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oodland Hills

Woodland Hills Award-Winning

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PLUS! Get A Taste of Swissvale


Contents Woodland Hills | SUMMER 2011 |





H eal th and W el l ness N ews Y ou Can U se

Heart Health Is a Family Awair E v ery member of your family could hav e some degree of risk when it comes to dev eloping heart disease. L ook inside for ways to get your family heart healthy.




h at ’ s I n s i de page 2


T eam U p f or a H ealthy H eart

17 page 3

T he G ood N ews Ab out H eart D isease S ix W ays to L ower Y our B lood Pressure

page 4

Y oun g Athletes an d S udden C ardiac D eath W hat P arents N eed to K now

Ex ercise: T oo Much of a G ood T hin g C an B e H armf ul


page 5

2 0 11 U P M C

T he D own side of F alls

page 6

C hoosin g the Rig ht D octor f or Y ou

page 7

U PMC McK eesp ort C omprehensiv e C ardiac C are Is H ere for Y ou

Publisher’s Message | 2



WHF Chocolate & Diamonds Affair | 3


Peoples Natural Gas | Community-Driven | 4


Library News | Explore the World of Summer Reading | 6


Woodland Hills School District News | 7


UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use | 17


Older Adults in Woodland Hills Area | 32 Good News for the Second Half of Your Life



Taste of Swissvale House Tour | 35


That’s What Friends Are For | 38


Community Worship | 40


On the Road to Recovery | 36



Community Hearing | 31


Juniper Village | 34


Cast memb ers of W ood l and H il l s’ aw ard -w inning p rod uction of Phantom of the Opera

Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 1

oodland Hills SUMMER 2011

Welcome to the Summer issue of Woodland Hills Magazine. Summer is so ripe with opportunities for communities to come together. There are Community Days, Fourth of July fireworks, church picnics, Little League baseball games, swimming at the local pool, summer reading activities at the local library, Farmers Markets. The list goes on and on. And some of those activities are listed in this edition. Summer ’s also a great time for traveling, although, with gas prices the way they are, many of us won’t be going too far from home. That’s okay because there are some wonderful things going on right in your own backyard. For example, we can all celebrate Woodland Hills High School’s award-winning production of “Phantom of the Opera.” We have some of the cast gracing our cover. Plus, we give you the year-end roundup of Woodland Hills events, academic honors, etc. Residents in the Swissvale area can get a “Taste of Swissvale,” a unique house tour of new homes in a revitalized neighborhood. We give you the details. We also have a heartwarming first-person account of a woman from Edgewood helping a high school friend who now lives hundreds of miles away. Yes, it’s finally summer! So let’s throw some burge rs on the grill, find a shady tree, a lounge chair and a cold glass of lemonade and enjoy the sunshine!

IN Woodland Hills is a community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Woodland Hills area and its comprising municipalities by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PUBLISHER

Wayne Dollard M A N AG I N G E D I TO R

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

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

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

Jack Megaw WRITERS

Pamela Palongue GRAPHIC DESIGN

Cassie Brkich Sharon Cobb Susie Doak

Wayne Dollard P ub l ish er

Jan McEvoy Joe Milne Tamara Tylenda


Hello. I’m Monica Haynes, the new Eastern Regional Editor for IN Community Magazines. I’m quite at home in the eastern suburbs because, well, that’s where I live, too. I also have quite a bit of experience with suburban news coverage, having done it for the P ittsb urg h P ost-G az ette. I also was a magazine writer and entertainment columnist for the PG. Some of you I’ve had the opportunity to meet out and about as we’ve been working on stories for this edition of Woodland Hills. I look forward to getting out in the community even more, to meet the people, attend the events and see the sites and sounds that help make your community what it is. Woodland Hills is about community, YOUR community. We really can’t do this without your input. We want to know what’s going on in your municipal governments, you r schools, churches, libraries, civic organizations. We want to honor those members of your community who are serving in the armed forces, those who are serving others in the community, those who have fascinating hobbies or who have done something extraordinary. If there are things going on in your community or people in your community that we should know about, please email me at As you enjoy the warmth of the summer sun, I hope you enjoy this edition of Woodland Hills Magazine!

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

David Mitchell Tamara Myers Gabriel Negri Robert Ojeda Annette Petrone Vincent Sabatini Michael Silvert RJ Vighetti Nikki CapezioWatson

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

Fall content deadline: August 1

Monica L. Haynes E astern R eg ional E d itor Please recycle this magazine when you are through enjoying it.

2 724.942.0940 to advertise

Woodland Hills

Woodland Hills Foundation Celebrates Its Second Annual

Chocolate Diamonds Affair Woodland Hills Foundation congratulates the WHF Chocolate & Diamonds Diamond Winner, Anne Countouris of Churchill Steven T. Gough, President of Woodland Hills Foundation (WHF) proudly announces the winner of the WHF Chocolate & Diamonds Affair diamond winner, Mrs. Anne Countouris. Mrs. Countouris was one of five “win-a-key-to-win-a-diamond” participants at the annual WHF Chocolate & Diamonds Affair. The beautiful diamond necklace and a pair of wonderful diamond earrings were donated by James Douglas Jewelers and Forever Gold. The annual event was held at the Churchill Valley Country Club and began at 6 p.m. with an open bar, browsing the Silent Auction Items tables and dinner by Lemont. The Silent Auction items were generously donated by Basket of Pittsburgh, Children's Museum, Sarris Candy, Pittsburgh Pirate tickets by attorneys David & Jennifer Chontos, Hidden Valley Ski Resort, Little Dishes Gourmet, Jen Lau Photography, Spruce Creek Fly Co., Typhoon Lighting, Kenny Guy, The Wooden Touch, Judysimages, Crash & Burn Metal, Hepatica, J. Robins Distributing and Karen Stein. Lucky participants of the event also received door prizes of wonderful chocolate donated by Asher’s Chocolate, Apple Cookie & Chocolate Co., Legume Bistro, Sarris Candy and Kathleen Good. The Woodland Hills Foundation is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing opportunities for all students as well as faculty and administration in the Woodland Hills School District by encouraging communitywide participation and philanthropy. It is the Foundation’s hope that next year’s Chocolate & Diamonds success will be even greater. Please visit its website at and learn more about the organization’s endeavors, achievements and goals.

Pictured above are winner, Anne Contouris and WHF President Dr. Steven T. Gough

Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 3

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

                                                   

y o u r e n e r g y p a rt n e r

Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 5





 

Join a Reading Club at a Woodland Hills School District Public Library ❋ Get involved in Great Programs and Activities ❋ Check library websites for more program details C. C. Mellor Memorial Library Main Library, 1 Pennwood Avenue, Edgewood, 412.731.0909, Forest Hills Branch, 444 Avenue D, Forest Hills, 412.824.3567 One World Many Stories and You Are Here Reading Clubs When: June 13-August 13 Who: Children and families from birth through high school How: Sign up at the library and pick up your reading list or register online. What: Get rewards for reading. Weekly drawings & end of summer prizes. Read 10 books and attend end of summer reading party. Join us for these programs: For Younger Children T. J. “Magic Man” Hill on Monday, June 13 at noon in the Edgewood Community House Ballroom. Registration required. Story Hours Mondays 10:30 a.m. Forest Hills Library Thursdays 10:30 a.m. Churchill Borough Building Tuesdays 10:30 a.m. Edgewood Library Fridays 10:30 a.m. Wilkins Township Recreation Center Wednesday 10:30 a.m. Edgewood Library For School Age Children Way Cool Wednesdays 1:30 p.m. Registration required. For Teens You Are Here Club: Wednesdays 6 p.m. and Saturdays 1 p.m. Novel Destinations: A Book Club for Adults When: July 1 – August 1 Who: Adults What: Weekly raffle for prizes. Get coupons towards C C Mellor fines. How: Register at the library for prizes. Join us for these programs: Drop Dead Book Club: 2nd Wednesday, 7 p.m., Edgewood Library. PALS Book Club: 4th Tuesday, June and August, Forest Hills Library. History Book Club: 3rd Wednesday, 7 p.m., Edgewood Library.

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Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale 1800 Monongahela Ave., Swissvale, 412.731.2300 One World Many Stories Reading Club for Everyone When: June 13 - August 6 Children, teens, adults, and families Who: How: Register at the library for summer reading, and sign up for your favorite classes and activities (games, crafts, cooking). What: Children who read 10 books will receive 20 raffle tickets for prizes. Adults will receive one raffle ticket for each book that they read. Lucky teens are eligible to try to win both sets of prizes. Join us for these programs: Magician Steve Haberman Saturday, June 18, 7 p.m. EVERYONE is invited. Family Activities every Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. include team trivia, tic tac toe tournament, checkers night and travel challenges and more. Story Hours every Monday 10 a.m. for preschoolers, noon for kindergartners and first graders, and 2 p.m. for 2nd and 3rd graders. Library activities every Tuesday 2 p.m. for older elementary students. Contests: Find the Penguin (kids win ice cream); Around the World in (only) 14 days (win a gift basket); Mystery Match (adults and children win a gift card). Book Picnic for kids and teens TBA Book Tea for adults TBA

Braddock Carnegie Library 419 Library Street, Braddock PA 15104, 412.351.5356 One World Many Stories and You Are Here Reading Clubs When: June 13 - August 20 Who: Children and families from birth through high school. How: Sign up at the library and pick up your reading log. What: Get rewards for reading. Read 15 minutes every day and be part of a weekly raffle drawing, as well as other prizes. Join us for these programs: For Younger Children PreSchool Storytime: Every Saturday 11a.m.-12 p.m. Baby Lapsit: Fridays 1-1:30 p.m. For School Age Children Crafty Wednesdays : Wednesdays 2:30-4:30 p.m. Read & Watch Book Club: Every 1st Thursday 4:30-6:30 p.m. Clay Class: Saturdays 2:30-4 p.m. For Teens Teen Time: Tuesdays 4-5 p.m. Novel Destinations: A Book Club for Adults When: July 5- August 5 Who: Adults What: Weekly “Readers’ Raffle” for fun prizes How: Register at the library during the month of June Join us for these programs: Book Club: Every fourth Wednesday of the month Foodie Club: Every second Wednesday of the month

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Message from th e Superintendent

Dear Members of the Woodland Hills School District, his time of year, our attention is focused on graduation and the end of the school year. We expect the Class of 2011 which numbers around 300 students to make its mark in the world by continuing the standards of excellence they have learned during their time spent at Woodland Hills. We look forward to hearing about their exploits on college campuses, in the workplace, or in the military serving our country here and abroad. It is also the time of year when tough decisions are made concerning the Woodland Hills School District budget and the effect budget choices will have on our school programs and staff. Our budget discussion was intensified this year because of the governor’s proposed cuts to education through which Woodland Hills is expected to lose more than $4 million. That means the school board has the responsibility to make up this difference in state aid through cuts and/or raising taxes. Considering that Woodland Hills is one of the most highly taxed school districts in Allegheny County, our school board is focusing on ways to save costs for the 2011-12 school budget without raising taxes. In order to balance a budget with such a large deficit, the administration and school board reviewed every line item in our budget. Many ideas and plans were considered, but we have taken the utmost effort to continue to fund and preserve outstanding programs of value to the District and our students. Such a program is the Woodland Hills Academy. The innovative Academy offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate that every student can learn at the highest level. The Academy was designed to test programs and once they were proved to be


successful, to share them in a timely fashion with all our District schools. We are preparing our students today for professions, activities, and enterprises that may not yet exist. That is why technology and innovative curriculum is so necessary. The Woodland Hills School District believes in setting the bar high. The administrators, faculty, staff, and students are challenged to work together to ensure that the richness and relevance of students’ academic and social growth is enhanced through all our endeavors. We endorse fully the principle that effective learning is an active rather than a passive process. Students are placed in settings in which they are challenged to think critically and to articulate their thoughts and experiences through continual interaction with their peers, teachers, and communities. As educators, we must continually scan the horizon of the future and adjust our programs and expectations if we are to prepare our students for the future. “ N ature d oes not cel eb rate th e nest; nature cel eb rates th e fl ig h t. ” However well our fledglings do inside our carefully constructed environment, the true measure of our success—and theirs—is how well they fly after they depart. So I say farewell to the Class of 2011. We offer them our sincere congratulations and best wishes for their future endeavors. I offer a warm welcome to our incoming kindergartners, the Class of 2025. Welcome to the Woodland Hills School District. Sincerely,

Wal Wa alter M. M Calinger, Cal a inger Ph.D. al Ph D Walter Superintendent

All material has been prepared and written by Maria McCool, Director of Communications for the WHSD. Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 7


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As of September 23, 2010, the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County directed that the Woodland Hills School District be divided into three (3) electoral regions for purposes of electing members to the Board of School Directors. Two members of the Board will be elected from each region. Three members will be elected as at-large members. The new procedure began with the May 17, 2011 primary elections. Voters in the Woodland Hills School District were given the opportunity to elect candidates from both parties to run in the general election: one from each of three newly created regions and two at-large board candidates which are newly created positions.

be directed to the Division of Elections, 604 County Office Building, 542 Forbes Avenue, Suite 604, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, (412) 350 – 4500. The Municipalities that are included in newly created three regions are as follows: Region 1 -- Churchill, Wilkins, Chalfant and Turtle Creek; Region 2 -Braddock, Rankin, Swissvale and Edgewood; and Region 3 -- Forest Hills, Braddock Hills, North Braddock and East Pittsburgh. In the November 8th election: one director from each region will be elected; and two at-large board members will be elected.

The general election will be held on November 8, 2011. At that time, voters will elect candidates for four year terms. Any questions about the election process should

Boroughs Included in School Board Regions Current WHSD Board Members: (l-r) Sitting: Colleen Filiak, Barry Driscoll (Vice-President), Marilyn Messina (President) Robert Rinsma; Standing: Fred Kuhn, Robert Tomasic, Randy Lott, Robert Clanagan. (Missing from photo: Brian Estocin)

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Region 1- Churchill, Wilkins, Chalfant and Turtle Creek Region 2- Braddock, Rankin, Swissvale and Edgewood Region 3- Forest Hills, Braddock Hills, North Braddock and East Pittsburgh

“Do The Write Thing” tudents at the Junior High again participated in the “Do the Write Thing” National Challenge sponsored by Co-Chairs The Honorable Dwayne D. Woodruff and his wife, Joy Maxberry Woodruff, while students from the WH Academy participated in the challenge for the first time. All students submitted writings on the topic of youth violence, the impact it has on their lives and the ways it can be eliminated. Eight Junior High students and four Academy students were selected to be honored at a dinner celebration at the August Wilson Center in June. The junior high students are Kaitlyn Berthold, Tearra Carswell, William Fletcher, McKenzie Garth, Seamus McGuigan, and Quincy McWhite (pictured). Missing from the picture are Raven Russell, and Jeremy Pike. The Academy students are Damon Radwanski, Jolene Augustine, and Max Klemmer (pictured). Missing from picture is Chyna Russell.


PreK Registration re you looking for a quality PreK program for your child? Then look to the Woodland Hills School District. We offer PreK education to residents of the WHSD who have children that will be 4 years of age by September 1, 2011. You may register your child at the Central Registration Office in the Administration Building at 2430 Presenters at the PreK Breakfast Greensburg Pike, Churchill, on and supporters of Early Childhood Tuesday, May 10 and Wednesday, Education: Allegheny County May 18. The time is from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. District Attorney Stephen For more information call Zappala, Bruce Clash, State 412.731.2238, ext. 2168 or email Director of Fight Crime, and Sharon Price at Dr. Stephen Bagnato, Professor


in the School of Education, University of Pittsburgh.

Early Childhood Educators and WHSD residents: Mrs. Barb Lech (Forest Hills), Mrs. Marilyn Messina, (Edgewood) and Dr. Ernie DeTorre (Edgewood).

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      program at Edgewood Elementary

he 5th and 6th graders in the GATE

have been studying architecture this year. Their teacher, Mrs. Karen Schollaert, decided to provide them with some very practical lessons which would also result in giving something back to their school’s home community. Starting in the fall, the students took walks around the Edgewood neighborhood, studying the various architectural styles that they saw in the houses. They captured the historic houses and landmark buildings in photographs with the permission of the owners. The students researched, then wrote architectural descriptions about each building they had photographed. Local Edgewood architect Mrs. Susan Lami visited the class and consulted with the students to insure their descriptions w ere accurate. The students compiled their photos and descriptions and Mrs. Schollaert found a publisher that would turn their work into a hard bound book. They decided to donate a copy of the book to the Mayor of Edgewood for the borough’s archives. They will also donate a copy to the CC Mellor Memorial Library.

What Do You Want to BE When You Grow UP? Most WHSD schools host one or more Career Days throughout the school year. The purpose is to give our students a chance to hear and see what different jobs and careers are like from the perspective of someone who is currently working in that job. Parents, community and business representatives willingly donate their time to help our students prepare for life after school. The following photos were taken during Shaffer Elementary’s Career Day. Parent and Physician's Assistant Debbie Davis

Parent and Graphic Artist Dawn Jackson

US Congressman Mike Doyle with Shaffer Principal Dr. Deborah Vereen

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Forest Hills Police Officer Fred Livingston

Woodland Hills

Dickson Students Welcome A Special Guest Julie Bologna, the chief meteorologist for Channel 11 News visited Dickson Elementary School and delighted 5th and 6th graders with her weather presentation. Julie told the students that she has covered many different types of weather. She is no stranger to snowstorms in the Pittsburgh area as well as in the Northeast. She has also handled wall-to-wall coverage for flooding and tornadoes. In Pittsburgh, she has led viewers through continuous coverage for several ice storms and major snow storms. Julie began her career in radio at WMBA-AM in Ambridge, PA as a news anchor and co-host. She is a native Pittsburgher, growing up in Center Twp., Beaver County and graduating with a degree in journalism from Penn State University, where she also

minored in theater. She earned a Certificate of Broadcast Meteorology and has been awarded the Seals of Approval from the National Weather Association (NWA) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS), including the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) Seal of Approval. Julie not only talked about weather, but also highlighted career opportunities in science and communications. She brought students up to help her with many of her demonstrations and she kept her audience’s attention with answers to their many questions and comments. You can watch a video of Julie’s visit to Dickson on the WPXI website at Watch for the great cake the students presented to Julie at the end of her program. Thanks Julie! Dickson Principal Allison Kline, WPXI meteorologist and Dickson Assistant Principal Lyndsey Love.

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April 2011 – Fairless Elementary: Tameya Marshall and Jerome Garrett

March 2011 – Dickson Elementary: Colin Colcombe and Aaron Ridgely

February 2011 – Woodland Hills Junior High: Tyrone Scott and Alexxis Hamiel Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 11

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raduating seniors in the Class of 2011 have been awarded 69 academic merit scholarships so far. These scholarships have come either from the colleges and universities they are attending or are from local or national organizations. By graduation night, the list of awards will have grown. Without counting the $ 1 Million in athletic scholarships awarded to our scholar-athletes, the Class of 2011 has been awarded almost $ 2.6 MILLION in academic merit scholarships. One of the most competitive scholarships awarded to one of our students is the national ROTC Scholarship. Margaret Johnston, who will be attending John Carroll University in Ohio has been awarded a four year, all expenses paid scholarship totaling $171,050. This will cover her tuition, room & board, books, and expenses for four years. Last year, her sister, Martina, also received a national ROTC four year all expenses paid scholarship to Ohio University. WHHS senior Asraiel Harewood is one of only 52 graduating seniors across the country to be selected by the Coca-Cola Corporation to receive a four year $20,000 scholarship. She was one of 252 high school seniors across the country who were selected as finalists from a pool of 71,000 applicants. On April 14, Asraiel joined other finalists in Atlanta, GA to compete for the $20,000 college scholarships. She plans on attending Duke University in North Carolina. The Gerald F. Smith Scholarship Foundation Valley Proteins, Inc was presented to Daniel Theiss and Mr. Brad Harrison representing U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy awarded the “Leaders of Tomorrow” Award to Alex Neal. Twenty-two local scholarships were also awarded at the Seniors’ Academic Awards Banquet. You can see the winners and presenters in the photo gallery. Although we have selected some particular achievements to celebrate, every student in the graduating Class of 2011 is a success when he or she walks off the stage at the commencement on June 3. They have completed the first and most important step toward becoming a success -- earning a high school diploma. Their achievement entitles them to take the next step, whether it’s a college education, the military, or a job in the business world. Congratulations, Class of 2011. We wish you the best!


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Class of 


Achieve s t m en

 Superintendent Dr. Walter Calinger with Senior Academic Scholarship awardees Marta Muela Pizarra, Julian Joerger, Moritz Jahr, and David Niethammer.

 Coca-Cola representatives Mr. Robert Proudfit and Mr. Eric Storer flank scholarship winner Asraiel Harewood.

 Mr. Bert Readyhough presented The Gerald F.Smith Scholarship Foundation from Valley Proteins, Inc. to Daniel Theiss  Mr. Brad Harrison representing US Cong Tim Murphy awarded Alex Neal . . . Leaders of Tomorrow Award.  Churchill/Wilkins Rotary Interact Scholarship winners: Leah Rudge, Mariya Moseley, and Leon Dillard with Rotary members Dr. Charles Bostaph and Mr. Bruce Sapp with WHHS faculty member Kevin McGuire (back row)

 Dr. Stanley Hermann presents the Darcy Lynne Herman Scholarships to Anna Rubin and Taylor Gladys  WHHS teacher Patricia Kennedy presents the Patti Fedishen Zollner Scholarships to Anna Rubin and David Best  WHSD school nurses Lianne Greve and Judi Matelan present the School Nurse scholarship to Jenny Lei


 Corey Patterson accepts the Don Wukich Scholarship from WHSD Board Member Robert Tomasic  Carol Singer presented the Jewish War Veterans Aux 718 Health Professions Scholarship to Jenny Lei.

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 Ellen Bachy was the recipient of the Anthony DePaulo Memorial Scholarship presented by Dino DePaulo

Class of 2011


 Cheslea White and Monte Chapman received the Woodland Hills Education Association Scholarships from WHEA President Lisa Harris and VP Bruce Fisher  The WH Foundation Senior Scholarships were presented to Emily O'Toole and Isiah Thomas by Steve Gough, Jamie Glasser, and Kathleen Good.


 Jasmine Baldridge was awarded the WH Foundation & Class of 1990 Debbie Spahr Thames Memorial Scholarship by Foundation representatives.


 Julia Anne McCool Memorial Scholarship winner Sara Savage is flanked by Maria and Tom McCool and Board President Steve Gough and Board Secretary Kathleen Good.


Angela and Vincent Calfo presented the Raymond Calfo Memorial Scholarship to Taylor Gladys Taylor Gladys was also the recipient of the Woodland Hills Memorial Scholarship presented by WHSD Board Member Colleen Filiak


Ellen Bachy received the Pamela Bergamasco Memorial Scholarship from Joseph Bergamasco and Kathryn Schaal  Michael Boyd presented the Churchill Area Environmental Council Graduation Award to Alex Neal The Woodland Hills Junior High Scholarships were presented to Emily Balcerek and Alex Neal by JH teachers Christyn Poloff and and Robert Ladick

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Woodland Hills

Achieve ments 

The Braddock Senior High School Class of 1958 Scholarships were presented to Joshua Frank, Victoria Robertson and Tahlia Clannagan by Pauline Abdullah, Bruce Jackson and Lawrence Reaves


Dr. Joan Clark from the Churchill Garden Club Book presented their scholarship to James McKay


Joyce Wagner and Lynn Marie presented the Jeff Wagner Memorial Scholarship to Rachel Pampino


 

WHHS Guidance Counselor Christine Smith presented three scholarships: the Slava Silan Memorial Scholarship to Asraiel Harewood, (left), and the Judge William G.Hawkins Scholarship to Felicia Kelly, and the Nancy Emanuel Memorial Scholarship to Ali Cuccaro (right). ROTC Scholarship winner Margaret Johnston receives her check from LTC Don Hazelwood with her parents Georgine and Dane Johnston.


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 Best 


bered. A Grand father Remem

WHHS 10th grader Kennedy Garth, a student in Mrs. Silverman’s Advanced English class, submitted the following poem in response to a “Write Your Own Ballad” assignment. Kennedy’s very moving Ballad is printed with permission from her mother, Heidy Garth. “There was an engaging man from Pittsburgh, PA, He wanted to become Mayor one day. He started his career in politics later in life, And got the go ahead from his wife. He wanted to help all people in their fights, And wanted everyone to voice their rights, He wanted schools to be safe for all kids, He was on the board of executives for SIDS.

7th grade GATE students from Shaffer, Fairless and the Academy entered compositions in the Ligonier Valley Writers' Student Poetry Contest this year. Giovanni Cappella (grade 7- WH Academy) won the *Walter McGough Memorial Award*. His poem was the "Best of the Best" in his age category (grades 7-9). He received a cash award and read his poem at an Awards Ceremony at the Greensburg Barnes and Noble store on Saturday, April 30th.

His political career soon began, He was elected a City of Pittsburgh Councilman. He did this and helped many people for years, He gained a lot of respect from his peers. He ran for mayor once, but didn’t win, He didn’t let this bother him, he stuck up his chin. He tried again and lost number two, But he knew exactly what to do. Third time was a charm and his dream came true, He would push the people of Pittsburgh through. His eyes sparkled like diamonds when he won, He could not wait to get things done. He never gave up what was in his heart, And gave Pittsburgh a brand new start. He wanted Pittsburgh’s people to have bigger and better things, But, God had bigger plans and gave him his wings. He was a role model for our great city, He was delightful, special, and very witty. A wonderful and loving grandpa he was to me His love for me spread across the sea. His gray thick hair and sparkling blue eyes Mayor O’Connor’s spirit will never die.” Mayor Bob O’Connor was an enthusiastic supporter of the WHSD and our students. Here he is pictured with his three granddaughters, who are all students in our District. Kennedy, on the far right, and her sisters Delaney and McKenzie visit the Mayor in his office.

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H eal th and W el l ness N ews Y ou Can U se

Heart Health Is a Family Awair E v ery member of your family could hav e some degree of risk when it comes to dev eloping heart disease. L ook inside for ways to get your family heart healthy.


t ’ s I n s i de

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T eam U p f or a H ealthy H eart

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T he G ood N ews Ab out H eart D isease S ix W ays to L ower Y our B lood Pressure

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Y oun g Athletes an d S udden C ardiac D eath W hat P arents N eed to K now Ex ercise: T oo Much of a G ood T hin g C an B e H armf ul


0 1 UP


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T he D own side of F alls

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C hoosin g the Rig ht D octor f or Y ou

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U PMC McK eesp ort C omprehensiv e C ardiac C are Is H ere for Y ou

Team U p for a Healthy Heart Y our family doctor is your fi rst line of defense when it comes to caring for your heart As you’ll read throughout this issue of UPMC Today, there’s a great deal you can do to prevent heart disease. You might be surprised to learn, though, that a strong relationship with your family doctor is one of the best steps you can take to protect your heart’s health. “Primary care physicians iPCPs) focus on prevention as the key to a long and healthy life,” explains Edward Goralczyk, MD, chairman, Department of Family Medicine at UPMC McKeesport, and a family practitioner with Elizabeth Township Family Medicine–U PMC. “O ur goal is to help educate you to avoid or minimize serious health problems — and that includes your heart.”


Heart disease can stem from a variety of factors, including age, genetics, and lifestyle. “These are key elements your PCP will monitor regularly and review with you,” explains Dr. Goralczyk. “It’s very important for patients to keep their doctor involved and current in their lives. Simply put, the better we know you, the better the advice and care we can provide.”



com/T oday

“ It’ s very important for patients to keep their doctor involved and current in their lives. Si mply put, the b etter we know you, the bet ter the advice and care we can provide. ” —

E dward Go ralcz yk, MD

Here are a few steps you can take with your PCP for a healthier heart:

T ell your story Help your doctor understand your background by compiling and sharing a comprehensive medical history. In addition to your own medical background, find out who in your immediate family has had heart disease or contributing factors like high blood pressure or diabetes. B e sure to let your PCP know about past illnesses, tests, and any specialists you may have seen. “N ew technology, like UPMC’s electronic health record system ieR ecords) , has the potential to give PCPs instant access to a patient’s medical history, including recent tests or medications prescribed by a specialist,” notes Dr. Goralczyk.

If you don’t have a family doctor, take steps now to locate a physician with whom you can establish a sense of trust and rapport isee Choosing the R ight Doctor for You on page ? of this publication for help) . Don’t wait for an emergency to find a PCP!

H elp your doctor see the b ig p icture There are many factors that create stress and disruptions in our lives. That’s why it’s important to keep your doctor informed about your total health — mental, physical, emotional, and even financial. “Stresses like a j ob loss, change in relationship, or financial problems can take a real toll on your heart’s health,” says Dr. Goralczyk. “Patients often don’t realize there are multiple factors at play in their lives.”

B e can did Talk to your doctor about any troubling physical conditions — such as chest pain or shortness of breath — that you’re experiencing. It’s also important to speak openly about lifestyle habits that can affect your heart, such as diet, exercise, and substance use and abuse iincluding smoking and drinking) . “We’re not here to j udge but to help you,” says Dr. Goralczyk. “Withholding information makes managing your heart health more difficult — and can even lead to a missed diagnosis.”

T he G ood N ew s Ab out H eart D isease T ake charge of your heart through health screenings and heart-healthy lifestyle changes If needed, you also can take advantage of the region’s only low radiation electron beam CT scan at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute. It looks specifically for calcium in the coronary arteries as a marker of the cholesterol accumulation that can cause sudden heart attacks.

H e art di s e as e i s t h e n at i on ’ s l e adi n g cau s e of de at h f or bot h m e n an d w om e n . Every 25 seconds, someone experiences a coronary event; every minute, heart disease claims a life. The good news? You can take steps to reduce your risk of heart disease through routine screening and lifestyle changes — even if you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Awan recommends regular health screenings that will tell you your numbers and whether you need to take action. For example, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels, but you wouldn’t know you have these conditions without testing for them.

“Heart disease is a disease we can do something about. In most instances, it is preventable,” says Daniel Edmundowicz, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, and director of preventive cardiology at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.

The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing heart disease, says Dr. Awan. While you can’t control genetics, you can take steps to control many other risk factors by eating a healthy diet, exercising, reducing stress, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy body weight. Some changes — like quitting smoking — can have an immediate impact.

“Screening absolutely saves lives. We can help people change the outcome once we know the risk-factor levels,” Dr. Edmundowicz says. H eart- H ealthy Resources at U PMC McK eesp ort Ihsan Awan, MD, cardiologist at UPMC McKeesport, says doctors use tools such as EKGs, stress testing, ultrasound, and CT scans to look for signs of atherosclerosis in the heart, neck, legs, and arms — especially if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease.

Risk f actors that can’t b e chan g ed • Family history of heart disease, carotid artery disease, or peripheral artery disease • Age ( 6 5 and older) • Gender ( men have a greater risk of heart attack)

Risk f actors that can b e chan g ed • • • • •

Smoking High b lood pressure High cholesterol levels O b esity P hysical inactivity

“The bottom line is: If you know your numbers and know your risk, you can do something about it,” Dr. Awan says.

S ix W ays to L ower Y our B lood Pressure High b lood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and other serious diseases. Follow these recommendations from Dr. Awan to take charge of this “ silent killer” : • I n crease p hysical activity. Aim for at least 3 0 minutes each day ( most days) of b risk walking, b ike riding, or other aerob ic activity. • Mon itor your sodium. L imit your sodium intake to less than two grams ( 2 , 0 0 0 mg) a day. B eware of “ hidden” sodium in processed foods, including canned soup, lunch meats, froz en dinners, and crackers. • Eat healthy. Follow a lower-fat diet that’ s rich in fruits, vegetab les, and low-fat dairy foods. • C on trol your stress. Take 1 5 minutes each day to decompress and focus on yourself. L isten to music, read, pray, or meditate. • D on ’ t smok e! N icotine causes your b lood vessels to constrict and your heart to b eat faster, which raises your b lood pressure. • T ak e your medicin e. If medicine is needed to control your b lood pressure, make sure you take it as prescrib ed b y your doctor.

K n ow your n umb ers

B ecome heart smart

Aim for these vital numb ers to k eep your tick er in good w ork ing condition:

Take time to educate yourself ab out heart disease and the treatments availab le. The U P M C Heart and V ascular Institute web site is a one-stop source of information ab out cardiac conditions, as well as U P M C’ s full spectrum of cardiovascular services from routine screenings to advanced cardiac care.

Monit or

T arg et L evels


less than 2 0

Blood P ressure

b elow 1 2 0 / 8 0


, b ody mass index 1 8 .5–

mg/ dL

2 4 .9

Ask your doctor

B e sure to check it out at www.U PMC .com/ H eartan dV ascular.

If you have q uestions or concerns ab out your heart health, call your physician to schedule an appointment.




Health Tips from U P M C Health P lan

Y o u n g A t hle t e s a n d uS d d e n Ca r d ia c D e a t h

W hat Paren ts N eed to K n ow Is your child among the three to five million young people in the United States who play organized sports each year? If so, you know that a pre-participation physical examination can help identify young athletes who may be at risk for an injury or illness that could req uire additional medical evaluation. R ecently, identifying young athletes who may be at risk of sudden cardiac death has become a hot topic among sports medicine professionals, focusing the attention of parents on the need for better cardiovascular screening of young athletes. “Sudden cardiac death iSCDj in young athletes is extremely rare,” says V ivekanand Allada, MD, clinical director of pediatric cardiology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and professor of pediatrics. “In fact, it’s a one in a million risk.” According to Dr. Allada, sudden death in young athletes is most often due to heart problems, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy ian abnormal thickening of the heartj. Other causes include congenital coronary anomalies, arrhythmia iwhich can be caused by a blow to the chestj, and Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can weaken the aorta and lead to a tear or rupture. “Unfortunately, there’s no perfect test to find a needle in a haystack,” says Dr. Allada. However, parents can take steps to uncover risk factors that may req uire more testing or a consultation with a pediatric cardiologist. The American Heart Association recommends that young athletes undergo a screening medical history to check specifically for’ • • •

Chest pain, palpitations, or fainting during exercise ired flags that req uire immediate attentionj A history of a heart murmur or hypertension Family history of coronary disease, sudden death, or Marfan syndrome

Children with any of these risk factors or an abnormal physical exam should see a pediatric cardiologist, who is specially trained to look for cardiac problems in children and teens, Dr. Allada says. Further testing might include an EK G, echocardiogram, and stress test. He offers these tips to parents’ • Don’t let your child play through chest pain. Pain can be a warning sign. • Teach your child to avoid energy drinks that have high levels of caffeine. Such drinks can make the heart race and cause cardiac arrhythmias. They are particularly dangerous for athletes with undiagnosed cardiac problems.


T o learn more ab out caring for your child’ s heart, visit w w w, then click on C hild H ealth A- Z . T o schedule an appointment w ith a C hildren’ s- a liated physician, call 4 1 2 - 6 9 2 - P E D S ( 7 3 3 7 ) .



com/T oday

E x ercise:

T oo M uch of a G ood T hing C an B e H armful Regular exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy life. M any of us, however, still struggle to fi t even a moderate amount of exercise into our schedules. B ut there are plenty of people who are getting too much exercise. If some exercise is good, they think more will b e b etter. N ot true. In fact, excessive exercise can lead to a host of physical issues, including inj uries, the loss of lean muscle mass, a weakened immune system, sleep prob lems, irritab ility, and depression. A study in the American J ournal of Cardiology suggests that too much vigorous exercise also can increase the risk of heart prob lems.

Are you ex ercisin g too much? Experts say that if your workouts suddenly seem more div cult than usual and you aren’ t making progress, you may b e overexercising. O ther troub le signs include: • Insomnia • Aches or pain in muscles and/ or j oints • Fatigue • Feeling unmotivated and lacking energy • Increased susceptib ility to colds, sore throats, and other illnesses If you’ re experiencing any of these signs, see your doctor to fi nd out if something else is causing the prob lem.

J ust startin g an ex ercise p rog ram? Congratulations on taking an important step to improve your health. Here are a few tips to help your b ody adj ust to a new routine: • Create a reasonab le exercise program b ased on attainab le goals. • Exercise in moderation. • B egin slowly and b uild up gradually to avoid inj uries. • Cut b ack the volume and intensity of your workouts at the fi rst sign of inj ury. • L isten to your b ody. When it needs a rest, give it a rest. Sources: American College of Sports M edicine, American Heart Association

U P M C Spotlight

The Downside of Falls P rev enting tripping, falling can be key to maintaining independence Falls may be funny on comedy shows, but they can be traumatic for older adults. Simply tripping on a rug or slipping on a wet floor can change an older person’s life in an instant — posing serious threats to his or her health and independence. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three people over 65 experience at least one fall each year, and more than two-thirds of them are likely to fall again within six months. Falls also are the leading cause of accidental death in seniors. And, as many as 30 percent of those who fall end up with debilitating hip, pelvic, or spine fractures that make it harder to get around and adversely affect self-confidence. Even those who don’t suffer serious injury can become fearful. “The most obvious concern when an older adult falls or trips is injury,” says Stephanie Studenski, MD, MPH, director of the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at the University of Pittsburgh and associate director of research at the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh. “But the fear of falling can cause people to restrict their activity and sacrifice their independence. In some cases, it can lead to social isolation,” she says. Everyone is at risk for falls, but that risk increases with the changes that come with aging, plus other medical conditions such as arthritis, cataracts and glaucoma, and balance problems. “Fortunately, there’s a lot people can do to prevent most risk factors,” says Dr. Studenski. “Taking care of your overall health, staying active, socializing with friends, and taking a few common-sense precautions can help you avoid falls and broken bones.” To learn more about the Falls Clinic, located at UPMC Senior Care-Benedum Geriatric Center in Oakland, call 412-692-4200.

T hree thing

s you can do to p reven t f alls

Ex ercise! Exercises such as tai chi or other relaxation exercises that improve balanc e and coordination can help lower your chances of falling and make you feel stronger. S ee your doctor regula rly. Annual physical and eye examinations can uncover underlying medical prob lems that can lead to falls. See your doctor if you feel unstab le or diz z y, p ossibly d ue to medications. Tell your doctor if you fall; a medical evaluation can help. Mak e your home saf er. Seventy-fi ve percent of all falls occur at home. To help make your home fall-proof: • I mprove lighting. As you get older, you need b righter lights to see well. Us e night lights in your b edroom, hall, and bat hroom. • R emove small throw rugs. Tack down all carpets and area rugs so they are fi rmly fastened to the fl oor. • R emove things you can trip over. Clear bo oks, clothes, and shoes from stairs and places you walk. K eep cords and wires near walls. • Us e handrails. Install grab bar s near toilets, and bot h inside and outside your tub and shower. Always use the handrail when using the stairs. • St ore items w ithin easy reach. Don’t store things too high or too low. Avoid using stepladders or step stools. Mos t of all, think b efore you reach. • W ear shoes w ith non- sk id, non- friction soles. Avoid going b arefoot or wearing only socks or loose-fi tting slippers.

L eading the W ork in F alls P revention Dr. St ephanie Studenski received the 2 0 10 N ational Award for Falls P revention Research and will be honor ed as the grand champion at the third annual Celeb rating Senior Champions benefi t dinner and auction Thursday, N ov. 3, 2 0 1 1 . For more information about the event, sponsored b y U P MC Senior Services, the Aging Institute, and the Division of Geriatric Med icine of the Uni versity of P ittsb urgh, c all P eggy V anHorn, bene volent care advocate, at 4 12 -6 2 2 -9 2 3 9 .




Choosing the Right Doctor for Y ou T aking the time to fin d “Dr . Rig ht” is one of the most important inv estments you can make. W e’ve all heard about the importance of the doctoropatient relationship, often described as the cornerstone of quality medical care. “ zn fact, the stronger that relationship, the better your chances of receiving the right care at the right time in the right way,” says Tami Minnier, vice president of UPMC’s Donald J . W olff, J r. Center for Q uality zmprovement and znnovation. “ At UPMC, our goal is to help you develop a long-term partnership in which your doctor is your number one health care champion.” According to a ( 0 p0 survey by the R obert W ood J ohnson woundation, most of us are very satisfied with our physicians. zt usually takes something maj or — like moving to a new area, changing medical insurance, or being diagnosed with a serious condition — to prompt us to look for a new doctor. “ zf you’re in the process of changing doctors, there are some exciting new options to consider,” says Ms. Minnier. “ wor example, UPMC’s y ealth Plan is working with a growing number of primary care physicians to implement patient-centered medical homes in their practices.” zn this medical model, your family doctor becomes the hub for all your care by linking you to a collaborative team of medical professionals — from physician assistants to specialists.


Medical homes are designed to ensure that you receive appropriate and comprehensive care over your entire lifetime, including preventive health care, treatment for acute or chronic illness, and assistance with end-of-life care. S tudies show that medical homes are resulting in improved care, access, and communication between patients and their “ medical team” — as well as improved quality, safety, and cost of care.



com/T oday


hen searching for “ Dr. R ight,” here are five helpful tips to locate the best match’

D etermin e what’ s imp ortan t to you “ winding the ‘ right’ doctor often involves personal preferences apart from a physician’s skills or qualifications,” says Ms. Minnier. “ wor example, are you more comfortable with a doctor of your gender? zs a primary care physician right for you, or do you have a medical condition that requires treatment by a specialist? And if easy access is a concern, do you need a doctor located close to your home or workplace? ”

G et the op in ion of p eop le you trust “ B egin your search by asking your circle of family, friends, and co-workers about the positive experiences they’ve had,” she advises. “ zf you’re moving, or seeking a specialist, your current doctor also can be an excellent referral source.”

D o some homework “ There are a number of credible online resources, including UPMC’s wind a Doctor (www.UPMC.comowindADoctor), with information on more than q,0 0 0 physicians, that allow you to confirm a physician’s medical credentials, board certifications, and specialties,” says Ms. Minnier. Y ou also can check with the state medical board at zn general, avoid “ doctor ranking” sites, which are unregulated and difficult to verify for accuracy.

At UPMC, a variety of tools are used to assess physician quality, including patient satisfaction surveys. “ W e literally review thousands of surveys monthly, which provide us with invaluable insights and feedback,” says Ms. Minnier.

V erif y your doctor’ s in suran ce p lan s an d hosp ital a liation s “ Most practices accept a variety of insurance plans, but be sure yours is among them,” advises Ms. Minnier. “ And should you ever require hospitalization or special tests, it’s important that your doctor be affiliated with a hospital you know and trust.”

C all f or an ap p oin tmen t “ B ring a written set of questions covering your concerns and expectations. W hen your visit is over, evaluate the experience,” suggests Ms. Minnier. “ W as it easy to get an appointment? W ere you treated with respect by both the doctor and the staff? zf your answers are positive, you’re on the right path to a doctoropatient relationship characterized by quality care, compassion, and open communication.” F or more information, or to schedule an appointment w ith a U P M C - a liated physician, visit w w w .U P M C .com/ F indAD octor, or call 1 - 8 0 0 - 5 3 3 - U P M C ( 8 7 6 2 ) .

U P M C M cK eesport Comprehensive cardiac care is here for you UPMC McKeesport has a longstanding tradition of offering the community excellent cardiac care that includes services to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart and vascular disease. Our heart health care is of the highest quality and is delivered by highly skilled, specially trained, and compassionate cardiologists, radiologists, and staff.

U PM C M Kc e e s p ro t Ca r d ia c R e s uo r c e s

A glos sary of heart health resources

15 0 0 F ifth Ave. cM K eesport, P A 15 13 2

• Arterial D oppler Ultrasound T est: Evaluates arterial blood flow in the arms and legs.

U PMC McK eesp ort Im ag in g S ervices

• Cardiac Catheteriza tion: This imaging procedure may be both diagnostic (to determine the presence and extent of restriction of blood flow in the coronary arteries and heart, and to examine the heart’s valves and walls) and interventional (to perform coronary angioplasty and stenting to improve blood flow to a coronary artery that has been obstructed by a build-up of plaque). • Cardiac Rehab ilitation: Enables the heart patient to regain strength and stamina through a closely monitored and personalized regimen of exercise, lifestyle assessment, and counseling. • Carotid D oppler Ultrasound T est: Detects obstruction of blood flow in the carotid arteries of the neck and monitors proper blood flow to the brain. • Echocardiogram: Creates a moving picture of the heart and its workings. • Electrocardiograph (EK G ): Monitors the heart’s electrical activity to diagnose unexplained chest pain and other symptoms of heart disease.

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U PMC McK eesp ort O utp atien t C en ter 20

20 Ardmore B lvd. F orest H ills, P A 15 2 21 P hone: 4 12 - 63

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U PMC McK eesp ort Ca rdiop ulmon ary Rehab ilitation C en ter O ak P ark Mal l 20 0 1 L incoln W ay W h ite O ak , P A 15 13 1 P hone: 4 12 - 6

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• Peripheral V ascular D isease (PV D ) studies: Evaluate blood circulation in the lower extremities for the early detection and possible prevention of heart disease and stroke.

U PMC McK eesp ort Ca rdiac Ca theteriz ation L ab

• Pacemak er Implantation: A surgical procedure to insert a pacemaker into the chest to help stabilize and control the pace of the heart.

15 0 0 F ifth Ave. cM K eesport, P A 15 13 2

• S tress Echo T est: Couples a treadmill test with real-time monitoring of heart rate, blood pressure, and echocardiogram to visualize the heart’s anatomy and monitor the heart’s response to the heavier demand of physical activity.

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Coming soon — new, enhanced, state-of-the-art Cath Lab.

• S tress N uclear T est: A radioactive agent is introduced to the bloodstream and monitored by a special nuclear camera to actively monitor blood flow into and out of the heart at rest and during the stress of exercise. • T ilt T ab le S tudies: Monitors heart function, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation in varying degrees of incline to determine possible heart-related causes of dizziness and fainting. • V enous D oppler Ultrasound T est: Evaluates blood flow in leg veins to reveal possible blood clots.




U PMC McK eesp ort 150 F ifth Ave. cM K eesport, P A 15 132

UPMC Today is publi shed quar terly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events availab le at U P M C. This pub lication is for informational purposes only and should not b e taken as medical advice or replace a physician’ s medical assessment. Alw ays consult fi rst with your physician about anything related to your personal health.

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Even the smallest discovery is important. Doctors rely on quality images to make accurate diagnoses and treatment decisions for their patients. UPMC is a leader in creating and adopting cutting-edge technologies to enhance medical imaging and improve patient care. In fact, some of the most innovative advances in the field of radiology have happened in our hospitals. And our state-of-the-art computer system allows imaging scans to be quickly accessed and viewed by physicians across our network  with just the click of a mouse. Our advanced technology and expert radiologists can make a real difference in your care. Whether you need an x-ray or advanced radiology testing, trust Imaging Services at UPMC McKeesport. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 412-664-CARE (2273) or visit

  The Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh funded Elementary Science Olympiads at three elementary schools in the WHSD this year. The Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh awarded an elementary Science Olympiad grant of over $2,700 to Joseph DeGroot, a Wilkins Elementary teacher. Gifted teacher Cathie Pearson also received grants from the Spectroscopy Society to hold Science Olympiads at Shaffer Elementary and the WH Academy this year too. The grants were each $2,700. The SSP is an organization dedicated to expanding and promoting the exchange of knowledge in the field of science and the furthering of science education in Western Pennsylvania. The grants were used to fund Elementary Science Olympiads for 4th and 5th grade students. During these day-long programs, students are actively involved in explaining science topics related to their school’s curriculum. One of the goals of the Spectroscopy Society is to provide learning opportunities where students can see science being applied to every-day, real-world events. And if done correctly, the events should also be enjoyable. The program helps to excite, inspire, challenge and foster the fun side of science for elementary students. “I was so happy to receive notification that the SSP agreed to fully fund our Wilkins Elementary Science Olympiad,” said Mr. DeGroot. “Our principal, Mrs. Karen Bloch, was instrumental in helping us to obtain the grant and we will be including new inquiry-based science activities, along with some of the most popular investigations from last year.” The Science Olympiad took place at Wilkins on April 15. The Science Olympiads were held at Shaffer on Wednesday, May 18 and at the Academy on Friday, May 27. “The Spectroscopy Society is such a wonderfully supportive organization, and I'm proud that they are recognizing what we doing here in Woodland Hills to make science more enjoyable for our students, and more meaningful,” replied Mrs. Pearson.

Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 25


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Number of Buses 1





1 1


Time of Pick-Up


10:40 a.m. 10:45 a.m. 10:50 a.m. 10:55 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 10:45 a.m. 10:55 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 10:40 a.m. 10:45 a.m. 10:50 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 10:35 a.m. 10:40 a.m. 10:58 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 10:45 a.m. 10:50 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 10:50 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 10:45 a.m. 10:50 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 10:35 a.m. 10:45 a.m. 10:50 a.m. 11:00 a.m.

Presbyterian Church Parking Lot Ridge Avenue and Parise Drive Woodland Hills Administration Building Shaffer Primary School Plaza Shopping Center (Greensburg Pike) Eastmont School Site Wilkins Primary School Beulah Road Shopping Center Rankin Intermediate School Hawkins Village Fourth Street and Hawkins Avenue Fairless Intermediate School Good Shepherd Church Seventh Street and Talbot Avenue Fifth Street and Talbot Avenue Braddock Avenue and Fourth Street Braddock Avenue and Second Street Propel School Woodland Hills Academy Prospect and Penn Word and Worship Church Bessemer Avenue Edgewood Elementary School Columbia and Park Avenues Westmoreland Avenue and Hampton Wilkins Community Center (Regent Square) Dickson Elementary School Monongahela and Washington South Braddock Avenue and Roslyn Street


TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2011 BUS SCHEDULE The Woodland Hills School District Picnic will be held at Kennywood Park on Tuesday, June 28, 2011. FunDay Passes at the discount price of $22.00 will be sold on Friday, June 24, 2011, and Monday, June 27, 2011, at the District Administration Office ONLY, 2430 Greensburg Pike, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Only CASH AND MONEY ORDERS MADE OUT TO KENNYWOOD will be accepted - NO PERSONAL CHECKS. Please remember that Kennywood Park no longer has a General Admission price. Only FunDay Passes are available. The price for a FunDay Pass purchased at Kennywood Park is $36.99.

Buses for Kennywood Park will be marked for the areas listed above. Please be at the stop nearest your home at least five (5) minutes before the scheduled time.


Return To: Fourth Street and Braddock Avenue, Second Street and Braddock Avenue, Fifth Street and Talbot Avenue, Seventh Street and Talbot Avenue, Good Shepherd Church, Bessemer Avenue, Penn and Prospect, Woodland Hills Academy, Propel School Monongahela Avenue and Church Street Dickson Elementary, School Wilkins Community Center (Regent Square), Edgewood Elementary School, Westmoreland Avenue and Hampton Street Rankin Intermediate School, Hawkins Village, South Braddock Avenue and Roslyn Street, Fourth Street and Hawkins, Fairless Intermediate School Word and Worship Church Presbyterian Church Parking Lot, Ridge Avenue and Parise Drive, Woodland Hills Administration Building, Shaffer Primary School, Plaza Shopping Center (Greensburg Pike), Beulah Road Shopping Center Wilkins Primary School, Eastmont School Site

Return buses will be marked for the areas listed above. Please board the bus for the area nearest to your home. Be careful when going to and from your bus stop. BUSES WILL LEAVE THE PARK PROMPTLY AT 7 p.m.

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Woodland Hills



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

Students from five WHSD schools attended this year’s Student Ambassador Conference at the University of Pittsburgh on May 3. The program is held annually for 6th-8th grade students and it is sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. Each year the conference focuses on a different area of the world. This year's focus was Africa. The students attended three sessions with speakers from different African countries and toured the Nationality rooms in the Cathedral of Learning. Students from the Academy, Shaffer, Fairless, Edgewood, and the Junior High attended the conference.

Mr. Yenner Karto, a native of Liberia, with some of our student attendees, was a speaker at the conference. Mr. Karto moved to the U.S. to attend graduate school. He lives in Pittsburgh and works for First Niagara Bank.

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Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 27


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Elementary and the Woodland Hills Academy had a delightful

   

tudents in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade at Shaffer

project to complete as they studied a unit on the decades of the 1950's, the 1960's, and the 1970's. Each student appeared as a significant personality from one of the decades on “The Mrs. Pearson Talk Show.” The students researched information about an important person, wrote a script, designed a costume, and were interviewed as the person on the talk show. Guests on the show included such well known figures as Dr. Seuss, Althea Gibson, John F. Kennedy, John Glenn, Gloria Steinem, Wilma Rudolph, Martin Luther King Jr., Peggy Fleming, and Frank Lloyd Wright. See if you can recognize any of these famous people in the pictures of our students.

  Two WHHS students have earned the highest rank in Scouting, the Eagle Award. Vincent LeDonne and Alex Huse, from Boy Scout Troop 23 in Edgewood, obtained their Eagle Awards by earning 21 merit badges, and planning and organizing a community service project. Vincent, a junior at WHHS, is the son of Mike and Rose Ann LeDonne of Swissvale. Vincent’s community service project involved exterior improvements to the grounds of Madonna Del Castello Church. He planned and organized the work, completed with the help of fellow scouts. They removed overgrown shrubs and weeds and installed in a new aluminum fence, and planted grass. His efforts beautified the church property much to the delight of the parish and church neighbors. Alex, a senior at WHHS, is the son of Charles and Tracey Huse of Forest Hills. Alex’s father is the Scout Master of Troop 90. Alex dedicated his community service project to helping the First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood. Alex and troop members under his direction scraped, repaired, and painted interior walls and made repairs to certain interior features. Less than 6% of all scouts nationally ever obtain the Eagle rank. We congratulate Vincent and Alex. The leadership skills and knowledge that they acquired by undergoing the Eagle Award process will serve them very well as they go forth from our high school. 28 724.942.0940 to advertise |

Woodland Hills

“All the World’s A Stage. . .”

Woodland Hills Academy teacher Dolly Heineman with students she directed for the annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest held at the O'Reilly Theater in downtown Pittsburgh..

So wrote William Shakespeare, “And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts. (As You Like It Act 2, Scene 7) Twelve students from the WH Academy in grades 4-7 competed in the annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest. The students rehearsed under the direction of their teachers Dolly Heineman and Kelli Moreno. They presented their monologues and scenes on the stage at the O'Reilly Theater in downtown Pittsburgh. Over 1,000 students annually participate in this competition. Despite this being the very first time that Woodland Hills participated in the competition, two of our students, William Vaughn playing Demetrius and Keaura Brooks playing Helena, were awarded an Honorable Mention for their performance in a scene from Midsummer's Nights Dream. The other student contestants and the plays from which they selected a monologue or scene to perform were: 7th grader Stephanie Lauble - As You Like It; 6th Grader Cameron May - Comedy of Errors; 6th Grader James Thomas - Hamlet; 7th Graders Lily Miara and Jaymon Dunn - The Taming of the Shrew; and 6th Graders Greta Brooks and Avery Calloway - Two Gentleman From Verona.

Woodland Hills Academy teacher Kelli Moreno with students she directed for the annual Shakespeare Monolog & Scene Contest held at the O'Reilly Theater in downtown Pittsburgh.

he highly successful and popular Outdoor Leadership Program, started at the High School under the direction of Mr. Robert Christie, has been expanded this year to include students from the Junior High and elementary schools. The elementary program is being piloted at Dickson Elementary. The purpose of this program is to promote social teambuilding skills, model appropriate and positive behaviors, teach cooperative behavior that ensures the safety of others, plus demonstrate leadership and initiative skills. Sixth grade students from Dickson participated on five trips in September, October, December, February and March. In addition, 5th graders are scheduled to take several trips at the end of the school year. All of the trips are to McConnell’s Mill State Park (about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh). Students are transported by bus to and from the outdoor site. They eat lunch at the conclusion of the session. Despite the typically muddy, wet, and cool conditions, there is a long list of students who want to participate. The trips occur regardless of weather conditions. Students must prove they understand all of the school rules and behavior expectations before they can apply. At Dickson, in addition to Mr. Christie, the Outdoor Leadership Program Coordinator for the Woodland Hills School District, Principal Allison Kline and Behavior Interventionist Jami L. Heffley are involved in coordinating the program.

T Elementary Students Get Practical Lessons in Leadership

Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 29


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The Woodland Hills Junior High Track and Field team had a very successful day at the Mars Invitational in April. Almost all of our athletes improved on their times and distance while competing against students from 35 different schools in Western Pennsylvania. The boys’ team came home with several medals. Marcel McCaskill took 6th place in the 110 meter high hurdles with a time of 17.5 seconds, his personal best. Heavon Price took 6th in the triple jump. Corey Dowdy took 3rd place in the 400 meter dash with a time of 55.4 seconds, which ties the school record. Marcel McCaskill, Jordan Lee, Mike Nash, and Corey Dowdy shaved 25 seconds off their time in the 1600 relay and ran a 4:15. The best performance of the evening was Isaiah Brooks. Isaiah took FIRST PLACE in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, and anchored the 400 relay team of Miles Sanders, Corey Dowdy, and Daron Cooper to a FIRST PLACE finish. Isaiah came within one/one hundredth of a second of beating the meet record in the 200, one/tenth of a second of beating the meet record in the 100, and the 400 relay team missed the meet record by .11 seconds. Isaiah was awarded the meet’s Most Valuable Player. Congratulations to all who competed. You have made the WHSD very proud.

Summer Sports Camp Returns!

The Woodland Hills Summer Sports Camp is back and better than ever. This year two sessions will be offered, June 20-24 and June 27-July 1. Campers will receive instruction in basketball, swimming, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading and baseball. As planning progresses there is the possibility that more activities will be added. The program will take place at the high school and will run daily from 9:45 a.m. until 2:15 p.m. District varsity coaches and athletes will lead instruction. The cost is $25 for the first child in a family and $15 for additional children from the same family (cash or money order only). Registration materials can be downloaded from the district website or can be picked up in the athletic office. Space is limited. If you have questions call Korie Morton-Rozier at 412.244.1100 X5141 or Tori Zido at 412.417.1378.

Summer Community Swim Schedule High School Pool Mondays & Wednesdays, June 13 – August 10 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Junior High Pool Tuesdays & Thursdays, June 13 – August 11 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

This issue’s cover is devoted to the Woodland Hills School District’s high school musical, musical, Phantom of the Opera, winner of six Gene Kelly Awards. Congratulations to the cast and crew; Mr. Tom Crone and his staff; and the many parent volunteers who made the production so successful. Woodland Hills’ Phantom received Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater in the following categories:

Best Scenic Design budget III Best Lighting Design budget III Best Costume Design budget III Best Stage Crew Best Direction Best Musical Budget III

Pittsburgh CLO’s 21th Annual Gene Kelly Awards was held on May 28, 2011 at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts.

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Summer Tips for Healthy Ears Dr. Debra Comte, Doctor of Audiology and Owner of Community Hearing Preventing Swimmers Ear Swimmers Ear is a term for an ear infection in the ear canal often caused by water stuck in the canal from activities like swimming. There are ways to prevent this. Wear earplugs when you go swimming. Wax plugs can be purchased at the ear care section of the pharmacy. Look on the label to make sure the plugs are meant for preventing water from going in your ear canal and not just for use as hearing protection. Another way to prevent swimmers ear is to use a hair dryer to dry out water stuck in the ear canal. Put the dryer on the cool or warm setting and hold it several inches from the ear and move it back and forth across the ear. Another method is to use a mix of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar as drops. You can soak a cotton ball to squeeze out drops. Tilt your head so that you can put in several drops into the affected ear. Once the drops have gone in, tilt your head so that the affected ear is facing the floor. Pull up and back on the ear to help straighten out the ear canal. Protect Your Hearing Summer can be a loud season with lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, and fireworks in full swing. Make sure to wear muffs or ear plugs. Even if the sound isn’t hurting your ears it can still be loud enough to damage your hearing. You can pick up muffs, which are nice for taking on and off during lawn work, at your local home improvement store. Ear plugs can be found for around $5 at the pharmacy section of stores. Outdoor concerts are also a summer staple. Sit as far away from the stage and speakers as possible and wear those ear plugs. Vacation Tips Are your kids attached to MP3 players, DVD players, and other audio devices? Protect their hearing by investing in noise limiting ear buds. These ear buds will not produce sounds past a certain volume to help prevent hearing loss. For those of you flying to your vacation spot, take some measures to avoid the ear pain and temporary hearing loss that can happen as you descend. One product that I have used that has helped me some is EarPlanes. These have a filter to help regulate the pressure as you fly. They are found in the ear care aisle of the pharmacy. You can also use the low tech methods of chewing gum and stretching your neck to try to pop open your Eustachian tube. One way to open the tube is by pinching your nose and swallowing at the same time. Try these methods at the beginning of your descent for the best results. Hearing Aid Tips Summer is the time to hit the soccer field, playground, or the woods for a hike. For active hearing aid users, secure your hearing aids with a hearing aid securing device. These often are cords that attach to the hearing aid and also to the back of your collar with an alligator clip. There are also models that wrap around the whole ear to help keep the hearing aid securely in place. These are a simple way of protecting your investment from loss. Keeping Moisture out of Hearing Aids Humidity and sweat are big problems for hearing aids. Just a little moisture

can affect the delicate electrical components, necessitating a repair. See your audiologist about covers that can be placed on behind-the-ear hearing aids to keep moisture out. Also, make sure to get a hearing aid dehumidifier box from your audiologist that uses a desiccant (like that silica pouch you get in your shoe box) to draw moisture out of the hearing aid. If your hearing aid takes an unfortunate dip in the pool or the lake, wipe it with a dry cloth, quickly put it in a tightly sealed box with some rice, and get in to your audiologist so they can put it on their drying machine. Keep your Batteries from the Heat Hearing aid batteries are best kept at room temperature. Summer is not the best time to keep batteries stored in your car. If you want to keep some spares in the car, keep them in their original packaging and try to find the coolest spot. For special summer deals on batteries and hearing aid dehumidifier boxes, visit our website at and try to keep cool!

Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 31

Older Adults




Exercise is important for every age, and mature adults are no exception. According to UPMC Sports Medicine’s Dr. Jeanne Doperak, “The ultimate goal—whether you’re 3 or 104—is some sort of activity.” Dr. Doperak suggests a combination of aerobic exercise (exercise which raises the heart rate and increases the body’s need for oxygen,) two days a week of strength training, and some sort of balance and flexibility training. Before beginning any type of aggressive workout program, it is always best to consult your physician. Many people make the assumption that running is bad after a certain age, but this actually depends upon the individuals and their physical condition. Dr. Doperak explains, “As we age, our activities don’t necessarily have to change but the way we train has to be adjusted. We do not recommend that anyone over the age of 30 [engage in] impact activities every day.” An example of an impact activity would be jogging. It is recommended that impact activities be staggered with non-impact exercise such as yoga, tai chi or bicycling every other day. If an individual cannot tolerate impact activities due to arthritis or other problems, swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise (as is bicycling, which can be done with a recumbent stationary bike).

Yoga and tai chi rotated with impact exercise can fulfill the need for balance and flexibility training. Many churches, synagogues, libraries and other non-profit organizations offer classes for free or at reduced rates. Also important to overall optimum physical health is strength training. Although strength training conjures up images of heavy weightlifting, Dr. Doperak suggests that this can be accomplished with weights as light as two pounds. With active workouts, it is vitally important to replenish liquids in the body, especially in the summer months. A vigorous activity such as jogging or tennis for more than 10 to 20 minutes requires fluid replacement. Serious dehydration depletes the body of electrolytes which ensure that the heart’s electrical system works properly. Dr. Doperak recommends water as the best replacement. Although there are many drinks on the market that advertise their benefits of electrolyte replacement, they can also be quite high in calories. Individuals trying to reduce their weight will conversely be adding more calories to their diet. The main thing to remember is that bodies need movement to be healthy. As Dr. Doperak says, “Keep moving.”

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When fair weather arrives, the call of the road beckons. For seniors, travel options abound in various lengths, styles and price ranges. If you find that you are on a limited budget, why not consider a day trip to a nearby attraction? Many churches and civic organizations offer day trips to interesting destinations such as Gettysburg or Fallingwater and you usually do not have to be a member to attend. Transportation, admission and one or two meals are usually included in one reasonable fee. If you can’t find a group going to the destination of your choice, why not form your own? A small group of three or four friends can carpool to save on gas and enjoy a day in the country. McConnells Mill State Park is less than an hour away and features a covered bridge and 19th century gristmill. The hiking trails are scenic and great exercise. A Pennsylvania winery is never more than a 45- minute drive from anywhere in the state. Most offer tours and free samples and some even have a restaurant on-site. Be sure to have a designated driver! If the fact that you are single or widowed is keeping you at home, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that most local travel agencies offer group tours to U.S. and European destinations–especially for those over 50–at discounted prices. You may also be surprised to learn that most of the individuals on these tours are also traveling alone or with a friend. A few hours into the trip, you will have new friends and feel like a part of the group. Many older Americans are interested in exploring their European roots. Be sure to let your travel agent know of your interest and he can customize your tour with travel connections to records offices and churches. Before departing on any kind of trip, be sure to take into consideration any mobility issues that you or your travel companions may encounter. Many travel agencies have specially designed itineraries for those with limited mobility. Additionally, don’t forget to pack all the medications you will need for the duration of your visit since refilling them may prove difficult. Be sure to keep them in their original containers. A little planning can make your trip a success, so get out there and have some fun! –Pamela Palongue

Senior Agencies Transportation For Older Adults Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) 1.888.547.6287 Provides non-emergency medical transportation to residents of Allegheny County who have a valid Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Medical Assistance Card. Free Bus Pass for Senior Citizens The Port Authority allows Allegheny County residents, 65 years of age and older, to ride free on local public transportation (buses, trolleys and rapid-transit lines). Participants must obtain identification cards, which are available free of charge, from participating transportation providers. Call for the location nearest to you. ACCESS 65 Plus and ACCESS ADA Program 412.562.5353 or TDD 1.800.654.5984 ACCESS is door-to-door, advance

reservation, shared-ride transportation provided throughout Port Authority’s service area. It serves primarily senior citizens and persons with disabilities. There are no restrictions on the purpose or number of trips which may be taken by riders, except that riders are required to share their vehicle with others traveling in the same direction and at the same time. Older Persons Transportation Transportation for medical appointments, grocery shopping, senior center activities and other needs throughout Allegheny County is available to adults 60 years of age and older who live in Allegheny County. Call SeniorLine at  Are you a nonprofit Senior Center serving the needs of our community’s older adults? Contact marybeth@incommunity with your center’s name and phone number.

Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 33

              Nurturing

 

or the past two decades Susan Franke’s passion has been to help people realize that others — often complete strangers — care about them, one hug at a time. Today, Susan continues that passion with her friends and fellow residents at Juniper Village at Forest Hills.


Susan Franke, a former Murrysville resident who moved to Juniper Village last year, has been touching hearts through her Hug Therapy programs since 1990. After reading Kathleen Keating’s book Hug Therapy, Susan, a Registered Nurse at Shadyside Hospital at the time, spearheaded the hospitals Hug Therapy program for nurses, physicians and patients. A fan of stuffed bears, Susan took the program to a higher dimension by giving patients a stuffed bear to remind them of the benefits of hugging. “Research shows stimulation by touch is absolutely necessary for our physical health and well-being,” states Susan. “Touch can relieve pain, depression, and anxiety. Hugging is a very special form of touch that communicates at the deepest level of emotion,” adding that. “Children lacking a hug or good touch experience can be slower to walk, talk, and read. IQ development can also be delayed.” Throughout her career Susan made spreading the word about hug therapy a priority. When she headed the Southwestern Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Special Kids Network she inaugurated hug therapy, as well as other educational programs, to strengthen families and communities. Touched by national tragedies like Katrina and, 9-11, Susan sent thousands of

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bears to victims throughout the country. And, to ensure her Hug Therapy programs would be ongoing, Susan along with the help of her husband Norm, founded the nonprofit organization, the Keep In Touch Hug Therapy Foundation, to provide children in crisis with teddy bears for hugging. Today, and after donating over 100,000 stuffed animals to cheer and comfort people of all ages from all parts of the country, Susan is still sharing the benefits of a hug and a bear with her neighbors here at Juniper Village at Forest Hills.” states Bonnie Caripolti, Director of Community Relations for Juniper Village. “Susan is just one of those special people who has spent her entire life going out of her way to help others.” Susan eased into the hug program by awarding stuffed animals as prizes at Juniper’s bingo games. Gradually, she put together a cart overflowing with colorful stuffed animals. Nowadays she leads the cart through Juniper stopping to chat with residents and offer them a hug and a stuffed bear. “At Juniper Village we believe in nurturing the spirit of life”, states Bonnie, “and encourage each of our residents to live their life to the fullest. Susan is a perfect example of how the things you love to do, and have done your entire life, can still be carried out in your golden years.” For more information about Susan’s Hug Therapy program, her Keep in Touch Hug Therapy Foundation or Juniper Village at Forest Hills, contact Bonnie Caripolti at 412.244-9901.

Taste of Swissvale taking place this year on Sunday, June 26, is no ordinary house tour. It’s an opportunity to see the rebirth of a neighborhood.


or the past several years, the Swissvale Economic Development Corporation and the borough have been working with the Mon Valley Initiative to revitalize a four square block area between Monongahela Avenue and the Busway. Known as the Kopp Glass Gateway Redevelopment Project, the first phase included the renovation of six homes and the new construction of another along Palmer Street and Monongahela, Park and Duquesne avenues. The project is named for the Kopp Glass Factory located near the area that's under renovation. “[Kopp has] been very supportive and very generous with donations [to the Taste of Swissvale],” said Leanne Aurich, community outreach specialist for the Mon Valley Initiative. The second phase of the $4.14 million project, now underway, includes the transformation of the former Madonna del Castello Church on Duquesne Avenue into four condominiums, three of which already have buyers. The historic features are being restored including the Moorish gable design, the barrel vault ceiling and the former altar. Three of the condos are 1,400 square feet and the fourth will be 2,400 square feet and will include the altar. “The main thing we try to do with our homes is respect the historic character of the community and keep some of the original features,” said Aurich. In the center of the project’s targeted area is Park Avenue Mall, a large green space that spans the block between Monongahela Avenue and Palmer Street. Plans for this area include new curbing, sidewalks, plantings, lighting, and benches in the park. Funding for the project comes from Allegheny County Economic Development, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, Swissvale Economic Development Corporation and the Borough of Swissvale. Those purchasing a ticket for the Taste of Swissvale will have a chance to see homes renovated in phase one of the Kopp Glass project and how things are coming along with the renovation of the old church. There will also be food from local eateries, a basket auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Last year, the event attracted more than 100 guests. “It was a pretty big hit the first time around,” Aurich said. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Swissvale Borough Building, or by calling Jo Ellen Welsh at 412.638.0524 or emailing her at Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the event, which starts out at the Park Avenue Mall at 1 p.m. Anyone interested in making donations or being a sponsor should also contact Welsh. Sponsors receive two free tickets to the event and an ad in the program book. Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 35

R ob ert Friedlander, MD, left, and Michael Horowitz, MD, discuss treatment options with a patient who has an unruptured aneurysm.

On the


ROAD By Mark Berton

Ashly Hunt

U PMC neurosurgery patient making strides after sut ering a near fatal b rain hemorrhage.

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When you think of someone who has suwered a stroke, common images arise: paralysis on one side of the b ody and div culty with speech and coordination. While stroke can occur at any age, most people associate strokes with older people. So if you’ re an athletic 2 4 -year-old with no history of b rain inj ury, on the b each at O cean City, M aryland during the Fourth of J uly holiday with stroke-like symptoms, denial is a natural response. And for Ashly Hunt, she denied her symptoms until the moment she was loaded into a helicopter. “ I rememb er thinking I wanted water. I am a huge runner. I ran b efore this and thought I was dehydrated, ” she said. “ It literally took the life-fl ight to b elieve that I wasn’ t dehydrated. When it’ s happening to you you’ re not thinking the worst. ” Within a matter of hours, what she thought was a simple headache evolved and rob b ed her of her sight and ab ility to speak. She also had troub le moving her arms and hands. Emergency responders decided to life-fl ight her to the nearest hospital in B altimore, where she was diagnosed with a b rain stem hemorrhage. B lood from the hemorrhage was pooling in an area that connects her b rain to her spinal cord, causing her to lose movement on her right side, and creating a maj or dilemma for the neurosurgeons b ecause they b elieved the site was too risky to treat with surgery. Soon after the diagnosis, Ashly entered a rehab ilitation program in her hometown of J ohnstown, P a. , to help her regain movement of the extremities that were awected b y the hemorrhage. However, after several weeks in rehab ilitation and slight improvements in her vision and speech, Ashly’ s overall condition b egan to worsen. Ashly still maintained her hearing, b ut what she heard going on around her, she didn’ t like. U ntil she met Rob ert Friedlander, M D, at U P M C.

“I’m pretty close to 100 percent now. My hand and foot are the last things I’m waiting for to come back. I’m writing again. It’s like a 3-year-old, but I am. I’m going to be 100 percent.” Ashly Hunt

From left to right, Brian Jankowitz, MD, Paul Gardner, MD, Daniel Wecht, MD, and L. Dade Lunsford, MD, discuss a complex neurovascular case.

Dr. Friedlander was called after Ashly’ s family doctor consulted with a neurosurgeon at The J ohns Hopkins U niversity, who recommended that Dr. Friedlander manage this complex situation. Within four hours of the initial consultation, Ashly was in an amb ulance headed for P ittsb urgh where, she said, she met the doctor who made all the diwerence. “ I couldn’ t speak and had a hard time seeing, b ut my b rain was processing everything. All of the other doctors were talking ab ove me and not looking at me, not doing anything with me even though I understood them all, ” she said. “ U ntil I went to Dr. Friedlander and he worked with me through my condition to give him the answers he needed. He never came ow as pompous. He’ s the most caring person I’ ve dealt with to this day. ” Ashly’ s hemorrhage was caused b y an underlying condition called a cavernous malformation, which is an ab normal, b erry-like patch of b lood vessels located inside her b rain stem. B ecause the b rain stem is deeply situated within the b ase of the b rain and controls important functions such as movement, sensation, b reathing, and instructing the heart to b eat, surgery to remove the malformation was extremely risky. However, if left untreated, the malformed vessels could again b leed and result in additional critical neurologic damage or even death. Dr. Friedlander and the neurosurgeons at U P M C faced the challenging task of removing the malformation without causing further complications. U sing advanced b rain imaging technology known as High Defi nition Fib er Tracking, pioneered at the U niversity of P ittsb urgh, Dr. Friedlander was ab le to view the detailed wiring of Ashly’ s b rain fi b ers to determine the b est way to execute the surgery with as little damage to her b rain as possib le. In order to ob tain appropriate access to the b rain stem, Dr. Friedlander turned to Dr. B arry Hirsch, a skull b ase EN T surgeon at U P M C. U sing a special microscope and image guidance device, Dr. Friedlander approached the b rain stem and was ab le to completely remove the cavernous malformation.

After surgery, Ashly’ s vision and speech b egan to improve. She also could move her right hand, which had b een paralyz ed. She improved daily, making strides with her b alance, speech, movements, and other functions, and credits her improvement to her strict discipline in following her doctors’ recommendations and her physical therapy program. “ If I could say one thing to inspire anyone going through this it’ s that you can’ t j ust sit there. It b ecomes your j ob , ” she said. “ I’ ve seen a lot of people who have had strokes. Y ou can’ t j ust sit down and think you’ ll get b etter. Y ou have to follow the therapy and give your b ody time. ” While she’ s b een living with her parents in J ohnstown during her recovery, Ashly is looking forward to getting b ack to her life in B altimore. “ I’ m pretty close to 1 0 0 percent now. M y hand and foot are the last things I’ m waiting for to come b ack, ” she said. “ I’ m writing again. It’ s like a 3 -year-old, b ut I am. I’ m going to b e 1 0 0 percent. ” Her road to recovery has b een long. Approaching the anniversary of her ordeal, she and her family are thankful to Dr. Friedlander and everyone on the U P M C staw who helped her through this challenging time. She maintains a b log at ashlystatus. com, where family and friends post updates on her condition. “ I’ ll never forget, Dr. Friedlander said to me, ‘ We’ re a team. I’ ll do my part as long as you do yours, ’ ” she said. “ That’ s b ig in my mind. That made an impact. ” For more information, please call the U P M C Department of N eurological Surgery at 1 -8 6 6 -9 7 9 -1 3 3 6 or visit U P M C. com/ nv. This patient’ s treatment and results may not b e representative of all similar cases.

Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 37

     

 

 small school similar to many in

grew up in Edgewood and went to a

Do you want the “Assurance” of a secure and loving childcare environment? Do you want the “Assurance” that your child will have a Christ-Centered learning experience? Do you want the “Assurance” that your child will be prepared socially and academically for grade school? HEAD START Program & PA Certified Teachers On Site • NAFCC ACCREDITED • KEYSTONE STARS – 4 STAR Quality Rating • State Licensed & DPW Approved • Child Care Partnerships and TANF Accepted • 3 FREE MEALS • Large fully-equipped Outdoor Play Area

Pittsburgh at the time. Three teachers per grade, kids who knew every other kid in the entire school, teachers and staff who you knew were watching, and would let you get away with nothing. It was a school community where teachers and parents supported their kids and had high expectations including treating others the right way. A place that if someone was in need, there were people lined up to help. A school that even though you left, it never really left you. This fall, I got an e-mail from a high school friend, asking if I knew that Phil Conrad had an extremely aggressive form of cancer and would be fighting for his life. I was flooded with emotions from 30 some years ago and with memories as vivid as the present. Scenes of us swimming on the Edgewood Club Swim Team; playing baseball and tag on the field behind the school; Phil and Jeff and I skateboarding; a group of us hanging out together and laughing after school; memories upon memories upon memories. Emotions upon emotions. Flashes of Phil in his physical and emotional strength in my memory, to Phil in his physical weakness that was sure to come. Unbelievable emotions. I had very little contact with Phil

Former Edgewood resident Phil Conrad, with daughter Olivia and son Bennett, at the start of chemotherapy for nonHodgkin’s T-cell lymphoma. Mr. Conrad now resides in El Cajon, Ca. near San Diego.


BLESSED ASSURANCE Educating the whole child: body, mind and spirit Rankin, PA • Ages 1 through 5 years • 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT (412) 271-4727 E-Mail: 38 724.942.0940 to advertise | Woodland Hills

and many other childhood friends after college, but that really didn’t matter. Pittsburgh was, and is, a community of support, for those who live here and those who have left here. His Pittsburgh friends have been supporting him with words, thoughts, prayers, and financial help. Battling cancer takes a toll physically, emotionally, and financially. I invite you to join us in helping to take away some of the worries so that Phil and his family, who live in El Cajon, Ca. near San Diego, can focus all of their energy on removing every cursed trace of cancer from his body. The support will continue with a Silent Auction at The Edgewood Club, 1 Pennwood Ave. in Edgewood, on July 16 from 7-10 p.m. Some of the items being auctioned off include: Orlando vacation, basketball signed by the hosts of “Inside the NBA” on TNT (Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith), stained glass, Steelers basket including a signed Troy Polamalu picture, jewelry, restaurant certificates, and much more. A heartfelt thank you to the Club for donating its space. Tickets for the auction are $10. Join us for a night of music, refreshments, and fantastic buys. To donate an auction item or to get more information, contact Kathi Taymans McShane at

Reunions 15 Year Reunion for the WHHS Class of 1996 on Friday, July 8, 2011 at Olympia Hall. More information can be found at

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

A picnic reunion will be held on July 14, 2012, next to the old Hannatown School for students that attended the school from 1912 until 1966. If you are interested in attending please contact the following individual before September 30, 2011: Harrison (Drafty) Bradford at 412.271.3053 or email at

A Reunion Mixer for St. Thomas (District) High School is scheduled for Friday, September 16, 2011. Come mingle with friends, make new friends, and reminisce about those days in the halls of a great high school on Braddock Avenue. Saint Thomas District High School closed in 1984. It was originally named Saint Thomas High School, but when a new building was constructed in 1963 the word “District” was added. The school reopened in the Fall of 1984 as Good Shepherd School. There will be a mass for the alumni at Good Shepherd Church, corner of Frazier St. & Braddock Ave. in Braddock, at 6:30 p.m. Gather at the East Pittsburgh V.F.W. at 8 p.m. Donation $7.00. D.J. and cash bar included. Kitchen will be open for purchases. Only 650 tickets available. Please send your money and include a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to: Joanne Schleifer ’70, 202 Comrie Avenue, Braddock PA 15104. Info at: 412.271.8690 or Checks should be made payable to: Saint Thomas HS All-Class Reunion.

Woodland Hills | Summer 2011 | 39

COMMUNITY WORSHIP All Saints Anglican Episcopal Church 412.793.0270

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church 412.793.1394

New Hope Baptist Church 412.271.8998

St. Bartholomew Catholic Church 412.242.3374

Beulah Presbyterian Church 412.242.4570

Hebron United Presbyterian Church 412.371.2307

New Vision Community Church 412.241.6160

St. Colman Catholic Church 412.283.2564

Parkway Jewish Center 412.823.4338

St. James Episcopal Church 412.242.2300

Penn Hills Baptist Church 412.793.6640

St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church 412.824.0246

Calvary United Church of Christ 412.823.4347 Christ Lutheran Church and School 412.271.7173 Electric Heights United Methodist Church 412.824.3303 Emmanuel Lutheran Church 412.824.4525 Epiphany Lutheran Church 412.241.1313 Faith Bible Baptist Church 412.825.7450 First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood 412.241.4613

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Hope Lutheran Church of Forest Hills 412.242.4476 Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church 412.271.1995 Laketon Heights United Methodist 412.241.9170 Living Spirit Ministry 412.351.1802 Madonna del Castello Church 412.271.5666 McMasters United Methodist Church 412.823.1988 Mount Hope Community Church 412.793.0227

First Christian Church of Turtle Crteek 412.823.2582

Mount Olive Baptist Church 412.271.0303

Forest Hills Presbyterian Church 412.241.1647

Mount Olive Church of God in Christ 412.361.0503

Good Shepherd Catholic Parish 412.271.1515

Muhleman Memorial Methodist Church 412.823.5170

Woodland Hills

Penn Hills Free Methodist Church 412.793.7263 Pittsburgh Mennonite Church 2018 S. Braddock Ave. Swissvale, Pa 15218 Presbyterian Church of America 412.793.7117

St. John Fisher 412.241.4722 St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church 412.824.1622 St. Maurice Roman Catholic Church 412.271.0809 St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church 412.271.9300

Presentation of Christ Greek Orthodox Church 412.824.9188

Trinity Tower United Methodist 412.793.9000

Protestant Reformed Fellowship 412.371.2299

Universal United Presbyterian Church 412.793.1355

Resurrection Baptist Church 412.271.7355

Word of God Catholic Church 412.241.1372

Sri Venkateswara Temple 412.373.3380

Word & Worship Church 412.824.1616

SS. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church 412.466.3578

Zion Lutheran Church 412.242.2626

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


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IN Woodland Hills Summer 2011