39 percent of mothers who started breastfeeding their children stop the practice somewhere between 3 and 6 months. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that women breastfeed their infants for the first year. The benefits of breastfeeding are many—from improved development and better resistance to infectious diseases in infants, to reduction in certain cancer rates among mothers. But with many mothers working outside the home, and a lack of strong regulation for maternity leave in American workplaces, there are numerous challenges for women who want to continue breastfeeding into their child’s first year. All the practitioners at Pediatrics South are very comfortable and well versed at dealing with breastfeeding. Many times, it is a simple matter of working closely with the family to reassure them that they are doing well. Drinking fluids is one of the most critical areas. Many times, especially with other children in the home, mothers forget how much they need to be drinking fluids, or simply don’t take the time. Work and time are usually the major obstacles to continuing to nurse. However, many mothers will nurse before and after work, and as long as they are drinking well, the milk supply is maintained. There are many supports in the area, including lactation consultants, La Leche Leagues, and most pediatric offices are very well versed in working with nursing mothers. Weaning is a very personal decision. Mothers should always be encouraged and supported to nurse. However, it is a mother’s choice when she is ready to stop nursing. The hope is that all medical groups 5676 Steubenville Pike support her for as long as she chooses to nurse. All babies stop nursing Suite C&D McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania 15136 at some point, and all do fine with the transition. It is usually the Location Hours: mother that needs the support, as it can be a difficult time, and so it is 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. important to work closely with the family. Monday through Wednesday (WELL VISITS BETWEEN Nursing is a wonderful bonding period between a mother and her 1PM-2:40PM)* new infant, and should be a time that is enjoyable for both. It is our job 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Friday to help make that experience as positive as possible, to allow a woman Phone: 412-494-9588 • Fax: 412-490-9046 to nurse as long as she chooses, and to help make the transition to Janet Breslin, M.D. formula or milk as comfortable as possible. Scott L. Tyson, M.D. Sharon Wolkin, M.D. Pediatrics South - Providing Quality Care for over 50 Years Lisa M Zoffel, C.R.N.P. This Industry Insight was written by Scott L. Tyson, M.D. For more Linda Range, M.D. information about nursing mothers or to schedule an appointment please http://www.pediatricssouth.com call us at 412-494-9588
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W I N T E R
Giving Back for the
he holiday season is the perfect time to spread cheer and give back to those who are in need. There are plenty of places around you to do this. Here are some fun ideas: K Volunteer at a soup kitchen K Donate toys you don't want K Donate canned goods to the community food bank K Donate clothes you've outgrown K Visit a nursing home
on the go...
find these things hiding in this picture.
Moon| WInter 2010 | incommunitymagazines.com 9
Adopt a Pet Red
Sometimes things don’t end up the way you think they will. Take a look at me. I’m an AKC Red Beagle who was originally going to be a great hunting dog. But guess what: I hate guns! So that never panned out and I ended up here. However, being at Animal Friends is great. I’ve discovered what I really love in life: toys! I love to play with toys and with you, and I’m always up for more. I’m very gentle and can even do well with children, as long as I’m supervised. I like going for rides in the car and I love to cuddle, too! I like some dogs, so if you have one, my friends the Adoption Counselors would be happy to set up a meeting to see if we get along. And good news for you humans: my adoption fee is sponsored! So you’ve got nothing to lose – come on down to Animal Friends and say hello to me, Red!
To learn more about these adoptable pets, call Animal Friends at 412.847.7002 or visit us at 562 Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237. Animal Friends is a non-profit companion animal resource center serving the needs of pets and people since 1943. For more information, visit http://www.ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org/.
Winter Weather Safety Tips e Have a snack before going outside. It will give you energy and keep your body warmer. e Make sure to wear sunscreen on your face. The snow can reflect up to 85% of the sun's ultraviolet rays. e Dress in layers of clothes. Waterproof pants and jackets will keep you dry and warm! e Never go sled riding alone. Always have a parent supervise. e When you’re playing outside, go inside every once in a while to warm up. e If you start to shiver or feel numb, go inside right away and tell an adult. 10 724.942.0940 to advertise
Sophie is a beautiful domestic shorthaired cat who asks for so little. She found herself at Animal Friends when her previous owner was no longer able to care for her. This gray and white beauty would prefer to go to a quiet household where she can be the only cat. While quite affectionate with the people she has learned to trust, she is shy around strangers and needs time to get used to new surroundings. If you’re looking for a loving, quiet pet then Sophie could be your perfect match! Why not stop by Animal Friends and talk to an Adoptions Counselor?
It ’s the Holidays! Find each of these words in this puzzle.
Holiday Jokes What do you sing at a snowman’s birthday party? Freeze a jolly good fellow! What goes ho-ho whoosh, ho-ho whoosh? Santa caught in a revolving door! What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Frosted flakes! What goes “oh, oh, oh”? Santa walking backwards! How does a snowman lose weight? He waits for the weather to get warmer!
kool kids cook F
or a mouth-pleasing, brain-boosting after school snack, try serving up some of this fun String Cheese “Slaw” with a tall glass of Omega-3 milk. It may just turn chips into a snack of the past.
String Cheese "Slaw" Prep time: 15 Minutes Servings: 6 Crayon-sized string cheese cylinders can be sliced into "buttons" or stripped into "threads," then added to salads of all stripes. Here, the cheese strips are the main ingredient in a fun, carrot-flecked slaw. 6 Organic Valley Stringles String Cheese 1 1⁄ 2 cups carrot, cut into matchsticks or shredded 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (or parsley) 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons olive oil black pepper, freshly ground Pull threads of cheese off each string cheese stick (not too thin). Toss with carrots, cilantro or parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Add pepper to taste. For more information and coupons, visit www.organicvalley.coop
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Moon| WInter 2010 | incommunitymagazines.com 11
™ cardi exercises-
Keeping the Most Important Muscle Fit
hen it comes to exercise, it’s hard to break through the hype and advertising ploys for the newest and best cardio machine or workout. However, the best cardio workout depends on engaging the heart through a multitude of levels and workloads, said Dan Griffin, general manager of Oxford Athletic Club. Griffin, who is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine, said people are becoming more educated when it comes to their cardio workout. “People understand you do not have to do long, slow distance exercises, to be in the fat-burning zone. The studies are showing now that low-intensity heart maintenance levels are just as efficient for calorie burn. Middle heart rates – the kind of exercises where you can talk to your neighbor, but can’t recite the Gettysburg Address – those work well also,” Griffin said. “The higher heart levels have a whole different physiological response and work on different parts of your body. Some who do a little bit of exercise in all three ranges lose weight quicker, and it doesn’t take more time. You take those 30-40 minutes you usually dedicate to your workout and break it up.” Griffin said there are new workout machines that take advantage of that data to help athletes meet those various heart ranges. “There always are machines that are the ‘hot machines.’ In the ‘80s and ‘90s, it was the stepper, and now it’s treadmills, ellipticals, and multi-angular training. With a treadmill, you’re in one plane, moving forward. With multi-angular and multi-plane machines you’re moving forward, and you’re also going left, right, forward and back,” Griffin said. “Another hot machine right now is the ArcTrainer, which is a cross between a
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stepper and an elliptical. With step training, few people can last long enough to make that work right, so the ArcTrainer is a favorite among tennis players and other athletes who come in.” In addition to specialized cardio machines, Griffin said circuit training still gives people a great workout. “Circuit training is still alive and well. We have trainers who take people through workouts that are as demanding as can be,” he said. “Unless you need bulk and heavy lifting, there’s a lot to be said for this functional training where you’re pushing sandbags and working out without stopping between sets. I’ve done it, and have gotten my heart rate from 130 up to 170, and it stays within that range within the whole half hour. The key though, is to do it in a circuit fashion. That way, you don’t have to stop between exercising.” Griffin said that because circuit training focuses on different muscle groups, the workouts typically are faster to get through. “Muscularly, you don’t need the rest because you’re working a diﬀerent muscle group each time,” he said. “Cardio-wise, you may have to wait 30 seconds or so between sets, but you can definitely be fit by doing that.”
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Moon| WInter 2010 | incommunitymagazines.com 13
ADVERTISE HERE! Order early for the holidays!
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PennDOT Reminds Motorists to Adjust Habits, Prepare for Winter Driving Visit 511PA.com to check road conditions before leaving home with snow already forecast for some areas of Pennsylvania. PennDOT reminds drivers to slow down and give snow plows a wide berth to do their jobs. inter weather is returning and drivers need to remember that they have to adjust: you simply cannot drive as fast and you have to be prepared to deal with changing conditions and perhaps delays in your travel plans," said Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. About 5,400 PennDOT employees will work hard to keep Pennsylvania roads passable during winter weather. PennDOT reminds motorists that roadways such as interstates and expressways will be its primary focus and at times, the department may redirect equipment to these routes during significant winter events. During these heavier storms, motorists may encounter deeper accumulations on less-traveled routes and they should adjust their driving for those conditions. PennDOT has budgeted more than $216 million for winter operations this year, about the same amount it spent last winter during a season that saw several record-breaking snowstorms. As part of its normal truck replacement, PennDOT expects over the course of the winter to take delivery on 171 new trucks to replace older ones in its fleet of more than 2,100. Some improvements have been made to this year's replacement trucks including bright red chevron patterns on the tailgates. In addition traditional rotating lights have been replaced by bright, flashing Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting. Also, to make sure that the chevron pattern is fully visible, PennDOT has moved the salt "pre-wetting" tank between the truck's cab and body. The pre-wetting tank stores brine that is sprayed onto salt before it's distributed on the road. Pre-wetting helps salt work faster and at lower temperatures. Also, because the tank is now larger, an operator can spend more time treating roads between refills. "Fleet readiness is a critical part of ensuring public safety. Replacing our worn-out trucks allows us to invest in the newest technologies to better serve Pennsylvania motorists," Biehler said. "It also allows us to spend more time clearing roads and less time fixing our trucks when they are needed most." Last winter, PennDOT used about 994,000 tons of salt on state roads. So far this year, about 641,000 tons of salt are available and the department will continue to take salt deliveries throughout the winter. PennDOT has agreements with more than 700 municipalities for them to clear state roads within their jurisdictions. The department also rents approximately 400 trucks and operators to assist with snow removal as needed. Motorists are reminded that during winter weather events, the department's primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow. PennDOT will continue to treat roadways throughout the storm until after precipitation stops and roads are clear. Drivers must slow down and lengthen their following distance when traveling on snowy or icy roads. Last winter, there were 370 crashes resulting
in three fatalities and 215 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive driving behaviors â€“ such as speeding or making careless lane changes â€“ led to the crash. When preparing for snowy travel, motorists can check road conditions on more than 2,900 miles of state roads by calling 511 or visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, average traffic speeds on urban interstates and access to more than 500 traffic cameras. The 511 site also provides easy-to-use, color-coded winter road conditions for all interstates and other routes covered in the 511 reporting network. New this winter, PennDOT has added a 511 Twitter feed so users can subscribe to any or all of the 511 regions or choose to receive 511 alerts statewide. Drivers are responsible for making sure their vehicles are ready for safe winter travel. Motorists are encouraged to have a mechanic they trust check their vehicle's belts, hoses, battery and brakes. Drivers should also check that the heater and defroster work properly and that the wipers don't streak. Motorists should also check their tires for proper inflation and sufficient tread depth. A quick way to check tread depth is to insert a penny in the tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down. If you can see the entire head, your tires are worn and will not be able to pull your vehicle through winter. In addition, drivers who live in an area prone to heavy snow may want to consider using dedicated snow tires or carrying a set of tire chains. At a minimum, all-season tires should be at least mud- and snow-rated. The last step to equip your vehicle for winter is to pack an emergency kit that includes items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket and small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kit to any specific need they or their family may have. Items such as baby supplies, extra medication, pet supplies, a spare cell phone or even children's games could be included.
Moon| WInter 2010 | incommunitymagazines.com 15
Winter Slow You Down –
Winterizing Your Car Can Keep You Rolling Despite the Conditions A lot of people think that getting ready for winter simply means an annual furnace check, turning off and draining outside faucets, and some shrink wrap over their windows. However, if you don’t winterize your vehicle, you may be stuck in that comfy living room waiting for a ride to come pick you up.
interizing your vehicle isn’t nearly as hard as it may sound. In fact, thanks to the moderate climate of Western Pennsylvania, and the expediency of our regional public works professionals, there’s little if anything for us to do to prep our cars for winter weather. But there are some things that are just good sense. • Consider changing to thinner oil for the winter. The regular oil you use in the summer can get thicker in the cold of winter, leading to longer start up times until your engine is properly lubricated. If you aren’t the type who changes your oil on your own, ask your local mechanic about changing viscosity for the winter months. • Check the basics. If you don’t do anything else, make sure you cover the basics. Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full with a fluid that won’t freeze in low temperatures, and carry an extra gallon in the trunk. When the Pittsburgh slush flies, it’s easy to go through a full container of wiper fluid. Make sure your tires are inflated properly and that you have enough tread on them. Connecting People’s Resources with People’s Needs A rule of thumb for minimal thread is to stick a penny in your BBF, a 52-year old Pittsburgh-based treads with Lincoln’s head down. If the rubber doesn’t meet his international charity, has provided over hairline, your tread’s too low. Some people switch to snow tires $3.4 billion of medical supplies, textbooks, for the winter, which is never a bad idea. Make sure your spare is food, seeds, and other humanitarian inflated properly and that you have a roadside assistance kit. supplies to people around the world in over 140 countries. In the !rst nine months of Emergency blankets can easily fit in glove boxes, as do flashlights, 2010 alone, BBF sent product contributions ice scrapers and extra gloves. to those in need in 48 countries including • If you don’t have jumper cables, get some! Most car batteries Argentina, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, lose charge due to cold temperature. Carrying jumpers not only Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, increases the chances that you’ll find a good Samaritan to jump a India, Jamaica, Malawi, Nicaragua, Peru, charge off of, you can also be the good Samaritan who helps others Philippines, Rwanda and Vietnam. These who may be in distress. shipments were the equivalent of 175 tractor trailer loads with an estimated value Winter driving poses a multitude of challenges, but if you cover of over $175 million. Also in 2010, BBF these basics, you’ll eliminate a good bit of them. However, you furnished supplies for 175 medical and can’t eliminate bad driving, so be alert and keep an eye out humanitarian hand-carry mission trips that for others on the road this time of year.
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served 33 countries.
your wealth compass
YEAR END FINANCIAL CHECKLIST Things you can do before the New Year. he end of the year is a good time to review your personal finances. Our lives are constantly busy taking care of the daily tasks we are obligated to that it is easy to push of to some other day our long term goals and dreams. Take some time out of your busy schedule to make some strategic financial decisions before December 31 that may affect not only your long term goals but also the amount of taxes you’ll owe next April. Remember your RMD’s. RMD’s (Required minimum distributions) are back for 2010. If you are age 70 ½ or older with IRA’s or other retirement plans, you are required to take a RMD from your retirement account. If you are a beneficiary of an IRA or a Roth IRA you may also be subject to the RMD rules. If the IRA owner died in 2010 there are RMD’s for the year of death that need to be calculated and taken by each beneficiary. This is one IRA rule you do not want to miss. The IRS penalty for not taking a RMD is 50%. Roth IRA Conversions. This year anyone can convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Prior to 2010, you could not convert to a Roth IRA if your MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) exceeded $100,000 or you were married and filed separate federal income tax returns. The additional benefit of converting a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2010 is that you can take advantage of the special deferral rule that applies to only 2010 conversions. You can report half the income from the Roth IRA conversion on your 2011 tax return and the other half on your 2012 return. Should you use the special 2010 deferral rule? That depends on your tax rate in 2010 versus what you think your tax rates will be in 2011 and 2012. Keep in mind that tax rates are scheduled to increase in 2011, if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire. The top tax rate will increase to 39.6% in 2011, up from 35% in 2010. Lump sum Distributions. Distributions from company retirement plans must be completed within the same calendar year to qualify for 10 year averaging and net unrealized appreciation treatment for company stock. If you are planning on using the net unrealized appreciation strategy for your company stock, check to see that all employer stock has been transferred to a non-tax deferred account. Max out your IRA contribution at the end of 2010. If you can do it, do it early. The sooner you make your contribution, the more interest those assets will earn. For 2010, the contribution limits are unchanged for both traditional and Roth IRAs: $5,000 if you are age 49 and below, $6,000 if you are age 50 and above. Remember that you can still make an IRA contribution for the 2010 tax year through April 15, 2011. Don’t forget your 401(k), 403(b) or Thrift Savings Plan if you are still working. You can contribute up to $16,500 to these plans in 2010, with a $5,500 catch-up contribution also allowed if you are age 50 or older.
Review your overall portfolio. This review can tell you whether you need to rebalance and make sure your asset allocation is still appropriate for your time horizon and goals. Your overall review should help you decide whether that rebalancing should be done before or after December 31 for tax reasons. Year-end investment decisions may sometimes result in substantial tax savings. Capital gains and losses are accorded special tax treatment. Currently, the top long-term capital gains tax rate is 15 percent (for most types of assets), while the top ordinary income tax rate is 35 percent--that's a difference of 20 percent. You may wish to make a charitable gift before New Year’s Day. If you make a charitable contribution this year, you may be able to claim the deduction on your 2010 return. Don’t delay – December 31 will soon be here. Talk with a qualified financial or tax professional today, so you can focus on being healthy and wealthy in the New Year. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC and advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., Sarvey G Canella, Representative. Canella Financial Group and the Securities America companies are separate entities. Securities America representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. Sarvey, is CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner with Canella Financial Group, located at 1150 Thorn Run Road, Moon Township, PA. He can be reached at 412262-1040 or through his email at firstname.lastname@example.org . The company web site is www.canellafinancialgroup.com . The firm offers Comprehensive Wealth Management Services. Sarvey received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration degree from Duquesne University. He earned the professional certification of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner from the College of Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. Sarvey is an active member of the Financial Planning Association and the Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Advisor Group. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC and advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., Sarvey G Canella, Representative. Canella Financial Group and the Securities America companies are separate entities.
Moon| WInter 2010 | incommunitymagazines.com 17
Many Causes, Few Cures
t’s the kind of thing that can come in an instant like a lightning bolt, or sneak in over the course of weeks like a persistent fog. In any form, it’s unwelcome and costs U.S. businesses millions of dollars in lost work and sick days. It’s back pain, and while it’s not totally understood, it’s totally real for millions of Americans. There are several varieties of back pain, each with their own names based on the location on the spine from which they seem to originate. One of the more common ones that you may have heard about is “lumbago,” or lower back pain. The name stems from the lumbar section of the spine, and the condition has fueled an estimated $70 billion industry in itself in physician services, self-help remedies, ointments, devices and more. America’s obsession with lumbar and its proper support has led to seats with lumbar adjustments being standard in most high-end vehicles. For those who drive economy cars, there are pillows, wedges, lattices of beads and vibrating heating pads that plug into your car’s lighter socket, each proclaiming more relief than the next. Despite the accoutrements that one can purchase, few provide total relief. That’s because the actual causes of run-of-the-mill, everyday back pain are largely unknown. Many reasons for serious back pain are easily diagnosed because they have a direct causal basis or present with other symptoms such as weight loss, fever or incontinence. Someone in a recent car accident, for example, would know that their current back pain is a result of the collision. However, it’s been postulated that back pain may also be the result of stress at work or at home, reasons that would not show up in an MRI or X-ray. If you’re just dealing with day-to-day aches and pains, most doctors
If you’re just dealing with day-to-day aches and pains, most doctors agree that compresses of warm, moist heat are the best way to cope. 18 724.942.0940 to advertise
agree that compresses of warm, moist heat are the best way to cope. Over the counter pain relievers are also safe, so long as you take them as directed. Chiropractors and physical therapists may be able to suggest a stretching regimen that could alleviate some of the more common aches and pains associated with the spine. In fact, more and more chiropractors have integrated techniques into patient visits other than the basic routine adjustment.
Exercise and patient education are the best tools out there in helping the patient in the long-term. You might be surprised to find that your first chiropractic visit may include 15 minutes of massage therapy, where warm, moist heat compresses are placed on your back, followed by 15 minutes of TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which zings and zaps your muscles with a pleasant tingling sensation. While it all feels great, scientists are split as to whether any of it works for the long term. A study by the American Academy of Family Physicians came to the conclusion that while heat packs, deep heat, and massage are useful in the immediate relief of symptoms, long-term effectiveness is still in question, and the use of TENS therapy has demonstrated no long term effectiveness at all. What the study did conclude is that unless the pain is the result of a deeper medical condition, like cancer or infection, exercise and patient education are the best tools out there in helping the patient in the long-term.
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412-264-5151 Evening and Saturday Appointments Available Moon| WInter 2010 | incommunitymagazines.com 19
Safe Way to Feel Good About Your Legs Again
by Dr Christina Teimouri DPM
n n n
Are you concerned that you are no longer able to hide the spider veins that have started to appear on your legs? Are you afraid your legs will look like your parent’s? Would you like a simple, safe way, covered by insurance, to feel good about your legs again?
It’s as easy as
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Step 1 To begin the process, a registered vascular ultrasound technician should map out a detailed “venous flow map” to show the course of blood through your damaged veins. This step also maps out to the insurance company the medical necessity of your condition; which believe me, if left untreated can slowly but surely become a serious medical condition. This map is verified by a radiologist and the treating physician creates a personal treatment plan just for you. The Advanced Vein Center has Board Certified Physicians like Dr. Mauricio Giraldo, M.D., who actually taught transplant surgery at Harvard. If you have no reflux…skip to step 3! Step 2 A simple half-hour office procedure and you are back to most of your normal routine the same day! There are many ways to close a bad vein. According to many research studies, radio-frequency vein ablation is cutting=edge and way safer and easier than the old lasers. The procedures are similar, but your recovery often is much quicker with less bruising and discomfort. In addition to being a Board Certified surgeon, Dr. Giraldo is also certified by The American Board of Aesthetic Medicine so your results may be the legs you remember from your teenage years! Step 3 Now you are ready to instantly “zap” away those ugly annoying spider veins. In 1/20th of a second, a vein you have been trying to cover up for years is gone before your eyes. Getting rid of the spider veins by sclero or any other way before the ultrasound just wastes your time and money, and doesn’t address the real problem. So don’t wait until summer comes around and you’re the one not wearing shorts. Start now and your legs don’t have to look like your grandma’s. Call 724.987.3220 and take the first step toward your new legs today. www.AdVeinCenter.com
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Falls Are No Laughing Matter Here’s how you can help avoid them at any age Prat falls on TV sitcoms may make us chuckle, but in real life, they’re deadly serious. Falls are the leading injury-related reason people go to the emergency room. Each year, more than a million Americans suffer a slip, trip, or fall injury, resulting in more than 17,000 deaths. Falls don’t have to be an inevitable part of life. There are many proactive strategies you can take to prevent them from happening to you and others. “Have you ever noticed that athletes tend to be injured late in a game? That’s because they’re tired, distracted, or rushed,” says Gary P. Chimes, MD, PhD, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center. “These same conditions are often at play during a fall. You may blame a fall on a slippery sidewalk or unstable chair, when the real underlying cause is entirely different. Knowing what causes a fall is key to addressing the problem.” Your “personal safety margin” diminishes when factors such as age, fatigue, body weakness, and chronic illness are added to the equation.
“Falls often point to other underlying health issues. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of what your body is telling you,” says Dr. Chimes.
Treating a Fall
Exercise: Exercises that promote strength, balance, and body coordination are especially important to prevent falls. Dr. Chimes recommends the martial art of tai chi, especially for older adults.
“If you’ve taken a fall and suspect a serious injury, such as a broken bone, severe cut, or concussion, seek immediate medical attention,” advises Lisa R. Blackrick, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UPMC Mercy. The Level I Trauma Center at UPMC Mercy is specially equipped to evaluate and treat serious and complex injuries.
See your doctor regularly: Schedule annual physical and eye examinations to uncover underlying medical problems that could lead to falls. Notify your doctor if you feel unstable or experience problems like dizziness due to medications.
For less serious injuries such as a sprain or pulled muscle, follow the RICE procedure, she says: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. “If your pain worsens or does not diminish within two or three days, you should contact your family doctor for what to do next.”
Check your surroundings: Clutter-proof your home, especially steps. Make sure carpets and handrails are secure. Use a non-skid mat in your bath. If you have small children, use safety locks on windows and be sure cribs, infant swings, and other equipment are placed securely. Older children should always wear protective gear when biking, skiing, or skating.
After a fall, many people — especially seniors — fear that it will happen again. “The good news is that there are many things that can be done to minimize the reoccurrence of falls, including physical therapy and exercise, medication adjustments, and lifestyle changes,” says Dr. Blackrick. “The important thing is to maintain a dialogue with your health care provider.”
Three things you can do to avoid falls
To learn more about fall-related injury treatment options at UPMC Mercy, call 412-232-7865.
Quick Facts About Falls • Children under the age of five and seniors over the age of 70 have the greatest fall rates.
• Among older adults, more than two-thirds of those who fall are likely to fall again within six months.
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• The most severe falls among children are linked to baby walkers, windows, and play equipment. Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control
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Health Tips from UPMC Health Plan
Be Happy and Healthy This Winter Is your favorite winter activity staying indoors under a warm blanket in front of the television with a bag of snacks in hand? You’re not alone. Getting through the cold weather with your health and spirits intact is difficult but not impossible. Follow these suggestions for a happier, healthier winter.
Fight the flu Cold and flu season is fast approaching. Here are some ways to avoid the sniffles. • Washing your hands for 15 seconds using soap and warm water is your best defense against germs. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based antibacterial product. • Getting a flu shot can reduce your risk of infection by 90 percent. If you don’t like needles, a nasal spray vaccine is available. • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, getting plenty of sleep, and reducing stress will help boost your immune system.
As the weather turns colder, the dry air causes itchy, dry skin. To keep skin more comfortable during the winter months: • Switch to oil-based moisturizers with a minimum SPF of 30 for your face and body, and use them frequently. • Protect your hands from the elements with a heavy-duty hand cream, and always wear gloves outdoors. • Lips need extra protection, too. A moisturizing lip balm with vitamin E will help prevent chapping. • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.
Banish the winter blahs with exercise Don’t pack your exercise gear away with your summer clothes. Staying active during the winter months can lift your mood, help your immune system, and keep you from gaining weight. Be sure to talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. • Walk indoors at a local mall. Need extra motivation? Join a walking group. • Check out an exercise video at your local library or borrow one from a friend. • With proper planning, walking outdoors in winter can be fun and exhilarating. Walk during daylight hours, dress appropriately, and wear skid-resistant shoes. 24 724.942.0940 to advertise
Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
If the darker, shorter days of winter really get you down, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that begins in the fall and gets better in the spring. “Seasonal affective disorder is directly related to a decrease in sunlight during the winter months,” says Edward S. Friedman, MD, a psychiatrist at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC. The lack of sunlight disrupts the body’s internal clock, which can lead to feelings of depression. In addition to seasonal onset, SAD sufferers experience what Dr. Friedman describes as a kind of hibernation. “They stay indoors, conserve energy, eat more, and sleep more,” he explains. Those behaviors can distinguish SAD from other types of depression. And individuals who already suffer from clinical depression may feel worse in the fall. If you are diagnosed with SAD and your symptoms are severe enough to affect your daily life, your doctor may recommend antidepressant medications, light therapy, or psychotherapy. While it’s normal for anyone to have a down day occasionally, don’t brush off those feelings. “Anyone with symptoms of depression that last more than two weeks should see their doctor,” advises Dr. Friedman.
Did You Know?
Winterize your skin
Are You Sad?
• People with SAD are more likely to have a blood relative with the condition. • More women than men are diagnosed with SAD. • Exercise can help boost your mood, and relieve stress and anxiety.
Innovation at UPMC
New Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Patients Robotic technology revolutionizing Whipple surgery When Coy Smith* found out he had pancreatic cancer and needed a Whipple procedure, he started getting his affairs in order. He even considered going without surgery. “It occurred to me that I might not come back home,” says Mr. Smith. Although he left most of the worrying up to his wife, a licensed practical nurse, he knew enough to realize the surgery would not be a simple task. Whipple surgery — one of the most complex surgeries performed — involves the removal of the head of the pancreas, gallbladder, bile duct, part of the stomach, and small intestine. But the 58-year-old Altoona-area resident was lucky. He was one of the first patients at UPMC Cancer Centers to undergo a non-invasive version of the Whipple procedure using state-of-the-art robotic technology. He was operated on in October 2009 by the surgical team of A. James Moser, MD, and Herbert J. Zeh, MD — co-directors of the Pancreatic Specialty Care Center and two of just a handful of surgeons worldwide who perform the Whipple procedure using robotic surgical technology. Mr. Smith woke up in recovery and immediately began joking with the nurses. After a week’s stay in the hospital, Mr. Smith began six months of chemotherapy. One year later, he is cancer-free. “I’m healthy and very fortunate,” Mr. Smith says. * Mr. Smith’s treatment and results may not be representative of similar cases.
“This is pioneering technology — the first major innovation in pancreas surgery in more than 100 years — and UPMC is considered among the world’s leaders,” says Dr. Moser.
Potential Benefits of the Robotic Whipple Procedure • smaller incisions • minimal scarring • reduced blood loss and need for transfusion • less pain • shorter hospital stays • faster recovery time and start of treatment
Precise robotic technology Surgeons use the da Vinci® Si Surgical System, a robotic surgical device that allows them to operate through a series of small incisions (including one to accommodate a miniature camera) with greater dexterity and range of motion, plus a magnified threedimensional view of organs on a large, high-definition screen. Instead of the “chopsticks” used in laparoscopy, robotic surgery equipment allows for more natural movements, including wrist function, explains Dr. Zeh. “It has a 360-degree range of motion, which has much more freedom of movement than your own hand,” says Dr. Zeh. “You can get into places where your hand can’t go.” The robotic technology enhances the surgeon’s ability to see detail and manipulate anatomical parts with great precision. Like conventional laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery is minimally invasive.
Patients benefit The two surgeons have published papers on the robotic Whipple procedure and have spoken at conferences around the world. They are now compiling data on patient outcomes.
While it is not yet clear whether this approach produces better surgical outcomes, both surgeons say it is clear that patients may benefit in many ways, including less pain, reduced recovery time, minimal scarring, and reduced need for blood transfusions. That means patients can begin chemotherapy sooner. “We are pleased to be able to offer this new technology,” Dr. Zeh says. “The data shows that as a whole, patients who undergo the robotic-assisted Whipple procedure do as well as patients who have the traditional open surgery.” Perhaps the biggest benefit is reducing fear in patients. According to Dr. Moser, as many as one half of all pancreatic cancer patients choose not to have surgery to remove their tumor because they are afraid of a large incision and the long recovery time associated with traditional surgery. “We hope that by minimizing the trauma of surgery we can get more people to select this treatment and continue on with chemotherapy,” Dr. Moser says. “Not everyone with pancreatic cancer is doomed. This procedure is giving patients hope.” For more information about the robotic Whipple procedure or any of UPMC's pancreatic cancer treatments, call 1-888-623-PANC (7262).
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When Kids Get Hurt, We’re Ready Children’s Express Care Centers open in Pittsburgh’s North and South Hills It never fails. Just as you settle in for a relaxed evening or weekend, your child suddenly develops a painful earache or takes a nasty tumble and breaks an arm. Thankfully, parents in the North Hills and South Hills now have convenient “after hours” access to the pediatric specialty care found at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. The new Children’s Express Care Centers in Wexford and Bethel Park offer expert care for minor injuries and illnesses. “All we do is take care of kids — that’s our specialty. That’s important because kids are different from adults. Their illnesses and injuries are different and their medicines and treatments are different,” says Raymond D. Pitetti, MD, medical director of Children’s Express Care.
Urgent care just for children Some pediatric health concerns are urgent but not life threatening. Those are exactly the types of cases that the Children’s Express Care Centers are designed to handle, says Dr. Pitetti. The Express Care Centers provide exclusively pediatric-focused treatment in offices that are specially designed for children. Staffed by pediatricians, emergency medicine physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurses who are specifically trained to care for kids, the Centers operate evenings and weekends when pediatricians’ offices are closed. “The entire experience is geared toward kids — from the size of the equipment, to the medications and staff, and even the décor. We also know how to interact with kids and their parents to make them feel at ease,” Dr. Pitetti says.
After-hours service, convenient locations The new centers in the North Hills and South Hills — Children’s North in Wexford and Children’s South in Bethel Park — are open 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. No appointments are necessary, and walk-ins are welcome. Parking is free. A third location will open in the Monroeville/Murrysville area next spring.
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Children’s Express Care Centers Can Help The pediatric specialists at the centers can treat a wide range of illnesses or injuries in children and teens, including: • animal bites • bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma attacks • colds, fevers, flu, and other viral illnesses • cuts, bumps, lacerations, abrasions, and splinters • ear, throat, and sinus infections • incisions and abscess drainage • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration • rashes, poison ivy, and allergic reactions • simple fractures, twists, sprains, strains, and dislocations • splinting • cyst removal The Express Care Centers also offer on-site x-ray services, EKGs, blood tests, urine and throat cultures, and urinalysis.
If necessary, children with more serious conditions will be fast-tracked to the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital, or referred to pediatric specialists. If follow-up care is needed, children will be referred back to their own pediatricians along with a report on their visit to the Express Care Center.
Children’s Express Care Wexford Children’s North 2599 Wexford Bayne Road Sewickley, PA 15143 Phone: 724-933-3644 Monday through Friday: 5 to 9 p.m. Weekends: Noon to 8 p.m. No appointments needed. Walk-ins welcome. Children’s Express Care Bethel Park Children’s South 1300 Oxford Drive Bethel Park, PA 15102 Phone: 412-692-3145 Monday through Friday: 5 to 9 p.m. Weekends: Noon to 8 p.m. No appointments needed. Walk-ins welcome.
Benefits of the Express Care Centers include: • access to treatment when your primary care physician is not available • quality pediatric care for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries for children and teens • convenient locations • free parking • no appointments needed • referrals for further evaluation and treatment • access to lab tests and diagnostic imaging
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UPMC Mercy 1400 Locust St. Pittsburgh, PA 15219
UPMC Today is published quarterly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events available at UPMC. This publication is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice or replace a physician’s medical assessment. Always consult first with your physician about anything related to your personal health.
Follow UPMC on Facebook.
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 Mercy 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 www.UPMC.com/PatientCare, 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.
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Easy Ideas for Creating Custom, Memorable Holiday Cards
Even with the popularity of using e-mail, social media, and texting to communicate with friends and family, holiday cards continue to be a time-honored tradition. In fact, according to a survey from holiday cards and thank you cards retailer Cardstore.com, 43 percent of Americans prefer a greeting card from a loved one instead of $10, and 63 percent think sending a special occasion greeting through a social network is inappropriate. While survey results show most people prefer to receive holiday cards, people mistakenly think that creating these custom cards is time consuming. Thanks to technology, new products, and online greeting card sites, this isn’t necessarily the case. By following the tips below, creating custom, personalized holiday cards can be easy, fun, and inexpensive.
– Getting a perfect holiday picture does not have to involve a three-hour photo shoot with an expensive photographer. Oftentimes the best holiday shots are the candid, everyday ones shot at home. For professional-looking DIY images, use natural light (if indoors, shoot near a window), get up close, and have the subjects involved in a favorite activity. Laugh, have fun, and shoot away. Even if the shots aren’t perfect, use photo editing software – sometimes just simply changing the image to black and white or cropping out unwanted parts can transform the image.
Let Your Child Be the Artist – Instead of uploading a favorite photo for holiday cards, simply scan a child’s favorite drawing and quickly upload to a photo greeting card site. This is an especially cute idea for classroom or grandparent holiday cards.
Collage Card – Instead of spending hours deciding which photo to feature for the holiday card, just choose several photos taken throughout the year that highlight favorite adventures and memories. Visit a favorite online card store and select one of the many templates available.
Keep It Simple
– Scour the crafting and dollar stores where there are a variety of inexpensive products to make
handmade cards. Use blank cards and embellish with just one or two items – any more and it can be daunting, especially if more than 50 cards need to be made. For instance, punch out polka dots in festive holiday papers using a circle punch and adhere them to the card front in a random, whimsical pattern. Or, run a piece of grosgrain ribbon across the front of card and adhere a glittered embellishment or button.
Use a Kit
– For those who lack the creative bug or are really strapped for time, use pre-assembled DIY holiday card kits. Cardstore.com has embellished card kits that combine the time-saving elements of digital photo cards with the personal, hand-crafted touch of dimensional accents. Order the photo cards online. Once they arrive, decorate the cards
with the provided coordinating stamps, gems, and glitter glue. Tips and creative inspiration included and no extra trip to the craft store needed!
James D. Wagner Internal Medicine 525 Locust Place Sewickley, PA 15143 P: 412-741-4114 F: 412-741-4414
1000 Masonic Drive Star Points Office Sewickley, PA 15143 P: 412-741-1400 ext. 3031 F: 412-741-440
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the PerFeCt hoSteSS giFt CaSual PartieS
Gifts of food and beverage are always welcome. In a pinch, your host can set out your cookies or drinks if supplies run low. Just check with your hostess to make sure they are serving alcohol before you decide on the Cabernet or Riesling.
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When attending a party, I always try to remember to take a hostess gift. Hostess gifts are really just a small gesture – something to thank your host for being so welcoming. But, what to bring? It depends on how well you know your hostess and how formal the party.
For parties that are more formal in nature, a gift of chocolates or bottle of champagne are wonderful and thoughtful gifts. Flowers are a great option if you have them arranged in a vase before you arrive or delivered the day before the party. Your hostess will be so grateful not to have to stop and tend to your gift while trying to welcome her guests!
Something more PerSonal? Scented candles, lotions or a CD of your host’s favorite type of music make great gifts. A homemade jar of jam, or muffins wrapped in a cellophane bag and tied with ribbon will be something your hostess will truly appreciate. For someone who loves the kitchen, soap and lotion caddies for the kitchen sink or beautiful kitchen towels are memorable gifts that won’t go unnoticed. Last fall, I received a basket of tomatoes from my friend’s Peters Township garden and was so thrilled! Always remember to place a small note with your gift. The next day, you host won’t be scratching her head wondering who was so thoughtful to remember her with that lovely gift!
Volunteer Tax Preparers are needed to provide free income tax assistance for hardworking individuals and families in Allegheny County. With your help, we can bring economic relief to a rising number of financially struggling households in our region. During the 2010 Free Tax Campaign, more than 125 volunteers prepared 4,486 tax returns and helped return $7.8 million in tax refunds back to our community. Your volunteer experience is a short-term commitment (3+ hours per week from January-April), convenient (our six free tax sites are located across Allegheny County and close to where you live and work), and easy to schedule (daytime, evening, and weekend hours are available). If you have experience preparing your own tax returns, we need you! Free tax training and IRS certification is provided in January. Volunteers choose one of the following dates: anuary 8 & 9, January 15 & 16, and January 22 & 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., each day. Learn more about the Free Tax Campaign at www.pghfreetaxes.org.
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