oss Township COMMUNITY MAGAZINE
John Sponcer Fights for Ross Township in Ward 3
Family Fun Day in Ross Township North Hills School District Quarterly Newsletter
elcome to the Spring issue of Ross Township magazine. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, and fun. Typically, I use this space to talk about your community or features in the magazine that spotlight the people in your community who are doing wonderful things. Well, this time I want to update you regarding our newest feature for 2011—our new website. Without venturing too far into the realm of shameless self-promotion, I want to emphasize that this website is something for you, our readers. How so? Well, you can have input and help shape the website just like your ideas help shape your magazine. Now you have a place to list all of the nonprofit community organizations that are active in the community. We are also developing pages where we list the local houses of worship. In addition, we now offer every magazine in a fully downloadable PDF format, rather than the outdated flipbook format we used to have. This will allow you to send the magazine, or links to it, to friends and family both near and far. We tied our website into Facebook as well, not to get the biggest list of “friends” we could get but to have a place to keep our readers abreast of all the news we get between issues. It also gives us a place to upload all the photos from community events that we don’t have room for in the magazine. As with all things, there’s always room for improvement, but we always have open ears. If you have comments about our new website or want to see your organization listed, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your link or feedback. There’s no charge for listing your church, synagogue, or scout troop’s link, so send your links in today! And if you happen to be on Facebook and like what you see in the magazine, don’t hesitate to click that “Like” button. It’s always nice to be liked! I hope you have a wonderful spring!
oss Township SPRING 2011 IN Ross Township magazine is a nonpartisan community magazine dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting Ross Township 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 ASSISTANT TO THE PUB LIS H ER
Mark Berton email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR
Marybeth Jeffries firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICE MANAGER
Leo Vighetti email@example.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
Jamie Ward firstname.lastname@example.org WRITERS
Jonathan Barnes Kelli McElhinny GRAPHIC DESIGN
Cassie Brkich Anna Buzzelli Susie Doak Pati Ingold
Wayne Dollard Publisher
Rebecca Bailey Garyyonphotography.com One Way Street Productions
hen I think about spring, I can’t help but think about light. The days get “lighter,” and the sun stays with us a little longer each day. When we have a great idea, a light bulb goes off in our minds. At Ross Township Magazine, we try to spotlight our communities. What are you doing to be a “light” in the community? If you or an organization that you volunteer or work for would like to be spotlighted, will you let me know? So many good deeds are left unsung! If you have a family member who is in the armed forces, or if your church group, Mom or Dad are providing a service to someone in need, we want to know! Please e-mail your ideas and photos to me at Marybeth@incommunitymagazines.com. I noticed the kids in the school district have been busy! The Senior High Empty Bowls event to benefit North Hills Community Outreach food pantry is in its’ fourth year! Not to be outdone, the Junior High raised $3000 dollars for Animal Friends! Each student, with their own talent of making soup and rolls, creating those wonderful ceramic bowls, shooting baskets or hula hoops has given those in need a wonderful gift. I suspect the students also feel they have also gained something from their positive actions. We are so proud of you. As we look forward to warmer and brighter days ahead, I hope you will enjoy this edition of Ross Magazine!
Managing Editor 2 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE
Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda Tracey Wasilco
"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."
Nicholas Buzzell Brian Daley Gina D’Alicandro Tina Dollard Rose Estes Jason Huffman Jessie Jones Connie McDaniel Brian McKee
David Mitchell Tamara Myers Gabriel Negri Robert Ojeda Annette Petrone Vincent Sabatini Michael Silvert RJ Vighetti
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
Summer content deadline: 5/4/11 www.incommunitymagazines.com
Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.
Contents Ross Township | SPRING 2011 |
Health and Wellness News You Can Use
© 2011 UPMC
Coming Back from a Back Injury
From Gut-Wrenching Pain to Hope for the Future Stomachaches: When to Worry
Good Night, Sleep Tight! Are You Allergic to Your Bed?
UPMC HealthTrak Lets You Manage Your Health Care Online
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Could It Happen to You?
Welcoming New Physicians What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant
Publisher’s Message FEATURE
Ross Township’s Third Ward Has a New, Fresh Face on the Ballot | 14
Real Estate in Ross Township
Weddings and Proms
North Hills School District Quarterly Newsletter | 5
Health and Wellness News You Can Use | 17 |
Older Adults in Ross Township
Good Tidings for the Greatest Generation By Jamie Ward | 32
Special Value Coupons
Early Mammograms Detect Cancer Early By Chrisitna A. Cirucci, M.D. | 31
You Don’t Have to Live with Painful Varicose and Spider Veins
Q & A with a vein specialist By Theresa Schneider | 34
ON THE COVER
John Sponcer Fights for Ross Township in Ward 3. Photo by Gary Yon Photography
ongratulations to John DiCesare, band director at St. Teresa of Avila School, who has been selected as the only tuba player in the prestigious 2011 YouTube Symphony, following a global audition and voting process. As part of the Symphony – the world’s first online collaborative orchestra – DiCesare will travel to Australia in March for a weeklong classical music summit of rehearsals, concerts and master classes at the renowned Sydney Opera House. The summit culminates in a March 20 performance conducted by Grammy Awardwinning conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, which will be streamed live on YouTube. DiCesare began his journey to Sydney by uploading a four-minute audition tape of himself to the Internet site YouTube in October. After viewing auditions submitted from across the globe, an expert panel of judges selected DiCesare as one of four finalists for the sole tuba position in the Symphony. He was chosen as the winner by online voters in December. He will join 95 other musicians from 30 countries. “It’s an incredible honor to join this talented group of musicians who were selected from every corner of the world,” says DiCesare. “This achievement would not have been possible without all of the supporters, including St. Teresa of Avila faculty, staff, band students, and their families who watched my online audition and cast their votes.” “The entire St. Teresa of Avila family is delighted that Mr. DiCesare has received this worldwide recognition for his musical abilities,” says Principal Sister karen Brink. “It is especially fitting that this honor is bestowed during the 2010‒2011 school year, which we have dubbed the “Year of Fine Arts” at our school. Mr. DiCesare exemplifies the ways in which the fine arts can enrich our lives, complementing our academic studies and producing well-rounded individuals. He is an outstanding role model for all of our students in grades k-8, not just our band members.” John DiCesare holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in tuba performance, both from kent State University. He is currently pursuing an Artist’s Diploma in tuba performance at Duquesne University. He also teaches music at Providence Heights Alpha School. He is a member of the Iron City Brass Quintet. To learn more about the 2011 YouTube Symphony, visit the program website at www.youtube.com/symphony. View DiCesare’s winning audition at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mhDXn7M4QM.
4 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE
M. Sgt. Donald W. Hall, Jr. Currently serving at Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Spangdahlem, Germany, he and his family (wife, Luciana, and sons, Keegan and Layton) are in the midst of a four-year tour. Don is a decorated veteran of a year's tour in Kosovo and two tours in Iraq. Photo was taken at Baghdad AFB in 2005.
ADMINISTRATION Dr. Joseph Goodnack Superintendent Patrick Mannarino Assistant Superintendent David Hall Director of Finance & Operations Dr. Marilyn Cain Director of elementary education Dr. Rita Neu Asst. to the Superintendent, Pupil Services Jeff Taylor Director of Curriculum & Assessment Valerie Mengine Director of Human Resources Tina Vojtko Communications Coordinator George Zappas Director of Food Services Dan Cardone Director of Athletics & Activities John kreider Principal, North Hills Senior High
NORTH HILLS SCHOOL DISTRICT 135 Sixth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15229 412.318.1000 Fax: 412.318.1084 For more information on North Hills School District activities, athletics, events and more, visit www.nhsd.net
Bill McGahee Asst. Principal, North Hills Senior High Johanna Vanatta Asst. Principal, North Hills Senior High Beth Williams Principal, North Hills Junior High Julie Francyzk Asst. Principal, North Hills Junior High Christian Lesnett Asst. Principal, North Hills Junior High elaine Obidowski Principal, Highcliff elementary Amy Mathieu Principal, McIntyre elementary David Lieberman Principal, Ross elementary Marc Thornton Principal, West View elementary
NORTH HILLS SCHOOL BOARD OF eDUCATION edward M. Wielgus President
Ashley Mittereder, Class of 2011, Senior Student Representative
Thomas L. kelly Vice President
Brandon Uddstrom, Class of 2012, Junior and Beattie Tech Student Representative
Robert L. Barto Arlene J. Bender Timothy F. Burnett Jeffrey A. Meyer Lou Nudi kathy Reid Sharon A. Schrim Michael J. Witherel, esq. Solicitor Lynne Phillips Board Secretary
The North Hills School Board, which is comprised of nine members who are elected to four-year terms, welcomes your comments and suggestions and invites public participation at its meetings. The board secretary, Lynne Phillips, can be reached as follows: Administration Center 135 Sixth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15229 Phone: 412.318.1004 Fax: 412.318.1084 email: email@example.com
Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 5
North Hills School District
orth Hills Senior High School students recently teamed up and raised nearly $900 during an empty Bowls event to benefit the North Hills Community Outreach food bank. The empty Bowls event offered guests dinner, which included soup and bread/rolls as well as a handcrafted soup bowl ~ all prepared by North Hills students. Students in Jason Hillegas’ beginning and advanced pottery classes created more than 200 soup bowls. Students in grades 10-12 completed some of the work during class time. In addition, students as well as alumni volunteered their time after school to work on the service project. Attendees selected from chicken noodle or baked potato soup prepared by students in Michelle Medic’s gourmet foods class. Rolls were prepared by students in Mrs. Medic’s world foods class. The empty Bowls event was held in conjunction with the school’s Curriculum Night. This year marked the fourth consecutive year for the North Hills empty Bowls event.
Seven students advance to state science competition
even North Hills students earned first place honors in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science regional competition and will compete at the state competition May 15 – 17, 2011, at the Pennsylvania State University.
First Place • Megan Gmys, grade 7, environmental Science, Sponsor: Laurie Ahrenholtz • Rachel Gmys, grade 10, Microbiology, Sponsor: Heather Cobbey • Anna Madrishin, grade 10, Microbiology, Sponsor: Heather Cobbey • Anna Meyer, grade 7, Microbiology, Sponsor: Heather Cobbey • Alain Niyibizi, grade 9, Chemistry, Sponsor: Heather Cobbey • kelsey Toplak, grade 8, Human Behavior, Sponsor: Megan Amayo • Joel Zewe, grade 8, Chemistry, Sponsor: Megan Amayo
Second Place • • • • •
Alex Glasser, grade 7, Microbiology, Sponsor: Heather Cobbey Robyn Madrishin, grade 10, Microbiology, Sponsor: Heather Cobbey Matt Plazek, grade 8, Human Behavior, Sponsor: Heather Cobbey Caroline Snyder, grade 8, Chemistry, Sponsor: Megan Amayo Matt Selzer, grade 8, Physics, Sponsor: Megan Amayo
Third Place • Julianne Gmys, grade 12, environmental Science, Sponsor: Heather Cobbey. Julianne was also recognized for five years participation in PJAS. The regional competition was held on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011, at keystone Oaks High School. PJAS is a statewide organization of junior and senior high school students designed to stimulate and promote interest in science among its members through the development of research projects and investigations.
North Hills School District
J. Elliot Spear
our North Hills Senior High School seniors were recently named National Merit Finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Anthony Chmura, Nicholas Didycz, Felipe Gomez-Frittelli and J. elliot Spear were recognized for their academic performance. “Being named a National Merit Finalist is one of the highest academic achievements available to high school seniors,” Mr. John kreider, North Hills Senior High principal, said. “Our four finalists as well as their families and teachers should be very proud of this outstanding accomplishment.”
In September 2010, it was announced that six North Hills Senior High School student had earned National Merit Semifinalist distinction - the school’s highest number of semifinalists in recent history. In addition, 10 students were also commended for their top performance on the PSAT/NMSQT.® All semifinalists had the opportunity to submit an application, transcripts, letters of recommendation and an essay in order to compete for a finalist position. Of the 1.5 million entrants, 50,000 students with the highest scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship
Program. The top one third (approximately 15,000 students) are notified that they have qualified as Semifinalists – 15,000 of which earn the designation of Finalist. As Finalists, Anthony, Nicholas, Felipe and Jeremiah are being considered for more than 8,400 merit scholarship awards offered by colleges, foundations, corporations and the not-for-profit National Merit Scholarship Corp. itself. Students are notified of scholarship awards beginning in March and continuing to mid-June.
NH superintendent elected to national board he superintendent of the North Hills School District was recently elected to the 21-member Board of Directors for ASCD, formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Council. Dr. Joseph Goodnack, past president of the Pennsylvania affiliate of ACSD, will begin his three-year term on March 28, 2011. “I am honored to have this opportunity to represent such a distinguished and well-respected organization that focuses on educational issues with national and international implications,” Dr. Goodnack said. “The access to educational programs, products and services will be invaluable as the North Hills School District faces challenges in the coming months and years.” Dr. Goodnack’s leadership efforts with ASCD began three years ago when he was elected to the organization’s 160-member Leadership Council. Founded in 1943, ASCD is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. The association has 160,000 members in 148 countries that represent professional educators from all levels and subject
areas—superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education, and school board members. Dr. Goodnack joined the North Hills staff as assistant superintendent in August 2005 and was named superintendent in January 2007. Prior to his arrival at North Hills, Dr. Goodnack served as principal of the Bellefonte Area Middle School in Centre County for 14 years. Prior to becoming an administrator, he served as an earth-space science teacher in the South Side Area School District, located in Beaver County, for 16 years. Dr. Goodnack earned his doctorate in educational administration as well as his Pennsylvania Letter of eligibility from Penn State University. He completed his master’s degree in curriculum and supervision from the University of Pittsburgh. He was awarded his bachelor’s degree and his Pennsylvania Secondary Principal Certificate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Goodnack and his wife, Marian, reside in Ross Township. They have two adult sons. ASCD is a membership organization that develops programs, products, and services essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead. Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 7
North Hills School District
Instrumental musi c stud N ents receive honors
umerous students in the North Hills School District have been selected by application or competitive audition to participate in various honors bands and orchestras. Under the direction of music teachers David Matthews and Len Lavelle, students range from grade 7 to grade 12.
PMeA District I Honors Band • Mason Beaudry, grade 10, trumpet • Tommy Newcomer, grade 12, trombone • evan Perez, grade 11, horn
PMeA District I Honors Orchestra • • • •
Isaac Adamiak, grade 12, viola Phil Custer, grade 11, bass Felipe Gomez-Frittelli , grade 12, viola Ivan Wooten, grade 12, bass
Alley Valley Junior High Honors Band • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Christie Adamiak, grade 8, horn Sam Bell, grade 9, horn Arran Collins, grade 7, alto saxophone Andrew Didycz, grade 8, clarinet Alexa Galdes, grade 8, horn elena Gowdy, grade 9, clarinet Stephen knott, grade 9, trumpet Alex kubala, grade 7, horn Grace Lizak, grade 8, baritone elizabeth Nicodemus, grade 8, clarinet Shannon Nolan, grade 8, clarinet Andrew Nolish, grade 8, trumpet Noah Pepmeyer, grade 8, trumpet
• Jonathan Perez, grade 8, trombone • Matt Plazek, grade 8, bass clarinet • Tommy Starr, grade 8, snare • Tommy Urich, grade 8, trombone • Brooke Venturella, grade 8, flute • David Vevers, grade 8, trombone
Alley Valley High School Honors Band • • • • • • • • • •
Bonnie Adamiak, grade 10, horn Isaac Adamiak, grade 12, baritone Robbie kaup, grade 11, trumpet Richey Ley, grade 10, tenor sax Tim Neral, grade 11, baritone Tommy Newcomer, grade 12, trombone evan Perez, grade 11, horn elliott Spear, grade 12, baritone Michael Urich, grade 10, clarinet Michael Zech, grade 11, tuba
Northern Area Honors Band • • • • • • • • • • •
Raymond Buehner, grade 7, clarinet Michael Burchlaw, grade 8, baritone sax Piece Chaffin, grade 7, trumpet Andy Cook, grade 7, trumpet Jacob Gettins, grade 8, trumpet Sarah Glatz, grade 7, flute Tristan Graham, grade 8, tuba Jonathan Hunchik, grade 8, baritone Will kaib, grade 8, trumpet Devon klaas, grade 8, tuba kellen kraus, grade 7, trombone
• • • • • • • • • •
Jeremy Mancino, grade 7, clarinet Marie McConnell, grade 8, clarinet Luke Melcher, grade 7, bass clarinet Nicole Pampena, grade 7, trombone Zach Sammartino, grade 8, alto sax Paul Shannon, grade 8, baritone Andrew Toplak, grade 7, clarinet Melissa Totin, grade 8, clarinet kelly Weaver, grade 7, flute Angela White, grade 8, clarinet
PMeA Junior High District Orchestra • Ryan Balog, grade 8, cello • Abby Humphrey, grade 9, viola
PMeA District I Orchestra • • • • •
Isaac Adamiak, grade 12, viola Maggie Brink, grade 11, violin Felipe Gomez-Frittelli , grade 12, viola evan Perez, grade 11, horn Tommy Newcomer, grade 12, trombone
PMeA District I Band • • • • •
Mason Beaudry, grade 10, trumpet Tommy Newcomer, grade 12, trombone Bryan Nicodemus, grade 12, trumpet evan Perez, grade 11, horn Michael Zech, grade 11, tuba
PMeA District I Jazz Band • Robbie kaup, grade 11, trumpet • Tommy Newcomer, grade 12, trombone
WVU Honors Orchestra • • • • • • • •
Dan Clark, grade 11, violin Natalie Drissler, grade 11, violin Madisen Fischer, grade 11, violin kate Fitzgerald, grade 12, violin Hannah Frawley, grade 10, cello Felipe Gomez-Frittelli, grade 12, viola Mike Mckevitt, grade 11, cello Ivan Wooten, grade 12, bass
PMeA Region Band Festival • Bryan Nicodemus, grade 12, trumpet • evan Perez, grade 11, horn
PMeA Region Orchestra Festival • Felipe Gomez-Frittelli, grade 12, viola 8
North Hills School District
Highcliff hosts Brazilian ighcliff elementary will celebrate “Music in Our Schools Month” by welcoming its first Artist in Residence. Ms. Lilly Abreu, a Gateway to the Arts rostered Brazilian Jazz vocalist, will be working with students in grades 4-6 – focusing on Brazilian jazz and various contributions made to music by Brazilian musicians. Students will engage in hands-on activities in each of their music, art, and literacy classes leading up to a workshop conducted by Ms. Abreu. Students will gain knowledge of Brazilian music, art, literacy, geography, history and culture through this interdisciplinary approach. In addition to Ms. Abreu, Mr. Paul evans, a professional percussionist, will be working with each class – demonstrating Brazilian percussion. Mr. evans is an artist lecturer in percussion at Carnegie Mellon University and often tours with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he serves as section percussionist with the River City Brass Band. Mr. evans is a North Hills alumnus and parent of four daughters who attend school in the North Hills School District. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Highcliff students to learn and grow both artistically and as sensitive, culturally aware young people,” Jessica Webster, Highcliff elementary music teacher, said. The residency will culminate in a school-wide live musical performance by Ms. Abreu and her Brazilian jazz trio. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Highcliff PTO.
Lilly Abreu is one of Brazil’s greatest cultural assets, a versatile artist with numerous appearances as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras and chamber ensembles in France, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, United States and Brazil. Among her many honors, Lilly Abreu has performed for Brazil’s then First Lady, Mrs. Ruth Cardoso, and at RIO eCO-92, the world ecological conference in Rio de Janeiro. Ms. Abreu is on the roster of the Pittsburgh Opera, and has been in recent productions of “Carmen,” “La Boheme,” “eugene Onegin,” and “Aida” at the Benedum Theater. Ms. Abreu has been in roles such as Pamina, Papagena, euridice, Drusilla, Anna Gomez, and Frasquita. As an active concert performer, Ms. Abreu has been the soloist at several concerts in Pittsburgh including the recent “Monteverdi Vespers” with Chatham Baroque and Spiritus Collective ensemble, and Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” at Calvary episcopal Church. Ms. Abreu has also collaborated with the New Pittsburgh Baroque ensemble and was featured in their recent concert at Mount Saint Peter Parish Concert Series. Ms. Abreu is in demand as a teacher and currently teaches Portuguese at University of Pittsburgh and Voice at Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University and at her private studio. Ms Abreu received her Bachelor’s of Music from Federal University of Goiás (Brazil), a Master’s in voice performance from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA essentials from the University of Pittsburgh.
embers of the North Hills School Board were recognized on Jan. 24, 2011, by a group of students representing each of the district’s schools. Led by senior Ashley Mittereder and junior Brandon Uddstrom, student representatives to the school board, students presented each board member with a book that had been
purchased in his/her honor. All books will be placed in school libraries throughout the district. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association declared January as School Director Recognition Month ~ a time to spotlight the contributions of public school board members. The theme for this year is "Taking Flight! Academic Achievement in Public Schools." The following is a list of school board members and the books that were selected in their honor: • Mr. Rob Barto Spilled Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook by Anne Mazer and ellen Potter • Mrs. Arlene Bender Satch & Me by Dan Gutman
• Mr. Tim Burnett Dino-Baseball by Lisa Wheeler • Mr. Thomas kelly Richard Scarry’s Favorite Storybook Ever by Richard Scarry • Mr. Jeff Meyer Roberto & Me by Dan Gutman • Mr. Louis Nudi American Cars: The Automobiles That Made America edited by Craig Cheetham • Mrs. kathy Reid The Story of the Orchestra by Robert T. Levine • Mrs. Sharon Schrim Patrick Henry by Catherine Welsh • Mr. ed Wielgus Fantasy Camp: Living the Dream with Maz and the ‘60s Bucs by James P. O’Brien • Mr. Michael Witherel, solicitor Fredrick Douglass: A Noble Life by David A. Adler
Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 9
North Hills School District
Gold Team raises $3,000 for Animal Friends he North Hills Junior High seventh grade Gold Team raised $3,000 to benefit Animal Friends through a “Hula & Hoops for Hounds” event. Students presented a check to Animals Friends during an assembly on Feb. 11. According to Dana Schultz, education coordinator for Animal Friends, this is the largest monetary donation that the organization has received from any one school. “It makes us happy to be able to do something to help out the animals,” Carley Cassandro, a Gold Team student, said. Gold Team students collected pledges from friends, family members, and neighbors. each pledged a donation based on the number of “hula hoops” or “baskets” each student could complete
within a 30-second time period. Students had the option of hula hooping or shooting basketballs. “It was fun,” Gold Team member Sarah knobeloch, said. “I would definitely want to do something like this again to help out another charity.” The Gold Team is comprised of 113 seventh grade students. Gold Team teachers include Mrs. Sarah Jane Beorn, literacy arts; Ms. Sharon Hamlett, science; Mr. Joseph O’Donnell, math; Mr. Joe Welch, social studies; and Mrs. Anne Ryan, english. “This was the first time the Gold Team fundraised for Animal Friends and would like to continue events such as ‘Hula & Hoops for Hounds’ in the future.” Mr. Welch said.
welve North Hills students have been recognized for their outstanding artwork by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers who recently announced the Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2011.
Gold Key Awards, the highest level of achievement on the regional level, were awarded to the following students: • Morgan Cunningham, grade 11, photography • kraig esswein, grade 12, ceramics • April klein, grade 10, photography • Christopher Robb, grade 12, photography Gold key works are forwarded to New York City for national adjudication. Silver Keys, works worthy of recognition on the regional level, were presented to: • Lindsey emery, grade 11 , photography • Ashley Osman, grade 12, ceramics • Amanda Weaver, grade 12, photography portfolio In addition, the following students earned Honorable Mention honors for work that demonstrates artistic potential: • Alex Clark, grade 10, photography • Morgan Cunningham , grade 11, photography • Rachel Faller, grade 12, drawing • Christine Fashion, grade 12, ceramics 10
• Brenna Helt, grade 11, photography • kaylee Zozos, grade 12, digital art The North Hills students are currently enrolled in Digital Imaging, Photography, Advanced Pottery and A.P. Studio Art taught at North Hills Senior High by Ms. Regina Moorby and Mr. Jason Hillegas. This year marks the return of the Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards following a 10-year absence. Artwork by the North Hills students was selected from among more than 1,000 submissions for consideration by Pittsburgh area students. “This is a remarkable achievement and milestone for the artists at North Hills Senior High,” Diane Oberst, North Hills art and music curriculum leader, said. “A panel of artists, art educators and art professionals selected their work as the best work submitted by the Pittsburgh Arts Region teenagers.” The Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards were founded in 1923 to offer recognition and scholarships for students for their artistic talents. Students who excel in the visual arts and creative writing participate in the Awards to earn recognition, get their work exhibited or published, and to earn scholarships. During the 2011 program year, more than 50,000 students will be recognized in their local communities, and 1,300 students will receive National Awards. Students and teachers will be celebrated at regional ceremonies, public events and the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall.
North Hills School District
Two named semifinalists for
wo North Hills School District teachers are among the 31 semifinalists in the 2012 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year recognition program. Jennifer DiPasquale and Jacalynn karenbauer, both science teachers at North Hills Junior High School, will proceed in the next round of the statewide competition for top teacher. “Mrs. DiPasquale and Mrs. karenbauer are truly extraordinary teachers,” Dr. Joseph Goodnack, superintendent, said. “They have consistently demonstrated innovation and leadership in developing and delivering the highest quality curriculum for our 21st century learners. They are both excellent candidates to represent not only the North Hills School District but all teachers throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Mrs. DiPasquale, who joined the North Hills faculty in 1999, serves as a ninth grade science teacher. Mrs. DiPasquale earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Pennsylvania State University and her secondary education certification from the University of Pittsburgh. Also, a ninth grade science teacher, Mrs. karenbauer has taught at North Hills since 1994. A graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania, she holds teaching certification in earth and space science, biology, and general science. Mrs. DiPasquale and Mrs. karenbauer earned National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2007. Mrs. DiPasquale and Mrs. karenbauer worked collaboratively to develop and teach the region’s first textbook-free biology course. The class utilizes MacBooks, iPod Touches and online resources in lieu of a traditional textbook. As a result of their efforts, North Hills Junior High was one of 38 programs nationwide to be selected as an Apple exemplary Program for the 2009-10 school year. In addition, the teachers were awarded the Program Innovation Award from blendedschools.net, which recognizes the creative use of online learning to enhance learning opportunities within the perimeters of the existing curriculum.
Teacher of the Year candidates are nominated by students, parents, colleagues and community members from across the state. The selection committee is comprised of former ‘Teacher of the Year’ recipients and past finalists. The 12 finalists will be announced in April and the 2012 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year will be named in October. The honoree will serve as Pennsylvania’s nominee in the National Teacher of the Year program. The National Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952 and is the oldest national honors program to focus public attention on teacher excellence. The National Teacher of the Year is selected by a nationwide panel of major education associations. During his or her year of recognition, the National Teacher of the Year honoree travels nationally and internationally as a spokesperson for the teaching profession. Pennsylvania has participated in the Teacher of the Year program since 1965. The program is co-sponsored by the state Department of education and the Pennsylvania chapter of the National State Teacher of the Year. Lois Rebich, a response to instruction and intervention facilitator at Ross elementary School, served as Pennsylvania’s Teacher of the Year in 2007. Additionally, previous semifinalists from North Hills School District include karen Bordt, a fifth grade teacher at Highcliff elementary, and Marc Thornton, principal of West View elementary School.
New student registration for grades 7-9 he North Hills School District is currently processing new student registration for current private and parochial students who will be entering grades 7-9 at North Hills Junior High this fall. Information pertaining to registration as well as required documents are available on the district website www.nhsd.net. Registration is accepted by appointment only. Please contact Gretchen Cetti at 412-3181045 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments are available Monday – Friday from 7:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. at the district’s administration center 135 Sixth Avenue in Ross Township.
Students entering ninth grade that are new to the North Hills School District are required to complete a math placement exam to ensure proper course assignment. This exam will be administered at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 at the junior high school. evening orientations for new incoming ninth graders and seventh graders will be scheduled in April – the dates are yet to be determined. Families will receive additional information following the completion of the registration materials. Registration is limited to residents of the North Hills School District, which serves West View Borough and Ross Township.
REUNIONS Class of 1966 Contact: Chick Poshard | 412-551-5252 | email@example.com Details: A tentative 45-year reunion is planned for Oct. 1, 2011.
Class of 1971 Contact: Al Dean | 412-367-8336 or kim Steele | firstname.lastname@example.org Details: The class of 1971 will celebrate its 40th reunion on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at Avonworth Community Park pavilion.
Class of 1981 Contact: Ronda Lion and Maureen Miller | email@example.com Details: A 30th reunion is planned for July 23, 2011, at the Highland Country Club.
Class of 1991 Contact: karen (Bennett) Rusnica | firstname.lastname@example.org | 412-445-3440 Details: A 20-year reunion is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 11
North Hills School District
Hebda named 2010-11 Gatorade Pennsylvania Boys
Cross Country Runner of the Year North Hills Senior High School student athlete has been named the 2010-11 Gatorade Pennsylvania Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Senior Zach Hebda is the first student from North Hills to receive this honor. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Hedba as Pennsylvania’s best high school boys cross country runner. The 5-foot-10 senior raced to 18th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships this past season with a time of 15:38. Hebda also captured regular-season victories at the Red, White and Blue Classic, the Central Catholic Invitational and the District 7 Championships. He took third at the Class AAA state meet. Hebda has maintained 3.48 GPA in the classroom. An eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts
NH senior named inline hockey
All-American North Hills Senior High School student was recently named to the Amateur Athletic Union/ USA Rollersports High School All-American team. Senior Christian Scott was selected based upon on a number of factors including community service, academics and athletic ability. “This is a very special honor that puts Christian in an elite group of student athletes,” Mrs. Leslie Quatrini, North Hills inline hockey team administrator, said. Christian has been playing ice hockey for eight years and inline hockey for five years, where he continues to be a top scorer. He is a four-time Inline All Star player. In ice hockey, Christian has earned the MVP, Hattrick, Playmaker, and Best Offenseman awards. He serves as captain of both the varsity inline and junior varsity ice hockey teams. An honors student, Christian is involved in Future Business Leaders of America, Hands for Service, and Students Against Destructive Decisions. In addition, he is a member of the varsity track team, plays baseball and has helped coach youth hockey. “Besides being an excellent student athlete, Christian is an all-around nice guy,” Mrs. Quatrini said. “His teammates and classmates consider him a leader and he is always willing to help out when asked.” Following graduation, Christian plans to study business management and entrepreneurship at either Washington & Jefferson College or Mercyhurst College.
of America, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and an area nursing home. “Zach stands out as one of the finest studentathletes I’ve ever worked with in 38 years of coaching,” said North Hills head coach John Wilkie. “He’s not only a superb athlete, but a special young man of outstanding character.” Hebda remains undecided upon a collegiate destination. Hedba joins Gatorade Pennsylvania Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Brad Miles (2009-10, North Penn), Ben Furcht (2008-09, Lower Merion), and Mark Dennin (2007-08, Boyertown Area Senior) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.
Register now for Kindergarten indergarten registration is now being accepted for the 2011-12 school year. All incoming kindergarten families should register as soon as possible. kindergarten registration packets are available from any of the district’s elementary schools or in the lobby of the district’s administration center, 135 Sixth Avenue in Ross Township. Packets may also be downloaded from the district’s website at www.nhsd.net. The packets provide necessary forms as well as information regarding required documents – such as proofs of residency and health immunizations – for kindergarten entrance. The North Hills School District operates a full-day kindergarten program in each of its four elementary schools: Highcliff, McIntyre, Ross and West View. The school day begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. Students registering for kindergarten must be five years of age before Sept. 1, 2011, to be enrolled for the 2011-2012 school year. Registration is limited to residents of the North Hills School District, which includes Ross Township and West View Borough. Families should contact Mrs. Gretchen Cetti at 412-3181045 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment. For more information regarding the district’s kindergarten program, contact Dr. Marilyn J. Cain, director of elementary education, at 412-318-1006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
pecial needs individuals of all ages and their families enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of lunch, games, crafts, sports and music that were planned especially with their fun in mind at THe SPeCIAL NeeDS FAMILY FUN DAY at Ross Township Community Center, sponsored by the Townships of Marshall, Ohio, Richland, Ross and Franklin Park Borough. The Pittsburgh Power Sparks and Al Mazing, Pittsburgh’s Family Magician, also made the event special for the participants. Volunteers included local U.S. Marine Corp. “buddies” that helped guide the participants through the fun activities. Registration, face painting and food service volunteers also gave their time and talents to make the event successful. To learn more about this event, or how you can volunteer next year, call Pete Geis at Ross Township at 412.931.7055.
PARTICIPANT, DAN AND U.S. MARINE AND VOLUNTEER, ERIC ELINSKI
PITTSBU RGH PO WER SP MEMBE AR RS, ALYS SA BENJA KS DANCE TEAM WINDISC MIN AND H AND P SHANNO ARTICIPA N NT BEN DUDKOW SKI
FRANKLIN PARK RECREATION BOARD MEMBE R, MAUREEN POISKER AND FRANKLIN PARK ASSISTANT PARK S AND RECREA TION DIRECTOR AND VOLUNTEER, BONNIE HOOL AHAN
MAGICIAN AL MAZING ENTERTAINS PARTICIPANTS
U.S. MARINE VOLUNTEER, ZACK THACKER AND PARTICIPANT, AMBER
U.S. MARINE VOLUNTEER, JAKE HUBER, HOLLY AND LUKE RECKER
MEGAN RINARD, AND VOLUNTEER, TRAVIS NOVTANY EDS DAYCARE 'S WAY SPECIAL NE A NURSE AT CHILD
Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 13
Ross Township’s Third Ward
Has New, Fresh Face on the Ballot
fter watching township officials play political games over the decision to raise taxes one mil after 18 years, or watching their police and ambulance services get the axe, John Sponcer had enough and decided to throw his hat into the ring for Ward 3 commissioner.
Sponcer, who has led a life of leadership and public service, and is a 37-year Ross resident, said that the time for change has come to the township’s board of commissioners. Retired from Comcast, Sponcer is no stranger to leadership roles and public service. He is a U.S. Army veteran and a 37year veteran of the Ross Township Fire Department. He has served as chief of Perrysville VFD for 10 years and president of the Ross Township Fire Association. Sponcer is also a family man, with a wife and two daughters, aged 20 and 10. 14 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE
When he saw the decisions some of the current commissioners were making regarding cutting of the programs in Ross that make the community a leader among other North Hills municipalities, he decided that someone needed to run against Ward 3 Commissioner Dan kinross. “When you’re bickering as to whether you’re going to cut six police hires, eliminate parks and recreation programs, not participate in the eMS services so your residents have ambulance services, and lose the ability to fix pot holes because you’re cutting public works budgets, some changes need to be made,”
“John’s an excellent person. He knows the innards of the township, what the township needs, and how to go about getting it.” – JOHN ReUBI, ROSS TOWNSHIP FIRe MARSHALL Sponcer said. “And a lot of people felt the same way. A recent township meeting about the cut in services to the residents of Ross Township was jam packed.” Pete Geis, Ross Township’s Parks and Recreation Director, said that he feared that, because of one commissioner’s last-minute proposal – more than 5 years worth of work towards a state-funded comprehensive study would be down the drain. “When Commissioner kinross, proposed a budget package at the voting meeting that included cutting the grant we had already committed to and had funds for, that was a jaw-dropping moment for me,” Geis said. “This was something that had been worked on for 5 years to get to this point. To cut this would have blackballed Ross Township for any future grant money that we might pursue. The comprehensive plan is done so you can get future funding for projects – whether at the federal or state level.” That loss of grant eligibility would also deal a serious blow to the grant-seeking effectiveness of the township’s other agencies, like the fire departments, which successfully applied for and received grants for a new aerial, new air masks and new radios over the past five years alone. Geis, who is one of the few Certified Parks and Recreation Professionals in the state, ran the parks and recreation department for Westmoreland County, Virginia, prior to coming to Ross Township. In all of his years of service, Geis said, that cutting parks and recreation programs has always been an easy target for budget cuts. But those cuts often have long-term, community-wide detrimental effects. “Parks and recreation isn’t just fun and games, it’s all the community
enhancements that the municipality has to offer,” Geis said. “It’s what makes a community a community and not just a place to live. We give people the option to have safe, comfortable gatherings. We provide a whole spectrum of opportunity for the whole gamut of Ross residents.” John Reubi, Ross Township Fire Marshal, said that he’s known Sponcer for more than 30 years and thinks that he would be an excellent commissioner for Ross Township. “John’s an excellent person. He’s served as fire chief in Perrysville, and did an excellent job there. He’s been involved with the township for a number of years, as both a resident and as an emergency services provider,” Reubi said. “I think, for one, he has the background of knowledge of living here, and by being involved in emergency management services, he’s seen another side of what needs to be done on the commissioner level. He knows the innards of the township, what the township needs, and how to go about getting it.” Ralph Freedman, former Ross Township Police Chief who now consults for the department, said that while he could not comment about Ross politics because of his affiliation with the township, he could speak about Sponcer as a friend he’s known for decades. “I’ve known John for years. He’s a good guy, and he’d make a good commissioner,” Freedman said. “He’s always a level-headed, good guy. He’s a straight-shooter and has excellent character.”
“When Commissioner Kinross, proposed a budget package at the voting meeting that included cutting the grant we had already committed to and had funds for, that was a jaw-dropping moment for me. This was something that had been worked on for 5 years to get to this point. To cut this would have blackballed Ross Township for any future grant money that we might pursue.” – PeTe GeIS, ROSS TOWNSHIP PARkS & ReCReATION DIReCTOR
Photos by Gary Yon Photography Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 15
ROSS ReSIDeNTS HOST
hen Gail Gilliland and her family moved to Pittsburgh 30 years ago, they wanted to set up something special for local artists. An artist herself, Gilliland decided that an artist’s boutique would be a great way to get the work and talents of Pittsburgh out into the community. That boutique, which is held each November at the Fox Chapel Racquet Club, is still going strong and has even branched out to collect goods and money for the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. This year's event was Friday, November 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fox Chapel Racquet Club, located at 355 Hunt Road. Gwyn Gilliland, a Ross resident, said that after a brief hiatus, she, along with her mother, Gail, and her sister, Greer Stasko of McCandless, took back the reins on the event so that it didn’t fade away or become stale. “My mom ran it with a friend for nine or 10 years and it got to be too much, but we
16 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE
took it back last year,” Gilliland said. “We always talked about doing a benefit, and now we have added the Pittsburgh Food Bank. On Thursday evening, if you make a monetary donation or bring food, you'll get a ticket for a glass of wine. We have a raffle for some donated gift certificates for local restaurants, and some stores donated some items.” Gilliland said she was surprised by how much the trio was able to gather for the food bank last year, and is trying to bolster their efforts even more this year. “We collected 10 boxes of food and $800. We didn’t realize we’d have that much,” she said. “The food bank was really excited, and they’ve been sending us information and volunteers to help with collecting the food and putting info on their website. We really feel that because it’s before Thanksgiving, donating to the food bank is even more important. It’s a necessary time for people to have access to food.”
Gilliland said the boutique has about 35 vendors ranging in disciplines from jewelrymaking to glass-etching and everything in between. “We purposely try to go out and find new and different vendors each year. Previously, there were a lot of jewelry people, so we tried to find new and different artists. Now we have a portrait artist, charcoal drawing artist, watercolorist, an artist who makes country Christmas items, and an interesting glassetching artist who makes amazing glass etchings for candles, drinkware and vases.” Other artists include a canvas painter who creates placemats and table runners, and a fiber artist who creates gloves, mittens and jackets. Cuisine is provided by a local chef who also teaches cooking via house calls. “It’s a really neat event, and we try to keep it small, but the setting is cozy and feels like a specialty marketplace,” Gilliland said. “We jury the show, and we’re selective about who we have in the show. There’s a waiting list for artists anxious to participate. The important thing is that there’s going to be something for everyone, and it’s a great opportunity to help out the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.”
Health and Wellness News You Can Use
© 2011 UPMC
Coming Back from a Back Injury
From Gut-Wrenching Pain to Hope for the Future Stomachaches: When to Worry
Good Night, Sleep Tight! Are You Allergic to Your Bed?
UPMC HealthTrak Lets You Manage Your Health Care Online
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Could It Happen to You?
Welcoming New Physicians What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant
Coming Back from a Back Injury UPMC Passavant’s state-of-the-art spine care services offer the latest surgical and nonsurgical treatments Nearly 12,000 spinal injuries occur in the United States each year. While most are the result of motor vehicle accidents or falls, nearly 12 percent are the result of sports-related injuries. An accident, a sudden fall, or the accumulated trauma of several minor injuries can sideline anyone with a serious back injury. Just ask John Busse* of Charleston, W. Va. The gifted basketball player started playing on his high school’s varsity team as a freshman. By his senior year, John was close to matching the high school record of legendary NBA player and fellow West Virginian, Jerry West. But then he started experiencing lower back pain. “I can’t blame my herniated disk on any one injury,” says John, now a wildlife biology/pre-vet major in his junior year at Auburn University in Alabama. “I continued playing until I realized I couldn’t really feel my legs any more.” Following in his father’s footsteps John’s dad — himself an active outdoorsman — wasted no time convincing his son to make the journey to Pittsburgh’s North Hills for evaluation by Matt El-Kadi, MD, chief of Neurosurgery at UPMC Passavant and clinical professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “My dad had undergone four failed back surgeries until Dr. El-Kadi operated on him. There was no question that’s where I wanted to go,” adds John. * John Busse’s treatment and results may not be representative of similar cases.
The Spine Center at UPMC Passavant features one of the region’s most comprehensive programs for the treatment of spine injuries, with a multidisciplinary team of specialists who can provide both surgical and nonsurgical options. “We’re generally able to treat most back pain and injuries with conservative measures (including rest, medication, and physical therapy),” explains Dr. El-Kadi. “When an operation is the only option, we specialize in minimally invasive surgery, which incurs less damage to muscle tissue so that patients generally recover more quickly and experience less postoperative pain.” Spine Center offers advanced neurologic services Individuals with back injuries have access to the latest imaging and diagnostic tools at the Spine Center. UPMC Passavant’s new pavilion also houses a complete navigation suite for spine surgery where surgeons can perform a wide range of complex and advanced spine surgeries that attract patients from hundreds of miles away. While most herniated disks don’t require surgery, it was John’s only recourse due to the extent of his injury. “Everything went like clockwork. Except for being a little stiff right after the operation, the whole thing was painless,” he says. “I did physical therapy for a few months afterward, too, mostly for reconditioning. Nothing has stopped me since — I’m now playing intramural basketball and football at Auburn.”
When to Get Help Your back is an integral part of everyday movement, providing strength, flexibility, and stability for the entire body. Keeping your back healthy means knowing when to get help for an injury. Minor back injuries can be selftreated with rest; over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication for pain; the use of ice for the first 48 hours, followed by heat; and exercises to build the core muscles of the stomach and lower back. However, Dr. El-Kadi recommends that you seek prompt medical attention if you experience any of the following after sustaining a back injury: • Any neurologic symptoms such as numbness, weakness, or searing pain down the leg • Bowel or bladder problems • Pain that gets progressively worse • Pain at night or at rest • Longer-than-usual recovery time For more information about the Spine Center at UPMC Passavant, or to make an appointment, call 1-877-967-2225, or visit www.UPMC.com/Passavant.
From Gut-Wrenching Pain to Hope for the Future UPMC’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center wields a powerful “triple threat” against IBD: Groundbreaking immunology, genetics research, and innovative clinical care The primary goal of drug therapy is to reduce inflammation in the intestines. Medications include anti-inflammatory drugs; antibiotics to kill germs in the intestinal track; probiotics to restore good bacteria; corticosteroids to provide short-term relief during flare-ups; and immunosuppressants.
At age 23, John Oliver* is feeling better about the future. Free from the gutwrenching pain of Crohn’s disease since a second bowel surgery in 2008 — this time followed by a promising new treatment developed at UPMC using biologic-based drug therapy — he is now making plans to attend medical school next fall. “I think the medicine is working. It’s the best I’ve felt and the best I’ve looked,” says John, who earned his biomedical engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree in engineering management from Duke University. His gastroenterologist, Miguel Regueiro, MD, clinical head and codirector of the UPMC Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, says the future has never looked brighter for IBD patients. “Ten years ago, a diagnosis of IBD was devastating. Now, we have new medicines, a greater understanding of the disease, and better research,” he says.
IBD: Who’s at risk? Nearly two million Americans live with IBD, which is not to be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBD involves two chronic diseases that cause inflammation of the intestines: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and bleeding.
Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the small and large intestines, while ulcerative colitis affects the large bowel alone. IBD cuts across all ages, genders, and ethnicities, but generally affects Caucasians ages 15 to 35. While the exact cause is not known, experts believe IBD involves a compromised or overactive immune system. Because IBD may run in families, doctors also believe genetics plays a role. While stress and certain foods do not cause IBD, both can make symptoms worse.
Treatment According to Dr. Regueiro, drugs cannot cure IBD, but they can be effective in reducing the inflammation and accompanying symptoms. While some patients have mild symptoms requiring little medication, others have more debilitating flareups, and some patients have severe problems requiring surgery and even transplants.
In addition, the IBD Center recently developed a Visceral Inflammation and Pain (VIP) Center to help patients deal with both the physical pain and emotional stress of coping with IBD.
Exciting breakthroughs The latest generation of drugs, called biologic therapies, are proving very effective in inducing remission so that patients can lead normal lives. At UPMC, doctors took this approach a step further — as in John’s case — by prescribing biologic drug therapy after performing surgery to remove the damaged section of the intestine. In use now at other hospitals, this treatment has reduced the recurrence of Crohn’s disease in patients by nearly two thirds. * John Oliver’s treatment and results may not be representative of similar cases.
Stomachaches: When to Worry Everyone gets a stomachache — or abdominal pain — from time to time. Usually, stomachaches are harmless conditions caused by overeating, gas, or indigestion. Frequent or recurring stomachaches are often due to stress and worry, even in children. But they can point to more serious medical problems.
Get medical help immediately if: • You have abdominal pain that is very sharp, severe, and sudden. • You also have pain in the chest, neck, or shoulder. • You’re vomiting blood or have bloody diarrhea.
Harmless abdominal pain usually subsides or goes away within two hours. If you have the stomach flu, your stomach may hurt before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. In serious cases, the pain worsens or becomes constant. According to gastroenterologists at UPMC Passavant, you should call your primary care physician if mild pain lasts more than a couple of days, or if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms.
• Your abdomen is stiff, hard, and tender to the touch. • You can’t move your bowels, especially if you’re also vomiting. Bottom line: Trust your gut! Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about lingering or unusual stomach pain.
Health Tips from UPMC Health Plan
Good Night, Sleep Tight! Are you among the millions of Americans suffering from lack of sleep? If so, droopy eyelids, wide yawns, and low energy are the least of your worries. Sleep disruption — not sleeping enough or sleeping poorly — can affect your memory, disease resistance, and leave you struggling to stay alert in school, on the job, and on the road. Studies show that people who get the appropriate amount of sleep on a regular basis also tend to live longer, healthier lives than those who sleep too few or even too many hours each night. So, what is a good night’s sleep? According to the National Institutes of Health, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. School-aged children and teens need at least nine hours of sleep each night. Tips to help you sleep • Stick to a sleep schedule. Get up about the same time each day, no matter how many hours of sleep you got the previous night. • Maintain healthy sleep habits. Go to bed only when you’re sleepy. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and relaxing — not too hot or too cold. Don’t text, e-mail, read, or watch TV in bed. • Make sure your mattress is comfortable. Remember, even a good quality mattress needs to be replaced within 10 years. • Exercise is great, but not too late. Avoid exercising within a few hours before bedtime. • Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch. The stimulating effects of caffeine in coffee, colas, teas, and chocolate can take as long as eight hours to wear off. • Avoid large meals at night. A large meal can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bedtime. While a nightcap may help you relax, alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep and tends to wake you during the night. And, for adolescents and young adults: • Avoid stimulating activities around bedtime. This includes intense studying, text messaging, video games, and lengthy phone conversations. • Avoid pulling “all nighters” during exams. • Sleep in on weekends — but not more than two to three hours past your normal wake time. Sleeping longer may disrupt your body clock. Find a more complete list of the benefits of good sleep at www.UPMC.com/Today.
AreYouAllergic toYour Bed? The dust in your bedroom might be making you sick. Dust mites, and dander, and fibers — oh my! These are just some of the microscopic menaces in ordinary house dust that can cause health problems. Dust mites are a common cause of allergies and asthma. It’s not the dust mite itself that can make you sick; it’s the dust mite debris (the mite’s feces and decaying body). Dust collects in every room of the house because it is easily trapped in linens, upholstery, carpets, and draperies. But the bedroom is a favorite habitat for dust mites because it provides a warm, humid environment, and plenty of food (dead skin from humans and pets).
Five ways to help wipe out dust mites While you can’t completely eliminate dust mites, these simple steps may help reduce their numbers: 1. Cover your mattress and pillows in dust-proof or allergen-blocking covers, and encase box springs in vinyl or plastic covers. 2. Wash and dry bed sheets, pillowcases, blankets, curtains, and bedcovers weekly in hot water (140 degrees Fahrenheit). If bedding can’t be washed, put the items in the dryer set at a high temperature for 20 minutes. 3. Vacuum carpeting and upholstery weekly. Using a HEPA-filter vacuum can help keep dust from floating back into the air. 4. Use a damp cloth or mop to remove dust from hard surfaces and exposed floors. This will prevent dust from becoming airborne and resettling. 5. Keep the indoor temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity at no more than 50 percent. Dust mites aren’t the only puny pests that can invade your bedroom. Bed bugs have made a comeback in recent years. For tips on ways to avoid a bed bug infestation, visit www.UPMC.com/Today. Sources: National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency
UPMC HealthTrak Lets You Manage Your Health Care Online
Keeping track of health issues, test results, and medications is challenging for Sandy Hogue*, who is disabled and chronically ill. Because she must rely on cabs for transportation, seeing a primary care doctor can be an all-day affair. That’s why she was eager to sign up for UPMC HealthTrak, an Internet-based service that enables patients to receive and manage information about their health. Sandy uses it to monitor her glucose and high cholesterol levels, check test results, make appointments, renew prescriptions, and diagnose medical conditions — all from the comfort of her home in Westmoreland County. “It’s a good system. I get the medical treatment I need faster without spending a day traveling around,” says Sandy. “It keeps me in contact with my doctor and helps me monitor my medical conditions. And if I have anything contagious, like the flu, it prevents me from infecting other people.” More patients choosing HealthTrak Approximately 42,000 UPMC patients have signed on to HealthTrak, which gives them secure electronic access to their medical records, medications, and other information. HealthTrak recently was expanded to include eVisits — an online digital house call — with a primary care physician. * These patients’ treatments and results may not be representative of similar cases.
During an eVisit, patients select a symptom and complete an interactive questionnaire. A UPMC doctor then reviews the information and makes a diagnosis. If medication is needed, a prescription can be sent electronically to the patient’s pharmacy.
“HealthTrak is great for college students who are far from home, the elderly, and other people who have trouble getting to the doctor. It doesn’t take the place of going to the doctor for regular check-ups, but it’s very useful,” Robin says. “If only UPMC could figure a way for me to see my dentist online!”
Oakmont resident Mark Gleeson* uses HealthTrak primarily to keep track of his medical records. In October, when the computer-savvy 83-year-old came down with a cough and cold late in the day, he decided to “see” a doctor via eVisit. Within an hour of completing the questionnaire, a UPMC doctor responded with medical instructions and a prescription for his sinus infection and chest congestion. “It was so convenient, and it worked! Within three days, I felt good as new,” Mark says. Convenience and comfort As a graduate student, Robin Sales* relied on HealthTrak to connect with her hometown doctor while attending school in Nevada. Now a young professional living in New York City, she continues to use the online service for eVisits, to fill prescriptions, and access her medical records.
UPMC HealthTrak Benefits Manage your health from home with HealthTrak. Here’s what you can do online: • Send a message to your doctor • View medical records and test results
“It’s comforting. Having easy access to a doctor back home gives me the chance to find the right doctor for me locally, without rushing into it. It’s one less thing to worry about,” she says.
• Renew prescriptions
Robin, who first used eVisit to consult a doctor about an eye infection, says the online questionnaire asks the same questions the doctor would ask at an appointment. When she needs medicine, her doctor in Pittsburgh faxes the prescription to her New York drug store two minutes away.
• Ask billing questions
• Track current health issues such as glucose levels and blood pressure • Request appointments • “See” a doctor (digital house call) For more information or to sign up, visit www.UPMCHealthTrak.com.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Could it Happen to You? Most of us associate posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with returning military veterans who have experienced the tragedy of war. But you don’t have to be a soldier to undergo the intense feelings of helplessness, horror, and fear that characterize PTSD. Imagine being in a terrible car accident on your way to the mall. For days and weeks afterwards, you constantly relive the accident in your mind. You take a different route to shop and, worst of all, your body won’t let you relax. You can’t sleep — and when you finally do doze off, you’re awakened by nightmares. You can’t concentrate, your heart pounds, and you break out in cold sweats. “We know that anyone who has undergone some kind of trauma can be at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder,” explains Anne Germain, PhD, associate professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Based at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, she currently leads several sleep research projects with returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who have PTSD. PTSD can be triggered by a single event you’ve experienced or even witnessed — be it an accident, violent crime, or natural disaster — or by ongoing trauma, such as child abuse or domestic violence. When we experience a life-threatening event, it’s normal for our body to react with a powerful, stressful response; it’s what enables us to fight or flee. “But for some people, these symptoms persist and worsen,” says Dr. Germain. “The toll can be profound if symptoms are ignored. PTSD has a devastating impact on the lives of people who have it — and on those around them. It also has enormous financial and economic implications.”
Did You Know? UPMC's Sleep Medicine Center — accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine — is the only multidisciplinary sleep medicine facility in western Pennsylvania. The center performs approximately 2,000 sleep studies annually for adult patients with all types of sleep disorders. The staff at the UPMC Sleep Medicine Center include board-certified physicians, certified nurse practitioners, and registered sleep laboratory technologists. To schedule an appointment, call 412-692-2880.
PTSD is a relatively new specialization in psychology, and experts are still trying to determine why it affects some people and not others. Fortunately, for most people, the symptoms of PTSD begin to ease in about a month. “If they continue, it’s extremely important to seek professional help,” notes Dr. Germain. “The best place to begin is to talk with your family doctor and seek a referral to a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist.”
PTSD and sleep disorders Among the most troubling aspects of chronic PTSD for patients are the recurring nightmares and insomnia it can bring. There is growing evidence that such sleep disorders have a direct impact on both a person’s mental and physical health. Individuals with PTSD often say they have problems falling or staying asleep, and that the sleep they get isn’t refreshing and restorative. “Our sleep research studies with veterans show that they have many more sleep disorders than the general public, including sleep apnea and other breathing problems,” notes Dr. Germain. With PTSD, nightmares can become an ingrained behavior, affecting a person’s daytime functioning — from faltering concentration and poor memory, to emotional outbursts. “By stopping the nightmares and helping to make sleep more normal, restful, and restorative, patients can overcome other aspects of chronic PTSD in their lives a bit more easily. And sleep can be improved in a matter of weeks,” she says. Dr. Germain uses several methods to treat PTSD-related sleep disorders, including image reversal therapy. “We help patients replace a recurring nightmare with a more positive, affirming dream. They write it down and rehearse it several times a day to train the brain to have a new dream image.” Individuals interested in participating in Dr. Germain’s sleep research studies for military veterans are invited to call 412-246-6404 or visit www.veteranssleep.pitt.edu.
Welcoming New Physicians To schedule an appointment, or for more information about any of our physicians, visit www.UPMC.com/FindADoctor or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). John T. Comerci, MD Gynecologic Surgery
Andrew S. Hall, DO Internal Medicine
Richard J. Lowery, DPM Podiatric Surgery
Michael T. Stang, MD General Surgery
Noedahn Copley-Woods, MD Gynecologic Surgery
Steven M. Heilbrunn, MD Cardiology
Richard M. Maleski, DPM Podiatric Surgery
Nangali S. Srinivasa, MD Internal Medicine
Anna Dumont, DO Family Practice
Wendy M. Helkowski, MD Orthopaedics
David S. Medich, MD Colorectal Surgery
Charles H. Srodes, MD Oncology
Marsha J. Fino, MD Internal Medicine
Brian T. Jankowitz, MD Head and Neck Surgery
Antonia A. Mendoza, MD Nephrology
Przemyslaw J. Sutkowski, MD Nephrology
Robert M. Friedlander, MD Head and Neck Surgery
Uma M. Kannapadi, MD Nephrology
Nabil H. Mikhael, MD Nephrology
Ian M. Wu, MD Nephrology
Dennis Gabos, MD Cardiology
Jeff Krachkow, MD Cardiology
Jingjiang Nie, MD Nephrology
Timothy Wu, MD Cardiovascular Surgery
John M. George, MD Cardiology
John A. Lech, DO Oncology
Thanh Nguyen, MD Nephrology
Brian W. Zimmer, DO Nephrology
Chiara Ghetti, MD Gynecologic Surgery
Ryan M. Levy, MD Thoracic Surgery
Scott G. Rainey, DO Orthopaedics
Halina M. Zyczynski, MD Gynecologic Surgery
Pablo G. Giuseppucci, MD General Surgery
Jerry L. Lowder, MD Gynecologic Surgery
Lane Y. Schumacher, MD Thoracic Surgery
What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant These free events are offered by the Passavant Hospital Foundation Understanding the Cardiovascular System and You Tuesday, Mar. 15, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 19, 6:30 p.m. CCAC North Campus Speakers: Daniel Edmundowicz, MS, MD, FACC and Darlene Loebig, RN These educational sessions are for those who want to begin living a heart healthy lifestyle. Please call 412-369-3701 to register. Colorectal Cancer: What You Need to Know Wednesday, Mar. 16, 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speaker: Ved Kaushik, MD Prevention, detection, and advancements in treatment options related to colorectal cancer will be discussed at this seminar. Please call 412-367-6640 to register.
Autism Through the Lifespan Wednesday (day one), Apr. 13, 8 a.m. Thursday (day two), Apr. 14, 8 a.m. Passavant Hospital Foundation Conference Center and Legacy Theatre This two-day event will cover autism from early childhood to adolescence (day one), and adolescence through adulthood (day two). CEUs available. Registration is required. For more information, visit www.passavanthospitalfoundation.org.
Legacy Music Series UPMC Passavant–McCandless Passavant Hospital Foundation is seeking talented musicians who want to help lift people’s spirits and volunteer their time to give the gift of music. Inquiries are now being accepted for 2011 dates. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.
Good Nutrition for Seniors: Attaining and Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle Wednesday, Apr. 20, 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speaker: Joan Avolio, RN, LDN Learn about healthy eating and exercise, and practical ways to incorporate good nutrition into day-to-day living. Please call 412-367-6640 to register.
UPMC Passavant 9100 Babcock Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15237
UPMC Today is published quarterly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events available at UPMC. This publication is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice or replace a physician’s medical assessment. Always consult first with your physician about anything related to your personal health.
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The strength of UPMC’s advanced spine care is right here. If you’re suffering from back or neck pain, put your trust in the experts at UPMC Passavant. Our world-class, specially trained surgical team delivers high-quality care for spinal injuries and painful disk conditions, including highly advanced fusion techniques and the latest in minimally invasive procedures. And with the addition of several high-tech operating rooms in our new pavilion, our surgeons have access to real-time, integrated, 3-D imaging. This can increase the accuracy of stabilization techniques, minimize operating time, and enable surgeons to perform more complex procedures closer to your home. We even offer a full range of nonsurgical options, including on-site physical and occupational therapy programs. It all adds up to the premier spine care center north of the city. Call us at 1-800-533-UPMC or visit UPMC.com/Passavant
PATIENT PAVILION NOW OPEN
ne , John Lamag Mary Demas Kevin Laird,
oward Hanna Real estate Services held its annual “Choo Choo Chow Chow for Children” Luncheon in December. The event raised $301,000 this year, to combine with other Howard Hanna's across the region for a total of $6.1 million raised over the past 21 years. For 90 days, from mid-September to mid-December, all Howard Hanna offices come together to plan their own Chow Chow events to raise money for the Children's Free Care Fund in their area. This years luncheon was attended by Hanna clients, family, friends and businesses who came out to support the care of children while enjoying holiday entertainment, raffles, and auctions. All profits raised from the event stay within the region to help local children.
Tom Ceponis and Helen H annacasey
Susan Kohler, Rosanne Russo
David Cannone, John Carroll, Sarah Kelly, Katie Patrick Ceponis Hoddy Hanna and Tom
Randy Cornelius , Lou Stempkow ski, Patrick Muto, Jim Keating
Boozern rer, Rose Dave Weh
Diane Salava, Jamie McLaughlin, Natalie Guiler, Kelley Disvonik Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 25
Lutheran SeniorLife to Open New Assisted Living Care Facility in Mars utheran SeniorLife will open the doors to a new, state-ofthe-art assisted living facility this May that promises to be the pinnacle of assisted-living care with memory support. The 30-bed center, called RoseCrest after Martin Luther’s Rose and the fact that the center is situated on a hill, will boast all-private suites with flat-screen televisions, sitting areas and outdoor courtyard. The one-story facility is designed with easily accessible “neighborhoods,” and 24-hour memory support services, including nursing and related care. Residents will receive three meals a day, including a daily snack, and benefit from the facility’s proximity to St. John Specialty Care Center, also part of the Lutheran SeniorLife campus. karen Russell, executive director of St. John Specialty Care Center, said RoseCrest has a
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number of amenities that will make it stand out from other facilities of its kind. “The creative design of this facility will give residents the feeling that it’s just like home. It’s a very non-institutional look,” Russell said. “Residents will live in suites, situated around a center community area with nursing staff able to provide emergency response when needed most.” Russell said that all aspects of RoseCrest are designed with the safety and well-being of the residents in mind. “From the outdoor courtyard and other amenities, which are all secured so our residents can enjoy the outdoors without leaving the premises, to the monthly wellness checks, RoseCrest is a leader,” Russell said.
“Housekeeping is included in their stay. There’s also an activity center and coordinated transportation to local destinations. It’s all part of the St. John Campus - St. John Specialty Care Center in Mars, which was our only facility on that campus until now. After RoseCrest, we’ll begin construction of residential living apartments on that campus. There may be other things down the road, but when you look at the skilled nursing, assisted and residential living, we have all elements necessary designating St. John as a certified Continuing Care Retirement Community.” St. John currently serves 300 residents. Lutheran SeniorLife also has a campus in Zelienople—the 42-acre Passavant Retirement Community, which, like St. John, offers all levels of senior living care. Lutheran SeniorLife also has residential living communities in Hempfield and Butler, and a 31-unit apartment building in McCandless—The Commons at Stonebrook Village. The organization also has several programs for those in need, including its “LIFe” Programs. LIFe stands for “Living Independence For the elderly,” and is comprised of partnerships with area hospitals for low-income senior citizens or those who are medical-assistance eligible. Partnerships exist in three counties - Butler, Beaver, and Lawrence - and allow nursing-home eligible seniors to be transported to LIFe centers for their routine services, including daily meals, up to three days each week. “We are developing a waiting list for RoseCrest, but it’s not filled yet,” she said. “Those who are eligible and interested should call as soon as possible so that they can be accommodated.” For more information on RoseCrest, go to www.lutheranseniorlife.org, or call 724.625.1900.
IN Ross Township, published quarterly and is carrier route mailed to all Ross Township and West View households.
Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 27
R E A L E S TAT E
Both Buyers and Sellers Need to BEWARE of
As with any major purchase, doing your homework should be Sharon Fincham, a Realtor with Prudential Preferred Realty, said something you do before you sign on a major loan. Never before has that, in addition to including an appraisal contingency addendum to an this been more true than in the housing market, where overpricing can oﬀer, you need to make sure that your agent is doing the proper create major headaches for buyers legwork before the oﬀer is even made. and sellers. “You have to make sure that your For buyers, an overpriced home can mean a loss For sellers, overpricing can agent does comparisons to similar in seller’s assistance, money that sellers mean that your home sits on the homes in the area, knows the market, sometimes bring to the table from their profits market longer, raising flags to and gets supporting evidence that the to help defray closing costs for the buyer. potential buyers that something is house is really worth what it’s being advertised at before you put in an amiss. For buyers, an overpriced oﬀer,” Fincham said. “If the house home can mean a loss in seller’s doesn’t appraise for the agreed upon assistance, money that sellers price, it is unlikely that you will receive sometimes bring to the table from any seller’s assist.” their profits to help defray closing costs for the buyer. Worse yet, if What’s more, overpricing is a one-way street by way of mistakes. there is no appraisal contingency addendum attached to the Homeowners who list their homes for too little may receive multiple agreement of sale, a buyer may be forced to go through with a home oﬀers, allowing the power of free market economic supply and purchase after being told that it is not worth what they have agreed demand to take over, driving the price up until it’s comparable to the to pay. other homes in the neighborhood. But there’s no similar failsafe with overpricing. A home that’s overpriced may get a nice oﬀer, but ultimately, the final arbiter of what it’s truly worth is the appraiser, assigned independently by the bank or lender. That appraisal will dictate the future of the sale. The resulting appraisal could tank the sale altogether, or force buyers to seek extra money or alternative financing to compensate for the missed seller’s assistance. either way, it’s going to mean a hassle for the buyer and frustration for the seller. However, if an agent does the homework and knows their business, Fincham said the home should be listed at a fair price, resulting in a relatively smooth sale in reasonable length of time. “It is now imperative that agents and clients know the recent selling prices of comparable homes,” she said. “Buyers and sellers agreeing on a price is not necessarily enough anymore. The study of a neighborhood before an oﬀer is made can save everyone involved a lot of grief and frustration.”
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R E A L E S TAT E
Real Estate as aCareer Many finding the flexibility and income potential excellent who loves working with and around people and can understand their As the dwindling job market numbers continue to make the news needs easily is one who will make a successful agent.” lately, the professionals in the real estate market seem to have one of The career path to becoming a real estate agent is varied. the best kept secrets going. For those who need some flexibility but desire a job with excellent income People who have previously worked potential, a career in real estate is an in service- oriented fields like A person who loves working with and around nursing, teaching or in the airline excellent choice. people and can understand their needs easily industry make great real estate Whether a person has just finished college or wants to return agents. Those who have spent years is one who will make a successful agent. to work now that the kids are volunteering their time and are now attending school, joining a sales looking for a paying job, and have team at a real estate agency close to honed their skill in dealing with home can lead to income rewards different types of personalities and a flexible work schedule that generally make a good transition into many people desire. In this day and the real estate work force. age of electronic media, with all of the tools available to agents to help A position within a real estate agency can be rewarding both buyers and sellers in acquiring and disposing of properties, the fast personally and financially. The flexibility that comes with pace of the real estate market is an exciting place to work. setting your own schedule and the satisfaction of assisting in People who have just graduated from college have the upper one of the largest transactions that most people will make, can hand when it comes to marketing to their peers through social make the difference between a just doing a job and a creating a network sites. The use of Face Book and Linked In is a tool that is successful career. being used to make contact with their friends, who are generally first time home buyers. Those who have taken time off to raise their children and are looking for an alternative to a standard 9am-5pm job have found great success in a real estate career. Ron Guthrie of Howard Hanna says that the flexibility of the job is what makes it such an attractive option. “You can control your destiny in the real estate field. You set your own hours and with hard work, the financial benefit can be spectacular!” What makes for a successful real estate professional? Guthrie says “it’s someone who is not afraid to deal with people. You have to get up every day and want to get out there and help people. A person
Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 29
Sixteen St. Teresa Students Recognized by PA Junior Academy of Science First-Place Winners Will Travel to State College in May for the Statewide PJAS Competition ixteen students at St. Teresa of Avila School were winners at the Region VII competition of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, held February 5 at keystone Oaks High School. These seventh and eighth graders made 10-minute oral presentations that summarized their independent research projects, competing against students from across Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties. Their work was guided by Charlotte Leibach, an award-winning science teacher who has been at St. Teresa for 25 years. Six St. Teresa students won first place in their scientific categories, and will travel to the Pennsylvania State University campus May 15-17 for the statewide PJAS competition. These first-place winners are Michael Fischer, John Giunta, Natalie Miller, Serena Myers, Tim Schneider, and Meredith Walker. Walker also won the PJAS Analytical Chemistry Award, which recognizes special achievement in this research area. Second-place winners from St. Teresa are Lisa Baer, Rachel Bartlett,
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Lindsay Caprio, kaitlyn DeMeo, Anna Forrest, and Mark kosky. Third-place winners are Dirk Hasenbein, Bailey kocent, Victoria Noker, and Sarah Profozich. Ten additional seventh- and eighth-grade science students at St. Teresa of Avila participated in the event as timekeepers for the oral presentations. “St. Teresa of Avila School designated the 2009‒2010 academic year as ‘the Year of Science and Technology,’ and the recent PJAS recognition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to academic excellence in this area,” says Sister karen Brink, principal at St. Teresa. “Whether they were presenting their own research or helping to manage the event, nearly half of our seventh and eighth graders were active participants in the regional PJAS competition. I believe that speaks volumes about their interest and enthusiasm as young scientists.” The Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science is a statewide organization of junior and senior high school students designed to stimulate and promote interest in science among its members through the development of research projects and investigations. The PJAS was founded by members of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science (PAS) in 1934. Learn more by visiting www.pjasix.org. The website for PJAS Region VII (Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties) can be found at www.pjasregion7.com.
Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 31
Good Tidings for the Greatest Generation
Older Adults in Ross Township
ow that the holidays are behind us, you’re hopefully putting that smoking credit card back into your wallet or purse for a while. But even though this may be a down time for you and your credit card, it’s no time to be lax about your credit card security. So what do you need to know about keeping your credit card safe? First, off, don’t give yourself a pin number that’s easy to guess. Issuing banks typically assign you a random pin number when you first get your card that you can change later. keep this assigned number and avoid picking a pin for yourself like “1234” or your birth date. While it may be easy for you to remember, those choices are also very easy for predators to figure out. If you make a lot of online purchases or just want to dip your toes into the world of Internet shopping, get yourself a dedicated card with a low credit limit. You can open up a secured credit card at most financial institutions that require you to deposit a balance to borrow against, allowing you to open a card with a $500 limit. Your deposit will gain interest and you will be able to use your card for online purchases. What’s more, most scammers try to run a small purchase 32 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE
through before running a larger purchase on the card. You may not notice a $0.32 charge right away, but when your bank calls you asking if you tried to purchase a $779 laptop, you’ll be happy your limit was low enough to be declined. If your credit card number is compromised, you should call your bank immediately and report it. While police are able to enforce credit card fraud on a local level, with the Internet the person trying to run your numbers may be six states away, if they’re in the United States at all. In all cases, the sooner it’s reported, the better. Your bank will cancel the card number and reissue you another card. While you’re online, keep in mind that your bank will most likely never contact you via email regarding your account. If you do get an e-mail from a bank that you use, double check the address. Chances are it will be slightly askew from any legitimate
address. Instead of “@yourcreditcard.com,” you may see, “@yourcreditcard1.com” or “@yourcreditcard.uk.” Banks understand that scammers routinely try to get you to give up your personal information via e-mail. Therefore, most have secured e-mail available through their websites, where you can be sure you’re talking straight to legitimate bank representatives. Lastly, if you have several credit cards that you use often, take the time to flip them over and write down the 1-800 customer service numbers on the back and keep that list in a safe place. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy in your purse or wallet. This way, when you notice your card is missing and are frantic, you can at least go to your list and call to report the missing card. In the end, you should treat your credit card like you would treat your cash—never leave it lying around.
f the last time you took holiday photos required clumsily spooling film into your 35 mm camera, don’t be intimidated by what technology has done to photography in the past few years. In fact, once you have some basics down, you may find that your digital camera is easier to use than you thought. So let’s start at the beginning and go over your new toy from stem to stern. We can’t go into detail about every feature of every camera, but luckily most cameras share the same properties, so we can cover most scenarios. More than likely, your camera came with a lithium ion battery pack and charger. All you need to know about this is that this battery can last a long time. Thanks to self-timers built into your camera, if you forget to shut it off, it will shut off automatically for you, saving battery life and allowing you to take that unexpected shot when the time comes. That said, the battery won’t last forever, especially if you are shooting with the flash often or shooting video, if your camera has that feature. If you know you’re going to be somewhere with a lot of natural light, turn your flash off altogether and shoot longer. The second thing to familiarize yourself with is your memory card. Cameras come with a variety of memory cards to choose from. Regardless of the kind your camera takes, just remember that bigger is better. A 16 gigabyte memory card can hold hundreds of photos, and if you’re not in the habit of printing your photos right away or moving them to your computer, the extra space is a must. How many pictures you can store on your memory card depends on your resolution setting for your pictures. Your resolution is how big the picture is. If you’re shooting for a website, low resolutions are better because the file size is smaller. However, if you try to print the same low resolution photo as an 8x10, it will appear distorted or “pixilated” because the camera wasn’t set to capture all of the fine details of the image. With most point-and-shoot cameras on high resolution, you can print very large prints or zoom in to crop shots for better composition. The last thing to get to know is the USB cable. This is the cable that came with your camera and connects it to any USB port on your computer. Through this cable, you can transfer your images for future sorting, correction, or sharing. Believe it or not, once you have those things down, your digital camera has many of the same features of your old 35 mm. You can zoom in, set a timer so you have a chance to get into frame, and set a scenic mode where you can select how the camera operates in certain conditions, such as a portrait, sports shot, night shot, or landscape. Your manual will list the specific icons and their meanings. Don’t be afraid to leaf through it if you get stuck. Manuals have come a long way as well and are clearly written for users of all experience levels.
Senior Agencies Center at the "Y" Hiland Ross Senior Center 8500 Thompson 412.367.2221 Benedictine Center Perrysville Ave. 412.931.6051
Transportation For Older Adults There are several agencies that offer free or reduced rate transportation services to individuals who qualify. Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) 1.888.547.6287 Provides non-emergency medical transportation to residents of Allegheny County who have a valid Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Medical Assistance Card. Free Bus Pass for Senior Citizens The Port Authority allows Allegheny County residents,
ACCESS 65 Plus and ACCESS ADA Program 412.562.5353 or TDD 1.800.654.5984 ACCESS is door-to-door, advance reservation, sharedride transportation provided throughout Port Authority's service area. It serves primarily senior citizens and persons with disabilities. There are no restrictions on the purpose or number of trips which may be taken by riders, except that riders are required to share their vehicle with others traveling in the same direction and at the same time. Open Your Heart to a Senior Matches volunteers with seniors who need transportation to the doctor, grocery store or other important errands. 412.307.0071 Older Persons Transportation Transportation for medical appointments, grocery shopping, senior center activities and other needs throughout Allegheny County is available to adults 60 years of age and older who live in Allegheny County. Call the SeniorLine at 412.350.5460 Are you a non profit Senior Center serving the needs of our communities Older Adults?
65 years of age and older, to ride free on local public transportation (buses, trolleys and rapid-transit lines). Participants must obtain identification cards, which are available free of charge, from participating transportation providers. Call 412.442.2000 for the location nearest to you.
We would be happy to post your contact information. Contact Marybeth@incommunity magazines.com with your center’s name and phone number.
Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 33
You don’t have to live with painful varicose and spider veins. Should I Have My Veins Evaluated? Q & A WITH A VEIN SPECIALIST: While finishing charts at the end of my day, I took a few moments to listen to my staff answer questions for a patient on the phone. The questions asked were very important as were the answers that were given. Here are some examples:
What is Phlebology? Phlebology is the branch of medicine that deals with veins and the disease of veins. Two organizations dedicated to the advancement of this field are The American College of Phlebology and the American Venous Forum.
Why should I see a board- certified phlebologist to evaluate my varicose veins When it comes to any aspect of your health care, it is important to be proactive in the choice and research of who will become medically responsible for your evaluation and treatment. Though venous disease is not always a visible ailment, it can be a serious health problem leading to more serious issues, so choosing a specialist, or board certified phlebologist for your venous care is a wise decision. Board certification in phlebology identifies a physician who has taken the extra step of becoming specialized in the treatment of venous disease. Not only is the physician often a member of organizations such as the American College of Phlebology (ACP) and the American Venous Forum (AVF) but they have met additional requirements set by the certifying board. After meeting these requirements, he or she must then pass a certifying exam allowing the physician to identify him or herself as board-certified.
Is membership the same as board certification? This question is particularly important as it defines the specialty of a phlebologist. While a physician may be a member of many different organizations, these organizations only require an interest in the field for joining. Thus membership is unlike board certification where qualification is determined through training and testing. Here’s how the ACP defines its board certification: “The establishment of a Board Certification exam brings recognition to both the field of phlebology and those providers in the field who have the knowledge, skills and experience to provide quality care to phlebology patients.”
I had a free screening at a health fair and was told that I don't have venous disease, but I still have aching, pain and discoloration at the ankles. What should I do? While free screenings can be informative, remember that this is just a brief glance into a patient's venous system. A complete venous exam and venous mapping by a board-certified phlebologist is best to determine if a patient has venous disease. Since a proper venous ultrasound is such an integral part of this evaluation, the American College of Phlebology has set requirements for it that include the following: • A venous ultrasound should be ordered by a physician. • A lower extremity ultrasound should study the entire leg, from ankle to groin. Failure to identify and treat all sources of reflux may result in outright treatment failure. • evaluation of the venous system should be performed with the patient in the upright position. Sitting or lying down are inappropriate for the detection of reflux or the measurement of vein diameters. • A venous ultrasound should be performed by a trained physician or a registered vascular ultrasound technician (RVT) and then interpreted by a physician.
If I have had an evaluation elsewhere, can I still be evaluated in your office? Of course. A free evaluation is commonly ‘ free’ because patients are often not meeting with a physician, a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner, so this visit cannot be billed to insurance. However, most insurances allow for a second opinion. If you have any questions about the second opinion being covered, contact member services on the back of your insurance card. This Industry Insight was written by Theresa Schneider. Terrance R. Krysinski, MD General Surgeon Board Certified Phlebologist Vein Institute of Pittsburgh 724.934.VEIN (8346)
724-934-VEIN (8346) 16000 Perry Highway, Suite 2, Warrendale • 6507 Robinson Center Dr., Pittsburgh 34 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE
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Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 35
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North Hills Class of 1971 40-year reunion Saturday May 7, 2011 Avonworth Community Park For more information and details, please contact Al Dean 412.367.8336 or Kim Steele Kimsteele1@comcast.net Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 37
Whether it's set in the great outdoors, a lavish ballroom, the couple's favorite restaurant, or at home, the wedding reception is a special time for newlyweds to celebrate with family and friends. The signature dessert – cake – is usually the centerpiece for this occasion, a continuing reflection of the wedding theme and colors. An assortment of cupcakes or a tower of layers allows today's cakes to take almost any form, from square to round, even pillow or heart-shaped. This stunning all-white creation from the wedding experts at Wilton is both simple yet elegant. Cake layers are covered in pure white fondant, while additional bands of fondant glistening with white sparkling sugar decorate the bottom of each tier. Dots of sugar pearl sprinkles, resembling perfect pearls, add a hint of texture, while a gem-studded monogram topper adds the finishing touch. This unique do-it-yourself wedding topper kit can easily be customized with one initial, two, or a trio. Self-adhesive crystal-like gems are used to trace the initials onto the clear disc. Gems can also be used to create a border or other complementary design. After the reception, it makes a perfect keepsake that the couple will treasure for years to come. Guests will want to raise a glass in honor of the newlyweds with the timeless custom of a champagne toast. Decorated flutes for the bride and groom create a long-lasting memory of this special tradition. Individual boxes are ideal for truffles or other candies to send home with guests. Tie these with ribbons reflecting the color theme of the wedding. Another fun memento is a mini champagne bottle favor that can be filled with small candies. Attach a label with a personalized message. Make it elegant or simple, and always make it meaningful and memorable. For more do-it-yourself wedding ideas, favors, and accessories, visit www.wilton.com.
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Hair styles by John Edwards Salon(photos by Joanna Fassinger) Ross Township | Spring 2011 | incommunitymagazines.com 39
e By Pamela Palongu
s anyone who knows me personally will tell you, I am no expert on social occasions. However, based upon the theory that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, I have made enough social faux pas to speak authoritatively on what not to do at a wedding. Some helpful tips are listed below to help get you through the season of bliss.
Never wear white to a wedding. This includes eggshell, ecru, light cream, pearl lustre and Tahitian coconut. Never attempt to upstage the bride (unless of course you hate the bride, in which case you probably really shouldn’t be attending the wedding anyway, given the spirit of the whole love and happiness thing).
At Jewish weddings do not ask, “What is that big thing they’re standing under?”
At Catholic weddings try to refrain from asking, “Why is this taking so long?” The well-prepared wedding guest remembers to bring snacks for himself and his friends. (Avoid crunchy snacks that may disrupt the ceremony.)
NEVER bet on how long the marriage will last at the reception. All odds-making must be done outside the reception venue. (In the event of inclement weather, the lobby or bathroom is acceptable.)
Never complain about the food at the wedding reception with your mouth full of food from the wedding reception. It’s a credibility issue.
Throw only designated throwing materials at the bride and groom, such as rice and rose petals. Shoes, Jell-O, and steak knives are not acceptable. Ever. Even when they are within the appropriate wedding color scheme.
The wedding day is NOT the proper time to share the fact that you once dated the groom, the bride, or their parents. In fact, the proper time to share this information may not actually exist.
If you simply must dance at the reception, remember you are not trying out for “Dancing With The Stars.” If you throw your partner in the air, make sure you catch them. Missing is considered grounds for divorce in most states. Avoid high kicks, which may warrant medical attention.
Many people adhere to the time-honored adage, “It’s not a party till something gets broken.” However, avoid breaking things that are irreplaceable, expensive, and likely to lead to a law suit. Cell phones and glasses are okay.
Given the fact that marriage is a formidable undertaking and the courageous souls who dare to tread the rose-strewn path are likely to be distraught, hysterical, and panic-stricken, you owe it to the happy couple to be the best wedding guest possible. These helpful tips are the very foundation of the social graces. If you follow them carefully, you will glide effortlessly from wedding celebration to reception party in a virtual whirl of neurotic enthusiasm.
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B USINeSS D IReCTORY
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