IGH MV 158 April 2019

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APRIL 2019 • ISSUE 158

No place like home

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Intermittent fasting Sarah Inserra, a registered dietitian for the Mohawk Valley Health System, takes a look at the benefits of intermittent fasting. Page 13

Retreat to the cozy comfort of your abode: See Page 5 Women’s Health Special Edition

Burnout among women

Meet Your Doctor

Nationally recognized hormone expert, gynecology health specialist Dr. Nisha Jackson confronts crisis. Page 9

Dentistry 101: Plaque and tartar See ‘Smile With Dr. Suy’ inside

Symptom of menopause proves challenging The most common menopause-related discomfort is the hot flash. See story, Page 6.

Ham it up! Ham is relatively low in fat and calories, which is good for those watching their weight and fat intake. Page 15


Urgent Care


Justin Zalatan Utica-area dentist discusses his occupation. Page 4

Autoimmune Diseases

WellNow, under the guiding hand of owner John Radford, is rapidly becoming a force on the region’s urgent care health care scene.

Rathika Martyn of Oneida Medical Associates in Oneida, who specializes in internal medicine, explores autoimmune disorders (rheumatology).

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April 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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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 ®


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

You’re not alone ‘Big hearts’ at Community Memorial raise more than $500 to support efforts of American Heart Association Community Memorial’s Hamilton Heart Center Cardiologist Raymond Carlson takes a pie to the face from April LaMunion, SUNY Poly nurse practitioner student, after employees at the hospital and its five family health centers surpassed their fundraising goal of $500 in support of the American Heart Association. Employees purchased red hearts, red dress pins, and magnets in honor or in memory of a friend, loved one, or patient impacted by cardiovascular disease and stroke during a weeklong fundraising effort to support heart research and education for the AHAAmerican Stroke Association. “As always, our employees rise to the occasion when it comes to supporting efforts to improve the health of our community. They have big hearts,” said CMH President and CEO Sean Fadale.

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 MomPelvicTherapy.org.

Thousands fight heart disease, stroke at America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk


housands of runners and walkers became a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives at the 45th America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk recently. The Mohawk Valley event drew a crowd of nearly 5,000 walkers and runners to Utica College. Participants helped raise $967,747 at America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk. “This year, we’re celebrating a milestone,” said Steve Gassner, AGHRW logistics chairman. “For 45 years, the American Heart Association has been saving lives in the Mohawk Valley because of the incredible support this event receives. What started with a few runners has grown

Oneida, Herkimer in good


Health MV’s Healthcare Newspaper

into thousands of runners and walkers. We can’t say thank you enough to this amazing community.” Special recognition goes to the 2019 top fundraiser, Albert Pylinski, raising more than $72,000 in support of the AHA. Participants who could not make it to the event, or have additional donations to turn in, may turn in money — including matching gift funds — by April 16 to receive any and all incentives, prizes, club benefits and awards. Incentives can be picked up at the AHA office, 125 Business Park Drive, Utica, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.



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: lou@cnymail.com

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: Beth Canale 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.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Rate of organ donors grows in New York But state, regional rates lag behind


ore New Yorkers than ever before are signing up to be organ donors, but the state still lags behind the nation when it comes to the percentage of adults in the donor registry, according to an analysis by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. At the same time, the need for organ and tissue donors in New York remains among the highest in the country. “New York state’s 35 percent participation rate is the second-lowest donor registration rate among the 50 states,” said Richard Lockwood, vice president and chief medical officer at Excellus BCBS. “Yet, the need for organs in New York state is third-highest among the 50 states, with 9,500 individuals on the transplant waiting list.” Only California (21,387) and Texas (9,750) have more people waiting for organ transplants. Nationwide, 58 percent of adults are registered organ donors, and 113,000 Americans are on the waiting list for an organ transplant. About 17,000 of them have been waiting five or more years. Every day last year, about 14 Americans died while awaiting a transplant. “When we looked at the data five years ago, 22 percent of New York adults were in the organ donor registry, so today’s 35 percent participation rate shows that more people understand the need for giving others a lifesaving gift,” said Lockwood. “We need to do a better job of communicating the ease of registering as an organ and tissue donor.” New York state has simplified the process to register as an organ and tissue donor. In 2017, 16- and 17-year-olds became eligible to join the registry when they apply for a driver’s license or permit. That same year, New Yorkers became eligible to sign up for the Donate Life Registry when applying for or renewing a health insurance plan on the NY State of Health marketplace. The simplified process appears to be working. According to New York State Department of Health data from October 2018, nearly 38,000 of the new organ registrations in the previous 12 months were 16- or 17-year-olds, and approximately 91,000 new registrations came from the health insurance marketplace. The Upstate New York region, with 47 percent of adults registered as organ and tissue donors, performs better than the state as a whole. In the Utica/Rome/North Country region, 49 percent of adults are registered organ and tissue donors. There are several ways to join the donor registry. You can: — Sign up through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles in-person or online at DMV.NY.gov — Sign up when you register to vote. — Enroll through NY State of Health when applying for health insurance at NYStateofHealth.NY.gov. Page 4


Your Doctor

By David L. Podos

Dr. Justin Zalatan, DDS Justin Zalatan is a doctor of dental surgery. His practice, Zalatan Dental/Modern Dentist, is located at 2607 Genesee St., Utica. Recently, contributing writer David L. Podos interviewed Zalatan regarding his profession.

level of anxiety, I could sedate you, but I would rather try to work with the patient to overcome their fear. Actually, I seldom use sedation; perhaps one patient a month. We have an excellent staff and they know how to work with each patient. Demeanor is very important as well as tone of voice and body language; it all sends a signal, so we do our best to create a calm environment. We establish a human connection. I want to make sure you are comfortable. We also do free consultations so the patient has a chance to come in and meet us, and that reduces anxiety.

Q.: How many years have you been practicing dentistry? A.: I have been in practice since 2004. Q.: Your father, John Zalatan DDS, recently retired. How influential was your dad in your decision in becoming a dentist? A.: He was fairly influential but he never forced me into going to dental school. Actually, I never really wanted to be a dentist at first. I wanted to be an engineer or architect. But eventually that changed. I saw my dad had a good business and he was his own boss. In the medical profession, we often don’t have that. Dentistry is unique in that you can set up your own hours. You don’t have to be part of these massive medical groups like many physicians have done to function. Dentistry as it turned out was a really good choice for me. Q.: What is your specialty? A.: As a generalist, I don’t have a specialty, so that gives me the opportunity to do a little bit of everything. We also have a tremendous amount of technology at our disposal here in the office that makes that possible. For instance, I like working on patients that have sleep apnea, so I treat those patients of mine who have it. In fact, I myself have sleep apnea and have an extensive amount of training in that area. We also do facial aesthetics such as Botox treatments and have a large following for that as well. Q.: It seems that dentistry is going through a significant renaissance — everything from new procedures to offering patients totally new services that were unavailable just a few years go. What do you see as the most significant changes in dentistry with the advancement of science and medicine, and how have these changes impacted your patients? A.: Quality of care has dramatically improved, which directly affects quality patient care. We’ve seen advancements from dental materials being more bio-friendly, to a shift to composite fillings, to bio-active resins. This way, we are reducing as much as we possibly can any toxic elements. Even when we do root canals, the materials used are bio-friendly. Of course, technology has changed medical care so much. We have the use of computers and three-dimensional printing to aid us in creating crowns, for example. In addition to that, we have high-resolution digital sensors that assist in

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

diagnostics and three-dimensional CT scans, all of which are available here at Zalatan Dentistry. That three-dimensional CT scan, by the way, is great when I am treating a patient for sleep apnea. I can see by the scan how big your airway is. You might come in for a routine root canal, and after we take a scan, are able to see that the airway is constricted. Q.: Many people have a fear of going to the dentist. How do you and your staff work with patients that are very anxious? A.: I am sedation certified, so I am licensed to administer conscious sedation. If you came in with a high

Q.: Where do you see dentistry five to 10 years from now? A.: Bio-friendly materials that we use now will advance further. There are things the industry is working on, and electrical charges over the teeth to re-mineralize them to bring an unhealthy tooth back to its original healthy state will be commonplace. The use of stem cells to actually grow teeth will continue to develop and progress toward becoming a reality. Q.: Finally, what would you like people to know about your practice? A.: We are one of the most technologically advanced dental practices in the area. We use all of our resources to treat our patients to the best of our ability. We plan for only what the patient needs and never overdo treatment.

Lifelines Birth date: 1978 Birthplace: Utica Current residence: Utica Education: Bachelor of Science degree, physical and biological anthropology, SUNY Albany (1996-1999); Doctor of Dental Surgery, SUNY Buffalo-School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (20002004); Advanced General Dentistry, Nova Southeastern University (2004) Personal: Single Hobbies: Skiing, scuba diving, mountain biking, and building things

Women’s Health

Safe Haven Create a sanctuary in your home By Barbara Pierce


s so much of our lives are chaotic, our home should be a sanctuary, a place that brings us calm and helps us get our life back on track. Our home should be a place we love — a place that makes us feel joy; a place that brings us peace and reduces our stress level. It is what surrounds us during our greatest, or our worst moments. It is where we shelter our children. “Our homes are sanctuaries, our place of rest and a safe haven for each member of the family,” said Tara D’Amico, real estate and design adviser. “A place where we can truly relax and create memories and traditions.” D’Amico is an independent interior design adviser and realtor for Coldwell Banker Sexton. She lives in Clinton with her husband and three children. The ability to create a calm haven of our home doesn’t come naturally for most of us. D’Amico helps people achieve that feeling of serenity in their homes, making their home a clean, safe, uncluttered and relaxing space. “My philosophy is based on the three C’s: clutter, cleaning and color. Our brain reacts negatively to heavy clutter and dirty environments, and it’s over-stimulated with too much color. Here are a few simple tips to get you started: — Clutter: Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Clutter is a significant source of stress in our lives and has a profound effect on our mood and self-esteem. The more stuff, the more stress we feel. Though D’Amico understands that clutter is the hardest for most of us, it is one of the easiest life stressors to fix.

Tara D’Amico “Clutter is oppressive. But once you get it, your home will be liberated,” she said. “Start by pretending you’re moving,” she recommends. “At least once a year, clean out your drawers, cabinets and closets. Keep only what you love and truly need. Give away or sell the rest!” “Keep a limit of three to five items on your surfaces. This small practice makes a big difference in the clutter department,” she added. A cluttered space with too many knickknacks is a chaotic space.

Cleaning demands discipline

— Cleaning: “Don’t dread it, just do it!” says D’Amico. Let’s be honest, the continuous ritual of putting things away, dusting, vacuuming, or making an effort to keep things tidy is extremely important to maintaining both mental and physical health. Keeping your home clean is one of the easiest ways to deter stress. Walking into a dirty, cluttered house can instantly put you in a bad mood; piles of clutter and disorganization can trigger brain fog and depression. “If you don’t love to clean, set a day and time and give yourself a phone reminder,” suggests D’Amico. “Make it once a week — vacuum, dust, and clean the bathrooms.” “If you have children, I’m a firm believer in including them. It teaches them to value their home and take care of their things. It also communi-

cates that you need them, which is a wonderful feeling. They’ll feel more comfortable at home and want to be there,” she added. — Color: Color can be a mood lifter or depressor. “My home is about 10 different shades of white,” says D’Amico. “People say, ‘You’re so brave, having so much white with three kids!’ But here’s a secret: White is the easiest color to clean and it doesn’t fade! Not to mention it’s very soothing. I think it’s almost heavenly.” “Neutral, neutral, neutral, when it comes to painting walls, furniture, and décor — Whites, creams, grays and tans, the lighter the better. Neutrals last the longest. Also, they’re peaceful colors for our minds to process. And they’re most versatile — you can interchange pieces throughout your home,” D’Amico said. “Neutrals are a great choice for us Central New Yorkers. When it’s dreary outdoors, they help to make our indoors a comfortable and happy place,” she noted.

“As for beautifying, this is where your personal style comes in,” added D’Amico. “Everyone has their own style. One tip is to use photography and quotes that you love. Turn your families’ highlights and memories into artistic decor.” “Use your own photos or enlarge photos from a photo website and find stylish frames. This is inexpensive and has proven to be comforting to children living in the home. Studies show it boosts their self-esteem and creates a safe and comfortable environment. As a bonus, it also sparks creativity,” she said. Small changes can shift the way we feel in our home. And if we feel better in our home, our entire lives improve. No matter where you live, when you shift the environment in your home, it helps boost your level of happiness. Connect on Facebook at https:// www.facebook.com/taradamicorealestate/or email tdamicosells@gmail. com.

Specialists in Integrative Oncology & Gastroenterology

Heidi S. Puc - MD,FACP,ABIHM Amy Lazzarini - MD, MSHS Heidi Baldwin - MS, RMT

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

Integrative Gastroenterology Integrative Lyme Disease Treatment Mold Related Illness (CIRS)

505 Roberts Street, Inertiawellnesscenter.com Utica NY 13502


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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Women’s Health In the trenches New nurses work overtime, long shifts, and sometimes a second job


ew nurses are predominantly working 12-hour shifts and nearly half work overtime, trends that have remained relatively stable over the past decade, finds a new study by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. In addition, 13 percent hold a second job, according to the study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing. Changes in health policy in recent years — from the passage of the Affordable Care Act and increased access to healthcare to the recession, which delayed some nurses’ retirements — have had implications for nurses and the hours they work. “Research shows that nurses’ hours, scheduling patterns, and overtime have been associated with patient safety and nurse well-being,” said Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, PhD, assistant professor at NYU Meyers and the study’s lead author. “However, we wanted to understand what these changes in the global economy have meant for the newest generation of nurses. Stimpfel and her colleagues analyzed surveys from more than 4,500 newly licensed nurses in 13 states and Washington, D.C., collecting information on nurse demographics,

education, work attributes, and attitudes. Specifically, nurses were asked about their work schedule, daily shift length, weekly work hours, overtime, and whether they worked a second job. Four different cohorts of nurses — those first licensed in 2004-2005, 2007-2008, 2010-2011, and 20142015—completed the survey soon after being licensed; these cohorts were compared to observe changes over time. The researchers found that newly licensed nurses work an average of 39.4 hours a week, predominantly in 12-hour shifts. More than 13 percent report having a second paid job. New nurses prefer working the day shift, and the preferred shift length is 12 hours. Twelve percent of nurses report working mandatory overtime (an average of less than an hour in a typical week), and nearly half (45.6 percent) work voluntary overtime (an average of three hours in a typical week). The researchers observed nuanced changes in overtime hours during the decade studied: there was a decline in both mandatory and voluntary overtime during the economic recession by about an hour per week, but overtime hours rose in the most recent cohort.

Hot Flashes 101

What are hot flashes?

The most common menopause-related discomfort is the hot flash. Although the exact cause still isn’t fully understood, hot flashes are thought to be the result of changes in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates the body’s temperature. If the hypothalamus mistakenly senses that a woman is too warm, it starts a chain of events to cool her down. Blood vessels near the surface of the skin begin to enlarge, increasing blood flow to the surface in an attempt to dissipate body heat. This produces a red, flushed look to the face and neck in light-skinned women. It may also make a woman perspire to cool the body down. The heart may beat faster, and women may sense that rapid heartbeat. A cold chill often follows a hot flash. A few women experience only the chill.

How long will I have hot flashes?

Most women experience hot flashes for six months to two years, although some reports suggest that they last considerably longer — as long as 10 years, depending on when they began. For a small proportion of women, they may never go away. It is not uncommon for women to experience a recurrence of hot flashes more than 10 years after menopause, even into their 70s or beyond. There is no reliable way of predicting when they will start — or stop.

I’m having a hot flash. Should I be concerned about what lies ahead?

Menopause is a fact of life for every woman around the world. However, the physical and mental impact of this physiologic inevitability varies both within and across all cultures. While there is no universal menopause experience, it can mark the beginning of an exciting new time of life for all women.

As I mature past menopause, how can I achieve the best possible health?

Get the checkups you need and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The risks of osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes and cancer all rise after menopause. Most women visit their primary care doctor or gynecologist once a year for a “well-woman visit,” Page 6

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

which insurance now covers with no co-pay. Even height, weight, and blood pressure checks at your visit reveal a lot about your health risks, and you and your healthcare team can discuss other tests you might need, such as cholesterol measurements, PAP tests, and mammograms. Physical inactivity, obesity, and unhealthy eating, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. The evidence continues to grow that getting active, losing excess weight, and healthy habits can reduce these risks.

What are the treatments for hot flashes?

Although the available treatments for hot flashes do not cure hot flashes, they do offer relief. Hot flashes usually fade away eventually without treatment, and no treatment is necessary unless hot flashes are bothersome. A few women have an occasional hot flash forever. There are a number of low-risk coping strategies and lifestyle changes that may be helpful for managing hot flashes, but if hot flashes remain very disruptive, prescription therapy may be considered. Prescription hormone therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration include systemic estrogen therapy and estrogen-progestogen therapy (EPT; for women with a uterus) — are the standard treatment. Another FDA-approved hormone product, for women with a uterus, combines estrogen with bazedoxifene instead of a progestogen. Bazedoxifene is an estrogen agonist/ antagonist, which means that it works like estrogen in some tissues while inhibiting estrogen activity in others. In this case, it helps to protect the uterus from cancer. For women who prefer not to take hormones or cannot take hormones, nonhormone drugs approved to treat depression, called selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors, have been found to be effective in treating hot flashes in women who don’t have depression. Source: North American Menopause Society

Women’s Health Between You and Me

By Barbara Pierce

I feel pretty, oh so pretty! Women: It’s how you feel about yourself that counts


s a young woman, I thought I was overweight and unattractive. I wore clothes that hid my figure; I was uncomfortable in a bathing suit. As a result, I had poor self-esteem and little confidence in myself. However, looking at old pictures of myself in my 20s wearing a two-piece bathing suit, I look pretty good. I wasn’t overweight at all; I wasn’t thin, but I definitely looked good in a bathing suit. How could I have been so Pierce wrong? It’s mind boggling and sad. I think many young women are just like me — they don’t have an accurate picture of how they look in their minds and they lack confidence in themselves. How does that happen? Looking at even older pictures, I find my answer. As a pre-teen, I was overweight. Not significantly, but enough that I forever branded myself as a less-than-desirable person. I identified with Amy Schumer in her movie, “I Feel Pretty.” Yes, a piece of fluff, but fun. And it hits home with many women.

In the movie, Schumer’s character is an ordinary woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. Then she bangs her head in a fall. When she wakes up, she believes she has transformed into a gorgeous, model-like beauty, though to everyone else, she looks exactly the same. Believing she is beautiful with a flawless body, she has all the confidence in the world and begins to act differently. Acting with all this confidence, she gets her dream guy and her dream job. It turns out that both the guy and boss were impressed with her self-confidence. It sends a so right-on message that the way you feel about yourself is way more important than the way you actually are. It reminds me of one of my favorite greeting cards: A cute, cuddly little kitten is looking into the mirror. What he sees is a huge, roaring, ferocious lion. The caption: “What matters most is how you see yourself.” The story in the movie parallels Schumer’s life. She says online: “Feeling pretty isn’t about being a size zero, it’s about loving yourself inside and out no matter what!” “Don’t’ be embarrassed to get naked in front of your partner because men are so happy to have a naked woman in front of them that they’re not going to say, ‘Oh, you have bit

New App to Help Patients Prepare for Medical Visits


atients often only have about 15 minutes with their doctors during an office visit and they often walk in unprepared for what questions they want their doctor to answer about their medical problem or treatment. To help patients prepare for their medical visits, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed a new consumer mobile app that builds off the agency’s “Question Builder” online tool. The Question Builder app, which is available at no charge for smartphones, tablets and laptop computers on iTunes and Google Play, aims to help patients organize questions and other information prior to medical visits. “Consumers liked the ability to have questions and other information at their fingertips during medical visits, while doctors, nurses and other clinicians said that better-prepared patients would lead to more effective and efficient visits and potentially more accurate diagnoses and better outcomes,” the agency said in a release.

of cellulite; I’m out of here.’ It’s all in our heads,” she said. “My parents made me think I was a genius supermodel, and it was kind of too late when I found out that they had been lying,” she added. In college, she found men wanted “thinner, blonder, dumber. No males were noticing me, and it was killing me. I couldn’t compete, and I lost all my self-esteem. I was confused, then I figured it out,” she said.

Here’s a road map

I figured it out too, and here’s some stuff that worked for me. If you lack self-confidence, you can acquire it. Give these suggestions a try: — Fake it until you make it. You’ve heard this before, but this really helped me. Pretend like you’re sure of yourself; act like you’ve got it. You’ll gradually become the “you” you’re acting like. — Think positively about yourself. Say to yourself things like “I’ve got this!” Or “I’m pretty amazing!” or “I look so good today!” Even if you don’t believe it, your brain doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies and your brain will believe and act on the positives. — Kill negative thoughts. We all have thoughts running through our head, and those thoughts may be critical. When self-critical thoughts come into your head, get rid of those thoughts right away; don’t let yourself think them. Replace them with

positive thoughts. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend if you heard her saying those things about herself. — Look as good as you can. Wear things that make you feel attractive. Apparel and accessories don’t have to be expensive; the just have to make you feel attractive and ready to tackle the world. — Have friends who are positive. Hang with people who think you’re amazing, who support you and cheer you on. Avoid people and places that treat you badly and put you down. If you don’t have positive friends, work on getting them in your life. — Smile. This is such a little thing, but it works. I feel instantly better when I smile, and it helps me be nicer to others as well. It’s a tiny thing that can have a chain reaction. — Compliment others. Reach out to give compliments to others. Make them feel good about themselves, and you’ll feel good. Confident and secure people make others feel the same. Insecure people make others feel insecure. Believe me, this stuff does work — just try. • 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 barbarapierce06@yahoo.com.

Mohawk Valley Practitioners

“Patients can get better care by preparing to ask questions about their care and communicating effectively with their doctors, nurses and other providers,” said physician Jeff Brady, who directs AHRQ’s Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. “Asking questions to make sure patients understand instructions and other aspects of their care can help reduce the chance of missed diagnoses, identify the right tests that are needed, and avoid unnecessary hospital stays.” Through the app, patients can input details of their upcoming appointments, such as date and reason for the visit, and then choose questions they want to ask their doctor, starting with a list to prompt them with commonly asked questions in different situations. To talk to a doctor about medical tests, the app prompts patients to ask questions such as: How accurate is the test and what do I need to do to prepare for the test? To download the free app, go the app store and type “AHRQ Question Builder.”

In Practice for 23 Years

Now Accepting New Patients for Primary Care

Call Now for an Appointment We are excited to announce the addition of Sarah Alexander RN, MS, FNP-C to the practice Cathryn J. Barns RN, MS, FNP, ANP-C

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

1 Notre Dame Lane. Utica, NY 13502


We continue to be located next to Notre Dame High School

April 2019 •

Accepting Most Insurances We look foward to providing your care

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Women’s Health The Balanced Body

By Deb Dittner

Tame that tension! Stress and your ‘fight or flight’ response


tress is among us all. Your natural reaction to “fight or flight” can simply go haywire. This response is to help you during emergency situations to avoid severe injury or death followed by a return to normalcy. Sadly, today’s society has created an overabundance of this “fight or flight” reaction, making it a chronic condition causing significant health issues. Dittner The main stress hormone, cortisol, is released from your adrenal glands when responding to stress. Cortisol is high first thing in the morning to get you started in your day, and slows throughout the day to allow for sleep come night. But abnormally high levels of cortisol lead to poor sleep, elevated blood pressure, brain

fog, elevated blood sugar, decreased immunity, and belly fat. Do these symptoms sound familiar to any of you? I’m sure I’ve hit a nerve with some of you but there are foods and lifestyle changes that can help to naturally lower your stress hormone. If you’ve read any of my previous articles in Mohawk Valley In Good Health, you have seen that I highly promote whole nutrient-dense foods for everyone. This not only aids in reducing the stress hormone but also helps in all areas of your health. Herbal teas and dark chocolate (greater than 70 percent cacao) will also help reduce cortisol levels. Drink pure filtered water (half of your body weight in ounces) daily as dehydration increases cortisol. Caffeine in large amounts can increase cortisol. If you are feeling anxious or get jittery after coffee or other caffeinated beverages, you may need to cut back or eliminate the caffeine in your diet.


In Breast Cancer Care “As healthcare providers we believe in a compassionate, team approach to breast care. We can help coordinate your care and clarify diagnosis and treatment options for you. As women, we appreciate the emotional impact that breast cancer has on our patients and their families. Together, we provide excellent care that is truly patient focused.” – Holly Burline, RN, nurse navigator, and Chelsea Hammont, PA-C, members of the Breast Care Team. Call 315-624-5764 or visit mvhealthsystem.org/breast-care-center to learn more about our program!

Breast Care Center Faxton Campus 1676 Sunset Avenue, Utica

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Too much caffeine can also play a role in poor sleep. Sugar is abundant in processed food-like products that many consume on a daily basis. Sugar in foods and drink cause us to crave even more, creating negative health issues.

Disease begins in gut

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said all disease begins in the gut. By providing your gut with prebiotics and probiotics, you will be connecting the mind and gut in taking care of your body. Prebiotics consist of asparagus, bananas, leeks, onions, and apples. Probiotics consist of kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and fermented sauerkraut. Balancing your body through lifestyle changes is another way to lower cortisol levels. Sleep, between 7 to 9 hours of restfulness nightly, improves cortisol levels and your overall health. Physical movement consisting of a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week is necessary not only for decreasing cortisol levels but helping create stronger bones, building muscle, and so much more. Many studies show that being lonely and isolated create similar negative effects as does smoking. It is very important to maintain positive relationships and spend time

with those folks that bring you joy and happiness. Relaxation comes in many forms from hobbies, massage, yoga, music and deep breathing, all lowering cortisol. Be mindful in reducing stressful thoughts and worry. A friend many years ago sent me a poem that I’d like to share here: “Don’t dwell over the past, for it is gone Don’t look into the future, for it has not yet come Live for today and make it worth remembering” The stress hormone cortisol has many negative effects on your body, and fortunately there are many natural ways to reduce cortisol levels. Whole nutrient-dense foods, reduced caffeine and sugar, proper hydration, prebiotics and probiotics and dark chocolate followed by lifestyle changes including proper sleep, exercise, mindfulness, relaxation and socialization all provide profound healing of body, mind and soul. • 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.

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.

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

By appointment only - please contact for scheduling your one-on-one sessions at 315-338-1318 505 North James St., Rome, NY 13440

Women’s Health Burnouts and breakdowns The epidemic that is plaguing women By Barbara Pierce


s women, most of us are maxed out, crazy busy, and totally overwhelmed. In our constant drive to achieve, we push ourselves to fill our plates with accomplishments, positions, awards and “things to do.” This drive to do more and more impacts our families, our work, and, most of all, our health. The result is exhaustion, anxiety, guilt, fear and physical illness — burnout. Are more women burning out? “Absolutely! Women are burning out at a higher rate — no surprise there,” said nationally recognized hormone expert and gynecology health specialist Nisha Jackson, Ph.D., of Nisha Jackson Medford, Ore., who has been monitoring this crisis for years. Jackson founded Peak Medical Clinic, which specializes in primary care, wellness, hormone therapy, medical weight loss, and esthetics. In her new book: “Brilliant Burnout: How Successful, Driven Women Can Stay in the Game by Rewiring Their Bodies, Brains, and Hormones,” Jackson offers a solution to burnout. Her innovative techniques — supported by unique and cutting-edge testing — will change your mind and body forever. “Women are burning out at epidemic proportions,” she said. “They have way too many balls in the air, eat way too much sugar, junk food and processed food, are constantly paying attention to their devices, are constantly ‘on,’ with no down time.” “It’s a world-wide epidemic. I’ve lived it. I wasn’t willing to let go of my life on the fast track,” Jackson said. “We tell ourselves, ‘I have to be perfect,’ ‘I have to achieve more,’ ‘I can handle it all on my own,’ ‘It’s right to put others first,’ ‘I’ll worry about myself later,’ or ‘I can’t be perceived as weak,’” she said. Jackson explains that, living on the fast track, with a constant barrage of demands and challenges, we are running on adrenaline. When you run on adrenaline for a long time, it causes an imbalance in your hormones. Burnout means you’ve been running on empty for too long. “Not that you’re laid up, but you’re affected emotionally and mentally,” she said. “Your ability to concentrate is affected. “You don’t feel good, and your doctor can’t figure out what’s wrong. You may feel depressed, irritable and

generally disinterested in everything.”

Burnout has physical impact

“This doesn’t happen overnight. If you push your adrenal gland too much, it robs your other hormones. This is the body’s way of surviving, but it’s not good. It can cause weight gain, belly fat, heavy periods, pre-menstrual syndrome, or perimenopause. You feel awful,” she added. “Women don’t know what’s going on,” she stressed. What’s innovative about Jackson’s approach is that there is a flood of books written on how to prevent burnout and manage stress. These books say, “Just focus on your breathing,” “Just say no!” or “Let go of some of your responsibilities.” However, Jackson recognizes that women are not willing to do this; we are not willing to give up our responsibilities and accomplishments. We don’t want to slow down; we want to thrive in the overwhelming demands of both our careers and our personal lives. This book gives us the tools we need to feel great while being successful. “Based on my theory and my experience, if you give women the tools they need, they’ll be better off,” Jackson added. “Women deserve answers.” “Don’t settle for feeling awful,” she said. “If you want to be successful, you don’t have to feel awful; you can feel great while you’re successful.” Her book is a road map that gives us the ability to feel vibrant and well while being successful. “Just reading the book alone will help,” she said. “It’s a fun book, with humor; it’s simple, so you’re not overwhelmed.” “This is a must read for all women!!” says Jane Krieser online. “It is a road map — easy to read, understand and appreciate but not information you will get from your general practitioner or gynecologist.” “It’s like having a conversation with your best friend!” says Kristi Myers. “My life has changed immensely for the good using many of the tools Nisha Jackson has in her book,” says Kari online. “I felt exhausted with complete burnout. I kept gaining weight no matter how much I dieted and worked out. I had no energy and was dragging myself through my day. I’m so thankful I found this book.” Some of the ways Jackson rec-

ommends establishing balance and banning burnout from your life: — Have supportive friends, and create a “tribe.” Your tribe is the group of people you surround yourself with, whom you know you can count on no matter what.

April 2019 •

— Also, prioritize your activities. Make yourself a priority; don’t neglect your self-care and personal growth. To order the book “Brilliant Burnout” by Nisha Jackson, go to amazon.com.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

Women’s Health A disease cloaked in mystery What is an autoimmune disease anyway? By Barbara Pierce


e’re hearing more and more about autoimmune diseases. It’s all kind of vague and mysterious to many of us. The list of what’s considered to be an autoimmune disease is long, ranging from the very common to the extremely rare. While very different, all these disorders have one thing in common: They occur when a person’s immune system begins attacking healthy body cells. The body is essentially fighting itself. “The body begins to produce antibodies that Martyn are directed at its own tissues,” said Rathika Martyn of Oneida Medical Associates in Oneida. Martyn specializes in internal medicine, with a subspecialty in autoimmune disorders (rheumatology). Our immune system is a complex network that defends our body from germs and other foreign invaders. If a flaw occurs in response to an unknown trigger, this can cause the immune system to begin producing antibodies. Instead of fighting infections, these antibodies attack the body’s own tissues. “These antibodies attack different parts of the body in a constellation of symptoms that affect a person, symptoms that can affect the whole body — the joints, the eyes, lungs, the skin,” Martyn added. The body parts that are effected depends on the type of autoimmune disease — there are more than 80 known types. Some of the most common include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, Type 1 diabetes, and psoriasis. Overall, autoimmune diseases are common — They are the third-leading chronic illness in the

United States, behind heart disease and cancer. They are a leading cause of death and disability for many. Seventy-eight percent of patients are women, and reasons for the high prevalence in women are unknown. Nobody knows for sure the causes of autoimmune diseases, Martyn added. “It’s a combination of genetics, environment and lifestyle. Some families are predisposed to get these diseases,” she said. Autoimmune diseases are very difficult to diagnose, said Martyn. This is because different parts of the body may be affected. Often, an autoimmune disease goes undiagnosed for years. They are difficult to diagnose because, in general, they tend to arrive unpredictably, disguised as other conditions, offering only confusing clues as to what they are. Symptoms vary widely. Often the first symptoms are fatigue, muscle aches and a low fever. The classic sign of an autoimmune

disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, flushing, pain and swelling.

Watch carefully for symptoms

Other symptoms that may suggest an autoimmune disease, especially when several are combined, include joint or muscle pain, weight loss, insomnia, heat intolerance, recurrent rash, difficulty concentrating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dry eyes, mouth, or skin, multiple miscarriages or blood clots. If you suspect you may have an autoimmune disease, start by seeing your primary physician, Martyn recommended. Your primary physician will do blood work, and obtaining a good history is important. If this workup raises red flags, he or she can refer you to a specialist. If you suspect that you may have an autoimmune disease and you’re not getting answers, or you’re not getting better, you may need to see a specialist. “If you’re diagnosed with an

autoimmune disease, there are medications that treat it so you will feel better,” she said. The treatment will depend on the disease, and medications to bring down inflammation are often used. “There is a broad range of ongoing research being done, and many new medications are being approved. This is encouraging news,” she said. “Not only medication, but lifestyle does play a role in treating autoimmune diseases,” added Martyn. Lifestyle changes can play a key role in managing the disease, like eating a well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Autoimmune diseases fall on a broad spectrum, explained Martyn, from mild to severe symptoms. For example, at the lower end of the spectrum, a person who has mild lupus may have occasional pain and a rash. At the other end, full-blown lupus can cause kidney failure, lung problems, and maybe can lead to the need for a transplant. A patient can fall into any part of the spectrum; the majority fall into the mild to moderate category. These diseases may also have flare-ups when they get worse, and remissions, when symptoms get better or disappear. “I don’t know whether autoimmune diseases are on the increase,” said Martyn. “I do have the feeling they are on the increase, mostly due to the environment. But genetics are always a factor. You may have a predisposition to the disease, but then something triggers the symptoms, like stress.” Many in the field are concerned these diseases are significantly on the rise. “Autoimmune diseases are three times more common now than they were several decades ago. These changes are not due to increased recognition of these disorders. Rather, more people are getting autoimmune disorders than ever before. Something in our environment is creating this crisis,” Douglas Kerr, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins Hospital said online.

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

Health Careers Elaine Mabry Director of ActivitiesAdult Care Elaine Mabry is the director of activities at Mohawk Homestead, an adult care residence in Mohawk By Barbara Pierce


f I could no longer live on my own, I’d like to be a resident at Mohawk Homestead in Mohawk. I could have a manicure after breakfast, play quizzes while I have morning coffee, then enjoy a rousing game of balloon volley to get my exercise for the day. After lunch, I’d share my life story with others, then sing along with my new friends over root beer floats, and Bible study in the evening. This wealth of diverse activities is the work of Elaine Mabry, director of activities at Mohawk Homestead, an adult care residence in Mohawk. The small Victorian-style adult home has provided care to the elderly as a nonprofit for 121 years. Care and services are provided for both temporary and long-term residents. As more people enter retirement, there is a growing need for qualified activity directors-recreation therapists to provide the very best in socially, mentally, and physically engaging programs for residents of adult care homes, assisted living, nursing homes, and adult day centers. Mabry shared her perspective on this career. Q.: You’ve been director of activities at Mohawk Homestead for five years. What’s best about this career? A.: I love it! And this is such a wonderful place to work! What I especially love is that I know these families because I grew up here. Knowing that I’m making a difference in their lives is the best thing about this career. Take for instance the boat ride at the Herkimer Diamond Mines. One of the men had always wanted to go on this boat trip, and he was so happy. He died not long after that trip. When I can fulfill some adventure a resident has wanted for years, it makes me happy. Many of our residents haven’t seen local sites and I enjoy helping them experience these things. I’m happiest when our residents are happy; I like making them happy, seeing them laughing and having fun. Q.: How did you become interested in this career? A.: I got involved in a roundabout way. I went to school to become a nursing home administrator, and I have a health care management degree. But I found I didn’t like being

anybody’s boss. I wanted to do fun stuff. Before I came to Mohawk Homestead, I worked as an assistant in therapeutic recreation at another facility where I learned a lot that prepared me for this position. Q.: I’m impressed with the variety of community-based and meaningful group activities you offer, as interesting activities are vital to keep people healthy, happy, and keep their spirits alive. How do you do it? A.: I rely heavily on community involvement, as I’m the only paid staff. Volunteers bring in their pets for visits, and they lead Bible study, bingo, church services, trips, crafts, and so much more. There is even a fishing pond we can use. I can’t say enough about how helpful the community is. They are great, so supportive. We’re always looking for volunteers who can share their passions and interests with us. Q.: How do you determine activities? A.: When a new resident moves in, I sit down and talk with them about what their life was like before and what activities they especially enjoyed. Some people are social and enjoy activities with others; others like to stay to themselves and do their own thing. Either is OK. Each month, I monitor quality assurance. I sample three residents and ask what they like. Some like history, some like shopping, or music, others want to challenge their brain or do competitive activities, or social activities. Q.: What’s required of you in this job? A.: I do a monthly calendar of activities (which can be seen online at mohawkhomestead.org/resident-calendar/), I drive the bus and I lead activities. It’s important to be upbeat, patient, organized, and to be able to think like I was in their shoes. Q.: Are there many job opportunities in this field? What preparation is needed? A.: Skilled nursing facilities employ recreation therapists, which requires a four-year degree. Many facilities are hurting and unable to find qualified workers. Utica College offers this degree. Most recreational therapists work

Elaine Mabry in hospitals or health facilities, but an increasing number are being hired in residential facilities, community mental health centers, adult day care, substance abuse centers, hospice, community centers, and schools. Q.: What activities are most fun for you? A.: I like anything where people give me positive feedback. Everyone’s favorite is the group balloon volley. We use noodles to hit the balloons, play music, laugh, have a

good time, and get exercise. Q.: Is there anything else you would like readers to know? A.: I welcome and am always looking for volunteers to help with crafts, bingo, and trips. If you have a passion or a talent to do something, like crotchet, share your pet, or give a talk, we’d love for you to share. See the application on our website. Contact Mohawk Homestead at 315-866-1841 or see www.mohawkhomestead.org for more information.

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April 2019 •



IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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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 lou@cnymail.com.


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.

April 2

Community leader to be feted The Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. in Utica is celebrating community partners who join together in the recovery mission at its annual awareness breakfast, this year themed “Celebrating CommUNITY Connections.” The awareness breakfast is scheduled for April 2 at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro and is open to the public. Tickets are available by calling the office at 315-733-1709 or on the CFLR Inc. website, www.WhenTheresHelpTheresHope.com. “We want to recognize all of our partners who play a role in the recovery community, whether it’s inpatient or outpatient, support groups, peer services, life skills, or advocacy,” said Page 12

the agency’s CEO, Cassandra Sheets. One of those partners is the Mohawk Valley chapter of Friends of Recovery, and its local president, Tom Reilly. He will be presented with this year’s Amethyst Award at the breakfast. The award is given annually to a member of the community who has helped others by inspiring them with a message of hope and recovery, according to Sheets. The CFLR is the area’s leading resource provider in prevention, mental health, and behavioral services, as well as community and family recovery programs. For more information on any of the CFLR’s programs and services, call 315-733-1709 or visit www.WhenTheresHelpTheresHope.com.

April 2

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 Oct. 1. To register for this class or for more information, contact Rome Memorial Hospital’s Education Department at 315-338-7143.

April 4

VHS named ‘outstanding community partner’ Valley Health Services is the recipient of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES’ “Outstanding Community Partner” recognition award for 2019. VHS will be honored during BOCES’ annual meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. April 4 at the William E. Busacker Complex on Gros Boulevard in East Herkimer. Nominated by Mary Kline, director of adult, early childhood and outreach education, VHS is being honored for its support of BOCES’ LPN program. Kline said VHS provides BOCES LPN students with monetary support to attend the program as well as paid

study time during July to ensure the students are successful in passing their LPN board exams. VHS also partners with the BOCES Technical Education Program in helping health science careers students complete their required 108 clinical hours.

April 5

Benefit set for Neighborhood Center “Gala Di Mistero,” a benefit for The Neighborhood Center in Utica, is set for 7 p.m. April 5 at Yahnundasis Country Club, New Hartford. This year, the theme is a masquerade ball in Atlantis: “Adventure Under the Sea.” The evening will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and food prepared by a local culinary master with an open bar serving signature libations. As guests mingle with other masked guests, they will experience and participate with the mystery of Illusionist Shaun Robison, the acrobatic artistry of the famous CirqOvation Performers, dancing to the sounds of “Last Left” and other unexpected revelries. Entertainment is sponsored by Strategic Financial Services. “We are excited for the third year of this annual event, which will transport guests to Atlantis,” said The Neighborhood Center Executive Director Sandra Soroka. “We have created an imaginative, unique and fun evening for people to be truly entertained. I believe it has become a premier event in the Mohawk Valley and benefits the youth programs of The Neighborhood Center.” “Gala Di Mistero” is a 21-andover, black tie-and-masks-preferred event with fundraisers and silent auctions. Tickets are $125 per person For more information, visit Galadimistero.com, contact Sabrina Lamie at 315-272-2619 or email SabrinaL@neighborhoodctr.org. The Neighborhood Center is a comprehensive human services agency in Central New York. For more information about The Neighborhood Center and its services, go to www.neighborhoodctr. org.

April 6

Kelberman Center slates walks for autism The Kelberman Center in Utica is gearing up for its 12th annual walks for autism during Autism Awareness month in April. The walk for autism has expanded from a single location in Boonville in 2008 to multiple locations around Central New York. More than 3,000 individuals come together throughout walk season to generate awareness and raise funds which all stay in the local community. With support from lead sponsor, Charles A. Gaetano Construction Corporation, and platinum sponsor, Strategic Financial Services, among others, the 2019 walk dates and locations include: — April 6 – Boonville Walk/5K Run (Boonville V.F.W.) — April 13 — Hamilton College Walk (Sadove Terrace) — April 27 — Oneida Walk (Oneida High School) and Cooperstown Walk/5K Run (Glimmerglass State Park)

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

— May 4 — Mohawk Valley Walk (SUNY Polytechnic Institute) For the first time, participants can pre-register online, saving time at check-in on the day of the event. To pre-register, visit www. firstgiving.com/organization/kelbermancenter and click “join now” from the relevant walk location page. Registration for all events begins at 9 a.m. with walks starting at 10:30 a.m. All walks will feature music, refreshments, activities, and raffles. Details, pledge forms, and links to team fundraising pages can be found online www.KelbermanCenter.org/ walk-for-autism, by calling 315-7976241 or emailing info@kelbermancenter.org. About one in 59 children today are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a lifelong neurological condition most often affecting communications, social interactions, and behavior.

April 7

VRS to host several open houses Valley Residential Services, the first enriched housing and assisted living facility in Herkimer County, is welcoming new residents to open houses at the facility located at 323 Pine Grove Road, Herkimer. Its new expansion project has added 14 one-bedroom apartments, large enough for couples, and also a fully staffed wellness and fitness center. Open house events are scheduled for: — April 7; 1-3 p.m. — May 18: 10 a.m. to noon — June 20: 4-6 p.m. For more information or to RSVP to any of the open house dates, contact Christine Shepardson, director of community life, at 315-219-5700 ext. 3239.

April 8

Support forum for patients, cancer survivors The Mohawk Valley Health System’s Cancer Center’s monthly support forum for patients and cancer survivors will be held at 6 p.m. April 8. 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.

April 8

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.

Continued on Page 23

Diet & Fitness Intermittent Fasting Check out the facts about latest diet trend By Brooke Stacia Demott

Doesn’t fasting put your body into ‘starvation mode’?


or centuries, mankind has regarded fasting as an ancient spiritual technique that brings someone closer to God. Turns out, there might also be some significant physical benefits to the age-old religious custom. Fasting is simply denying your body calories for a short period of time. We do this, unwittingly, every day. Once bedtime hits, your daily fasting has begun. Often, it isn’t very long. A recent GalInserra lup Poll indicates that the average American sleeps only 6.8 hours per night, while 40 percent sleep less than six. The first caloric item you ingest is what breaks that fast — hence, breakfast. That’s why breakfast is your most important meal. It’s what you break that evening fast with and sets the tone for your body’s cravings for the remainder of the day. The idea behind intermittent fasting is to extend that fast. Instead of six or seven hours, stretch it to 14, 16, or 20 hours. This reportedly gives your body less time to ingest calories and helps you lose weight. It appears to be effective. Clinical trials demonstrate that IF does encourage significant weight loss, though not necessarily any more so than a calorie-restrictive diet. There’s also an increasing body of evidence indicating that long periods of daily fasting provide significant cellular and metabolic benefits. Stacey Mattinson, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, informs online readers that IF offers multiple health benefits in addition to weight loss. Since food intake is limited to daylight hours, IF encourages the body to eat to satisfaction during the day, meaning no more late-night snacking! Once food has been digested, energy reserves turn their attention to repairing weak cells in the gastrointestinal track, reducing inflammation and encouraging your immune system in a daily reboot. She concedes that these same benefits are found in reasonable — that is, non-excessive — caloric restriction as a lifestyle, so it’s possible that the reason these benefits are present in IF regimens is simply because they promote restricted caloric intake. Sarah Inserra is a registered dietitian and dietitian nutritionist who serves as outpatient dietitian for the Mohawk Valley Health System’s “Eat Right Live Right Program.” She said the jury is still out thus far based on her professional experi-

By Brooke Stacia Demott

“When you are in a fasted state, the body initiates important cellular repairs and changes in your hormone levels, making stored body fat more accessible.” ences with IF. “IF has been around for a very long time,” says Inserra. “Our ancestors intermittently fasted during the winter, as there was a relative lack of food that necessitated decreasing intake. “Personally, I am unsure about interval dieting. I’ve had some clients who’ve tried intermittent fasting. Some were able to meet their goals, while others ultimately chose other methods that were more effective for them. For some clients, it is contraindicated,” she said. “IF is inappropriate for children under 18, women who are pregnant or nursing, anyone with a history of disordered eating, anyone with an underlying medical condition or is taking medications that may be complicated due to fasting, such as diabetes, or the patient has no interest in fasting,” Inserra added. It can, however, be an effective and beneficial lifestyle shift for others. Inserra said IF might be a good option if a patient is overweight or obese and has no underlying medical conditions; has difficulty sticking to a daily calorie restriction; does not like to eat a morning meal; does not like to track their intake, or has a tendency to snack late at night.

Expert view

So, how would someone get started? Lauren Davis, a certified personal trainer at Vent Fitness in Albany and creator of 4EverBods, said there are a variety of ways a person can

implement fasting into his or her diet — it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Common protocols include 20 hours of fasting with only a 4-hour eating window (20:4); the 24-hour method, which is fasting from dinner to dinner; five regular eating days and two 24-hour fasting days (5:2 fast), and the popular 16/8 — fast for 16 hours, then consume all of your calories for the day in the remaining eight. Typically, you’d pick a window of time each day and stick to it. For instance, with a 16/8 plan, most people stop eating at 8 p.m., skip a morning meal, and break their fast at noon the following day. “That seems like a significant wait for your morning coffee, but don’t worry,” Davis said. “You can have black coffee or tea along with water until noon.” What makes IF an effective program for healthier living? “A smaller eating window means you will most likely consume less calories, putting you in a desired calorie deficit required for weight loss,” Davis said. “When you are in a fasted state, the body initiates important cellular repairs and changes in your hormone levels, making stored body fat more accessible. “Insulin levels drop and human growth hormone increases, encouraging fat loss and muscle gains. The energy the body once used to digest and process your foods is now freed up to aid in cellular repairs.” However, Davis warns, choose your foods wisely. “Some believe you can eat what-

April 2019 •

Starvation mode” is the theory that when you stop eating, your metabolism slows down to reserve fat stores, keeping you from losing weight or possibly even causing you to gain a few pounds! Here’s the reality: Only under long durations of extended caloric restriction would your metabolism slow down to ensure your survival. The Minnesota starvation experiment during World War II demonstrates this theory, where after six months of extremely low caloric intake, subjects experienced a lowered heart rate and body temperature, indicating a drop in metabolism. However, a more recent experiment took 11 healthy volunteers living on nothing but water for 3 1/2 days (brutal!) and found that volunteers’ basal metabolic rate actually went up while they were fasting, by around 14 percent. Long story short: While extreme calorie restriction for excessive periods of time may decrease your metabolism, shortterm fasting actually increases your metabolism. So, you can fast without fear of rebound weight gain.

ever you want during the designated eating windows. I would not recommend this. When you’re in a fasted state, insulin levels drop, allowing the body to access and use fat as fuel. Guess what happens when we eat processed foods and sugars during our feeding windows? Insulin spikes, which is the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve when fasting,” she said. As a certified personal trainer, Davis does not prescribe diet plans to clients. “I have seen many clients have success with IF. The great thing about this weight loss method is that it is 100 percent free, and you can start and stop whenever you want,” she said. Inserra offers some final words of wisdom. “When preparing to make a lifestyle change, be sure to take time to evaluate your readiness to make a change,” she said. It’s never a good idea to make major health decisions on a whim. Do some research, talk with a local registered dietitian, and choose the weight loss program that is right for you.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

By Jim Miller

Does Medicare cover vision services? Dear Savvy Senior,

UCP receives grant from Women’s Fund for ‘Girls’ Night Out’ group Upstate Cerebral Palsy recently received a $3,975 grant from the Women’s Fund of Herkimer and Oneida Counties for a social group for young women with disabilities. The “Girls’ Night Out” program, funded in part by The Women’s Fund of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, is designed to foster relationships, build self-esteem and confidence, and promote self-advocacy to a group of 12 women with disabilities in rural Oneida County. Celebrating the check presentation are, from left, Joanne Donaruma-Wade, Women’s Fund board of directors’ first vice president; Jacqueline Klosner, HSS staff at UCP; and Janine Stoddard, UCP vice president of community services. The UCP program provides young women aged 18-30 with autism, intellectual disabilities, or Down syndrome in Boonville and the surrounding area with an opportunity to meet once a month. “Girls’ Night Out” provides these women the opportunity for personal growth in a safe and supportive space.

“I had cancer...

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

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

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


I will be enrolling in Medicare in a few months, and would like to know how Medicare covers vision services? I currently have vision insurance through my employer but will lose it when I retire.

Looking Ahead Dear Looking, Many people approaching 65 are unclear on what Medicare does and doesn’t cover when it comes to vision services. The good news is that original Medicare covers most medical issues like cataract surgery, treatment of eye diseases and medical emergencies. But unfortunately, routine care like eye exams and eyeglasses are the beneficiary’s responsibility. Here’s a breakdown of what is and isn’t covered. • Eye exams and treatments: Medicare does not cover routine eye exams that test for eyeglasses or contact lenses. But they do cover yearly medical eye exams if you have diabetes or are at high risk for glaucoma. They will also pay for exams to test and treat medical eye diseases if you’re having vision problems that indicate a serious eye problem like macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, eye infections or if you get something in your eye. • Eye surgeries: Medicare will cover most eye surgeries that help repair the eye function, including cataract surgery to remove cataracts and insert standard intraocular lenses to replace your own. Medicare will not, however, pick up the extra cost if you choose a specialized lens that restores full range of vision, thereby reducing your need for glasses after cataract surgery. The extra cost for a specialized lens can run up to $2,500 per eye. Eye surgeries that are usually not covered by Medicare include refractive (LASIK) surgery and cosmetic eye surgery that are not considered medically necessary. • Eyeglasses and contact lenses: Medicare does not pay for eyeglasses or contact lenses, with one exception: If you have had a conventional intraocular lens inserted during cataract surgery, Medicare will pay for eyeglasses or contact lenses following the operation.

Ways to save

Although original Medicare’s vision coverage is limited to medical issues, there are ways you can save Page 14

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

on routine care. Here are several to check into. • Consider a Medicare Advantage plan: One way you can get extra vision coverage when you join Medicare is to choose a Medicare Advantage plan instead of original Medicare. Many of these plans, which are sold through private insurance companies, will cover routine eye care and eyeglasses along with all of your hospital and medical insurance, and prescription drugs. See Medicare.gov/find-a-plan to shop for plans. • Purchase vision insurance: If you get routine eye exams and purchase new eyeglasses annually, a vision insurance plan may be worth the costs. These policies typically run between $12 and $20 per month. See Ehealthinsurance.com to look for plans. • Check veterans benefits: If you’re a veteran and qualify for VA health care benefits, you may be able to get some or all of your routine vision care through VA. Go to Vets. gov, and search for “vision care” to learn more. • Shop around: Many retailers provide discounts — between 10 and 30 percent — on eye exams and eyeglasses if you belong to a membership group like AARP or AAA. You can also save by shopping at discount retailers like Costco Optical, which is recommended by Consumer Reports as the best discount store for good eyewear and low prices — it requires a $60 membership fee. Walmart Vision Centers also offer low prices with no membership. Or consider buying your glasses online. Online retailers like WarbyParker.com, ZenniOptical. com, and EyeBuyDirect.com all get top marks from the Better Business Bureau and offer huge savings. To purchase glasses online you’ll need a prescription. • Look for assistance: There are also health centers and local clinics that provide free or discounted vision exams and eyeglasses to those in need. To find them put a call into your local Lions Club (see Directory. LionsClubs.org) for referrals. 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. 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.


The skinny on healthy eating

Ham: The good, the bad, and the better


s eating ham healthy? It’s certainly something to ponder, whether ham only makes a holiday appearance at your table or is a regular indulgence. Truth is, compared to other meats, ham — the cut of meat from a hog’s hind leg that’s preserved by curing — gives many nutritionists pause. But with Easter right around the corner and ham being a crowd favorite, let’s say we start with the good! Ham, like all meat, is an excellent source of complete protein, with a 4-ounce portion serving up around 20 grams. An important component of every cell of the body, protein is needed to build and repair tissues, as well as make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. And while we often associate greater protein needs with growing bodies, research is increasingly showing that pumping up your protein — no matter

your age — can boost your health and help prevent a decline in muscle mass with aging. Along with thwarting weakness as we head into our twilight years, maintaining muscle mass has another powerful benefit: it decreases the risk of fracture from falls. Ham, especially lean ham with its fat trimmed away, is relatively low in fat and calories, which is good for those watching their weight and fat intake. An average 4-ounce serving, for example, has only 120 calories and about 4 grams of total fat, of which only 1 gram is saturated fat. Three more good reasons to eat ham, notwithstanding its delicious flavor? Ham delivers healthy doses of selenium, niacin and phosphorous. While selenium plays an important role in the health of our immune system, both niacin, which helps

s d i K Corner N

Honey-balsamic glazed ham with garlic

Adapted from Eatwell 101 (serves 12-15)

1 (5-6 pound) cooked bone-in ham (uncured, if available) 40 garlic cloves (about 4 heads) 2 tablespoons olive oil 3/4 cup water 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon honey 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme Coarse black pepper, to taste Preheat oven to 350°F. Score ham in a diamond pattern by making shallow diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals. Place ham, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Set aside. Meanwhile, soak garlic cloves in and drugs, skip school, lose self-esteem and develop health problems. What can parents do? The website Stopbullying.gov recommends being proactive — talk with your kids about cyberbullying, including why they should never bully others, and encourage them to tell you about any incident right away. Friending or following your kids on social media may help you know if they become the victims of unwanted postings.

More tips for parents

How to keep your kids safe from cyberbullying

o type of bullying is acceptable, but cyberbullying can be harder for parents to spot because it takes place via cellphone, computer or tablet, often through social media. Cyberbullying can be a hateful text message or post of embarrassing pictures, videos and even fake profiles of the victim. Victims are often bullied in person, too, and have

raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol, and phosphorous, which helps regulate heartbeat and muscle contractions, contribute to heart health. And now for the bad. Ham — versions that are not reduced-sodium, that is — can be loaded with sodium. Loaded! We’re talking around 1,200 milligrams in a 4-ounce serving, which is almost all of the 1,500-milligram recommended daily limit for people with high blood pressure and over half of the 2,300-milligram limit recommended for healthy people. Consuming too much sodium, as many know, increases your risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. Also bad: Processed meats, like ham, can increase your risk for numerous health problems. Studies show that consumption of these cured meats has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. The nitrates used to preserve processed meats and improve the flavor are known carcinogens.

a harder time escaping it. But unlike facing a bully at school, cyberbullying can happen 24/7, even when your child is home with you. Messages and images can be posted anonymously and spread in no time. And it can be difficult or even impossible to find the culprit. The consequences of being cyberbullied are far-reaching. Young victims are more likely to use alcohol

• Teach kids not to share anything that could hurt or embarrass them or others to avoid retaliation. • Regularly check your kids’ social network pages to look for signs of bullying behavior, such as mean images of another child. • Tell your kids to talk to you if an online message or image makes them feel threatened or hurt. • Encourage your kids to speak up if they see cyberbullying happening to someone else, and not to engage in the bullying by forwarding posts. • If your child is cyberbullied, print and save screenshots, emails

April 2019 •

Healthy tips

Eat ham in moderation. Choose lean, uncured (nitrate-free), low-sodium ham whenever possible. Uncured cooked ham is preserved with a celery juice-sea salt mixture that has naturally occurring nitrites, making it less harmful. Many groceries now carry healthier ham versions. When preparing ham, consider using less salt, less sugar, and ingredients that are lower in both. boiling water and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain from boiling water and rinse under cold water. Remove skin from cloves; it should come off easily. Pat dry, if moist. Heat olive oil over medium heat in small skillet; brown garlic gently for a couple of minutes until golden, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Remove garlic and set aside. In the same skillet, combine water, balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, rosemary, thyme, and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add garlic back to the glaze and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Brush ham with about 1/3 of the honey-balsamic glaze, tent with foil, and bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil tent, brush with another 1/3 of the glaze, add garlic to the pan around the ham and bake for an additional 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Serve sliced ham with remaining glaze and garlic on the side.

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 avpalumbo@aol.com.

and texts for evidence. He/she should not react to the bully, but should block and/or delete him/ her from their friends lists. Block the user name, email address and phone number. If your child finds a profile that was created or altered without his/her permission, contact the site to have it taken down. • Report cyberbullying to your online service provider, and go to its safety center to block users and limit who can contact your child. • Report cyberbullying that involves a crime to police. • Contact law enforcement if cyberbullying involves: Threats of violence, child pornography or sexually explicit messages or photos, any photo or video of someone in a place where he or she would expect privacy, stalking and a hate crime. Also report incidents to your child’s school. The school can use the information to help with prevention and response strategies.

Subscription? Call 315.749.7070

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15

Healthcare in a Minute Rural hospital jeopardy

By George W. Chapman

‘Vaccine hesitancy’ among top threats to global health

Vaccine hesitancy” is the term coined by the World Health Organization to describe the resistance to vaccination due to unfounded safety fears, complacency about infectious diseases or difficulty accessing vaccinations due to supply or price. Vaccine hesitancy is now listed in this year’s top 10 threats to global health. Lately, close to 200 people in New York, mostly children, contracted measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control. An ongoing measles outbreak in Portland, Ore., has sickened 23 people, mostly children. Twenty of them were never vaccinated. Incredibly, despite the overwhelming evidence that vaccines work, the rate of unvaccinated kids has quadrupled in the past 17 years. Thanks to vaccines, smallpox has been completely eradicated and polio soon will be. Some children remain unvaccinated because of choices made by their parents. The American Medical Association is clamping down on providers who flippantly provide feeble excuses for children not to be vaccinated so they can enter school. The CDC is debunking the myths about vaccines.

No. 1: Numerous studies have found no connection between vaccines and autism. People might think the two are linked because the MMR vaccine is administered at the same phase in a child’s development when they may begin to show signs of autism spectrum disorder (not responding to their name, oversensitive to noise). No.2: It is not “safer” to space out the vaccines. The CDC recommended schedule is based on disease risks, vaccine effectiveness at certain ages and vaccine interactions with each other. No. 3. Vaccines do not contain harmful chemicals. Some substances contained in some vaccines do sound harmful, notably formaldehyde and mercury. The former is naturally produced in our bodies and the trace in vaccines is far less. The ethylmercury used in flu vaccines is safe and much different than the toxic methylmercury which most of us should be worried about. No. 4. You cannot rely on everyone else’s immunity/vaccination to protect your unvaccinated children. If an outbreak occurs, unvaccinated children are far more likely to get sick.

One in five rural hospitals in the U.S. is at risk of closing unless there is direct fiscal relief or they affiliate with a larger, healthier system. Sixty-five percent of the rural hospitals at risk are considered essential because of their trauma status, services to vulnerable populations, isolation and economic impact on the surrounding communities. The states with the most at-risk rural hospitals are: Mississippi, 31 hospitals; Kansas, 29: Montana, 12; and Texas, 12. Ninety rural hospitals have closed since 2010. Left alone, most rural hospitals will close because of poor finances or their ability to attract and retain physicians. Ironically, telemedicine could hasten closures as rural populations get increased access to physicians in urban areas.

More MDs employed

As of a year ago, 44 percent of practicing physicians were employed by hospitals or health systems. Just seven years ago, only 25 percent of physicians were employed. Over the last two years, hospitals acquired 8,000 more practices and another 14,000 physicians left private practice to become employed, according to the Physicians Advocacy Institute. In the last seven years, hospital-owned practices more than doubled from 36,700 to more than 80,000. The vast majority of physicians completing their residencies

will bypass private practice and seek employment. The hassle/risk of running a private practice has become overwhelming and unfulfilling for many physicians. Physician employment is actually encouraged/driven by payment policies that favor integrated health systems.

Price transparency

Unaware of what a procedure cost, consumers inadvertently can drive up their own premiums by unwittingly using more expensive providers. For example, your insurance benefit summary says you have a $50 copay for an outpatient MRI. So, no matter where you go for the MRI, all you know is you owe $50, regardless of the cost. Your insurance company has different payment schedules per MRI provider. It often depends on the negotiating power of the MRI provider. Larger hospital / health systems can

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

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 • oneidacancer.org Page 16

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

Financial Health Financial Stewardship Spring clean your spending habits By Brooke Stacia Demott


— Finally, SAVE. Any amount you can save each month adds up. More importantly, developing the discipline to save what you don’t need to spend is invaluable. There’s a dance between paying off debt and saving, but both are important. You’ll find a rhythm; the point is to make a habit of saving. I’d suggest a short-term savings (think, Christmas) and a long-term savings (unforeseen emergency). Again, it doesn’t have to be a huge amount. Even $25 in each savings account is a great start, and you can work your way up from there. Today, we have seven kids, one income, and virtually no debt. We are able to save 25 percent annually after taxes comfortably, and no longer live with anxiety over monthly bills. It’s hard work, but I promise you, it’s worth the effort!

ne frigid January evening, Brian fumbled out an engagement ring after dinner and eagerly asked me to marry him. Thrilled, I accepted. Young, idealistic, and naive, our plan was to get married, live off maxed-out student loans, and after graduation, simultaneously land high-paying jobs. Easy. By easy, of course, I mean completely unrealistic. Our respective financial situations didn’t exactly reflect good Creating a budget management, either. An easy budget template looks At the time, I had $3,000 in something like this: unpaid traffic tickets preventing me — Calculate your yearly income. from even getting a drivers’ license Multiply your weekly income by 52; (long story), a totaled sedan, and for example, $400 per week = $20,800 Movies, take-out, video games We set our personal max at thousands in student loan debt. yearly) — even cell phones, internet, and $80,000 and found a cute little house My husband’s student loan debt — Divide that by 12 months. cable — aren’t “needs,” and cutting for $68,000 with no regrets. Make surpassed my own, not to mention This is your monthly financial max. these things way down or out will sure you know exactly what you’re his credit cards, medical bills, and a ($20,800/12 = $1,733) give you a huge amount of financial willing to spend. brand new $1,700 tab for my engage- flexibility. TIP: Round income down, and — Use “bonus” income toward ment ring. expenses up, leaving a “secret” cushWe didn’t have Internet for years, paying down debt. I was 23, he was 25, and we were and to this day I still don’t have a cell It’s tough to watch a work bonus ion. For example, $1,733 = $1,700. Propo both idiots. — Add togetherMP yourOrder fixed phone or cable. or a tax refund come ad will appear at the classification of: and go in the After we married in July of 2007, This — Stop monthly expenses. For example, “frittering.” course of a few hours, but that’s what we realized that our plan might not mortgage + student loans + credit This term refers to “thoughtless it takes when you want to get out of Rome NY actually be solid. Slowly, we began to little purchases.” A pack of gum at card + utilities = $1,200) debt. You don’t have to be a legalreconfigure. — Divide remaining amount the gas a coffee on the way ist about it; anything is better than in station, Home Date 05/2014 It was important to us that I stay with among flexible monthly necessities home — they add up, often big time. nothing. home to raise and educate our chiland set aside a small amount to save. Recently, I spoke to a2014 friend Acct# who A1ZGFE At least Sales use a portion bonus Date: March 17, Rep:of GRIMALDI, JENNIFER L Size: HCN6 Ad Id: A dren, which left the breadwinning For instance, groceries = $400; said after tallying up their “fritterincome toward debt if you can’t go to Brian. His new job afforded him a gas = $50; toiletries = $25. That leaves ing,” she was shocked to see that all in. Make sure to pay off the debt whopping $400 per week after taxes $25 for saving plus that additional they’d spent nearly $1,200 in one with the highest interest rate first. — so much for that jackpot career. $33 cushion. month on non-budget food items. For about six years, we put 80 How does a single-income famThis might look impossible, but You’d be amazed at how much percent of all “extra” money toward ily, with painfully meager means, this was our actual budget for the money falls by the wayside when debt. It was hard, but it was worth it even survive, much less pay off debt first year of our marriage and we your spending is random. in the end. and save? made it work. Being accountable It wasn’t easy. We had to com— Monitor your spending. pletely deprogram ourselves from Sit down and take inventory of typical American spending habits, Diabetes? where your money has gone over trading frivolity for prudence and the last three months. Categorize discipline. Flat Feet? your spending — you need to have Here are some principles that a comprehensive understanding of Plantar Fasciitis? really helped us take control of our your finances. finances: You may be eligible for shoes at little or no cost! Then, set a budget. I’d suggest — First, identify your goals. your first budget ought to be very Dieting for the sake of dieting strict. Bear in mind, as you grow in is agony; but when you set a target stewardship and reduce your debt, weight, dieting becomes a challenge you’ll be able to relax. But to develop with a clear purpose. The same pringood habits, an airtight budget is a ciple applies to bridling finances. great start. Make it a rule to never What motivates you? Time to spend more than a small, previously buy a house? Travel? Retire? Choose determined amount, without consulta long-term goal, peppering the path ing your spouse. with short-term goals to meet your — Get a deal! objectives along the way. Every business owner knows When you hit a short-term goal, celebrate (frugally!) Little rewards for that the best way to increase profits is to cut costs. Ask for a reduced rate on victories along the way will energize utilities and phone plans. Buy clothes and encourage you to keep going. second-hand. Make a menu every — Recognize the difference beweek and buy only what you need tween a need, and a “felt need.” at the grocery store to fulfill it. There There’s a considerable gap beare hundreds of ways to be shrewd in tween what we think we need, and your spending. what we actually need. A “need” is Remember, just because you can what is required to survive and proafford something doesn’t mean you vide, such as food, shelter, clothing, should buy it. When searching for water, and transportation. our first home, the bank preapproved A “felt need” is a convenience us for a $100,000 mortgage. However, that we prefer, but could live withwe knew that we’d never be able to out. Identifying the difference could pay off debt and save with a house at save you hundreds of dollars. that price. AMZHMDNLM 14-Mar-2014 07:57 April 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

Spiritual Health Milk & Honey

By Brooke Stacia Demott

Jesus and Taxes Should we give to Caesar?


t’s springtime again, and the warm winds of seasonal change are met with sighs of relief, especially from winter-weary Upstate New Yorkers. The collective solace is shortlived, however, once April 15 comes into view. Tax time provokes mixed emotions. While some Americans happily anticipate a refund, others lament emptying their pockets to the Demott rising federal percentages required of their income. No matter how many “new deals” are brought to the legislative table, at the end of the day, none of us is going to volunteer to foot the bill. No one, from either side of the political spectrum, likes being taxed. And so, the “haves” and “havenots” alike find themselves unusually united during tax time, on the common ground of temptation. Big Brother strikes up the band, and we dance around the quiet but powerful inclination to fudge the numbers. An extra credit here, or a “forgotten” 1099 there can go a long way toward shaving off our personal tax burden. “It’s not a big deal,” we tell ourselves. “The government has plenty of money. They won’t even notice.” Rationalization leads us to believe that we are not only right, but noble — even heroic — when we avoid paying into Uncle Sam’s

inflated salary. Unfortunately, God doesn’t approve of tax evasion. In the days of Jesus’ ministry, the Pharisees (religious leaders of the ancient Jews) were jealous of his popularity, and routinely tried to trap him in a rhetorical snare. As tax time rolled around, they decided to capitalize on a hot button issue in Israel. The Israelites of Jesus’ day were ruled by the unimaginably oppressive Roman Empire. This ancient Roman government was far more treacherous than any the United States has ever seen — execution as punishment for unruly behavior was the modus operandi, and to consider seeking justice from Roman soldiers was laughable. Ruthless, corrupt, and exorbitant in their taxation, they were feared and despised by the Jews. The Pharisees saw an opportunity to trap Jesus with a seemingly straightforward question: “Should we pay taxes to Caesar?” If he said yes, the Jews would think him a traitor to Israel. If he said no, he would be turned over to the Roman authorities as a political zealot, and a threat to the emperor. Jesus answered, “Whose face is on this coin?” The Pharisees responded, “Caesar’s.”

Famed quote

And Jesus uttered these profound words. “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s.” With this simple phrase, Jesus managed to deflect their wicked enterprises and baffle millennia of Christian libertarians.

Jesus tells us to willingly pay our taxes, demonstrated by the fact that he himself paid taxes. But Jesus didn’t advocate for a 501(c)(3), political mutiny, or under-the-table profits. He only said, pay them what is already theirs. His point is simple: “They have their kingdom, and I have mine.” Why would God care if we pay taxes? “It’s necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:5-8) It isn’t complicated or particularly spiritual: We must follow the law to avoid punishment and maintain a clear conscience. God established offices of authority, and governing authorities serve God, whether they know it or not. Although he may not approve of every individual in office, the office itself is a picture of God’s authority.

Remember, Jesus is not the head of a political party, but an eternal kingdom. His precepts reign in the monarchy of heaven, and he rules over all men, in every nation. Christ requires us to submit to the government of both Caesar and God, with one caveat. If the law violates a biblical mandate — for instance, if the government insisted that we euthanize our elderly — we are bound by God’s law above it: “Thou shalt not kill.” But where laws are morally neutral, God tells us to comply, and taxes fall into that category. How our leaders choose to spend that money may not be morally neutral, but they are accountable to God for those decisions. As pilgrims travelling toward a heavenly kingdom, we must pay the world’s tolls along the way. Since Christ has given you access by faith to his empire, honor him in the presence of this world with upright conduct and willing obedience. • Brooke Stacia Demott is a columnist with In Good Health newspaper. Got a question for Demott? Feel free to email her at brooketo@aol.com.

Mohawk Valley Endoscopy Center achieves 3-year AAAHC accreditation


ohawk Valley Endoscopy Center in Utica has achieved re-accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. Accreditation distinguishes this ambulatory surgery center specializing in endoscopy from many other outpatient facilities by noting the facility provides the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation. Status as an accredited organization means MVEC has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. More than 6,000 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC. Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation Page 18

by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors — physicians, nurses, and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care. The surveyor who recently evaluated MVEC found it to be in compliance with every standard and there were no deficiencies identified. She was impressed with the involvement of the physician owners, the experience of the management team, and the quality care provided by the nursing and anesthesia staff. At the survey summation, the surveyor said, “This facility is a model for how it should be done.” “We believe our patients deserve the best. Going through this rigorous evaluation challenged us to find better ways to serve our patients, and it is a constant reminder that

our responsibility is to continuously improve the quality of care we provide,” said Norman Neslin, medical director of MVEC. MVEC is a collaborative service provided by Digestive Disease Medicine, Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. MVEC offers outpatient gastroenterology services, including colonoscopy and gastroscopy. The center utilizes high-definition endoscopes, integrating the best monitoring equipment, computer software and high-resolution imaging to provide high-quality documentation of procedures, and detailed reports for patients and their primary care physicians. Procedures are performed with the assistance of a board-certified anesthesiologist and certified registered

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

nurse anesthetist. The physician group is comprised of seven doctors: Nesline, Richard Cherpak, Robert Pavelock, Bradley Sklar, Stanley Weiselberg, Harvey Allen and Emil Miskovsky. All are board-certified in gastroenterology, and members of Digestive Disease Medicine, a respected group providing care in Central New York since 1984. “The goal is to provide sophisticated, safe and expert care in a friendly and welcoming environment. The center is designed with the patient and their family in mind, and we are very proud to offer this level of care to our community,” Neslin said. Subscription? Call 315.749.7070

Health News Family nurse practitioner joins MVHS Roza Karabanov, a family nurse practitioner, has joined the Mohawk Valley Health System’s Little Falls Medical Office and has admitting privileges at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. Karabanov has been employed as a staff nurse with MVHS at the St. Luke’s Campus in Utica since 2008 and provided training to new graduate nurses and served as a Karabanov preceptor for Utica College nursing students. Prior to joining MVHS, she worked as a caregiver at the Resource Center for Independent Living in Herkimer. Karabanov received her Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing from the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica. She also completed her Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing at St. Elizabeth College of Nursing in Utica. The MVHS Little Falls Medical Office is located at 500 E. Main St., Little Falls.

Outreach manager joins MVHS Lab Services Trisha Cashman has been named outreach manager of Mohawk Valley Health System’s Laboratory Services. In this role, Cashman acts as the primary resource within the department for all outpatient-related services with other institutions and providers who are, or may be interested in, referring testing to a MVHS laboratory. She is responsible for Cashman the promotion of laboratory services, including its extensive testing menu, cutting-edge technology and partnership with Mayo Clinic Laboratories. Cashman joined MVHS in May 2017 as a cytology assistant in the lab. Prior to working at MVHS, she worked in physical therapy, providing skilled treatment in various settings. She worked for Upstate Cerebral Palsy in Utica and graduated from its “Professional Development Institute: Foundations for Leadership” program. Cashman received her bachelor’s degree in health studies from Utica College of Syracuse University, Utica. She went on to achieve a doctorate degree in physical therapy and a master’s degree in health care administration from Utica College.

as quickly as possible to help reduce the chance that others accidentally take or intentionally misuse the unneeded medicine, and to help reduce the amount of drugs from entering the environment. For more information, visit mvhealthsystem.org/pharmaceutical-takeback-program.

UCP moves operational offices to business park

Herkimer BOCES Pathways Academy exceeds goal for donation to American Heart Association By collecting donations of loose change, the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington raised $738.83 to donate to the American Heart Association. The Pathways Academy Student Council organized the fundraiser and set a goal of $600, which was well surpassed. Above, Laurie Schmidt, left, youth market director for the AHA, presents Herkimer-FultonHamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington social worker Chantal Salamone with a bag of prizes because Salamone’s group of students won first place in a healthy heart activity that included a kickball tournament and cardio relay recently. “Blown away,” Schmidt said in terms of what her reaction was to the donation from Pathways students.

Bariatric surgeon joins MVHS Ransford Commey recently joined the Mohawk Valley Health System bariatric surgery program as a bariatric surgeon. Prior to joining MVHS, Commey worked at the St. Alexius Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. as a staff general surgeon. Commey earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Stony Brook University. He completed his Doctor of Commey Medicine degree at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J. From there, Commey completed his general surgery residency at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., where he became chief resident. In residency, Commey also received training in robotic general surgery. He finished his fellowship in bar-

iatric and minimally invasive surgery at St. Alexius NewStart Bariatrics and St. Alexius Hospital in St. Louis. Commey was nominated and recognized as a 2018 Leading Physician of the World and a 2018 Top Doctor in St. Louis. Commey is certified with the American Board of Surgery and is an active member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

MVHS launches take-back program The Mohawk Valley Health System has installed pharmaceutical drop-off receptacles at each of its three main campuses: Faxton Campus-Urgent Care, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica; St. Elizabeth Campus-Emergency Department, 2209 Genesee St., Utica and St. Luke’s Campus-Emergency Department, 1656 Champlin Ave., Utica. Security and cameras will be monitoring these receptacles at all times. The drop-offs are free, safe and completely confidential. Consumers and caregivers should remove expired, unwanted or unused medicines from their homes

April 2019 •

Upstate Cerebral Palsy Inc. recently entered into an agreement to lease new office space spanning over 30,000 square feet in the Utica Business Park. The newly renovated workplace, located at 125 Business Park Drive, will unite the agency’s administrative functions. “This is an exciting step for our agency,” said Geno DeCondo, executive director. “Our support departments, many of which are currently located at separate sites throughout the area, including the current administrative office on Mary Street, are quickly outgrowing their spaces and will benefit from being centralized under one roof, streamlining operations and creating work flow and cost efficiencies.” Summit Realty Management, LLC manages the building. The move is slated to begin in the summer following completion of building renovations.

CMH Auxiliary launches ‘Egg-Stravaganza’ The Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary recently launched its “Egg-Stravaganza, a fundraising event to benefit the hospital. More than 300 eggs are stuffed with jewelry, gift cards and movie passes. Those interested may purchase an egg for $4 or three eggs for $10 at the reception desk located inside the main entrance of the hospital during business hours. The event ends April 19. “Support from Kay Jewelers and our local businesses make the ‘Egg-Stravaganza’ a unique event,” said Barbara Albrecht, vice president of the auxiliary and co-chairwoman of event. Fellow co-chairwoman Susan Barrett remarked, “That since this is a the popular community event, the auxiliary felt it was important to bring this event back to our community following its absence last year.” For information about the event or to join the auxiliary, email auxiliary@cmhhamilton.com or call 315-8245345.

Rescue Mission in need of mini fridges The Rome Rescue Mission is in need of mini fridges for its shelter. Items can be donated from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the

Continued on Page 20

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Health News Continued from Page 19 mission, 413 E. Dominick St, Rome. Monetary donations can also be made online at RomeMission.org. The Christian ministry offers assistance to those needing shelter, food, and basic life necessities. The mission serves 200 meals per day and has an 18-bed shelter for men, women and children.

SDMG names employee of quarter Slocum-Dickson Medical Group, New Hartford, recently named Dorothy Bassett as its employee of the first quarter of 2019. Bassett joined SDMG in June of 2013 as a materials management clerk in the central supply department. Prior to joining SDMG, Bassett had worked as a Bassett materials handler for nearly 30 years. She is a graduate of the Utica School of Commerce and has an associate’s degree in administration. She also completed basic computer training at Mohawk Valley Community College. Her role at SMG involves assisting with the purchasing of materials, contract renewals, equipment service calls, inventory and other materials management tasks. “Dorothy has proved to be an outstanding employee who goes the extra mile to ensure all tasks are complete and she is always willing to take on new challenges,” an SDMG spokesperson said.

Employees put heart into winning effort In recognition of National Heart Month, Valley Health Services and Valley Residential Services in Herkimer held a walking challenge for employees to participate in through February. Employees received pedometers Kline or utilized their own Fitbit for the purpose of count-

ing the steps they took during their breaks and lunchtime periods. Carolyn Kline, diet technician at VHS, and Michelle Neff, home health aide at VRS, were the recipients of a $25 gift card each for most amount Neff of steps during February. Kline walked over 22,000 steps and Neff walked over 1,900 steps. There are numerous medical studies that indicate regular exercise is good for one’s health and improves cardiac risk factors.

Camden Family Care welcomes new provider Jessica Donaldson recently joined the staff of Camden Family Care to provide personalized care to patients in Camden. Donaldson brings with her more than 10 years of experience in health care, including more than eight years working as a nurse in emergency and critical care settings. Donaldson “My background in critical care and emergency care units gives me a unique perspective in health care,” Donaldson said. “I learned how to think outside the box and anticipate the needs of my patients.” Donaldson earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Utica College of Syracuse University and her Master of Science degree as a family nurse practitioner from Le Moyne University, Syracuse. She became an NP because she saw a great need for primary care providers. Working in Camden is especially meaningful for Donaldson, who along with her husband of 24 years David has raised six children in the area. She has also volunteered as an emergency medical technician with the nearby Vienna Volunteer Fire Department since 2009. Camden Family Care is located at 5 Masonic Ave. in Camden.

Don’t Miss the May Issue of In Good Health Special issue highlighting Golden Years, Nurse’s Week, eyecare/hearing, skin issues, allergies and much more.

Page 20

Catholic Charities’ reps pay visit to Mohawk Homestead Hollie Palmieri, right, and Lori Joy from Catholic Charities recently visited the senior activities program at The Mohawk Homestead in Mohawk. They offered their free workshop designed to help senior citizens celebrate healthy aging, make healthy lifestyle choices and avoid substance abuse. Residents and seniors from the community interacted through various activities that help provide them with continuing physical and social development.

Rome Memorial to host summer health care academy


pplications will be accepted until May 24 for Rome Memorial Hospital’s Health Care Academy, an interactive summer camp for adolescents interested in a career in health care. Students entering eighth or ninth grade in the fall are invited to apply. The program, funded by M&T Bank and Rome Hospital Foundation, will be held at the hospital July 31 and Aug. 1-2. “This three-day, hands-on experience exposes students to a variety of health care professions such as respiratory therapy, medical imaging, physical and occupational therapy, pharmacy and nursing,” said RMH’s director of education, Julie Chrysler. “The campers will have the opportunity to meet with health care professionals, discuss what they do and see them in action, in addition to participating in interactive activities.” Space is limited to 20 students.

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

Access the online application by visiting www.romehospital.org and clicking on the For Your Health tab. For questions and assistance, contact Sue LoGiudice in RMH’s education department at 315-338-7143 or Chrysler at 315-338-7134. Additional information is available at area middle schools. If selected, students will be required to submit health and immunization records and a registration fee of $30. A limited number of scholarships are available for students needing assistance with the registration fee.

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From the Social Security District Office

Disability reviews help ensure legitimacy


Jump in, the water’s fine Feeling great through aquatic therapy By Barbara Pierce

I always feel so great when I get out of the water!” said 68-yearold Elaine Wozniak of Port Charlotte, Fla. about her aquatic therapy. Wozniak suffers from arthritis; on land, she walks slowly and painfully. “In the water, I can do anything,” she said. “Our aquatic therapy uses water for therapy instead of land,” explained Dr. Shawna Marmet, outpatient clinical supervisor at Sitrin Health Care Center, New Hartford. For patients of all ages, there are few therapeutic modalities more soothing than water. Not only will aquatic therapy make you feel great, it’s the best way to exercise as it brings a large variety of benefits. Water is a wonderful place to exercise for many reasons. Even just standing in the water, the pressure provides much benefit. The buoyancy of the water supports your body weight, which makes it easier on your joints. This provides a great advantage if you’ve got arthritis or are overweight. The joints can more easily be moved in the water, and there is no resulting joint pain. The buoyancy of the water helps with ease of movement and lessens pain, Marmet explained. Aquatic therapy offers many advantages and benefits to people with a variety of illness and conditions, or who are recovering from all phases of injury or surgery. The water temperature is set at 92 degrees, an ideal temperature for therapy in the water. People who are treated in the pool have a wide range of conditions, everything from back or joint pain, post-surgical therapy following hip or knee replacement, fibromyalgia, arthritis, rheumatologic, neurological, to chronic pain. The therapeutic properties of water, combined with the skill and specialized training of aquatic therapists, help improve mobility and function for patients. You do not have to be a swimmer to participate in or benefit from water therapy. Sitrin is the only provider of pool therapy in the area. Like all of its

therapy, pool therapy is one-on-one and sessions last 30 minutes. People generally come two or three times a week. Many people come for pool therapy, and are enthusiastic about its benefits. They often come back for sessions time and time again, because of the multiple benefits they receive. “Pool therapy definitely helps reduce pain,” added Scott Miller, a physical therapist at Sitrin. “I hear this every day. People come in, sore and in pain. They get in the water, and they come out happy.” The benefits happen quickly, as attested to by a woman in her 60s. “She rolled into the pool area in her wheelchair,” Marmet said. “We used the chair lift to get her in and out of the pool for her therapy. After just three weeks of pool therapy, she was able to climb in and out of the pool without assistance and was able to walk in the pool.”

Fluid transition

The density of the water leads to increased resistance, which means you get quicker results exercising in the water than you do exercising on land. “The biggest misconception about pool therapy is that people think they’re here to swim; they think they’re going to swim laps,” said Miller. “No, there is no swimming involved. We exercise.” “The type of activities we do in the water depends on the diagnosis; each session is tailored for that individual person. He or she might walk in the water, do bicycling, or upper body movements. When you first come in, we do an evaluation to determine what will be most helpful for you,” Miller added. “I see a lot of people who come in for back pain,” he noted. “The buoyancy of the water makes it easy for them to move. The water is warm; not as hot as a Jacuzzi, but perfect for exercising.” To learn more about Sitrin’s aquatic therapy or other therapies, call 315-737-2246 or visit http:// www.sitrin.com/medical-rehabilitation/outpatient/aquatic-therapy.

ocial Security is required by law to review, from time to time, the current medical condition of all people receiving disability benefits to make sure they continue to have a qualifying disability. Generally, if a person’s health hasn’t improved, or if their disability still keeps them from working, they will continue to receive their benefits. These continuing disability reviews help us ensure that only eligible people receive disability benefits. It supports the integrity of the Social Security system while delivering fair services to wounded warriors, chronically ill children and adults and other people with disabilities. To help us make our decision, Social Security first gathers new information about an individual’s medical condition. We’ll ask their doctors, hospitals and other medical sources for their medical records. We’ll ask them how their medical condition limits their activities, what their

Q&A Q: I usually get my benefit payment on the third of the month. But what if the third falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday? Will my payment be late? A: Just the opposite. Your payment should arrive early. For example, if you usually get your payment on the third of a month, but it falls on a Saturday, we will make payments on the Friday prior to the due date. Find more information about the payment schedule for 2019 at www. socialsecurity.gov/pubs/calendar. htm. Any time you don’t receive a payment, be sure to wait three days before calling to report it missing. To ensure that your benefits are going to the right place, create a my Social Security account. There, you can verify and manage your benefits without visiting your local office. Please visit www. socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to create your account. Q: I suspect that someone I know is collecting Social Security disability benefits when they shouldn’t be. What is the best way for me to report fraud? A: You can report fraud online at www.oig.ssa.gov/report or call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. Social Security has zero tolerance for fraud and uses many proven tactics to prevent fraud, waste and abuse. Our Office of the Inspector General is relentless in its

April 2019 •

medical tests show and what medical treatments they’ve been given. If we need more information, we’ll ask them to get a special examination or test, for which we’ll pay. If we decide their disability benefits will stop, and they disagree, they can appeal our decision. That means they can ask us to look at their case again. When they get a letter telling them about our decision, the letter will tell them how to appeal the decision. You can read more about how we decide if you still have a qualifying disability at www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs/EN-05-10053.pdf. People can check the status of their disability application with a personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. This secure account gives people access to many tools that can save them time. Find out how Social Security is securing today and tomorrow at www.socialsecurity.gov.

pursuit of people who conceal work activity while receiving disability benefits. We investigate and seek prosecution for people who receive benefits for a child or children who aren’t under their care, or who fail to notify Social Security of the death of a beneficiary and continue to receive and cash checks of the deceased. We also depend on you to help stop fraud. Q: I own a small business. How can I verify employees’ Social Security numbers? A: Employers can use our Social Security Number Verification Service to verify the names and Social Security numbers of current and former employees for wage reporting purposes. For more information, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/employer/ssnv.htm. Q: What is the earliest age I can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits? A: The earliest age you can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits is age 62. If you decide to receive benefits before your full retirement age, which for most people is age 66 or 67, you will receive a reduced benefit. Keep in mind you will not be able to receive Medicare coverage until age 65, even if you decide to retire at an earlier age. For more information, go to www. socialsecurity.gov/retire.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21

Dental Health Smile with Dr. Suy

By Dr. Salina Suy

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


appy April Mohawk Valley! April showers bring May flowers — at least I hope so, anyways! April always seems like winter still to me, and I am hoping this April truly gives us the spring weather we deserve. Honestly, I love having four true seasons, but only because of the fashion. Suy Thank you again for joining in on this month’s “Smile with Dr. Suy” and our continuing series, “Defining Dentistry.” Our column subject this month is dental plaque and tartar. We all have heard the terms before — plaque and tartar. Now, let’s discover the mystery.

What is dental plaque?

You know when after you eat something, you slide your tongue over your teeth and you can feel the spots that are silky smooth and then there are spots that are a little “gritty”? This is dental plaque. Dental plaque starts developing as soon as you eat food; it is the thin layer of food left behind. Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless film that forms on and around the teeth and gum line. Plaque attracts bacteria, which causes cavities and gum disease. Plaque should be cleaned from the teeth and gum line every day to prevent dental diseases.

Prevention is key. Brush twice daily, floss once daily, and use a Waterpik to make teeth extra clean. Dental plaque is easily removed with proper oral hygiene. It must be removed often because it only takes 24 hours for plaque to start mineralizing into tartar. Tartar, on the other hand, is difficult to remove. In many cases, tartar must be removed by a dental professional since it binds to the teeth and can even connect teeth to teeth. Once tartar is removed, keeping up a

• Dr. Salina Suy is a health and wellness advocate and general dentist in Utica. Want to learn more? Visit Facebook @smilewithdrsuy or www.smilewithdrsuy.com.

What is dental tartar?

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good oral hygiene regimen is key for prevention. I hope this column has helped you understand the true meaning of dental tartar. Please feel free to contact me with questions and comments. Have some questions to ask me in person? Call for a free consultation; I look forward to meeting you!

When plaque is left behind, it becomes calcified or hardened. This is because there are ions in your saliva that mineralize the plaque into tartar. Tartar is hard and cannot be removed as easily as plaque. Its constant presence will cause inflammation and irritation to the gums. The most common sign of tartar is yellow or brown deposits around the teeth, especially in the front teeth of the lower jaw.

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How do I get rid of plaque and tartar?

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

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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 lou@cnymail.com. Continued from Page 12 RMH is located at 1500 N. James St., Rome. For more information, call Deb Dunn at 315-533-6467 or email RomeNY@JoeNiekroFoundation.org.

April 10

Wellness program hosts new session The Mohawk Valley Health System Central New York Diabetes Rediscover Wellness Program kicks off this year’s program from 6-7 p.m. April 10 in the CNY Diabetes education program office located on the fourth floor of the Faxton Campus, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica. All interested participants must RSVP before attending the event. The Rediscover Wellness Program is a Centers for Disease Control-recognized diabetes prevention program led by specially trained nurses and dietitian lifestyle coaches. Proven by research, this year long lifestyle change experience will help participants lose weight and learn how to keep it off. For more information and to RSVP, contact CNY Diabetes at 315624-5620 or email Michelle Rios at mrios1@mvhealthsystem.org. Visit CNY Diabetes at mvhealthsystem.org/diabetes to learn more.

April 10

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 session is taking place April 10, 17 and 24 at Mohawk Valley Health System’s St. Luke’s 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 calling 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).

April 11

Laryngectomy support group to meet

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.

April 17

The Laryngectomy Support Group will hold its monthly meeting at noon April 11 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. 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.

April 12

Breastfeeding Café opens at Rome Memorial The Mohawk Valley Breastfeeding Network in partnership with Rome Memorial Hospital is opening a new Breastfeeding Café to provide pregnant and breastfeeding moms and their families a place to support one another, socialize and get breastfeeding clinical support if needed. Beginning April 12, the group will meet from noon to 2 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of the month at Rome Memorial Hospital, fourth floor, 1500 N. James St. There is no cost to participate and mothers can bring their babies to be weighed at the hospital’s “Weighto-Go” station. Snacks will be provided. Dads and grandparents are welcome. For more information, contact Laurie Hoke in RMH’s maternity department at 315-338-7291. You can find meeting announcements on Breastfeeding Café and Rome Memorial Hospital Facebook pages.

April 15

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. April 15 in the second floor classroom at Rome Memorial Hospital. The group meets the third Monday of each month and is free and open to everyone. Offered by the hospital’s Community Recovery Center, the support group provides an opportunity to discuss issues with others who are in the same situation.

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 April 17. 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.

April 18

Take A.I.M. at Rome Memorial’s Health Night When a serious illness such as congestive heart failure or cancer is affecting your quality of life and causing you significant discomfort, find the support you need from the advanced illness management (A.I.M.) palliative care team. Learn how the A.I.M. program improves the lives of patients and families facing serious illness at health night, set for 5:30 p.m. April 18. The free program will be held at Rome Memorial Hospital in the second-floor classroom. A.I.M. palliative care is medical care focused on relief of symptoms and stress of a serious illness, for example chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or end-stage cardiac disease, congestive heart failure or cancer — whatever the diagnosis or age of the patient. The goal is to help people live comfortably and to provide the best possible quality of life for patients and families. Health night is a lecture series sponsored by RMH. Advance registration is encouraged for planning purposes. Refreshments will be served. Participants are asked to use the Bartlett Wing entrance off East Oak Street. There will be signs directing participants to the classroom. For more information about health night, or to make a reservation, call 315-337-5309.

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April 2019 •

April 25

Senior health and wellness fair on agenda Valley Residential Services in Herkimer will host its annual senior health and wellness fair, “Boardwalk To Better Health,” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 25 at Herkimer College’s Robert McLaughlin College Center, Herkimer. “We are thrilled to announce MVP Health Care® as the lead sponsor,” said Lisa M. Betrus, president of Valley Health Services and VRS. MVP is a nationally recognized, regional nonprofit health plan provider that services more than 700,000 members across New York state and Vermont. The event will have a plethora of resources available for senior citizens who may be contemplating downsizing or who wish to remain independent in their own home, as well as information on estate and gift planning, assisted and enriched housing, safety and security, physical health, Medicaid or Medicare and many other areas of interest. The VRS-sponsored event will include an exhibitors’ showcase with a broad range of products and services important to senior citizens as well as speakers and presentations throughout the day. The event is free and open to the public. Businesses interested in exhibiting their products or services can contact the office of community relations and fund development at 315-866-3330 ext. 2329 for more information.

May 4

Parents-to-be: 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 May 15, July 17, Sept. 25 and Nov. 6, and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays on 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.

May 18

Class focuses on feeding newborn Human milk is the best possible nutrition for your baby. With knowledge and practice, both mother and baby can learn how to successfully breastfeed. 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. 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 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.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 23

6 Questions to John Radford Owner, founder of WellNow Urgent Care With recent acquisition and new sites, WellNow today has more than 30 facilities in New York state. Owner John Radford, who launched the business in 2012, plans to open 14 new locations this year alone. By Payne Horning 1. Tell us a little about your background in health care. I am an emergency room doctor turned health care entrepreneur. In my almost 20 years as an entrepreneur, I have been driven to find ways to keep patients healthy and safe in a rapidly changing health care industry. Appropriately, the companies I’ve founded share a common commitment to offering quality care that is accessible, affordable and quick. I’ve always believed that patients come first. 2. How did your experience in the industry contribute to your decision to create a chain of urgent-care facilities? In my time working in the emergency room, I worked closely with health systems, doctors and patients. This gave me a firsthand appreciation for the challenges faced by health care practitioners and patients. It’s an up-close experience, and you truly empathize with the emotional and financial complexities that patients face. I saw an opportunity to provide greater and convenient

access to non-emergent care that put patients first. This inspired me to create Five Star Urgent Care, which today is WellNow Urgent Care. 3. Since 2012, your company has quickly expanded its presence in New York state and continues to grow today. Was that expansion and large footprint always part of the plan? From our earliest beginnings, we have always been committed to serving communities where there is a need for greater Radford access to quality urgent care. Our growth is a reflection of the rapidly growing urgent care industry across New York state. It connects directly to how we provide our communities’ residents with greater access to quick and convenient medical care for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. Today, we have more than 30 locations and are one of New York’s

fastest-growing urgent care providers. We are very proud of that. WellNow Urgent Care is not located outside New York state but we do have plans to expand to the Illinois area with locations in Crestwood and Evergreen — both suburbs of Chicago — in 2019. 4. In October, Five Star rebranded itself as WellNow. Why the change and what does it represent? The name “WellNow” ties back to our company’s strong history of putting the needs of our patients first. We believe the new brand best aligns with our mission of providing high-quality, quick and convenient urgent care. It also reinforces our focus on empowering every patient when it comes to managing his or her health care decisions about where, when and how they receive treatment. For us, the name is a true representation of our service and our standards of getting patients and their families back to being well. Now. 5. How is WellNow addressing the medical needs of Upstate New York? The urgent care industry con-




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 among the lowest in upstate New York, which helped keep our local health insurance affordable and uninsured rate low.

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Page 24

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

tinues to grow, both in Upstate New York and across the country. As a Western New York native and longtime health care practitioner, I’ve seen it firsthand and saw the need for an urgent care network that can match this region’s growing demands for quality care. This is especially true for smaller communities where it’s common for care to be less accessible. We address this in a few ways. WellNow employs highly talented and experienced urgent care providers. We have more than 600 employees, which include 95 percent fulltime staff. This allows us to truly get to know our business, so that we can deliver quality, convenient care with consistency. Our recent growth, which includes Western New York’s MASH Urgent Care joining our network, also means that we are able to serve an even greater number of communities — both in Upstate New York and across the state. 6. What is next for WellNow? We are continuing to grow. Looking ahead, we have plans to open approximately 14 new locations in 2019 that will allow us to further deepen our connections across New York state, while also starting to expand into Illinois. Through it all, our commitment to putting patients first will never change. We deeply value the strong relationships with communities and individuals we serve. This passion is what brings us to work every day.

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