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SPRING 2012

oss Township COMMUNITY MAGAZINE

North Hills Senior High School presents

North Hills School District Quarterly Newsletter

“My Fair Lady”


120 over 80.

What’s it worth to U?

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INSIDE

IN Ross Township magazine is a 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.

IN Ross Township | SPRING 2012 |

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INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

Allegheny Financial Group

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Roth IRA: Better Than Sliced Bread

Swift Audiology & Hearing Aid Service

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A Tiny Electronic Device Turned Back Time and Restored the Quality of My Life!

Vein Institute of Pittsburgh ON THE COVER

Alexa Satterlee Headlines the Cast of North Hills High School Musical “My Fair Lady.” Photo by Gary Yon.

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You Don’t Have to Live with Painful Varicose and Spider Veins

Winning Smile Dentistry

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Did You Know Your Dentist Can Spot Serious Health Risks?

Passavant 8.375 x 10.875_8.375 x 10.875 3/7/12 12:35 PM Page 1

SPRING 2012

Health and Wellness News You Can Use

DINING OUT

Mama Mia’s Pizzeria

Let’s Get Physical

What can a daily dose of moderate physical activity do for you? Plenty! As you get older, regular exercise is a key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy. To learn more about the link between fitness and aging, turn to page 3.

Fall in Love with Pizza Again

What’s Inside page 2

Pioneering New Cancer Treatments

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Fit at Any Age

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Surviving Allergies: What You Can Do Putting Ergonomics to Work for You

page 5 page 6

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page 7 © 2012 UPMC

Brightening Lives With Light A Walk to Remember

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What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant

COMMUNITY INTEREST

Doug Oster: Gardening for the People Downstream

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North Hills School District

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St. Athanasius Community Center Reaches Out to Local Residents

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Sr. Donna Wojtyna: A Lifetime of Service

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UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use

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Special Value Coupons

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The 1904 Artzberger Steam Surrey

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S TA F F PUBLISHER

Welcome to the Spring issue of Ross Township magazine. Hopefully, we are all enjoying the lengthening days as we forge on to summer. While spring usually brings more rain to the region than we normally get throughout the rest of the year, I’m glad we’ve had a few days of nice weather to get outside and remember what the snow covered up. We’ve grown once again over the winter, and have shifted some staff around to accommodate that growth. I want to point this out because you, the readers, give us many of the great story ideas that you see featured in these pages, and I want you to have the right point of contact so that your story can be heard. As always, we are looking for good news from the community! Please forward your ideas to our north zone coordinator, Pamela Palongue, at p.palongue@ incommunitymagazines.com, and she’ll make sure they find a place in the magazine. If you’re not sure whether you have a good story, give Pamela a call at 724.942.0940 and ask! You should know also that we really appreciate your feedback (good and bad) to let us know where we missed the mark and where we hit it out of the park. Lastly, it’s not too soon to start thinking about the rest of the year! I know we just got through the holidays, and are thawing out, but since we’re quarterly, we’re already looking ahead to fall and beyond. So if you have events planned and would like to promote them, call or email Pamela. If you have an event coming up earlier, let us know so we can send our photographers and document the occasion! Here’s hoping that the start to your year has been a good one!

Wayne Dollard MANAGING EDITOR

Marybeth Jeffries m.jeffries@icmags.com REGIONAL EDITORS

Mark Berton [South and West] mark@incommunitymagazines.com Monica L. Haynes [East] m.haynes@incommunitymagazines.com N O R T H Z O N E C O O R D I N AT O R

Pamela Palongue p.palongue@incommunitymagazines.com S C H O O L & M U N I C I PA L C O N T E N T C O O R D I N AT O R

Megan Faloni m.faloni@incommunitymagazines.com OFFICE MANAGER

Leo Vighetti leo@incommunitymagazines.com A D P L A C E M E N T C O O R D I N AT O R

Debbie Mountain d.mountain@incommunitymagazines.com GRAPHIC DESIGN

Cassie Brkich Anna Buzzelli Sharon Cobb Susie Doak

Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda

WRITERS

Wayne Dollard Publisher

Heather Holtschlage Pamela Palongue Leigh Lyons Gina Salinger Dana Black McGrath Judith Schardt Joann Naser PHOTOGRAPHERS

Ginni Hartle Brad Lauer

Kathleen Rudolph Gary Yon

ADVERTISING SALES MANAGERS

As I was paging through the North Hills School District announcements, one program caught my eye and tugged at my heart. On page 8 you’ll get to read about how North Hills School District Junior High staff members Kathy Helfrich and Holly Michael are spearheading the Backpack Initiative. This program is designed to discreetly send home food for the weekend with children experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined as a person going to bed at night not knowing where his/her next meal will come from. Right here in the North Hills community, some of your neighbors might be experiencing this situation. I don’t often ask readers to donate, but in this case I am asking you to consider a monetary donation or a donation of the requested supplies. As a mother, my heart breaks for these young people. But, with a little bit of help from the whole community, we can all make a difference. There are donation boxes at the Administration building and also at the Junior High. If you have questions or want to help out you can call Holly Michael at 412.318.1475. You can also mail your monetary donation to: Attn. Backpack Initiative North Hills Junior High School 55 Rochester Road Pittsburgh, PA 15237 Thank you for your kind consideration.

Derek Bayer Tom Poljak

Tamara Myers

ADVERTISING SALES

Brian Daley Gina D’Alicandro Tina Dollard Karen Fadzen Julie Graf Jason Huffman Lori Jeffries Connie McDaniel Brian McKee Gabriel Negri Aimee Nicolia

Robert Ojeda Ralph Palaski Annette Petrone Vincent Sabatini Jennifer Schaefer Michael Silvert Karen Turkovich RJ Vighetti Nikki Capezio-Watson Sophia Williard

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 2012. CORRESPONDENCE

Direct all inquiries, comments and press releases to: IN COMMUNITY MAGAZINES

Attn: Editorial 603 E. McMurray Rd. Ph: 724.942.0940 McMurray, PA 15317 Fax: 724.942.0968 www.incommunitymagazines.com Summer content deadline: 5/15/12 Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.

Marybeth 2 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE

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Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 3


Doug Oster

Gardening for the People Downstream

by Pamela Palongue

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oss Township resident Doug Oster first became committed to organic gardening in the 1980s. While applying a powerful insecticide in his garden, he suddenly turned around and, to his horror, saw his young son walking behind him barefoot. “Before World War II almost everyone was an organic gardener,” explains Oster. “Many of the [pesticides] we use were developed for chemical warfare during WWII. There’s an expression that you must ‘garden for the people downstream,’ but the fact is we’re all the people downstream.” The nationally syndicated columnist, Emmy-winning producer, TV host and writer first became inspired to garden while helping his grandmother. “She would be out in the garden working on her tomatoes in her housecoat,” says Oster, who found the ritual of planting and harvesting

4 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE

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Ross Township

a wonderful experience. “The most important thing about gardening is that it should be fun,” he adds. He tends a 4-acre plot of ground in Ross Township that includes lettuce, beets, arugula, cucumbers and many other vegetables. Oster is careful to follow his grandmother’s gardening advice, which includes an unshakeable commitment to always plant peas on St. Patrick’s Day. Despite the mysterious process of placing things in the ground that somehow magically sprout up (or don’t), Oster maintains that gardening is simple and there are really only three things to remember: improve the soil, find out what to plant and don’t let it dry out. The key ingredient to success seems to be improving the soil. Oster explains that most people apply chemicals in the form of plant food, which may temporarily help the plant, but destroy the soil. If the soil is in good condition, the plant will be healthy and lush. “You have to feed the soil, not the plant. There is no reason to garden with chemicals,” he advises. Oster has just released A Gardener’s Notebook: Life With My Garden. The gardening journal contains helpful tips from Oster and a chart for plotting a garden. There is also plenty of space for recording the seemingly unimportant daily events which become a treasure trove of memories for family members, long after the garden is harvested. “I’ve been journaling about my garden since 1988. I recently took some of the journals out and read them and they are more like a diary, recording the evolution of a young family,” says Oster. Helping those who do not have families is obviously very important to Oster who co-founded a nonprofit called Cultivating Success. The program brings adopted and foster children together for gardening to plant, weed and harvest. The outings are great fun for the children and give them the experience of working together to grow something while sharing the camaraderie of children with a common background. The group recently lost its North Side garden location and is currently looking for a new plot of ground with which to work. “I love living in Ross,” says Oster, who is originally from Cleveland. “I wouldn’t ever want to live anywhere else. I’m still a Browns fan though, but my wife and kids have gone over to the dark side.” If you would like more information on Doug Oster or organic gardening, please visit the website www.post-gazette.com/GardeningWithDoug.


NORTH HILLS SCHOOL DISTRICT

North Hills welcomes new superintendent

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Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino

he North Hills School District welcomed the New Year with a change in leadership. Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino became the district’s new superintendent on Jan. 9, 2012, following the retirement of Dr. Joseph Goodnack. The school board had approved the appointment in August 2012 – providing Dr. Mannarino several months to transition into his new position. Dr. Mannarino served as assistant superintendent from July 2010 – January 2012. Prior to joining the central administrative staff he served as principal of North Hills Senior High School for four years. He joined the North Hills School District staff as an assistant principal in June 2002 and was promoted to associate principal in June 2005. In addition, he served as coordinator of the high school’s $26.5 million renovation project, which was completed in the fall of 2007. During his tenure as principal North Hills Senior High School expanded its Advanced Placement program and implemented a robust online program to better meet the needs of 21st century learners. In addition, the number of students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship and the AP Scholars programs increased dramatically. Dr. Mannarino was honored with the 2008 Online Course Designer Award by blendedschools.net for

his development of an online course, Civics and American Government, which is available to students from throughout Pennsylvania via blendedschools. net. The high school course is rich with multimedia and does not require the use of a textbook, which allows students to truly experience learning anytime, anywhere. In total, he has developed six online social studies courses through blendedschools.net as well as two online professional development courses for teachers in Intermediate Unit 1, which serves schools in Fayette, Greene and Washington counties. Previously, Dr. Mannarino served as the dean of students and assistant athletic administrator for the Blackhawk School District in Beaver Falls.  Prior to his administrative experience, he taught high school social studies for Blackhawk.  Dr. Mannarino earned his earned his Doctor of Education in Administration & Policy Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his graduate and undergraduate studies at Slippery Rock University. He received his Principal Certificate from Youngstown State University and his Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Mannarino resides in Beaver Falls with his wife, Tracey, and their three young children.

NH now accepting kindergarten registration appointments

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indergarten registration for the 2012-13 school year will be held from 8 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at each elementary school and on the evening of April 24, 2012, from 4 – 6:45 p.m. at the district’s administration center, 135 Sixth Avenue. All incoming kindergarten families are encouraged to register during these times. In order to minimize wait-times for busy families, parents are asked to pre-register for 15 minute appointments. To schedule a registration time, please use the district’s online system – a link (K – Registration) is posted on the district’s website www.nhsd.net under Quick Links. Parents who are unable to register online should contact their school office to schedule an appointment. Highcliff Elementary: 412.318.1582 McIntyre Elementary: 412.318.1622 Ross Elementary: 412.318.1542 West View Elementary: 412.318.1502 In addition to processing completed registration packets, school nurses and other staff will be on-hand to answer questions and address concerns. Kindergarten registration packets are available from any of the district’s elementary schools

or in the lobby of the district’s administration center. 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, 2012, to be enrolled for the 2012-13 school year. Registration is limited to residents of the North Hills School District, which includes Ross Township and West View Borough. Families who are unable to register on April 10 or April 24 should contact their designated elementary school to schedule an alternative appointment. For more information regarding kindergarten, contact Dr. Marilyn J. Cain, director of elementary education, at 412-318-1006 or email cainm@nhsd.net.

Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 5


North Hills School District

Three administrators promoted to assistant superintendents

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hree North Hills School District administrators will receive promotions effective July 1, 2012, under an organizational restructuring plan approved by the school board during its Feb. 21 legislative meeting. Dr. Marilyn Cain and Dr. Jeff Taylor, who are currently serving as directors, and Mrs. Johannah Vanatta, an assistant principal at North Hills Senior High School, have all been named assistant superintendents. “Our three assistant superintendents will provide the leadership and direction necessary to ensure continued success in all areas of our academic program,” Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino, superintendent, said. Dr. Cain, director of elementary education, has been promoted to assistant superintendent for elementary education. She oversees the district’s kindergarten – grade 6 educational program including the supervision of four elementary principals as well as elementary staff induction and professional development. Dr. Cain has served in numerous teaching and administrative capacities throughout her tenure with the North Hills School District. Dr. Cain earned a doctorate in education from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her master’s degree in education at the University of Illinois and her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cain resides in McCandless and is a member of the Passavant Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. Dr. Taylor, who currently serves as the district’s director of curriculum and assessment, was promoted to assistant superintendent for curriculum, assessment and special programs. In addition to supervising district-wide curriculum development, he manages the administration, data collection and analysis of student achievement data such as the PSSAs, Classroom Diagnostic Tools, 4Sight and Keystone Exams. Dr. Taylor will continue to spearhead the development of the district’s Online Academy @ North Hills, which provides a local alternative to those seeking an online education. In his new position, he will also supervise the district’s special education and pupil services department. Dr. Taylor was recently honored with the 2011 Supervision and Curriculum Development Award from the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. In 2010, he was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award from blendedschools. net, which recognizes educators for their

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demonstrated vision, initiative, and passion for online learning. In 2008, PASCD awarded him with the Robert V. Flynn Memorial Distinguished Service Award, which is presented annually to a member who has demonstrated a commitment to serving and enriching the organization. Dr. Taylor, who recently earned a doctorate in school leadership from the University of Pittsburgh, joined the North Hills administrative staff in 2006. He earned masters’ degrees in multimedia technology and in school administration from Duquesne University. A graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, he holds a bachelor of science in education. Prior to joining the North Hills staff he served as a high school principal and secondary curriculum coordinator in the Charleroi School District and was a high school science teacher in the Baldwin-Whitehall and Fort Cherry school districts. Dr. Taylor has recently served as an adjunct professor for Duquesne University and Bethany College. He resides in Ross Township with his wife, Cyndi, and their daughter, Lindsay. Mrs. Vanatta, assistant principal at North Hills Senior High School, was promoted to assistant superintendent for secondary education. She will direct the district’s educational program for students in grades 7 – 12 including the supervision of secondary principals as well as the induction and professional development of secondary educators. Prior to joining the North Hills staff in 2008, Mrs. Vanatta served as a high school history, language arts and English teacher in the Trinity, Washington, and Jefferson-Morgan school districts. A graduate of West Virginia University, she holds a master’s degree in secondary education and a bachelor’s degree in English. Mrs. Vanatta is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in administrative and policy studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She resides in Avella with her husband, Aaron, and their two daughters.

“Our three assistant superintendents will provide the leadership and direction necessary to ensure continued success in all areas of our academic program.” – Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino, superintendent

Dr. Marilyn Cain

Dr. Jeff Taylor

Mrs. Johannah Vanatta


North Hills School District

Six from North Hills earn National Board Certification

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ix staff members from the North Hills School District recently earned National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. David Barkovich, senior high guidance counselor, JoHannah Brawdy, junior high art teacher; Debra Everhart, senior high math teacher; Jennifer Ortiz, senior high science teacher; Kathy Weber, elementary teacher; and Joe Welch, junior high social studies teacher, successfully completed the rigorous process. At six, North Hills School District has the highest number of new National Board Certified Teachers in suburban Allegheny County and the third highest in Pennsylvania. In addition, North Hills boasts a total of 13 nationally certified teachers – the second highest among the county’s 42 suburban school districts and 10th overall in the commonwealth. National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward great teachers—and make them better. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Mr. Barkovich earned a bachelor’s degree in communication rhetoric and a master’s degree in psychology. He is currently pursuing an educational doctorate in school leadership at Pitt. Mr. Barkovich has served as a guidance counselor for the North Hills School District for nine years. Prior to joining the district, he worked as an admission and financial aid counselor at the University of Pittsburgh. “I believe that achieving National Board Certification is evidence of my dedication to the education profession and to the students of North Hills. While this distinction and what it conveys is indeed an honor, I’m excited on a daily basis about being able to work with other superior faculty and staff at North Hills.” A member of the North Hills faculty since 2005, Ms. Brawdy earned an undergraduate degree in communications from Robert Morris University and a teaching certificate in art from Edinboro University. “The process of earning my National Board Certification has made me a more effective teacher,” Ms. Brawdy said. “It has helped me to strengthen my instructional strategies and educational practices, which in turn has improved the performance and achievement of my students.” In her 19th year of teaching, Mrs. Everhart has served as a math teacher at North Hills Senior High School since 1999. Prior to coming to North Hills, she worked in the State

College Area School District. Mrs. Everhart is a Pennsylvania State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and holds a master’s equivalency. “The process was the best professional development experience I have ever done,” Mrs. Everhart said. “Every single part of the process made me focus on how my teaching, lessons, Front Row (left to right): Jennifer Ortiz, Debra Everhart, JoHannah activities, assignments Brawdy. Back Row: David Barkovich, Joe Welch, Kathy Weber and communication with parents and the advanced secondary education from California community impact student learning.” University of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Ortiz graduated from Allegheny “The experience of earning National Board College with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Certification is certainly a challenging yet In addition, she earned a master’s degree in rewarding one. It requires you to leave your teaching from Chatham College. In total, she traditional comfort zones in the classroom and has nine years of teaching experience – five to really reflect upon why you are delivering years at North Hills and four in Delaware. a particular lesson and or using a certain “National Board candidates not only have to technique with a particular group of students,” evaluate their practices within the classroom, Mr. Welch said. “The process also challenges but they also have to demonstrate that they you to continue to learn both content and are a partner with parents in their children’s teaching strategies, collaborate with other education, and that they are able to collaborate teachers, and become a greater partner with with their colleagues to increase student parents.” learning,” Mrs. Ortiz said. “This process has reinforced my belief that successful teachers National Board Certified Teachers: never stop learning and experimenting with Mr. David Barkovich, North Hills Senior High new teaching practices. The art of teaching Mrs. JoHannah Brawdy, North Hills is a practice that evolves over the course of a Junior High career.” Mrs. Debra Everhart, North Hills Senior High A graduate of Duquesne University, Mrs. Mrs. Mardy Byrnes, West View Elementary Weber earned an undergraduate degree in Mrs. Shannon Diven, West View Elementary early childhood and elementary education and Mrs. Jennifer DiPasquale, North Hills a graduate degree in instructional technology. Junior High She is a third grade teacher at McIntyre Mrs. Jessica Friedrich, West View Elementary Elementary and is completing her 11th year in Mr. Stephen Garcia, West View Elementary the North Hills School District. Mrs. Jackie Karenbauer, North Hills “National Board Certification is one of the Junior High highest recognitions that a teacher can earn,” Mrs. Amy Myers, West View Elementary Mrs. Weber said. “Only a small percentage of Mrs. Jennifer Ortiz, North Hills Senior High teachers have been able to achieve this status, Mrs. Kathy Weber, McIntyre Elementary and I wanted to challenge myself to see if I Mr. Joseph Welch, North Hills Junior High could succeed in earning the distinction of becoming a National Board certified teacher.” Mr. Welch joined the North Hills faculty in August 2007. A graduate of Duquesne University, he earned undergraduate degrees in secondary social studies education and history. He also earned a graduate degree in Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 7


North Hills School District

Jr. High launches Backpack Initiative to fight hunger

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t may surprise you that one in five students at North Hills Junior High School qualifies for the federal free lunch program. To qualify for free lunch, a family of four must have an annual income of $29,055 or less. The free lunch program assures that our North Hills students receive not only lunch but also breakfast on school days. What happens on the weekends? For some, it’s a long wait until Monday morning’s breakfast. In February, caring staff members at North Hills Junior High launched a new initiative to supplement weekend food supplies for students in need. Each Friday students will have the opportunity to take home care packages – packed with kid-friendly, single-serving snacks and easily prepared meals. Care packages are discreetly distributed in nylon drawstring bags, which are returned the following week to be re-packed for the next weekend. Kathy Helfrich, ninth grade guidance counselor, and Holly Michael, gifted education teacher, are spearheading the initiative, which includes support from other teachers, staff members and cafeteria workers. Motivated by firsthand accounts of North Hills students who have experienced extreme hunger, they are determined to help meet students’ most basic need. “Recently I had a 9th grader report to a teacher that he had eaten only one meal over the weekend and that he often does not eat dinner due to money troubles. It broke my heart and opened my eyes,” Mrs. Helfrich said. “I have heard of similar backpack programs but I never thought that our kids were in need of this kind of support until I looked at the numbers.” The initiative is being started with a modest $600 from staff donations and a large supply of drawstring bags that were donated by UPMC Dental Advantage. Mrs. Helfrich and Mrs. Michael are in the process of applying for additional grants to help sustain the program. Donations from the North Hills community are currently being accepted. Single-serving, individually packaged items are preferred for the following items: ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Snack Crackers Sandwich Crackers Raisins Fruit Cups Microwave Popcorn Applesauce

✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Single-Serving Cereals Granola and Cereal Bars Hearty Soups Canned Pasta Meals Boxed Macaroni & Cheese

In addition, those who wish to make a monetary donation can make checks payable to North Hills Foundation and include “Backpack Initiative” in the memo. Monies raised will be used to purchase fresh fruit. Donations can be sent to the following: Attn. Backpack Initiative North Hills Junior High School 55 Rochester Road Pittsburgh, PA 15237 Collection boxes are located inside the main entrance of North Hills Junior High as well as in the lobby of the district’s administration center, 135 Sixth Avenue in Ross. For more information, please contact Mrs. Holly Michael at 412-318-1475 or michaelh@nhsd.net or Mrs. Kathy Helfrich at 412-318-1458 or helfrichk@ nhsd.net. 8

Ross Township

Five students advance to state science competition

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ive students from the North Hills School District earned first place honors in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science regional competition and will compete at the state competition on May 14, 2012, at the Pennsylvania State University. First Place • Anna Madrishin, grade 11, Microbiology: “Hand Sanitizers Versus Staphylococcus Aureus” • Caroline Snyder, grade 9, Microbiology: “Mascara Versus Bacteria” • Kelsey Toplak, grade 9, Behavioral Science: “Intelligence and Reaction Times” • Matthew Selzer, grade 9, Behavioral Science: “All Hands on Dexterity” • Matthew Plazek, grade 9, Physics: “Does BBCOR Really Work?” Second Place • Robyn Madrishin, grade 11, Microbiology: “Effects of Fungal Medications on Staphylococcus Epidermidis” • Marie McConnell, grade 9, Microbiology: “Effectiveness of Water Purification Methods” • Andrew Nolish, grade 9, Physics: “Effects of Power Filtering on Audio Amplifier Performance” • Anna Meyers, grade 8, Microbiology: “What Classroom Surface has the Most Bacteria?” The regional competition was held on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, at Keystone Oaks High School. Students designed a unique experiment and were judged on their ability to conduct and convey the results of their experiment using the Scientific Method.


North Hills School District

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School Board denies charter schools application

environment. Charter schools are, in fact, public schools, funded with taxpayer dollars. At North Hills, we take great pride in our ability to teach the vast majority of our special needs students in the regular classroom” Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino, superintendent, said. “Segregating students from their peers based “Following the public hearing, Provident on a disability is reversing years of progress in Charter School failed to establish community special education.” support nor did its application provide The charter school planned to initially serve sufficient evidence of a need for such Provident Charter School does not meet 96 students diagnosed with dyslexia in grades services as required by law,” Michael J. provisions of federal and state education 3 and 4 in 2013. Enrollment would continue Witherel, school district solicitor, said. “More to increase each additional academic year, law. The Individuals with Disabilities Act importantly, the proposed charter school (IDEA) requires students to be taught in with 336 students spanning grades 2 through violates state and federal mandates to educate 8 by Year 6 or 2018-2019. the least restrictive environment. IDEA special needs children in the least restrictive specifically states that special education “North Hills School District has a highly environment, which is first and foremost their regarded special education program,” students, which would include dyslexic local neighborhood school.” students, should be educated with their Dr. Mannarino said. “In fact, we recently The North Hills School District received non-disabled peers to the maximum extent completed a comprehensive special education the application from Provident Charter possible. In addition, Pennsylvania’s audit that included program and file reviews, School on Nov. 11, 2011. The school intended classroom observations as well as parent Gaskin Settlement Agreement further to serve students beginning in September articulates that children with disabilities surveys and interviews. Our North Hills 2013. This is the first and only charter school special education program received high are to be educated in regular education application that the North Hills School classrooms. praise from the state review team.” District has received to date. Regional charter schools are open The application failed to demonstrate As required, the district conducted a public to students from throughout the area – how the proposed charter school would hearing on Dec. 5, 2011, which was within the regardless of residency. And, if any point of enhance students’ learning opportunities mandated 45 days of receiving the application. the home school district is within 10 miles of and offer substantively unique and Following the hearing, the district provided an the charter school property, the home district innovative educational options for the additional 45 days for public comment. And, is required to provide bus transportation. community. subsequently, the School Board rendered its According to information provided by decision within the mandated 75 days after Provident Charter School, 23 of the county’s Provident Charter School submitted the public hearing. 43 school districts are within a 10 mile radius an application for a regular charter Charter and cyber charter schools are of its desired Cemetery Lane location. school, which operates within a single a public schools. The student’s home school The application was submitted by school district. However, all supporting district is required to pay tuition, which is a coalition of “concerned parents and documentation and presentation materials determined by the Pennsylvania Department professionals” that includes Kossman indicate its intention to serve as a regional of Education, to the charter school. For the Development Co., signed by Curtis Kossman, charter school, which requires a different 2011-12 school year, North Hills School president of the proposed charter school’s application and process. Within its District pays $10,435.34 for every regular Board of Directors. presentation, Provident Charter School education student who attends a charter officials specifically stated that North school. For special education Hills School District was not selected due students, the cost is to educational need but rather physical $19,215.27 per student. location. “Public schools are required by law to The applicant failed to demonstrate teach all children sustainable support within the school – including those district community. Although there were with dyslexia – in more than 200 public comments and the least restrictive letters of support/non-support regarding

he North Hills School Board unanimously denied an application from Provident Charter School to establish a facility within the district during its Feb. 6, 2012, meeting. The charter school proposed to open a facility on Cemetery Lane for children in grades 2 – 8 with dyslexia. The school district’s denial is premised on four primary factors: •

Provident Charter School – including letters from far outside the intended service area – only 11 were from residents of the North Hills School District. Of the 11 individuals, five indicated support of the charter school and six were against.

Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 9


North Hills School District

Senior high hosts 5th annual Empty Bowls event

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orth Hills Senior High School students are teaming up to provide an Empty Bowls event to benefit the North Hills Food Bank. The event will be held on Thursday, March 29, 2012 – prior to the North Hills Senior High’s production of “My Fair Lady.” The Empty Bowls event offers dinner from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (or until the soup runs out!). Tickets are $10 per person, which include 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 are creating more than 200 soup bowls. Students in grades 10-12 will complete some of the work during class time. In addition, students as well as alumni are volunteering

their time after school to work on the service project. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from vegetable barley or baked potato soup prepared by students in Michelle Medic’s gourmet foods class. Rolls will be prepared by students in Mrs. Medic’s world foods class. The Empty Bowls event will be held in cafeteria B at North Hills Senior High School, 53 Rochester Road in Ross Township. Tickets will be sold at the door. Curtain time for “My Fair Lady” is 7:30 p.m. This year marks the fifth consecutive year for the North Hills Empty Bowls event. For more information, contact Michelle Medic, family and consumer science teacher, medicm@nhsd. net or Jason Hillegas, pottery teacher, hillegasj@nhsd.net.

Sr. High artists

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hree North Hills Senior High School 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 2012. The following students earned Honorable Mention recognition for work that demonstrates artistic potential: Morgan Cunningham, grade 12 Photography:  Playing on the Heart Strings Stephanie Fairley, grade 12 Photography:  You Are Not Alone Kristin McCarthy, grade 10 Photography:  Eye See the Future Artwork by the North Hills students was selected from among nearly 2,000 submissions for consideration by Pittsburgh area students. The award winning artwork will be on display 10

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Northern Area Schools Forum on Public Education

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hat will become of our public schools? Last year Pennsylvania passed a state budget that cut over $900 million from public education, and we are now seeing the effects of these cuts on our kids and our communities. Especially now, we need our legislators to make public education a priority to help strengthen our troubled economy and ensure a brighter future for all Pennsylvanians! All public education stakeholders are invited to this special event. Join us at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 12 at North Hills Senior High School for an evening with several key state legislators from Allegheny County and other education experts who will help explain local impacts. State Representatives and Senators representing surrounding school districts have been invited to attend and discuss their positions on public education as they head into negotiations over next year’s budget. Talking about our priorities with our elected officials and hearing their views on issues important to the community is a vital part of democracy. Don’t miss this important conversation!

earn recognition

from Feb. 4 – 23, 2012, at LaRoche College. The Pittsburgh Arts Region of the Alliance serves Allegheny and Butler County students Morgan Cunningham in grades 7-12. The program features 17 categories of art, including film and animation, video game design, sculpture, photography, fashion design, comic art and design. The Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards were founded in 1923 to offer recognition and scholarships for students for their artistic talents.

Stephanie Fairley

Kristin McCarthy

Works submitted to the Pittsburgh Arts Region are evaluated on time-honored criteria of originality, technical skill and emergence of a personal vision.


North Hills School District

North Hills presents

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he North Hills Senior High School will perform “My Fair Lady” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, March 22 – 24 and March 29 – 31, 2012. All performances will be held in the high school auditorium, 53 Rochester Road in Ross Township. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/ senior citizens. All seats for the evening performances are reserved. Beginning Thursday, March 1, tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 412-318-1440 or purchased inperson from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the high school’s main office. If available, tickets will also be sold at the door. In addition, the North Hills School District will host a special matinee performance for senior citizens at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31. Admission is free to district residents 60 years of age or older. Matinee tickets for other adults are $6 and $3 for students. All matinee seats are general admission. For reservations contact Activities Coordinator Chelle Zimmerman by phone 412-318-1438 or via email zimmermanm@nhsd.net.

“My Fair Lady” Synopsis: A chance meeting between two noted British linguists, Prof. Henry Higgins and Col. Hugh Pickering, leads to a wager that Higgins can transform unrefined, dirty Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a lady, and fool everyone into thinking she really is one, too! He does, and thus young aristocrat Freddy Eynsford-Hill falls madly in love with her. But when Higgins takes all the credit and forgets to acknowledge her efforts, Eliza angrily leaves him for Freddy, and suddenly Higgins realizes he’s grown accustomed to her face and can’t really live without it.

10th grader earns scholarship to study video-gaming

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North Hills Senior High School student has been selected to receive the Zulama Online Video Game Academy Scholarship from Waterfront Learning. Tenth grader Andrew Duerig will complete the video game course during the upcoming second semester. The scholarship enables Andrew to complete Zulama’s “Games Through the Ages” course from January through June, attend a Game Design Studio Boot Camp hosted by staff at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University (ETC), and participate in the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC) in November 2012. Andrew has been studying Flash Game Design with Mr. Reuben Clark, a North Hills technology education teacher. Waterfront Learning, through a grant from the Benedum Foundation, offers multiple scholarships to regional ninth and 10th grade students for study in the area of video game design and development.

McCurry earns 2012 Coaches Pennsylvania Achievement Award

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orth Hills varsity football coach Jack McCurry will be honored at the 32nd annual Minor Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductions and Recognition Awards Ceremony. Mr. McCurry is set to receive the 2012 Coaches Pennsylvania Achievement Award during the event on Saturday, May 12, 2012, in the Great Hall of the Senator John Heinz History Center and Sports Museum. Mr. McCurry, who recently completed his 34th season as the North Hills varsity football coach, is one of the winningest coaches in WPIAL history. Although he retired from the North Hills School District in 2006 following 32 years of service to the district – including nearly 20 years as principal of North Hills Senior High School, he continues to lead the school’s football program. Three others will receive special recognition including Robin Cole, 2012 Leather Helmet Award; Robert J. Garritano, 16th Annual Ray Mansfield Award; and Reno Saccoccia, 2012 Coaches Ohio Achievement Award. The four 2012 Minor Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees include: Carl Crawley Jr., Wesley Cates, Mark Capuano and Cornelius Green.

Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 11


North Hills School District

Signing Day!

Congratulations to our seven student athletes who participated in the National Letter of Intent Signing Day. The following students made commitments to Division I or Division II athletic programs: Andrew Carfagna, football, University of Dayton Elizabeth Czachowski, swimming, Duquesne University Tommy Herman, swimming, Gannon University Emily Jamison, lacrosse, Robert Morris University Jansen Hartmann, soccer, Edinboro University Margo Malone, cross country, Syracuse University Abby O’Connell, track, Duquesne University

NH athletic director to be inducted into

Sports Hall of Fame

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an Cardone, director of athletics and activities for the North Hills School District, has been selected for induction into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He will be honored at the Annual Induction Ceremonial and Dinner on Saturday, May 5, 2012, at the Four Points by Sheraton Pittsburgh North in Warrendale. Mr. Cardone was previously named a 2010 Sports Ethics Fellow by the Institute for International Sport and the Positive Coaching Alliance at Stanford University. Serving as the district’s athletic director since 1992, Mr. Cardone has taken a leadership role in the promotion of sportsmanship at the interscholastic level. He initiated the first WPIAL Sportsmanship Summit in November 2009 – attended by more than 600 student athletes and athletic administrators. He is also the founder of the Student Athlete Leadership Academy (SALA), which brings together more than 250 athletes from western Pennsylvania for training in leadership and sportsmanship on an annual basis. In 2009, Mr. Cardone was one of five nationwide to be named National Director for 12

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National Sportsmanship Day. In 2006, he was named one of the top Athletic Administrators in the nation by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. He has also written and presented extensively at the state and national level on the importance of developing character in sport. He previously served as a social studies teacher and head football coach for two western Pennsylvania high schools. In total, he has dedicated more than 30 years to high school athletics. North Hills Senior High School is a seven-time winner of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association’s statewide sportsmanship award and was named an All-American Sportsmanship school by the Institute for International Sport in 2006. The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the Western Chapter were organized in 1963. Other 2012 inductees include B.B. Flenory, Jimmy Flynn, Ray Goss, Bob Kopnisky, Larry Lucchino, Ed Manning, Ed McCloskey, George Mihalik and Vito “Babe” Parilli.

Sports Hall of Fame nominations accepted through April 1

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he North Hills School District is currently accepting nominations for its 2012 Sports Hall of Fame. Nominations must be received no later than April 1, 2012. This year marks the 17-year anniversary of the establishment of the district’s Sports Hall of Fame. Created in 1995, it honors individuals who have distinguished themselves in athletics during and/or beyond their years at North Hills Senior High School or the former West View High School. According to Activities Coordinator Chelle Zimmerman, current inductees have brought pride and recognition to the district’s athletic programs and to the community as former players, coaches, administrators and supporters. Inductees will be announced in June and recognized during the Annual Sports Hall of Fame dinner in the fall. Former inductees are encouraged to attend. Nomination forms are available on the district’s website www.nhsd.net or by calling the Athletics & Activities Office: 412-318-1438. Completed nomination forms should be forwarded to Activities Coordinator Chelle Zimmerman, North Hills Senior High School, 53 Rochester Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15229.


Upcoming Spring Events OlĂŠ 5K Race to benefit The Anna Seethaler Hospital in Oaxaca, Mexico North Park, Pie Traynor Field Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. www.ole5k.com Lutheran SeniorLife Excellence is Ageless Gala Friday, April 27, Heinz Field Call 724.453.6014 for more information.

Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 13


By Heather Holtschlag

More than half of the energy used in the average American home goes toward heating and cooling, and if your house is not properly insulated, much of that expense can go to waste. Insulation, particularly when installed in an area such as the attic, requires less work from the air conditioning and furnace systems, translating into less expense and fewer repairs. There are a number of things to note to properly install attic insulation, the first of which is called R-value. R-value measures the effectiveness of types of insulation; the higher an insulation’s R-value, the more effective it is. The recommended R-value for walls and floors in a mild climate is R-11; for ceilings and attics, it is R-19. In moderate climates, R-values should be a minimum of R-19 for walls and floors and R-30 for ceilings and attics. And, in cold climates, R-values for walls and floors should be R-19, and R-38 to R-49 for ceilings and attics. If you use your attic as living space, it is a good idea to install insulation in the walls and ceiling. If it is not used, you should still insulate, and the empty space will provide ample room for installation. If your attic is being insulated for the first time, it should include a vapor barrier, which is any material that does not absorb moisture and through which vapor will not pass. After it snows, it is recommended that you check the roof to see where the snow has fallen. If you notice specific areas on the roof where the snow has melted, this may signal an area that needs to be insulated or where the insulation is damaged. When installing insulation in the attic, the best method is to install it from the eaves toward the center of the room so as to leave more headroom when you need to cut or fit the insulation properly. If, upon installing the insulation, you discover that you need an extra layer, you can simply lay blankets on top of the insulation already there. To reduce fire hazard, cover the panels with wallboard or use fiberglass panels if you must install panels between the rafters in a ceiling that slopes. Also,if you use cellulose insulation, which is the most common type of loose-fill insulation, be sure that it has been treated with a fire retardant.

14 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE

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St. Athanasius Community Center

Reaches Out to Local Residents by Pamela Palongue

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he St. Athanasius Parish Education and Community Center is home to five very talented artists who meet on a weekly basis to share fellowship and creativity. The result is reflected in beautiful paintings done in acrylic and watercolors. The styles are as varied as the individuals themselves and range from abstract contemporaries to more traditional realistic landscapes and portraits. The five retired, local residents previously took art lessons at the Benedictine Senior Center. When the center closed, the artists wanted to continue to paint but they did not have a venue for gathering. When the St. Athanasius Community Center opened a little over a year ago, the former classmates came together once more, but decided that they no longer needed the lessons. “They just needed a place to come and paint, and they bring $1 each to come and use our space,” says Patrice Mikec, coordinator of the community center. “Their work is just amazing; they are very accomplished.” Mary and Paul Waronsky are a married couple that come and paint every Wednesday. “We could paint at home,” says Mary, “but it’s the company that we come for. We have so much fun!” All the artists bring their own materials and would welcome new artists into the group. “If someone is a beginner, we would be more than willing to help them get started,” adds Mary. In addition to the artists, the community center is bringing individuals together and enriching the lives of local residents with classes and social activities that appeal to all ages. The youngest group is called The Little Angels, 0 to 4 years of age, who come with their caregivers and participate in 30 minutes of group activity and then enjoy one hour of play time. There is a group that plays cards, and seniors have a pot-luck luncheon once a month. “They bring $1 and an appetizer, side dish or dessert and the center provides the main course,” explains Mikec.

Although there is a fee for some of the classes, it is very inexpensive. Classes are offered in floral design, cooking, computers, self-defense, yoga, Zumba, wine tasting and Bible study. For seniors there is an exercise class that is done while sitting in a chair and also a gentle yoga class is offered. The classes welcome all area residents and it is not necessary to be a member of the parish to participate. “We currently have a free class on Catholicism that several people from other faiths are attending,” adds Mikec. A sewing group also meets at the community center to sew for enjoyment and ministries to help others. “We even have an embroidery machine at the center,” says Mikec. Individuals can also come to work out in the fitness room for $10 per month. One of the upcoming social activities is a Boot Scoot and Barbeque on April 21 at 6:30 p.m. The cost will be $15 per person and will include a barbeque dinner and dance instruction in line dancing. Last year’s event was attended by approximately 95 people, from teens to those in their 80s. “It was very popular with singles,” notes Mikec, probably because line dancing does not require a partner to join in the fun and dance. “We could never have had this community center without the support of the parish and the community,” says Mikec. It is helping local residents to get to know each other better through learning and fun. Fundraisers have been helping the center to offer the classes and activities for nominal fees. The center recently held a Gold Raffle, which concluded on February 25, for $10,000. “We used to really give the winner $10,000 in gold,” laughs Mikec, “but now we just give cash.” The center also has an ongoing fundraiser where 200 numbers are sold for $75 each. The participants will then be eligible for two monthly drawings and a grand prize elimination drawing in October. The purchase price also includes dinner and live entertainment at the banquet in October. For more information on the center and the classes and events offered, please visit the website at www.sapecc.org. Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 15


A Lifetime of Service

by Pamela Palongue

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r. Donna Wojtyna will celebrate her 50th year of religious vocation with the Order of St. Benedict in 2013, a monastic tradition over 1,500 years old. The order is devoted to helping individuals in need and also caring for the earth and its creatures. Sr. Donna has expressed her devotion to others through her passion for teaching. “I love art and I love teaching!” says Sr. Donna, whose enthusiastic, youthful voice sounds more like someone in her 20s. She teaches classes in basket weaving and wood carving at the St. Athanasius Parish Education and Community Center. Her 100% Polish roots include a greatgreat-grandfather who wove horse carriages from wicker for his livelihood and a father who made beautiful furniture from wood. Sr. Donna feels that maybe their love of weaving and working with wood has been passed down through her DNA. Although she studied art education at Carlow College and Kent State University, her basket weaving skills are self-taught. “I saw an ad in a magazine about basket weaving and I ordered the materials and just started doing it,” explains Sr. Donna. When her art students saw the beautiful things she was making they wanted to learn as well. “I would figure out how to do something and then teach it to the [students]. I really had to work to stay ahead of them,” she laughs.

Since those early days of trial and error in learning, she has become advanced to the point of weaving beads and complex designs into the fibers and can tackle almost any project that is presented to her. Her work transverses the styles of southwestern, Nantucket, southern and many other types of baskets. The smallest basket she has made was the size of a pinky finger, which was made for a friend, and the largest was the height of a person. The couple who commissioned the massive basket used it to hold decorative pillows. Her beautiful baskets have been displayed at the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival. Though Sr. Donna teaches wood carving as well, there is not as much demand for learning that art form, perhaps because individuals may be intimidated at the prospect of turning a rough block of wood into a recognizable form. Sr. Donna started carving with the help of her father who would help her to create templates to trace the designs onto the wood. She has created statues for the St. Joan of Arc parish in Farmington, Pa., including a statue of St. Joseph and also one of the Blessed Mother accepting a bouquet of flowers from a three-year-old likeness of Jesus. She has also created two crosses for churches and carves wooden spoons with flowers and Celtic designs. Sr. Donna currently has a studio at the St. Athanasius Community Center and offers classes on a regular basis. The center is located in West View and serves the surrounding communities by providing fellowship and creative outlets for individuals. If you are interested in taking classes from Sr. Donna, please visit the center website at www.sapecc.org. For more information on Sr. Donna and the Order of St. Benedict, please visit the website at www.osbpgh.org. Sr. Donna is also available as a speaker for meetings and events. The ministries of the order include helping refugees, single women in difficult financial transitions and families in medical crisis as well as a life devoted to prayer.

Sr. Donna has expressed her devotion to others through her passion for teaching. 16 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE

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SPRING 2012

Health and Wellness News You Can Use

Let’s Get Physical

What can a daily dose of moderate physical activity do for you? Plenty! As you get older, regular exercise is a key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy. To learn more about the link between fitness and aging, turn to page 3.

© 2012 UPMC

What’s Inside page 2

Pioneering New Cancer Treatments

page 3

Fit at Any Age

page 4

Surviving Allergies: What You Can Do Putting Ergonomics to Work for You

page 5

Brightening Lives With Light

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A Walk to Remember

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What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant


PioneeringNew CancerTreatments

UPMC Passavant is at the forefront of minimally invasive treatments for lung and esophageal cancers Four days after undergoing lung cancer surgery at UPMC Passavant, Carolyn Berfield felt slightly out of breath, but with good reason. She had just completed a mile-long walk in her daughter’s hilly neighborhood.

Thoracoscopic surgeries are done in UPMC Passavant’s state-of-the-art hybrid operating room (OR), which includes a CT scanner and a surgical robot system. “There’s not a more modern OR available,” says Dr. Abbas. “These resources allow us to perform complex and advanced surgeries faster and more efficiently, using minimally invasive techniques. For most patients, that usually means faster recovery and less pain.”

The 58-year-old avid exerciser from Potter County, Pa., had two-thirds of the right lower lobe of her right lung removed during a minimally invasive procedure known as a thoracoscopy (or “keyhole” surgery). “I was astonished at how little pain I had and how quickly I recovered,” she says. “It’s almost like it didn’t happen. There’s really not even an incision — just a few pinholes on my right side.”

New discoveries for better care

Using the latest technology “In recent years, there have been tremendous advancements in managing cancers of the lung and esophagus — and UPMC Passavant is among those at the forefront in these treatments,” says her surgeon, Ghulam Abbas, MD, chief of the Department of Surgery and director of Image-Guided Thoracic Surgery at UPMC Passavant. “Fewer than 7 percent of all hospitals worldwide perform thoracoscopies, where we use a video-guided camera to locate and remove the tumor, preserving as much of the lung as possible.” Bertha Jackman of Kane, Pa., also underwent a thoracoscopy in 2010 after doctors discovered a tumor during a routine MRI for a heart condition. “I was fortunate,” she says. Because Dr. Abbas was able to get all the cancer, Bertha didn’t need chemotherapy. “My husband and I are back to dancing every weekend,” laughs the 71-year-old.

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UPMC.com/Today

Cancer Care at UPMC Passavant As part of one of the largest cancer care networks in the country, UPMC Cancer Center at UPMC Passavant offers comprehensive and seamless care for cancer patients, from early identification to pioneering surgical care, as well as the latest in chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Its specializations include: • Breast cancer • Colorectal cancer • Esophageal cancer • Liver cancer • Lung cancer • Thoracic cancer • Women’s cancers (gynecologic) To learn more about UPMC Passavant’s cancer services, visit UPMCPassavant.com.

Nearly a quarter of all patients with early-stage lung and esophageal cancer have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and complications that make traditional surgery impossible. “These individuals often do best with microwave and radiofrequency ablation therapies,” he explains. “Here, we’ve pioneered ablation therapies, which use a probe to burn and destroy cancer cells.” UPMC Passavant also uses ablation therapy for a precancerous condition arising from Barrett’s Esophagus, a disorder caused by acid reflux that puts patients at a 40 times greater risk of developing esophageal cancer. “There previously was no meaningful treatment available, but with radiofrequency ablation, we’re seeing remarkable success rates,” says Dr. Abbas. “Patients with early esophageal cancer can also be treated by endoscopic surgery using ultrasound so that no cutting is needed.”


Fit atAnyAge Comedian George Burns — who lived to be 100 — often advised his audience to “Look to the future, because that’s where you’ll spend the rest of your life.” Vonda Wright, MD — a practicing orthopaedic surgeon at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and a nationally recognized author of several books on active aging and fitness — thinks that’s sound advice. “Nothing is more natural than aging,” she says. “Adults over 40 today are redefining what it means to age. They’re looking ahead — and doing what it takes to stay fit and vital. “With just 30 minutes of daily exercise, you can minimize your risk for 35 common illnesses — including high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes,” says Dr. Wright, who also directs the center’s Performance and Research Initiative for Masters Athletes (PRIMA®), which focuses on maximizing the performance of both elite and recreational athletes over age 40.

Staying fit as you age “As we enter our 40s and 50s, we’re just starting to hit our stride, with the potential for many years of wonderful living ahead of us. A well-balanced exercise plan is a key to maintaining that quality of life as we grow older,” she maintains.

Many say that 50 is the new 30 as today’s mature adults enjoy more active, fitter, and healthier lives than any other generation.

“There’s no age or activity level to prevent any older adult from being active,” explains Dr. Wright. In fact, studies of 90-year-old men doing resistance training on a daily basis showed improvements in their strength and functioning.

Getting started

Starting — and sticking with — a fitness plan initially can be hard, says Dr. Wright. “The first step is to make exercise a part of your daily routine. Schedule it on your calendar, like an appointment,” she advises. “Don’t be a weekend warrior. Instead, try to maintain a moderate activity level throughout the week, and increase your exercise level gradually to reduce your chance of overuse or injury.” She tells her patients to FACE the future with a balanced, total body workout designed to achieve maximum benefits while avoiding injury:

F — Flexibility with daily stretching exercises A — Aerobic cardiovascular exercises every other day, using interval-style training Carry a load (or strength train) to build and maintain muscles in your arms, C — legs, and core (stomach, back, and abdomen) E — Equilibrium and balance through simple exercises like standing on one foot “Whenever possible, mix up activities like running, swimming, cycling, or rowing,” encourages Dr. Wright. “Cross training helps promote total fitness while reducing the chance for injury. Most of all, take that first step!” To learn more about UPMC’s PRIMA program for mature athletes, call 412-432-3651 or visit UPMC.com/SportsMedicine. You’ll find PRIMA listed under Performance in the Our Services section.

Should you see a doctor first? You’re 50 years old and a pack-a-day smoker. You also have high blood pressure, and you haven’t exercised since Ronald Reagan was president. Should you see your doctor before hitting the local gym? “Regular exercise is the best gift you can give yourself. But it’s important to use common sense when getting started,” says Brian F. Jewell, chairman of the orthopaedics department at UPMC Passavant. If you’re in generally good health and starting off with light to moderate physical activity, an extensive medical workup probably isn’t necessary. “But if you’ve been diagnosed with any medical condition, have been sedentary for some time, or are at risk for potential heart problems, it’s essential to talk to your doctor,” advises Dr. Jewell. “Working together, you and your doctor can create the right exercise plan based on your age, physical condition, family history, and other key factors.” If you’re over the age of 40, visit UPMC.com/Today to take the American College of Sports Medicine’s Physical Activity Readiness Self-Exam.

1-800-533-UPMC

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AWalk to Remember UPMC Rehabilitation Institute helps make a seemingly impossible wedding dream come true

Megan Dow was an athletic, carefree 27-year-old with so much to look forward to — from her upcoming wedding to a new house and barn. But a freak ATV accident on Memorial Day 2010 changed her life in an instant, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. It took a week for Megan to realize her broken neck and back wouldn’t be a quick fix and another six months to acknowledge that her paralysis might have permanent effects. Despite the diagnosis, the Negley, Ohio, resident was determined to walk down the aisle on her wedding day 16 months later. “What means more to a girl than walking down the aisle at her wedding?” asks Megan, who became engaged just weeks before the accident.

Regaining the life she lost Initially, she couldn’t sit up without help and wore braces to support her back, neck, and legs. “I went from doing everything to not being able to brush my teeth; from being able to throw a bale of hay to not being able to pick up a gallon of milk,” Megan says. An avid outdoorswoman, Megan longed to return to her activities, including horseback riding, camping, volunteering as a 4H Club adviser, and working as an interior designer. “I absolutely loved the life I had before the accident. I had to work to bring these things back into my life,” she says.

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UPMC.com/Today

At the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute’s spinal cord injury unit at UPMC Mercy, Megan’s team of specialists put her to work four hours a day, six days a week in an intensive rehabilitation program. Luckily, she had use of her quadriceps, which allowed her to walk with the help of braces and a walker. Slowly, she relearned everyday skills like dressing herself and walking. She also learned new skills, such as transferring to a shower chair from her wheelchair, and did exercises to build her strength. Megan vowed she’d walk without the walker by that Christmas (a goal she met by Thanksgiving) and down the aisle without a cane. A few weeks before her wedding, Megan donned her gown and practiced walking in the gym with her physical therapist.

Walking happily into the future On her wedding day — Oct. 1, 2011 — Megan did walk down the aisle. Among the guests were her UPMC doctor, physical therapist, and occupational therapist. “They’re a huge part of my life and the reason I’m where I am today. They had to be there!” exclaims Megan. “I’m so grateful to everyone at the Rehabilitation Institute. They gave me the tools I needed, and they encouraged and steered me in the right direction.”

Megan and Eric Dow walked down the aisle after exchanging marriage vows on Oct. 1, 2011.

Megan and her husband Eric honeymooned in Cancún, Mexico, where they snorkeled, swam, kayaked, and even explored some ancient ruins. Today, while she still uses a wheelchair and cane, Megan is thankful she can walk up to two hours with just leg braces. She’s also driving again, riding horses, camping, and doing other activities. “It was a miracle. I’m so grateful I can still do what I used to do — I just do them differently,” Megan says. To learn more about UPMC Rehabilitation Institute and its services, visit UPMC.com/RehabInstitute. You’ll also find a link to Megan’s story and those of other patients who’ve benefited from the institute’s specialized care.


Brightening Lives with Light

Light therapy is proving to be an effective treatment for bipolar depression and other mood disorders Michele Twyman of Penn Hills always dreaded the approach of winter and the holidays. As the days shortened, she grew increasingly tired, sleepy, and depressed. All she wanted to do was crawl into bed — and stay there. “I didn’t enjoy anything — from decorating to shopping. I never felt like celebrating,” says Ms. Twyman, who has a bipolar disorder and has battled depression for more than 30 years. But last Christmas was different. For the first time in years, she decorated, shopped, and made wreaths and centerpieces. “I enjoy the holidays again. I realize now how much I missed being happy about life’s little things,” she says.

New treatment shows bright promise

People with bipolar depression are especially sensitive to changes in outdoor ambient light and the seasons, she explains. The onset of fall and winter can trigger symptoms similar to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), including fatigue, sluggishness, daytime sleepiness, carb cravings, loss of interest, and inability to experience pleasure. Individuals with bipolar depression also may have suicidal thoughts.

How and why it works

“There are few effective treatments for bipolar depression. That’s why we’re exploring novel approaches such as light therapy.” — Dorothy Sit, MD

Ms. Twyman credits her new outlook to an artificial light box provided by Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) of UPMC. Every afternoon, she sits in bright light for about a half hour while reading or planning appointments and activities. It took just a few weeks to feel the effects. She now wakes up feeling more rested and relaxed. She’s also better able to care for her 95-year-old father. “There are few effective treatments for bipolar depression. That’s why we’re exploring novel approaches such as light therapy,” says Dorothy Sit, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, and a researcher at WPIC who is leading an ongoing study in the use of light therapy for treatment of bipolar depression. “Most patients feel better within two weeks of starting it, and continue to improve for up to eight weeks.” According to Dr. Sit, treatment is inexpensive and effective. Patients with seasonal depression require 30 to 60 minutes of daily light therapy while patients with non-seasonal depression need 45 to 60 minutes.

Light therapy replaces lost sunlight exposure and resets the body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythms — important for everyone’s general health, mood, and thinking. That’s why light therapy also can help patients with jet lag, shift workers, and people with sleep disorders.

While light therapy is generally safe, patients with bipolar depression also must be on a mood stabilizer or they’ll be at risk for manic episodes, says Dr. Sit. Other possible side effects include headaches, eyestrain, irritation, agitation, and insomnia. These symptoms normally disappear following adjustments in the time and length of treatment.

Light therapy tips • Check with your doctor or mental health professional to see if light therapy is a good option for you. • Follow your doctor’s advice concerning any special precautions you need to take. • Use light therapy only with guidance from your doctor or mental health provider to minimize possible side effects and maximize benefits. Visit UPMC.com/Today for more information on bipolar depression and the light therapy study. To participate in the study, call 1-800-436-2461. For information on light boxes, visit the Center for Environmental Therapeutics website at cet.org.

1-800-533-UPMC

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AWalk to Remember UPMC Rehabilitation Institute helps make a seemingly impossible wedding dream come true

Megan Dow was an athletic, carefree 27-year-old with so much to look forward to — from her upcoming wedding to a new house and barn. But a freak ATV accident on Memorial Day 2010 changed her life in an instant, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. It took a week for Megan to realize her broken neck and back wouldn’t be a quick fix and another six months to acknowledge that her paralysis might have permanent effects. Despite the diagnosis, the Negley, Ohio, resident was determined to walk down the aisle on her wedding day 16 months later. “What means more to a girl than walking down the aisle at her wedding?” asks Megan, who became engaged just weeks before the accident.

Regaining the life she lost Initially, she couldn’t sit up without help and wore braces to support her back, neck, and legs. “I went from doing everything to not being able to brush my teeth; from being able to throw a bale of hay to not being able to pick up a gallon of milk,” Megan says. An avid outdoorswoman, Megan longed to return to her activities, including horseback riding, camping, volunteering as a 4H Club adviser, and working as an interior designer. “I absolutely loved the life I had before the accident. I had to work to bring these things back into my life,” she says.

6

UPMC.com/Today

At the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute’s spinal cord injury unit at UPMC Mercy, Megan’s team of specialists put her to work four hours a day, six days a week in an intensive rehabilitation program. Luckily, she had use of her quadriceps, which allowed her to walk with the help of braces and a walker. Slowly, she relearned everyday skills like dressing herself and walking. She also learned new skills, such as transferring to a shower chair from her wheelchair, and did exercises to build her strength. Megan vowed she’d walk without the walker by that Christmas (a goal she met by Thanksgiving) and down the aisle without a cane. A few weeks before her wedding, Megan donned her gown and practiced walking in the gym with her physical therapist.

Walking happily into the future On her wedding day — Oct. 1, 2011 — Megan did walk down the aisle. Among the guests were her UPMC doctor, physical therapist, and occupational therapist. “They’re a huge part of my life and the reason I’m where I am today. They had to be there!” exclaims Megan. “I’m so grateful to everyone at the Rehabilitation Institute. They gave me the tools I needed, and they encouraged and steered me in the right direction.”

Megan and Eric Dow walked down the aisle after exchanging marriage vows on Oct. 1, 2011.

Megan and her husband Eric honeymooned in Cancún, Mexico, where they snorkeled, swam, kayaked, and even explored some ancient ruins. Today, while she still uses a wheelchair and cane, Megan is thankful she can walk up to two hours with just leg braces. She’s also driving again, riding horses, camping, and doing other activities. “It was a miracle. I’m so grateful I can still do what I used to do — I just do them differently,” Megan says. To learn more about UPMC Rehabilitation Institute and its services, visit UPMC.com/RehabInstitute. You’ll also find a link to Megan’s story and those of other patients who’ve benefited from the institute’s specialized care.


Welcoming New Physicians

To schedule an appointment, or for more information about any of our physicians, visit UPMC.com/FindADoctor or call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Jose F. Bernardo, MD Nephrology

Fahim A. Malik, MD Nephrology

Ankur Puri, MD Pulmonary/Critical Care

Alexander Marcus Spiess, MD Plastic Surgery

Emily Robinson Dryden, MD Gynecology

Sarah M. Miller, DO Medical Oncology

Manjusha Rajamohanty, MD Nephrology

Wesley David Tuel, MD Radiology

Karen Kulick Luther, DPM Podiatric Surgery

James Paul Ohr, DO Medical Oncology

What’s Happening at UPMC Passavant

These free events are offered by UPMC Passavant and the Passavant Hospital Foundation Concerto Gala Community Concert Friday, April 13 7 p.m. Passavant Hospital Foundation Legacy Theatre, Cumberland Woods Village The UPMC Passavant Hospital Foundation’s Legacy Music Series and the Center for Young Musicians present a memorable performance including works by Seitz, Vivaldi, and J.S. Bach. For more information, please call 412-367-6640.

* Contemporary Approach to Women’s Health ... Magee at Passavant Tuesday, April 17 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. CCAC-North Campus, Perry Highway, McCandless Township Speaker: Robert P. Edwards, MD Most women are so busy juggling careers, home, and family that they often neglect their own health. This program provides the latest information about treatments for women’s health issues and ways to help you stay healthy as you age. Dr. Edwards also will discuss women’s services at Magee at Passavant. Please call 412-369-3701 to register.

Weight Management & Safe Weight Loss for Seniors Wednesday, April 18 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speaker: Registered Dietitian Learn what factors can allow you to lose weight, maintain a weight loss, and improve your health. Please call 412-367-6640 to register.

Autism Through the Lifespan Friday, April 20 8:30 a.m. Passavant Hospital Foundation Legacy Theatre, Cumberland Woods Village This day-long session will be of special interest to families, educators, and providers dealing with autism. CEUs will be available. Registration is required. For more information, visit PassavantHospitalFoundation.org.

Heart Health for Seniors Wednesday, May 2 11 a.m. Zelienople Senior Center Speakers: UPMC Heart and Vascular Team Heart disease is America’s leading killer, but few people really understand how the heart and vascular system work. Learn how to maintain a heart healthy lifestyle at any age. Please call 412-367-6640 to register.

* Balancing Lifestyles for Stress Release Tuesday, May 15 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speakers: Rupa Mokkappatti, MD; Linda Nicolaus, PharmD; Marilu Bayer, BSN, RN This seminar will explore what stress is and how it impacts your life and your health, providing tips to reduce stress and to stay healthy in a hectic world. Dietary supplements and exercise also will be discussed. Please call 412-369-3701 to register.

Speech and Language Therapy After a Stroke Wednesday, May 16 12:30 p.m. Senior Center, Cranberry Township Municipal Building Speaker: Linda Edwards, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathology Speech and language therapy can help people who have communication problems or swallowing problems after a stroke. Get the facts and ask questions on how this therapy can help, what it involves, and where you can find additional support. Please call 412-367-6640 to register.

Bridge to Hope 7th Annual Vigil of Hope Wednesday, June 6 7 p.m. Passavant Hospital Foundation Legacy Theatre, Cumberland Woods Village Join members of your community in calling attention to drug and alcohol addiction. The vigil offers support for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one to drugs or alcohol and for those who have a loved one currently struggling with drug and/or alcohol abuse. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.

Support Groups Bridge to Hope Family Support Group Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Passavant Hospital Foundation Conference Center, Cumberland Woods Village The Bridge to Hope support group provides education and support to families touched by addiction. Anonymity respected. No registration necessary. Please call 412-367-6640 for more information.

Mark Your Calendar

Passavant Hospital Foundation 25th Annual Golf Outing Monday, June 11 10 a.m., Registration Noon, Shotgun Start Treesdale Golf & Country Club For more information, contact Pam Taylor 412-635-5788 or taylorps@ph.upmc.edu. There is a registration fee for this event.

* UPMC Passavant is a hospital accredited by The Joint Commission and an approved provider for continuing education requirements for professional nurses. A Certificate of Attendance for 2.0 hours is awarded for this presentation.

1-800-533-UPMC

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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.

Follow UPMC on Facebook.


Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 25


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Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 27


Cinderella Ball The 86th Annual

by Kathy Rudolph

T

wenty area young ladies dressed in their best white gowns and gloves were presented into society by their dads at the 86th Cinderella Ball hosted by the Cinderella Women’s Committee at the Omni William Penn. Besides looking beautiful and knowing just when to curtsy, which signals their entrance into society, the debutantes had to volunteer for 30 hours at Animal Friends, which was this year’s beneficiary of the ball. Each year, the Cinderella Women’s Committee chooses a Pittsburgh-area civic and charitable organization to be the recipient.

Molly McGregor of North Hills High School

Betsy Teti and Diane Waldman, Cinderella Ball Co-Chairs 28 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE

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Ross Township

The ballroom looked like a scene from Disney’s “Cinderella” with its rich, purple hues, up lighting, ethereal flower arrangements by Bill Chisnell and, of course, Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage. The evening’s other festivities included a delicious dinner, musical entertainment by the Rick Purcell Big Band and Later After Dark featuring Sputzy. To learn more about the Cinderella Ball, visit the website at cinderellaball.info.


Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 29


FREE DELIVERY MINIMUM ORDER $10.00 • DINE IN • TAKE OUT

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fter working in the restaurant business for over 20 years, Chip and Linda Lehrman along with thier son Christopher and daughter Corey. wanted to open their own business serving good food their way. They also wanted the business to be run as a family venture with their children helping out. The result is a comfortable, friendly dining experience with phenomenal food. The restaurant is an intimate space with seating for about 24 people at tables of oak and accents of warm reds and greens. Their unique recipe for the homemade sauce is a closely guarded secret and is made fresh daily along with the dough. They

offer a house sauce and also a sweet sauce alternative. The pizzas and hoagies are baked in stone ovens for old world flavor. The pizza comes with a generous amount of cheese and their 16” hoagies are always piled high with 1lb. of freshly cut meat. You will never leave Mama Mia’s hungry. Located in the heart of the North Hills on Babcock Blvd., all of their wonderful dishes are available for dining in or take-out and most major credit cards are accepted. Mama Mia’s is also a great place to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or any special gathering for children or adults. Stop by and taste the difference that quality makes.

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Mama Mia’s 3324 Babcock Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15237

412.364.9736

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Everyone Has a Story Would you or someone you know like to be featured IN Ross Township Magazine for our newest feature - Resident Profiles? Please suggest a resident for the community to get to know! Email our Managing Editor at Marybeth@incommunitymagazines.com

(Must be a resident of Ross Township)

Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 31


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Ross Township


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 boardcertified 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 Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 33


s d e e N l a i c e p S

r e t Win

y a D n u F

by Kathy Rudolph

S

ometimes it is difficult to find activities for kids with special needs and their families who need a venue to have fun, make friends and be accepted. The Recreation Alliance of North Pittsburgh (RANP) filled this void by hosting the Special Needs Winter Family Fun Day at Ross Township Community Center. RANP is comprised of Franklin Park Borough and Marshall, Ohio, Richland and Ross townships. By joining together they provide communities with a wide variety of affordable activities such as the Special Needs Winter Family Fun Day. The event included food, games and crafts that were thoughtfully planned and “special needs friendly.” Volunteer “buddies” were present to help shoot hoops, ride the surf board inflatable, paint a craft or go fishing in a kiddy pool.

“We do two of these events a year: one in the winter here and one in the summer at Blueberry Hill Park at the football stadium in Franklin Park,” said Heather Jerry, Marshall Township parks and recreation director. “We work throughout the year to plan and get sponsors. Recreation is something that everyone can enjoy and we want to make sure that everyone is included.” The idea for the Special Needs Family Fun Day came from Jim Watenpool, Franklin Park director of parks & recreation. “I love seeing people out and enjoying themselves and having their families and aides being able to come and participate along with them,” said Mr. Watenpool. “It gives you a great feeling.” To learn more about the Special Needs Family Fun Day at Blueberry Hill Park, visit www.franklinparkborough.us.

Richard G. Opiela, Ross Township Magisterial District Judge and volunteer

Melody and Debbie Drodge Baumiller, Ms. Pennsylvania 2012

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The Recreation Alliance of North Pittsburgh

Dena, Joseph and Joe Zeller


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724.942.0940 Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 35


One in a

Million Dancer W

hen Yanlai Wu was a little girl growing up in China, she enjoyed learning dance in school with her classmates. The training was not very formal and all the little girls were allowed to participate. However, when the Beijing Dance Academy visited her school, a rigorous auditioning process began for Yanlai, who was selected from millions of children for a spot at the academy, recognized as the top dance school in China. At the age of 12 she began training for twelve hours per day as a serious student of dance performance. She completed the six-year training program at the academy graduating with honors and went on to a professional career, performing as a principal dancer in many productions and working internationally as a choreographer. She has won many awards including First Prize at the Beijing Dance Competition in 1987, the Choreography Award at the Guangzhou International Dance Festival in 1988 and the Special Achievement Award at the Guangzhou Art Competition in 1989. Her studio in the North Hills, the Yanlai Dance Academy, offers traditional Chinese folk dance, classical Chinese dance, ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary dance styles to be inclusive of both eastern and western dance genres. “I felt the integration of both styles would help students to learn from both cultures,” says Yanlai. The result is a more well-rounded dance education that is perhaps not available at most area dance studios. Yanlai’s expertise with teaching dance has led to her students winning first place in national U.S. competitions. “I pay attention to the individual student,” explains Yanlai. “Our students learn the technical aspects, but also the artistic expression of dance.” Additionally the dancers enjoy increased poise, confidence and grace. “Dancing strengthens the muscles and sculpts the body,” adds Yanlai. Her students range in age from 3 to 55 years old, proving that persons of any age can benefit from regular dance instruction. The academy is equipped with a Marley dance floor, a professionalgrade floor constructed of wood with a vinyl overlay, ideal for ballet and other types of dance because it minimizes the impact of jumping and leaping for the dancer’s joints and bones. This is especially important for older students, or students who will be training for long hours. Her students will be performing March 17 at the August Wilson Center, highlighting Chinese cultural dances, which will be a professional quality performance. For more information on the Yanlai Dance Academy or its upcoming performances, please visit the website at www.yanlaidanceacademy.com. 36 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE

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Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 37


19721972 1972 Turning Back 972

1972 the Hands of Time 1972 972North 1972 1972of Hills Class ‘72 1972 1972 72 1972 1972

1972

1972

by Pamela Palongue

F

orty years has passed since the North Hills High School class of 1972 donned caps and gowns and received their diplomas. There were no cell phones, no Internet and no DVD players. The world has changed in many significant ways, but one thing that has not changed is the close friendship that the class of ‘72 has always enjoyed. They have held a reunion every five years except for the 35th anniversary. Organizer Sandie Belmar Foreback has spearheaded every celebration and is currently organizing this year’s event. Plans are still being finalized for the 40th reunion which will take place September 1, 2012. “This year’s event will be very casual and will take place somewhere in the North Hills,” Forback says. “We’re hoping to see people we haven’t seen in ages.”

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19

The previous reunion 10 years ago was attended by 135 alumni and featured a dinner and dance at The Chadwick. The class originally numbered over 600 graduates. The reunion will most likely be one evening only with the possibility of a second event. An exact location has not been determined as yet. If you would like to attend the 40th reunion, please email Forback at NHHS72@gmail.com for information and registration. No mail-outs will be done. If an individual does not have access to e-mail, he/she may contact Forback directly at 412.364.5861. “It should be a great time for everyone and it will be wonderful to see old friends,” Forback adds.


2 Winning Smile Dentistry

Did You Know 972 Your Dentist Can Spot Serious Health Risks?

R

outine dental visits can do more than keep your teeth clean. They also provide early detection of serious health risks. By taking good care of your dental needs, your teeth will last a lifetime. We recommend proper brushing and flossing of teeth at least twice daily and routine cleanings in the office twice a year. The biggest reason for losing teeth is gum disease and tooth decay, but good dental care can help avoid this. The sticky, white filmy coating that constantly builds up around your teeth and gums is known as plaque, and plaque is the breeding ground for the bacteria that cause cavities. Enamel can actually break down after too much exposure to plaque, and allow cavities to form. If you continue to be exposed to plaque, you can contact gum disease. Brushing every day and flossing to remove debris between the teeth extricates plaque. When we fail to brush and floss routinely, plaque is permitted to solidify and thicken. We call that hardened plaque “tartar.” Tartar typically aggregates at the line where the gums meet the teeth. The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and can be caused by swollen gums from tartar buildup. For example, recent studies show that periodontal disease is one of the complications brought on by diabetes. In fact, one-third of people with diabetes have severe periodontal diseases. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, periodontal disease can make it more difficult for you to control blood sugar levels. There’s a direct connection between good oral care and good overall health. If you have not seen your dentist recently, please make an appointment right away. You can call us at 412.366.8550. This Industry Insight was written by Akuvi M. Kloutse, DMD. Akuvi M. Kloutse, DMD, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, GPR from Queens Hospital of New York. Enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, and going to flea markets and farmers markets. She also enjoys travelling and meeting new people sinternationally and in the United States.

By taking good care of your dental needs, your teeth will last a lifetime.

4721 McKnight Road, Suite 214, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 Located between Big Lots and Pep Boys 412.366.8550

Ross Township | Spring 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 39


1904 Artzberger

Steam Surrey

Frick Art and Historical Society

The

by Pamela Palongue

W

illiam H. Artzberger had a need for speed. The Pittsburgh native raised fast horses that would pull carriages in the least amount of time. But in the early 20th century, a new kind of “horsepower” was appearing on the horizon that would soon replace the equine variety. Artzberger was an established local fresco artist who owned an art studio on Caesar Way in Pittsburgh and did most of his work for local churches. But a fateful assignment in Rochester, N.Y., would ensure that his name would always be linked with steam cars. When Artzberger arrived in Rochester, he soon became fascinated with the new steam cars being manufactured by Foster Automobile Manufacturing Company. At that time, the cars were being manually assembled one at a time; Henry Ford had yet to invent his mass production assembly line. A steam car race was being held locally and Artzberger boldly asked if he might drive the car in the race. Boldness is sometimes rewarded with greatness as he won the race! When the Foster Automobile Company later went bankrupt, Artzberger purchased the remnants of the company and brought some of the cars to Pittsburgh. He built a handful of the cars and renamed them the Artzberger Car. Soon, however, Henry Ford began producing his petrol-powered cars at an alarming rate with his new assembly line technique, and the steam cars passed into history. Ross Township resident William H. Artzberger, Jr. (grandson of the car maker) searched for 10 years for one of the Foster-Artzberger cars, inquiring online and searching museums to find one of the extremely rare vehicles. Finally he

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was able to locate one in San Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately the owner was in the process of selling the car to a man in New York. Artzberger traveled there to view the car and speak with the new owner several times over the next two years, trying to persuade him to sell the car but without success. Eventually Artzberger, who was an employee of Westinghouse, became friends with Don Burnham, the company’s CEO. Coincidentally, Burnham’s wife had attended school with the New York car owner. Don Burnham enjoyed collecting antique cars and one day when Artzberger visited his home, much to his surprise, he found parked in his garage the Foster-Artzberger 1904 Surrey. Eventually when Burnham became older, he began liquidating his car collection and the prized Artzberger car was given as a present to Artzberger. The Foster-Artzberger steam car originally sold for about $1,100. It had a boiler system in the rear of the car which held 15 gallons of water. The steam was adjusted up for more speed, leading to the popular expression “You need to pick up some steam,” which has survived into today’s usage. In addition to his namesake car, Artzberger has restored about 19 antique cars and is currently working on a 1931 Ford Model A and is an occasional contributing writer to car magazines. For those who would like to see the Foster-Artzberger Surrey in person, it is part of an ongoing display at the Frick Art and Historical Center located at 7227 Reynolds Street in Point Breeze.


Business Directory

Houses of Worship Christ Episcopal Church . . . . . . . 412.364.2442 Holy Trinity Green

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Orthodox Church . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.366.8700 Hiland Presbyterian Church . . . . .412.364.9000 McKnight United Methodist Church . . . . . . . . . . . .412.364.7132 Northgate Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.931.6016 St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church . . . . . . . . . . . . 412.364.6626 St. Sebastian Roman Catholic Parish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412.364.8999 St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . .412.367.9001

We are currently compiling an updated list of houses of worship in Ross Township. Please contact marybeth@incommunitymagazines.com with your name, phone, address and website.


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