Page 1


New year, new you! Self-control integral for leading meaningful life Page 9

Super SAD! Gloomy winter season results in seasonal affective disorder Page 5

Fetal alcohol syndrome


JANUARY 2019 • ISSUE 155

One with the universe No. 1 health booster for 2019: Meditation is a thing!

Story, Page 3

Women’s Health Special Edition

Meet Your Doctor

Warning: Alcohol, pregnancy do not mix Page 8

Dentistry 101: Dentures See ‘Smile With Dr. Suy’ inside

Dr. Jason McCarthy

Self-care: Concentrate on doing you In 2019, take time to pamper that No. 1 person in your life — YOU!

Scientific operation manager for Masonic Medical Research Institute in Utica takes profession to the highest level. Page 4

Page 6


Kids Corner

Super low in calories and rich in fiber, this ‘carcinogen killer’ is a healthy choice for those looking to lose or maintain their weight.

Recurring ear infections with your child requires immediate attention. Know the signs, and take proper action to control the symptoms.

Check out SmartBites, Page 15

Page 23 January 2019 •

Reaching for the stars Eryn A. Balch, manager and director of business operations at the Kelberman Center, updates major project.

Page 24

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 1

Had a Stroke. Back on Stage.


Central New York music legend Todd Hobin knew nothing about stroke — but he does now. That’s why he’s raising awareness about stroke risk factors and its signs and symptoms.



A. S. T.



Fact: Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Important to know: Stroke can happen to both men and women — at any age. Good news: Stroke is preventable by managing medical risk factors and healthy lifestyle choices. What to do: Time lost is brain lost. So it’s vital to know the signs of a stroke — F.A.S.T. Four words to live by: Call 911 and say, “Take me to Crouse.“ When it comes to stroke, every moment matters. As one of just 10 hospitals in New York State to have earned Comprehensive Stroke Center status, and with the region’s newest ER and hybrid ORs, Crouse offers the most advanced technology for rapid stroke diagnosis and treatment

Read Todd’s story and learn more:

Page 2

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019


In the moment

Meditation: No. 1 health booster for 2019 By Barbara Pierce


hat’s the No. 1 health booster for 2019? No, it’s not a great new workout or some peculiar diet. It’s a gentle, age-old practice that millions say is the antidote to the heavy burdens of stress that we’re all under. “The No. 1 health benefit — beyond diet and exercise — to complete the cycle of well-being is meditation,” said Melanie Pandit, meditation instructor of Sahaja Meditation Upstate New York. Meditation is an umbrella term for the many ways to a relaxed state of being. There are many types of Pandit meditation and relaxation techniques that have meditation components. All share the same goal of achieving inner peace. There are many ways to relieve stress and combat the negative effects of our hectic lifestyles. So it makes sense to wonder, “What’s the big deal about meditation?” Until recently, meditation was the “Wild West” of research, Pandit explained. In recent years, there’s been a great amount of research that clearly validates the benefits of meditation — mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that strongly suggests meditation can provide a long list of tantalizing benefits, from lowering blood pressure to literally rewiring key parts of the brain that regulate focus and self-awareness. Research has shown clear benefits in helping people manage symptoms of medical conditions such as asthma, ADHD, cancer, high blood pressure, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome and others, conditions that are especially affected by adverse amounts of stress. The emotional benefits of meditation include gaining a new perspective on stressful situations, better management of stress, reducing negative emotions, reducing anxiety and depression, and increasing creativity and productivity.

Oneida, Herkimer in good

Several options available

There are several types of meditation. Most promise great benefits and many even deliver the feeling of relaxation, but what you want is the technique that will deliver the best lasting results and not break the bank doing so. “Sahaja meditation is a comprehensive approach to healing in all dimensions,” Pandit said. “It’s like nothing else you’ve tried before; it’s incredibly simple.” “I’ve been teaching it for 25 years. I’ve had lots of experience with people coming to my classes and telling me they’ve tried meditation, and ‘It’s too hard,’ or ‘I didn’t feel any benefit.’ These people were able to benefit from Sahaja meditation. Instead of training your mind to focus on an object, practicing breathing, or twisting yourself into postures, Sahaja meditation allows you the chance to do nothing. That’s right. No memorization of mantras or affirmations. Nothing. No thoughts. In Sahaja meditation, you are not reacting to or responding to or focusing your thoughts; you get to a place where there is absence of thoughts. That’s what it means to be in the present, Pandit said. It it getting to a place where there is an absence of thought, where you’re able to be fully present in the present. We constantly have thoughts, Pandit said. Often they are about the past. But we can’t correct what happened in the past; we need to come to terms with what happened, but


Health MV’s Healthcare Newspaper

Research shows with meditation, people create happiness within themselves, Pandit added. Meditation creates positive chemicals in the brain — dopamine and serotonin — and decreases the negative chemicals that cause fear and anxiety. ABC News anchor Dan Harris used to think meditation was for people who drank kombucha, listened to Enya and used the word “namaste.” Now, he meditates daily and says online: “Meditation has been a huge boon to me. It has boosted my focus and productivity while making me less emotionally reactive. I think it has also made me calmer, more patient and generally easier to be around.”


ruminating on the past doesn’t fix it. The same holds true for our thoughts about the future as we plan and prepare ourselves for the unknown. These thoughts cause anxiety. The third state is absence of thoughts. “Sahaja meditation is the best thing that ever happened in my life. I love meditation because in this stressful world I feel balanced and relaxed. Your life flows effortlessly, like a river around those rocks and obstacles,” said GW of Buffalo, online. “Sahaja meditation is a fountain of youth because it increases gray matter in your brain,” added Pandit. “Healthy brains have more gray matter. It truly is a fountain of youth.”

“Also, the meditation I teach is even free!” Pandit said. She doesn’t charge for her classes or online instruction. “I learned it from someone and I felt so transformed. It’s an act of love for human kindness and gives me joy.” Pandit will offer an introduction to Sahaja mediation at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 7 at Fenimore Museum, Cooperstown. Take a lunch and dessert will be provided. For information, contact b. Also, she will offer a class at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays in Cherry Valley. For more information, or for online classes, see or call 518-428-4672.


A monthly newspaper published by Local News, Inc. 20,000 copies distributed. To request home delivery ($21 per year), call 315-749-7070.

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2019 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: 4 Riverside Drive, Suite 251, Utica, NY 13502 • Phone: 315-749-7070 Email:

Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Contributing Writers: Patricia Malin, Barbara Pierce, David Podos, Deb Dittner, Pauline DiGiorgio, Brooke Stacia Demott Advertising: Amy Gagliano Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas Office Assistant: Kimberley Tyler No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement — not to take the place of — the recommendations of your health provider.

This outpatient rehabilitation facility focuses on occupational and physical therapy disciplines to help promote health and wellness in everyday life.

505 Roberts Street, Utica NY 13502

January 2019 •


IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 3


Your Doctor

By David L. Podos

Dr. Jason McCarthy

Faculty member at Masonic Medical Research Institute in Utica feels pulse of innovation


f you’re a person who is dealing with heart disease, then you know how important it is to keep your heart as healthy as possible. Having a team of skilled medical professionals that can assist you in staying healthy is critical. However, unlike picking up the phone and making a routine call to your cardiologist for an appointment, the chances of duplicating that with Jason McCarthy are just about zero. McCarthy is an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine with a doctorate in inorganic chemistry who serves as the scientific operation manager for the Masonic Medical Research Institute in Utica. The MMRI is an internationally recognized biomedical research facility that was founded in 1958 by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in New York state. It is part of the greater Masonic Care Community that is also located in Utica. The research conducted at the institute is primarily cardiovascular in nature. “For years, the institute had been focused on the heart and the electrical impulses that allow the heart to beat. While that is still a part of what we study, our interests have recently broadened to include other facets of cardiovascular medicine,” McCarthy said. He will not be available to give you a personal medical exam, and if you’re hospitalized and recovering from open-heart surgery, he most likely will not be stopping by with other doctors and medical personnel on their morning rounds to check on you. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that he has nothing to offer in the way of medical intervention in making you a healthier person. One day, you just might be a beneficiary of the cardiac medical research that he and his team conduct, and that research will not only improve your health, but could even save your life. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year — that’s one in every four deaths. People like McCarthy and his team are dedicated in finding ways to make those numbers drop. In his study and research of drug delivery, McCarthy works on developing nano-particles that carry medicine to specific targeted cells within the body. He also works with imaging, looking within living tissue to understand disease processes. “Because of my background in chemistry, I am able to collaborate with many researchers across the country who are working on transPage 4

plant rejection, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, and bone regeneration,” McCarthy said. “Here at the institute, we are branching out into different areas of research in regards to cardiovascular medicine as we increase our research staff. We are bringing in more people with those skills, ranging from heart development in an infant, all the way to adult heart maturation, to blood clots and more.”

More efficient delivery

In terms of drug delivery, MMRI is delivering medicine to specific targeted cells. Directing medicine into a specific nano-particle differs from the normal approach of injecting a drug into the body where it is disbursed randomly and can act as a toxin. By putting medicine into a nano-particle and specifically targeting cells, you don’t have that systemic whole-body effect, so it’s much more effective in treatment, McCarthy maintains. McCarthy’s life as a scientist and one who is working on such profound research at a facility that is highly respected is not taken lightly. “When I was doing research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, we were always fighting for more space,” McCarthy said. “There was also political strife to overcome. I am not inhibited by internal politics here like those you see at bigger institutions. “Additionally, communication was oftentimes difficult between other researchers because we were so spread out. When I came to the Masonic Medical Research Institute, everything I need to get the job done is provided. All my team is together in one place, which enables me to do research at a breakneck pace,” he said. McCarthy said he is supported by a board of directors and “everybody else who is above me; they always make sure I have what I need. “Also, moving out here to Utica, this is life. Instead of commuting two hours to work, it now takes me less than 20 minutes.” McCarthy is also excited about the institute’s collaborative relationship with the Mohawk Valley Health System and particularly with the new downtown Utica hospital that will be built soon. “We have a space for us in the plans for the new hospital. We are going to have 2,500 square feet of space set aside,” McCarthy said. “That research space will be a combination of bio-repository, storing blood and other samples from patients at the hospital and to conduct medical research from those tissue samples.

Lifelines Name: Jason R. McCarthy, Ph.D. Age: 41 Birthplace: Malden, Mass. Current residence: New Hartford Education: Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, 1999, Western New England College; Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry, 2003, University of Connecticut; postdoctoral research fellow, 2003-2006, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; instructor in radiology, 2006-2010, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; assistant professor of radiology, 20102018, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; associate professor of cardiovascular medicine, 2018-present, Masonic Medical Research Institute Family: Married with three children and a Rhodesian ridgeback Hobbies: Most of my free time is spent doing things with my family, be it coaching their lacrosse teams, going to swim meets, field hockey games, skiing, or dance recitals. My recent move to Central New York from the Boston area has thankfully freed up some extra time (no more long commutes) to partake in more activities with friends and colleagues, including our weekly badminton games

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

Women’s The Balanced Body


By Deb Dittner

Chase those blues away Wintertime means seasonal affective disorder


uring winter months with less sunlight, many may suffer from “winter blues” also known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Although there is no one specific cause for SAD, there are a number of contributing factors including but not limited to the disturbance of the circadian rhythm, and melatonin and serotonin levels. If you find yourself feeling down, here are some tactics to apply to everyday Dittner life: — Adequate amount of vitamin D: Because of a lack of exposure to sunlight in our northern climate, you may experience low vitamin D levels that correspond to feelings of depression. Vitamin D levels can be checked through your health care provider and, if needed, supplementation with vitamin D3 may be warranted. — Improve sleep: Poor sleep may occur due to a decrease in serotonin levels and disruption in melatonin levels. This lack of sleep contributes to depression, anxiety and other health conditions. Supplementing with melatonin is a popular remedy improving both sleep time and quality. Consult with your health care provider if melatonin supplementation is an option. Also, consider your sleep routine prior to turning in. Eliminating all technology (TV, iPhone, iPad, etc.) a minimum of one hour before going to bed is crucial as these are stimulators for the brain. Consider reading, taking an Epsom salt bath with essential oils such as lavender, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine. — Exercise: The health benefit of exercise improves your physical health and also your mental well being. Exercise releases endorphins to fight feelings of depression. Physical movement for a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week will help to improve your

overall mood while also decreasing stress and encouraging relaxation. — Mineral deficiencies: Minerals aid in brain function. When certain minerals are deficient — such as magnesium, zinc and lithium — disturbances can occur in the body. These can be tested by your health care provider and may require supplementation. — Foods to boost mood: By adding certain foods to your diet, you may increase the mineral contents that may be deficient.

Food for thought

Foods to consider are: • Spinach: High in iron while keeping red blood cells oxygenated and bodies energized. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which may aid in improving depression, along with potassium and magnesium that help regulate stress and sleep, and vitamin C that helps fight fatigue and boosts immunity. Consider adding to smoothies, salads, soups, and casseroles. • Dark chocolate: At least 70 percent cocoa is considered best, as it is lower in sugar. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols that may elevate mood and decrease depression and anxiety. Enjoy a square if craving a sweet after dinner. • Quinoa: Whole grains consist of complex carbs, helping to boost serotonin levels in the brain, improving mood and memory. Quinoa and other whole grains are an excellent source of protein that may also help to balance blood sugar. • Lentils: The folic acid in lentils helps manage serotonin, boosting mood. Consider making a large pot of lentil soup (also helps to warm the bones) or add to pasta sauce or to a salad. • Brazil nuts: Loaded with selenium, just 3-5 Brazil nuts daily gives you the needed boost.  These nuts are also chock-full of B vitamins, adding to the boost in mood. A great snack but can also top a salad, be added to oatmeal, or enjoyed with fresh berries. • Flax seeds: Full of Omega-3 fatty acids, it can be added to oatmeal, with almond or other nut butter as a dip for apples or celery, or whisked into a salad dressing. To receive their

full benefit, flax seeds need to be ground. Flax seeds can also be used as an egg substitute by combining 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons of water to equal one egg. This can be used in baking and French toast. • Pumpkin seeds: Magnesium rich helping to support relaxation, improve sleep, and decrease anxiety. Add to salads for a bit of crunch, to

homemade trail mix, and to hummus. • Deborah Dittner is a family nurse practitioner and health consultant. Her mission is to transform as many individuals as possible through nutrition and lifestyle changes. For more information, check out her website at www.debdittner. com or contact her at 518-596-8565.

Assessment Treatment Advocacy Early Diagnosis + Early Intervention = Better Outcomes! ...For a brighter tomorrow

January 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 5



Do you first Fill your heart through self-care By Barbara Pierce

Fill your cup first, so that you can give your best,” suggests April Cacciatori, certified life coach, licensed massage therapist and founder of Zensations Therapeutic Massage in Rome. “When you operate from a position of fullness, with a full heart, you’re not depleted. You can give your best,” Cacciatori she said. Self-care is often a huge part of what’s missing in the life of someone who’s busy and stressed. What is self-care? It’s paying attention to yourself, not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you. Self-care is a way of refreshing yourself, replenishing your personal motivation, and growing as a person.

It is a vital part of maintaining good health and a vibrant life. “Self-ish is not selfish,” stressed Cacciatori. “For many women, this is a hard concept to embrace. We’re brought up to think that we’re being selfish if we don’t put everyone else first. Give everything away first, then take care of our self. Be the first one up and the last one to bed. It’s like an obligation. “Women, especially, are the caregivers of life. We resist taking care of ourselves first.” We’re busy, and finding time to take proper care of our self can be hard. But if we don’t, it won’t be long before we’re battered from exhaustion and operating in a mental fog where it’s hard to care about anything or anyone. Cacciatori knows, as this is what happened to her: “I used to have overwhelming to-do lists. My worth was wrapped up in what I could get done. I took care of my family and worked two jobs. I was the first one up in the morning and the last one to go to bed. It was like the world would fall apart if I didn’t do all of these things,” she said.

Justin J. Zalatan D.D.S Salina S. Suy D.D.S

“What happened was that I burned out — I burned out many times. Then I couldn’t do anything; I was like a zombie, no good to anyone,” she said. “It took many years for me to break these patterns,” she said. “The first thing it took was realizing I was doing it. What I did was get quiet; I cultivated quiet. That was part of my journey. I discovered ‘less is more.’ Now I help other women discover this.”

Focus on self

It’s “me” time that keeps you sane, say the experts. “It’s the little things, the little moments that matter,” said Cacciatori. “For example, have quiet time in the morning; enjoy your coffee. If you have to get up a few minutes early to do this, get up a few minutes early.” “For me, I love my mornings. I enjoy my coffee and work quietly, writing. I’m not so much on social media. I schedule time for social media a few days a week. Next, I might read a few paragraphs or pages from a favorite book, then meditate for five to 15 minutes; just sit in quietness and clear my mental space,” she said. She teaches a form of meditation to help others cultivate quiet. “If you just do it for even five minutes — set a time and sit in quietness. This will clear your mental space, help you prioritize and let go of things that aren’t important.” Meditation is simply being present with what is going on inside of you. There are many ways to do it;

you can’t do it wrong. Little things matter, Cacciatori stressed. For example, if you enjoy a pedicure, plan ahead and enjoy every minute. Make time to do what you love and what nourishes you, whether it’s walking, relaxing in a bubble bath, reading a favorite book, or enjoying essential oils. Small subtle practices bring about profound changes. As a life coach, Cacciatori will teach a new program for women, beginning in January. “Your Time to Shine” will be an online group, meeting every other week for three months. “Self-care will be the initial topic. I’ll teach women how to care for themselves — how to delegate, discover your boundaries, cultivate quiet, and how to say no. I’m teaching women how to live life to the fullest. This program is exclusive with me,” she said. Cacciatori adds this advice, for both men and women: “Try to find time to make a little more time for yourself. Find time for you. Find grace and gratitude in anything and everything. Ground yourself in the present.” Cacciatori offers individual life coaching in her office or online. To determine whether you are a fit with her, she suggests a complimentary discovery consultation. “Every person who shines a little brighter makes the world a better place,” Cacciatori said. For more information on Cacciatori, see http://zensationsmassage. com/ or call 315-339-9100.

INSIGHT HOUSE Chemical Dependency Services, Inc.

Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services OUTPATIENT CLINIC & DAY REHABILITATION PROGRAM • DWI Assessment & Counseling • Addiction & Opiates *** Suboxone Therapy *** Vivitrol • Psychiatric Assessment • Certified Lab & Blood Draws on Site • Family Support Group *** Adolescent Services *** Women’s Track • Relapse Prevention Groups *** Co-Occurring Disorder Groups INTENSIVE RESIDENTIAL 7-9 MONTH PROGRAM • Appropriate for Males & Females • Suboxone Therapy *** Vivitrol • Psychiatric Assessment • Structured Health & Wellness Groups All inquiries are strictly confidential. Most medical insurances and Medicaid accepted. Sliding fee scale available. No individual denied services for inability to pay.

(315)724-5168 Page 6

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019


Between You and Me

Hereditary Cancer Risk Screening

By Barbara Pierce

Take the leap

Rome Memorial Hospital is recognized as a leader in hereditary cancer risk screening.

Follow your dreams, even at the cost of taking risks


s there something you’ve been longing to do? Got something that keeps nudging in the back of your mind? Maybe you have a dream you’d like to chase, a risk you feel is right for you to take. Other people are fulfilling their dreams. So can you! I’ve done it. My biggest leaps have paid off — like adopting a 9 year old as a single parent; selling my home to live on a boat; and quitting a dream job gone sour. However, I am essentially a cautious person who second guesses every Pierce choice, from where I should live to whether I should buy a pink or red collar for my golden retriever. But I still believe in taking chances — to look at what I have to gain rather than what I have to lose. I was still childless in my early 40s. I always planned to have a child. My then-husband didn’t have that goal and my career was important to me. That’s how I became the single parent of a scruffy, feisty 9 year old. It was a huge leap. I didn’t know how to be a parent; she didn’t know how to be a kid. Life had been harsh for her. We had a tough several years as we learned to live together. But it was well worth it. She has become a wonderful woman and friend and I passionately love my grandchildren. As a psychotherapist, I often met people seriously thinking of making a life-changing leap — like coming out of the closet to intolerant relatives, ending a marriage, quitting a job, or starting over in a new area. There were many reasons they didn’t move forward to get what they wanted. Few people do take that big leap and do what they really want to do. What stops us from going after our dreams? Fear. I think fear is what stops us. It’s a survival instinct. Our brains are programmed to fear anything that might put our lives in danger. It’s an evolutionary trait to keep us alive. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Fear is a reminder that you need a plan before taking that giant leap of faith. But if you want to be happy, eventually you have to leap. There’s a difference between the fear that keeps you alive and the fear that keeps you from living. Most of us are afraid to dream big because we’re afraid we’ll fail. Put it in perspective: What would be the worst thing that could happen if you failed? The absolute worst thing? Could you deal with that if it happened? What could you do to prevent that worst thing happening?

Personalized Breast Care Since Rome Memorial Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Center began offering hereditary cancer risk screening as part of its personalized breast care program this year, more than 4200 women have now had the opportunity to learn their predicted personal risk of developing breast cancer within the next five years and over the course of their lifetime.

What help would you have available?

Weigh the consequences

This is how it worked for me when I took a leap not long ago. At the age of 72, I left my husband. I left with only the clothes on my back as he had stripped me of all of my financial assets. I only had Social Security. Many times I thought I would end up homeless, living in my car in the Walmart parking lot. That would be the worst thing that would happen. Then I reminded myself that I did have family and friends who would lend me money, even take me in. The worst wasn’t likely. After you’ve thought about the worst and how you would handle it, think about what success would be like? Does what you have to gain outweigh what you have to lose? Is the possibility of failure worth it for the possibility of success? Consider redefining what failure is, i.e. if you want to start a business, failure would be not making a profit. But if you’re starting a business to learn how things work, then you won’t have failed; you’ve had a learning opportunity, and success! Sometimes we don’t move ahead because we’re waiting for the “right” time. There’s never going to a “right” time. If you sit around waiting for the right time, you’ll spend the rest of your life waiting. Most of us have people in our life who aren’t going to be supportive if we go for it and dream big. Realize that they may be projecting their own fears onto you. They’ve convinced themselves that their dreams aren’t possible, and they try to convince you of the same. By going for your dreams, you’re reminding them that they aren’t achieving theirs. Some people don’t like that. Don’t trust the advice of others over your instincts. Trust your gut. Believe in yourself enough to turn your ideas into more than mere words. So take the job! Hop on the flight! Say yes to that scary opportunity! Take a risk based on how happy you will be. Believe this Native American wisdom: “As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It’s not as wide as you think.” Make this the year you jump.

Genetic screening for personal cancer risk is now offered to all breast imaging patients at The Women’s Imaging Center, a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. Patients will be screened for 29 genetic mutations that impact hereditary risk for eight cancers:

  

Colorectal Pancreatic Melanoma

 

Prostate Endometrial

For more information, contact Leigh Loughran, operations manager, at 315.338.7577.

Women’s Imaging Center 1500 N. James St. Rome, NY 13440



Get Back in the Game with Sitrin’s Orthopedic Injury Clinic!

Dr. Alfred Moretz Dr. Shawna Marmet Orthopedic Surgeon Physical Therapist

Dr. James Wallace Physical Therapist

Receive Immediate Care. No Referrals Required.

• Barbara Pierce is a retired licensed clinical social worker with many years of experience helping people. If you would like to purchase a copy of her book, “When You Come to the Edge: Aging” or if you have questions for her, contact her at

Story idea? Call 315-749-7070

  

Breast Ovarian Gastric

CALL 315-737-2246

Sitrin Health Care Center, 2050 Tilden Ave., New Hartford, NY 13413 AIM- 1/4pg ad- InGoodHealth-F.indd 1

January 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

12/18/18 3:56 PM

Page 7

Babies, booze bad blend Alcohol during pregnancy results in devastating results for child By Barbara Pierce

Richard M. Cherpak, M.D. Richard M. Cherpak, M.D. Richard M. Cherpak, M.D. Garth J. Garramone, D.O., F.A.C.P. Garth Garramone, D.O., F.A.C.P. Dr J.Stanley Weiselberg GarthBrett J. Garramone, F.A.C.P Brett R. Gandhi, Gandhi,D.O., M.D. R. M.D. Dr Norman Neslin Norman R. Neslin, M.D. Brett R. Gandhi, M.D. Dr Robert Pavelock Norman Neslin, M.D. Robert R.R.Pavelock, M.D. Norman R.F. Sklar, Neslin, M.D. Bradley M.D. Dr Bradley Sklar Robert R. Pavelock, M.D. Stanley P. Weiselberg, M.D. Dr Richard Cherpak Robert R. Pavelock, M.D. 116 Business Park Drive, Bradley F. Sklar, M.D. Dr Harvey Allen Utica,F.NYSklar, 13502M.D. Bradley p. 315 -624-7070 | f. 315-316-0367 Dr Emil MiskovskyM.D. Stanley P. Weiselberg, Stanley P. Weiselberg, M.D. UT-000595577

116 Business Park Drive, Utica, NY 13502 Phone Fax p.315-624-7070 315 -624-7070 | f.315-316-0367 315-316-0367


O.K. WITH CORRECTIONS BY:________________________



EY ENDOSCOPY PROOF CREATED AT: 2/22/2017 9:24:00 AM UT-000595577

Page 8

NEXT RUN DATE: 02/26/17


hen she learned she was eight weeks pregnant, Natyra Teske was happy and excited. She bought baby gear and followed every pregnancy guide to the letter. Like most expectant moms, Teske stopped drinking alcohol immediately. But still, from birth, her son Nico had severe developmental problems that required roundthe-clock attention. He screamed when touched, pulled Owens out clumps of his hair, punched walls, even threatened suicide, and required an incredibly strict routine to prevent violent outbursts. Doctors suspected autism, but no tests showed a match. When Nico was 16, doctors finally reached a staggering diagnosis: He had fetal alcohol syndrome, caused by his mother’s drinking in the first few weeks of her pregnancy. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are the leading known cause of developmental disabilities in western civilization today, according to the National Organization of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. One in 20 first-graders has the disease; a less conservative estimate found one in 10, according to recent research. Fetal alcohol disorder occurs when a developing infant is exposed to alcohol. The alcohol in the mother’s blood passes straight to the baby’s blood. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her baby. Some physicians describe it as “marinating your baby in alcohol.” The ethanol that is found in most alcoholic beverages is a toxic substance that kills cells in the evolving baby. “There is no known safe amount of alcohol you can drink when you’re pregnant,” said April Owens, executive director of the Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network in Utica. “Women hear, ‘One drink couldn’t hurt.’ But scientists have concluded that there is no known safe level,” she said. It is definitely not OK to have even one glass of wine at Christmas. One drink can hurt and does severe damage to the developing infant. “It’s a hellish disease. It’s really difficult. It’s just an ugly disease,” said Erica Okrzesik of Naperville, Ill., whose adopted daughter is diagnosed with the disease, according to the Chicago Tribune online. “It’s often misdiagnosed,” explained Owen. It’s been described as a hidden disability because the vast majority of children and adults living with the impairments are not diagnosed.

PROOF DUE: 02/24/17 12:59:55 • IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

“It’s called fetal alcohol spectrum because there is a range of disabilities,” Owens said. “It can range from less immediately obvious signs to significant changes.” The effects range from mild to severe, and they include intellectual and developmental disabilities; behavior problems; abnormal facial features; and disorders of the heart, kidneys, bones, and hearing.

Disorder leads to major issues

The greatest impact is behavioral. The central nervous system can be underdeveloped, which may lead to poor coordination, poor memory, low intelligence, a variety of behavior problems, and poor judgment. The child is more likely to have trouble in school and encounter legal problems. Around 10 percent of children are also born with physical symptoms — thin upper lips, smaller eyes, and smaller heads — which make their condition easier to diagnose. “Fetal alcohol syndrome disorders are completely preventable,” states the website of the Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network. “If a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant, her child will not have this disorder. Infants can suffer long-term developmental problems even with low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure.” There’s no cure or specific treatment for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The physical defects and mental deficiencies typically persist for a lifetime. However, while the condition is permanent, treatment can improve outcomes. Early intervention services can help improve the child’s development and may prevent some secondary disabilities. Interventions may include parent-child therapy, efforts to modify the child’s behavior, and possibly medications. “It becomes more of an issue because often women don’t know they’re pregnant,” added Owens. Teske didn’t quit drinking until she learned she was pregnant. “So it’s important to plan for your pregnancy. Pregnancy planning is important. To prevent a poor birth outcome, be conscious of how you treat your body,” said Owens. There is no ambivalence about this; there is no room for just one little drink. The U.S. Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have long said no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy and they all advise pregnant women to abstain from drinking. Your health care provider can be a source of help if you find it hard to quit drinking on your own. For more information on the Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network, call 315-732-4657, or see its Facebook page or website at http:NewFamily. org.

Spiritual Health Milk & Honey

By Brooke Stacia Demott

Secrets of Self Control It all starts with self discipline


t may be passé, but I still like New Year’s resolutions. Even if we shoot for the moon, and barely graze the ceiling, resolutions help us pinpoint areas of need and initiate positive change. A few Januarys ago, my husband Brian and I resolved to get in shape. Six kids and a decade of marriage tucked (a little too tightly) under our belts, made “healthy” a high calling. We learned Demott pretty quickly that bad habits don’t just disappear; they must be replaced with better ones. Goals can’t breathe in a vacuum. So, evening bowls of ice cream morphed into yogurt. Forty-five lazy minutes of morning coffee became 45 aggressive minutes of exercise. That first year was hard; there was a lot of backsliding and frustration, most of which came from a wrong perspective. People are creatures of comfort, and often, our motivation comes from the desire to be “done.” We kid ourselves into thinking there’s an end. In reality, everything requires maintenance. All systems tend toward chaos without frequent, purposeful intervention. Why are so many New Year’s resolutions fated to fail? Often, our ambitions are lacking a critical element — the self-control to make these changes permanent. Intentions aren’t enough; they must be coupled with a commitment to endure. There are no shortcuts to success. To make progress, we’ve got to surrender to the long haul — with full confidence that it’ll be worth the effort. In essence, every resolution can be boiled down to this: “I need more self-control.” What is self-control? Simply put, self-control is when we bring our bodies under submission to our will. It’s the ability to bridle those unhealthy urges that try to lead us astray, and push ourselves toward beneficial disciplines. Laying down fatty foods and lazy mornings while simultaneously taking up the salad bar and the treadmill — self-control means restraint and endurance. A “you only live once” world like ours makes self-control a hard sell. You won’t find many peddlers of this virtue today; they can’t gain traction on these new roads to happiness, paved over with a slippery layer of impulse gratification.

Age of hedonism

Today’s mantra — “Satisfy every

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” — Lao Tsu urge, and you will find happiness” — rings in our ears and nestles in our minds, leaving us vulnerable to a variety of deceptions that promise what they cannot deliver. Embracing this lie has brought us to a devastating societal crux. Sex and gender identity are under a bizarre attack, to the detriment of the next generation. Abstinence is scoffed at as unrealistic, and the strong benefits of maintaining sexual integrity until and throughout marriage are ignored. Crash diets replace healthy lifestyles; depression medication mutes the need for mourning loss in the context of real community; demanding kids are pacified with iPhones in lieu of interaction and discipline from their parents. “Like a city whose walls are broken down, is a man who lacks self-control.” (Proverbs 25:28). This is a powerful picture of one of God’s fundamental truths: Without self-control, you are vulnerable. You aren’t free at all, but exposed and open to attack. Sin enters the gates of a person’s heart like the Trojan horse of the Greeks; outwardly beautiful, but filled with murderous intent. How do we develop self-control? Not for just this year, but for life? We need more than a good idea, and good intentions. We need a clear view of truth, and a whole lot of power. More power than we have within ourselves. Self-control, like each spiritual fruit that we’ve discussed this year (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness) is not only available but increasingly abundant in us by God’s Holy Spirit. Why? God’s spirit is not only essentially good, but unbelievably powerful. Powerful enough to train our minds to see beyond present circumstances and look with hope toward the future; to lead us in the right direction; and to strengthen us for every good work. “The Spirit of God, powerful enough to raise Christ from the dead, lives in (every believer).” (Romans 8:11). We’re multifaceted creatures — body, soul (personality) and spirit. Our spirits are vehicles that carry us into eternity; either to be with God, or forever separated from him. Because of sin, we are born spiritually dead. But the gift of God is eternal life — through faith in Jesus, our spirits are tethered to God’s and

raised to life. The impossible, beautiful reality is that God’s spirit can resurrect your own, and walk you through this life and the next. This year, resolving to develop self-control, our first step must be toward God, seeking his powerful assistance for a truly new life. It is,

after all, what God delights to do. “For God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self control.” — 2 Timothy 1:7 • Brooke Stacia Demott is a columnist with In Good Health newspaper. Got a question for Demott? Feel free to email her at

“I had cancer...

cancer never had me.” Meet Tracy: Mother, patient, advocate and blessed!

“When I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in 2004, I was a single mom. So when I received my diagnosis, I thought, ‘This, too?’ I was shocked. A friend introduced me to HOA. At HOA, cancer wears a face, and not a number. Let me explain.”

To read more about Tracy’s story, and HOA, visit

January 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9


Be all ears

Improve your life by listening better By Barbara Pierce


e tend to think of communication as being about expressing ourselves, but that’s really only half of it — the smaller half. It’s even more important to know how to listen. Any of the relationships we’re in — with our partner, boss, friends or family — benefit from a dynamic that favors listening. Listening Bishton doesn’t come to us naturally, and most of us are probably not as good at it as we like to think we are. Most people say their partners, parents, children, friends and colleagues don’t really listen to them, which means that we’re probably all guilty of zoning out some of the time. We can become better listeners. Focusing more effectively on what people say can have far-reaching

effects on your relationships. Try these techniques: — Zero in on the conversation: Focus on the conversation. That means stop thinking about what you’re going to say as soon as he or she stops talking, quit subtly checking your emails, or thinking about what you’re going to eat for lunch. — Face toward someone when they’re talking and maintain eye contact. People talk at about 150 words per minute, but we can listen effectively to 450 words per minute. That’s why we can daydream while hearing about our partner’s lousy day and still process what was said. But we won’t be an effective listener. Most of us can’t do more than one thing that requires thought at the same time; we can’t do either of them well if we’re trying to do two or more at the same time. — Show that you’re listening: That doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing all the time, but making it clear that you’ve understood them or that you’re trying to understand them. A great way to demonstrate that you’re listening is to rephrase and

repeat a point the speaker has made, saying things like, “It sounds like you’re saying …” or “And that has made you feel …” Sentences like, “That must make you feel …” or “It makes sense that, given what happened, you would feel like that” or “I can imagine that would be really hard” can be really useful in showing you’re not only listening, but putting yourself in their shoes. — Listen without fixing: One common mistake people make in communication is that they’re too quick to try to solve the other person’s problem instead of simply listening to them.

Just listen!

Most people are not looking for a critique of their situation or an analysis of their options; they just want someone to empathize — to see things from their perspective. When someone opens up to you, avoid offering advice unless they ask for it. In most cases, he or she is just looking for someone to listen and understand. Be the person who listens to understand. — Ask follow-up questions: Good listeners do more than sit silently; they ask follow-up questions. Don’t say, “I know what you’re saying.” That closes off the conversation when the other person may want to say more. Instead, ask an open-ended question that invites them to say more. Like, “What happened then?” — Be aware of hearing loss: Sometimes a partner, friend or colleague stops being a good listener due to age-related hearing loss. “The longer we live, the more likely we are to experience age-related hearing

loss,” said Robert Bishton, a hearing specialist at Action Ear Hearing of New Hartford. Ensure the person you are speaking with does not have hearing loss, as about 30 percent of people over 60 and nearly half of those over 70 experience hearing loss. “Don’t accept hearing loss!” stressed Bishton. “If you’re losing your hearing, get it diagnosed and treated. Get treated and live life to the fullest.” People tend to stop doing things when they can’t hear. They love playing bridge, but stop because they can’t hear. Or bingo. They become socially isolated. As hearing can especially be a challenge in a large group setting, Bishton is excited about his new business that features induction hearing loops. The hearing loop makes a world of difference for people with hearing loss. Hearing aides do little to help people hear in group settings. But by sending a clear sound to the hearing aide of the user without any background noise, hearing loops make it possible for those with hearing aides to hear in a group setting. “It works fabulously,” said Bishton. “You can sit anywhere in the room and hear. People with normal hearing won’t notice anything different. People with hearing loss and no hearing aid can still use the hearing loop system through small ear buds. “It’s been around Europe since the 1980s and is just getting popular in the states.” To contact Bishton or for more information on hearing loops, call 315-941-0238 or see or Upstate Hearing Loops on Facebook.

The Intersection of Cancer Specialists and Local Care

medical oncology affiliate

Roswell Park Affiliated Medical Oncology Care is now at Oneida Health.

Now accepting patients. 604 Seneca Street, Oneida • (315) 361-2381 • Page 10

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

Joint Effort

Exploring collagen

How one couple worked together to eliminate arthritis pain By Brooke Stacia Demott

This is the worst arthritis I’ve ever seen in a man your age.” The podiatrist, examining my husband’s X-rays, confirmed what we already suspected — my 34-year-old husband’s feet were a tangled mess of inflamed, stiffened joints. It was no surprise — Brian had been a skateboarder for 18 years, and with 200 pounds tucked under a 6-foot-1-inch frame, the impact of thousands of ollies and flip kicks had taken their inevitable toll. And it wasn’t just his feet — my husband had chronic lower back pain (thanks to a job that demanded over 20 hours of drive time weekly) and tendonitis in both wrists, arms and shoulders. He limped out of bed every day, and rapidly gained weight since he couldn’t exercise without injuring himself. He was in constant pain, unhealthy, and miserable. “Bri, we’re expecting our sixth kid; it’s way too early to hang it up like this. Let’s figure out how to get you better,” I said. Armed with little more than a love for research, faith in the body’s ability to heal itself under the right conditions, and some friends in the medical field, I set out to work. As it turns out, inflammation is the first issue to address when it comes to arthritis. Inflammation is often affiliated with lifestyle — lack of dietary protein, water and exercise can trigger chronic inflammatory problems. Also, too much sugar and caffeine just fuel the fire. Age also contributes to the breakdown of key proteins like collagen, which is critical for joint health. Our plan of attack began with good old-fashioned ibuprofen (I know, that’s not very homeopathic); it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, and 800 milligrams per day for a week or two can get you to step two — exercise. Cardio improves circulation and

encourages weight loss. Increased blood flow is critical to reducing inflammation, and losing weight reduces pressure on aching joints. So, Brian had to get moving. Since the arthritis was primarily in his feet, he invested in high-quality shoes with cushioned heel support, and insoles. He started slow — 10 minutes a day on the elliptical for the first few months. Ellipticals are low impact, so they work great for people with joint problems. Brian also changed his diet. He went from five daily cups of coffee to two, eliminated sugar, and increased his water intake to two quarts a day. A gallon is preferable, but we never got there. He also started eating more protein and veggies, loads of eggs and raw milk, a pea-based protein shake and salad for lunch. We began to see progress — he lost some weight, but still struggled with pain. The real progress began when Brian started using some incredible — and affordable — supplements.

I started researching clinical trials using bovine and marine-sourced collagen supplements for people with joint and tendon problems. The information I found transformed my husband from a stiff arthritic to a fit and healthy 37-year-old, capable of running four miles a day, and weight training three days a week while being 100 percent pain free. The most critical weapons in his arsenal are: type 2 collagen pills; glucosamine sulphate; multi-sourced collagen powder (taken with vitamin C on an empty stomach) mercury-free omega 3 supplements, and a multi-vitamin. Here’s the breakdown: — Type 2 collagen: Brian uses a denatured UC-II type 2 collagen, the collagen that makes cartilage. It also includes curcuminoids, the anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric. — In 2016, the Eurasian Journal of Medicine published the findings of an osteoarthritis control group using 1,500 milligrams per day of acetaminophen, against patients using acetaminophen plus 10 milligrams daily of type 2 collagen. After three months, there was a significant improvement in the group utilizing the collagen treatments in the areas of both pain relief and joint repair over the control group. Additional studies confirm that rapid healing occurs by adding type 2 collagen to an arthritis management program. — Glucosamine sulphate: A natural sugar found in fluid surrounding the cartilage in your joints, glucosamine acts as a protective barrier against cartilage erosion. There are other kinds of glucosamine, but

the sulphate prep is most effective for pain relief and slowing collagen erosion. As published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a 2013 United Kingdom study of 41 cyclists found supplementing with three grams of glucosamine daily reduced collagen degradation in the knees by 27 percent, compared to 8 percent in the placebo group. The bonus is it’s only $20 per bottle online. The multi-collagen powder we use includes five types of denatured, hydrolyzed collagen for easy digestion, and adds to the all-around collagen infusion you’ll want to give your body for optimal healing. It must be taken with vitamin C on an empty stomach for optimal absorption. — In addition, Omega 3 fatty acids are excellent for heart, skin and joint health, as well as weight management, according to popular registered dietitian Kylene Bogden while confirming the joint lubricating benefits of cod fish oil. Quality multi-vitamins supplement what we lack in our diet, particularly B vitamins, and are critical to cell metabolism. Since Brian started making these changes over the last three years, he has experienced a 100 percent improvement in joint pain and quality of life. As his wife, I can tell you that today, he moves easily and noticeably pain-free. We credit this dramatic turn-around to a variety of lifestyle changes, but primarily the slow, steady increase of regular exercise, dietary changes, and especially, the addition of collagen-enhancing supplements.

‘Give it a Whirl’ with support group


support group will be held Mondays during January for anyone coping with health and wellness challenges. The gathering is offered through the collaboration of the Center for Family Life and Recovery and Rome Memorial Hospital Radiation Medicine. “Give it a Whirl” for Wellness is a creative way to socialize, help and be helped by others with similar conditions or circumstances. The drop-in group is an opportunity for people learning to cope with health and wellness challenges, whether it is quitting smoking for good, overcoming illness or treatments, or facing life changes, to meet with others in similar situations. More than a support group, it gives Individuals, family and friends an opportunity to come together in a welcoming, comfortable, and inspir-

ing way. The free meetings, centered around a creative activity led by the Center for Family Life and Recovery, are held from 1-2 p.m Mondays at Rome Memorial Hospital Radiation Medicine, 107 E. Chestnut St., Rome. The following is the upcoming schedule: — Jan. 7: Abstract painting — Jan. 14: Repurposing household items into art — Jan. 21: Clay sculpture — Jan. 28: Crock pot cooking The public is encouraged to attend any or all of the meetings. No registration is necessary. There is easy access and plenty of parking on the east side of the building. For more information, call Mark Lais, recovery peer advocate, Center for Family Life and Recovery, at 315768-2656. January 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11

Kidney disease claiming more lives


lthough fewer Americans are dying from heart disease and cancer, deaths from chronic kidney disease are on the rise, especially among young adults, a new study finds. “Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease is known as a ‘silent epidemic,’ because many people don’t realize they have it until the disease is at an advanced stage,” said senior study author Ziyad Al-Aly. He’s a nephrologist and an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “It is particularly concerning that chronic kidney disease is becoming more common in younger people. This is a remarkable move in the wrong direction,” Al-Aly said in a university news release. Deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease have declined due to advances in treatment. But no major advances in the treatment of kidney disease have been seen during the past two decades, Al-Aly said. Instead, chronic kidney disease has risen across the country in the past 15 years and among those aged 20 to 54 — a group in which the condition used to be uncommon, the researchers noted. Overall, U.S. deaths from kidney disease increased 58 percent — from about 52,100 in 2002 to 82,500 in 2016. The researchers suspect that the increase is at least partially due to high-sugar, high-salt diets and the ongoing obesity epidemic. Unhealthy diets increase toxins that kidneys are designed to remove, which may account for the organs wearing out. The increase in chronic kidney disease varies by state. For example, while all states saw rising rates, they are significantly higher in places with the highest obesity rates, including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia. For the study, Al-Aly and his colleagues used the Global Burden of Disease database, which provides information about 350 diseases and injuries by age and gender, as well as more than 80 risk factors in the United States and other countries. For their study, the researchers focused on U.S. data by age from 2002 to 2016. They found that the rates of chronic kidney disease are increasing faster than the rates of all noninfectious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, cirrhosis, chronic lung diseases, mental problems and brain diseases. Deaths from chronic kidney disease among younger adults are still rare, but they are increasing, the researchers found. For people aged 20 to 54, the probability of death from chronic kidney disease increased almost 27 percent, from 100 deaths per 100,000 people in 2002 to 125 deaths per 100,000 in 2016. The report was published online recently in the journal JAMA Network Open. Page 12


Your Administrator

By Barbara Pierce

Anthony Joseph Franco

Anthony Joseph Franco is the administrator of Mohawk Homestead, an adult care facility in the Mohawk Valley. The Mohawk Homestead, a small Victorian-style adult home nestled in the quaint village of Mohawk, has provided care to the elderly for 121 years. Recently, Mohawk Valley In Good Health Writer senior correspondent Barbara Pierce spoke with Franco regarding his career. Q.: What changes are you making at Mohawk Homestead since you became administrator in March 2018? A.: Twenty of our 41 beds will soon be certified as assisted living beds. The New York Assisted Living Program was instituted to allow low-income individuals the same opportunity to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. ALP is designed for individuals who require services above and beyond what is typically provided in those basic settings and who have been assessed as nursing home-eligible. As administrator, I look forward to leading this facility into becoming the premier adult care facility of the Mohawk Valley. I’m confident that the experienced, caring, and dedicated staff we have will allow us to provide services to residents that far exceed family and community expectations. As a lifelong resident of Herkimer and Mohawk, I take this opportunity with enormous pride and pleasure. Q.: What makes your facility unique? What do you offer that other facilities do not offer? A.: Our motto: “Where your family becomes a member of ours,” says it. In our small, personalized setting, we provide services like no other home. In my over 20 years of experience working with the elderly, I believe our personal care aides are the best I’ve ever worked with. We have excellent staff retention allowing residents to develop trust and be receptive to us meeting their needs. Our food is great; meals are all made from scratch with little frozen foods. Our building is one of the historical gems of the Mohawk Valley; parts of our facility are over 100 years old. We have single rooms that vary in size and characteristics. The Homestead has a rich history, beginning in 1895, when Helen Marshall determined there was a great need in Herkimer County for a home where elderly women would be able to reside and pass the closing years of their lives in security, dignity, and comfort, and established The Old Ladies Home of Herkimer County. Men were later welcomed and the name changed to the Mohawk Homestead in 1967. Q.: You are a nonprofit. Does that have any significance for residents?

Anthony Joseph Franco, right, administrator of Mohawk Homestead, shares some recreational time with a resident. A.: In my experience, I think you get a higher quality of care with a nonprofit versus a privately owned facility with the goal of making a profit.

to interest everyone.

Q.: Your website says, “We bridge the gaps.” What does that mean? A.: The gap we are referring to is the one between staying at home and being placed in a long-term care facility. Our services enable people to stay in the community for a long period of time while avoiding placement in a nursing home.

Q.: What would you like families of prospective residents to know? A.: Sometimes convincing a loved one to leave his or her home and move into a facility such as ours can be difficult. I encourage those in this situation to express to their loved ones that this is an opportunity for them to enjoy themselves while they still have the capacity to do so. We will eliminate worries such as household chores, medication management, and paying bills. Encourage your loved ones to try staying with us for a month or so during the winter. Make sure they know they are free to come and go from the facility as they please.

Q.: What kinds of activities do you have? A.: We have a variety of things going on every day, from sing-alongs and musical entertainment, to crafts, bingo, cards, Bible study, sports discussions, educational seminars, even a foot soak — something

Q.: Can married couples stay together in the same room? A.: Yes.

Lifelines Birth year: 1957 Birthplace: Herkimer Current residence: Mohawk Education: Bachelor’s degree in health science from SUNY Cortland; master’s level courses necessary to work as a licensed nursing home administrator in New York Personal: Married, with four children Hobbies: Hunting, fishing and playing guitar

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

Health Care in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Feds foster competition in health care arena

Welcoming New Patients to Five Local Family Health Centers!

Government tries to fine-tune system


esponding to an executive order from the President, a working group of members from the departments of HHS, Labor and Treasury issued a 119-page report on how to promote choice and competition in our health care system. Among some of the recommendations and suggestions were: broaden the scope practice for nurse practitioners, physician assistants and hygienists so they can be paid directly and operate with less physician supervision; increase reimbursement for telemedicine; allow multistate medical licenses and across state lines for telemedicine; reallocate funding for residency programs based on the most in-demand specialties like family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, OB-GYN and psychiatry; reduce restrictions on physician-owned hospitals (none in NYS); allow hospitals to expand or contract without certificate of need approval from the state; scale back the ACA’s employer insurance mandates; expand the use of health savings accounts to all, including those on Medicare; increase price transparency; make it easier for patients to access their records. Reactions from the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association were both expected and mixed.   Telemedicine Increasing According to the AMA, telemedicine has been embraced the most by radiologists (40 percent), psychiatrists (28 percent) and cardiologists (24 percent). The average across all specialties is 15 percent. The acceptance of telemedicine is expected to increase due to a shortage of physicians, reduced costs for the technology, consumer preference and improved reimbursement to physicians. It is far too early to tell what the long range impact of telemedicine is on a person’s overall health versus face-to-face office encounters.    NYS bans short-term plans With the slow dismantling of the ACA and associated penalties for not having insurance, many states are allowing the sale of cheap, short-term health insurance good for three years. NYS is not one of them. The ACA mandated minimum coverage-benefits for bronze, silver and platinum plans. So consumers could confidently shop around for the best price because all insurers had to offer the same mandated benefits per bronze, silver or platinum plan. Short-term

plan shopping is a gamble because you have to compare both price and benefits across divergent plans. As with anything else, you will get what you pay for. Short-term plans do not cover pre-existing conditions.   Primary care physician visits decline According to a study of claims data from 2012 to 2016, the Healthcare Cost Institute reported an 18 percent decrease in office visits to primary care physicians. Visits to advanced practitioners, (nurse practitioners and physician assistants), increased a staggering 129 percent over the same four years. There is plenty of speculation why. Since more medical students are favoring specialties over primary care, the influx of new primary care physicians into the market is declining while older primary care physicians are retiring. Consequently, the role of APs in providing primary care, by necessity, has increased. Convenience may be a factor. Younger, healthier patients don’t want to wait for an appointment with their physician, so gladly schedule sooner with an AP. Many consumers are electing to get primary care from walk-in retail clinics or urgent care centers which are staffed primarily with APs. Finally, more and more states are loosening their requirements for physician supervision of APs, allowing the APs more latitude in scheduling patients.    Top healthy New Year’s resolutions We all make them. Here are the most popular ones regarding health: More exercise, 38 percent; lose weight, 33 percent; eat healthy, 32 percent; be more active, 15 percent; learn a new skill-hobby; spend more time on personal well-being; consume less alcohol; and stop smoking. By picking just one, you will accomplish some of the others.  



(315) 684-3117




(315) 824-4600

Cardiology • Pediatrics • Laboratory • Pulmonology • Surgery



(315) 815-1430

Pediatrics • Primary Care



(315) 495-2690

MONDAY 9:00 A.M. TO 7:00 P.M. TUESDAY-FRIDAY 8:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M.



(315) 841-4184

George W. Chapman is a healthcare business consultant who works exclusively with physicians, hospitals and healthcare organizations. He operates GW Chapman Consulting based in Syracuse. Email him at


All services are directly connected to and supported by Community Memorial Specialties and Hospital Services, and accessible to the Crouse Health network of services

January 2019 •

Be sure to follow and like us for the latest news and updates! IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Business Spotlight

The Balanced Chef

The Balanced Chef, a healthy prepared-meal company in Utica, presents a simple way to eat well. Offering wholesome, nutritious, great-tasting meals, The Balanced Chef has become the leading source for prepared meals in the Mohawk Valley. Owned and operated by Brian and Cynthia Donovan, meals can be picked up at several locations in the Mohawk Valley, delivered or shipped directly to your home. By Barbara Pierce

their kids who have to feed them.

Q.: The Balanced Chef is a big hit. What does The Balanced Chef offer that makes it so popular? A.: Recognizing the busy lifestyle of most, our goal is to make your life easier by offering convenient, delicious meals. Using only the highest-quality ingredients, our meals are prepared fresh, never frozen. You and your family can enjoy a wholesome, chef-crafted meal that you can feel good about eating.

Q.: What do the meals cost? A.: Cost of the meals ranges from $7-to-$11, way less expensive than eating out.

Q.: How does it work? A.: Each Monday, we offer a new menu. We have an array of delicious, healthy meals to choose from. It’s simple to order. From our website, you choose the meals you would like and select one of the convenient pickup locations in the community (22 throughout the Mohawk Valley) or opt for home delivery or shipping. We ship meals in an insulated box with ice packs that stay cold for up to 48 hours. If the internet isn’t your thing, you can call us. Orders placed by midnight Monday will be delivered Friday or Saturday. As our meals contain no preservatives, they stay fresh in your refrigerator for seven to 10 days, or you can freeze them for a few weeks. Q.: Who benefits from ordering your meals? A.: The meals are great for just

Q.: What kinds of meals can I choose from? A.: In a recent week, for example, some of our options included tender, juicy chicken breast topped with Buffalo sauce, with loaded cauliflower mash; sautéed shrimp and vegetables in a honey garlic sauce over jasmine rice; seasoned sirloin steak with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli; barbecued chicken with macaroni and cheese.

Brian and Cynthia Donovan are the owners of The Balanced Chef. about anyone. Our mission is to provide a simple way to eat well. Our chef and dietitian create meals that support a healthy lifestyle, and we’ve helped thousands of people who want to eat healthier. We’re also a great resource for busy people who have no time to cook, shop, prepare meals and then clean up, as they want more time to do the things they love. Also, older folks find us a great resource, as do

Q.: What if I have a special diet— low salt, low fat, or something similar? A.: Our registered dietitian will work to accommodate special diets. Q.: How did The Balanced Chef begin? A.: It’s a true love story. “We’re both Utica natives who met in high school. We both went to college — Brian graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, while I earned a master’s degree from SUNY Oneonta to become a registered dietitian,” Cynthia said. A year after the couple married in 2011, they joined CrossFit Mohawk Valley. Their love for fitness and eating well grew.

“We always talked about partnering together for a ‘healthy’ business,” Cynthia said. “Brian’s love for food merged with my love for nutrition. Offering CrossFit members our food creations, we found they wanted more of the food we created, and suggested we open a business.” With the help of friends and family, The Balanced Chef was born in 2015. Q.: What’s been the response of the public? A.: Terrific! Like this email from Barb Moulton of Utica: “Thank you for your great service and great food, as well. I hate to cook, but believe in ‘clean’ eating, so we’re a great match!” Q.: We understand you won an award; tell us about that. A.: The Balanced Chef recently received the Downtown Startup Challenge, awarded to the business in 2017 for having an innovative concept. The challenge was to encourage economic recovery. “We love Utica and are committed to the revitalization of downtown,” Cynthia said. To learn more about The Balanced Chef or to place an order, see If you don’t have access to the internet or it isn’t your thing, call 315-272-7183. The Balanced Chef also offers virtual nutrition consultations, customized meal plans and local catering.

The Balanced Chef, 8383 Seneca Turnpike, New Hartford, N.Y. 13413 315-272-7183

Wound Care Center now featured in Oneida


ndividuals faced with complex wounds in the greater Oneida area now have access to the care they need, close to home. Oneida Healthcare, in collaboration with RestorixHealth, will be offering comprehensive wound care and hyperbaric medicine in Oneida to residents of Central New York suffering from non-healing wounds. The fully renovated center occupies almost 2,300 square feet on the first floor of the hospital and began seeing its first patients recently. The center contains three large treatment rooms, a consultation room, a hyperbaric suite with two state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers for advanced healing, and the required support facilities on a single level outpatient setting. The wound care program Page 14

accommodates patients requiring treatment for chronic, non-healing diabetic, neuropathic, pressure, and ischemic ulcers. Treatment is also available for venous insufficiency, traumatic wounds, surgical wounds, and skin irritations. “Our new state-of-the-art wound care and hyperbaric medicine center represents a singular vision to provide patients with the most advanced healing therapies close to home,” said president and CEO Gene Morreale at Oneida Healthcare. “With the recent addition of podiatry and vascular services within our Circle of Care network, which commonly provides treatment to patients that may face painful, non-healing wounds, developing a wound healing center was the next step in providing the

most convenient, patient-centered experience designed around providing exceptional care, always.” The HBO therapy provided through hyperbaric chambers is especially beneficial for patients with diabetic foot ulcers or other types of non-healing wounds. HBO promotes healing by increasing the level of oxygen in the tissue and improving the healing efficiency of the white blood cells. Therapy is administered in a hyperbaric chamber that delivers 100 percent oxygen with increased atmospheric pressure, stimulating the entire body’s natural healing responses. “Everyone deserves access to the highest level of care. We’re proud to partner with RestorixHealth as it

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

represents two leading health care organizations working together to address the needs of local residents,” said Morreale. RestorixHealth is a national health care organization that specializes in the development and management of centers of excellence for amputation prevention, wound management, and hyperbaric medicine. The science of wound care has advanced greatly and specially trained experts have a greater understanding of how wounds heal and what prevents them from healing. For more information about wound care or the new center, call 315-361-2268 or visit


The skinny on healthy eating

Open Your Eyes to Arugula’s Many Benefits


ating healthier tops many New Year’s resolutions lists, and who can blame us? We’ve been forced to consume all kinds of sinfully rich treats throughout the holidays and now can’t seem to fasten our waistbands. Go figure! When the urge for clean, simple, healthy food strikes our household in January — and it always does — we load up on leafy salad greens, the darker the better. Lately, we’ve been reaching for arugula (pronounced uh-roo-guh-la), a nutrient-dense green with a distinct peppery flavor and aroma. Super low in calories (only 8 calories per 2-cup serving) and rich in fiber, arugula is a healthy choice for those looking to lose or maintain their weight. Not only is it flavorful and filling, but it’s packed with an impressive array of nutrients. Like many of the darker greens, arugula delivers decent amounts of vitamins K and A. While both vitamins contribute to overall bone health — a boon for boomers with looming osteoporosis — vitamin K also helps blood clot properly and vitamin A promotes a healthy immune system and good vision.

Worried about age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Consuming arugula may help protect against this disease, as it also contains substantial amounts of two carotenoids that further support eye health: lutein and zeaxanthin. In fact, according to the National Eye Institute, studies have found that dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin is associated with a lower risk of developing advanced AMD. Arugula, along with cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, is a cruciferous vegetable. These protective vegetables — a.k.a. “carcinogen killers” — teem with anti-cancer compounds that neutralize free radical damage and slow the aging process. Since studies support a strong link between cruciferous vegetables and a reduced rate of certain cancers, many health agencies—including the American Cancer Society—recommend regular consumption of this kind of vegetable. Lastly, arugula is super good for hearts, thanks to many factors: its inflammation-lowering antioxidants, and its unique arsenal of minerals that help control blood pressure (calcium, magnesium, and potassium).

Lemony White Bean and Arugula Salad Adapted from Cooking Light

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind plus 3 tablespoons fresh juice (from 1 lemon) 1 garlic clove, minced 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion 3-4 cups firmly packed baby arugula Combine oil, lemon zest, juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add beans and onion; toss well to coat. Add arugula; toss gently to combine.

Helpful tips

If buying fresh, select arugula that looks vibrant and green, avoiding leaves that are wilted, yellow or slimy. If buying prepackaged arugula, check the bag for excess water, as moisture can cause arugula to rot quickly. When stored properly in the refrigerator, arugula can last up to two weeks.

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle colum-

nist, food guru, and seasoned cook, who has perfected the art of preparing nutritious, calorie-conscious dishes. She is hungry for your questions and comments about SmartBites, so be in touch with Anne at


day is likely spent sitting. Too much sitting is linked to heart disease and other serious issues. Sit all day at work? Set a reminder to stand every hour. Stand when on a conference call or eating lunch. Or, try a walking meeting with a co-worker.

January 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15


Health Briefs

Your Providers

Valley Health Services welcomes RN


alley Health Services in Herkimer recently added RN Holly Ashley to its adult day health care professional staff. Individuals registered for the adult day health care program come for the day, can participate in activities, have breakfast and lunch, and receive additional services as health care and monitorAshley ing, occupational therapy, lab services and routine dental care. Transportation to and from the program is also provided. Ashley has an Associate in Applied Science degree from Excelsior College in Albany. She has 18 years’ RN experience having worked in the dialysis unit at St. Luke’s Hospital, Utica, and Bassett Healthcare Network, Cooperstown. Ashley resides in Fairfield with her husband, William, and two dogs.

JM Chubbuck Foundation CNY Wing Wars set The 2019 JM Chubbuck Foundation CNY Wing Wars to benefit local cancer patients in financial need will be held from 1-4 p.m. Jan. 26 at Harts Hill Inn, Whitesboro. The event is sponsored by 96.1 The Eagle and Tri-Valley Beverage. Ticket price is $25 and includes one free beer or soda, one slice of pizza, one dozen wings (one wing sample from each participating vendor), celery and blue cheese. Featured will be raffles and music. At the conclusion of the event, a celebrity judges’ panel will present awards for best wing and most unique wing. A foundation representative will present awards for best wing and most unique wing as chosen by the public. Advance tickets may be purchased online at under “Events” or by calling 315-3395993 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Tickets are limited to 250 and will be available at the door until sold out.

ADHD & Autism Psychological Services and Advocacy, PLLC


DHD & Autism Psychological Services and Advocacy, PLLC, 122 Business Park Drive, Suite 1, Utica recently welcomed several clinicians to its growing team of outpatient behavioral health providers. All clinicians will be working with patients diagnosed with neuro-developmental disorders of varying ages (children, adolescents and adults), as well as their families, to help improve their quality of life. • Kathryn Kasky, a licensed master social worker, recently joined the Utica team. While pursuing her Master of Social Work degree, she had the opportunity to work with some “incredible” children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism, and “absolutely fell in love with Kasky it,” she said. She graduated from Simmons College, Boston, Mass. last September, and has been gaining valuable experience in AAPSA’s applied behavior analysis program prior to transitioning into her role as a cognitive behavior therapist. When it comes to working at AAPSA, Kasky said she is most excited about engaging with clients and their families, finding and highlighting their unique strengths, watching their progress, and instilling hope. • Rianna Sawicky graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2013 with a Master of Science degree and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She will be seeing patients in the Syracuse office. Sawicky first went into this field of work because she wanted to help those that others may not understand. She has experienced the challenges, as well as the “immense beauty,” that people with autism bring to the table in both a personal

Utica office:

Syracuse office:

and professional capacity, so it is “very near and dear to my heart,” she said. She said fueled by curiosity and passion, she can continue to learn and grow in this “exciting” new role at AAPSA. • Traci Pier joined the Syracuse team this past Sawicky December. Pier graduated from Syracuse University in 2012 with a degree in social work, and is a licensed master social worker. Like most people who enter the social work field, she did so with the simple intention of helping others. However, what Pier discovered within herself was a deep-rooted desire to connect and support those who are stigmatized as a consequence of their experiences or biological conditions. Although challenging, she has found this to be a rewarding path both personally and professionally, as “there is nothing more fulfilling than assisting someone to change their life in a way that they never thought was possible,” she said. Pier is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in learning the most effective, evidence-based approaches and further developing

her clinical skills for the benefit of patients whom AAPSA serves. • Michael Friga is a board-certified behavior analyst who received his Ph.D. in educational psychology from University of California, Berkeley in 2001. Friga joined the team at AAPSA after 10 years as clinical director of Three Tier Consulting in Ithaca. While at Three Tier, Friga provided professional development, consulting and applied behavior analysis services for children with autism throughout Friga Central New York. Prior to that, Friga was a professor at the State University of New York and a professional development coordinator for New York State Department of Education (mid-state region). Friga has worked with individuals with autism for over 20 years, and his special interests include teaching executive functioning and social communication skills to individuals with pervasive developmental disorders. With a wide range of experience, Friga is “very excited” to engage with clients and their families at AAPSA, he said.

122 Business Park Drive Suite 1 Utica, New York 13502 Phone: 315-732-3431 Fax: 866-822-2343

1065 James St. Suite 210 Syracuse, N.Y. 13203 Phone: 315-732-3431 Fax: 866-822-2343

Study: Take at least year between pregnancies


omen should wait a year or more between having babies, to reduce health risks to themselves and their infants, researchers report. “Our study found increased risks to both mother and infant when pregnancies are closely spaced, including for women older than 35,” said lead author Laura Schummers, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of family practice at the University of British Columbia (UBC). “The findings for older women are particularly important, as older women tend to more closely space Page 16

their pregnancies, and often do so intentionally,” Schummers explained in a university news release. The researchers analyzed data on more than 148,000 pregnancies in the Canadian province of British Columbia, and concluded that 12 to 18 months was the ideal length of time between giving birth and getting pregnant again. Women over 35 who got pregnant six months after a previous birth had a 1.2 percent risk of serious complications or death. The risk was only 0.5 percent among those who waited 18 months before getting pregnant

again. Among these older women, the risk of preterm labor was about 6 percent among those who got pregnant within six months of giving birth. That risk dropped to 3.4 percent among those who waited 18 months before starting a new pregnancy. With younger women, aged 20 to 34, the risk of preterm labor was 8.5 percent among those who got pregnant again within six months. That compared to 3.7 percent among those who waited 18 months before getting pregnant again.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

The findings, published Oct. 29 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, provide guidance for older women who are planning families, said study senior author Dr. Wendy Norman. She is an associate professor in the department of family practice at UBC. “Older mothers for the first time have excellent evidence to guide the spacing of their children,” Norman said. “Achieving that optimal oneyear interval should be doable for many women, and is clearly worthwhile to reduce complication risks.”


By Jim Miller

Does Medicare Cover Dental Care? Dear Savvy Senior,

Dear Almost, Medicare’s coverage of dental care is extremely limited. It will not cover routine dental care including checkups, cleanings or fillings, and it won’t pay for dentures either. Medicare will, however, cover some dental services if they are required to protect your general health, or if you need dental care in order for another health service that Medicare covers to be successful. For example, if you have cancer and need dental services that are necessary for radiation treatment, or if you need surgery to treat fractures of the jaw or face, Medicare will pay for these dental services. Although Medicare’s coverage of dental services is limited, there are other ways you can get coverage and care affordably. Here are several to check into. Consider a Medicare Advantage plan While dental services are mostly excluded under original Medicare, some Medicare Advantage plans do provide coverage for routine dental care. If you are considering joining a Medicare Advantage plan, find out what dental services, if any, it covers. Also, remember to make sure any Medicare Advantage plan you’re considering covers the doctors and hospitals you prefer to use and the medications you take at a cost you can afford. See or call 800-633-4227 to research plans in your area. Purchase dental insurance If you have frequent gum problems and need extensive dental care, a dental insurance plan may be worth the costs versus paying for care yourself. Expect to pay monthly premiums of $15 to $40 or more for insurance. To find dental plans, go to and use the “find a dental plan” tool. Then review a specific plan’s website. Consider dental savings plans While savings plans aren’t as comprehensive as insurance, they’re

Got a health-related activity or event that you would like publicized? Call Lou Sorendo at 315-749-7070 or email



Food Addicts in Recovery to meet

Loved one on drugs? There is support

Food Addicts in Recovery holds an anonymous meeting from 6:308 p.m. Mondays at Trinity United Methodist Church, 8595 Westmoreland Road, Whitesboro. For more information, call Helen at 315-794-2314.

I will turn 65 in a few months and will be enrolling in Medicare, but I am concerned about Medicare’s coverage of dental care. Does Medicare cover dental procedures? And if not, where can I get dental coverage?

Almost 65



Insight House offers family support group a good option for those who can’t get covered. How this works is you pay an annual membership fee — around $80 to $200 a year — in exchange for 10 to 60 percent discounts on service and treatments from participating dentists. To find a savings plan, go to (or 888-632-5353) where you can search for plans and participating dentists, as well as get a breakdown of the discounts offered. Check veterans’ benefits If you’re a veteran enrolled in the VA health care program or are a beneficiary of the Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), the VA offers a dental insurance program that gives you the option to buy dental insurance through Delta Dental and MetLife at a reduced cost. The VA also provides free dental care to vets who have dental problems resulting from service. To learn more about these options, visit dental or call 877-222-8387. Shop around and lets you look up the cost of different dental procedures in your area, so you can comparison shop – or ask your regular dentist for a discount. Try community health centers or dental schools There are many health centers and clinics that provide low-cost dental care to those in need. And all university dental schools and college dental hygiene programs offer dental care and cleanings for less than half of what you would pay at a dentist’s office. Students who are supervised by their professors provide the care. See to search for a center, clinic or school near you.

Insight House Chemical Dependency Services, Inc. is offering a family support group meeting from 6:15-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Insight House, 500 Whitesboro St., Utica. The group is free and open to anyone who is concerned about a loved one’s relationship with alcohol, opiates/heroin, or other substances. For more information about the group, call 724-5168, ext. 265, from 8:30-4 p.m. weekdays. All calls are strictly confidential.

CNY Services Milestones is featuring a support group for anyone dealing with another person’s drug and/or alcohol addiction. The support group meets at 6 p.m. Thursdays at 502 Court St., Suite 210, Utica. The support group is free and open to those struggling with a child, partner, wife, husband, mother, father or friend who is battling addiction. For more information, call Tony at 315-717-9153.

Jan. 10

Laryngectomy support group to meet The Laryngectomy Support Group will hold its monthly meeting at noon Jan. 10 in the Sister Regina Conference Room on the first floor

Continued on Page 23

Mohawk Valley Practitioners In practice for 22 years Now Accepting New Patients For Primary Care Call Now for an Appointment We are excited to announce the addition of Sarah Alexander RN, MS, FNP-C to the practice Cathryn J. Barns RN, MS, FNP, ANP-C

Will continue to treat current and new dermatology patients: Diseases of the skin, including acne, warts, moles, mole removal, skin cancer, rashes, psoriasis, eczema, skin infections, sun damages, shingles, hair and nail disease.

1 Notre Dame Lane, Utica, NY 13502


We continue to be located next to Notre Dame High School

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. January 2019 •

Accepting Most Insurances We look foward to providing your care

Are you ready to increase your bottom line? Call Mohawk Valley In Good Health at 315-749-7070 and ask for sales associate Amy Gagliano! IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

Keeping athletes competitive Sitrin clinics provide care for young athletes, their injuries


ach year, more children and adolescents are getting out and playing by participating in recreation and sports through their city, school, local organization, or even just at home. Collectively, nearly 30 million youth participate in sports in the United States. While this vital health initiative is on the rise, so are the instances of sports-related injuries. It is common for young athletes to participate in more than one athletic activity, as well as compete yearround, which increases the chance of injury. In excess of 3.5 million young athletes, aged 14 and under, get hurt annually playing sports or participating in recreational activities. More than half of these athletes report they have played while injured, and 62 percent of the injuries have occurred during practice. Fortunately, most are affected by minor injuries that generally have a shorter recovery time, which are commonly known as acute injuries. Sprained ankles, caused by rolling or turning the ankle, are one of the most frequent types of acute injuries. In these occurrences, the turning that caused the sprain temporarily damages some of the ligaments that support the ankle. Though many people believe simply resting or elevating the ankle will result in a full recovery, these injuries can be serious if the disrupted tissue is not properly restored. If the tissue bonds are repaired irregularly, scar tissue can develop and movement can be permanently affected. This is where rehabilitation exercises come into play. Working with a physical therapist, those experiencing a sprained ankle or similar injury can learn range-of-motion exercises, including stretching, strength training, and balance. Treating this type of injury with a physical therapist and proper exercise can help prevent ongoing ankle problems, including development of chronic pain, and enables an athlete to return to the

Dr. Shawna Marmet works with a local athlete in Sitrin’s Orthopedic Injury Clinic, New Hartford. desired activity faster. Additionally, shoulder damage accounts for a large number of sports-related injuries from dislocations, misalignment, strains on muscles, and sprains of ligaments. Because the shoulder is the weakest joint in the body, impairments occur due to lack of flexibility, strength, or stabilization, and the force the shoulder endures during athletic activities.

Ways to recovery

A physical therapist can work with an injured athlete on improving posture to alleviate pain, strengthening shoulder muscles, chest expansion, and functional training. In turn, this can help improve the health and ability of the athlete returning to a sport. Another common affliction youth

experience is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, commonly known as an ACL tear. This stabilizing ligament of the knee can become damaged during an uncontrolled twisting motion. Unfortunately, this injury almost always requires surgery, which can keep youth out of sports for many months, if not permanently. Athletes with this injury will need to work with both an orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist to ensure proper recovery. They can help these injured individuals regain normal mobility through strengthening exercises, improving quadriceps control, and plyometrics — learning to jump and land properly. In Sitrin Health Care Center’s Orthopedic Injury Clinic, New Hartford, young athletes or active people

of any age can work directly with both an orthopedic surgeon and a doctor of physical therapy to address their injury needs. This dynamic team emphasizes fast, functional recovery, keeping in mind that an athlete’s focus is to return to the field of play as quickly, healthily, and pain-free as possible. In this clinic, an injured athlete will be seen immediately to receive an analysis and set expectations for recovery. Alfred Moretz, a well-known orthopedic surgeon, sees the patient first and will perform an ultrasound and provide an accurate diagnosis. Moretz will review the specifics of the injury with the athlete and their parents if necessary, and establish a treatment plan specific to the injury. Afterward, the individual will work with one of the clinic’s doctors of physical therapy —Shawna Marmet, Philip Fess, or James Wallace. These advanced therapists will begin an exercise and therapy regimen specialized for both the athlete and injury. There is no wait time and no referral needed to take part in Sitrin’s clinic, though urgent care can directly refer individuals to the clinic if needed. “Active individuals can sidestep a trip to the emergency room and not have to wait for a referral from their primary physician to see an injury specialist, but rather can begin the healing process right away,” said Wallace, director of the clinic. “This allows young athletes to recuperate better, faster, and stronger, while saving time and money.” Clinic hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and from 9 a.m. until noon Thursdays and Fridays. The team is also always available for on-call appointments. Sitrin accepts all major insurances. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 315737-2246.

Rome Memorial recognized as leader in hereditary cancer risk screening


ince Rome Memorial Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Center began offering hereditary cancer risk screening as part of its personalized breast care program this year, more than 4,200 women have now had the opportunity to learn their predicted personal risk of developing breast cancer within the next five years and over the course of their lifetime. The hospital has earned recognition by Myriad Genetics as being 12th in the nation for effectively implementing a hereditary risk-screening program that’s making a difference in patients’ lives. Radiologist John Restivo, chairperson of Rome Memorial Hospital’s Medical Imaging Center, and Leigh Loughran, operations manager, have been invited to speak at the Radiological Society of North America because of the success of the program. Every person who has breast imaging at Rome Memorial HospiPage 18

tal is asked to complete a screening questionnaire to identify those who may be at higher clinical risk and are candidates for genetic testing. “Our risk screening program enables us to truly deliver personalized recommendations for women based upon their personal and family history,” Restivo said. “Based upon the screening, we can offer women at higher risk access to genetic testing which screens for 29 genetic mutations that impact hereditary risk for eight cancers.” Since the program was implemented, more than 650 women have had the genetic testing which screens for breast, ovarian, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, melanoma, and endometrial cancer. Of these, 29 were identified as having one or more genetic mutations, some of which put their lifetime risk of developing breast cancer up to 85 percent and puts them at

higher risk for ovarian cancer as well, according to Loughran. “Knowing the results of a genetic test can impact the care management plan for an entire family, siblings, cousins, children and grandchildren,” Restivo said. “It’s a tragedy when a woman survives breast cancer only to later die of ovarian cancer when it may have been prevented if she had had genetic testing and been presented her options.” “In the general population, about 12 percent of women will develop breast cancer, but those with identified personal and family risk factors and especially those who have genetic mutations, have such an increased risk that we need to think about their care plan differently,” Restivo said. “With that information, we can provide women with personalized recommendations, such as more frequent mammograms and breast MRIs so we can detect breast cancer

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

at its earliest stages.” Several years ago, actress Angelina Jolie publically shared her decision to have preventive surgery to have her breasts and ovaries removed to reduce her risk of cancer after discovering that she had a genetic mutation that put her at high risk. “Every woman may make a different decision, but with a thorough hereditary cancer risk assessment, women have the information they need to discuss their options with their provider or an experienced genetic counselor,” Restivo said. Even when there is no genetic mutation, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the American Cancer Society recommend that an annual breast MRI be considered, in addition to a mammogram, for any woman with a lifetime breast cancer risk of 20 percent or more.

Health News Orthopedics and Sports Medicine welcomes PA Board-certified physician assistant Erica Trimm has joined the staff at Rome Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, located in Suite 102 of Chestnut Commons, 107 E. Chestnut St., Rome. She will work with orthopedic surgeon Mitchell Rubinovich in the practice, which also includes physician assistant Kevin Lynch. The practice provides complete care of the musculoskeletal system, Trimm including the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of injuries to the muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments. Trimm earned a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from Canisius College, Buffalo and received a Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse. She holds memberships in the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the New York State Society of Physician Assistants and the Urgent Care Association.

Insight House in Utica adds to staff Insight House in Utica has recently hired several new staff positions. — Kathy Spatuzzi has joined Insight House as the director of residential services. This position is responsible for planning, coordinating, supervising and evaluating component Spatuzzi functions of the agency’s residential program. Spatuzzi, of Utica, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology with a minor in criminology from SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Marcy. She has more than 24 years of counseling and management experience, and has served as the Thomas coordinator for Utica Drug Court since 2004. Shelley Thomas, Yanique Freeman, Rachel Geary, and Bill Magee have joined Insight House as chemical dependency counselors. Their duties will include providing group,

Miller, of Utica, is a residential aide who works directly with clients in a longterm residential program, assisting residents with scheduled activities and transportation needs. She was Miller nominated by her supervisor Judy Kampf, and has been employed at Insight House for nine years.

Community Memorial adds to family health staff

Yahnundasis employee honored for 40 years of service, breaking down barriers Over 100 members, family, and friends gathered at the Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford recently to attend a special event honoring Ron Rogowski for more than 40 years of employment at the club. Rogowski, also affectionately known as “Rugsy,” received training through programs offered at The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter, as well as Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES. He serves as a member of the club’s culinary staff in addition to other duties and is considered an integral part of the Yahnundasis team. Rogowski is an avid fan of the Utica College hockey team and received as one of his many gifts a Utica College hockey jersey complete with his name and the number “40”. Ron was also given a signed parking space at the Yahnundasis Golf Club.

MVCC. — Magee, of Rome, has a chemical dependency practitioner Associate of Applied Science degree from MVCC. He was previously employed at Insight House and McPike Addiction Treatment Center.


Geary individual and family clinical services. — Thomas, of Utica, has a chemical dependency practitioner Associate of Applied Science degree from Mohawk Valley Community College. She previously was employed at Beacon Center in Rome. — Freeman, of Utica, has a chemical dependency practitioner AsMagee sociate of Applied Science degree from MVCC. — Geary, of Rome, has a chemical dependency practitioner Associate of Applied Science degree from

Insight House names employees of quarter Morgan Shew and Charlene Miller were named employees of the quarter for the fourth quarter of 2018 at Insight House, Utica. Supervisors nominate employees for their reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution. Shew, of Shew Remsen, is a chemical dependency counselor in the outpatient program department, and specializes in group, individual and family clinical services. Her supervisor, Christina Davis, nominated her. Shew has worked at Insight House for one year.

January 2019 •

Community Memorial Family Health Centers recently welcomed Marla Smith, certified family health nurse practitioner, to the Morrisville Family Health Center, 3460 South St. Smith comes to the Community Memorial organization with more than 18 years of experience in primary care, case management and medical staff supervision. Smith She completed her nursing degree and master’s degree in family and adult nurse practitioner program at SUNY Institute of Technology, Utica/ Rome campus and is certified as a nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Smith began her career as a registered nurse in the emergency room at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica and more recently as a family health nurse practitioner with Mohawk Valley Health System at its Hempden Place location in Utica. The Family Health Centers in Cazenovia and Morrisville offer primary and preventive care for newborns to the young-at-heart. For more information on the family health center in Morrisville, call 315-684-3117 or visit us online at https://www.communitymemorial. org/healthcenters/morrisville/.

MVHS celebrates opening of Oneida medical office The Mohawk Valley Health System recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new medical office in the city of Oneida. ‘The Oneida Medical Office is the first MVHS primary care office to open in Madison County. Dialysis and lab services are provided at this location. “The Mohawk Valley Health System is committed to improving access to primary care services throughout our region,” said Michael Attilio, vice president, MVHS

Continued on Page 20

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19

Health News Continued from Page 19

Visit for more information about the MVHS radiology department.

Medical Group. “Opening a medical office in the city of Oneida offers our neighbors in Madison County more options to obtain the care they need more quickly and conveniently.” Oneida Medical Office providers Dr. Andrea Finocchiaro and nurse practitioner Kristy Russ are accepting new patients of all ages. Visit for more information.

LFH employee awarded ‘GEM’ award

MVHS Campaign for Quality celebrates anniversary Mohawk Valley Health System’s Campaign For Quality celebrated its 17th anniversary recently with nearly 500 physicians, health care workers, students and community members from across New York state in attendance. The program, held at Hamilton College in Clinton, featured national and local experts who presented on current trends in health care, patient experiences, population health topics and patient-safety initiatives. “Each year, this educational series brings together incredible speakers with years of experience on various topics that affect all of us” said Scott H. Perra, president-CEO of MVHS. “You’d expect to see these renowned speakers in large cities or major academic health care institutes. However, the 2018 CFQ brought all of them right to our community, providing those in attendance with a better understanding of health care.” Attendees selected sessions based on their interests. Topics included palliative care, robotics and the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, TeamSTEPPS, team training, high reliability, atrial fibrillation treatments, teamwork, accountability and more. MVHS — affiliates include Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center — as well as its medical staffs, Iroquois Healthcare, the MVHS Healthcare Foundation, Sodexo, Hospice and Palliative Care, Novo Nordisk, Genetech and Penumbra sponsor CFQ.

No bones about it: Ortho team is tops The orthopedic group at the Mohawk Valley Health System demonstrated excellent results in the total hip/knee surgery complication rates, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare Quality Database released in the second quarter of 2018. The elective total hip/knee surgery complication rate (lower is better) for the orthopedic department at the MVHS St. Elizabeth Campus was 1.6 percent from the period from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2017. This placed St. Elizabeth first in New York state out of 101 eligible hospitals and 19th out of 2,746 eligible hospitals in the nation. “In 2004, I left Johns Hopkins for Utica with a vision of bringing Page 20

Nonsurgical treatment for chronic back pain available at Rome Memorial Hospital Spinal injections are now available at Rome Memorial Hospital as an alternative treatment for chronic back pain. Medication injections help reduce inflammation and relieve pain and offer patients another option for pain relief before considering a surgical intervention. Neurosurgeon Nicholas Qandah, shown above with RMH Diagnostic Supervisor Megan Pazdur, delivers spinal injections guided by the latest imaging technology. The premium mobile C-arm is designed to meet the needs of a busy surgical environment, providing surgeons with the highest-quality images during a variety of procedures including spinal, urological, orthopedic, cardiac and general surgery.

world-class health care to our community,” said John P. Sullivan, orthopedic surgeon. “With a lot of collaboration, hard work and effort, we have surpassed this goal and are now rubbing elbows with my alma mater and the rest of the best hospitals in the country. On behalf of our entire team, we pledge to continue to strive to provide cutting-edge medicine as we herald in Utica’s new hospital.”

St. E’s campus of MVHS enhances security The St. Elizabeth campus of the Mohawk Valley Health System in Utica is restricting access to the following two entrances: • Entrance under canopy on the way to parking garage: “exit only” with no access for badges or the public. • Front hospital entrance (wooden doors facing Genesee Street) will be a restricted access entrance for badge swipe only. All patients and visitors can use the two entrances of the parking garage between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. and the emergency department entrance 24 hours a day. The MVHS Safety Department proposed the decrease in the number of unattended entrances as a way to increase the safety and security of patients, visitors, employees and medical staff. Limiting public access to several entrances provides greater manageability of traffic in and out of the building.

MVHS celebrates Radiologic Technology Week The Mohawk Valley Health System Radiology Department celebrated National Radiologic Technology Week in November by participating in Siemens Healthineers’ “Emotional Intelligence” training sessions. Radiology technologists must obtain 24 hours of training every two years. Nearly 50 MVHS employees received the training during the three days that the “Emotional Intelligence” program was offered. Trainees also gained four credits toward their radiology certification, as well as a better understanding of how to interact with patients, family members and even coworkers. “This program teaches you how to recognize your emotions, how to regulate your emotions, how to be motivated to overcome negative emotions and how to build stronger relationships,” said Melissa Jackowski, American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ president and Siemens Healthineers’ competency management development specialist. Since the trainings, Anthony Dischiavi, medical imaging director, has received positive feedback from his staff. “It’s not the type of training you’d normally expect with our profession, but I feel it’s beneficial for any line of work,” said Dischiavi. “The training has helped equip our employees to better handle their emotions, at work and at home.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

Registered nurse Melissa Polidori, Newport Health Center care coordinator, was the recipient of the 2018 third quarter G.E.M. (Going the Extra Mile) award at Little Falls Hospital, a part of Bassett Healthcare Network. The award recognizes staff Polidori for going above and beyond their typical job duties and making a significant difference by improving the quality of health for patients and exceeding customer service standards for patients, clients, guests and co-workers. Polidori has been with LFH since 2016. She lives in Middleville with her husband, Tony, and two children, Tony and Angelina.

AmeriCU leader honored with Legacy Award Michael Manuele, assistant vice president of financial center services for AmeriCU, was one of six local leaders to be honored as a 2018 Joseph R. Carucci Legacy Award winner by The Genesis Group. Created to honor the legacy of the group’s late Manuele founder, the annual award recognizes individuals and organizations for their dedication and commitment to the Mohawk Valley region. “Joseph Carucci was a man who personified what it means to be involved in the community,” said Manuele. “He was a leader in business and in volunteer organizations throughout Mohawk Valley, as well as being a member of many boards and groups. It is humbling for me to be recognized as someone who reflects Joe’s commitment and involvement in this community.” The award was recently presented at The Genesis Group’s annual meeting and luncheon at the Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford. The Genesis Group is a civic organization that unites business and community leaders working to advance regional economic, social, and cultural interests, and to foster unity and cooperation in the Mohawk Valley region of Upstate New York.

Story idea? Call 315-749-7070



Hygiene drive at Community Memorial Hospital successful


Community Memorial Hospital and its five family health centers participated in the season of giving by collecting more than 1,100 hygiene products. The hygiene products were delivered to the Hamilton Food Pantry cupboard. Celebrating the occasion are, from left, Sean Fadale, president and CEO; Suzanne Collins, administrator at the Hamilton Food Pantry; and Kelly Kahler, employee health manager at CMH. Meghan Dougherty, marketing and development coordinator, and Pam West, director of nutritional services, were chairpersons for the drive.

Health News LIFEPlan celebrates opening in Utica LIFEPlan CCO NY, LLC recently held its ribbon cutting and grand opening event at its offices at 258 Genesee St., Utica. LIFEPlan CCO NY, LLC is a partnership of over 72 local, nonprofit organizations serving 38 counties throughout the Central, Northern, Southern Tier, Hudson Valley and Capital regions of New York. The organization serves more than 17,000 people and employs approximately 600 professional staff, including over 500 care managers. According to the state, CCOs are a family’s “single access point” for services. Care managers coordinate services by using electronic records to create a single individualized plan, called a life plan, which will replace the current individualized service plan. “This new system is revolutionizing the way people with disabilities receive care coordination services,” said Nick Cappoletti, CEO of LIFEPlan CCO NY, LLC. “Under CCOs, people receive one single comprehensive and holistic plan with a greater focus on outcomes, measuring the real, positive impact they have on peoples’ lives,” he said.

Thank you for trusting your cancer care to us for over 25 years. We’re proud to care for you, your family, friends and neighbors, as a vital part of your community.

LIFEPlan CCO NY, LLC is a provider-led care coordination organization founded by Upstate Cerebral Palsy in Utica and the Center for Disability Services in Albany.

Valley Health Services adds to its staff Valley Health Services in Herkimer recently welcomed Tracy Reesh, assistant nursing care coordinator, to its professional staff. In her new role, Reesh will assist the nursing care coordinator in directing and supervising nursing services as they apply to resident care, evaluate and Reesh direct nursing care of residents and be available to nurses in charge of various units. Reesh has an Associate in Applied Science degree in nursing from St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing, Utica. She has five years of experience in nursing and formerly worked at the dialysis unit at Faxton Hospital, Utica. Reesh resides in Cedarville with her husband, Thomas.


Community Foundation, Lead-Free MV announce initiative


he Lead-Free Mohawk Valley Coalition has launched an initiative aimed at expanding area efforts to provide safe, affordable housing. The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Oneida County and the city of Utica are collaborating in a Green & Healthy Homes Initiative compact, a comprehensive effort that will align lead hazard reduction with a full range of improvements to housing in the targeted area. “Eliminating lead poisoning has been a priority for my administra-

January 2019 •

tion, and Oneida County has seen a significant decrease in lead poisoning rates over the last decade,” said Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri. “Still, more work remains, and the GHHI compact will expand efforts to ensure the availability of safe, healthy housing.” Oneida County has led area efforts to address childhood lead exposure with a primary prevention program — among the first launched in New York state — and a longstanding secondary prevention program. For more information, visit www. or call 315-7358212.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21

Dental Health Smile with Dr. Suy

By Dr. Salina Suy

Defining Dentistry: What is a denture? Editor’s note: This is another segment in a continuing series titled “Defining Dentistry,” designed to enlighten readers on various components of dentistry.


appy New Year Mohawk Valley! My wish for everyone is that this year brings good health, great adventure and plenty of reasons to smile! I love January because it is right after the holidays and that means it’s my birthday month! Who else loves birthdays? I hope you have been enjoying the “Defining Dentistry” series. I have been Suy enjoying writing columns and all the great interaction I get to have with all of my readers. I am so happy readers have been enjoying the topic of dental medicine. Education is key to understanding this interesting aspect of medicine. This month, I want to explore the key aspects of dental dentures. I am sure you have seen or heard of dentures before, maybe from TV or

you know someone who has them. We all have a general idea of what we think dentures could be or could be like. One thing is for sure: Dentures have been used in dentistry for centuries and now with new technology, dentures can be better than ever. There is a lot more to dentures than you think. Dentures are defined as a removable plate or frame holding one or more artificial teeth. You may need a denture if you have lost one of more teeth or you need temporary teeth while you are waiting for other dental work. There are many reasons why a patient may lose all or some of their teeth. Some reasons include trauma (i.e. blunt kick, car accident), decay (i.e. from cavities, drug usage, lack of dental hygiene), erosion (i.e. acid reflux, bulimia) and many individual scenarios that result in the need for a denture. Once you are examined by your dentist, you will decide if teeth are worth saving or not and what different options you have. Dentures come in many forms and many different materials. They can replace one tooth and up to a full mouth of teeth.

Filling the gaps

Dentures not replacing a full mouth are considered partial den-

Subscribe to In Good Health Get Mohawk Valley’s health care newspaper at home for only $21 a year. FREE with your paid subscription: the 2019 CNY Healthcare Guide

Name___________________________________________ Address_________________________________________ City / Town__________________State_____ Zip_________ $15 payment enclosed

Clip and Mail to:

In Good Health

4 Riverside Drive, Suite 251, Utica, NY 13502 Page 22

tures. Varying denture base materials include plain acrylic, flex acrylic, acrylic with full metal base, acrylic with flexible wire, acrylic with Ultaire™ (polymer) and many more depending on where your dentures are being made. Denture teeth are typically resin or porcelain. Your denture will be variable depending on your doctor’s prescription for you individually and their lab fabrication. Dentures are a great viable treatment option for patients, although dentures will not be exactly like your real teeth. They can restore chewing functions, pretty smiles and increase your quality of life. The upside to dentures is they can restore your whole mouth, are affordable, are modifiable and require no surgery after initial extractions. The downside to dentures is the bite force is much lower than real teeth and they cause the jaw bone to resorb over time since the pressure of the teeth are now on the tissue and bone. The alternative to pressure on the bone is to place pressure on dental

implants. If a patient wants more stability to his or her denture, they can have implants placed that act as anchors for their denture. With an implant-retained denture, dentists are seeing a huge change of quality of life for denture patients. I hope this helped you understand dentures a little more. Dentures can happen for many reasons and it is not a shameful thing for someone to have a denture. Many of my denture patients have their own story to tell and I am so happy to restore their smile. All dentures can be a great treatment; it just depends on what is right for you. Thank you for reading the article and taking the time to learn something new today. I would love to hear some topic ideas from readers, so feel free to email me them. • Dr. Salina Suy is a health and wellness advocate and general dentist in Utica. Want to learn more? Visit Facebook @smilewithdrsuy or

Research: Heartwarming news concerning saunas


ove your time in the local sauna? Your heart may love it, too. New research from sauna-loving Finland suggests that for people aged 50 and older, saunas may lower their odds of risk of dying from heart disease. Specifically, just 5 percent of Finns in the study who spent more than 45 minutes in a sauna each week died of heart disease over the 15-year study period, compared to 10 percent of those who spent less that 15 minutes a week in saunas, the researchers said. Of course, the study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect — it’s possible that sauna-loving folk have other heart-healthy habits that might explain the findings. Still, “there are several possible reasons why sauna use may decrease the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease,” said study co-author Jari Laukkanen, physician and head of cardiology at the University of Eastern Finland. His team published its findings Nov. 28 in the journal BMC Medicine. “Our research team has shown in previous studies that high sauna

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

use is associated with lower blood pressure,” he noted in a journal news release. “Additionally, sauna use is known to trigger an increase in heart rate equal to that seen in low- to moderate-intensity physical exercise.” One U.S. expert who looked over the findings agreed that heat can often be therapeutic to the human body, but the sauna experience might differ a bit in America. “The greatest benefit [in the study] was observed in individuals who took four to seven saunas per week, a frequency that Americans are unlikely to achieve,” noted Cindy Grines, who directs cardiology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park on Long Island. “In addition, this study used dry heat, and whether the results are similar with steam baths or hot tubs is not known,” she said. Laukkanen’s team agreed that because the data came from one area in Finland, the findings might not apply to other populations. The study relied on data from nearly 1,700 Finnish men and women.



Got a health-related activity or event that you would like publicized? Call Lou Sorendo at 315-749-7070 or email Continued from Page 17 of the St. Elizabeth Medical Center hospital building, 2209 Genesee St., Utica. The support group is sponsored by SEMC. Laryngectomy support group meetings are held at noon on the second Thursday of each month. A laryngectomy is the procedure to remove a person’s larynx and separates the airway from the mouth, nose and esophagus. The laryngectomee breathes through an opening in the neck, called a stoma. The public is welcome to attend. Those with questions can call the speech therapy department at 315801-4475.

Jan. 14

Support forum for patients, cancer survivors The Mohawk Valley Health System’s Cancer Center’s monthly

support forum for patients and cancer survivors will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 14 The cancer support forum meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of every month in the Cancer Center’s fireplace lounge on the main floor of Faxton Campus, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica. The forum, led by the Cancer Center’s social worker, offers support to anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or to RSVP, call 315-624-5241.

Jan. 14

Support group to meet at Rome Memorial Hospital The brain aneurysm, AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and stroke support group will meet from 5:30-7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Rome Memorial Hospital’s second-floor classroom.

Health in good


The group meets on the second Monday of every month. RMH is located at 1500 N. James St., Rome. For more information, call Deb Dunn at 315-533-6467 or email

Jan. 16

Valley Health Services accepts syringes Valley Health Services is accepting the community’s medical waste of needles, syringes and lancets from noon until 2 p.m. on Jan. 16. The service is available on the third Wednesday of every month. The waste must be in approved puncture-resistant containers available at local pharmacies and properly marked “biohazard.” The containers may be brought to the outpatient receptionist on the ground floor at VHS, who will contact the personnel responsible for medical waste disposal. VHS is located at 690 W. German St., Herkimer. Questions may be directed to Tammi King, infection control nurse, at 866-3330, ext. 2308.

Jan. 21

Family support group focuses on addiction Families who are dealing with the problems of addiction can find help and information at a support

group meeting from 6-7 p.m. Jan. 21 in the second floor classroom at Rome Memorial Hospital. The group meets the third Monday of each month and is free and open to everyone. Offered by the hospital’s Community Recovery Center, the support group provides an opportunity to discuss issues with others who are in the same situation. Certified by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Community Recovery Center, 264 W. Dominick St., Rome, offers alcohol and substance abuse treatment for adolescents and adults. Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, the center participates with most major insurance programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. A sliding scale fee is available for self-pay clients. For more information, call 3344701.

March 3

Workshop on estate planning scheduled The Estate Planning Law Center with Dave Zumpano will hold a free workshop on estate planning from 2-4 p.m. March 12 at the Mohawk Homestead, 62 E. Main St., Mohawk. The event is open to the public with limited seating. RSVP to by March 3.


Advertise your health-related services or products and reach potential customers throughout the Mohawk Valley for as little as $90 a month. Call 749-7070 for more info.

s d i K Corner

What’s best for babies with recurring ear infections?


nfant ear infections can be a source of frustration for parents and babies alike. But there are steps to lessen them and, when they do occur, “less is more” is a better way to treat them. A typical infection can begin with bacterial growth. Inflammation can lead to fluid buildup behind the eardrum. The eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat, could become swollen. Babies and children are more prone to these problems than adults because their still-developing immune systems have a harder time

fighting off infections. And the size and position of ear passages make it easier for germs to reach the middle ear and for fluid to get trapped. According to a 2016 study in the journal Pediatrics, breastfeeding and decreasing exposure to smoking help reduce ear infections. Also, try to protect baby from getting frequent colds — 46 percent of infants had the common cold before their ear infection diagnosis. Middle ear infections are the leading cause of doctor visits and prescriptions for antibiotics. But more doctors are now taking a wait-

and-see approach for two to three days unless it’s severe or baby is still an infant. Many infections clear up on their own without antibiotics. Instead, your pediatrician might suggest over-the-counter pain medication to ease discomfort. Surgery to insert ear tubes to drain fluid is also becoming less common. The tubes themselves don’t stop infections and the procedure could damage the eardrum. Is it an ear infection? Know the

January 2019 •

signs: • More crying than usual. • Difficulty sleeping or hearing. • Fever. • Headache. • Fluid from the ear. • Excessive tugging on an ear. To help limit the spread of germs, make sure kids know how to thoroughly wash their hands from an early age and keep them up to date on vaccines -- vaccinated children get fewer ear infections.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 23

Kelberman Center: Not Just a Preschool Center planning to transform Utica facility into a 60-unit apartment building; at least 12 units will be for people with autism and related developmental disabilities By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ne in 59 U.S. children will be diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For many, the support they receive early in life makes a difference with how they fit in with their community and also the opportunities available to them for socialization, recreation and employment. The Kelberman Center, with offices in Syracuse and Utica, serves Balch people affected by autism and their families in all of these areas, beginning with preschool for children diagnosed as early as age 2. The Kelberman Center provides early intervention through preschool. While preschool has helped many people know about the Kelberman Center, that’s not all the organization offers. “A lot of people may know of just one area that we focus on,” said Eryn Balch, managing director of business operations at the Kelberman Center. “A lot say, ‘We thought you had only a preschool!’” Through different life stages, the

This is what the new apartment building complex will look like upon completion. Kelberman Center offers various programs. For school-aged students, the center has worked with more than 65 different school districts. “We can work with them to support a specific child,” Balch said. “And we can work with administrators to do broader training for teachers and staff so people with autism can be more successful in regular classrooms.” The Kelberman Center also organizes after-school and social events, including such activities as bowling club, cooking group, camping, Lego club and activities at The Root Farm in Sauquoit in the Mohawk Valley region.

“A lot of times, it’s great to meet other families who ‘get it’ and share their struggles and successes,” said Balch. As participants grow up, the Kelberman Center offers programs for pre-vocational services. This year marks the second supported internship program with Utica College. “We help with job coaching and trying different career skills,” Balch said. “Utica College lets our students work in different departments throughout the campus.” The 10-month program allows participants to work alongside a job coach. Meanwhile, the organization has purchased the building at 2507

Sunset Ave. with tentative plans to transform it into a 60-unit apartment building. At least 12 units will be reserved for people with autism or related developmental disabilities who may need some extra support. “A ‘paid neighbor’ will be someone on-call who can help just in case they need it,” Balch said. “A lot of young adults with autism have a routine and things they do during the day but overnight is sometimes more difficult. A place to go where you know people are there to help opens up a world of opportunity.” As a mixed-use building, it may also contain office space on the first floor. The organization hasn’t entirely finished its planning at this point. Balch said that the Kelberman Center hopes to expand to a greater geographic area. “We’re finding there are a lot of families in need,” Balch said. “We want to continue to grow to meet the needs throughout Central New York. We want to work more closely with schools and other community organizations.” “Fifty thousand kids across the U.S. age out of school-based autism services every year. In 10 years, that’s half a million people who’ll need some kind of support. Many are willing to find a way to be independent – they just need more opportunities,” she added.

833-4-HEAR-SU The Official Hearing Aid Provider of Syracuse Athletics®

U eA t hletics®

n g H e al t h







Many Locations Throughout Central New York! East Syracuse • Liverpool • Auburn • Cicero • New Hartford • Oneida • Rome

ri ea

T h e O f fi c i a l

We offer complimentary: • Hearing Evaluations* • Hearing Aid Cleanings • Demonstrations


Let Us Look Into Your Hearing


S id Pro vid er of


Mention this ad when you schedule a complimentary hearing evaluation and be entered to

Win Syracuse Basketball Tickets for games on Feb 5th, 9th, 20th & 23rd!


*This information is intended for the sole purpose of fitting or selecting a hearing aid and is not a medical examination or audiological evaluation

Page 24

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • January 2019

IGH MV 155 January 19  
IGH MV 155 January 19