Page 1


Meet Your Provider


Nicole Hebert Physical therapist specializes in pelvic floor therapy for men and women. Page 14

What health questions do people ask Google the most? Page 18

The Abortion

Question Page 13

Confronting Cancer

MARCH 2019 • ISSUE 157

Develop strategy to deal with devastating disease Story, Page 5

Men’s Health Special Edition

Recovering from Substance use disorder

Work it out!

Dentistry 101: Dental Bridge

Local fitness fans hit the roadways, weights to keep in tip-top condition.

CRAFT a plan for success

See ‘Smile With Dr. Suy’ inside

See Page 3


Fluffy like couscous or creamy like polenta, millet has many things going for it.

Check out SmartBites, Page 16


Page 6 ­

Health Careers Melanie Pandit talks about her life as a meditation instructor. Page 18 March 2019 •

Does coffee increase life span? See story, Page 11

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 1


When trust is critical, say,

“Take Me to Crouse.”

Open for You: Our New Pomeroy Emergency Services Department • •

The region’s newest, most up-to-date ER One convenient access and evaluation point for acute care and treatment of minor illnesses and injuries 24/7

Advanced Facility, Advanced Care • •

High-quality care delivered promptly and with Carepassion® Modern design allows us to move patients faster – and more comfortably

All this adds up to superior emergency care from the hospital you trust – Crouse Health.

Official healthcare provider of Syracuse Athletics ®

Page 2

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

Addiction All in the family Here’s an innovative approach to help your loved one with addiction By Ambi Daniel “My granddaughter has been living with me for almost two years now because of my daughter’s addiction. “This wasn’t my plan, and I’m not sure how to raise my granddaughter while also letting my daughter be a mother. “I know I can’t be the only one going through this. Do you have any insight or suggestions to help my family?”


y heart goes out to you and the many families that are dealing with this exact issue. There are so many challenges that come into play when substance use disorders infiltrate families. Raising a grandchild while being a partner-parent to your own child, and with an extra generation gap, comes with a set of impacts that often has hard-tofind support or direction. Let’s look at some of the heartbreaking challenges that I hear all too often, and then we can look at resources for families with similar Daniel situations. — I’m a different parent than my son or daughter. I don’t agree with what he or she is doing as a parent. — When my son or daughter is home, am I supposed to let them parent the way he or she wants? — My grandchild is confused because he or she does not have consistency between my son or daughter and me as parents. — Parenting today is different than when I raised my kids. — If I failed with my own child, should I be raising theirs? — I have no idea what kids face today with social media, or what their issues are in school. — Kids today are just different. I

Oneida, Herkimer in good


Health MV’s Healthcare Newspaper

don’t know how to parent in today’s world. — I don’t know how to help my grandkids with their homework. — I’m too tired for this. — I’m retired, so how do I support a child financially? — I was supposed to be retired and enjoying life with my husband or wife. — I feel like I need to take custody of these kids so they can have a normal life. It’s a tough list to read, right? If you’re a grandparent raising a grandchild, reading this list, no matter how it came to be, it’s possible you’ve felt one or more of those things. If you have, it’s OK to have felt that way. You’re not alone in feeling it. I genuinely promise you that you are not alone. Raising children in general can be a daunting task for anyone, no matter how much resiliency he or she has built into their upbringing. With substance use disorders, much of the time, the level of family stress and challenges increase many times over. Not only are grandparents raising their grandkids, there is the component of helping their own children be OK again. It becomes easy to question what is right or wrong, and how to move forward as a family. Who helps to put those plans in place? While I’ll touch on other community supports, at the Center for Family Life & Recovery, Inc. in Utica, we do have the ability to create a holistic support system for the whole family through community and family recovery services, mental health and behavioral services, and prevention services. We do this with our community partners on top of the services provided in our agency. There is support out there for grandparents and their loved ones, including the kids, especially on a one-on-one level. Boy, they can be tricky to find sometimes, right?


Not only are there individual and family counseling options to help with behavioral issues, mental health issues, and adjusting to ever-changing situations, there are also programs to teach the families, including the kids, some of the “how-to” of family wellness and positive growth. There are also arenas to just give families an outlet and support with those that are living it, and have been there before. The biggest gift to recovery is often the family. You, as family members, are an incredible resource with more insight to your loved ones’ behaviors, substance use related or otherwise. We take that insight and create a map to engage it toward family recovery. The biggest changes in the

families I work with come from the classes and one-on-one meetings to learn tools to help their families move forward. The CRAFT (community reinforcement and family training) method has been implemented in Oneida County through the family support navigation program. It helps families look at their individual situations and tackle their own family needs by teaching family members tools to help move their loved one into recovery, reduce use, and increase family wellness. I’m proud to share that families who have engaged in this training, created by Robert Meyers, are report-

Continued on Page 17


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.

March 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Health News in Brief Open house at Mohawk Valley Endoscopy Center An open house will be held at the Mohawk Valley Endoscopy Center, 116 Business Park Drive, Utica, from 1-4 p.m. March 24. Guests will have the opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art endoscopy center and learn about colorectal cancer screening and digestive disease management. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, while March 25-29 is designed as GI Nurses and Associates Week.

Rome Memorial offers childbirth classes Rome Memorial Hospital nurses offer a variety of classes covering childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care. Maternity nurse Laurie Hoke will lead a six-week childbirth course to prepare parents for labor and delivery. Instruction is based on the Lamaze fundamentals of childbirth. Classes will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays in Rome Memorial Hospital’s second floor classroom. The next course session kicks off on April 2. The fee for the course is $75 and can be paid at the first class. Cash or a check made out to Rome Memorial Hospital will be accepted. Hoke encourages expectant women to sign up at the end of their second or third month of pregnancy. Additional six-week courses will be offered beginning July 2 and Oct. 1. To register for this class or for more information, contact Rome Memorial Hospital’s Education Department at 315-338-7143.

Insulin price more than doubles in U.S.


ome Americans with Type 1 diabetes have cut back on their insulin usage as the cost of the lifesaving drug nearly doubled over a five-year period. The annual amount that people with Type 1 diabetes spent on the drug rose from about $2,900 in 2012 to about $5,700 in 2016, according to a new analysis from the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute, CBS News reported. Those are gross amounts and don’t factor in the use of rebates or coupons, which can reduce costs for some people. The cost of living rose 6.5 percent between 2012 and 2016. A study published last year found that more than one-quarter of people with diabetes said they reduced their use of insulin due to the rising cost. Doctors warn against cutting back on insulin usage, CBS News reported. “There has been a flurry of news reports sharing stories of individuals with diabetes rationing their insulin because they cannot afford higher and higher prices,” according to HCCI. Page 4


Your Doctor

By Barbara Pierce

Harvey H. Allen Jr. Harvey H. Allen has joined the Mohawk Valley Endoscopy Center, Mohawk Valley’s first licensed ambulatory surgery center specializing in outpatient colonoscopies and upper gastrointestinal endoscopies. The center is a collaborative effort among Digestive Disease Medicine, Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Q.: To increase awareness of colorectal cancer, March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. We understand that colon cancer is the third-most common type of non-skin cancer in both men and women, and the second-leading cause of death after lung cancer. Why is screening so important? A.: Being screened for colon cancer is most important. All physicians in America agree — in fact, everybody agrees — that beginning at age 50, one should get screened. African-Americans should begin at age 45, as they have a higher incidence and a more aggressive form of colon cancer. Most colon cancer is asymptomatic; that’s why it’s so important to get screened. People say, “I feel great. Why do I need it?” But, like mammograms and pap smears, there may be no symptoms that anything is wrong. Like high blood pressure, it’s a silent killer. Most people have no symptoms and screening is the only way to discover their cancer or pre-cancer. Also, it’s preventable. There are a lot of things you can’t prevent. But if you get colon cancer early, it’s 90 to 95 percent treatable. This is a big deal! For those who discover it in the early stage, it’s 90 percent treatable! Of those who discover it in the last stage, 90 percent die. So it certainly makes sense for everyone to get screened. Screening is a form of prevention, not just detection, as polyps that may turn into cancer are removed during the procedure. Q.: Does insurance cover this procedure? A.: Yes, all insurances pay for colonoscopies. It makes sense to get it done.

DNA, barium enema and virtual colonoscopy, using X-ray equipment. They are like the silver or bronze medal, respectively. Also, if they find anything, you still have to have a colonoscopy to remove the polyps. However, the best test is the one you get. Just get tested. Q.: Who is at increased risk for colon cancer? A.: Persons with a family history of cancer or a family history of polyps, those with inflammatory bowel disease, those over age 50, and African Americans are at higher risk.

A.: You should have one every 10 years. That’s not so bad; I can do anything once every 10 years! Q.: We understand that there are other options to screen for colon cancer. Are these as effective? A.: Yes, there are other options now and different types of testing. I think of it like the Olympics. In the Olympics, there are three classes of medals: gold, silver, or bronze. Colonoscopy is the gold medal, the gold standard, and it is the best. That’s because if the physician finds you have polyps, the physician can take them out. Polyps turn into cancer. So, during the colonoscopy, you are doing something to prevent colon cancer. Other tests are a stool sample

Q.: What can I expect when I have the procedure? A.: You’ll have to take a laxative the day before to prepare. During the procedure, you’ll be sedated; most people don’t feel anything at all and they have no pain. Sedation has gotten so much better that 10 to 15 minutes after the procedure, you’re awake and alert and can walk out, though you’re still not able to work that day. That’s what I want for myself: Wake up and it’s over and I can walk out. Q.: How often should one have a colonoscopy?

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

Q.: Why did you choose this specialty? A.: Gastroenterology encompasses the liver, the pancreas, and the intestines. It’s a broad field; there’s something new every day. That’s why I choose it. Q.: What is rewarding about it? A.: I like to help people. I like to do things that will help people. (Editor’s note: Allen was awarded compassionate doctor certification, granted to physicians who treat their patients with the utmost kindness. Also, he was chosen by patients to receive Patient Choice recognition.) Q.: What would you like to add? A.: Only 60 percent of people are getting screened. Colon cancer is preventable. It’s very treatable. You don’t have any symptoms. Just go get tested. I’m here; I’m ready to see patients.

Lifelines Name: Harvey Hamilton Allen Birth Year: 1961 Birthplace: Nashville, N.C. Current residence: Utica Education: Bachelor’s degree, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.; medical degree, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C. Affiliations: St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare, Rome Memorial Hospital, Lewis County General Hospital, Lowville Personal: Single, two children Hobbies: Swimming, chess

Men’s Health The Balanced Body

By Deb Dittner

Those Devastating Words: ‘You Have Cancer’ Map out lifestyle of sound diet, plentiful exercise and sleep


eceiving a diagnosis of cancer can be devastating. No one wants to hear those three words: “You’ve got cancer,” producing an overwhelming feeling. So many questions arise. If you or a loved one receives a cancer diagnosis, there are many steps you can take to make the going a bit easier. Enlist the help of either a family member or close friend to be by your side and for the extra pair of ears, for support, for company during tough times. Sure there Dittner are times you will want to be alone to think things through for yourself, but that extra hug is so much needed. The first and most important step to take at this time is to simply take a deep breath, and then another and another. Breathing is effective in reducing stress and calming down the central nervous system. There are a number of techniques for you to choose from, but I find this 4-7-8 breathing technique from Andrew Weil to be one of the best. The technique is simple and easy to learn: — Inhale through your nose to the count of four. — Hold the breath to the count of seven. — Exhale loudly through the mouth to the count of eight. — Repeat for a total of four rounds. Incorporate this into your daily routine in the morning on awakening, before bed as it aids in sleep, and any other time you feel the need. Build a team. You will want to search out the best oncologist for your specific type of cancer. You need to ask how much experience they have, do they keep up with current research, and do they have colleagues to discuss your situation. Integrative and functional medicine practitioners treat the whole body and not just the symptoms by incorporating supplements, intravenous therapy, stress management, and more. To create a team that is just right for you, network by interviewing your primary care provider, family, friends, and support groups. — Decrease inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, low glycemic fruits, nuts and seeds need to become your friends. Reduce to eliminate processed white food-like products especially sugar (as this feeds cancer), hormone-laden dairy, and animal

Helpful references

products. A plant-based diet (preferably organic) needs to make up the main portion of your daily meals. Juicing — especially celery juice of late provides nutrients and hydration and can be considered medicinal.

Processed foods a ‘no-no’

Stay away from store-bought processed juices, as they are sugar-laden. Smoothies — especially green smoothies — are an easy way to get three servings of vegetables and one serving of fruit into your day. Reducing environmental toxins by cleaning up your personal care products and home cleaning products will decrease the amount of hazardous chemicals causing long-term health consequences. You are exposed to these toxins on a daily basis, so it’s best to search out products with a minimal amount of chemical exposure. Make sure you move. Rest is important but living a sedentary lifestyle causes muscles to waste, decreases endurance and immunity, and actually causes increased fatigue. Physical movement keeps your muscles strong and flexible, and reduces inflammation. Exercise on a daily basis for at least 10 to 30 minutes (work up to 60 minutes) can consist of walking, yoga or chair yoga, light weights, dance, or whatever types of movement you like. I can’t say enough about proper sleep. Restful sleep for seven to nine hours nightly will allow your body to heal and respond to treatments of all sorts, such as surgery, chemo, radiation, acupuncture, and massage. Your bedroom should be kept cool and dark. Avoid using technology (iPads, iPhones, computer, TV, etc.) for a minimum of one hour before sleep as these are considered stimulators affecting sleep. Take an Epsom salt bath with therapeutic grade essential oils such as lavender. Read a book. Avoid caffeine after noon. Reduce stress. There are many

ways to manage stress. One way is by using the breathing technique mentioned above. Also consider meditation (there are a number of free apps that work wonders), yoga, hiking, massage, and hobbies. Whatever you need to do to bring peace into your day will help manage the sense of being overwhelmed. To help you find information, I have included a few sites and apps for you to research. Also consider researching the following: American Cancer Society, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, American College for Advancement in Medicine, and American Association for Naturopathic Physicians.

— Environmental Working Group’s Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen — Kris Carr was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and has written many books, meditation guides and more providing information for mind, body and soul. — Located in Lenox, Mass., the providers look to identify the root cause of illness. — Chris Wark was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. He is a published author and has created a coaching program for cancer patients and caregivers. — https://hippocratesinst. org/: Hippocrates Health Institute located in West Palm Beach, Fla. — CALM: Meditation app — Simple Habit: Meditation app • 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.

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

March 2019 •


IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Men’s Health Hit the Road For many, physical fitness staves off anxiety, depression By David L. Podos


lot has changed in the world of physical fitness. Physical fitness has evolved with new technologies and a better understanding of the human system. Fitness machines in gyms today can look like futuristic space-age gadgets, but it’s all about keeping us in the best shape and health as possible. Good trainers know how to work with each machine and each individual person, tailoring for him or her a specific fitness regime to achieve personal goals. Even if you don’t have a membership to a local gym, many people will opt to purchase a mini gym or workout machine that can be placed in their homes. The Mayo Clinic has some advice when it comes to getting healthy through a physical fitness program. It suggests the following: — Cardio: Also known as endurance activity, it is the cornerstone of most fitness training programs. Aerobic activity or exercise causes you to breathe faster and more deeply, which maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood. Your heart will beat faster, which increases blood flow to your muscles and back to your lungs. — Strength training: Muscular fitness is another key component of a fitness-training program. Strength



story that appeared on Page 3 in the January edition of Mohawk Valley In Good Health newspaper contained an error. Meditation instructor Melanie Pandit’s phone number is 518-4284692. The newspaper apologizes for the miscue.

training can help you increase bone strength and muscular fitness, and it can help you manage or lose weight. — Core exercises: The muscles in your abdomen, lower back and pelvis — known as your core muscles — help protect your back and connect upper and lower body movements. Core strength is a key element of a well-rounded fitness-training program. — Balance training: Balance exercises can help you maintain your balance at any age. It’s generally a good idea for older adults in particular to include exercises to maintain or improve balance in their routine exercises. This is important because balance tends to deteriorate with age, which can lead to falls and fractures. — Flexibility and stretching: Flexibility is an important aspect of physical fitness, and it’s a good idea to include stretching and flexibility activities in a fitness program. Stretching exercises can help increase flexibility, which can make it easier for you to do many everyday activities.

Good for the head

There are also a host of emotional and psychological health benefits from a regular schedule of working out as well. According to Daniel M. Landers of Arizona State University, “Regular exercise reduces both anxiety and depression. Both conditions improve after nine to 10 weeks of regular aerobic activity, and exercise may have a greater positive impact on those that are very anxious or very depressed than in those with mild forms of these disorders.” explains that exercise raises levels of serotonin, endorphins and other chemicals that have a calming, anti-depressive effect. Landers said when you feel better physically, you are more likely to feel better emotionally as well. “Regular exercise can help you

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Jay Cohen does weight training exercises at Planet Fitness in New Hartford. to sleep better, may give you more energy and can help you to tighten and tone various areas of your body, causing you to look better in your clothing. All of these can make you feel more alert and may raise your self-esteem. The endorphins that boost your mood can also boost your concentration skills.” Jay Cohen, a local Utica resident and member of Planet Fitness in New Hartford, has been stating this for the past 10 years regarding physical fitness: “Working out makes me more relaxed. It’s also a great incentive to getting my day jump-started. “Physically as well as mentally, I am feeling better, especially during the winter months. Socially, you meet some really nice people at the gym and share common interests.” Cohen’s advice to others: “Get into a workout program, check local gyms to see what feels right for you, and make sure they have personal trainers on their staff to assist you.” Rich D’accurzio of Utica has been a Planet Fitness member for many years. Like Cohen, he feels that working out has been great for both his physical as well as his mental health. “My weight is maintained, which helps in keeping me limber. Emotionally, it gives me a good and positive frame of mind,” he said. D’accurzio is also a seasoned runner, completing over 20 Boilermaker road races. Some years back, after he finished one of the races, he was not feeling well. “I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t walk right, and had trouble speaking,” he said. D’accurzio lost consciousness

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

Rich D’Accurzio displays the first-place medal he won in the over-50 age group at the Delta Lake Half-Marathon. and passed out. He was diagnosed with severe dehydration. However, when he passed out, he hit his head on pavement and the fall caused a brain hematoma that landed him in surgery. It took almost a year for him to fully recover, but he credits his years of working out to saving his life. “I eventually started to run again, and within six months, I was back to my normal running and workout schedule,” he said.

Men’s Health Between You and Me

By Barbara Pierce

Be David

Slay the Goliaths in your life


ou know the story of David and Goliath, right? In an ancient battlefield, a small shepherd boy killed a giant warrior, using only a pebble and sling. Ever since then, the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. The victory of the boy David was miraculous. He shouldn’t have won. The lesson Pierce we’ve been taught is: “You may be small and weak like David, but if you’re righteous, you can defeat the giants in your life.” Yes, very motivational. But have we learned the wrong lesson from this story? Almost everything is wrong about it, says Malcolm Gladwell in his book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.” What we think we know about David and Goliath isn’t really how it went down, Gladwell says. In this book, he challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, and offers his interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, suffer from a disability, work under a bad boss, lose a parent, or endure any number of other apparent setbacks. The story of David and Goliath is one of his examples. I like to think that if I’m in the right, I can slay all the giants in my

life. However, maybe it’s not the way we learned the story of David and Goliath, but I believe we can learn much about overcoming our own giants from the way Gladwell describes why David was victorious. Make use of what you have, not what you’re lacking: It’s because of, and not despite, David’s small size and unorthodox choice of weapon that he is able to slay the giant, says Gladwell. “We have a big, lumbering guy weighed down with armor up against a kid running at him with a devastating weapon. David’s sling is a one of the most feared weapons in the ancient world. The stone that comes from his sling has the stopping power equivalent to a bullet from a .45 caliber pistol. It’s a serious weapon. David has a ton of advantages in that battle; they’re just not obvious.” In battling your giant, the things you do have on your side may not be readily apparent — look for them and use them. Capitalize on your strengths. Forget about the things you think you’re lacking. What we think of as an advantage or a disadvantage is not always what it seems. The powerful and the strong are not always what they seem — Giants have weaknesses; look for their weakness.

Knowledge is power

Many experts now believe the giant had a medical condition that caused his gigantism; poor vision is a side effect of this condition. David realized the giant couldn’t see well as he needed an attendant to lead him to the battlefield. David used this knowledge to run in quickly and thus became a winner.


the giant and exploring his ambiguity. He eagerly volunteered and ran rapidly toward the giant, picking up pebbles on the way. Sometimes effort is the route available to the underdog. Gladwell makes this point with a chapter about a recent Indian immigrant to the United States who coaches his 12-year-old daughter’s basketball team. Though the girls are sadly without talent — they can’t dribble, pass or shoot well — he takes them all the way to the national championships. He does that by inspiring everyone on the team to expend maximum effort every minute of the game, running themselves ragged and not letting up. Sometimes that’s what it takes to move the obstacles in your path — expending maximum effort and not giving up. • 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

Community Memorial Foundation annual campaign hits record mark

Hazardous materials survey being performed on properties within MVHS new hospital footprint tlantic Testing, a subcontractor to O’Brien & Gere, the engineering firm working on the State Environmental Quality Review process on behalf of Mohawk Valley Health System, has begun a hazardous materials survey on certain properties within the new hospital footprint. Property owners for these locations have been notified and have granted access for the survey. Testing on these properties will take several weeks. This is a standard process for projects where the demolition of buildings is involved and will not cause any traffic interruptions. Each building in the footprint will eventually be tested with the exception of one that is owned by the city of Utica as that building is to be

We need to do a better job of looking at what our advantages are. “The underdog has to be a student of the nuance,” says Gladwell. He needs to outsmart his opponent. The very same thing that appears to make a giant so formidable may be his stumbling blocks, where nimbleness, flexibility and adaptability are better attributes. Be willing to consider different ways to attack your giant. Be open to new ideas and new solutions. Sometimes it helps to begin by thinking about what doesn’t work, as this can be important information that can lead you to think of alternatives that might be successful. Believe it’s possible. This is probably the biggest factor in whether we succeed. Without a strong belief that you will succeed, you’ll fail. That’s because our brain often works against us — it’s a technique of self-preservation when we come up with all kinds of reasons why we shouldn’t risk this battle. Therefore, to conquer challenges, we have to put aside our fears and self doubts. David didn’t stand around thinking about whether he could kill

condemned and is unsafe to enter in order to do a survey. The purpose of this survey is to determine the presence of hazardous materials within each property in the footprint of the new hospital. Once the survey is complete, if needed, an abatement process will be put in place to eliminate any hazardous materials found within the project footprint and will be done prior to building demolition. The abatement process has been estimated into the timeline of project completion. When the application for a demolition permit is submitted for each building, MVHS will be required to provide a certification that the building is free of asbestos, showing that it never existed or that it has been abated.


ommunity Memorial Foundation’s 2018 annual fund campaign hit a record-breaking total of $76,796. The campaign runs each year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 and supports the operational and special project needs for Community Memorial Hospital and its five family health centers. “Since the inception of the foundation in 2001, this is the largest annual campaign. We are so grateful for the hundreds of donors who believed in our mission of providing quality care for our community,” said Susie Gustafson, board of directors’ member and chair of the foundation’s campaign. The major project supported by the campaign offsets the costs associated with furnishing the exam

March 2019 •

rooms and waiting area for the newly renovated Hamilton Family Health Center. The new 5,000-square-foot renovation and expansion project increases primary care services and broadens specialty offerings that keep health care local. The Hamilton Family Health Center is projected for completion in April. “The health care environment is constantly changing, especially for the rural communities we serve in Madison County, the eastern sections of Onondaga County and parts of Chenango and Oneida counties,” said Sean Fadale, president and CEO of Community Memorial. Plans are already under way for the 2019 campaign.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 7

Men’s Health Diabetes: Take Care of Your Feet Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care steps up


n estimated 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4 percent of the population, have diabetes, including 72 million that are unaware they are living with the disease. The percentage of adults with diabetes increases with age, reaching a high of 25.2 percent among those aged 65 or older. In addition to age, risk factors for diabetes also include diet, activity level, obesity and heredity. Fields An important part of managing the disease is protecting your skin. High blood sugar levels, poor circulation, immune systems issues, nerve damage, and infection may contribute to a non-healing diabetic foot ulcer. Approximately 25 percent of people living with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer. An estimated 14-24 percent of people with foot ulcers will experience an amputation.

“Chronic foot and leg wounds are often caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes and vascular disease,” said Jennifer Fields, nurse practitioner for Rome Memorial Hospital’s Regional Center for Wound Care. “It is estimated that 25 percent of all diabetics will develop a diabetic foot ulcer, and without treatment the wounds can lead to amputation or death.” There are common factors of diabetic foot ulcers, including Spellicy neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease. Neuropathy is a result of damage to peripheral nerves and often causes weakness, numbness and pain in hands and feet. Similarly, narrowed arteries that reduce blood flow to the limbs cause PAD. Mary Rose Spellicy, a registered nurse and Rome Memorial patient and staff educator, has been educating patients and the community

about diabetes and how to prevent complications, particularly foot and leg wounds, for more than 30 years. “Over time, diabetes can cause changes in blood vessels and nerves that can affect many different parts of the body,” Spellicy explained. “Early detection, education and management of the disease can help you reduce your risk of developing foot and leg problems that could lead to serious complications.” RMH and The Regional Center for Wound Care recommend the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers: — Stop smoking immediately. — Comprehensive foot examinations each time you visit your healthcare provider (at least four times a year) — Daily self-inspections of the feet, or have a family member perform the inspection — Regular care of the feet, including cleaning toenails and taking care of corns and calluses — Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks)

You’re not alone The physical stress of pregnancy can cause a range of physical conditions, including pain and incontinence. Pelvic floor therapy can help treat these symptoms and improve pelvic health. For more information, call Little Falls Hospital Rehabilitation Department at 315-823-5360 or visit

— Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis. Spellicy offers free community diabetes education classes the first Monday of each month. To learn more about living with diabetes and protecting your skin, call RMH’s Education Department at 315-338-7143. Proper wound care is imperative to healing diabetic foot ulcers. The Regional Center for Wound Care offers a number of leading-edge treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, total contact casting, biologic skin substitutes, and negative pressure wound therapy. These specialized wound care therapies can aid in wound closure, new tissue growth, wound tissue regeneration and more. For more information about the Regional Center for Wound Care and available treatment options, call 315338-7540. The center is located at 267 Hill Road in the Griffiss Professional Complex, Griffiss Business and Technology Park, Rome.

Julis Meditation Instruction by: Julia Aikens, RN. BSN. Board-Certified Meditation Specialist Develop your own personal practice of meditation for balance, inner strength, and resilience to live a more fulfilling life. Focusing in Pain Management, Coping with Chemotherapy, Anxiety, and Stress. By appointment only - please contact for scheduling your one-on-one sessions at 315-338-1318 505 North James St., Rome, NY 13440

Page 8

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

America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk events

Assessment Treatment Advocacy Early Diagnosis + Early Intervention = Better Outcomes!

Heart Weekend March 1-2


merica’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk is celebrating 45 years of saving lives. March 1-2 will be the 45th America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk. This year’s American Heart Association event will feature special tributes throughout the weekend to the history of the Heart Run & Walk and what makes it America’s greatest. Weekend events include: — The Healthy for Good Expo, sponsored by Carbone Athletics at the Fitness Mill, will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 1 at Utica College. Runners and walkers can register throughout the day and attend the expo. Health and wellness assessment screenings, sponsored by Mohawk Valley Health System, will take place throughout the day and are free to participants. Parking for the expo is available at the former MetLife building at 125 Business Park Drive. Birnie shuttles will take participants to Utica College. — WIBX Heart Radiothon, sponsored by Slocum-Dickson Medical Group, P.L.L.C., will be broadcast on WIBX of Townsquare Media. The Heart Radiothon will be broadcast from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 1-2 and streamed online at — WKTV Heart Telethon will be broadcast live by WKTV NewsChannel 2 and streamed online at www. The telethon will be broadcast live from 7-8 p.m. March 1 on CBS Utica. Volunteers will be taking calls beginning at noon. The telethon will air from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 2 on WKTV NewsChannel 2. — Six run-walk routes will kickoff on March 2. Routes include the traditional 30K, 10-mile, 5-mile and 3-mile runs, along with the 5-mile and 3-mile walks. The 30K run is the earliest, starting at 7:30 a.m. The 5- and 3-mile walks start at 10:30 a.m. Shuttles will take runners from Utica College to the 30K and 10-mile run start lines.

— Shuttle service on March 2 is available starting at 6 a.m. Runners and walkers should park at one of four Park & Ride locations: • Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield 12 Rhoads Drive (Utica Business Park) • Utica National Insurance Group Genesee Street, New Hartford • American Heart Association 125 Business Park Drive, Utica • National Grid 221 Old Campion Road, New Hartford — The fundraising goal for the upcoming event is $1.1 million. Chairman Jeremy Robinson, senior vice president of customer-relations management at NYCM Insurance, led fundraising efforts for the 45th anniversary Heart Run & Walk. — The popular Kids Heart Challenge, sponsored by AmeriCU Credit Union, will be held after Heart Weekend. For its third year, the challenge will be held at 7 p.m. April 26 at Valley Gymnastics. The event is an obstacle course for children aged 5-12. Registration will be available online and starting at 6:30 p.m. at Valley Gymnastics. Participants can find this information at www.UticaHeartRunWalk. org or by calling the AHA at 315-5803964. Follow along on social media on Facebook and Twitter at @HeartCNY and on Instagram at @AHANewYork and with #HeartRunWalk. America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk 2019 is locally sponsored by signature sponsor NYCM Insurance; local sponsors Scalzo, Zogby and Wittig, Inc. Insurance; AmeriCU Credit Union, and Carbone Athletics at The Fitness Mill. A minimum amount of $30 in pledges for participants 16 years and older is required at registration to participate in the Heart Run & Walk. For more information on the event, contact the AHA at 315-5803964 or visit ...For a brighter tomorrow

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March 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

Protect Your Bottom Line

By Jim Miller

Do I need to file a tax return this year? Dear Savvy Senior,

If you are 45+

Get Screened Today! Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. Talk to our doctors about which tests are right for you and how frequently you should have them. Find Your Provider Today:

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What are the IRS income tax filing requirements for retirees this tax season? My income dropped way down when I had to retire last year, so I’m wondering if I need to file a tax return this year.

Retired Ron Dear Ron, Whether or not you are required to file a federal income tax return this year actually depends on several factors: how much you earned last year (in 2018); the source of that income; your age; and your filing status. Here’s a rundown of this tax season’s IRS tax filing requirement thresholds. For most people, this is pretty straightforward. If your 2018 gross income — which includes all taxable income, not counting your Social Security benefits, unless you are married and filing separately — was below the threshold for your filing status and age, you may not have to file. But if it’s over, you will. • Single: $12,000 ($13,600 if you’re 65 or older by Jan. 1, 2019). • Married filing jointly: $24,000 ($25,300 if you or your spouse is 65 or older; or $26,600 if you’re both over 65). • Married filing separately: $5 at any age. • Head of household: $18,000 ($19,600 if age 65 or older). • Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: $24,000 ($25,300 if age 65 or older). To get a detailed breakdown on federal filing requirements, along with information on taxable and nontaxable income, call the IRS at 800-829-3676 and ask them to mail you a free copy of the “Tax Guide for Seniors” (publication 554) or see IRS. gov/pub/irs-pdf/p554.pdf.

Check here too

There are, however, some other financial situations that can require you to file a tax return, even if your gross income falls below the IRS filing requirements. For example, if you earned more than $400 from self-employment in 2018, owe any special taxes like an alternative minimum tax, or get premium tax credits because you, your spouse or a dependent is enrolled in a health insurance marketplace (Obamacare) plan, you’ll need to file. You’ll also need to file if you’re receiving Social Security benefits, and one-half of your benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-

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

exempt interest exceeds $25,000, or $32,000 if you’re married and filing jointly. To figure all this out, the IRS offers an interactive tax assistant tool on their website that asks a series of questions that will help you determine if you’re required to file, or if you should file because you’re due a refund. It takes less than 15 minutes to complete. You can access this tool at IRS. gov/filing — click on “Do I Need to File?” Or, you can get assistance over the phone by calling the IRS helpline at 800-829-1040. You can also get faceto-face help at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. See or call 800-829-1040 to locate a center near you.

State makes difference

Even if you’re not required to file a federal tax return this year, don’t assume that you’re also excused from filing state income taxes. The rules for your state might be very different. Check with your state tax agency before concluding that you’re entirely in the clear. For links to state tax agencies see Taxadmin. org/state-tax-agencies.

Tax preparation help

If you find that you do need to file a tax return this year, you can get help through the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (or TCE) program. Sponsored by the IRS, TCE provides free tax preparation and counseling to middle and low-income taxpayers, age 60 and older. Call 800-906-9887 or visit to locate a service near you. Also check with AARP, a participant in the TCE program that provides free tax preparation at around 5,000 sites nationwide, including several in Upstate New York. To locate an AARP Tax-Aide site call 888-227-7669 or visit AARP. org/findtaxhelp. You don’t have to be an AARP member to use this service. 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.

Coffee Cure Drinking java believed to add years to your life By Barbara Pierce


h, coffee. It’s hard to imagine a day without it. The caffeine perks you up, and there’s something incredibly soothing about sipping a steaming cup of coffee. Like comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said: “We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup!” But aren’t there harmful effects of coffee? Go ahead and have that cup of coffee. It’s good for you, according to new research. People who drank coffee, no matter how much or what kind they drank, were less likely to die over a 10-year period than non-coffee drinkers. The case for coffee is stronger than ever. Study after study indicates you could be getting more from your favorite morning beverage than you thought: Coffee is chockfull of substances that may help guard against several medical conditions. Even the heaviest coffee drinkers are less likely to die early than people who don’t drink coffee. It’s another piece of good news for coffee lovers. It doesn’t matter what kind of coffee you drink — even including decaf and instant

from Richard Overton. When he died recently at the age of 112, he was the longest surviving male in the United States. He stated he drank four cups of coffee every day and “just about as much whiskey.” Recent research in Britain studied more than half a million people. Researchers explored who drank what kind of coffee and how much, and compared that with death rates.

Coffee is life

coffee — coffee drinkers fared better than those who did not drink coffee. “I’m not surprised to hear that. I drink it every day!” said Rob Fiorentino, owner of The Java Shop by Cucina Berto in Herkimer. The Mohawk Valley brews some of the best coffee. The Java Shop will personally brew your coffee from a variety of special beans, and fans say it’s the best coffee around. “We’re the only hometown coffee shop in this area. We understand that your day doesn’t truly start until that first sip of coffee,” added Fiorentino. “And we’ve got breakfast, snacks, or lunch to go with your coffee.” Donna Jones of the Mohawk Valley Trading Company, a small coffee roasting company in Utica, shared her opinion through a quote

People who drank coffee, no matter how much or what kind they drank, were less likely to die over that 10-year period than non-coffee drinkers, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. “It’s hard to believe that something we enjoy so much could be good for us,” nutrition expert Alice Lichtenstein said to The Associated Press. Efforts to explain how drinking coffee affects longevity are continuing. According to experts at Johns Hopkins University, some of the ways coffee may provide health benefits include: — It contains more than 1,000 chemical compounds including antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage, reduce inflammation, and protect against disease. — The compounds in coffee improve how the body uses insulin, which can reduce chances for developing diabetes. — Coffee may help ward off heart failure, which is when a weakened heart has difficulty pumping enough blood. — Caffeine is linked to a lower chance of developing Parkinson’s, but may help those with the condi-

tion better control their movements. — Both regular and decaf coffee seem to have a protective effect on your liver. Coffee drinkers are more likely to have liver enzyme levels within a healthy range than non-coffee drinkers. — Your odds of developing colon cancer go way down. — Caffeine in two cups of coffee may provide significant protection against developing Alzheimer’s or other dementia. — For women, drinking at least one cup a day is associated with lowered stroke risk, which is the fourth-leading cause of female deaths. It’s true, you can have too much of a good thing. Too much caffeine can make you jittery and cause increased heart rate, raised blood pressure, anxiety, and you may have trouble falling asleep. So how much coffee is optimal to get all the benefits, but avoid the negative side effects? According to experts, it’s safe for most people to drink three to five cups of coffee a day. One caution: “Caffeine tolerance is different for everyone. You want to do what makes you feel good. You can still get some of the potential health benefits by drinking one cup of coffee a day, or even by drinking decaffeinated coffee.” Researchers say there’s no added benefit to drinking more coffee than one usually does. The reduction in death rates did not get better as people drank more cups of daily coffee. So now, the joyful moment of sitting down with that steaming cup of coffee will be enhanced as we know we’re adding years to our life.

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 • March 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11



Richard M. Cherpak, M.D. Event: M.D. Richard M. Cherpak, Open HouseD.O., at M.D. Richard M. Cherpak, Garth J. Garramone, F.A.C.P. Mohawk Valley Endoscopy Center, Garth J. Garramone, D.O., F.A.C.P. Dr Stanley Weiselberg 116 Business Park Drive, Utica NY GarthBrett J. Garramone, Brett Gandhi,D.O., M.D. R.R.Date: Gandhi, M.D.F.A.C.P Dr Norman Neslin Norman R.March Neslin,24th M.D. Sunday, Brett R. Gandhi, M.D. Dr Robert Pavelock Norman Neslin, M.D. Robert R.R. Pavelock, M.D. Time: pmM.D. Norman R.–F. 4:00 Neslin, Bradley Sklar, M.D. Dr1:00 Bradley Sklar Robert R.P. Weiselberg, Pavelock, M.D. Stanley M.D. Dr Richard Cherpak Robert R. Pavelock, M.D. 116 Business Park Drive, Bradley F. Sklar, M.D. Dr Harvey Allen Utica, NY 13502 Bradley F. Sklar, M.D. p. 315 -624-7070 | f. 315-316-0367 Dr Emil MiskovskyM.D. Stanley P. Weiselberg, Stanley P. Weiselberg, M.D.  

Come tour our state of the art endoscopy center to learn more about colorectal cancer screening and digestive disease management. Meet some of our outstanding physicians and our friendly knowledgeable staff!  Learn more about Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, and help us honor our staff for GI Nurses and Associates week. Phone: 315-624-7070 | Fax: 315-316-0367 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

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Meet Tracy: Mother, patient, advocate and blessed!

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Page 12

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 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.


Insight House offers family support group 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.


Loved one on drugs? There is support 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.

Feb. 28

Heart specialists anchor program Bassett Healthcare Network Drs. Merle Myerson and Mun K. Hong will speak at Valley Health Services, 690 W. German St., Herkimer, at 8 a.m. Feb. 28 in the activities room as part of February Heart Month programming. Myerson’s discussion, “How You Can Prevent Heart Disease: Risk Factors and Beyond,” will encompass an overview of cardiovascular risk factors, why they are important, and what to do to control them. Myerson is an attending cardiologist for Bassett Healthcare Network and director of the preventive cardiology program and lipid clinic, as well as managing the pre-exercise heart-screening program. Hong’s discussion, “Every-

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

thing You Wanted To Know About Coronary Heart Disease, But Were Afraid To Ask,” will include a question-and-answer session. Hong is an attending physician for Bassett Healthcare Network and chief of cardiovascular services. For more information or to RSVP for this program, contact Kristina at VHS at 315-866-3330, ext. 2231 or email ksouza@valleyhealthservices. org.

March 5

Upstate Cerebral Palsy slates blood drive Upstate Cerebral Palsy is holding a community blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 5 at Upstate Cerebral Palsy, 10708 N. Gage Road, Barneveld. Those interested can schedule a donation appointment by visiting Email lauren. or call 315-927-3466 for more information.

March 6

Want to quit smoking? Here’s how The Oneida County Health Department is reminding residents not to overlook an important contributor to coronary disease, heart attack and stroke: tobacco smoke. OCHD offers free quit smoking classes to any county resident who signs up in advance. The classes are offered in partnership with the Mohawk Valley Health System, Rome Memorial Hospital and Mohawk Valley Community College’s respiratory therapy program and run in a series of three sessions. The next sessions are taking place March 6, 13 and 20 at MVHS, St. Elizabeth Campus. “Managing cholesterol, controlling blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight and regularly exercising we know are key to a healthy heart,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “But equally important to cardiovascular health is to quit smoking or, ideally, don’t start at all.” Residents can sign up for quit smoking classes by reaching the Oneida County Health Department at 315-798-6400. For additional assistance, residents can reach out to the NYS Department of Health Smokers Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866697-8487).

March 11

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

Continued on Page 23

Spiritual Health Milk & Honey

By Brooke Stacia Demott

The Abortion Delusion Why a nation is literally killing its own future


he sonographer slides a wand across the belly of a nervous young woman. Before she’s even missed a period, 4D imaging captures the faintest flicker within her womb. At only 20 days pregnant, there it is — baby’s heartbeat. Three weeks later, the child’s unique facial features are easily discerned. By week 24, he has a real shot at survival outside the womb. All the information that determines a person’s Demott looks, intellectual capacity, likes and dislikes, talent and shortcomings are bound up in those tiny cells that miraculously intertwine to create a new life. The debate is settled. We become alive at conception. The question is no longer, “When does life begin?” but rather, “When does life begin to have value?” The Christian understanding has always been that life has intrinsic, indisputable, and equal value — at every stage of development. The prevailing humanist mindset is that in the hierarchy of value, the life of the pregnant mother takes preference over the lives of everyone else; her unborn child ranking lowest. What takes a culture from decades of universal acceptance that infant murder is unthinkable, to a place where over 58 million babies are legally, brutally dismembered inside their mother’s womb? Rhetoric. We’ve euphemized the murder of the unborn under the pretty banner of “women’s rights,” using phrases like “abortion” and “reproductive health care” to legitimize the most unthinkable of acts. Abortion doctors use clinical phrases like “products of conception” when they discuss a dead baby’s shattered body. Couples using in vitro therapy to conceive can opt for a “reduction” if too many embryos are viable. “Reduction” sounds more civilized than “selectively killing your unborn multiples.” Words are powerful. Setting aside polite terminology, “pro-choice” isn’t about choice; it’s about easing the collective conscience. Why? There’s big money in abortion. They’ve got reason to make a hard sell. What about for the millions of people who buy the lie? For them, “pro-choice” means “anti-consequence.” But Newton confirms: For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Cause brings effect.

‘He’s (the devil) gas-lighted America into tolerating, accepting, legalizing, and yes, even applauding the notion that the child is better off dead.’

There’s no escaping consequence. Let’s start with some basic sex education. Sex assumes consequence; in fact, consequence is the whole point. Sex fuses a man and woman in a soul-binding contract; the consequence is relationship (healthy or not). Another likely consequence is a baby. The two do, indeed, become one flesh, in the body of their child. Unfortunately, our crumbling moral infrastructure encourages us to resort to murder, instead of embracing family. We’ve been brilliantly deceived. Since the so-called “sexual revolution,” women have urged one another to offer sex without restraint or commitment. Convinced that somehow this is preferable to sex within the confines of a loving, secure marriage, millions have since complied. In these string-less relationships, there’s little security guaranteeing the expectant mother protection or provision; and the devil slips in, offering a heinous solution. He’s gas-lighted America into tolerating, accepting, legalizing, and even applauding the notion that this child is better off dead.

‘Celebration’ in Albany

In recent weeks, state government in Albany celebrated with gross festivity the passing of legislation that codifies abortion, at any stage of development, for any reason, into state law. Perhaps even more disturbing than another lurch forward in the normalization of murder, was the joyful, triumphant atmosphere that met this latest victory. What does it say about a culture when laws champion, and even encourage, the murder of the innocent? “Woe to those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark … ” (Isaiah 5:20) The greatest deception of the

pro-abortion movement is this: By ending your pregnancy, you’ll regain your freedom. But in reality, the death you chose for your child will shadow you forever; a silent, stagnant, peripheral nightmare. Any woman who has carried a child in her womb is a mother, and no mother is ever free. The only real choice is this: to experience motherhood, through the struggles and joys of parenting, or to mourn it, counting uncelebrated birthdays in anguished regret, without a child to blow out the candles. Is it a sacrifice to raise a child? Absolutely. It’s also a sacrifice to kill your child. Abortion is modern-day human sacrifice, where we lay our babies on the altar of foolish ideals and material pursuits. But make no mistake: Human sacrifice sacrifices our humanity. Since 1974, there have been more than 58 million abortions. Millions of haunted mothers, consciences forever seared by endless guilt, wasting away in private prisons where hallways echo the jeering cries of abortion propagators: “The blood of your baby can purchase your freedom.” But only one person’s blood was ever shed to make you free.

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:13-14) If you’ve fallen victim to the abortion movement and ended your child’s life, you must seek God’s forgiveness, and make no mistake — there is always forgiveness in Christ. He is willing to make you truly free, and one day, to reunite you with your child. Jesus tells us that his kingdom belongs to little children — your child has gone ahead of you. Perhaps, they pray for you even now. If you’re pregnant and considering abortion, please hear me out. No matter what your circumstance is, no matter what sort of special needs or even terminal illness your child might be born into: — There is no good reason to kill your child. — If you can’t raise a child, you can still be a hero: Give nine months to your baby and fulfill another couple’s dream of a family. Email me; I can help. “Consider that I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil. I want you to choose life.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16). (Editor’s note: Local News, Inc., parent company of Mohawk Valley In Good Health newspaper, does not necessarily share opinions expressed in the “Milk & Honey” column.) • Brooke Stacia Demott is a columnist with In Good Health newspaper. Got a question for Demott? Feel free to email her at

Senior health and wellness fair on agenda


alley Residential Services in Herkimer will host its second annual Senior Health & Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 25 at Herkimer College. The event will offer resources for senior citizens who wish to remain independent in their own home or may be contemplating downsizing.

March 2019 •

It will also explore issues such as estate and gift planning, assisted and enriched housing, safety and security, Medicaid or Medicare, and many other areas of interest. If your business is interested in exhibiting products or services, contact the office of community relations and fund development at 315-866-3330 extension 2329.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Are you prone to diabetes? Personality may be factor


t has been said that a good personality can help one succeed in life. But can it also guard against disease risk? A new study based on data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) shows that positive personality traits, such as optimism, actually may help to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Results were published online in January in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). More than 30 million Americans, or 9.4 percent of the US population, have diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes increases with age, with a 25.2 percent prevalence in those aged 65 years or older. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases in adults. Obesity, a family history of diabetes, race/ethnicity, and physical inactivity are major risk factors for diabetes. But these are not the only determinants. Accumulating evidence supports the fact that depression and cynicism also are associated with an increased risk of diabetes. In addition, high levels of hostility have been associated with high fasting glucose levels, insulin resistance, and prevalent diabetes. Few studies, however, have investigated the association of potentially protective personality characteristics with diabetes risk. The objective of this study was to examine whether personality traits, including optimism, negativity, and hostility, were associated with the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in postmenopausal women. The study went on to explore whether the association could be mediated by behavioral pathways, such as diet, physical activity, smoking, or high alcohol consumption. The study followed 139,924 postmenopausal women from the WHI who were without diabetes at baseline. During 14 years of follow-up, 19,240 cases of Type 2 diabetes were identified. Compared with women in the lowest quartile of optimism (least optimistic), women in the highest quartile (most optimistic) had a 12 percent lower risk of incident diabetes. Compared with women in the lowest quartile for negative emotional expressiveness or hostility, women in the highest quartile had a 9 percent and 17 percent higher risk of diabetes, respectively. The association of hostility with the risk of diabetes was stronger in women who were not obese compared with women who were. As a result of these outcomes, the study concluded that low optimism, high negativity, and hostility were associated with increased risk of incident diabetes in postmenopausal women, independent of major health behaviors and depressive symptoms. Study results appear in the article, “Personality Traits and Diabetes Incidence Among Postmenopausal Women.” Page 14


Your Provider

By Barbara Pierce

Nicole Hebert Nicole Hebert, doctor of physical therapy, provides pelvic floor therapy for men and women in the rehabilitation department at Little Falls Hospital in Little Falls, a subsidiary of the Bassett Healthcare Network. Recently, senior staff correspondent Barbara Pierce spoke with Hebert about her profession and outlook on health care. Q.: What is pelvic floor therapy? A.: It has been my experience that there is a lack of knowledge in men and women in regards to pelvic floor therapy, what it entails and what types of diagnoses a pelvic floor therapist can treat. The pelvic floor refers to the numerous muscles that attach to the pelvic and thigh bones. These muscles provide support for our pelvic organs, maintain control of our bladder and bowel function and are responsible for healthy sexual activity. These muscles may have become weakened, tightened, or spastic due to many circumstances. We focus on strengthening or relaxing the pelvic region of men and women. Many of us aren’t comfortable talking about something this personal. It is the comfort level of the patient that always guides my evaluation and treatments. I provide a thorough explanation of what the evaluation and treatment may entail and why. I find this goes a long way in easing a patient’s apprehension. Knowledge is power and patient education is a major part of what I do. These are very common medical problems and patients usually quickly get results. Q.: What are some the treatments you utilize? A.: There simply is not a cookie-cutter approach to treatment of pelvic floor issues. The pelvic floor exercises appropriate for one patient may be completely wrong for another patient. This is such an individual issue. We perform an examination and determine which treatments are appropriate for your specific issue. Treatments include exercises to increase strength in the muscles near the bladder, bladder retraining to assist with holding and releasing urine voluntarily, electrical stimulation to increase muscle strength and decrease symptoms of bladder irritability, education to identify food and beverages that aggravate the bladder, and biofeedback to train the pelvic muscles. Q.: When would one benefit from this therapy? A.: Many people, both men and women, suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction. There are many types of pelvic floor dysfunctions. We see women for several reasons, the first being for pelvic pain. It

pelvic pain and urinary issues may also benefit from an individualized therapy program. Urinary incontinence, including stress and urgency, are not issues exclusive to women. Some men may experience incontinence issues or pain following prostate surgery. Urinary retention, or inability to completely empty the bladder, is an issue for many patients and can also be addressed through a pelvic floor program.

is estimated that at least 20 percent of women have pain in their pelvic area at some point in their lives. As this pain is often caused by the musculoskeletal system, physical therapy plays a major role in its diagnosis and treatment. Urinary incontinence can be relieved by pelvic therapy. Also, women can experience a range of conditions due to the stress pregnancy places on the body. Pelvic floor therapy can be effective in treating these symptoms during pregnancy and following delivery. Q.: You have been instrumental in expanding the pelvic floor therapy program to include male patients. When would a male need this therapy? A.: Men who are experiencing

Q.: How did you become interested in pelvic floor therapy? A.: In all honesty, I wasn’t very interested in doing this type of therapy. However, the hospital offered to pay for education in order to expand services to this population and I did not want to turn down a learning opportunity. Once I started treating this population, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly some of my patients saw results and a significant amount of them got better. Q.: What are the rewards of your career? A.: There is nothing more rewarding than to see your patients get better and improve their quality of life. Some of my patients have struggled with pelvic floor issues for years, but there was no one in this area that specialized in pelvic floor therapy. Editor’s Note: Last year, Hebert was awarded the President’s Excellence Award by Little Falls Hospital. Hebert was chosen for this award because of her overall excellent performance.

Lifelines Birth year: 1978 Birthplace: Cooperstown Current residence: Richfield Springs Education: Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, Utica College; Bachelor of Science degree in health studies, Utica College Personal: Married; two children Hobbies: Spending time with family, skiing, camping, hiking, swimming; also an avid runner who loves competing in races

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

Health care in a Minute By George W. Chapman


State of the Union

resident Trump delivered his SOTU address on Feb. 5. Here are some of his plans. 1) Obliterate the “HIV epidemic” within 10 years by focusing on geographic hotspots; funding an HIV health force; improving access to testing and proper medication.  2) Cure childhood cancer by providing $500 million of research over the next 10 years. 3) Produce a plan for a national  paid family leave act, which has been the pet project of Ivanka Trump. 4) Pass legislation to prohibit late term abortions. 5) Continue to focus on lowering drug prices and mandating pricing transparency among drug manufacturers, hospitals and physicians. Surprisingly, there was little mention of how he would lower overall healthcare costs, making premiums more affordable. Trump also promised to protect pre-existing conditions. Ironically, he has systematically dismantled the Affordable Care Act, which protected pre-existing conditions.   

Opioid epidemic

Thirty-five states are suing opioid manufactures. Recently, the state of Massachusetts attorney general filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceutical and its owner family, the Sacklers, for knowing their pain killer OxyContin was highly addictive and for deceiving physicians and consumers alike. Several incriminating internal emails and documents from Purdue have been subpoenaed. Roughly 130 people per day, or about 47,000 people per year, die from opioid addiction. The worse states for opioid-related deaths per 1,000 are: West Virginia 50; Ohio 39; District of Columbia 35; New Hampshire 34; Maryland and Oregon 32. New York ranks 24th with 16/1,000. The state with the least opioid deaths per 1,000 is Nebraska at 3.   

Need a Lyft?

The ride provider Lyft (vs. Uber) sees Medicare Advantage plans as a good market for their business. Lyft’s first Advantage plan partner was Anthem insurance. Anthem includes rides as a benefit to Advantage members. Ninety percent of Anthem’s non-emergent patient transportation is booked with Lyft. As a result, Anthem’s ride costs have decreased 39 percent and wait times for a ride have decreased 40 percent. This clever benefit could benefit physicians by reducing patient no-show rates.  

Employers role diminishes

Twenty years ago, 67 percent of us received health insurance through our employer —Today, the percentage has dropped to 58 percent,

according to research conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Some experts surmise the gradual decline over 20 years could be due to retiring baby boomers and employees of small businesses purchasing their insurance on the exchange. Recently, the Trump administration struck down the individual mandate to have insurance which may fuel the downward trend going forward. About 156 million people, or slightly less than half of the US population, were covered by employers in 2017. The other half of us were covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, federal employment, co-ops, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the exchanges.

Hospitals seek affiliations

In order to enhance their reputations, remain independent and provide their communities access to the best care, let alone survive, smaller community hospitals are affiliating (versus merger or acquisition) with larger, more prestigious hospitals. In return, the larger hospital increases its market for the specialized services that most smaller hospitals can’t provide. Most of these affiliations have eventually resulted in a complete merger or acquisition of the smaller by the larger. Because today’s consumers are far more savvy and demanding, smaller hospitals need to shed their local or “community” reputation and rebrand as part of a larger more comprehensive health system.  

Drug costs

Uncontrolled, skyrocketing and mysterious drug costs are a bipartisan issue. Trump mentioned this in his State of the Union. But few of the invited drug CEOs bothered to show up, voluntarily, at a Senate Finance Committee meeting to discuss drug costs. The CEOs who failed to show told committee chairman Chuck Grassley they would prefer to meet in private versus in public. (Talk about transparency.) The committee is threatening to force the CEOs to testify if they continue to balk. There have been several suggestions on controlling drug costs. But most are convoluted and difficult to monitor and enforce. The best solution for controlling drug costs would be to allow CMS (Medicare/Medicaid) to use its massive purchasing power to negotiate drug costs.

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

George W. Chapman is a healthcare business consultant who works exclusively with physicians, hosPROOF O.K. BY:___________________________ O.K. WITH CORRECTIONS BY:________________________ pitals and healthcare organizations. He opPLEASE READ CAREFULLY • SUBMIT CORRECTIONS ONLINE erates GW Chapman Consulting based in UT-000595577 (100%) Syracuse. Email him atMOHAWK gwc@gwchapmanADVERTISER: VALLEY ENDOSCOPY PROOF CREATED AT: 2/22/2017 9:24:00 AM UT-000595577


NEXT RUN DATE: 02/26/17

March 2019 •

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

Page 15


The skinny on healthy eating

Whole-grain millet: Healthy for the heart!


luffy like couscous or creamy like polenta, millet has many things going for it: it’s gluten-free (appealing for those trying to avoid gluten), a good source of protein, and loaded with health benefits. So why aren’t we consuming more millet on a regular basis? Especially when it’s so versatile, inexpensive, and easy to prepare? One word: birdseed. Most people equate this delicious whole grain with birdseed, even though the millet for human consumption differs from what our feathered friends eat. Like other whole grains that retain all parts of the seed (bran, germ and endosperm), millet helps protect the heart and it does so in more ways than one. Millet’s fiber helps prevent heart disease by lowering both blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Hearts also benefit from millet’s rich supply of magnesium, an essential mineral for maintaining a steady heartbeat and normal blood pressure. And because millet is relatively low in calories (only 200 per cooked cup), this satisfying grain helps hearts by assisting us with weight loss and

maintenance. Extra pounds, as many know, put significant strain on your heart and worsen several heart-disease risk factors. Millet may reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, thanks to its healthy concentration of two minerals that regulate blood sugar: magnesium and manganese. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, and the majority have Type 2. Studies have shown that low blood levels of both minerals can increase insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes. Of course, millet’s overall nutritional profile — high in filling fiber; low in fat, sugar and salt — is just as important in keeping diabetes at bay. One cup of cooked millet serves up six grams of protein, an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. Millet, however, is not a complete protein because it lacks the amino acid lysine. The addition of lysine-rich beans to any millet dish easily creates a complete protein.

Lemony Millet Salad with Fresh Asparagus, Mini Peppers and Black Beans 3/4 cup millet 1 1/2 cups water 1/2 bunch asparagus 8 mini peppers 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 3 tablespoons olive oil juice and zest from 1 lemon 1 large garlic clove, minced salt and pepper to taste 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, rinsed, dried and roughly chopped 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

asparagus, including the tips, into thin slices, crosswise, and place in a medium bowl. To prep the mini peppers, cut off the end, cut out the seeds, and then slice the peppers into rings, about 1/8-inch thick. Add black beans, millet and chopped parsley to vegetables; lightly toss. Make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice and zest, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Drizzle over millet mixture, mix well, adjust seasonings, and top with toasted almonds.

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

Combine millet with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes, before fluffing it with a fork. While millet is cooking, cut the

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

Addiction CFLR focus on prevention education services Continued from Page 3 ing changes in family interactions, team work, reduction in use, overall decrease in stress, and increase in family wellness in relatively short periods of time.

Safety net available

provider in Oneida County, CFLR, Inc. has prevention services and programs that help educate and bring awareness on substance use disorder, trauma, self-regulation, and skills to better understand and communicate emotions such as anger, despair and fear. Prevention education will also help bring perspective to what our children are dealing with today with drug trends, social media, peer pressure and more. We want to identify and understand risk and protective factors to help guide individualized prevention services that engage health, social, educational and behavioral impacts of substance use.

if services are appropriate. There are treatment options for family members through outpatient providers, even if they do not have a substance use disorder themselves. In Oneida County, our outpatient treatment providers offer one-on-one counseling for the family members impacted by substance use disorders. Multiple treatment providers provide family support groups as well. We also have a Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) support group locally and an Al-Anon chapter. In our community and at CFLR, Inc., we have multiple therapists that have a focus on children and trauma. We know the separation of a parent from a child can present emotional and behavioral changes. Working in counseling can help to stabilize the confusion and provide the structure to move forward in

a healthy way. That’s a daunting list of services, right? Google can be helpful to connect you to them, but even better, I can help you one-on-one with the services you might want for your family, both in our agency and in our community. We’ll find the best fit for you. FSN services are at no cost to you thanks to OASAS NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services) funding through Oneida County. For more information, call Ambi Daniel, family support navigator at CFLR, Inc. at 315-768-2665. • Ambi Daniel is a family support navigator at Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc., 502 Court St., Suite #401, Utica, N.Y. 13502. For more information, visit

Family Support Navigation services can also help loved ones access treatment, navigate insurance, and navigate the world of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and confidentiality. These FSN services are available to engage families through one-on-one, group, and community connection. We can work on education and skills for recovery starting as young Community is the key at age 5. We truly work to engage difThe goal is to develop a supportferently with each other to encourage ive community that enables children, and support recovery for the whole adolescents, young adults, and famifamily to work on family solutions. lies to have a healthy environment to You, the family members, help rethrive and grow. 5% Cash Discount American Made Furniture sults happen. You are that powerful. Helping to bring down natural Free Home Delivery Recliners As part of the FSN program at anger, and the tools to do so, are a From traditional reclining chairs to CFLR, Inc. we are gearing up to start common need for families. Parenting power and wall hugger recliners, We a new support group just for grandhave one to fit every room and every and anger management classes are parents. style. Looking for a recliner chair with all available throughout our community the right moves? Select from our rocking, Our plan is to tackle the unique and also at CFLR, Inc. glider or swivel recliner chairs. challenges of raising grandchildren We believe in an active approach and parent-partnering together. Power Recliners MP Order Propo to engaging parents, grandparents For those that need mobility assistance, ad will appear at the classification of: A clinical counselor facilitates theThis and kids in skills and discussion. Power lift recliners are the perfect choice. group, but it will be about supportAt the touch of a button, our power lift Parental aids are available to ing and learning from each other. Rome NY chairs let you comfortably relax and support parents and families in edurecline, then securely assist you from Because of the need we’ve been concation and other support on multiple a sitting to standing position. For the in Home Date 05/2014 tinuously hearing about, we decided with levels. The goal is to meet the needs, ultimate in modern comfort, check that we needed to create a specific out our massage notDate: only onMarch a parenting level, but on 17, 2014 Acct# A1ZGFE Sales Rep: GRIMALDI, JENNIFER L Size: HCN6 Ad Id: A recliner chairs. avenue to work together. a holistic stability level, including From effortless We know the impacts can affect housing, needed services, and tackto heat and a child’s self-esteem, their sleep, FINE FURNITURE & FLOORING motion massage, Putting ling at-risk needs. and their ability to focus, plan, and the power in your For People Who Love Thier Home When there is a mental health hands. organize. A child may also have diffi- diagnosis with significant behaviorculty making appropriate decisions, al issues or mental health impacts, 208 E. State Street Sherrill, NY 13461 building positive relationships, while the Oneida County Department of 315-363-3131 | also battling with social, emotional Mental Health has a “single point of and behavioral issues. access” team to help connect particCFLR, Inc. offers prevention ipants to care managers, structured education services directly in schools housing and other needs. A mental Diabetes? and outside of schools, not only for health provider can start this referral the children, but for the whole family Flat Feet? unit. These prevention services are Plantar Fasciitis? focused on the entire family dynamic Have a story idea? You may be eligible for shoes at little or no cost! to build and strengthen the family Call 315.749.7070 unit, build skills, provide tools and today! resources for lasting impact. As the only certified prevention

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AMZHMDNLM 14-Mar-2014 07:57

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

Health Careers Meditation instructor Melanie Pandit is helping to transform others’ lives in positive ways By Barbara Pierce

It’s transformed my life,” said Melanie Pandit about Sahaja Meditation. Pandit, of Cherry Valley, is a meditation instructor at Sahaja Meditation Upstate New York. “Once I saw the impact that meditation had on my life, I wanted to offer it to friends,” she said regarding the passion she feels for Sahaja Meditation. It’s clear she loves this career she has chosen. Meditation is an umbrella term for the many ways to achieve a relaxed state of being. There are many types of meditation — all share the goal of Pandit achieving inner peace. What is Sahaja Meditation? Perhaps the best thing to ever happen to you, say those who practice it. Pandit definitely agrees. Sahaja Meditation, while sharing many of the fundamentals of traditional meditation techniques, is unique because of how quickly it can help you achieve self-awareness. 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, she explained. No memorization of mantras, or affirmations — Nothing. No thoughts. You get to a place where

there is absence of thoughts. “It’s hard to truly put the Sahaja experience into words,” clarifies one expert online. “Compare it to someone trying to explain to you the pleasures and thrills of deep sea exploration. Trying to understand it through an explanation can be very limited and inadequate. One has to take the plunge to experience it.” “It’s like nothing else you’ve tried before; it’s incredibly simple,” said Pandit. “Anyone can do it.” So convinced is she of the benefits of Sahaja Mediation and so enthusiastic about sharing those benefits that she offers it for free. For 25 years, Pandit has offered her special gift to those in the Mohawk Valley at no charge. “I love the fact that I do it for free,” she said. “I get payment by the benefit of watching people transform their lives. It’s most satisfying.” She explained that the philosophy of the founder of Sahaja Meditation — Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi of India — is that life-changing tools, or energy, are within each of us. Tapping into your inner energy is the key to improving your life in every way; you will feel calmer, more relaxed, and less stressed. We tap into this inner energy through meditation. Since we all have this ability within us, we can create it ourselves. Why should people pay to learn it? “How can it get better if you pay?” the founder asked. “There are no hidden costs; no surprises.” “Wellness is a big, for-profit industry,” Pandit said. “The thinking is: ‘If you pay, you get better.’ The

idea is money creates wellness. We’re trying to ‘un-teach’ that idea.” Though she supports herself by educating school children in museums in Coopertown, Pandit’s real passion is to teach Sahaja Meditation. This winter, she has been offering a class in Cherry Valley at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the Old School Fitness Space. The class will continue through mid-March. Those interested may join the class on any Wednesday. People with any level of experience are welcome, from those with no experience to very experienced. This class, which began in January, has been well received by the community. She also offers it online.

Relatively easy

She said it is easy to learn and people who have never tried Sahaja Meditation will find it easier to achieve than other types of meditation. “I’ve had lots of experience with people who come to my class and tell me they’ve tried meditation, and it’s too hard, or they didn’t feel any benefit. These people were able to benefit from Sahaja Meditation,” Pandit became interested in Sahaja Meditation as a teenager, when her mother, searching for an answer on how to make her life more peaceful and balanced, found the answer in Sahaja Meditation and the family learned it together. “By the end of high school, I was fully committed to the benefits; I

could see the impact on my life,” said Pandit. “I could see how I gained self confidence, satisfaction, calm. When I faltered in practicing it, all these things faltered — my self confidence, my sense of self.” “Once I found how well it worked for me, I wanted to offer it to friends. By the end of high school, I was teaching it to my friends.” Soon after, she trained to be an instructor. She is pleased that science is finally catching up to show the many ways meditation benefits us — mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits have been clearly validated in recent years. “What people learn in class has a ripple effect,” she said. “Not only does it keep us sane, in balance, and peaceful, it has an effect on our family and those we are close to. By giving us all the tools we need, not only are we transformed, but also our families and our communities. Transformation has incredible impact on the world around us.” Others testify to the benefits: “Sahaja Meditation is the best thing that ever happened in my life,” said GW of Buffalo, on Pandit’s website. “What you have brought to the community and taught me has been of such value to my life,” said GE of Johnstown. “ “Wellness is a very satisfying career! It’s wonderful!” added Pandit. For more information about Sahaja Meditation, or for online classes, see or call 518-428-4692.

Keto Diet, ALS top Google searches in 2018


oogle it — and Google we did. On the eve of 2019, CNN reported that “Dr. Google” spat out more information on health-related questions regarding a fad diet and ALS, more than any other ailment in 2018.   Along with other health concerns — including endometriosis, the flu, how long marijuana stays in the system, implantation bleeding, heartburn and high blood pressure — the ketogenic diet and ALS were the top two health-related searches. Keto, the high-fat low-carb diet, may be proven to shed weight, but it is not a way of life, according to nutritionist Lisa Drayer. “It doesn’t teach you how to acquire healthy eating habits,” Drayer said. “It’s good for a quick fix, but most people Page 18

I know can hardly give up pasta and bread, let alone beans and fruit,” she said. Whether or not the death of world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking in March 2018 death contributed to the spike in searches about ALS — also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease — is unknown, just like ALS itself, of which “little is known about the causes of the disease, and there is no cure,” reported CNN. Lupus topped the list in 2017 as the top searched disease, along with mental illness, both of which have a direct link to singer Selena Gomez. As the producer of “13 Reasons Why,” a Netflix series dealing with mental health and suicide and as a lupus sufferer herself, Gomez brought her creative direction and

health concerns to masses, especially since the Netflix series reportedly sparked an interest in suicide ideology. Unlike the last year, opioid addiction did not dominate the search engine questions as it did in 2017 after it was declared a national public health emergency by President Donald Trump. However, three health related questions that did remain the same in 2017 and 2018 concerned the flu, blood pressure and lethargy. Speaking of the flu, Marie Claire magazine points out that Googling the illness can literally leave you feeling worse than when you clicked search. “We’ve all typed in flu symptoms only to have the internet suggest that it’s anything from pregnancy to ebola,” reports the

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

magazine. “Which, unsurprisingly, leaves you feeling anxious, upset and confused.” The reason why “a whopping 1 in 4 people,” Google their illnesses, according to Marie Claire magazine, is because of doctor availability and work schedule conflicts; however, that is still no excuse for not “being seen by a trained professional, rather than, well y’know, your own imagination and a bunch of random web searches.” Only time will tell what Dr. Google, who tracks health-related questions annually from January to mid-December, will report the top 2019 health concerns are, so until then, maybe go to the doctor rather than the search engine for the answer to what ails you.

Health News Insight House receives foundation grant

Rome Memorial names nurse manager

The James H. Wurz Jr. and Edward T. Wurz Sr. Foundation of Oriskany recently awarded an unrestricted grant of $2,000 to Insight House Chemical Dependency Services, Inc. in Utica. This funding will be used to assist Insight House in its drug treatment services and education efforts throughout the community. Since 1971, Insight House has provided professional and confidential drug and alcohol treatment services to individuals and their families. The agency is the largest substance abuse treatment center in Central New York, and offers a comprehensive range of outpatient and residential programs.

Registered Nurse Ashley Edwards has been appointed as the new nurse manager of Rome Memorial Hospital’s emergency department and intensive care unit. “Ashley is a natural born leader with strong clinical skills,” said emergency department director Kelly West. “Her appointment was based upon her excellent communication skills, clinical expertise and desire to improve and advance the development of the Edwards emergency department patient care staff.” After graduating from St. Elizabeth College of Nursing with her Associate in Applied Science degree in nursing, Edwards earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from SUNY Poly in Marcy. Initially hired as a graduate nurse in the intensive care unit at Rome Memorial Hospital in 2012, Edwards transferred to the emergency department in 2014. “Critical care nursing is fascinating because it involves dealing with patients who can present with acute and serious issues,” Edwards said. “Being able to take a look at the test results and combine that knowledge with everything else we learn about our patients allows us to help unravel mysteries and return them to their optimal level of health.” Edwards and her husband, Will, live in Rome with their daughter Olivia.

RMH welcomes hospitalist to team Sharmila Ravindranathan has joined the staff at Rome Memorial Hospital as a member of its hospitalist team. A hospitalist is a physician who cares for patients only while they are in the hospital. Hospitalists coordinate their care with patients’ personal physicians and specialists. “The role of the hospitalist is an important one in the continuity Ravindranathan of care provided to our patients and Dr. Ravi has experience coordinating different aspects of patient care, including diagnostic and therapeutic planning and working with the family to assure understanding of patient care plans,” said Mark Emerick, medical director of the hospital’s hospitalist team from St. Joseph’s Health. After earning her doctor of medicine degree from the American University of Antigua College of Medicine, Antigua and Barbuda, Ravindranathan completed her residency in internal medicine at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, Aventura, Fla. Hospitalists are available to patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which relieves the burden of primary care physicians having to be called into the hospital in the middle of the night. While hospitalists provide acute care to patients while they are in the hospital, they also play a key role in the health care spectrum by helping to arrange care plans for patients to follow after they have returned home. RMH is an affiliate of St. Joseph’s Health. Subscription? Call 315.749.7070

Program manager joins MVHS Deanna Eychner has been named program manager of Mohawk Valley Health System advanced wound care. In this role, Eychner is responsible for developing and maintaining policies and procedures, preparing annual capital, salary and operational budgets, audits and clinic operations. Eychner has been employed at the St. Elizabeth campus Eychner since 2010, serving as a wound care clinic-certified hyperbaric technologist and safety director. Prior to joining MVHS, Eychner worked as a charge nurse for Lutheran Care Ministries in Clinton. She also worked as a charge nurse at the Betsy Ross Nursing Facility in Rome and for Turbine Engine Components Technology in Whitesboro as a safety administrator-health nurse.

Continued on Page 20

Jaxon Hayes carries the torch of the American Heart Association as a Red Cap Ambassador.

Runners, walkers raise more than $17,000 to fight heart disease, stroke


undreds of walkers and runners joined the American Heart Association to be a force for a world of longer, healthier lives at the Rome Run & Indoor Walk recently. Walkers and runners raised more than $17,000 to fight heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 killers, respectively. The event was held at Rome Free Academy and sponsored by Rome Memorial Hospital. Two Red Cap Ambassadors shared their stories. Jaxon Hayes, of Rome, had open-heart surgery at 2 days old to repair a congenital heart defect. By the time he was 1 year old, Hayes’ family discovered he suffered a stroke. He is now an active 5-yearold who loves dinosaurs, cars, and playing with his twin sister Riley. Angel Woolheater, of Utica, found out she suffered a stroke after experiencing vision problems. She underwent many tests and procedures and discovered a heart problem. Now, she is waiting for a heart transplant and wears a device

March 2019 •

that pumps her heart for her. The Rome Run & Indoor Walk offered different walk courses to attract different types of walkers. For the person that would like a leisurely walk, there was an indoor oval track. For the more avid walker, there were challenging courses around the school. For runners, the event offered an outdoor 5K run. Those interested in forming a fundraising team for America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk on March 2 can register for the event at America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk 2019 is locally sponsored by signature sponsor NYCM Insurance; local sponsors Scalzo, Zogby and Wittig, Inc. Insurance; AmeriCU Credit Union, and Carbone Athletics at The Fitness Mill. A minimum amount of $30 in pledges for participants 16 years and older is required at registration to participate in the Heart Run & Walk. For more information, contact the AHA at 315-580-3964 or visit

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19

Health News Continued from Page 19 Eychner received her nurse assistant certification at Lutheran Care Ministries. She went on to receive a national certification as a hyperbaric technologist from Diversified Clinical Services. Eychner also received her practical nurse license from Oneida County BOCES in Verona.

Volunteer groups gift $78,500 to MVHS The volunteer groups at the Mohawk Valley Health System presented financial gifts during their annual winter gathering recently. The Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare Volunteer Association presented MVHS with a $43,000 donation, bringing its annual total to $53,000. The Guild of St. Elizabeth Medical Center presented a donation of $21,500, bringing its annual total to $25,500. Both donations were gifted to support patient care. Above, FSLH Volunteer Association and The Guild of St. Elizabeth Medical Center Mirror Board President Jane Gwise presents Scott H. Perra, president-CEO of MVHS, with the donation. “Our donation allows for the purchase of new medical equipment that helps staff provide exceptional patient care and greatly enhances the patient experience at both of our campuses,” said Jane Gwise, president of the FSLH Volunteer Association and The Guild of St. Elizabeth Medical Center Mirror Board. Both volunteer groups raise funds through gift shops and vendor sales. In addition to their monetary gifts, the volunteers contribute more than 33,000 hours of services to MVHS each year.

Tourney raises money for breast care center The Center State Conference Girls Varsity Tennis League Tournament recent raised funds for the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Breast Care Center. Each year, the league raises money for breast cancer agencies. This year, the league chose the MVHS Breast Cancer Center as members wanted their donation to go directly to local breast cancer patients. Canastota, Clinton, Herkimer, Holland Patent, Little Falls, Sauquoit Valley, Waterville and Westmoreland schools all took part in the fundraising at the Mott Tennis Courts at the Utica Parkway Recreation Center and were able to raise a total of $446.58. For more information about the MVHS Breast Care Center, visit

General, trauma surgeon joins MVHS Camille Richards has joined Mohawk Valley Health System’s New Hartford Medical Office-Medical Arts as a general and trauma surgeon Page 20

MVHS Cancer Center receives big-time support Believe 271 Foundation, Inc. and the Oneida County Volunteer Firemen’s Association held their second annual Pink Tie Gala at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro recently. The gala was put together to raise funds to support Believe 271 Foundation’s Assistance to Firefighters with Cancer, the Oneida County Volunteer Firemen’s Association scholarship program and the Mohawk Valley Health System Cancer Center. Taking part in the festivities are, from left, Kevin Lansing of Oneida County Volunteer Firemen’s Association; Daniel Baker, board member of OCVFA; David Glenn, president of OCVF; Marianne Baker, first vice president OCVFA; Brian Palmer, vice president of Believe 271 Foundation; Nancy Butcher, executive director of the MVHS Cancer Center; and Linda Lovrin of MVHS. Members of the gala committee presented a check to Butcher to purchase 750 wireless headphones for patients to utilize while receiving treatment at the MVHS Cancer Center.

with admitting privileges at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. Prior to joining MVHS, Richards worked at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse as a general surgery resident physician. Richards earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the Canadian University College in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. She received her Doctor of MediRichards cine degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. She recently attended SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse to complete her general surgery residency, where she was awarded technical excellence in hernia repair. Richards is certified in advanced trauma operative management, advanced trauma life support, advanced cardiac life support and basic life support. Richards was also an instructor for ATLS classes. She is located at the New Hartford Medical Office-Medical Arts, 4401 Middle Settlement Road, Suite 201, New Hartford.

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MVHS maternal child services gains recognition Mohawk Valley Health System maternal child services has been recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Gold Safe Sleep Champion” for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. Twenty-five New York state hospitals have received this certification and MVHS is among only 14 to have received the gold-level award. NSSHCP was created by Cribs for Kids®, a Pittsburgh-based organization dedicated to preventing infant, sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation. Research shows that sleep-related death results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the United States. For more information on maternal child services at MVHS, visit

Community Foundation supports CFLR project The Mele Family Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Community Foundation of Oneida and Herkimer Counties, has awarded $25,000 for the creation and implementation of the Strengthening Families Project through the Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. The project will be managed by the prevention services department of CFLR, the exclusive New York state Office of Alcoholism and

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

Substance Abuse Services-certified prevention services provider in Oneida County. Strengthening Families is a nationally recognized, evidence-based program that develops family skills, increases resilience, and reduces risk and protective factors in children between the ages of 5-16. The program teaches families to maintain balance in their lives while minimizing the impact of emotional, mental, and physical concerns. “Children need healthy, supportive environments that offer unconditional love, care and positive relationships to thrive and grow,” says Jodi Warren, prevention services director. “By providing parents with the skills and tools they need to bring their family together, they can build a strong, healthy and supportive family unit.” The program runs for 14 twohour sessions with separate parent and children sessions as well as joint family sessions. For more information, call the Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. at 315-733-1709.

SDMG names its employee of year for 2018 Slocum-Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford has named James Curtis employee of the year for 2018. Curtis joined SDMG in July of 2017 as a PC technician-systems

Continued on Page 21

Ask The Social

Health News Continued from Page 20 analyst. He has acquired over eight years of health information technology and information systems experience. His role in the information technology department at SDMG includes deployCurtis ment, configuration, and management of hardware

systems as well as technical support and daily trouble shooting. Curtis has played an integral role in the recent rollout of new computer equipment, working countless hours to guarantee proper installation and documentation. IT Department Director Michael Petucci noted Curtis often goes above and beyond to ensure the success of a project. Curtis is regularly called upon to provide technical support and always approaches providers and staff with a professional and courteous demeanor, Petucci said.

2018 Share in the Care Gala benefits rural health community Members of the Southern Madison County Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, gala committee members and hospital administration gathered for multiple check presentations. The checks reflect the proceeds from the 2018 Share in the Care Gala, “A Night on the Boardwalk,” which was held in the Hall of Presidents located on the campus of Colgate University in Hamilton. More than $55,000 was raised from the event. Two separate checks were presented for a total of $15,000. One check for $10,000 was presented to the Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary for its ongoing support of the hospital and a second check for $5,000 went to SOMAC for the purchase of heart monitors. Above, Kerry Rice, Midstate Emergency Medical Services paramedic, joins Kyle Sylvester, SOMAC director of operations, in accepting the $5,000 check. The 2019 Share in the Care Gala is set for Oct. 19 at the Hall of Presidents. For more information, contact the foundation office at 315-824-7036 or email

Security Office

From the Social Security District Office


Medicare coverage function of income

f you have higher income, the law requires an upward adjustment to your monthly Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums. But if your income has gone down, you may use form SSA-44 to request a reduction in your Medicare income-related monthly adjustment amount. Medicare Part B helps pay for your doctors’ services and outpatient care. It also covers other medical services, such as physical and occupational therapy, and some home health care. For most beneficiaries, the government pays a substantial portion — about 75 percent — of the Part B premium, and the beneficiary pays the remaining 25 percent. If you’re a higher-income beneficiary, you’ll pay a larger percentage of the total cost of Medicare Part B, based on the income you report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You’ll pay monthly Part B premiums equal to 35, 50, 65, 80, or 85 percent of the total cost, depending on the income you report to the IRS. Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage helps pay for your prescription drugs. For most ben-

Q&A Q: I’m gathering everything I’ll need to file my taxes this month. Do I have to pay taxes on Social Security benefits? Also, where can I get a replacement 1099? A: Some people who get Social Security must pay federal income taxes on their benefits. Still, no one pays taxes on more than 85 percent of their Social Security benefits. You must pay taxes on some portion of your benefits if you file an individual federal tax return and

eficiaries, the government pays a major portion of the total costs for this coverage, and the beneficiary pays the rest. Prescription drug plan costs vary depending on the plan, and whether you get Extra Help with your portion of the Medicare prescription drug coverage costs. If you’re a higher-income beneficiary with Medicare prescription drug coverage, you’ll pay monthly premiums plus an additional amount, which is also based on the income you report to the IRS. Because individual plan premiums vary, the law specifies that the amount is determined using a base premium. Social Security ties the additional amount you pay to the base beneficiary premium, not your own premium amount. If you’re a higher-income beneficiary, we deduct this amount from your monthly Social Security payments regardless of how you usually pay your monthly prescription plan premiums. If the amount is greater than your monthly payment from Social Security, or you don’t get monthly payments, you’ll get a separate bill from another federal agency, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or the Railroad Retirement Board. your income exceeds $25,000. If you file a joint return, you must pay taxes if you and your spouse have combined income of more than $32,000. If you are married and file a separate return, you probably will have to pay taxes on your benefits. You can read more about tax preparation in relation to Social Security at www. htm. Social Security benefits include monthly retirement, survivors, and disability benefits.

& Palliative Care Oneida, Herkimer and Eastern Madison Counties

March 2019 •

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


appy March and it’s almost the end of winter! I swear our winters get more and more unpredictable. I am from Buffalo, so this weather is cake! I hope you all are finding ways to stay fit and healthy. I love going to the gym in the winter. What do you like to do? Thank you Suy again for joining in on this month’s “Smile with Dr. Suy” and our continuing series, “Defining Dentistry.”

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a dental prosthetic that literally bridges or connects your teeth together. Natural teeth or dental implants can support bridges.

A bridge is made up of two or more crowns on either side of the missing tooth area. These teeth anchor the bridge to the mouth. In between the anchoring teeth are false floating teeth, called pontics, which replace the missing teeth. Bridges can replace one or more missing teeth. They stay in the mouth and do not require to be taken in and out like dentures. Bridges can be made of metal or different ceramic substrates.

Why would I need a bridge?

If you are missing one or more teeth, you might need a bridge. When I am examining my patient, I usually look at the teeth surrounding the missing teeth area and plan from there. Typically, it’s recommended to have a clinical and X-ray examination. If the teeth surrounding the missing teeth site are all very healthy and untouched, I typically will recommend a dental implant since this does not require preparation of those teeth. If teeth are previously crowned, have decay or previous root canal treatment, I am more likely to recommend a conventional dental bridge.

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If more than one tooth is missing and the areas are spread apart from one another, I may recommend a denture or several bridges or implants. Patients with active periodontal disease and severe cavities should not get bridges until these problems are resolved. These treatment plan considerations are just a few dentists have in mind when recommending your proper treatment.

What is the procedure for a bridge?

Depending on if your bridge is tooth supported or implant supported, the procedure for a bridge will be different. If you have natural teeth, your dentist will prepare the teeth and make room for the bridge material. If you have dental implants, abutments will be made with space for your bridge. Once this step is complete, the bridge procedure is the same. An impression of the anchoring teeth or implant abutments will be made. This can be done digitally or with impression material. This impression is then sent to a laboratory where they will take this information and fabricate a bridge according to your dentist prescriptions. Some dentists even have units that make bridges in their office, but this depends on the technology and

I have a bridge, now what?

Congratulations, you now have a wonderful new prosthetic in your mouth that could last you a long time. Like anything else in the mouth, dental bridges are subject to dental decay and should be taken care of. Special oral hygiene instructions for bridges include bridge flossing and using a Waterpik®. Bridge flossers allow patients to go underneath pontic sites to clean underneath the bridge. Waterpiks® help flush out underneath pontic sites as well and surrounding mouth structures. Hopefully, this column has helped bridge the gap regarding your knowledge of dental bridges! Have some questions to ask me in person? Call 315-724-3197 for a free consultation. I look forward to meeting you! • Dr. Salina Suy is a health and wellness advocate and general dentist in Utica. Want to learn more? Visit Facebook @smilewithdrsuy or

Progress being made on new MVHS hospital


tlantic Testing, a subcontractor to O’Brien & Gere, the engineering firm working on the State Environmental Quality Review process on behalf of Mohawk Valley Health System, has begun a hazardous materials survey on certain properties within the new hospital footprint. Property owners for these locations have been notified and have granted access for the survey. Testing on these properties will take several weeks. This is a standard process for projects where the demolition of buildings is involved and will not cause any traffic interruptions. Each building in the footprint will eventually be tested with the exception of one that is owned by the city of Utica as that building is to be

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

materials on hand. Once the bridge is back, your dentist will see how it fits. Once it is adjusted to clinical standards, your bridge will be cemented in your mouth.

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

condemned and is unsafe to enter in order to do a survey. The purpose of this survey is to determine the presence of hazardous materials within each property in the footprint of the new hospital. Once the survey is complete, if needed, an abatement process will be put in place to eliminate any hazardous materials found within the project footprint and will be done prior to building demolition. The abatement process has been estimated into the timeline of project completion. When the application for a demolition permit is submitted for each building, MVHS will be required to provide a certification that the building is free of asbestos, showing that it never existed or that it has been abated.

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Got a health-related activity or event that you would like publicized? Call Lou Sorendo at 315-749-7070 or email Continued from Page 12 support forum for patients and cancer survivors will be held at 6 p.m. March 11. 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.

March 11

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. March 11 at Rome Memorial Hospital’s second-floor classroom. 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

March 13

Parents: Learn baby care basics Parents-to-be can learn about childbirth, newborns and other related topics by attending Baby Care Basics, a two-hour program taught by Rome Memorial Hospital maternity nurse Michelle Bates. Classes are available from 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays on March 13, May 15, July 17, Sept. 25 and Nov. 6, and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays on March 23, May 4, July 13, Sept. 7 and Nov. 16 in the hospital’s classroom. The program is free and no advance registration is required. Call 315-338-7143 for more information.

March 14

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.

March 16

Class focuses on feeding newborn Rome Memorial Hospital will be featuring classes where parents-to-be can learn about their baby’s nutritional needs, feeding by breast or bottle and other hand-feeding methods. All are welcome to attend regardless of feeding choice. International board-certified lactation specialist Amanda Huey N, IBCLC will lead the free class. Classes will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays on March 16, May 18, July 13, Sept. 14 and Nov. 9. Classes will be held in the hospital’s second floor classroom. No registration is required. For more information, call the education department at 315-338-7143.

March 18

Laryngectomy support group to meet The Laryngectomy Support Group will hold its monthly meeting at noon March 14 in the Sister Regina Conference Room on the first floor of the St. Elizabeth Medical Center hospital building, 2209 Genesee St., Utica. The support group is sponsored by SEMC.

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. March 18 in the second floor classroom at Rome Memorial Hospital. The group meets the third Mon-

day 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 about the support group or the Community Recovery Center, call 334-4701.

March 20

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 March 20. 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.

s d i K Corner

Almost All U.S. Teens Falling Short on Sleep, Exercise


oo little sleep. Not enough exercise. Far too much “screen time.” That is the unhealthy lifestyle of nearly all U.S. high school students, new research finds. The study, of almost 60,000 teenagers nationwide, found that only 5 percent were meeting experts’ recommendations on three critical health habits: sleep; exercise; and time spent gazing at digital media and television. It’s no secret that many teenagers are attached to their cellphones, or stay up late, or spend a lot of time being sedentary. But even researchers were struck by how extensive those issues are among high school students. “Five percent is a really low proportion,” said study leader Gregory

Knell, a research fellow at University of Texas School of Public Health, in Dallas. “We were a bit surprised by that.” In general, medical experts say teenagers should get eight to 10 hours of sleep at night, and at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. They should also limit their screen time — TV and digital media — to less than two hours per day. The new findings show how few kids manage to meet all three recommendations, Knell said. It’s easy to see how sleep, exercise and screen time are intertwined, he pointed out. “Here’s one example: If kids are viewing a screen at night — staring at that blue light — that may affect

their ability to sleep,” Knell said. “And if you’re not getting enough sleep at night, you’re going to be more tired during the day,” he added, “and you’re not going to be as physically active.” The report was published online Feb.4 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Ariella Silver is an assistant professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She offered some advice for parents: • Instead of telling kids to “get off the phone,” steer them toward alternatives, like extracurricular activities, community programs or family time. “Their screen time will go down by default,” she noted. • Be a good role model. Get off

March 2019 •

your phone and demonstrate healthy habits, including spending time being physically active with your kids. • Talk to teenagers about the importance of healthy habits. “Ask them, ‘How do you feel when you don’t get enough sleep?’” Silver suggested. “Ask, ‘How do you feel when you don’t get outside in the sun and get some exercise?’” It’s important, she said, that kids notice how their bodies feel when they do or don’t engage in healthy habits. • Set some clear rules around screen time, such as no devices in the two hours before bedtime. “Make sure your kids realize these devices are a privilege, and not a necessity to living,” Silver said.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 23

What happens when … ? How much of a problem are those little health-related slip-ups? By Barbara Pierce


o one follows the rules for healthy living all the time. So how much of a problem can these little slipups be? What happens when … ? — You scratch an itch? It stops itching for a while, but the itch will come back fiercely. Scratching triggers a small amount of pain that numbs the itch but causes the release of serotonin, which carries the “I itch” signal to the brain. So as the pain fades, the itch returns even stronger. Try rubbing the area with your Hein palm instead. — You hold your pee? You won’t stretch your bladder or weaken your pelvic floor. But you could increase your risk for developing a urinary tract infection. As urine sits in your bladder, it creates a welcoming environment for bacteria, say the experts. For both men and women, the most important time to urinate is after sex because that’s when bacteria can migrate into your urethra. Peeing flushes everything out. — You take a week or two off

from physical activity? “Use it or lose it” is real, say experts. After a week of dialing down your routine, your metabolism can slow and your speed and endurance can decrease up to 30 percent. In just one week! But one to two weeks back at your routine will reverse any loss. “Regular exercise is essential for optimal overall physical and mental health,” said registered dietitian Crystal Hein, owner and operator of Crystal Clear Nutrition in Herkimer. “Physical inactivity can lead to multiple chronic diseases. It increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease or having a stroke,” she said. “Physical inactivity can lead to weight gain, especially as we age. It can also lead to weak bones, resulting in osteoporosis later in life. Being physically active has been shown to help prevent and manage diabetes,” Hein added. Spending a lazy day on the sofa may help you get caught up on your favorite TV shows, but it is a set-up for lots of problems. — You brush your teeth only once a day (maybe not even that)?

Don’t neglect teeth

“Brushing after every meal is extremely important,” said Charles Burns, a dentist in Utica. “Bacteria caused by the leftover food in your mouth causes cavities.”

Not brushing for prolonged periods of time causes periodontal disease and loss of teeth. As brushing after every meal is not always feasible in the real world, Burns suggests at least rinse with water if you can’t brush. — You don’t floss? “Flossing is extremely important,” said Burns. “Bacteria can get wedged in between your teeth; most cavities start between the teeth. Keep the bacteria out and prevent periodontal disease and loss of your teeth,” he said. Not flossing also can cause bad breath. — You skip breakfast? Skipping breakfast is a set-up for pigging out later. When you wake up, your body has gone as much as 12 hours without food. When you skip breakfast, you’ll be hungry later on, said Hein. Your growling stomach may lead you to make poor food choices, choices that are probably high in calories and sugar and low in protein and fiber. When you’re very hungry, you’ll be inclined to eat larger portions, she added. Most people more than compensate for the calories they miss at breakfast by overeating at lunch and dinner — especially foods high in saturated fat, the kind that plugs arteries. — You grab a quick bowl of cere-




THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE In 2017, the uninsured rate across upstate New York averaged just 4.0 percent. This maintains our region’s historically low uninsured rate. It compares with a New York state average of 5.7 percent and a national average of 8.7 percent. Our 2018 and 2019 rate increases in the small group and individual markets were the among the lowest in upstate New York, which helped keep our local health insurance affordable and uninsured rate low.

We’re neighbors helping neighbors build healthier communities. A nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Page 24

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

al like Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Flakes, or Lucky Charms. Many of the popular breakfast cereals have more sugar than a couple doughnuts. They’re loaded with sugar, fat, and even salt. (i.e. Golden Grahams contains 21 percent of your daily salt allowance.) Even granola — sounds healthy but it isn’t, as it’s high in fat and sugar. “You won’t feel full after eating these cereals,” said Hein, as they are low in fiber and protein, and high in sugar. You know what that means: Your blood sugar spikes, then plummets, and you’re hungry soon after. “These cereals are also lacking important nutrients to keep our bodies functioning at their best: vitamins, minerals and protein,” added Hein. — Ignore the claims on the front of the box. Check out the ingredients: you want as much fiber as possible, and as little sugar as possible. “Make sure to include protein and fiber at breakfast,” Hein said. For protein, look to eggs, yogurt, or peanut butter. For fiber, fresh fruits and even vegetables with eggs, and high-fiber cereals and breads. Look for whole-wheat breads, and higher fiber cereals like oatmeal or bran flakes. Make sure to include some fruit and protein-rich milk with these as well, Hein suggests. — You don’t clean your contacts every day? If your doctor has told you that you need to clean yours daily, this is what you must do, or bacteria or fungus can get into the contacts and cause a serious eye infection. Protein deposits can build up on the lens, which can irritate your eyes, scratch your cornea, and cause permanent damage.

Profile for In Good Health: MV's Healthcare Newspaper

IGH MV 157 March 19  

IGH MV 157 March 19  


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