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oodland Hills


Honoring Our Veterans

Plus! Health and Wellness – The Whole Picture

Industry Insight

Phones & Hearing Loss T

here is much to consider when it comes to using telephones when you have a hearing loss. This article will attempt to review some of the basic considerations for telecommunication for individuals who have lost their hearing. Use of the Phone with Hearing Aids Hearing aids do not always allow for normal phone use. Most people who struggle with the phone will find that using their hearing aids help but they have to modify the way that they hold the phone in order for the sound to transfer properly. In the case of using a behind-the-ear hearing aid, individuals will need to hold the phone closer to the microphone near the top of their ear not their ear canal. With in-the-ear hearing aids the phone may need to be tilted slightly to avoid feedback. Fortunately for hearing aid users, if these modifications do not suffice other features built into the hearing aids can help. Telecoils A telecoil is a special feature in most hearing aids intended for transfer of sound from the phone through the hearing aid using electromagnetic energy. By using a telecoil the hearing aid microphone can be lowered to allow for better concentration of the phone conversation without interference from other noises. A telecoil may be selected in the software settings by the audiologist and accessed through a button. Some hearing aids will also have an option for automatic telecoil switching. Hands-free Phone Calls with Hearing Aids By utilizing Bluetooth, today’s hearing aids can include accessories for hands free phone use. Each manufacturer has its own model but they all follow the same principle: they stream sound from an audio device to the hearing aids wirelessly. These streaming devices have some major benefits: they allow for hearing with both ears simultaneously. From studies of auditory recognition, we know that our brain has the best hearing reception when both ears are used, called binaural benefit. A similar effect can be achieved by using a speaker phone but this is typically not as clear and is certainly not as private. Generally speaking streaming devices are used with Bluetooth enabled phones, however, adaptors can be purchased to modify existing phones. Amplified Phones & Captioned Phones Since you cannot see the speaker’s face to help lipread or sense emotions, phone conversations are more difficult to predict the topic. Noisy connections and rapid speech also degrade speech quality. Therefore it is likely that those with hearing loss will need additional accessories to communicate successfully by phone. Special phones include: amplification boosting 20-60 dB, flashing lights and loud ringers and even answering machines that allow you to slow down the playback speed. Captioned phones provide visual input to help fill in those gaps in the conversation. Phones are available with captioning as well as sound to provide visual input to help fill in those gaps in the conversation. Captioning is also available on mobile phones and online.

Adaptors can be added to most phones both, landline and cell phones, to boost amplification. Getting the Phone There are many ways to go about getting phones for hearing loss including direct to consumer websites and retail stores. I recommend consulting with an audiologist prior to purchasing phone equipment. There are programs in the state of Pennsylvania that provide free phones for those in lower income brackets. HearWell Center is proud to provide consultations to discuss phone options as part of an assessment for hearing help products. We participate in multiple programs offering free and discounted phones. This Industry Insight was written by Dr. Suzanne Yoder at the HearWell Center. Contact her at 412.271.3002 or

Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 1

oodland Hills At this time of year, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the journey with us that was 2012. And while we’ve endured extremes of nature via the summer heat waves and Hurricane Sandy, as well as the onslaught of a presidential election that ate up any time available between our favorite shows, we still have much to be thankful for. Community Magazines continues to grow, and for that we thank you, our readers and our advertisers. Our readers help shape these magazines. Those of you who took the time to call, e-mail or write in with your ideas and events are the ones who set our table of contents. We pride ourselves on the fact that we listen to you and your ideas because, in the end, this is your community and you know it best. So I continue to encourage you to send in your ideas to our editor at I wish to thank our advertisers for your continued support of Community Magazines. By advertising with us, you are supporting your community by underwriting the cost of the editorial content that those who read these magazines enjoy and look forward to each issue. Because of you, our readers can be entertained and informed. In this last issue before 2013, I urge our readers to support the advertisers who support your community magazine before you make your holiday gift lists. If you like this magazine, let them know and make a point to stop in their businesses. They’re not just trying to sell you something, they’re also your neighbors and community sponsors. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and the best that 2013 has to offer!

oodland Hills

Wayne Dollard Publisher

Miracles Happen Everyday... Have you or someone in your family ever experienced a miracle in your life? A check arrives from an unexpected source, just as the house was about to be foreclosed upon? Someone was healed, despite all odds and predictions? Or maybe you were reunited with someone by circumstances that were far too phenomenal to be called coincidence... If you have, we would love to hear your story and so would your friends and neighbors. Because at the end of the day, we could all use a little hope and encouragement. Miracles really do happen all the time! Please mail your story to: IN Community Magazines Attn. Pamela 603 East McMurray Road, McMurray, PA 15317 or you can email them to Pamela at: Photos are welcomed with submissions, but not required. 2

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Spring Content Deadline: February 10


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

IN Woodland Hills | WINTER 2012 |


Health & Wellness .............................. | 28 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

HearWell Center

Phones and Hearing Loss............................ | 1

on the cover | East Catholic School honors area veterans on Nov. 8 at St. Maurice’s Church. The children also created a Wall of Honor and Wall of Fame, honoring past and present service members.

Juniper Village

Benefits of Exercise for Those with Dementia ..... | 4

Penn State Greater Allegheny


Health and Wellness News You Can Use | Winter 2012-13

Veterans Go Back To School................................ | 8

Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy

Stay Well This Winter Some people seem to sail through winter without a sniffle or a grumble. These simple steps may help you do the same: Spend some time in the fresh air, de-stress your holiday planning, wash your hands often, get plenty of sleep, and get a flu shot.

Make a Splash with Physical Therapy ............. | 27

What’s Inside 2 3 4

A New Senior Focus Absent From Pain Butt Out: New Reasons to Quit Smoking Brittle Bones

5 6 7



Shedding More Than Pounds Growing Up With Heart Disease Getting You Back on Your Feet

© 2012 UPMC


UPMC Today_McKeesport_Winter_2012_Final.indd 1

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community interest

Local Library News ............................................................... | 5 Braddock Hospital Site to be Redeveloped .................. | 6 Car Buffs Abound in Region ............................................... | 9 Woodland Hills School District News .............................. | 10 Woodland Hills Foundation News ..................................... | 13 Resident Profile: Morgan Murphy .................................... | 14 UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use ............ | 17 East Catholic School News ................................................. | 25 Honoring Our Veterans ....................................................... | 26 Beulah Presbyterian Church ............................................... | 30 Santa Watch! ........................................................................... | 32

Benefits of Exercise for Those with



xercise has been called the “fountain of youth” for its countless health-preserving benefits, including safeguarding healthy people against mental declines. But new research reveals physical activity also benefits those who already have dementia. Some of the reasons to keep active include: To slow mental decline. Several recent studies of people with dementia have shown that exercise seems to slow brain atrophy, especially in the hippocampus, which influences memory and spatial navigation. To improve physical function. Movement aids flexibility and strength. One study found that women with dementia (average age 80) who exercised three times a week were better able to feed, dress, and bathe themselves than a control group of those with dementia who didn’t exercise. To reduce the risk of falls. People with dementia tend to fall more often than those without cognitive impairment. Changes in judgment and spatial control probably contribute to this. Exercise can help someone with dementia improve balance and be less fearful of falling. To lift mood, ease stress, and add calm. It’s believed that moving the body during the day helps lessen incidents involving aggression and agitation. Exercise can help reduce the effects of depression, a condition that’s common among people with dementia. To improve general cardiovascular health. Scientists know there’s a connection between heart health, blood pressure, and dementia. Although it’s unclear how this relationship might be altered once the disease has begun, the general protective benefits of exercise apply to everyone, regardless of their cognitive health. To improve sleep. Sleep disorders are common among those with dementia. Exercise can help them get into a better sleep routine.

Ways to Start Exercising

Even someone who has never worked out can begin a more physical way of life. It’s true that helping someone exercise is “one more thing to do.” But it can be a fun and mutually beneficial way to pass time. The bustle and newness of a gym can be overwhelming for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. But there are plenty of ways to get physical activity outside of a gym. Such as: Simple stretches and strength training. Try using canned goods as light weights. Tai chi Find a DVD and try it at home. It helps with balance as well as providing exercise. Walks. Just going around the yard is fine. Early in the disease, walking in a mall might not be too disorienting. Stick together if you head out into crowds or beyond a fenced area. Gardening. Simply pulling weeds can be a satisfying source of exercise. Water exercise. Check local Y’s or senior centers and ask if you can take classes together. Household chores. Try hanging laundry, dusting, washing the car. Stationary bike. If you don’t have one at home, try one at the gym or senior center. Exercise class. Some senior centers and facilities offer classes specifically for people with dementia. k Juniper Village at Forest Hills offers weekly Tai Chi, Chair Yoga and Shiatsu exercise classes for seniors of all ages. The classes, part of their College of Life Long Learning are free, however RSVP’s are required. For more information about the benefits of exercise for those with dementia, or to RSVP to attend an exercise class, contact Juniper Village at Forest Hills at 412.244.9901. 4

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Industry Insight





Book Club Every fourth Wednesday. Yoga, Relax! Thursdays 5-6 p.m. Ages 16 and up. Anime Club Wednesdays + Thursdays 4-5:30 p.m. Ages 11 and up Neighborhood Print Shop Open Studio Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Ceramics Open Studio Tuesday and Thursday 5:30-9:30 p.m. Ages 13 and up.


Clay Kids Ages 3-6 Thursdays 1:30-3 p.m. Ages 7-14, Saturdays 2:30-4 p.m. Crafty Wednesdays Wednesday 4-5 p.m. Ages 6-12. Family Storytime Fridays 10:30-11:30 p.m. Ages 2-5 with a care provider Rhythm & Bloom Saturdays 1:15-2:30 p.m. Ages 6 and up

Saturday Fun Saturdays - 1 p.m. Ages 5 - 11- Games, puzzles, magic, crafts, food! Preschool Classes Mondays – 11 a.m. – Ages 3 – 5 with a caregiver – Fun stories, games and snacks with Miss Bonnie! Junior Book Discussions – third Saturdays, 11 a.m. – Read and talk about some really good books! Family Fun Nights – third Fridays, 7 p.m. – ages 6 to 99 – Bingo night, Go Fish Tournament, and more. Wizard Card Game Tournament – Saturdays, 7 p.m. – Ages 10 to adult. Games – Mondays 4 p.m. Bingo first Mondays, board games, card games, fun! Grades K – 6 Win prizes for reading!



Drop Dead Mystery Book Club Every second Wednesday, 7 p.m. in Edgewood. Contemporary Issues Book Club Every third Thursday 7 p.m. in Edgewood PALS Book Club Every fourth Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Forest Hills Computer Classes Every second Tuesday at 1 p.m. and third Wednesday at 11a.m. Call to register.


Story Times Mondays, 10:30 a.m., Forest Hills Branch Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., CC Mellor Edgewood Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., CC Mellor Edgewood Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., Churchill Borough Building Fridays, 10:30 a.m., Wilkins Township Community Building

Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 5

Braddock Hospital Site to Be Redeveloped By Matthew J. Fascetti


n June, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, along with Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, announced a $20 million multi-faceted redevelopment plan for the site of the former UPMC Braddock Hospital. The groundbreaking took place on October 9 with several local dignitaries on hand to mark the event. The new site, which is expected to take nine months to a year to complete, is being redeveloped by Trek Development Group, who purchased the three-acre site from the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County for $250,000. (UPMC donated $3 million to the county for this site after it ceased operations in 2010.) The development will include 11 single-family homes, 24 rental apartments, a community park and 30,000 square feet of commercial and flex-office space. The final plans were a result of input from both residents of Braddock and elected officials. Fetterman credits the tireless work of former county executive Dan Onorato, Fitzgerald, and Dennis Davin, director of Allegheny County Economic Development, in partnering with him to complete the deal. The group helped put together a package that will address the needs of the residents of Braddock along with adding much needed new commercial and residential space.

Turning over a new development for Braddock.


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The mayor is optimistic about revitalizing the site. “It is an amazing redevelopment. At a cost of almost $21 million, it is a huge commitment for a borough of 2,300 people. Very rarely do you get a redevelopment that equates to almost $10,000 per resident,” said Fetterman. Being a multi-faceted site was important, as he noted, “This is something the community really needed.” With projects like this, and the unwavering dedication of Mayor Fetterman, it is clear that the future of Braddock and neighboring communities is getting brighter every day.

Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 7

There’s Never Been a Better Time for Vets To Go Back to School at Penn State Greater Allegheny


ccording to Dave Davis, an admissions counselor with Penn State Greater Allegheny, there’s never been a more opportune time for veterans to begin college or to continue their education. “With the Chapter 33 Post 911 GI Bill, a service member from any branch of the U.S. military forces, [including the U.S. Coast Guard], who has three years of service in the War on Terror, is eligible for 100% of their college tuition, paid for three years,” explains Davis. “It is also required that they be honorably discharged from the service.” There is also a $1500 monthly housing allowance which enables many veterans to focus solely on their education. Davis, who is himself an army veteran, points out, “Before 911, veterans were allotted only $900 per month for college and that was for everything. Also, the opportunity to claim the funds expired after 10 years, but now the veteran student has 15 years before the program expires.”


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Another unique advantage of this bill is that the funding can be transferred to another family member, which makes the 15-year time frame even more important. “If, for example a veteran is not interested in furthering their education, but they have a child that is 5 years-old, their child can take advantage of the program when they become college-age,” adds Davis. Reservists are also eligible for partial tuition money. They can receive up to 60% of benefits after one year of service. “We see many veterans returning to college and getting their degrees in the criminal justice system, probably because most police forces are designed as a paramilitary organization. But our veteran students are incredibly diverse and we see them majoring in all fields across the board,” says Davis. “Veterans tend to make some of the best students because they are a little more mature and goal-oriented at that point in their lives.” Faculty also enjoy having the military veterans in their classes because of their varied and interesting life experiences that add to classroom discussions. After working in a nuclear operations plant in the Navy,veteran Keith Jenkins decided to return to school to pursue a degree in bioengineering. “My goal is to go to medical school. I want to focus on neurology after completing my engineering degree,” says Jenkins. Having the campus resources to help support him in achieving his goals has been a distinct advantage, along with membership in the Veterans Club, a highly active group on campus which helps vets transition back into school life with a myriad of resources. The group meets monthly, giving veterans a chance to form friendships through their common bond. “Everyone who is a veteran belongs to the club,” explains Jenkins. “It really helps to have people around who are in your same situation and have gone through the same things.” The Veterans Club also participates in community service, most notably the Toys for Tots collection at Christmas and also a special event held in the spring to thank all area veterans for their service. Davis notes that this may be the best time ever for vets returning to school, in that the public is far more military-friendly and supportive than ever before. “We are seeing more reservists activated more frequently. Almost everyone knows someone who has been deployed overseas. This has made the war more personal for a lot of people and it has resulted in more support for our armed forces.” For veterans who would like to learn more about educational benefits and enrollment at Penn State Greater Allegheny, contact Dave Davis at 412-675-9010 or visit the website at

Car Buffs

Corvair Convertible


Abound in Region By Amanda Fastuca


ichard Adamson, who lives in Turtle Creek, proudly owns a restored 1964 Corvair convertible. Although the major modifications were made prior to his ownership, Adamson contributed his own changes when he had the chance. He is responsible for repairing the nicks and scratches, and overall the car is in great shape. “I bought it in July of 2007,” Adamson says. “It was perfect timing too. After I got into an accident with the car I was driving at the time, this restored Corvair was offered to me. When I saw it, I instantly fell in love. I had to have it.” “The condition of it was almost perfect,” he says. “This was such a relief because usually when [people] sell old Corvairs it can be a mechanic’s nightmare. But mine was perfect.” With about 104,000 miles on the Corvair, Adamson usually only drives it to car shows and for joy rides on a nice day. He is particularly careful of certain weather conditions and the time of day. “It has to be good weather because I don’t want anything to happen to it,”

he says. “And antique plates have many different restrictions, especially when you can drive, which is from 6 a.m.- midnight.” Adamson obtained a lot of his knowledge about automobiles from his experience in judging car cruises in the past. However, “after I realized that people were coming up to me and asking many different in-depth questions, I figured it would be best to learn more about my own car. So I did a lot of research and educated myself so I can better answer questions.” Adamson has won second and third places at car shows with his Corvair, but he mainly enjoys them because they’re fun. He explains, “I enjoy car shows like people enjoy flea markets. You go there and meet people with the same interests as you at a place with music and a fun atmosphere. Not to mention a lot of the car cruises are fundraisers, so by participating I’m giving back to the community while doing something that I love.”

Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 9


Football Players Visit Wilkins Elementary School


everal players from Woodland Hills High School arrived at Wilkins Elementary School on Thursday, October 11 to visit with the students and pass out tickets to their Homecoming game on Friday, October 12. The kindergarten and first grade students were extremely excited to spend time with each player and see how hard work and determination can really pay off in the end. After the lunch period ended, the players were gracious enough to allow the first grade students to take class pictures with them. In addition to receiving a ticket to attend the Homecoming game on October 12, each student also received a team picture. Each student was very excited to receive the picture and looking forward to attending the game!


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e v i e c e R s t n ude t S s n i k l i W Two p i h s r a l o h c S on i t c e n n o C t r A


ilkins Elementary would like to congratulate sixth grader Colleen Malecki and fifth grader Damien Davila both for receiving The Art Connection Scholarship for the Saturday Art Program at the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh. Ms. Laurie Shea, their art teacher, was able to recommend three students from the fifth and sixth grades for this opportunity and The Art Connection chose two students from their essays. Students were selected for scholarships by exhibiting excellence in art, academics and citizenship. “This is my fifth year working with both of these students. They have always showed a contagious enthusiasm for and commitment to the arts, their grades and our school,” said Ms. Shea.

“I am so proud and excited for them.” For 18 Saturdays during the school year the students will be attending art classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The Art Connection reinforces student learning outside of the school setting while supporting the objectives outlined in the Pa. Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities. The students will have the opportunity to exhibit their work in the annual student exhibition. It is an honor for students to join this 83-year tradition that includes alumni like Andy Warhol. Wilkins Elementary is proud to have these two students representing our school.

Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 11



his year, the Algebra I teachers are working as a coordinated team to offer support, differentiated instruction, and enrichment to every Algebra I student in the Woodland Hills High School. We have worked as a team to identify key words and concepts in the unit which we, as a class, identify, record, and categorize so that vocabulary and vernacular does not hinder the lesson. We have also started using technology to “Flip” a section from each unit. During this “Flipped” lesson, students are to watch a pre-recorded lesson at home. They then complete their “homework” in school the next day, with teachers and aides supporting their learning and understanding. Eventually, we will push the students to teach a lesson, so that every student in Algebra gets a chance to

introduce a new topic. This will give our students the chance to analyze and synthesize new material that we are covering. Moreover, it will give our students ownership over the topic and make them subject matter experts, ready to be relied upon as “helpers” by other students. By working as a coordinated force, and by starting with mission-oriented, backwards design planning, the Algebra I team is working together to hit our most vulnerable students subgroup (the below basic mathematics students) and giving them the tools and confidence they need to pass the Keystone Algebra Exam.

IT’S ALIVE!! WHHS Department of Performing Arts presents

Young Frankenstein From the creators of The Producers comes this monster new musical comedy in which Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, a young neurosurgeon, inherits the Transylvanian castle of his grandfather, the famous Dr. Victor von Frankenstein. With songs like Puttin’ On The Ritz, the special effects of the Transylvania laboratory, and the shtick of Igor the hunchback, the old housekeeper Frau Blücher, and rest of the company, Woodland Hills High School is bringing another can’t-miss show to the stage!

April 26 – 27 & May 2 – 4 at 8 p.m. • Saturday Matinees at 1 p.m. For advanced ticket information: Tom Crone,, 412.244.1100 x 5154 12 724.942.0940 12 724.942.0940to toadvertise advertise| |

Woodland WoodlandHills Hills

Save the Date! would like to announce its 4th annual

Chocolate & Diamonds Affair

Saturday, February 16, 2013 at the Edgewood Country Club. Visit for more information. Join us for this exciting event. You could be our next big winner!

(Above) Friend of the Foundation Award Winner, Barb Amick (center), poses with art teachers Beth Wagner and Erin Muffi. (Top Right) Foundation President Dr. Steve Gough poses with second diamond winner, Nancy Baker. (Bottom Right) 2012 Diamond Winner Maria McCool shows off her bling!

Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 13

Woodland hills area

Resident Profile

Woodland Hills to the Netherlands: Morgan Murphy By Stephen Jeffries


organ Murphy is a typical high school junior. However, come January, “typical” will no longer be a proper adjective to describe her. She, along with eight other girls, will travel to the Netherlands for the Indoor World Cup. Her team, the Stripes, is part of the North American Select Teams (NAST). There will be five other American/Canadian squads going as well. They will be competing with 10 teams from across Europe from January 18-20, 2013. This is not just a softball trip. There will be time for touring and exploring the sights of the country. Morgan is looking forward to that part of the trip the most: “It will be a good experience…without softball, I wouldn’t have the chance to do this.” Make no mistake; she wants to do well in the tournament, too. “My competitiveness helped me get to where I am. I want to do the best I can, have the best attitude, and have fun.” How does someone like Morgan get picked for a team such as this? Good question. “My coach nominated me, and the director (of the NAST) came to watch me play. He called me afterward and asked if I wanted to play. I, of course, said yes!” She traveled to South Carolina for a three-day tournament in the summer, where she met her teammates. The upcoming tournament will have a pool play round with four groups consisting of four teams each. The top teams in group play will advance into a bracket to determine a champion. As of this writing, the draw had not been set for the groups. Morgan is a center fielder and usually hits lead-off or second in the batting order. During the school year, she also shows her skills on the softball team at Woodland Hills. The team got off to a strong start in the spring of 2012, winning three of their first four games. They struggled in section play, however, winning only four of 12 games. Woodland Hills finished 7-9 overall and in fifth place in the section, one spot outside of the


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playoffs. In Morgan’s view, the team let small things get them down. “One person would make a small mistake, and it would affect the whole team. We definitely didn’t do as well as we would have liked.” The outlook for the 2013 season is encouraging, Morgan says. “We have very talented players but haven’t found a way to bring that talent together. We’re in a different section this season that will allow us to be more competitive. The biggest thing is we can’t let little stuff affect us – we have to work hard at that.” Morgan also plays field hockey for the Wolverines. Morgan does more than just play sports. “I love the outdoors. I enjoy nature, so if it’s not softball or field hockey, I’ll be outside.” Her favorite subjects are science and English, and she also is an altar server at her church. She spends her free time like one might expect of a high school junior: friends, family, and “sleeping,” she says with a laugh. “I met most of my friends through softball and field hockey, so I hang out with them.” Her family has a cabin in Ligonier that she enjoys going to as well. With graduation just under two years away, Morgan has big plans for her future. She wants to major in sports management and has started looking at multiple colleges. Does she want to keep playing softball? “I love playing and absolutely want to play in college.” She has talked to several coaches about their softball programs. St. Vincent, Robert Morris, and Seton Hill are the local schools. She also mentioned Ave Maria in Florida as a possibility. Morgan is planning to email more schools and coaches. “There are so many schools I want to look at,” she says. The experience in the Netherlands will give her college resume a solid boost, at least from a softball perspective. She will relish the whole trip and will definitely represent Woodland Hills very well. Good luck Morgan!


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Health and Wellness News You Can Use | Winter 2012-13

Stay Well This Winter Some people seem to sail through winter without a sniffle or a grumble. These simple steps may help you do the same: Spend some time in the fresh air, de-stress your holiday planning, wash your hands often, get plenty of sleep, and get a flu shot.

What’s Inside 2 3 4

A New Senior Focus Absent From Pain Butt Out: New Reasons to Quit Smoking Brittle Bones

5 6 7

Shedding More Than Pounds Growing Up With Heart Disease Getting You Back on Your Feet

© 2012 UPMC

A New Senior Focus UPMC McKeesport’s Emergency Department makeover features a senior-friendly design.

Softer lighting, warm blankets, easy-to-find call buttons, and lower beds are just some of the special features mature adult patients are finding at UPMC McKeesport’s Emergency Department (ED). Recent renovations to the UPMC McKeesport ED include the addition of four specialized rooms designed especially for patients ages 65 and older. Located away from the hustle and bustle of the main treatment area, the senior care ED has its own nurse’s station staffed by nurses specially trained in elder care.

• Lights that can be dimmed — an important feature for elderly patients who can often become confused in general emergency rooms that are brightly lit • Lower beds that help reduce the risk of falls • Call buttons that are easier to find “This community has a high number of mature adult patients. We want them to know we are attuned to the special challenges they face,” says Dr. Kumar.

We’re here for you In addition to the senior care changes, the overall plan for UPMC McKeesport’s ED was designed to create a more flexible and efficient environment for delivering emergency care to everyone in the community. Enhancements include: • A four-bed fast track area for treatment of minor injuries and illnesses • A behavioral health area with specialized rooms • 17 acute care rooms, including the four-room senior care area • An isolation room • A cardiac trauma room To learn more about our services and specialties, visit or call 412-664-2123.

Leading the way in geriatric care “We know our older patients often have special needs. Our goal is to make sure those needs are met,” says Rani Kumar, MD, director of the ED. While emergency medicine has long recognized the special needs of children, hospitals across the country are just starting to explore ways to redefine the ED experience for mature adult patients by focusing on their unique needs. The opening of the specialized area at UPMC McKeesport puts the hospital at the forefront of this trend.

A soothing space for older patients Dr. Kumar, who helped spearhead the design changes, says the goal was to create a safer and calmer atmosphere for older patients — who represent six out of 10 of the hospital’s admissions. UPMC McKeesport’s senior care ED is equipped with specialized: • Non-skid, non-glare flooring and handrails for enhanced safety • Paint colors that provide better contrast and depth perception • Signage with larger font sizes for improved legibility


Last April, UPMC McKeesport became the first hospital in western Pennsylvania to earn the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) designation. This demonstrates the specialized training of hospital staff in caring for and treating older adults. For the past several years, UPMC McKeesport staff members have participated in educational programs offered by the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Kumar says the goal is for half of the ED nursing staff to complete the institute’s intensive training as mature adult resource nurses — considered by NICHE as essential to improving geriatric care — and for everyone to undergo sensitivity training through the institute’s Ageless Wisdom program. “It’s important for us to understand firsthand the difficulties mature adult patients face when dealing with vision and hearing loss, and mobility and balance issues. We need to recognize that they can be overmedicated, experience different symptoms, or lack proper resources to care for themselves at home,” she says.

Absent From Pain Most of us think of anesthesiology as the medical specialty that “puts you to sleep,” but it’s really all about pain relief.

internal medicine, pharmacology, and surgery. Many also pursue subspecialty training in such areas as pain medicine, and pediatric, cardiothoracic, or obstetric anesthesia. In today’s complex surgical suites, anesthesiologists lead an entire team of skilled professionals, which can include a certified registered nurse anesthetist, resident physician, student nurse anesthetist, and anesthetist assistant. “It’s a true team effort, with each member playing a distinct role in delivering patient care,” says Dr. Williams. Anesthesia’s role in health care extends far beyond the operating room. Anesthesiologists offer pain management in a variety of settings, enhancing the daily lives of patients with chronic diseases or complex medical conditions.

Getting to know you For minor operations, you’ll typically meet your anesthesiologist at the hospital, shortly before surgery. For major surgeries, you will be asked to participate in a pre-surgery consultation. “With patients who live at a distance, we’re now using telemedicine to conduct pre-op visits,” says Dr. Williams. “It allows us to get to know you, address your questions and concerns, review options, and determine if any additional tests or consultations are needed.”

What to tell your anesthesiologist

Anesthesia makes possible some of modern medicine’s greatest miracles. Can you imagine undergoing surgery without it? The father of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is generally credited with bringing the term into popular use in 1846, though references to anesthesia can be traced back to 1741. The term is based on a Greek word meaning “lack of sensation.” “Anesthesiology uses medicine to eliminate your ability to feel pain or other sensations,” explains John Williams, MD, the Peter and Eva Safar Professor and chair of the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Anesthesiology. “Your anesthesiologist partners with your surgeon to manage your vital functions before, during, and after surgery. Everything from breathing, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, body temperature, blood clotting, and fluid loss is consistently monitored.”

A team of professionals Anesthesiologists are physicians who complete four years of residency after finishing medical school. Their extensive preparation includes training in cardiology, critical care medicine,

Prior to surgery, you’ll be asked to provide information about yourself. “Be candid and comprehensive. What you share will be held in strict confidence,” advises Dr. Williams. Be sure to include the following: • Previous reactions you or other family members have had to anesthesia • Any food, medicine, or latex allergies you have • Prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medications you take • Your use of alcohol or recreational drugs

Did You Know? There are four basic categories of anesthesia: Local: Numbs a small, specific part of your body Regional: Numbs a larger area of your body, usually below the waist Twilight: Sedates and provides pain relief General: Renders you unconscious



Health Tips from UPMC Health Plan

Butt Out Despite dire health warnings, one out of five Americans still smokes. If you’re one of them, here are some new reasons to crush that butt. Before you light up your next cigarette, consider this: With every puff, you’re inhaling more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of them are poisonous, and about 70 can cause cancer. And no organ or tissue in the body is immune to this toxic cloud. Most people know that cancer, heart disease, and lung disease are major health threats caused by smoking. But are you aware that smoking increases your risk of getting diabetes by 44 percent? That’s just one of the not-so-obvious reasons to put that butt out. Here are five more. 1. See the difference. If you smoke, your risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, doubles. Smokers also have double the risk of developing cataracts.

Brittle Bones Osteoporosis is quickly becoming a national health care concern.

It’s estimated that 10 million Americans now have osteoporosis and 34 million are at risk. Whether you’re young or old, male or female, chances are good that you — or someone you love — will be affected by the disease. “In osteoporosis, your bones become thin and brittle, putting you at increased risk of a bone fracture,” says Susan Greenspan, MD, UPMC’s director of osteoporosis prevention and treatment. “In advanced stages, simple acts like lifting a baby or sneezing can lead to a fracture.” Here are four facts everyone should know about osteoporosis: 1. Osteoporosis can appear at any age. But after the age of 50, one out of every two women — and one out of every four men — are likely to experience a fracture due to the disease. These breaks occur most often in the hip, wrist, and spine. 2. Osteoporosis is silent. It’s often diagnosed only after a fracture. Menopause, family and medical history, physical build, and your lifestyle and diet can increase your odds of the disease.


2. Heal better. Smoking weakens the body’s ability to heal from surgery, disease, broken bones, and even minor back strains. 3. Now hear this. Smokers are more likely to develop a hearing loss. Exposure to secondhand smoke also puts former smokers and nonsmokers at risk. 4. Stand tall. Smoking weakens bones and raises the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures in men and women. 5. Keep your head. If your mind is cloudy, smoking may be the culprit. It’s been linked to memory problems and poor reasoning skills in middle-aged smokers.

You’re not just hurting yourself The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that secondhand smoke kills about 50,000 people every year and sickens many more. Children who live with a smoker are especially susceptible to lung and breathing problems, and they run an increased risk of hearing loss as adolescents. If you’re among the eight out of 10 smokers who want to quit, talk to your primary care doctor. To locate a doctor in your area, visit or call toll-free 1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Sources: American Academy of Ophthalmology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Journal of the American Medical Association.

3. You can take proactive steps at any age to promote bone health. These include: eating foods rich in calcium, such as milk, cottage cheese, and calcium-enriched juices; exercising (weight-bearing exercise like walking); stopping smoking; and limiting alcohol use. If needed, consider taking a calcium supplement and vitamin D daily. 4. The good news is early detection is easy. If you’re 65 years of age or older, Dr. Greenspan recommends talking to your doctor about your risks. A simple bone mineral density test can assess your bone health. To learn more about osteoporosis, talk to your primary care provider, or visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s website at

Shedding More Than Pounds Bariatric surgery helps free patients from a range of life-threatening health problems.

It’s well known that bariatric surgery can produce impressive weight loss. But there’s increasing evidence that it offers other health benefits, too. For example, a recent Swedish study showed weight-loss surgery can prevent diabetes among individuals who struggle with obesity. That news came as no surprise to Anita Courcoulas, MD, professor of surgery and chief of the Section of Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “It’s another study demonstrating the lasting impact of bariatric surgery on health improvement,” says Dr. Courcoulas. “The changes are real and durable.”

Is bariatric surgery right for you? Current national guidelines recommend bariatric surgery for patients who are 80 to 100 pounds overweight and with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40, or a BMI of 35 or more for those with one or more significant obesity-related health conditions. Those guidelines may change, though. For example, at UPMC — one of the most highly funded centers of bariatric research in the country — Dr. Courcoulas is heading a study examining the impact of bariatric surgery on diabetic patients with lower BMIs (30–35). She predicts more and more patients will seek out bariatric surgery for health reasons — not just weight reasons. “We’re just beginning to understand its full potential,” she says.

Bariatric Surgery Centers at UPMC Each of UPMC’s four bariatric surgery centers has been named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Our multidisciplinary approach to weight loss through both surgery and lifestyle changes is available at: UPMC Hamot: Offers gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, and gastric sleeve. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Amjad Ali, MD, or Rodolfo Arreola, MD, call 814-877-6997. UPMC Horizon: Offers gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, gastric sleeve, and revisional surgery. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Christopher Myers, MD, call 724-588-6660.

A life-altering surgery According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, an estimated 72 million Americans are considered obese and nearly 200,000 undergo bariatric surgery annually. UPMC is a leader nationally in bariatric surgery and in the number of bariatric procedures performed annually. Dr. Courcoulas says bariatric surgery (including gastric bypass, gastric band, and gastric sleeve) can help reverse a variety of serious obesity-related health conditions, such as: • Diabetes • Heart disease

• High blood pressure • High cholesterol

• Sleep apnea

UPMC St. Margaret: Pittsburgh Bariatrics offers gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, gastric sleeve, and revisional surgery. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Joseph Colella, MD, or LeeAnn Peluso, MD, call 412-784-5900. Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC: Offers gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band surgery, gastric sleeve, revisional surgery, and clinical trials. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Anita Courcoulas, MD, director, Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery; George Eid, MD; Giselle Hamad, MD; Carol McCloskey, MD; or Ramesh Ramanathan, MD, call 412-641-3632. Each center offers free monthly information sessions. To learn more about bariatric surgery, or to find out if you’re a candidate, visit



Growing Up With Heart Disease Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is responding to the special challenges facing adults born with congenital heart disease.

The ACHD Center — a joint program of Children’s Hospital and UPMC Presbyterian — provides specialized transition support and care for patients with congenital heart disease. “Despite surgery, patients can experience complications as adults, including arrhythmias, stroke, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. Our care and follow-up enables these young people — now in their prime — to lead long, productive lives,” Dr. Cook says.

A healthy outlook Before her diagnosis, Alexis thought she was in great shape; she had lost 100 pounds, was running daily, and had completed a two-mile race. But her conditioning actually helped disguise her declining health. After undergoing surgery at Children’s last April to restore blood flow, she now realizes how much better she feels. This summer, she ran the race again.

Alexis Laney was only 14 months old when she underwent open heart surgery in Cleveland to repair a faulty valve. She had annual checkups until age 17, when her pediatric cardiologist referred her to an adult cardiologist. She scheduled sporadic checkups, but stopped going after giving birth to a son in 2005. “I felt fine,” says Alexis. Now 27, the young wife and mother finally gave in to her family’s urging last year and saw a cardiologist near her home in Youngstown, Ohio. Although her EKG and echocardiogram were normal, he urged Alexis to see a specialist at the Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, saying, “I don’t know what to look for, but they will.” Tests conducted by Stephen Cook, MD, director of the ACHD Center, found scar tissue blocking blood flow to her aorta — a serious condition putting her at risk of sudden death. “I was shocked. I could have collapsed and died,” Alexis says.

Lifelong expert care Alexis is part of a growing population of adults born with heart defects who had lifesaving heart surgery as newborns and children. Thanks to advances in medicine and improved surgical techniques, “the number of adults with congenital heart diseases has outgrown the number of pediatric congenital heart disease patients,” says Dr. Cook.

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“Last year, I was better conditioned, but I couldn’t breathe after the race. This year, I felt fantastic,” Alexis says. “I’m glad I went to Children’s. I’m more confident about exercising now. I know my heart can take it.”

ACHD Center Fast Facts A single childhood surgery is seldom a permanent cure for patients born with a heart defect. The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center provides lifelong care and follow-up for patients with congenital heart disease who are: • Ages 18 and up with conditions ranging from simple to severe • Women of childbearing age needing pregnancy counseling or contraception • Adolescents (13 to 17) who receive guidance, support, and care during their transition to adulthood For more information, contact the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center at 412-692-5540 or email

Getting You Back on Your Feet A high-quality, experienced team and patient-focused care give UPMC McKeesport a leg up in treating elderly hip fracture patients.

’Tis the season when ice- and snow-covered surfaces can make walking outdoors tricky. “Most elderly people stay indoors during major storms,” says Michael Tranovich, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at UPMC McKeesport. “The real danger comes when changing weather conditions create hidden hazards like black ice.” Hip fractures in the elderly can be life-threatening because of other health issues. “About 24 percent of hip fracture patients over age 50 die within a year following a fracture, and that rate increases with age,” adds Dr. Tranovich.

(PT) offered on the unit, an important convenience for orthopaedic patients. “Time spent going to another floor will be devoted to therapy,” says Malissa Guzik, unit director. “That is going to make many patients very happy.”

Patient-focused care is our priority The unit’s highly qualified, caring health care professionals have years of experience. As part of Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE), all nurses and nursing assistants are specially trained in geriatric-sensitive areas to improve the care for hospitalized patients over age 65. “The McKeesport area has one of the largest elderly populations in Allegheny County, so we are keenly aware that those patients face greater challenges when hospitalized,” says Dr. Tranovich. “As a community leader, UPMC McKeesport will utilize every resource available to help improve the patient care experience. They are our family members, neighbors, and friends, and integral to our focus — your care, our commitment.” To learn more about orthopaedics and other specialties, as well as our complete range of services, visit

Stay Upright This Winter Winter weather brings an increased risk of falls, especially among older adults. Taking the right precautions to prevent falls can help you stay independent and increase your overall health.

A fracture diagnosis in an elderly patient triggers the hospital’s emergency fracture protocol. Studies show that geriatric fracture patients who are fast-tracked through the ED have a speedier recovery, fewer complications, and require less pain medication. “The goal is to get that patient from the ED into surgery within 24 hours, as long as it is safe to do so,” explains Christine Rozanski, RN, Comprehensive Orthopaedic Program coordinator.

Recovering in style Patients will soon recover in a unit dedicated to orthopaedic care. The new unit will have 15 private rooms, each with a private bathroom. Future plans include having physical therapy

1. Get some traction. Wearing appropriate shoes and boots on slippery sidewalks can help avoid a fall. 2. Slow down. Falls often happen when you’re in a hurry, so allow plenty of time to get where you need to go. 3. Stay active. Choose an indoor routine that includes strengthening and balance exercises. Strong muscles and bones are important in preventing falls. 4. Keep it clear. Make sure the path to your door, garage, and mailbox is shoveled. If you can’t do this yourself, ask a neighbor or community volunteer for help. For assistance with finding resources, call 412-664-2120. 5. Carry your cell phone. In the event of a fall, getting help as soon as possible may save your life.

1-800-533-UPMC 237 Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 |

UPMC McKeesport 1500 Fifth Ave. McKeesport, PA 15132

UPMC Today is published quarterly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events available at UPMC. This publication is for information purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice or replace a physician’s medical assessment. Always consult first with your physician about anything related to your personal health.

Follow UPMC on Facebook.

take time to take care of you Holidays are for celebrating all of the things that make life special. Don’t let a major illness, injury, or even a sore throat keep you from enjoying them. UPMC McKeesport physicians’ offices are open and conveniently located near you. Our physicians are accepting new patients, and in most cases even offer same-day appointments. Just call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762) or visit Care and we’ll get you an appointment with one of our doctors. It doesn’t matter why you need us; it matters that we’re here if you do.

Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC is ranked among the nation’s top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.


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Woodland Hills 10/12/12 5:07 PM




Each year the Catholic schools in the United States celebrate their schools and students. Typically Catholic Schools Week will include masses, open houses and activities for students, families, parishioners and the community at large. This year, Catholic Schools Week will be held from January 27 through February 2. The theme is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.” The 2013 theme highlights the recent launch of a new initiative, the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, to ensure consistent high standards at Catholic schools across the country. The logo designed for the week illustrates a chart of steady growth culminating in the highest achievement of all, a cross representing the faith that underscores all Catholic school education. Since East Catholic is a new entity, the theme will be “Great Beginnings Last a Lifetime.” The East Catholic School community is planning a different focus for each day of Catholic Schools Week which includes its entire mission:

Sunday, January 27 - Parish

Catholic Schools Opening Mass will be celebrated at 12:00 p.m. at St. Maurice Church followed by an Open House in the school. Students will make cards for the parishioners thanking them for their support of the school. There will be a representative from East Catholic speaking at each of the consortium parishes. East Catholic School is comprised of the six local parishes: Good Shepherd, Madonna del Castillo, St. Colman, St. John Fisher, Word of God and St. Maurice. The entire Forest Hills area is welcome to attend.

Monday, January 28 - Faculty/Staff

The faculty and staff will have a dress-down day. Other activities are being planned.

Tuesday, January 29 - Nation

Everyone will wear red, white and blue. Students will make congratulatory notes to be sent to the newly elected U.S. President and Vice-President. The day will end with a patriotic concert given by the students.

Wednesday, January 30 - Volunteers

This is a school Spirit Day and the students will wear their East Catholic shirts. Also, Wednesday is our day to say “thank you” to all those who volunteer in the school or do special things to benefit the school. A prayer service will be held in the church at 1:00 p.m. and will be followed by a reception in the cafeteria.

Thursday, January 31 - Students

Thursday will be “Decade Day.” Students will be concentrating on the various decades, which will include inviting readers to come in from the community.

Friday, February 1 - Vocations

The pastors from each of the consortium parishes will be invited to concelebrate the 9:00 a.m. Mass. Seminarians and Sisters, together with the pastors, will be invited to speak to the students about vocations and will share lunch with the students and staff. “It is for God we serve the poor, not for thanks,” said Catherine McCauley (1778-1841), founder of the Sisters of Mercy. It is with this quote in mind that the students of East Catholic School will participate in a service project. They will collect peanut butter and jelly that will be used by the Sisters of Mercy Sandwich Project to feed the homeless in conjunction with Operation Safety Net. Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 25

HonoringOur Veterans V

eterans Day is a day designated to honor the men and women who have fought and died for our country. The freedom we have today was hard won by these soldiers who risked their life and often paid the ultimate price. They are the reason that we are free today. We give thanks on Veterans Day and reflect upon what has been sacrificed for our freedom. East Catholic School observed a special Veteran’s Day Prayer Service on Thursday November 8th at 1:00 p.m. in St. Maurice Church, on Ardmore Blvd. in Forest Hills, Pennsylvania. East Catholic School includes six parishes: Good Shepherd, Madonna del Castello, St. Colman, St. John Fisher, St. Maurice, and Word of God. Priests from the six parishes that form the consortium were asked to participate along with the United States Army. Jeffrey Cella, an 8th Grader, played taps. The Prayer Service paid tribute and thanks to East Catholic families of all who have served and are continuing to serve our country in the armed services. A Wall of Honor was displayed in St. Maurice Church and a Wall of Fame was in the School’s Cafeteria. Paper stars completed by school families and parishioners identified by service time and branch the military people, veterans and those currently serving which were placed on the “Wall of Honor.” The Wall of Fame displayed photographs of service members (past and present) in the cafeteria. Veterans and their families attended a special reception after the service in the school cafeteria. Other activities to honor the veterans included thankyou cards mailed to veterans of school families, and dropped off at Veteran’s centers, with the extra cards go-


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ing to Applebee’s in Edgewood Town Center to be given to service people who had a meal there on Veteran’s Day. Posters were also made during the week with photos and names of veterans that were displayed in the back of the church. Students wore patriotic red, white and blue shirts and Boy and Girl Scouts donned their uniforms for the ceremony and reception.

Industry Insight

Make a Splash

with Physical Therapy


o you have back problems, arthritis, or fibromyalgia?

These are just a few conditions that may be managed through aquatic therapy or water exercise. There are many benefits to initiating an aquatic therapy program. If you suffer from back pain or spinal injuries, aquatic therapy is a great way to strengthen your core. In general, physical activity is great for combating the pain, stiffness, and inflammation associated with arthritis. Water allows arthritis sufferers to exercise with less impact on their joints. The physical properties of water (buoyancy, relative density, and fluid resistance) allow folks who suffer from fibromyalgia syndrome a sense of relaxation and the ability to do physical activity pain free.

Benefits of AQUATIC THERAPY: n Improve flexibility and range of motion n Increase strength n Decrease swelling n Reduce pain and muscle spasm n Build muscle endurance n Boost cardiovascular conditioning n Improve circulation n Accelerate healing process

AQUATIC THERAPY is often used to treat the following conditions: n Arthritis n Fibromyalgia n Low back dysfunction n Post-surgical n Total joint replacements n Chronic pain

n Spinal Surgeries n Pre- and postpartum n Muscle strains n Ligament sprains n Auto accidents n Sports related injuries

Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy is a privately owned practice, with three Pittsburgh locations. All therapists hold doctorates of physical therapy and practice using the latest research techniques. ACPT has experts in musculoskeletal disorders and lymphedema management. Now, they have added pelvic floor rehab to their areas of expertise! For more information visit or call 1-800-NEW-SELF.

What is Aquatic Therapy?

Aquatic therapy, or pool therapy, is a type of physical therapy performed in the water. Aquatic exercises use resistance from the water instead of weights. The physical properties of water make exercise less difficult and painful, while increasing its effectiveness. Frequently, water allows patients to perform exercises that they would be unable to do on land. Most water exercises are done in chest deep water, and patients do not need to be able to swim. Exercise and functional activity are more comfortable in water because the pull of gravity is not as strong as on land. Water supports the body, reduces joint stress and provides resistance and assistance to movement, allowing improved mobility, strength and function.

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF WATER 3 Buoyancy decreases the amount of weight bearing and reduces the amount of stress place on joints. 3 Relative density determines whether an object will sink or float in water. Swollen extremities retain fluid, which gives the extremity tendency to float. 3 Fluid resistance is the force that opposes motion through fluid. This creates a perfect environment to perform strengthening, balance and cardiovascular exercises.

Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 27

By Matt Fascetti


any people think of health and wellness as just diet and exercise. While those are two key components, there are many more factors that affect an individual’s overall vitality. With all of these areas of wellness to consider, it can be a daunting task to pay for the treatments and procedures that enhance the quality of our lives. So how do we decide what to spend our health-care dollars on? Which procedures are the most effective and beneficial? The following is a review of what to consider when choosing a healthier lifestyle.

• Fitness • Exercise is the one thing most doctors stress when the subject of health and wellness is broached. Certainly there are other factors such as genetics, eating, smoking, drinking and medication that can play a significant role, but exercise is at the core of health and wellness. So what is the best way to stay fit? There is no perfect answer as it is different for each individual’s needs and desires. There are many ways an individual can exercise on his/her own such as walking, running, biking, hiking, at-home workout DVDs or weight training, just to name a few. Many Americans join gyms to help them stay fit. Unfortunately, gym memberships are not covered by health insurance, so it is up to the individual to not only foot the bill but to select one that best suits our needs. Most gyms have monthly payments, but some also have yearly or bi-yearly options as well. Depending on the facility and the region you live in, the average gym membership can vary from $10 a month to $100 a month. While gyms, fitness programs and personal trainers can be an excellent way to achieve cardiovascular health, just remember they are not the only way. If money is tight there are plenty of free alternatives that may work just as well for you.

• Acupuncture and Massage • If you’ve ever been treated to a massage, you probably don’t need a list of advantages to persuade you to have one on a regular basis. Massage is the manipulating of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being. Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, joints or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, and feet. There are over 80 different recognized massage modalities. The most cited reasons for introducing massage as therapy have been client demand and perceived clinical effectiveness. Massage is usually only covered by insurance in very special circumstances, so be prepared to pay out of pocket for these services. Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force known as qi or chi, (pronounced CHEE), believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By in28

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serting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance. In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. This stimulation appears to boost the activity of your body’s natural painkillers and increase blood flow. Reasons for having an acupuncture procedure include chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, fibromyalgia, headaches, labor pain, low back pain, menstrual cramps, migraines, osteoarthritis, dental pain and tennis elbow. As with massage, acupuncture is generally not covered by insurance.

• Chiropractic Care • According to, chiropractic care is a natural method of health care that focuses on correcting the causes of physical problems from subluxations or misalignments of the bones in the body, especially the spine. The field of chiropractic is considered holistic, improving people’s lives by optimizing the functioning of the nervous system. Every cell in the body is controlled by the nervous system, including taste, touch, smell, hormones, digestion and cardiovascular. Chiropractic does not just treat symptoms or problems, but allows for a healthy nervous system, so the body functions better. A healthy nervous system has the ability to resist disease and ill health. Chiropractic restores the body’s nervous system, thereby increasing its resistance to illnesses. Chiropractors are able to determine and remove blocks to the nervous system by locating subluxations or misaligned vertebrae and adjusting them. There is one issue that will arise with chiropractic care…visits are sometimes not covered by insurance. Although suggested by many health care practitioners, including primary care physicians, some insurance companies still consider chiropractors luxury visits in some instances.

• Dental Work •

Dental care is a vital aspect of health and wellness. Many people incorrectly believe that dental care is important for aesthetic reasons only, but this is far from the case. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, there is a link between poor oral health and conditions such as endocarditis and cardiovascular disease, although researchers are not sure of the role that oral health plays in causing heart problems. Recent studies have also shown that women with periodontal disease are at three to five times greater risk for delivering a preterm infant than those who are periodontally healthy. There may also be a link between oral health and diabetes, Alzheimer’s and certain immune disorders. Whether you have a cracked tooth, a cavity, braces, dental implants or are needing a simple whitening or cleaning, dental care is a priority for most people. Because the costs of dental care keep increasing, some are choosing to cut out dentist visits all together. This is not recommended. However, if carrying dental insurance is not an option, then an individ ual should still stick to routine checkups. According to ehow.

Our Health & Wellness


The Stern Center for Developmental and Behavioral Health 1.877.626.9941 The Stern Center for Developmental and Behavioral Health strives to meet the counseling needs of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Our six locations in five counties (Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Butler, and Westmoreland) offer counseling services for all ages. Services include Outpatient Therapy, Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS), Family Based Mental Health (FBMH), Strength Based Therapy (SBT), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Waiver services, and Psychiatric services. The Stern Center accepts most insurances.

Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy 1.877.NEW.SELF Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy is known as The Get Better Place because of extraordinary experiences and positive results. The therapists at ACPT have achieved their doctorates of physical therapy and are focused on innovative and evidence based treatments. Therapists and patients work together to set and achieve reachable goals through individualized treatment plans. ACPT offers a wide range of services including: Physical Therapy, Aquatic Therapy, Lymphedema, Pelvic Floor, Personal Training, and Medical Massage. www.AlleghenyChesapeake .com

com, the national average cost for a regular cleaning can range anywhere from $50-130 depending on the region in which you live. Skipping these checkups and cleanings can lead to more serious issues down the road that can cost thousands of dollars. In the meantime, as is the case with most health-related issues, prevention is the key. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss after every meal and you drastically increase your odds of having great oral health.

• Vision Care •

Many of us take our vision for granted. But we would certainly be completely lost without it, so it is essential we take good care of our eyes with regular exams and wearing glasses or contacts, if needed. According to the Vision Council of America, approximately 75% of adults need some sort of vision correction. Although drugstores sell nonprescription glasses for reading, which means anyone can buy them without seeing an eye doctor for an exam, there is no substitute for a professional vision exam by an eye doctor, with a customized prescription for glasses or corrective lenses. Approximately 30% of the American population is near-sighted and must use glasses for activities such as driving and schoolwork. About 60% of Americans are far-sighted meaning that they have trouble reading or sewing without glasses, but can focus well at a distance. The majority of young people who wear glasses are near-sighted. As people age, they are more likely to need vision correction for far-sightedness. About 25% of people who wear glasses to see distances will end up needing reading glasses or bifocals as they get older. Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 29


ur nation’s rich history, while short compared to some countries, is part of what makes the United States a great nation. One fascinating piece of our history is our historical landmarks, especially the churches. Nothing is more beautiful or majestic than these old structures, rich in history and wrought with the hard work and sweat of our forefathers. Beulah Presbyterian Church on McCrady Road in Churchill is one of these special places. Constructed in 1837, the present Beulah Chapel and the adjoining cemetery are largely unchanged in their 165-year history. Known from the early days as “the church on the hill,” it provided the name for the borough in which it is located. The building was listed in the Records of the National Historical Committee in the 1960s. Beulah Presbyterian Church began in 1758 when Army Captain Charles Beatty, attached to Brigadier General Forbes’ army, conducted a service of thanksgiving for soldiers stationed in the vicinity of the present church. Just the day before, November 25, the takeover of Fort Duquesne by the English forces had occurred. A small village of Army personnel, fur trappers and an ever-increasing number of pioneers from the east took shape. Itinerant preachers came to serve these early settlers and the first meeting place was a crude structure covered with Army canvas. The group of worshippers became the Bullock-Pens Presbyterian Church, and so remained until 1784 when the more acceptable name of Pitt Township Presbyterian Church was selected. The church served not only the spiritual needs of the villagers, but also became a place for social gatherings. Events like hog slaughtering, cabin building, and logrolling were projects in which the whole neighborhood participated. The members built a log church, which was eventually outgrown, then a unique building in the form of a cross. The name had been changed to Beulah Presbyterian Church by the Reverend James Graham in 1804, soon after he began his 41-year ministry. The Beulah graveyard was deeded in 1769 and holds the remains of 33 Revolutionary War soldiers and many pioneer families who came to western Pennsylvania. Membership, never large during Rev. Graham’s pastorate (perhaps numbering a high of 179), was maintained for four years: 1828, 1830, 1836, and 1849. Membership was depleted, however, six times in the next 81


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years as the church mothered six nearby congregations: East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Cross Roads Presbyterian Church (Monroeville), Hebron United Presbyterian Church (Penn Hills), First Presbyterian Church of Wilkinsburg, Presbyterian Church of Turtle Creek, and Ardmore Memorial (later Forest Hills Presbyterian Church). The community grew and the membership of Beulah increased, so a new building was erected and dedicated on December 15, 1957. To this day the original chapel is still used for regular services, memorial services, weddings and special events. Over the years, many different pastors have come and gone but the main message and philosophy of the church have remained. The chapel is currently the oldest building in Allegheny County in continuous use as a church. It has four historical designations: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (1971); PA Register of Historic Sites & Landmarks (1973); American Presbyterian Reformed Historical Site Registry (1975) and National Register of Historic Places (1975). In the present day, Beulah Presbyterian Church has the perfect balance of a rich history with a very modern parish. It offers youth groups, Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, sports camps, adult Sunday school and many other events and activities for all ages. The mission of the church reads: “It is essential to our growth that we recognize that we are not alone in this world and that there is always someone in need of the light that God shines through us. There are a host of ministries that the young and old can get involved in, locally and globally, to be a witness to the selflessness and generosity of Jesus.” The most popular event at the parish is the Christmas Candlelight Carol Service held every December. This year’s service will be held on Sunday, December 2, at 4:00 p.m. It will be followed by a reception. The event serves as a great way to get excited about the holiday season. The chapel is adorned with breathtaking Christmas decorations that exude the faith, love and giving of the season. It is a night that truly must be experienced firsthand. Places like Beulah Presbyterian Church remind us of some of the rich history we have in western Pennsylvania. We are all blessed that such landmarks exist. For more information about Beulah Presbyterian Church call 412.242.4570 or visit

Cupid Lends a Hand S

ixty years ago, on a warm fateful day at Kennywood, a beautiful young girl happened to bump into a good-looking young man at the Penny Arcade. He cordially spoke, and although the girl found him to be very attractive, she played hard to get – a time-honored method for reeling in the male persuasion. It must have worked like a charm because the young man could not resist following her back to where her friends were gathered. One of the friends decided to play Cupid and gave the young man her phone number. The couple dated for five years and on June 22, 1957, Liz and Walt Kraeer were married. The Turtle Creek residents still visit Kennywood once a year to recall their first meeting. Says Liz, “We have a warm spot in our hearts for Kennywood!”

Woodland Hills | Winter 2012 | 31


ccording to Minnie Elfkin, Public Relations Coordinator for Santa Claus Operations North America, the iconic Christmas figure will be keeping a dizzying schedule of public appearances this holiday season. During November and December, Mr. Claus will be visiting as many cities and towns across the U.S. as possible, including appearances in the Woodland Hills area. Those wishing to consult Mr. Claus to make a particular gift request should check the shopping malls and local holiday parades. Mr. Claus also may be seen in the vicinity of 34th Street in New York City and any cold, mountainous region where reindeer may live. In other news from the North Pole, Prancer has been placed on the injured reserve list, although he is expected to be healthy for the Christmas Eve event. A young reindeer named Techno is being called up from the farm team as a possible replacement if Prancer is unable to fly by Christmas. Elfkin stresses, “Presents WILL BE delivered on time and there will be no lapse in service regardless of personnel changes.� Elfkin also reminds homeowners to leave the damper open to provide easier access through the chimney. This season Mr. Claus is watching


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his cholesterol intake and low-fat snacks are much appreciated. Elfkin also reports that the United Federation of Elves has been working on some exciting, new toys this season that should please any toddler or preschooler. Children are alerted to be on their best behavior, now that Santa Claus has skype capabilities. Although there have been many imposters, there is still no official Santa Claus website at this time. Santa Claus cannot be liked on Facebook or followed on Twitter due to the covert nature of his operations in the North Pole region. Those children wishing to write Mr. Claus should send all correspondence to the usual address, Santa Claus, North Pole. All children in the Woodland Hills area are requested to go to bed no later than 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus will be arriving in Forest Hills at 2:17 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, working his way through the area to Turtle Creek at 2:18 a.m. In order to receive a present from Santa, children should make sure to pick up their toys and eat all their vegetables. In the meantime, keep a sharp eye toward the northern sky and watch for flying reindeer and twinkling lights. To All a Merry Christmas and to All a Good Night. By Pamela Palongue

Woodland Hills


Community magazines seeking nominations for community service awards IN Community Magazines (ICM) is seeking nominations for its Community Awards for Service Excellence (C.A.S.E.). We know that what makes communities great are the special people who volunteer their time, talent and effort to help others. ICM would like to honor those special people, but we need your help. IN Community Magazines’ C.A.S.E. Dinner will recognize volunteers from each of ICM’s 36 magazines. Awardees will be selected in the following categories: • Volunteer of the Year • Youth Volunteer of the Year (21 years and younger) • Small Nonprofit of the Year (staff of 10 or less) • Large Nonprofit of the Year (staff of 11 or more). Awardees and those who nominated them will be honored at the awards dinner in Spring 2013. During the dinner an awardee from the Volunteer of the Year and Youth Volunteer of the Year categories will be selected to receive a donation for his or her chosen charity. Name of nominee:____________________________________________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________________________________________________ Phone:_____________________________________________________________________________________ Email:______________________________________________________________________________________ Category (circle one): Volunteer of the Year, Youth Volunteer of the Year (21 years and younger); Small Nonprofit (staff of 10 or less); Large Nonprofit (staff of 11 or more) Which IN Community Magazine is this nomination for?_______________________________________________ Name of person submitting nomination:___________________________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Email: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Why are you nominating this person or nonprofit organization? (Please submit a typewritten statement of no more than 600 words.) Send nomination form and statement to: Monica Haynes, IN Community Magazines, 603 E. McMurray Road, McMurray, PA 15317 If you have any questions, please contact Monica Haynes at or 412.254.8704. Deadline for nominations is January 31.

IN Woodland Hills  
IN Woodland Hills  

IN Woodland Hills Winter 2012