Page 1

FALL 2011


Penn Hills Mural Depicts

Past, Present and Future New Charter School Opens Pages 6-7

Penn Hills Arts Festival Pages 22-23


Beulah Presbyterian’s Music on the Hill Pages 26-27

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

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

Contents Penn Hills | FALL 2011 |



Publisher’s Message Loveprints




13 2


2nd Annual Day of Appreciation



Imagine Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship Penn Hills Mural Depicts Past, Present, and Future | 8 YMCA Community Champion | 12 UPMC Today


Health and Wellness News You Can Use | 13

William E. Anderson Library | 21 Penn Hills Arts Festival



Older Adults in Penn Hills



Beulah Garden Alive With The Sound of Music Penn Hills Chamber of Commerce | 28 Penn Hills Artist Enjoys Teaching Seniors | 32 FEATURES


Education Section


Can BREAKFAST Really Make or Break a Student’s Day? | 10 The Secret Art to Getting into College | 11

Real Estate Section Fall Landscaping Ideas | 30


Making Your Home More Accessible to all Generations | 31 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS |

HearWell Center


The Hearing Aid Buyer’s Guide | 29 ON THE COVER | Attendees at unveiling of Penn Hills’ first public mural take photos.





enn Hills FALL 2011 s the summer winds down, and the kids head back to school, I sincerely hope that you and your family had some time to get away from it all and relax. It seems that these days, parents driving the family taxi, and kids with their sports/lessons/parties rarely get a chance to enjoy the slow pace of an ever more elusive “lazy summer.” Ask yourself – when was the last time everyone ate together around a family table? When did everyone gather to play a board game? Does anyone remember board games? If your answer was “That one night that the power went out,” then you might be trapped in the 21st century jail of hyper-life. (I made that term up, but I can do that – I’m the publisher.) I’m not an old guy, unless you ask my kids, but I think that life should be simpler. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, should all try to spend some time with each other as a family more than that one night when the power goes out. Family time is an important part of being a community. And every community should value quality time with their families – it’s how we teach our children values, etiquette, and more importantly, how to participate in a family structure so they can pass on to their kids what you have worked so hard to build. Recently, I saw a commercial where a father shut off the main power to the house so that the family could enjoy dinner together and blamed the outage on a thunderstorm. The Xboxes were dead. The Facebook was closed. The kids came downstairs in disillusionment to ask what happened. While the commercial was pushing some Wayne Dollard tasty dinner product, the message was more palatable – Publisher you have to make family time. I would take that message one step further – you have to make family time a priority. I hope that it’s one of yours. Have a great fall!


hile it might not be music to the kids’ ears, I love the sound of school buses in the morning. It sounds like—education! I was actually one of those weird kids that loved going to school. This edition of Penn Hills features some of the wonderful Penn Hills people and organizations that help make the community a great place. One such person is Clarence Frank, who was selected as the 2011 YMCA Community Champion. We talk with him about his more than six decades of volunteer work. Community also caught up with Jan Pfeifer, an artist and president of the Penn Hills Arts Council, who teaches art to seniors. Speaking of the Penn Hills Arts Council, we also stopped in at its art and music festival. And we’ve got the pictures to prove it. Penn Hills opened its first charter school. We speak with principal Kristen Prigranc to find out how things are going so far. The community also gets its first public mural thanks to artist and resident Kyle Holbrook and his MLK organization. Monica L. Haynes As always, we want to hear from you. What’s going Eastern Regional Editor on out there that we should be covering? What’s happening in your schools, organizations, churches? What friend or family member deserves a profile? Please, drop me an email at Yes, it’s back to school time. So, parents, enjoy sending them out the door and onto the path of knowledge, and enjoy this edition of Penn Hills Magazine!


IN Penn Hills is a community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Bethel Park area and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PUBLISHER Wayne Dollard M A N AG I N G E D I TO R

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

Monica L. Haynes O F F I C E M A N AG E R

Leo Vighetti STA F F P H OTO G R A P H E R

Wayne Dollard WRITER

Pamela Palongue GRAPHIC DESIGN

Cassie Brkich Anna Buzzelli Sharon Cobb Susie Doak

Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda


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

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

Brian McKee David Mitchell Tamara Myers Gabriel Negri Robert Ojeda Annette Petrone Vincent Sabatini Michael Silvert RJ Vighetti Nikki Capezio-Watson

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

Winter content deadline: 10/28

Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.

2 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills


or the better part of this last decade, my family and I had the privilege of working with the church in Africa. The memories we made there will be with us for a lifetime. It was everything we had dreamed it would be and even more. We find that it’s hard to stop talking about our memories once we get started. We could go on and on about the wildlife, the flowers, the birds, the sights and sounds, and especially the people. As wonderful as I found Africa to be though, I would have to say that there was a certain time of the year that my mind would travel back across the many miles to remember a beauty that had been left behind here in the state of Pennsylvania. Our state is known far and wide for the beauty of its fall foliage. The fall was such a special time of the year for me. The climate where we lived in Africa was very similar to central Florida which meant we didn’t have much of a fall season. As we moved from summer to winter, everything would just die and turn brown. It was nothing like the beauty I remembered from Pennsylvania. Memories, regardless of where they are from, are very special to all of us. We all have certain memories from our past that are dear. The danger is when we hang on to the memories from our past, and they hinder us from embracing the changes around us today. I realize all

          hinder us from embracing the changes  change isn’t good, but we have to be careful that we don’t get so focused on the negative that we can’t see the positive changes that are happening around us. I can’t help but to think about all we would have missed in Africa if we had spent our entire time remembering the good

Pastor Rick Cox The Bridge

 

old days of Pennsylvania and what we were missing. We have moved back to Pennsylvania, and we currently reside in Penn Hills where I serve as pastor of The Bridge which is a new Wesleyan Church that currently meets in the Grand Ball Room at 3 Lakes Golf Course on Saltsburg Road. I am blessed to have the opportunity of spending a lot of time out in the community. As a church, we want to be involved in our community, because we believe that God has so marked our lives with His love that we are called to leave His mark on our world. We like to call this mark a Loveprint. Just as each of us has our own unique fingerprints that leave their mark, we believe that each of us has the ability of leaving another kind of mark. That mark can be an act of kindness that helps to cheer someone along the way. Over the last year The Bridge has collected blankets to give away at the YMCA; we sponsored a Trunk or Treat at the Library as well as a Family Fun Day at the Universal Park. These are but a few of the ways we have found to get out into our community and make a difference. We realize we may not be able to do much about the changing of the leaves this fall, but we do know that we can do something about the changing of our community. We can make it a much safer, better place to live. We hope you choose to do the same. Make sure you leave your Loveprint today! You can check us out at or find us on Facebook at The Bridge.

PA 037930

Sales Service Installation

Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 3

hen there is a fire, the expectation is that a fire truck will arrive with trained firefighters who will put it out. What many folks may not know, or may take for granted, is that in most suburban communities those firefighters are unpaid. Volunteer firefighters provide a service that would add thousands of dollars to municipal budgets if it were provided by a paid company. On Saturday, September 17, the Rapp Funeral Home held its second annual Day of Appreciation for the Penn Hills and Verona Fire Departments. The event took place at the funeral home, 10940 Frankstown Road in Penn Hills. As befitting most celebrations, there was free food and drinks, balloons, and of course, fire trucks. There was also a raffle; the proceeds of which went to the volunteer fire departments. “We were looking for something to do for the community, to help out,” said Tom Turner of the Rapp Funeral Home. They decided to help the volunteer fire companies, which are always in need of money. It seemed a very obvious event to start since Lawrence McCabe, owner of the previous funeral home at that location (McCabe Funeral Home), was a volunteer firefighter for Penn Hills Station No. 5, explained Bernadette Rose of Rapp Funeral Home. When the owner of Rapp bought McCabe in 2005, the staff became familiar with members of the fire station. “We decided we wanted to do something to give back and help the fire departments. I know, with


4 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills

volunteers, money is always an issue,” Rose said. Last year, the event was carried out with donations from a number of businesses. Among them: Eat’n Park, which provided cookies; Turner’s Dairy, which provided ice tea and lemonade; Wilkinsburg -Penn Joint Water Authority, which provided water; and Home Depot, which provided smoke detectors that the firefighters handed out to the public. All seven Penn Hills fire companies were represented. Joe McMeekin, assistant chief for Penn Hills Station 225, provided the grill and the labor, cooking up hot dogs and hamburgers. He also manned the grill this year. “That’s one of my favorite things to do, grilling. I have a fairly big grill so that’s kind of how I got elected to cook all the food,” he said. McMeekin said he doesn’t think the public understands how much effort and sacrifice it takes to keep a volunteer fire department going. “They don’t realize that we are volunteers and the more they donate, the more we’re able to help them,” he said. Some people think they’re paid while others may believe that the volunteer companies receive a huge influx of money from the municipal government, but neither is the case, he said. While volunteer companies usually receive some money from the municipalities, it’s nowhere near the amount of money it takes to run a fire company. “A pumper alone costs $200,000

to $500,000,” McMeekin said. “Where do you come up with that money?” He thinks that the appreciation day is a wonderful event. He said all the fire companies are separate entities that were established at separate times and usually have their own separate events. “This is the first time in a very long time that all the Penn Hills fire companies are doing one thing as Penn Hills fire service,” McMeekin said. In addition to the food, there were games, a disc jockey, a fire safety demonstration and, like last year, a raffle with some great donations from: Matthew Bronze (a bronze firefighter statue); Pittsburgh Pirates (two tickets); Pittsburgh Steelers (a signed photo of Hines Ward); Three Lakes Golf Course (a foursome of golf); Churchill Valley Country Club (a foursome of golf); Monster Mini Golf (two monthlong passes); Pittsburgh Zoo (two tickets); Carnegie Museum

“They don’t realize that we are volunteers and the more they donate, the more we’re able to help them.”

of Art (four admission tickets); Sen. John Heinz History Center (two tickets); Andy Warhol Museum (two admission tickets); Eastwood Hardware ($25 gift card to the store); Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (two tickets); Carnegie Science Center (two passes); Phipps Conservatory (two free admissions); Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (a family of four pass); Oakmont Bakery ($10 gift card to the bakery); Rita’s Italian Ice (15 free Italian ices); and Wendy’s (two coupons for dinner for four at Wendy’s). Other organizations that have also donated include YMCA, Creamy Creations, Penn Hills Lawn and Garden, Golden Considerations, and Anywhere Travel.

Scenes from 2010’s Day of Appreciation

Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 5

Imagine Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship magine Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship opened its doors August 25, making it the first charter school in the Penn Hills School District. “The teachers are settling in with their children and getting to know them. We have an amazing, supportive parent community. I think we’re poised to have a really fantastic school year,” said principal Kristen Priganc. Located in the former William Penn Elementary on Penn School Drive and operated by the national charter school organization Imagine Schools based in Arlington, Va., the school has an enrollment of 252 students in grades K through 2. The school will add a grade each year until it reaches 8th grade. While preferential treatment will be given to Penn Hills students who wish to enroll, enrollment is open to anyone, according to the school’s website. Priganc lauded her staff for going beyond their customary job descriptions. “The one thing that’s been really amazing is seeing how much the staff just jumps into everyday life,” she said. “They’ve been a phenomenal group to work with. We all pitch in and do what’s necessary.” Priganc had served as vice principal of the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park, also operated by Imagine Schools, and has been a Title I match coach at the Urban League Charter School in East Liberty. The Penn Hills charter school idea came about as a result of a Carlow University professor who had moved into Penn Hills but was not thrilled about his options for public school, Priganc explained. “He wanted a choice for education for his children and he didn’t feel he had one that was free,” she said. So the professor, Dr. Jim Carmine, who had lived in Regent Square and was aware of the Environmental Charter School, contacted Imagine Schools about developing a school in Penn Hills. The model for the Imagine Penn Hills Charter School is a fusing of a micro-society with an entrepreneurial theme that would help revitalize the community. “If we get kids that want to stay in the district, we build a community that is stable and will grow,” Priganc said. The aim of the school is to turn it into a community or a micro-society with its own community organizations, bank, businesses, etc. Students will learn real life skills like financial literacy, banking, going to the market, running businesses, and how to be responsible citizens who are aware and engaged in their community. During its first week students began learning various forms


6 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills

of government so they can then determine what form of government they want for their micro-society, Priganc said. “We want them to have a good solid understanding,” she added. Reaction to the school has been all positive, and the school has received great support from Penn Hills Superintendent Thomas Washington. “He’s been wonderful on his side, a model for how charter schools and public schools can work together,” Priganc said. She lauded Washington for being forward thinking, progressive and innovative. In July, the school held an open house and ice cream social so parents could learn more about the school and how it would be structured. One of the parents in attendance was Diane Wells, whose daughter London would be starting kindergarten. “I started searching early for her,” said Wells. “I really liked what they [Imagine staff] were offering. I’m a teacher and when I heard about this, I said, ‘OK, this is it.’” Wells said she is a public school proponent, “but I need to make sure I have the best fit for her,” she said of her daughter. Angela and Doug Mathis chose the school for their daughter, Salena, who is starting kindergarten, even though their son is a student at Penn Hebron. Doug Mathis said they weren’t particularly happy with their son’s school and wanted something different for their daughter. “This is a good opportunity for a good environment at a different school,” he said. Bill Fehl, who was also at the open house said he and his wife Sheri are pretty excited for their daughter, Kaylie, who’ll be going to first grade at Imagine Penn Hills. “We thought it was a pretty creative way to teach,” he said.

Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 7

Penn Hills Mural Depicts

 and 

s head of the Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project, Kyle Holbrook has been responsible for more than 500 community murals throughout Pittsburgh and in other cities like Miami, Atlanta and Detroit and other places including Texas, North Carolina, Brazil and Haiti. However, it wasn’t until Saturday, August 27 that Holbrook and his organization unveiled a public mural in his hometown of Penn Hills. The mural, located on the former Swanson’s Pharmacy (a landmark on Frankstown Road), depicts the history of Penn Hills and also honors the memories of three fallen Penn Hills police officers and a fallen Penn Hills firefighter. Those attending the unveiling included Penn Hills Mayor Anthony DeLuca, Jr.; Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton, Penn Hills Councilman Dr. J.LaVon Kincaid, Sr.. “I took a photo of it and I really thought it described the community’s efforts to honor those heroes, police officers and firemen, as well,” said Penn Hills manager Mohammed Rayan. “It


8 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills

gives the image of the past and the present and the future of Penn Hills.” Sponsored by Sherwin-Williams and with funding from the Grable Foundation and the Buhl Foundation, the mural was painted with the help of youth from Pittsburgh and Penn Hills, including children from the nearby Auntie Sherry’s Christian Child Care Center. Holbrook, a 1996 graduate of Penn Hills High School, said he chose the location of Swanson’s Pharmacy—now owned by the Solid Rock Foundation International Outreach—because it’s an area that everyone knows. “Swanson’s was always the center of the community,” he said. Holbrook added that with so many families moving into Penn Hills, it has become a more transient community and he wanted to give the new residents a historical perspective. “We thought it was important to embody what Penn Hills was all about,” he said. “It was important to have something that talked about the history of Penn Hills and also to welcome people and be a voice for the residents.”

The mural includes several Penn Hills landmarks including the high school, the borough building and the Universal School, which was established around the turn of the century. It also includes various former Penn Hills community members, including Holbrook’s cousin, T.J., who was killed in Penn Hills in 2009. The apples in the mural represent the old apple orchards that existed in Penn Hills. Much of the history for the mural comes from the book The History of Penn Hills. The mural also includes a depiction of the mural itself being created. “It’s something I like to do on many of the murals,” Holbrook said. The MLK Community Mural Project started off with the famed mural along the Martin Luther King Busway, which runs from downtown Pittsburgh to Swissvale. As the organization grew and undertook more projects, the initials were changed to stand for “Moving the Lives of Kids.” Holbrook said murals not only add beauty to an area in and of themselves, they can also inspire nearby property

owners to improve the landscape by paving or clearing a vacant lot or painting a building. It can also motivate municipalities to add lighting to an area that had been dark. “A mural is public and it’s going to be visible. It can instill pride in, of course, not only the people that work on it, but also in the residents,” he added. “Just having something beautiful in the neighborhood, having something that depicts some of the history, I think that can be empowering for any resident that comes by.” For more information on the Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project, visit Photos by Kris Michael Photography

7 Benefits of Physical Activity 1. Controls your weight 2. Reduces your risk for Type 2 Diabetes 3. Reduces your risk for Cardiovascular Disease 4. Reduces your risk for several types of Cancers 5. Strengthens your bones and muscles 6. Improves your ability to do daily activities and prevents falls if you’re an older adult 7. Increases your chance to live a longer and healthier life

Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 9





Break a

Student’s Day? By Leigh Lyons

he question of whether breakfast really does impact a student’s school day has been around forever. Students have been tested in studies since the early 1950s, and ever since it has been widely accepted that students who eat breakfast perform better academically. If you look at the idea of eating breakfast before school simply, it seems pretty obvious as to the benefits. You go to bed at night on a relatively empty stomach. You sleep roughly eight hours without consuming any food and then wake up for school in the morning. If you don’t eat breakfast, you are going into a full day without replenishing your body. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it? Terrill Bravender is a professor of pediatrics at Duke University, and he breaks it down in simple terms: “Without glucose, our brain simply doesn’t operate as well. People have difficulty understanding new information, they have a problem with visual and spatial understanding, and they don’t remember things as well.” Glucose is the brain’s basic fuel. You wouldn’t take your car on an eight-hour road trip without filling up the gas tank first, would you? The next step is to maximize your breakfast potential by choosing foods that will allow you to raise your blood sugar level, but won’t cause a dramatic fall after a few hours. Most experts agree that any breakfast is better than no breakfast at all, but there are certain types of breakfast foods that will raise your blood sugar level slowly, and therefore will give you enough energy to last the entire morning. Sugary cereals are usually a favorite among


10 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Glucose is the brain’s basic fuel. You wouldn’t take your car on an eight-hour road trip without filling up the gas tank first, would you? young children, but these cereals will quickly raise the blood sugar level and then drop off a few hours later, leaving children sluggish before lunch. On the other hand, oatmeal contains roughly the same amount of sugar but it also has more protein and fiber, and therefore has an overall lower glycemic index. The oatmeal will raise the blood-sugar level for the student which will last throughout the morning. Now, I have to admit, I was never a “morning person,” and I always preferred sleeping in to having breakfast. My mom always made me eat breakfast as a child, but when I was old enough, I chose to opt out of it. I did well academically, went on to college, and then graduated from law school. I figured breakfast really wasn’t as important as everyone always thought it was, and I was sure many other people agreed with me. I conducted my own small survey of friends and acquaintances on whether they all ate

Penn Hills

breakfast every morning growing up before school. To my surprise, out of 20 men and women, I was one of only two people who responded that I did not eat breakfast on a regular basis. Eighteen others responded that they ate breakfast every single day growing up, and still do to this day. These 18 people are all very successful and have jobs ranging from psycho logist to lawyer to fashion merchandiser. Clearly, most people agree with the years of studies that show that students do better academically when they choose to start their day with breakfast. Next time you wake up a little late, or think that breakfast is not as important as everyone says, think again. Go ahead and grab a yogurt on your way out the door because, remember, any breakfast is better than no breakfast at all. Citations: “A Better Breakfast Can Boost a Child’s Brainpower” – Allison Aubrey, August 31, 2006;


The to


Getting into

College By Leigh Lyons

he secret art of getting into college, sadly, does not exist. Please don’t be mad at my misleading title because while there is no one key element to gaining acceptance into the college of your dreams, there are proven elements to a successful candidate’s application portfolio that can be shared with prospective students. The obvious top elements of importance to admissions officers are still SATs and high school GPA, but there is so much more that a school is looking for. Below is a list of the top five elements that admissions officers look for in a prospective student’s application (information compiled from top news


The best way to go about the application process is to be prepared, be organized, and be yourself.

magazines and former admissions officers from various schools): SATs and GPA SATs and GPA have always been important, and they are still the most important aspects of a student’s application profile. Extracurricular Activities Colleges don’t want a long list of random activities from a student. They would prefer you to become a “specialist” in one area, rather than be a jack-of-all-trades. A former admissions officer at a top school said that colleges are looking to have a well-rounded student body of individual specialists. Personal Essays Show the real you. They don’t want you to make up extravagant stories, and they don’t want you to talk about taboo subjects such as natural disasters. Also, you do not want to become redundant. Explore new ways to tell more about yourself without being repetitive. Start Early Most academic advisors will tell you to have a plan, and start early. The “Common Application” that is used by many schools is not available until August 1, but usually there is an early version available to get ahead.

Be Careful About Social Media Social media has become an intricate part of everyday life to students, but they must be careful. Admissions officers will not usually search specifically for a student’s social media profile/account, but oftentimes “tips” are sent to them, and they must explore them. Do not have anything discouraging on your profile that could be used against you. You may also use this space to show your talents; if you are a photographer, you can have a portfolio of pictures you have taken. We hope that this quick list will help you in your quest to be accepted into whichever college you choose, but remember, there really is no set formula in the application process. The best way to go about the application process is to be prepared, be organized, and be yourself. Sometimes you can have excellent grades, and a great score on the SAT, but you may be denied admission for reasons outside of your control. A former admissions officer said that a student who lives on a farm in North Dakota is not judged by the same criteria as a student living in a Pennsylvania suburb, like Upper St. Clair. This is something you cannot control, and therefore should not worry about. Jus t do the best you can with the main elements you can control, and we wish you the best of luck in the college application process.

Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 11

Academy Ac ademy of Music Mus Musical al Thea Theater ter


St art here Start S ta h To get there

Community Champion

Reegi Register for the NEW Semester! eggi any of the youngsters playing football and baseball in the eastern suburbs probably don’t know it, but they have Clarence Frank to thank for some of it. Frank was a soldier fresh from WWII when he and a friend took their $300 mustering out pay and bought equipment to start the Wilkinsburg Indians football team for kids. “A couple of my friends coached it and I sort of took over the business end to keep it going,â€? he recalled. That was in 1946. Since that time, he’s been involved in youth programs in Penn Hills and McKeesport as well. But youth sports is not where this 87year-old Penn Hills resident stops his good works. He started the annual Dick Groat Charity Challenge, a golf outing to benefit Presbyterian SeniorCare Woodside Place in Oakmont, where his wife was a resident until she passed away from Alzheimer’s. “This is our 15th year and all the proceeds [are used] to provide things that are needed for entertainment, like cookouts, for the residents down there.â€? The proceeds have also helped the center get some nice pieces of furniture and other items over the years, he added. Frank doesn’t only raise money for Woodside Place, he also volunteers there weekly. For the more than six decades Frank has devoted to community service, he was named the 2011 Penn Hills YMCA Community Champion. “We’re just looking at dierent people, people who have done volunteer work in Penn Hills and surrounding communities that have made an impact in the community,â€? said Jay Hope, director of the Penn Hills YMCA. Frank was selected for this year’s honor by a committee comprised of volunteers who’ve been very active in the Penn Hills community. “We talk about dierent people who could be honored. Clarence’s name came up and we decided to [honor] him



 ·  ·  ·    ·          

¡ ¡

¡ ¡




15 V$1 SAVE SA  




12 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills

this year,� Hope said. Honorees are feted during an awards dinner. They receive a plaque and their names are added to a larger plaque at the Y. Frank, who was born and raised in Homewood-Brushton, graduated from Westinghouse High School in 1942. “Things were tough,� he said of a childhood during The Great Depression. “But we learned to do with what we had. We didn’t moan about it. We had our own little garden. I used to go out and do odd little jobs just to get 50 cents for it. Life moves a little fast now. Back then it was a little slower.� He spent nearly four years in the Navy during WWII. He was in Okinawa and at Iwo Jima, he said. He was in Tokyo when the peace treaty with the Japanese was signed . After the war ended, he returned home. “I landed in Norfolk [Va.] and hitchhiked home,� Frank said. “I was very fortunate. I ran across two people who were heading our way and I got home.� That was in 1948, and shortly after he got married and moved into Penn Hills. He had always been involved in sports, playing basketball at the YMCA in Homewood and baseball, too. During the time that he operated youth team s, he took teams to Georgia and Florida, he said. A father of two sons and a daughter, he started a trophy business located in the Richland Shopping Plaza in Penn Hills that is now operated by one of his sons. He is a member of the Three Lakes Golf Club (formerly Alcoma Golf Club) and plays three times a week. “I don’t play the way I used to. I just get out and slap that ball around,� he said.

FA L L 2 0 1 1

Health and Wellness News You Can Use For residents of eastern communities

Fall is for Families Take advantage of the cooler days to enjoy time outdoors with your family.

What’s Inside

© 2011 UPMC

page 2

Beating Cancer Close to Home

page 3

Use Your Head to Stop Strokes

page 4

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

page 5

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

page 6

A New Level of Pinpoint Accuracy That’s Patient Friendly

page 7

Committed to Building a Better Community

Beating Cancer Close to Home New UPMC Cancer Center location offers convenient option for Monroeville-area patients Mary Lou Perla never anticipated her cancer diagnosis. Now in her early 70s, the Murrysville, Pa., resident always took care of herself and exercised regularly, doing Zumba or aerobics, and hitting the treadmill. After undergoing surgery late last year, Mary Lou began chemotherapy for liver cancer and the malignant lymph nodes found in her chest. Thankfully, treatment was available just 15 minutes away in a brand new facility: the UPMC Cancer Center at UPMC East, Oxford Drive. “It’s the greatest thing for me to have my chemo treatments close to my home,” says Mary Lou. “It’s such a relief not to have the extra pressure of traveling into Pittsburgh or asking friends for a ride.” The new 7,000-square-foot facility, which opened last December, offers area patients cancer care and treatment in one location. The center provides access to a full range of hematology and medical oncology services, including chemotherapy, injections, lab work, and clinical trials. Free, designated parking is provided for patients.

UPMC Cancer Center at UPMC East, Oxford Drive Location

“We’re pleased to offer quality services and cutting-edge cancer treatment at one location here in the community. It’s much more efficient, more personal, and easier on our patients — particularly when they’re not feeling well,” says Dhaval Mehta, MD, a medical oncologist and the center’s full-time physician.

400 Oxford Drive First Floor, Suite 102 Monroeville, PA 15146


Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Hematology Medical Oncology


Biological Therapy Administration Chemotherapy Administration Clinical Trial Screening and Enrollment Experimental Drug Treatments Financial Counseling Nutritional Counseling Symptom/Side Effects Management Support Groups and Counseling


Five Exam Rooms Nine Chemo Chairs (heated, with individual TV monitors) Lab Waiting Area Free, designated parking for cancer center patients

In addition to Dr. Mehta, five other medical oncologists take turns seeing patients at the new facility. With five exam rooms, nine chemo chairs, and a lab waiting area, the center can accommodate up to 100 patients daily. All these special features make her treatment more manageable, says Mary Lou, who drives herself to the center once or twice weekly for chemotherapy, hydration treatments, and lab work. “This facility is the greatest thing for me. It’s very comfortable and private, and the time goes by very quickly,” says Mary Lou. “When you have a facility like this close to home, with people who care about you, it gives you added strength. It makes me feel so much better.” The UPMC Cancer Centers offer some of the most advanced cancer detection and treatment options including TrueBeam™, one of the latest radiation technologies available today. Turn to page 6 to learn more about the TrueBeam™ system.


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

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

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

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

Treatment: Time lost is brain lost

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


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


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

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


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


Every minute after the start of a stroke means greater risk of permanent damage or death. One of the best treatments for ischemic strokes — where a clot blocks blood flow to the brain — is the quick administration of the clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA). While UPMC doctors have had success beyond three hours with a special procedure to retrieve the blockage or dissolve it with drugs administered directly into the clot, time is critical.

Strokes require immediate medical attention, so knowing the warning signs is crucial, says Dr. Wechsler. Stroke symptoms can include sudden onset of:

For patients experiencing a hemorrhagic stroke caused by bleeding in the brain, fast action is needed to repair the leaking blood vessel.

• Vision problems

Call 911

• Confusion

If you suspect someone has suffered a stroke, call for emergency medical help immediately so treatment can begin without delay.

• Problems speaking or understanding

Specialized stroke centers — such as UPMC’s Stroke Institute at UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, UPMC St. Margaret, and UPMC Mercy — have experts available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to diagnose and treat patients. The UPMC Stroke Telemedicine Program also uses technology to provide fast treatment to patients at other UPMC hospitals throughout western Pennsylvania.

To learn more about stroke prevention and treatment, visit

• Paralysis or weakness in the face or limbs, especially on one side of the body • Problems with balance or walking • Slurred speech

• Severe headache



Health Tips from UPMC Health Plan

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


Don’t Get the Flu

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who should get the flu vaccine? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over the age of six months gets vaccinated. Those at higher risk for serious complications from the flu include: • People age 65 and older • Children younger than five, but especially children younger than two • People with health conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, as well as kidney, liver, and neurological disorders • Pregnant women

Make dinner a family affair

Others who should get a flu shot: • Health care workers

Eating together as a family offers countless benefits — including serving more balanced, nutritious meals and the chance for parents to serve as “healthy eating” role models.

• Residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, as well as family and friends who have contact with a resident

• Talk to your children about portion control, with fruits and vegetables comprising half of every plate. • Reduce the amount of meat your family eats by gradually introducing healthy alternatives into your meals, like fish, whole grains, and beans. • Look for seasonal produce that is grown locally. In the fall, that means vegetables like pumpkins and squash, and fruits like apples and pears. Interested in learning more about nutritious eating? Check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new guidelines at

• Caregivers of young children, especially infants under six months who are at the highest risk of flu-related complications

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


A Matter of Choice Magee’s Fibroid Treatment Center helps women determine the right solution for themselves Robin Eberle of Butler, Pa., never had a problem with her periods. But when this mother of five hit her mid-40s, her periods became heavier and lasted longer. “There were times I couldn’t even leave the house,” she recalls.

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


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

The Fibroid Treatment Center

After embolization

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

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

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

Do You Have UFTs? John Fisch, MD, a gynecologist with Womancare Associates in Monroeville, says that uterine fibroid tumors can be as small as a pin or the size of a grapefruit. “It’s not clear why fibroids occur, although family history seems to play a role,” he explains. “They’re also seen more frequently among African-American women.”

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Committed to Building a Better Community A new hospital brings more to a community than meets the eye With the July 2012 grand opening of UPMC East less than a year away, exciting things continue to happen at the former Palace Inn site. As the hospital’s exterior structure nears completion, local residents and visitors can see a dramatic change in the Monroeville skyline. UPMC also has undertaken several less visible, but equally important, projects associated with the new hospital’s construction that will have a significant impact on quality of life for Monroeville and the surrounding communities.

Sean Logan, vice president of community affairs at UPMC, is keenly aware of the flooding issues faced by the surrounding communities. “I grew up in Pitcairn and when it rained, residents kept a close watch on the streams because the town had a history of flooding issues,” explains Mr. Logan. “UPMC’s storm water management plan will definitely help ease concerns for residents,” he says.

“As a community hospital, we want to be a good neighbor. That’s why we took steps to reclaim and recycle nearly all of the former structure, and developed plans to control water runoff and alleviate traffic problems at the location,” says Mark Sevco, president, UPMC East.

Everything old is used again During demolition of the Palace Inn, workers were able to recycle and reuse nearly 100 percent of the steel, copper, aluminum, and glass, says Joseph Badalich, senior project manager, UPMC East. In addition, tons of concrete and stone were crushed and reused as fill around foundations and retaining walls at the new hospital. “By doing that, we were able to keep 6,500 truckloads of stone and concrete off local roads and out of landfills saving additional wear and tear on the roads,” adds Mr. Badalich.

Storm water management will ease flooding concerns UPMC is spending more than $2 million to install an extensive storm water management system to capture runoff from the hospital site and the surrounding area.

Improving one of the state’s busiest intersections UPMC also is spearheading a $2.4 million project to improve travel in the area around Route 22 and Route 48/ Mosside Boulevard (pictured above) — one of the busiest intersections in Pennsylvania. Mr. Badalich, a resident of nearby Plum, says the project is designed to alleviate any additional traffic generated by the new hospital. The addition of sidewalks and handicapped ramps will greatly improve pedestrian access. Other improvements include: • Fox Plan Road: Rebuilding and widening the road, adding sidewalks, and moving overhead utilities underground. • Mosside Boulevard (Route 48): Widening the road, adding two turning lanes and new signals, and moving overhead utilities underground. • Route 22: Widening the road, adding two turning lanes, new signals, and sidewalks. “Area residents can tell you just how difficult it used to be navigating around Route 22 and Mosside. These improvements not only will make a huge difference to drivers, but pedestrians, too,” adds Mr. Badalich.

UPMC East website is up and running According to Mr. Badalich, runoff from the former Palace Inn site caused serious flooding on Mosside Boulevard and led to downstream pollution and flooding. The new system allows storm water to be captured onsite in a large retention pond (pictured above). The water is then cooled and cleaned before being released at half the previous rate to reduce downstream flooding.

We invite you to learn more about the new hospital and UPMC’s commitment to the local community, check out our construction slide show, take a video tour, and much more by visiting



UPMC 600 Oxford Drive 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 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 East on Facebook.




UPMC East Opens Summer 2012

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

W I L L I A M E. A N D E R S O N L I B R A R Y Tyrone Ward Executive Director

Mary Ann Zeak Librarian & Children’s Services

Fall Programs The William E. Anderson Library of Penn Hills is offering a plethora of programming this summer for young and old, alike.

Jean Kanouff Adult Librarian

Main Branch 1037 Stotler Road Pittsburgh, PA 15235 412.795.3507 Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday: 1-5 p.m.

Lincoln Park Satellite 7300 Ridgeview Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15235 412.362.7729

ADULT PROGRAMS Penn Hills Writers’ Group Penn Hills Writers’ Group meets the first and third Thursdays of the month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. We start each session with a ten to fifteen minute free write based on a prompt. Then those who have brought work to share pass out copies, read it to the group, and receive feedback. Most members are working toward publication at some point in the future, and some members have been published already. We welcome writers at all stages of their writing journey. Please feel free to contact us at

Art Group of Penn Hills

Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Saturday & Sunday

The Art Group of Penn Hills meets every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm at the William E. Anderson Library of Penn Hills.

Friends of the Library

Thursday Evening Book Club

The Friends of the Penn Hills Library is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together people who are interested in the well-being of the library. The Friends work to provide many extras for the library, items not included in the regular library budget. The Friends welcome gifts of time, money and materials from their members and the community. These donations are channeled into gifts that benefit the library and its patrons.

The Thursday Evening Book Club meets at the library at 7 pm on the third Thursday of the month. Books are chosen in advance so that everyone has a chance to read them over the month. There’s no need to buy the book. Most are distributed to the group or can be found in the stacks or put on hold. Call Jean Kanouff at 412/795-3507, ext. 120 for additional information.

To join the Friends, choose a membership category below: Individual: $10 Donor: $50 Family: $25 Patron: $100 Organizations/Associations: $30

Dues are paid at the time of registration. Stop in at the library for a membership form or send your name, address, telephone number to: Friends of the Penn Hills Library 1037 Saltsburg Road Pittsburgh, PA 15235 Make checks payable to Friends of the Penn Hills Library.

Mother-Daughter Book Club The Mother-Daughter Book Club is for young ladies and their mothers,, grandmothers, sisters, aunts and other interested guardians or friends. The club will have its first meeting on Monday, June 20th at 7 pm. Join the club for good books, great conversation and even a few good snacks. The books selected for discussion are appropriate for young ladies ages 10 - 14. If interested, please contact Nicole at or sign up in the Children’s Department.

CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS Chess Classes Youngsters and adults wanting to learn or to further hone their chess skills can do so at the library, which is offering chess instruction on Saturdays at 11 am and Tuesdays at 1 pm. No registration. No charge. Just come and have fun!

Ceramics Classes There will be ceramics classes on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays at 6:30 pm. The classes are for grades 1 - 8. Please register in advance in the Children’s Department or call 412/795-3507 ext. 115.

Board Games Parents and children are welcome to come and play board games at the library. We have a selection of games suitable for children ages 5 and older. Please feel free to bring your own games. Game time is every Friday afternoon from 1 - 3.

Time for School Story Hour School opens very soon! The Children’s Library presents an "It’s Time for School Story Hour" on August 22nd at 6:30 pm. The program is for children ages 3 - 6. Please register in advance in the Children’s Library or call 412/795-3507 ext. 115.

Fishing Club The Fishing Club meets monthly on the third Tuesday at 7 pm. Call Jean Kanouff at 412/795-3507, ext. 120 for additional information.

Wednesday Afternoon Book Club The Wednesday Afternoon Book Club meets at the library on the third Wednesday of every month. Call Jean Kanouff at 412/795-3507, ext. 120 for additional information.

Crafts in the Afternoon Come to the library on Wednesday, August 17th to do some crafts in the afternoon. The time is 2 - 2:30 and is open to children ages 3 and older. Please register in the Children’s Library or call 412/795-3507 ext. 115.

More events at Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 21


Bringing the Community Together Through A Celebration Of Art and Music photos by Kathy Rudolph


stimulating and inspiring exhibit of juried artwork in different mediums, combined with talented bands such as The Gordon Neidinger Trio and Lonesome No More Band gave residents a treat for the eye and the ear at the Penn Hills Arts Festival held at The William E. Anderson Library. The festival also provided crafts for kids in The Children’s Library, artists demonstrating their techniques and a food booth by Kerr Presbyterian Church. Art, crafts, jewelry and photography vendors gave residents a chance to shop for original and affordable works of art. The festival is sponsored by the Penn Hills Arts Council, mayor and council and Comcast. Founded in 1975 by Henry Fiore, a watercolor artist, the council includes eight members that are appointed by the Penn Hills mayor and council and are responsible for organizing the festival. “I wanted to bring the community and its local artists together,” said Mr. Fiore, who was president of the council for over 30 years. << Howard Davidson and his photography

To find out more about The Penn Hills Arts Council, please call 412.798.2126. To find out more about what is happening at The William E. Anderson Library, visit its website at 22 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills

Sharon Antignani at Andrea Antignani’s craft table

Many of the members were on hand to enthusias tically answer questions about the exhibit. “Being on the council is wonderful and so are the members,” said Rita Lee Spalding, a member. “I think that the festival is good for the community by educating and inspiring people to make and enjoy art. This year our judge is Terri Perpich, an award winning Pittsburgh artist and photographer.” The festival also encourages residents to check out the William E. Anderson Library and all that it has to offer. Designed by McCormick Architects and opened in 2007, the library is full of natural light and open spaces where residents can not only read books, but can also take a Zumba class, attend a writer’s workshop or have coffee while listening to jazz in the Library Café. Outdoor concerts are also held on the library lawn for music lovers and families; a space that was originally designated for an amphitheater. “The library is a welcoming space that also serves as a community center,” said Howard Davidson, Penn Hills planning and economic development director, Lonesome No More Band member, photographer and member. “Residents should look to the future to fundraise for The Library Amphitheater so we can have more outdoor concerts which is a great way to bring the community together.”

Rita Lee Spalding with her awarded


<< Marnie Joia with her Marnie Testa Art

Michele Harris of Colors By Michele Jewelry >>

Janice Pfeiferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artwork

Michele Blanck and Pastor Ken Love

Mary Pischke with her

awarded artwork ice Pfeifer's John Pfeifer and wife Jan awarded artwork

Ahveekhy Band

Gianna Digilarmo

Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 23


“Dancing with the Stars” is one of the most popular shows on television and with good reason. The participants appear to be having a better time than the audience and the music is always so uplifting and fun. The health benefits of dancing are obvious, as many celebrities on the show have melted away several clothing sizes while in competition. But is dancing safe for senior adults? According to some recent studies, dancing is not only safe but very beneficial for the mature adult. Flexibility and muscle tone increase with repeated dance moves. And remembering the sequence of the dance steps may help decrease dementia. According to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the mental challenge of remembering a dance routine has been credited for a more alert mentation. In fact, learning in general helps to keep the memory fit, so learning new steps and moves combine the advantages of physical and mental fitness. Physically, older dancers have shown improvements in increased range of motion, balance and gait. Those with good balance and a steady gait are less likely to become victims of fall injuries. The movement of dance also increases respirations and heart rate for a good cardiovascular workout that is not overly taxing or jarring on the joints. Coordination also is increased in



those who dance regularly. The Mayo Clinic notes that exercise helps lessen the symptoms of depression by releasing endorphins which improve a person’s mood. The social aspect of dancing is very important to overall mental attitude and health as well. Human touch is essential to the development of a child. Several well-known cases of children deprived of touch in abusive situations do not develop normally either physically or psychologically. Touch is also very important to the health of adults as well. According to the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), touch helps to lower the blood pressure, boosts the immune system and decreases stress levels. Just about any kind of dance encompasses the most important aspec ts of dancing that are beneficial to one’s health. Ballroom, square dancing, polka, and ethnic styles such as Greek dancing or Irish Step all involve an increase in heart rate, coordinated movements, memory of steps and social interaction. Find a style that works for you and start enjoying the benefits of dance. You’re never too old to learn a few new moves. *It is always advisable to check with your phys ician before beginning any new physical activity or exercise.

 24 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills



 BY PAMELA PALONGuE hances are, if you’re over the age of 40 and have trouble sleeping, one of your sage friends has informed you that after a certain age, you don’t need as much sleep. Not true, says the National Sleep Foundation. Our body’s need for sleep remains pretty much constant throughout the life cycle. Sleep is the way our bodies repair themselves. When our respiratory, cardiovascular, mental and physical systems shut down for the night with minimal activity, our bodies are busy at work repairing the damage done by stress, inflammation and toxins that have invaded during daylight hours. If the heart rate or mental functions are still engaged in activity, the body cannot wholly devote itself to repair. Over time this can contribute to heart disease, diabetes and other ailments.




What does change as we age are our sleep patterns. It may take longer to fall asleep or you may have noticed that you have trouble staying asleep. About 44% of older Americans have some form or insomnia. Much of the time it can be attributed to medications which either interrupt sleep or prevent deep sleep known as REM. If insomnia is caused by medication, it is well worth a trip to the doctor to discuss other alternative medications. Another contributor to loss of sleep as we age is snoring. Snoring is more prevalent in those who are overweight and unfortunately aging is often accompanied by weight gain. Losing weight may help alleviate some of the interruption of snoring. Loud snoring should be evaluated by a doctor since it may be a sign of a condition called sleep apnea. This is where the individual actually stops breathing for brief intervals (usually a few seconds). In addition to preventing deep, healthy sleep it can also be potentially fatal. Acid reflux may also be the cause of sleepless nights. The strong digestive acid from the stomach flows back into the throat causing a burning sensation and awakening. This condition also warrants a trip to the doctor to rule out more serious conditions. While there are medications available to neutralize the stomach acid, the condition is also helped by eating earlier in the evening, giving the body more time to digest the food. Also, drinking more water will aid in digestion as well. If none of these problems seem to be the cause of sleeplessness, exercise or other physical activity may help you to enjoy a more sound sleep. Also avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the later evening hours will allow your body to relax before bedtime. More sedentary activities for an hour or so before bedtime such as reading a book, will also calm you down prior to sleep. Watching suspenseful action pictures or sporting events may raise your level of alertness so that more time is required to fall asleep. If you find that none of the suggestions or treatments prescribed by your doctor work, a visit to a sleep disorder clinic may be in order. Sleep is important to your overall health and well-being.


 

     Send your tradition or recipe to Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 25

Beulah Garden Alive With The

Sound of Music

As part of its Music on the Hill series, Beulah Prebyterian will hold a Gospel Concert featuring The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, Saturday, October 22 at 4 p.m. Free-will donations will be accepted for the concert. The dinner following the concert requires advance registration. Tickets for the dinner are $10 for adults; $5 for youth ages 7-12; ages 6 and under are free. For registration, call the church at 412.242.4570.

26 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills

hat can be better than sitting in a garden bursting with color while listening to the strains of “Willkommen” from “Cabaret?” Not much. Especially if it’s an absolutely gorgeous summer day in July and the venue is the garden of the Beulah Presbyterian Church. The music of Broadway was front and center for the church’s Music on the Hill series, which began in May as the brainchild of Dr. Richard Szeremany, who was at that time the interim minister of worship and music and served as the coordinator for the series. Since then the church has hired Robert Morehead to serve as its minister of worship and music. Some of Pittsburgh’s best voices were on hand that July 16 afternoon, which featured music from composers such as Kander and Ebb, Stephen Schwartz, Harold Arlen, Henry Mancini, Gilbert and Sullivan, Frank L oesser, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irvin Berlin, Lerner and Loewe, George and Ira Gershwin, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and Leonard Bernstein, to name a few. Featured artists included contraltos Carly Black and Mary Chess Randolph; sopranos Gail Novak and Denise SheffyPowell; tenors Robert Pruitt, James Critchfield (who also served as coordinator) and Robert Frankberry (who also served as an accompanist ); and baritones David Jennings-Smith and Todd Farwell. Szeremany also served as an accompanist. Some of the songs performed included “Let There Be” from “Children of Eden,” “Come to My Garden” from “The Secret Garden,” “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Crazy World” from “Victor Victoria,” “Poor Wandering One” from “The Pirates of Penzance,” “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music,” and “Fugue for Ti nhorns” from “Guys and Dolls.” In addition to the sumptuous music, attendees also had the opportunity to partake of some luscious desserts and


cool drinks— much needed on what was a very hot day. Lucinda Wiebe, office coordinator for the church, said the concerts are provided “as a musical gift to the community.” Sometimes the music is performed by members of the church’s music department, and at other times musicians from the community share their talents. “Basically, it’s just an opportunity to enjoy the arts in the setting that we have,” Wiebe said. While he did not start the series, Morehead said he will continue it and probably expand it. “Part of the vision is to continue to bring in talented musicians and artists from the community, but also to share the talent of the church with the community as well,” Mo rehead said. “Music is a gift from God and it can’t always be classified as secular or sacred. I think Broadway style is certainly appropriate for a concert series. In developing the concert series, it’s also important to consider various styles.” Morehead said that for more than 20 years, his family has done a Christmas concert that blends a lot of styles. “In developing the series, I’m certainly consideri ng the options, and planning on expanding the styles as much as I can.” A Pittsburgh native, Morehead holds a master’s degree in music history from West Chester University and a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from Malone University in Canton, Ohio. He began his organ training at the age of 12 in Germany where he lived for a time with his family. He is a member of the American Guild of Organi sts, and he’s held director of music positions in German Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Evangelical Lutheran churches. Prior to coming to Beulah Presbyterian, Morehead served as director of worship and music at Pleasant Hills Community Presbyterian Church.

Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 27


           

 



Jo Luncher Bruce T. Hall Scott Yusavage Trent Griffith Jay Hope Bernadette Rose Chris Fedele Dave Smith Superstore Bill Trogler Denise Graham Shealey Dominique Ansani Sara Werner Commerce Carl Prince

President Vice President Secretary Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member

Anywhere Travel Service, LLC Bruce T. Hall, CPA Computer Fellows Talk ‘n Tables Penn Hills YMCA Rapp Funeral Home Fedele Insurance Company Dave Smith Autostar

Board Member Board Member Board Member Co-Director

Penn Hills Police Department First Niagara Bank Penn HIlls School District Penn HIlls Chamber of



    November 16 December 21   November 15 December 20      

        Third Wednesday of each month   Third Tuesday of each month  October 19, 2011 As scheduled  April each year November 16, 2011  December 14, 2011  

28 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills

Please visit our office and our website for more information and a listing of current events.



eing in the consumer’s shoes can be a scary place to be when looking for better hearing. It is difficult to know what to expect from hearing care providers. This is made more difficult when the consumer doesn’t know what questions to ask. Here are some questions to ask at your next appointment.   Know who is going to be working with you and find out if they an Audiologist? Educational requirements for audiologists include 6-8 years of college and thousands of clinical hours. Audiologist credentials include “MA, MS, Au.D., or Ph. D.” for Masters or Doctoral level education. Audiologists may obtain board certification with the American Board of Audiology or Clinical Competency Certification through the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Audiologists specialize in many areas including adult hearing disorders, pediatrics, education, industrial testing, surgical monitoring, cochlear implants and more.   Know if you’ll have a selection to choose from. Locations that carry only one brand will be limited in their options. Know if you are going to a corporate-owned chain or an independently owned practice. Generally independent practices have more flexibility and work with multiple manufacturers.     You should feel comfortable with your choice of provider. When you first visit for a

consultation about your options in hearing aids you need to have time to discuss your evaluation results, talk about your lifestyle and what you expect from hearing aids, discuss the options available and different features, go over pricing and all that is included in the price and talk about the services provided with the products. You should expect enough time to answer all of your questions.    Most locations will have the ability to demonstrate hearing products in the office to show you some of the features and benefits of hearing aids.    You can expect a minimum of 30 days in the trial period as mandated by Pennsylvania state law. Find out if you can exchange hearing instruments if you don’t like the first ones you try. Find out also how much your refund will be if you return your hearing aids during the trial period. Do not be surprised if the refund is not 100%. Often a small charge is maintained for the services provided and expenses incurred by your order.   The price of hearing aids is often a bundled price which includes the instruments, the shipping and handling, the warranty package, the earmold impressions, the service plan for cleanings and reprogramming and the time that the audiologist spends with you at each of your appointments.    Hearing aids can be very affordable. Financing plans may allow for no interest payments within 6 to 12 months or low-interest payments for longer than 12 months. You may have insurance benefits that will help reduce your cost. Ask if the facility accepts your insurance. It is best to be prepared and call your insurance company ahead of time to check on your benefits before going to an appointment.    Learning to hear again can be a challenge. Make sure the audiologist will schedule recheck appointments while you are in your trial period. Ask if the audiologist will take measurements of your performance to be sure that the hearing aid is a good fit and is performing well.    Many practices will include the cost of all your visits during your warranty. Ask what is included and what is not.    Auditory training and rehabilitation are part of a successful adaptation period for first time hearing aid users. Though learning to hear can be challenging to new users there are many ways to reduce these difficulties. Ask about rehabilitation programs, exercise programs for listening and other therapies offered through the office.      

Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 29


Pe nn H il l s

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

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

30 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills

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

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


Pe nn H il l s

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

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

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

Penn Hills | Fall 2011 | 31

Penn Hills Artist Enjoys Teaching Seniors rom acrylic to oil and watercolors, if it’s art, Jan Pfeifer has probably taught it to her students at the Penn Hills Senior Services Center. “I’ve been teaching there for four years, and prior to that I was teaching them down at William McKinley [a former grade school that is now a satellite site for the senior services center].” Pfeifer, who is president of the Penn Hills Art Association, has always had an interest in art, but it was not her original vocation. “My first line of study when I went to college was medical technology and that was at Duquesne University,” she said. In the mid-1990s when physical problems developed as a result of having contracted polio years earlier, Pfeifer had to retire from her laboratory job. She returned to school for fine arts. “I’d always done the drawing and the painting; it’s just that I wanted more,” she said. She attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Community College of Allegheny County’s Boyce Campus, earning an associate degree in fine arts. Pfeifer spent much of her time doing community work, volunteering on various things to keep her Penn Hills a great place to live, she said. A native of Munhall, she and her husband, John, moved to Penn Hills in 1979. The couple have three sons: Keith, Lee and Mark. When she was approached about teaching art to seniors, she jumped at the chance. “I decided, ‘You know what, it’s a good thing to do,’” she said. Teaching at the senior center is something she loves to do. “What happens is we have some people that are very well-seasoned and we have some people who are relatively new to art,” she said. “So it does present a bit of a challenge, but we’re meeting it.” Pfeifer specialized in oil and acrylics but she learned all forms and teaches all forms, although her students do a lot of watercolor painting. “They all love to draw so they do pen and ink drawings,” she said. Class size has doubled since she started. Currently, there are 13 registered students. “I like the people. We’re more like family than students,” Pfeifer said. The class is open to any senior in Penn Hills and is held on Tuesdays, noon to 1:30 p.m. For more information about art classes at the Penn Hills Senior Services Center, call 412.244.3400.



East Hills Coin Laundry 2766 Robinson Blvd • Open every day of the year 6:30a-10p • Corner of Frankstown and Robinson Boulevards across from the old East Hills shopping center • Always under surveillance for your protection


HERE! enn Hills Reach over 49,933 potential customers in Penn Hills

Call 724.942.0940

32 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE |

Penn Hills

    

603 East McMurray Road McMurray I PA I 15317 724.942.0940




Planning your vacation shouldn’t be a numbers game

Complete destination planning including: • All-Inclusive • Honeymoons • Family-Friendly Trips • Cruises • European Tours • Destination Weddings • Weekend Getaways • Shopping Excursions • Culinary & Wine Weekends • Reunions • Group Travel


Flight numbers. Room numbers. Rental numbers. Confirmation numbers. You’ll always be number one THREE RIVERS with Three Rivers Travel and Tours. Travel and Tours 603 East McMurray Road Authorized agent for these trusted vacation specialists:

McMurray, PA 15317

Ph: 724.260.5341 And many more.