IGH MV 159 May 2019

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MAY 2019 • ISSUE 159

Stroke of death

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Giving back in retirement Frances Retzloff of Ilion knows what it takes to be happy in retirement. Page 11

You may be able to prevent succumbing to having catastrophic stroke

Skin so soft With change of seasons comes focus on skin care

See Page 5

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Golden Years Special Edition

Being happy For Bre Baylor of Mohawk, living in a safe, small-town community is a source of happiness. Page 14

Measles outbreak Number of cases in New York state sounding off serious alarms

Meet Your Doctor

What do you regret?

Emil Miskovsky

Make peace with yourself before final journey

Gastroenterology specialist joins ranks of Digestive Disease Medicine Group.

Check out ‘Between You and Me’ on Page 7 ­

Elder Abuse

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Notre Dame and the church Check out ‘Milk & Honey’, Page 17

Stop it dead in tracks!

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Page 3 May 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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

Golden Years

Elder abuse Family members are usually the culprits


s the American population ages, elder abuse rates are increasing, particularly among men, federal health officials reported in April. Between 2002 and 2016, the rate of assaults among men 60 and older jumped 75%, while it rose 35% among women between 2007 and 2016. Among older men, the homicide rate increased 7% between 2010 and 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We are still examining the circumstances that appear to be associated with the increase in violence against this age demographic,” said lead researcher Joseph Logan, from the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “We have identified that many of the assailants were known to the victims and in a position of trust,” Logan noted. Physician Ronan Factora, chairman of the Special Interest Group on Elder Abuse and Mistreatment at the American Geriatrics Society, thinks the problem is probably even worse than the report suggests. “These data underestimate the extent of elder abuse in America,” he said. “We probably underestimate the amount of physical violence, because this study only used records from emergency departments.” Many more cases of abuse were probably seen by private doctors or not reported at all, said Factora, who had no part in the study. “This is really a small fraction that represents a larger problem that has been growing,” he added. The biggest issue is that most elder abuse isn’t recognized, Factora said. That’s because there isn’t a standard way to screen for it or recognize it. Factora believes, however, that elder abuse is gaining more visibility, which may be part of why it’s seen as increasing. “As the years have gone by, elder abuse has become more highlighted and thus better detected,” he said.

Oneida, Herkimer in good

could be stopped before it starts, he suggested. “The resources are there. The problem is connecting the caregivers who are burned out with the resources that can help them,” Factora said. The best way to deal with elder abuse is through awareness of all its forms. This study deals with physical abuse and murder, he pointed out, but abuse also includes neglect and financial exploitation. Often a person is the victim of several kinds of abuse. Someone who is physically abused can also be neglected and financially exploited. Factora believes that if you see or suspect someone is a victim of elder

abuse, you should report it to adult protective services. “We need to find these cases, and once we find how big this epidemic is, that may be a push to identify the abuse we don’t see,” he said. “What we are seeing is the tip of the iceberg.” For the study, researchers used data from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System — All Injury Program and National Vital Statistics System to look for trends in assaults and murders among men and women aged 60 and older. The report was published recently in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


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“But the increase is not just a demographic issue.” Factora said that much of the abuse among people who are physically or mentally impaired is perpetrated by caregivers who are stressed out by the demands of caring for a loved one. Still, “abuse can have lasting effects that aren’t reversible after a certain point,” he said. “People who need help with transportation, finances and medication put a lot of burden on caregivers,” Factora said. According to the CDC report, it’s family members who commit most of the violence. “A lot of this is because of the demands placed on them for care, which really puts a stress on them,” Factora said. Unfortunately, many seniors are in jeopardy because of their physical or mental condition, and can’t defend themselves, he said. Abuse is really related to dependency, Factora explained. Help in finding ways to cope with the burden of caring for someone is available. Perhaps if more people took advantage of programs for family caregivers, a lot of elder abuse



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.

May 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Your Doctor

By Barbara Pierce

Dr. Emil Miskovsky

Emil Miskovsky recently joined the Digestive Disease Medicine group and is performing procedures at Mohawk Valley Endoscopy Center as a gastroenterology specialist. MVEC is the Mohawk Valley’s first licensed ambulatory surgery center specializing in outpatient colonoscopies and upper gastrointestinal endoscopies. MVEC is a collaborative effort of Digestive Disease Medicine, Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Utica. Q.: The Mohawk Valley Endoscopy Center is designed specifically to perform outpatient endoscopy procedures. In addition to colonoscopies, the other primary procedure you perform is upper gastrointestinal endoscopies. Can you tell us more about this procedure? A.: Gastroscopy, or upper endoscopy, is the other procedure we commonly do here. An upper endoscopy is a procedure that allows us to diagnose, and sometimes treat, conditions that effect the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine. We are able to directly visualize the inside lining of the upper GI tract using high-definition fiber-optic scopes that are smaller than a ½-inch in diameter. Q.: Why would a person need this procedure? A.: If a person is having difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, heart burn, regurgitation, gastrointestinal bleeding, or nausea and vomiting, an endoscopy will help me determine what is causing these symptoms. During the procedure, I collect tissue samples (biopsies) to test for diseases and conditions, such as anemia, bleeding, inflammation, diarrhea, or cancers of the digestive system. Also, I can pass special tools through the endoscope to treat problems in your digestive system — widen a narrow esophagus, clip off polyps or remove a foreign object. I can stretch a narrow area with balloons, as well as inject Botox. If the patient has cancer of the esophagus, I put in a stent to keep a blocked area open. If there is active bleeding, we can use cautery or clips to stop it. Q.: What does this procedure involve? A.: The endoscopy procedure takes only five to 10 minutes. The only preparation required is to eat nothing for 12 hours prior to the procedure. During the procedure, the patient lies on his or her left side and is anesthetized. Propofol is the anesthetic that is generally used. I use a flexible endoscope to go into the esophagus or stomach and take biopsies. I remove the scope, the patient wakes up, and we talk about what I have found. Q.: Are these symptoms that cause a need for an upper endoscopy fairly common? A.: Yes, they are a very common Page 4

Q.: Why did you choose the Mohawk Valley for your practice? A.: I’m somewhat familiar with this area as I went to Albany Medical College. I have close family in the Adirondacks and I visit often. I like to hike and fish — this is a great area for that. And, over the years, I’ve met and gotten to know these doctors I now work with. I know they run an excellent program and they’re great doctors.

occurrence these days and they are increasing. Q.: Why are they becoming more common? A.: That’s a good question. One reason is that these symptoms may be caused by food allergies, and food allergies are on the upswing, like gluten sensitivity. Another allergic condition is called eosinophillic esophagitis. This condition can cause difficulty swallowing, nausea, or abdominal pain. There is an intense interest in proving why there are more food allergies today compared to 30 years ago. It may have to do with the preservatives in our food. Food allergies are treatable by eliminating the food you’re allergic to. Alternatively, the symptoms can be treated with steroids or other medications. Q.: How did you become involved in this specialty? A.: I’ve always enjoyed seeing a wide variety of patients, young as well as old. I’ve always been interested in being able to help people through diagnosis and treatment. I find the field of gastrointestinal medicine intriguing. It has a solid foundation in physiology and pharmacology, and now molecular biology. There is a great diversity of

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

conditions I diagnose and treat. I’ve had extensive training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, bile ducts and pancreas. There’s a diverse array of conditions involved, like inflammatory bowel disease, chronic and acute liver diseases and cancer of the organs. Understanding causes of metabolic disorders such as iron overload (hemochromatosis) has led to accurate diagnosis and preventive therapy. Colonoscopy screening has decreased rates of colon cancer in the United States in my lifetime and this is very gratifying.

Q.: What else would you like people to know about you or MVEC? A.: It’s a good idea to get colon cancer screening, and I encourage everyone to be screened. Screening is a form of prevention, not just detection, as polyps that may turn into cancer are removed during the procedure. Also, I’d like people to be aware of a condition called Barrett’s esophagus. It’s associated with acid reflux and is increasing in frequency, especially for white males over 50. It increases your risk of developing esophageal cancer. Rates of esophageal cancer are increasing unfortunately. If you have a hiatal hernia or you smoke, you’re at risk to develop this cancer. So it’s important to be screened.

Lifelines Current residence: Utica Education: Bachelor of Arts degree, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.; medical degree, Albany Medical College; residency in internal medicine and immunology, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington D.C.; fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology, John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md. Hobbies: The outdoors: hiking, skiing, and fly fishing in the Adirondacks

Golden Years

Preventing stroke ‘Brain attack’ absolute game changer By Barbara Pierce


he death of actor Luke Perry shocked many of us. How could a healthy looking 52-yearold suffer a massive stroke and die of it? While it’s true that most strokes happen to people over 65, they can happen to a person of any age. The risk grows with age: The older you are, the higher your risk; your risk more than doubles each decade after 55. “A stroke of the hand of God,” is how Dr. Timothy MacDonald of Fountain Valley, Calif. described it — so random, striking down Roche a seemingly fit 52-year-old. Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of serious disability for adults. About four out of 10 people die from a stroke. A significant percentage of those who do survive are left with a range of disabilities that affect speech, movement and cognition. A stroke is a “brain attack” that occurs when the blood supply to the brain becomes blocked. During a stroke, the brain does not receive enough oxygen or nutrients, causing brain cells to die. Strokes need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible to minimize brain damage. It is a medical emergency that needs immediate attention. “Strokes are preventable,” said Angie Roche, stroke prevention coordinator at the Mohawk Valley Health Center Stroke Center. “Eighty percent of strokes can be prevented. That’s very good news,” she said. Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented through healthy

lifestyle changes and controlling any health conditions that raise your risk of having a stroke. “Uncontrolled high blood pressure is the primary reason people have strokes,” she said. “We know that high blood pressure can be prevented. If you have high blood pressure, continue to take your medications. Don’t stop taking them just because you feel good.” “Check your blood pressure at home, write it down and bring it with you to your doctor,” she advises. “Check it two to three times a week; that is more reflective of what your blood pressure is than the one time the doctor takes it in the office.”

BP monitoring critical

Your blood pressure readings reflect what you were doing in the 15 minutes before you took it, she explained. “Blood pressure reflects how hard your heart has to work to pump blood around your body. Your brain monitors the amount of oxygen you need for the activity you’re doing. For example, if you’re walking up the stairs, you need more blood oxygen to get up the stairs; you’re using more energy than when you’re sitting. “When you’re in the doctor’s office and you’ve been sitting in the waiting room reading magazines, then they take your blood pressure, the result will not be as accurate a reflection of what your blood pressure is at home when you’re doing your usual routine. So take it at home, write it down, and bring it to your doctor. “Your blood pressure changes with every beat of your heart. It changes depending on how much blood and oxygen your heart needs.” “If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control,” Roche advised in regards to preventing stroke. Exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes and do simple things like walking. If you’re not able

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to walk, do sit-down exercises, like hold a can of soup in each hand and use them like weights. Even something like that is better than nothing.” “If you’re overweight, keep your weight down,” she recommends. “Limit alcohol to the dietary guidelines: one drink a day for women, two for men. Also, reduce stress in your life as much as you can.” See your doctor regularly, she added, especially if you have a family history of heart attacks, stroke, or heart disease. Sometimes the only physician that a woman sees is her OB/GYN, she said. But as we age, our level of estrogen drops. Estrogen is a blood vessel protector. When you’re young, estrogen protects your blood vessels; as it drops, you lose that protection and your risk of a stroke increases. Family issues like high blood

pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and strokes do put you at higher risk for having a stroke. “Eat good food,” she stressed. “Read the labels. You know that salt increases your blood pressure. What I advise folks to do is go to supermarket, and put the stuff you would ordinarily buy in your cart. Then before you check out, read the labels. See how much sodium is in each product.” “People tell me: ‘But I don’t add salt to my food.’ That’s good. But prepared food has a lot of salt in it. A can of soup is very salty,” Roche said. “So are things like gravy mix and hamburger helper. All of them have a lot of sodium in the form of preservatives, which contain sodium. “It’s an eye opener to look at the labels! All that salt adds up. Be aware of what you put in your body.”

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May 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Golden Years

Death Cleaning

You can’t take it with you, so decide now how to de-clutter your life By Barbara Pierce


ou’ve collected so much wonderful stuff in your life. But it will be the stuff of nightmares for you, your kids or whomever has to deal with it. “Stop asking yourself if something sparks joy, and start considering how your clutter will affect your loved ones after you die!” advises Margareta Magnusson in her book, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.” Magnusson suggests putting your home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up your life. This process of cleaning out unnecessary belongings can be done at any age, but should be done before others have to do it for you. You remove unnecessary things and make your home nice and orderly when you think the time is coming closer for you to leave the planet. April Cacciatori of Rome has done this, both for herself and for her mother-in-law. She downsized for herself and her husband to prepare them to move into a new home. At the same time, she prepared her mother-in-law to move in with

them. Cacciatori is a certified life coach and licensed massage therapist and founder of Zensations Therapeutic Massage in Rome. “It’s tumultuous!” said Cacciatori about her experience in merging two households. Regarding downsizing for herself, Cacciatori shared what she discovered. “As we planned to move, I started de-cluttering. I began with our big walk-in closet. I had to go through that closet three times! First time, I got rid of a lot of stuff, but still couldn’t walk into the closet. The same thing occurred the second time. The third time through, I emptied the whole closet, decided what to bring to our new home and what to clear out. To create a new beginning, I had to clean out what was there,” she said. “When I de-clutter, I look at a piece and think, ‘Will this serve me where I am going?’ If not, I let it go. I say, ‘Thank you for serving me,’ and let it go. I honor the item by remembering its history. It is hard to let go of stuff,” she added.

Heart-wrenching process

“Going through all your old belongings, remembering when you

used them last and hopefully saying ‘good bye’ to several of them is difficult,” said Magnusson in her book. “People tend to hoard rather than throw away.” “To downsize a home takes time, so don’t wait too long,” she said. “There are many ways to go about this. Here’s my method: For each item, decide whether to give away, throw, or keep. Do this for each room.” “So many of us hoard paper — magazines, newspaper clippings, recipes,” Cacciatori said. “I ask myself, ‘Have I used this in the past six months? Am I ever going to use it? Could I find this information some other way?’ You can Google anything today.” “If you’re moving into assisted living, you won’t need most of your stuff. Think about whether there is someone you want to have it. Or have a garage sale, though this is a big undertaking. Consider giving items to the Salvation Army,” she said. Tell your loved ones and friends what you’re up to. Invite them to take things you’re ready to give away. Perhaps a grandchild is about to move into his or her first apartment. Show them your things and have them take stuff with them. “If you can’t bring your stuff where you’re going, bring photos,” she suggested. “They may be painful to look at, but look at the good

memories. Or take a photo of the person who received the item; it will remind you that your piece is being loved again by someone you wanted to have it.” Moving an aged parent out of their home can be the stuff of nightmares. Cacciatori shares: “We had a real eye opener when my mother-inlaw was hospitalized. That was when we realized we needed a plan for when she transfers to heaven.” “We started by talking with her about this. We had a first conversation where we discussed all the possibilities with her,” she noted. “With an aged parent, discuss what they see for themselves, discuss all the possibilities, whether it’s an apartment or assisted living. A senior may be unaware that they need assisted living.” The first few times you bring this up, they may want to avoid the topic, but it’s important to continue to bring this up gently. “They’ll feel a loss of control over their life, so give them the power to decide,” she added. “My mother-in-law grieved about leaving her home; it was her home for 65 years. She was apprehensive about moving into a new place. Seniors who managed their home are giving up their home. It’s almost like giving up their driver’s license,” Cacciatori said. “Each step, discuss with the aged person, with love and grace. They may need prodding to let things go.”

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

Golden Years Between You and Me

By Barbara Pierce

Final wish: No regrets Are you going to reach the end regretting aspects of your life?


swam with the dolphins. It was kind of scary and kind of wonderful, but mostly anticlimactic, if that’s the word to describe when you do something you’ve wanted to do for a very long time. It was the last thing on my bucket list. I was afraid that if I accomplished the last thing on my bucket list, I’d be giving my body the OK to give up. But it’s been several years since I slipped into the warm waters of the Florida Keys Pierce to cling to that dolphin’s fin and I’m still going strong. Gradually, I’ve come to the realization that I’m old enough to die. So I don’t want to leave anything on the table. I don’t mean the fun things like swimming with a dolphin, but the sad kind of regrets that hospice caregiver Bronnie Ware writes about in her book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.” I don’t want to have any regrets as I die. I don’t want to lie on my deathbed wailing, “I should’ve done this!” or “I shouldn’t have done that!” What Ware found: — I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. “This was the most common regret,” she said. “When people realize that their life is almost over and look back on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”

Good health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it. Honoring yourself while you still have the ability to do it is important. Now, years later, swimming with the dolphins would be difficult for me to do. “We assume we have all the time in the world, when all we really have is today,” she wrote. — I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. “This came from every male patient that I nursed,” she said. “They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. All of the men deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of work existence.” (The women she nursed had been mostly homemakers.)

Express yourself!

— I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. “I was scared to let my feelings show. Now I wish I’d let my family know how I really felt,”

Ware recalls. “Many people suppressed their feelings to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. “It does take courage to express and share your feelings.” — I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. “You imagine they will always be there. But life moves on,” she said. “There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. “Friends who accept you as who you are worth more than anything in the end. The beauty of friends is that they take us as who we are, not who they want us to be.” — I wish I had let myself be happier. “This is surprisingly common,” she said. “Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. Fear of change had them

pretending that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” “Happiness is a choice. Find blessings every day and appreciate the moment you’re in. If that’s hard, pretend to be happy for half an hour. Don’t frown, complain, or say anything negative for half an hour. Say nice stuff and smile,” she said. As I read Ware’s descriptions of the people she has known, I am so sad for them, with their deep regrets. Regretting provides nothing positive, only suffering, when we’re letting our past dictate how we should feel now. As I see it, there are two ways of learning from this: — First, don’t regret your mistakes; learn from them and move on. During my life, I’ve done some things I’m proud of, and some things I’m not proud of — but I’d like to think I learned something from each. We all make mistakes, but we can move past them by remembering only the lessons they offer. Death seems less scary if you’re satisfied with the life that you’ve lived. — Second, if you learned you have only one year to live, would you have any regrets? If so, what can you do about it, beginning now? Make peace with the past and remember that each moment is a new choice. Life is over so quickly. It is possible to reach the end with no regrets. That is my wish for you. • 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.

& Palliative Care Oneida, Herkimer and Eastern Madison Counties

May 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.

May 1

Narcan training classes available In response to the influx of overdoses in the local community, Insight House will be offering free community Narcan training classes on a bimonthly basis. Classes will be held from 2-3 p.m. on the first and last Wednesday of every month at 500 Whitesboro St. The next sessions will take place on May 1 and May 29. Space is limited and preregistration is recommended by calling 315-724-5168 ext. 238.

May 1

May Day Festival scheduled in Utica Central New York Citizen Action and other labor, faith-based and Page 8

community groups will sponsor the fourth annual May Day Festival to commemorate past human and labor rights victories and continue the struggle for social justice for workers, the elderly and disabled, immigrants, LGBQT, and people of color. It will be held from 6:30-9:30 p.m. May 1 at the DeSales Center, 309 Genesee St., Utica. The event is open and free to the public. The festival will feature food, music, dancing, speakers, and opportunities for activism. The DeSales Center is across the street from the Munson-Williams Proctor Institute in downtown Utica. Parking is available next to the building. For more information, contact John Furman at 315-725-0974 or email cnycitizenaction@gmail.com. Volunteers are needed for the event and artists are urged to share works highlighting social and economic justice. For more information, visit http://citizenactionny.org.

May 2

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 May 2, 9 and 16 at Rome Memorial Hospital. “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).

May 4

Parents: Learn baby care basics Parents-to-be can learn about childbirth, newborns and other related topics by attending Baby Care Basics, a two-hour program taught by Rome Memorial Hospital materni-

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

ty 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 6

‘Give it a Whirl’ group meets in May A support group will be held Mondays during May for anyone coping with health and wellness challenges, including individuals looking for a temporary rest from being a caregiver. The gathering is offered through the collaboration of the Center for Family Life and Recovery and Rome Memorial Hospital Radiation Medicine. “Give it a Whirl” for Wellness is a creative way to socialize, help and be helped by others with similar conditions or circumstances. The free meetings, centered on a creative activity led by the CFLR, are held from 1-2 p.m Mondays at Rome Memorial Hospital Radiation Medicine, 107 E. Chestnut St., Rome. Here is the schedule of activities: — May 6: Clothespin frames in time for Mother’s Day — May 13: Crockpot cooking — May 20: “Honor A Soldier” flag for Memorial Day A meeting will not be held on May 27 in observance of Memorial Day. The public is encouraged to attend any or all of the meetings. No registration is necessary. There is easy access and plenty of parking on the east side of the building.

May 7

Library to host Social Security program The Kirkland Town Library is offering a free Social Security retirement information program at 6 p.m. May 7 for pre-retirees wanting to make a more informed claiming decision. Since 2014, the one-hour program entitled, “Social Security Made Easy,” has gained widespread recognition across the Upstate New York region in an effort to help attendees better prepare for a smooth transition from their working career into retirement. The program is being presented as a community service by Retirement Solutions, LLC. Seating is limited and advance registration is required. To RSVP, call the library at 315853-2038.

May 7

Smoking cessation classes scheduled Are you ready to take the first step to stop smoking? Rome Memorial Hospital is ready to give you the support you need to break the addiction. Starting May 9, the hospital will begin a free three-week series of smoking cessation classes. Those who register can earn a $20 grocery gift card upon comple-

tion of the program. The program will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursdays, starting May 9 and ending on May 23, in the hospital’s classroom, 1500 N. James St., Rome. Participants are asked to use the Bartlett Wing entrance off East Oak Street for convenient parking and easy access to the second-floor classroom. Teaching the class is RMH respiratory therapist Sharin Chrzanowski, trained through the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart smoking cessation program. Space is limited and advance registration is required by calling RMH’s education department at 315-3387143 on or before May 7. The class is open to adults 18 and older. The program is free and those completing all three classes will be rewarded with a $20 grocery gift card. The program is in collaboration with the Oneida County Health Department. Smoking cessation class participants may be eligible to receive free nicotine replacement patches provided through The New York State Smokers Quitline. It would be advantageous to call Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS before attending the first class to receive the free “start kit” of nicotine replacement patches. Anyone interested in learning more about smoking cessation can call the hospital’s education department at 315-338-7143, contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 866-NY-QUITS (866-697-8487) or visit www.nysmokefree.com.

May 8

HealthNet offering free prediabetes program Mohawk Valley residents with prediabetes or who are at high risk for Type 2 diabetes now have more resources to prevent diabetes. Herkimer County HealthNet is offering a free diabetes prevention program. The program helps participants reduce their risk for Type 2 diabetes by learning to eat healthier, lose weight, become more physically active, and manage stress. The program will begin on May 8 and will meet from 6-7:30 p.m. every Wednesday for 16 weeks at the Mohawk Reformed Church, 20 S. Otsego St., Mohawk. After the first 16 weeks, the program will meet once monthly for six months to continue to offer support and help participants stick to their new healthy lifestyle. The program is free and includes material to help one learn how to become more physically active and learn skills to make healthy food choices. Those interested in attending the program can contact Herkimer County HealthNet at 315-867-1552 or email eenea@herkimercounty.org.

May 8

Tobacco cessation program slated Herkimer County HealthNet will offer a free three-week tobacco cessation program called Freshstart from 5-6:30 p.m. beginning May 8 at Little Falls Hospital, fourth floor, 140 Burwell St., Little Falls.

Continued on Page 23

Specialists in Integrative Oncology, Gastroenterology, Acute Tick Bites & Treatment of Lyme Disease.

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

By Jim Miller

Finding insurance before Medicare kicks in

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

Dear Savvy Senior, I will be retiring in a few months and need to get some health insurance for my wife and me until we can enroll in Medicare. What are my options?

About to Retire

Dear About,

There are several places early retirees can find health insurance coverage before Medicare kicks in, but the best option for you and your wife will depend on your income level and your health care needs. Here’s where to look.

Government marketplace

If your yearly income falls below the 400 percent poverty level after you retire, the Affordable Care Act (ACA aka Obamacare) marketplace is probably your best option for getting health coverage because of the premium subsidies they offer, which will reduce the amount you’ll have to pay for a policy. ACA health insurance is major medical insurance that covers essential health benefits with no annual or lifetime coverage maximums. And they can’t charge you more or deny you coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. To qualify for the subsidies, your household’s modified adjusted gross income for 2019 must be under $48,560 for an individual, or $65,840 for a couple. If your income is just above these thresholds, you should talk to a tax adviser about perhaps making a larger IRA contribution or strategically timing retirement account withdrawals to help you qualify. To see how various levels of income might affect your premiums and subsidies, see the subsidy calculator on the Kaiser Family Foundation website at KFF. org/interactive/subsidy-calculator. To shop for marketplace plans in your state, visit HealthCare.gov or call their toll-free helpline at 800-3182596. If you find that you are not eligible for the subsidies and the premiums seem unaffordable, look into ACA-compliant plans that you can purchase off the marketplace directly from the insurance carrier or through a broker. In some states, you might find plans with lower premiums, especially on silver plans. To find off the marketplace policies, see health insurance shopping websites like eHealthInsurance.com,

or contact a broker or agent to assist you. See LocalHelp.HealthCare. gov to locate someone in your area.

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Short-term health insurance

If you can’t find an affordable ACA plan, you may want to consider short-term health insurance, which is much cheaper. These plans, which are not available in every state, are bare-bones health plans that provide coverage for three, six or 12 months – depending on state/federal rules. But be aware that short-term plans don’t comply with the ACA so they can deny sick people coverage, they don’t cover preexisting conditions and they can exclude coverage essentials like prescription drugs. To shop for short-term health insurance, visit eHealthInsurance. com or contact a local broker or agent via LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.

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COBRA available

If you need health insurance coverage for less than 18 months, another option you may want to consider is COBRA, which allows you to remain on your former employer’s group health plan, but not every employer plan is COBRA eligible. Contact your employer benefits administrator to find out if yours is. In most cases, COBRA is expensive, requiring you to pay the full monthly premium yourself. But, if you’ve already met or nearly met your employer plan’s deductible and/or out-of-pocket maximum for the year, and don’t want to start over with a new plan; or if you find your employer’s health plan to be better or more affordable that the other options, it makes sense to keep your current coverage under COBRA. 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.

American Cancer Society Relay For Life events set for Mohawk Valley


ocal cancer survivors and their caregivers will take the celebratory first lap at the annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life events happening throughout the Mohawk Valley in six different communities in June. The survivors lap starts each of the relay events. Anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers are encouraged to join the celebration. Each Relay For Life event will have special, free cancer survivor T-shirts and other gift items for all survivors who attend, as well as a special reception either before or after the opening laps. The Relay For Life movement of 3.5 million participants across the world inspires communities to celebrate people who have been touched by cancer, remember loved ones lost,

May 2019 •

and take action for lifesaving change. Funds raised from Relay For Life events allow the ACS to attack cancer in dozens of ways. Relay For Life events are happening in Oneida, Camden and Rome the weekend of June 1; in Utica and Boonville the weekend of June 8; and in Little Falls the weekend of June 15. Symbolizing the battle waged around the clock by those facing cancer, the event can last up to 24 hours and empowers communities to take a stand against cancer. Since 1985, Relay For Life events in the United States have raised more than $6.3 billion. If you are a cancer survivor or caregiver and would like to participate in or donate to the Relay For Life closest to you, visit RelayForLife. org or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

Health care in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Hospital ratings challenged

The American Hospital Association is lobbying CMS to either improve its five-star hospital rating system (Hospital Compare) or take it off line. The AHA believes the 14-year-old rating system does not accurately portray hospital performance. Critics claim the star ratings, from one to five, are misleading and harmful oversimplifications of how a particular hospital performs. They suggest working with CMS on developing hospital peer groups (teaching, urban, rural, large, small, regional, etc.) for better and fairer comparisons. Currently, larger teaching hospitals that admit the sickest patients, often transferred from other hospitals, tend to fare worse in the current rating system.

Upstate can provide all the comprehensive treatment and support you need at our offices in Oneida, or if needed, at the Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse. Our patients benefit from: • Over 25 years experience in treating patients in Oneida. • A full complement of treatment options including radiation oncology. • Access to the latest advances including immunotherapy, molecular targeted therapy and clinical trials. • The same multidisciplinary case review as those treated at the Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse, the area’s only academic medical center.


Rabies vaccination clinics scheduled


he Oneida County Health Department is scheduling rabies vaccination clinics throughout the year. The next clinic is set for 6-7:30 p.m. June 6 at Boonville Fairgrounds. Clinics are also scheduled for: — July 1: Annsville Highway Garage, 5-6:30 p.m. — July 25: Rome Kennedy Arena, 6-7:30 p.m. — Aug. 5: Vienna Highway Garage, 5-6:30 p.m. — Sept. 10: Back to Basics Dog Obedience, Forestport, 6-7:30 p.m. Dogs need to be on a leash, and Page 10

cats need to be in a carrier or laundry basket. All cats, dogs and ferrets 3 months or older must have a current rabies vaccination, even if they stay indoors. Dogs and cats need to be vaccinated at 3 months old, 1 year, and the once every three years. Ferrets must be vaccinated every year. Pets will receive a one-year certificate if no prior proof of rabies is shown. A $10 donation per pet is requested to help cover costs. Pre-register for clinic dates by calling 315-798-5064.

Amazon accepting HSA cards

As part of its aggressive foray into health care, Amazon announced it will be accepting health saving accounts cards for the purchase of medical supplies online. More than half of US employees are enrolled in high deductible, HSA eligible, plans which means high out of pocket expenses. Out of pocket spending for healthcare was about $370 billion last year. By offering consumers an affordable and convenient option for medical supplies, Amazon hopes consumers will fund their HSAs and take advantage of the savings. A lot of the confusion with HSAs is over what products are eligible for purchase. Amazon will end the confusion by listing eligible products/items on your screen. HSAs are the best tool for saving money because of the multiple tax advantages. You contribute per-tax dollars, to a tax-free account, paying for eligible items tax free. There is no “use or lose it” requirement. Unspent dollars earn interest.

Hackers and ransom

No industry is completely immune to cyberattacks. Hackers can breach or attack even the best defenses. If you refuse to pay up, they will destroy your files. For healthcare providers, years of records can be wiped out. There is breach insurance and these companies employ negotiators when a client is breached. Typically, negotiations are done through a third party and your ransom money is converted to bitcoin so it can’t be traced to the clandestine hacker. An ENT practice in Michigan was breached and the ransom was $6,500. In this case, the physicians refused to pay and decided to retire early. The hackers deleted all files, including patient records, appointment schedules, payment info. (The physicians are still faced with penalties for the breach.) Fortunately, their patient records were encrypted. IT experts feel HHS

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

privacy and security standards are way too focused on compliance and penalties for breached providers versus focusing more on the criminal/ hackers.

Battling drug prices

Scott Gottleib recently resigned his position as FDA commissioner. Frustrated by the dirty tactics of drug manufacturers to delay or prevent the entry of biosimilar drugs into the market produced by competitors, he is taking his fight to lower drug prices to The American Enterprise Institute think tank. He said his primary focus with AEI will be discovering affordable solutions to innovative treatments, including gene therapies. Bringing in substitutable generic drugs to the market under the “conventional drug pathway” (controlled by the pharmaceutical industry) is fraught with roadblocks and politics. The biosimilar pathway should bring about much needed competition and lower prices.

Primary Care 2.0

It’s been proven that outcomes are better when your care is managed by a personal primary care physician who provides cost effective treatment and preventive services and acts as your quarterback for access to specialists and the healthcare system in general. Unfortunately, with the shortage of primary care physicians, people are seeking more short-term, episodic and expensive alternatives like urgent care and emergency departments. Continuity of care is critical to better outcomes and lower costs. Those without a primary care provider or manager are finding that navigating our confusing healthcare system alone is a nightmare. Primary Care “1.0” must be updated to PC “2.0” to accommodate today’s reality. There must be increased incentives like free medical school tuition, higher residency pay and tax breaks for medical students selecting a primary care career. Empowered nurse practitioners and physician assistants, working in tandem with physicians, can help alleviate the shortage and provide increased access to quality care. But the real panacea will be the evolution of telemedicine as an accepted method of delivering coordinated, low-cost, high-outcome primary care.

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.

Golden Years

Ready for retirement? Proper mindset a must to master next chapter By Barbara Pierce


f there’s a magic bullet to successful retirement, Frances Retzloff of Ilion has found it. The 75-year-old retired teacher’s assistant is thriving in retirement. “Be active!” she said in regards to her secret. With a remarkable array of activities in her life, she’s flourishing. A volunteer at Mohawk Homestead adult care residence, Retzloff decorates the facility for holidays, helps with weekly crafts, accompanies residents on trips, and more. “I help wherever I can,” she said. Active in her church, she recently renovated the stations of the cross, regularly counts contribution envelopes and participates in Bible study. “My faith is very important to me,” she added. “I get my strength from that and from my family.” Her family is important — she and her husband are there to help their daughters, whatever their needs. And she’s there for whomever in her community needs assistance. As an involved member of Catholic Daughters, she creates baskets for Basket Bingo, helps with Habitat for Humanity, and more. She makes time to oil paint, garden, and do crafts projects for her own pleasure. “To be happy, you need to be active,” she said. Many don’t fare so well in retirement. After years spent working, retirement can feel like the great unknown. Unlimited free time can sound like heaven, but for many it’s a difficult transition. Perhaps Retzloff’s secret is that she didn’t retire Friday and wake up Monday morning saying, “What do I do now?” When she retired from her career as a teacher’s assistant at Remington Elementary School, she was already active in things other than work. “I’ve always been involved in

things,” she said. “I was a Girl Scout leader, always helped in my church, and helped other people.” She began working at Remington School as a cafeteria lady when her youngest daughter started kindergarten. She progressed to being a teacher’s aide, then a teacher’s assistant. Experts say that, as people plan for retirement, they usually sit down and think out financial considerations well ahead. But two out of three people don’t think about the non-financial parts of retirement. They later discover those parts play a much larger role in retirement than finances. Parts like how to not be bored out of your head due to lack of challenges; how not to become depressed and deteriorate physically because of reduced activity, reduced social interaction and lack of a sense of purpose.

Planning is essential

With our average life expectancy of 80 years, it is important to plan how to restructure your life and how to make the transition into retirement. Few people ease into retirement without ups and downs and lots of trials and errors until you get it right. The transition from working to retirement is perhaps the most difficult change in adulthood. You’ve never done this before; there’s no blueprint to follow. Everybody has their own way of creating new routines from scratch, finding new purposes and rediscovering passions. It could take months or even a few years for you to finally feel comfortable in your retired life. That’s normal. What experts suggest: — “One of the problems with the transition to retirement is that you look forward to all you get — vacation and freedom to do what you want — and you don’t look back on

Frances Retzloff of Ilion helps with Easter decorations recently at the Mohawk Homestead adult care facility. all that you lose,” says NextAvenue. org. “The great challenge is figuring out how to recover some of what you’ve lost — daily interactions with colleagues and doing things you’re good at — and combine it with your newfound freedom.” Start by thinking about what you liked most about your job, and situations where you felt you were doing well and were completely happy. How can you begin to replicate this in retirement? To find well-being in later life, give yourself time to think of new purposes in life. Your hobbies, interests and passions are all still there. Embrace them! Instead of commuting to an office, commute to your workbench or to a class at the local community college. You’ll want to keep fit and healthy physically and mentally as long as possible. “I have good health. Through the Lord I have survived. I give him all

MVHS contributes nearly $900 million to region’s economy


ast year, the Mohawk Valley Health System generated $863 million in economic activity in the region, according to an analysis conducted by the Healthcare Association of New York State. “When we think of hospitals, it’s often about the medical care they provide to the community,” said Darlene Stromstad, MVHS president-CEO. “What is often overlooked is the significant role hospitals and health systems play in the economic health of a region. In fact, MVHS is one of the top private-sector employers in the county, but our contribu-

the credit,” added Retzloff. Being involved with others is an important component to being happy. Loneliness and social isolation causes people to be depressed, and causes them to die at an earlier age than those who are engaged with others. Churches are a time-honored way to be involved with others. If a traditional Catholic, Protestant or Jewish church isn’t for you, try Unitarian Universalist, humanists, Buddhists, or others out of the mainstream. Consider volunteering — match your interests and passions to that of an organization that would benefit from your skills. There’s much satisfaction knowing that you’re still needed and all the experience and know-how you’ve gained can provide value for others. If you’re not already involved in a hobby, consider what appeals to you and do it.

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tions extend far beyond our role as employer.” The HANYS analysis also shows that: — More than 7,000 jobs are generated by MVHS, which reflects both the number of health system jobs as well as those jobs generated as a result of MVHS employees purchasing goods and services locally. — $286 million in payroll is expended each year to compensate MVHS employees. — $113 million in tax dollars are generated by MVHS spending and payroll.

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


May 2019 •



IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11

The Balanced Body

By Deb Dittner

Skin Deep

Face the facts: Proper skin care essential


s you prepare for the warmer temperatures of spring and the sun shining down upon your face, you must also prepare for skin care challenges. With temperature change and increased sunlight, skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema can flare due to an increase in oil production and sweat. And then you also have seasonal allergies that can occur when plants begin to grow, Dittner causing allergens and the release of pollen into the air. This can trigger a histamine reaction showing itself as rosacea, rashes, and generalized irritation. During winter months when hibernation occurs for animals, our oil production as well as hair and nail growth decreases, only to be awakened come spring. So how do you make variations in your skin care routine to help alleviate these problems?

A variety of small and simple changes in your diet and skin care procedures will help. — One of the most important strategies is proper hydration. Pure filtered water helps to hydrate from the inside out. Change your moisturizer from the heavy winter types to a lighter, calming moisturizer that will hydrate the skin and provide a layer of protection from irritants and pollution. — Springtime also brings an increase in much needed sun exposure. Protection in the form of sunscreen is important but must be chosen wisely. It must be void of chemicals that can cause irritation and other damage. Mineral Sunscreen Lotion by Young Living comes in 10 and 50 sun-protection factors and is free of harmful chemicals. Badger Sunscreen is another good brand. When choosing a sunscreen, look for non-irritating and hypoallergenic. To decrease the effects of sun damage, consider using a vitamin C-rich facial mask approximately once per week. Vitamin C provides a protective anti-oxidant barrier, assists in sunscreen protection, and decreas-

es sun-induced damage. Another product to repair and soothe skin irritation is using a manuka honey mask. This will calm and restore the skin while providing antibacterial properties. A yogurt mask is another great treat for the skin, allowing for healing to occur. Allow these masks to sit on the skin for approximately 15 minutes then rinse with warm water. In spring, you also begin opening the windows to let in the fresh, crisp air along with pollens and other irritants that can cause puffiness, redness, and dry patches. An air purifier helps to rid the home of pollens and accumulating dust, and is especially useful in the bedroom. A variety of houseplants can




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.

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

Page 12

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

also provide a natural purification of indoor air quality. Some plants I love to incorporate are snake plants (also known as mother-in-law tongue), peace lily, English ivy, and the broadleaf lady palm, to name a few. And of course, you need to eat whole nutrient-dense foods, including greens (kale, collards, mustard greens and dandelion greens) slightly steamed as these will aid in detoxifying the liver, again nourishing from the inside out. • 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.

Ask The Social

Security Office

From the Social Security District Office

Spruce up financial plan with Social Security


ow that tax season is over, it’s probably a good time to evaluate some financial “best practices” for the rest of the year. A good spring-cleaning can clear out the clutter to let you see a clear path for your future. Social Security is always here to help. Even if you just started working, now is the time to start preparing for retirement. Achieving the dream of a secure, comfortable retirement is much easier with a strong financial plan.

Tip 1: Start early

Our online retirement planning resources are helpful to people at any stage of their career. Our many calculators, Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool, and disability resources are all available at www.socialsecurity. gov/planners. From here, you can read and download publications and also email and share with colleagues, friends and family. Remember, the earlier you start, the better chance you have at saving what you need.

Tip 2: Be informed

We’re often asked, “What’s the best age to start receiving retirement benefits?” The answer is that there’s no single “best age” for everyone and, ultimately, it’s your choice. The most important thing is to make an informed decision, based on your individual and family circumstances. To help you make that decision, see our retirement publications at www. socialsecurity.gov/pubs/?topic=Retirement.

Tip 3: Estimate benefits

Knowing the amount of money you could get is pivotal in planning your finances. With the Retirement Estimator, you can plug in some basic information to get an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. Try out different scenarios, such as higher or lower future earnings amounts and various retirement dates to see the various potential effects on your future benefit amounts.

Hereditary Cancer Risk Screening Rome Memorial Hospital is recognized as a leader in hereditary cancer risk screening.

A woman’s health at any age is vitally important to living an active and vibrant life! Community Memorial is here for YOU at every step on YOUR exciting journey! Our Services: · Annual Well-Women’s Check-up

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

· Reproductive Health · Breast Care - Mammography · Bone Density · Cardiovascular Health · Heart Burn & Digestive Health

Genetic screening for personal cancer risk is now offered to all breast imaging patients at The Women’s Imaging Center, a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.

· Menopause Health

Patients will be screened for 29 genetic mutations that impact hereditary risk for eight cancers:

  

Breast Ovarian Gastric

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Colorectal Pancreatic Melanoma

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To Learn More Visit: CommunityMemorial.org

Prostate Endometrial

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

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

Be sure to follow and like us for the latest news and updates!

315.338.7027 May 2019 •

CommunityMemorial.org IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Community impacts happiness Environment can make or break your attitude on life By Barbara Pierce

If happiness were a cake recipe, everybody needs the basics, right?” asked Dan Buettner online. “You need food, water, and health. All those things are important, but the most important ingredient in that recipe is where you live.” Award-winning journalist Buettner discovered the five places in the world — dubbed blue zones — where people live the longest, healthiest, and happiest lives. He described this in “The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer.” “Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way,” Baylor his subsequent book, makes the case that more than anything else, including income, education level, and religion, where you live determines your level of happiness. “Where a person lives determines their level of happiness more than any other factor,” Buettner concluded from extensive research. We asked several folks in the Mohawk Valley about this: — Bre Baylor, 38, of Mohawk, director of the Mohawk Weller Library — Gloria Koslofsky, 78-year-old

retired teacher, who lives in Schuyler — April Cacciatori, 57, of Rome, certified life coach and licensed massage therapist, and founder of Zensations Therapeutic Massage — Frances Retzloff, 75, of Ilion, retired teacher’s assistant Q.: Are you be surprised to know that where you live has a huge impact on your day-to-day happiness? Baylor: “When I think about my community, it makes me feel happy. Yes, community does have an impact.” Koslofsky: “I absolutely believe that where you live is the gateway to happiness.” Q.: What is it about your community that Koslofsky contributes to your happiness? Baylor: “It’s waking up knowing I’m in a safe neighborhood. I know the mayor, the fire department, and the police. I feel safer, knowing them. I go to a community event and see them; I know who they are.” Buettner’s research confirms that a sense of safety is critical for well-being, as is a “trustworthy” environment among politicians, police and neighbors. “Also, it’s walking down the street, saying ‘hi!’ to everyone and

“I had cancer...

cancer never had me.”

knowing their name. My son is 3; I want him to feel that feeling, to be able to ride his bike in the neighborhood, to feel like he belongs. This is a good place to live,” Baylor said. “I grew up here, then left for a few years in my early 20s. I came back here because it’s a small village where you know everyone. You have a sense of belonging. In Syracuse, I felt lost. I didn’t feel a part of anything,” Baylor added. Research shows people living in suburban areas are happier than city folks.

Let’s get social

Koslofsky shared what makes her happy: “Socialization opportunities are available for all age groups. There are several colleges in the city, and all offer cultural events to the public.” “We have a renowned art museum for lectures, workshops, concerts and tours. First-rate theatrical programs are performed at our 1928 renovated movie house. “The crown jewel is the Mohawk Valley Learning in Retirement. All the elements of successful aging are here: opportunities for socialization; opportunities for creativity through art and music classes; and exercise classes.” Buettner says: “We know that people are generally happier the more they socialize.” Other studies show that close friendships are key to health and happiness, especially as we age. Research also shows a direct correlation between funding in the arts and well-being of residents. Art gardens, theaters, and museums cultivate authentic happiness. Cacciatori: “I’m happy here. I own a business and my family is here. Rome is a small community; go

Meet Tracy: Mother, patient, advocate and blessed!

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


to the grocery store and you’re sure to run into someone you know.” Economic freedom is another important characteristic of well-being. The freedom to run a business free of excessive regulation can be even more important than political freedom. Retzloff: “This is a good place to live. We lived in the same house for 32 years. When we had to move, we moved to another house in Ilion.” Q.: What other things make you happy in your community? Baylor: “Small schools … houses that have been here for decades … events where the community comes together ... I can walk to work.” When people live close to their workplace, it increases their life satisfaction, according to “Blue Zones.” Koslofsky: “Traffic jams are rare and so are lines for attractions. When I need to escape the bustle, I hike one of the trails in the area or escape to one of our parks. Or, I simply open my back door, walk onto our deck holding my coffee cup, sit in front of the bird feeders and watch my winged friends flutter around.” Quiet surroundings are another characteristic of community well-being. We can get used to cold winters. But humans don’t adapt to noise. Jet planes overhead, honking traffic, and loud music promise a daily erosion of happiness. Cacciatori added: There’s a lot to do in our area, but you have to seek it out; you can’t just sit home.” Reztoff: “Volunteering … being active in my church … close to family” According to Buettner, ways for people to volunteer is characteristic of a community where one thrives. The average 18 year old will move many times in a lifetime, offering many opportunities to select a better environment. Shape your surroundings to support a happy life.

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

No child’s play Measles cases surge in state, across U.S. By Barbara Pierce


he measles outbreak in New York has been called the largest in the state’s recent history, rocketing toward record levels. Outbreaks in New York state continue to drive up the number of U.S. measles cases, which are approaching levels not seen in 25 years. Health officials say 71 more cases were reported the week of April 14, with 68 of them in New York. That brought this year’s total to 626. In 2018, New York and New Jersey accounted for more than half of the measles cases in the country. “There are no confirmed cases of measles in Oneida County,” said Oneida County Director of Health Phyllis Ellis. “We know there have been six flu-related deaths in New York state this year, and we’re seeing a tragic measles outbreak in counties in the lower Hudson Valley area.” Highly contagious, measles can be serious for young children, causing dangerous side effects and even death. A small number of those infected develop pneumonia, swelling of the brain, vision loss, or other serious symptoms. Measles can cause pregnant women to deliver prematurely. Though generally thought to be a childhood disease, measles can be contracted at any age if the person is not immune. It’s a viral respiratory disease spread by contact with the nasal or throat excretions of an infected person. The virus can be spread through the air or through contact with surfaces touched by the infected person. It lives for up to two hours in areas where the infected person coughed or sneezed and on surfaces they touched. If one person has it, up to 90 percent of the people who are close to that person will also become infected if they are not immune, the CDC says online. First-stage symptoms include a runny nose, cough and slight fever, lasting two to four days. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light while the fever continues to rise, peaking at 103 to 105 degrees. The second stage of the infection usually begins on the third to seventh day, marked by a blotchy rash that can last five or six days before fading. A person can spread measles from four days before the onset of rash through four days after the rash begins. Ellis emphasized that most New Yorkers are immune to measles as they have received the required doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or were born before 1957.

A must vaccine

Before 1971, when the measles vaccine became available, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15, according to the CDC. Widespread use of measles vaccine drastically reduced the disease rates. In 2000, measles was declared eliminated from the United States. This year, however, the disease has dramatically increased, nearing record numbers despite the percep-

tion that it had been eliminated. The resurgence of the disease is related to the recent rise in unvaccinated children. Vaccines have been under fire. Fear of vaccines has led many parents to delay or avoid them altogether. “The fact is the development of vaccines is one of the greatest advances in modern medicine — right up there with antibiotics and anesthesia,” says the New York State Department of Health online. “Vaccines protect you by preparing your immune system to recognize and fight serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases.” The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. A vaccine tricks your body into thinking you have a disease when you really don’t. When the virus enters your body through vaccination, your immune system develops antibodies. The antibodies fight off that particular germ and then remain in your bloodstream so that, if you ever encounter the germ, they will go into action and you won’t get sick. The CDC recommends that children get two doses of the MMR vaccine — two doses are 97 percent effective against measles, and one dose is 93 percent effective. “We always recommend regularly scheduled immunizations for the safety of children, families and the community at large,” added Ellis. “Vaccinations are proven, effective and safe. A number of safeguards are required by law to help ensure that the vaccines we receive are safe. The safety of vaccines is thoroughly studied before they are licensed for public use.” The myth that vaccines cause autism has long since been debunked, said Andrea Finocchiaro, a family practitioner at Mohawk Valley Health System’s Oneida medical office. The Oneida County Health Department follows the CDC recommendations that children get two doses of the MMR vaccine — the first at 12-15 months of age, and the second at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on MMR vaccinations. “We are asking parents to put the same attention and care to maintaining these important vaccinations that they would to any other part of their child’s routine. It’s a vital prevention measure,” Ellis added. For more information about measles or the MMR vaccine, visit the Oneida County Health Department website at http://ocgov.net/ or call 315-798-6400.

Transforming Healthcare From Excellent To Exceptional Happy Nurses Week! At Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS), our staff helps lead the way to better health and an improved quality of life for our patients, residents, their families and our communities. They are caregivers, advocates, teachers, coaches, confidants, colleagues, mentors and friends. MVHS thanks you.


St. Joseph’s Health Cardiovascular Institute opens in Rome


ationally ranked St. Joseph’s Health Cardiovascular Institute recently opened an office in the Dorothy G. Griffin Cardiovascular Center at Rome Memorial Hospital, 1500 N. James St., Rome. Seven St. Joseph’s cardiologists staff the practice, including Russell Silverman, medical cardiologist and director of St. Joseph’s Physicians Cardiology; interventional cardiologists Nishith Amin, Michael Fischi and Alan Simons; and medical cardiologists Paul Hanna, Gangadhara Kabbli and Barbara Kircher. St. Joseph’s Health is leasing office space in the Dorothy G. Griffin Cardiovascular Center at RMH for its new cardiology practice and plans to expand coverage there over the coming months. Patients will have access to RMH’s state-of-the-art diagnostic cardiac testing, including nuclear cardiology studies, CT angiograms, exercise stress tests, electrocardiograms,

May 2019 •

echocardiograms, Holter cardiac monitoring and vascular ultrasound. “Delivering high-quality care in home communities is best for the patient, and we are bringing expertise from one of the top 15 cardiac care hospitals in the nation directly to patients in Rome,” said Joseph Spinale, chief medical officer at St. Joseph’s Health. “When open heart surgery or tertiary care is needed, patients from Rome will have a direct connection to the leading heart hospital in the region.” “When we affiliated with St. Joseph’s Health, it was with the primary goal of expanding patient access to needed services in the community,” said RMH President/Chief Executive Officer David Lundquist. “The statistics related to the impact of heart disease are staggering and the needs for cardiac care increase every year. For more information, visit www. everybeatmatterssjh.org or call 315338-7220 to schedule an appointment.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Intermittent fasting Diet plan requires patience, willingness to abstain from food for extended periods of time By David L. Podos


ntermittent fasting has received lots of attention lately. For some straight talk on this form of fasting, Bridget Shea and Emily Clairmont, both registered dietitians at the University of Vermont Medical Center, have this to say. “Fasting has been part of the human experience throughout history and is often tied to religious and spiritual rituals. Intermittent fasting has been a part of our evolution; it just didn’t have the fancy name until now,” Shea said. “There are various ways to carry out an intermittent fasting plan — the two most common are alternate day fasting and time-restricted feeding.” In alternate day fasting, one fasts every other day and then eats normally on the days in between. Time-restricted feeding is where food is only consumed during defined periods during the day and there is a longer overnight fast. For example, someone may only eat during four-, six- or 10-hour periods a day. “The research is mixed as it always is with nutrition,” cautions Shea. “Weight loss is generally the desired outcome when people attempt intermittent fasting, and like all other diet plans, eating patterns

and programs, intermittent fasting works for some people and does not work for others. “Some studies show that intermittent fasting results in the loss of visceral fat, the type of fat around the internal organs that is associated with poor health outcomes.” There is a need, however, for people to be aware of possible complications and restrictions before starting this kind of fasting. According to Clairmont, intermittent fasting is not appropriate for everyone. “It boils down to who is choosing this dietary pattern and to what extent they are restricting food intake,” she said. “I would never recommend intermittent fasting during pregnancy or breastfeeding, in youth who are growing, and with anyone who has a history of restrictive food behaviors or eating disorders,” she added. “Food cravings may increase after periods of food restriction and over time, this may lead to an unintentional and unhealthy obsession with food and eating.” Joe and Fran Guerino are residents of Frankfort. “We tried many different types of fasting over the years but settled for intermittent fasting. For us, it was just easier, and we also knew at some point during the day you were even-

tually going to eat, which made the commitment easier as well,” Joe said. “Our schedule is pretty simple — one meal per day.” “We follow the fast for one month with two to three months off, then back again,” Fran added. Both agree it is very important that the one meal per day is as nutritious and clean as possible. “We try and eat foods grown organically,” says Fran, adding that once off stops fasting, it is necessary to continue to eat highly nutritious foods. “We have experienced significant health benefits, including less bloating, a clearer mind, no more puffiness under the eyes, weight loss, and a reduction in inflammation,” Joe said.

Nutrition counseling vital

Becky Martyniuk is the owner of In Touch Massage located in New Hartford. A licensed massage therapist, she is also a certified nutrition counselor who received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition through the Teacher’s College of Columbia University. She received her nutrition counselor certification in 2008 and has been a licensed massage therapist since 2002. “My nutrition counseling is always tailored to a person’s indi-

vidual needs,” she said. “Regarding intermittent fasting, first off, I would like to let people know that when people think of fasting, they usually think of withholding food all day or for multiple days, and oftentimes, that is what fasting can be.” “In the case of intermittent fasting however, it is tying down a specific block of time within the day to abstain from food, but only in that time period,” Martyniuk added. “For example, I will eat in the morning and afternoon, but will stop eating after 4 p.m. “There are many benefits from this kind of fast, such as your body is forced to use its stored body fat for energy,” she said. “It saves time and money when compared to other fasting methods that require a lot of meal preparation or special meals that you need to purchase. “Because intermittent fasting helps to regulate your insulin levels, it can reduce hunger pains, cravings, and sugar addiction.” “Doing this kind of fasting for about 15 days will help reset your insulin levels. In Type 2 diabetes, clinical studies have shown that intermittent fasting can actually play a part of reversing this condition, but always check in with your medical doctor first before starting any kind of fasting. It’s also good in helping to reduce inflammation in the body.”

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 • May 2019

Spiritual Health Milk & Honey

By Brooke Stacia Demott

Beauty from ashes

ibrates the mission of his people. The monks reminded us of a need to live lives of holiness and prayer. The Puritans fled persecution born of their desire to serve God as the Bible instructs, and forged the spread of the Gospel in North America. The Anabaptists called the church back to evangelism; the Jesus movement of hen a 900-year-old symbol the ‘70s reminded the church of the of Christianity is engulfed presence of the Holy Spirit. in flames on the first day of When people grab a hold of the Holy Week, one cannot help but the church and steer it according to take notice. human convention, it’s like a toddler It’s human nature to look for with a Rubik’s cube. Twist and turn a supernatural explanation. Some though they might, all they can manmight see God’s anger burning age is a disordered jumble. But in the against an orgahands of God, the church begins to nization which makes sense. It isn’t a political entity, claims to represent a social club, or a house of religious his holy will, yet entertainment; but a people of has succumbed to prayer, devoted to Scripture, receivsexual immorality, ing communion, loving one another, greed, sensuality and seeking their neighbor’s good. and commercialToday, the stage is set for another ism. And perhaps major adjustment — not a reinvenothers might see tion, but a rediscovery. Contrary his desire to burn to the ways of the world, in God’s off the dross, and economy, there is no moving forward purify his people until we take a step back. Demott once again. Reformation isn’t new; it’s Let’s pause a newfound excitement over long-lost moment to genuflect in the cinders truths. of Notre Dame and ask ourselves, Within hours of MP quenching the Order Propo drew thousands to faith in the newly nailing his 95 theses on the door of as the ancient cathedrals crumble, flames, France already had plans in This ad will appear at the classification of: crucified and resurrected Son of God. the cathedral at Whittenburg, Germawhat is the future of the church in an place to restore a smoldering Notre Jealous and fearful of their influence, ny. His major qualm with the papacy increasingly secular Western world? Dame to its former glory. Rome NY the political and religious leaders was its adherence to extra-biblical It isn’t a new question. While Not to build a new cathedral, but of the day initiated the first wave mandates (like buying your way out each generation may face new to make it look like it once had. with in Home Date 05/2014 of persecution. As the Apostles and of a fictional purgatory with indulchallenges as culture flows from one Out of the ashes of Notre Dame, other believers were17, driven fromAcct# the A1ZGFE gences), andSales teaching whatever they rapidly increasing technological inDate: March 2014 Rep: GRIMALDI, JENNIFER L will Size: HCN6 Ad Id: A the church of Jesus certainly central location of Jerusalem, they felt was advantageous to the mainnovation to the next, the church has continue to rise. While men may took the Gospel with them, effectenance of power, influence and cash always followed the cyclical pattern erect temples, it is Jesus who builds flow. And, of course, about 93 other of grow, praise, forget, repent, repeat. tively growing the church all over the church. Europe and Asia. things. Luther, who desired reform, And so, while the destruction of Fast forward to the 4th century. instead forged the largest church a building that housed centuries of • Brooke Stacia Demott is a columEmperor Constantine claims a vision split in history in an effort to call the worshippers may seem tragic, nothnist with In Good Health newspaper. Got of victory in battle by the cross of church back to the Bible. ing of the church was really lost. The a question for Demott? Feel free to email Again and again, God recalchurch, after all, is not a building, but Christ, believing he was chosen by her at brooketo@aol.com. God to deliver the gospel to the a people. civilized world. In 313 AD, ChristiThe brilliant paradox of the anity was legalized, and by 380 AD church is that in order to grow, it Diabetes? it became the official religion of the must die. And to move forward, it Roman Empire. As Rome popularFlat Feet? must turn back. Christ may yet dip ized and politicized Christianity, the his finger into the ashes of Notre Plantar Fasciitis? church became “The Holy Roman Dame and mark the foreheads of a Church.” whole new generation of believers You may be eligible for shoes at little or no cost! with the sign of the cross. The church is the most powerBack to basics ful, influential entity in the world Now a powerful political entity, when it operates according to the the church attracted not only fervent will of God. But when it loosens its believers, but also power-hungry grip on the tenets of Holy Scripture charlatans, opportunists, and outto pick up the values of the world, right thieves. Inevitably, men would the church begins to operate autonorise to challenge the edicts of the mously of the one that Jesus died for wayward political institution, calling and his apostles lived for. believers back to true faith in Christ. And at these pivotal moments, English theologian John WyGod raises up individuals to remind cliff of the 14th century rebuked the both the believers and the skeptichurch for valuing empty human cal outsiders what his definition of tradition over Scripture, challenging “church” truly is. members to renew their love for the Immediately following the word of God. resurrection and ascension of Christ Czech theologian John Huss folaround 32 AD, a small group of lowed in Wycliff’s footsteps, rejecting believers prayed together in a stuffy the pope as the church’s authority, upper room during the Jewish festicrying out against the reckless opuval of Pentecost, and the church was lence and materialism of the clergy, born. These early Christians were and insisting that each man had a fervent in prayer, bold in their procright to a Bible in his own language. lamation of Jesus as Lord, powerful By 1517, the stage was set for in their witness to his power, and Martin Luther, a seminal figure in earnest in their love for one another. the Protestant Reformation, to bring The authenticity of their fellowship formal charges against the church by AMZHMDNLM 14-Mar-2014 07:57

Notre Dame and future of the church


May 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Health News MVHS appoints top administrator Robert Scholefield has been appointed to the new role of executive vice president of facilities and real estate for the Mohawk Valley Health System. This includes the responsibility for the construction of the new regional medical center in downtown Utica. “Over the past few years, Bob has been leading MVHS’s effort on preparing for the building of our new medical center,” said MVHS Scholefield President-CEO Darlene Stromstad. “He knows more about this project than anyone, and has a deep understanding of the complicated regulatory, political and construction components involved. “A project of this magnitude, which will forever strengthen health care in this region and provide a significant economic boom to our community, requires and deserves the full time, focused attention of an experienced senior leader.” Scholefield became chief operating officer of MVHS after the affiliation of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center, where he had been serving as COO. A graduate of the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing, he served as a nurse and later as the chief nursing officer at SEMC. “As a native of this region, Bob’s knowledge of the community, the regulatory environment and the civic organizations of Utica and Oneida County are integral to the progress on the new medical center,” said Stromstad. A national search for a chief operating officer for MVHS will commence immediately.

MVHS physicians add office hours Julie Perlanski is now seeing patients of all ages at the Mohawk Valley Health System Town of Webb Medical Office in Old Forge from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, including walk-in patients. She will also have some office hours during the summer. Perlanski Rhea Ivins is also seeing patients at the same location on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday afternoons. — Perlanski is a family medicine physician who also regularly practices through the MVHS Medical Group’s Little Falls Medical Office. Page 18

tion and directions at the reception desks, keeping families in the waiting rooms updated on their loved ones, providing customer and sales service in the gift shops and assisting patients in medical units such as outpatient infusion and the emergency department. “I am inspired every day by our volunteers,” said Delta Rubsamen, director of volunteer services at MVHS. For more information, visit mvhealthsystem.org/volunteer.

Heart Association fills key positions

Special notes of thanks mark Doctor’s Day at Community Memorial Community Memorial and its five family health centers celebrated National Doctors’ Day on March 30. This day honors physicians for the work they do for their patients, the communities they work in and for society as a whole. The celebration was marked with freshly baked cookies and more than 60 special notes of thanks from area patients to their physicians. Above from left, Dr. Robert Delorme and Dr. Raymond Carlson at the Hamilton Family Health Center accept their thank you notes and gifts from patients. “These thank you notes were a surprise and extra meaningful on difficult days. This is a friendly reminder of how we impact patients,” mentioned Dr. Nathan Keever at Community Memorial. She earned her medical degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and her Master of Science degree in pharmacology from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She completed a fellowship in integrative medicine under Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. Perlanski is also a graduate of the Institute for Functional Medicine and is a certified practitioner. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry with honors from McMaster University. She is board-certified in integrative, holistic medicine. She sees patients from newborn to geriatric and maintains a focus on the body’s ability for creating health and self-healing. — Ivins earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa. She completed an internship and residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in adoIvins lescent medicine at Schneider Children’s Hospital, Long Island Jewish Hospital in New Hyde Park. Ivins completed her Master of Science degree in biology at Long Is-

land University in Greenvale and her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

MVHS celebrates National Volunteer Week During National Volunteer Week, Mohawk Valley Health System celebrated its more than 270 volunteers from April 7-13. MVHS volunteers donated 25,000 hours of their time and talent in 2018 to help MVHS patients, residents, families, employees and medical staff. A breakfast was held to honor volunteers and their contributions to the organization. “Being a Gentile volunteer at MVHS brings me so much satisfaction,” said John Gentile, an MVHS volunteer. “In my three and a half years at MVHS, I’m proud to say that I’ve enjoyed every minute. I like to help people and keep busy.” MVHS has openings for volunteers to assist in several departments. The assignments and work are flexible. Tasks that MVHS volunteers assist with are providing informa-

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

The American Heart Association recently welcomed two new members to its Mohawk Valley team. Christine Kisiel has been named executive director. Kisiel has more than 20 years of experience cultivating successful relationships and leading a team of professionals through a constantly changing environment. Kisiel comes to the AHA from Utica College, where she served most recently as the executive director of parent and athletic engagement. In her role as executive director at the AHA, Kisiel Kisiel will be working with the local American Heart Association Board of Directors, volunteers and sponsors to further the AHA’s mission as a force for a world of longer, healthier lives. Kisiel lives in New Hartford with her family and enjoys participating in local triathlons and races. Pamela Mustee is joining the AHA as a development director. Mustee will work with local companies, volunteers and individual donors on programs and events including AmeriMustee ca’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk. She is an accomplished public relations and development professional with 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Mustee also lives in New Hartford with her family. She sits on the board of directors for the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce and holds an executive seat as membership council chairwoman. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Utica, assists on the marketing and alumni committee for Leadership Mohawk Valley and serves as a class representative for the group.

Continued on Page 19 Story idea? Call 315-749-7070

Health News Continued from Page 18

Organizations team up to modernize elevator The Mohawk Homestead and The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties recently partnered to make an impact in the community that will expand opportunities for individuals to live independently in a local adult care facility. The $25,000 investment from The Community Foundation will help Mohawk Homestead to modernize its elevator. As a result, the homestead will be able to maximize occupancy on the second floor of Marshall House and East Wing. The completion of this project is crucial to the facility remaining solvent for years to come. “Without the help of The Community Foundation, it would have been difficult for this vital project to be completed in a timely manner,” said Joe Franco, administrator of the Mohawk Homestead. “As a facility that cares for older adults, many of whom are unable to use stairs, having an operational elevator is essential and will allow for all spaces in the historic building to be utilized,” said Jan Squadrito, senior community investment manager at The Community Foundation. For tours or more information on The Mohawk Homestead, call 315866-1841, ext. 306. For information about The Community Foundation, visit www.foundationhoc.org or call 315-735-8212.

RMH names RelationshipBased Care director

VHS recognizes top-flight employee

Amy Carissimo-Harris has been named director of relationship-based care at Rome Memorial Hospital. Carissimo-Harris has spent 20 of her 25 years of nursing experience at RMH, including 15 in the intensive care unit and the past four as director of infection prevention. “Amy is a Carissimo-Harris natural leader with a proven track record of success leading our infection prevention department,” said David Lundquist, president-chief executive officer. RBC is an operational blueprint for improving patient experience, safety, quality, employee relations and financial performance. “I am proud to lead relationship based care at Rome Memorial Hospital because I know from experience that this is an organization which leaves no stone unturned when it comes to providing the best possible patient experience,” Carissimo-Harris said. Carissimo-Harris started her career in nursing as a nursing assistant in 1992 and earned her nursing degree from St. Elizabeth College of Nursing in 1994. She then went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in biology from Utica College.

Amanda Smith was recently named Valley Health Services’ employee of the first quarter 2019. Smith joined VHS on Sept. 11, 2003, as a certified nurse assistant. She became a licensed practical nurse in 2010 and is a charge LPN on the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. Smith’s colSmith leagues attribute her success on the job to perseverance, a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility. “She takes her career very seriously, indicating that it is all about the residents,” a VHS spokesperson said. Smith is a graduate of Little Falls High School and the Herkimer BOCES LPN program. She resides in Little Falls with her two daughters — Ariel and Emily.

Health in good

VHS welcomes scholarship applications Herkimer County high school students scheduled to graduate in June are eligible and encouraged to apply for the Valley Health Services scholarship. Applicants must be planning to pursue higher education in a field employable by a nursing home, such

as nursing, accounting, health care administration, social work, dietetics and rehabilitation. Preference will be given to a senior who has worked or completed volunteer work in a nursing home. In order to be eligible for selection, the student must submit an official school transcript showing a grade point average of at least 85 and a typed essay of 500 words or less addressing: — Specific educational plans and goals — Reason for career choice — Pertinent experiences in a nursing home — Volunteer time or employment in a nursing home The essays must be submitted by May 3 to Connie M. Castellano, director of community relations and fund development at Valley Health Services, 690 W. German St., Herkimer, N.Y. 13350.

LFH features new medical director Carlton J. Rule has been selected as the new medical director of Little Falls Hospital, a subsidiary of the Bassett Healthcare Network. Rule is board-certified in family medicine and has been with the Bassett Healthcare Network since 2011. He also serves as medical director at the Bassett Herkimer Health Center. As medical director at LFH, Rule will be responsible for communicating and ensuring compliance with the requirements set forth by

Continued on Page 20



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

RMH hosts 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 profes-

sionals, discuss what they do and see them in action, in addition to participating in interactive activities.” Space is limited to 20 students. 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.

DRIVERS WANTED We’re looking for dependable people to help us distribute copies of In Good Health, Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper, in offices and other high traffic locations in the Utica-Rome-Clinton region. Great for active retirees or at-home moms in need of some extra cash. Work only one or two days a month during office hours (9 to 5). Compensation: $11.10/h plus 30 cents per mile. It amounts to about $150 per distribution.The paper is usually distributed at the beginning of the month. Drivers pick up the papers (in bundles of 100 copies) in North Utica and leave copies at various locations, following a list of places we provide. No heavy lifting. Drivers are required to have a dependable vehicle, be courteous and reliable. We audit all areas of distribution.

Call 315-749-7070 and ask for Nancy for more information.

May 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Health News Continued from Page 19 the New York State Department of Health for the medical staff, compliance with The Joint Commission standards relating to medical staff and medical staff leadership as well as the LFH bylaws, rules and regulations and policies and procedures. Part of his oversight will include serving as a confidant and adviser to all of the physicians within Rule the hospital, as well as focusing on medical staff quality improvement programs, overseeing the medical staff credentialing processes, and attending to other medical and administrative duties as assigned. Rule graduated from Cornell University and New York University Medical School with honors. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice and American Association for Physician Leadership.

Upstate Cerebral Palsy welcomes HR leader Upstate Cerebral Palsy recently welcomed Gail Stedman, senior vice president of human resources, to its team. In her position, Stedman is responsible for all facets of the human resources department. Prior to her role at UCP, Stedman spent several years at Utica National Insurance Group as compensation and benefits manager. Stedman comes to UCP with over 28 years of experience in the human resources field. Stedman She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and is a certified professional by the Society for Human Resource Management, the largest professional society of HR professionals worldwide.

CMH focus on enhancing patient experience Diane Chase, Community Memorial Hospital senior director of clinical services, recently presented “Best Practice Strategies to Enhance the Patient Experience” during the Quality Network Conference. Attendees included health care providers from the Great Lakes Partners for Patients, HIIN (Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin), and Michigan Critical Access Hospital. Community Memorial Hospital earned the only five-star rating in August 2018 for patient satisfaction in New York state from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Page 20

Valley Health Services received the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES 2019 Community Partnership Award during the Herkimer BOCES annual meeting. Celebrating the occasion are, from left, Herkimer BOCES District Superintendent Sandra Sherwood; VHS Administrator Kathy Eisenhut; VHS Director of Nursing Melissa Ippolito, Herkimer BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program Coordinator Sara Nicolette; and Herkimer BOCES Director of Adult, Early Childhood and Outreach Education Mary Kline.

VHS receives community partnership award


alley Health Services in Herkimer was recently awarded Herkimer BOCES’ 2019 Community Partnership Award during the Herkimer BOCES annual meeting. VHS and Herkimer BOCES have had a strong partnership for over 20 years, collaborating on the academic and hands-on educational components for BOCES’ health

based on results from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey covering patient discharges from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017. HCAHPS is a standardized survey of patients (post-discharge) and their perspectives on the care they received during their recent hospital stay. Since the inception of HCAHPS, Community MemoChase rial has taken deliberate and system-wide actions to enhance the experience for patients. “One key action was taking the experience back to where it all starts, the patients, and their family members,” mentioned Chase. As a result, a patient advisory council formed to put patients and their family members at the center of care, giving them a voice in the decisions that affect how they receive care.

science careers program for high school juniors and seniors as well as the Herkimer BOCES adult practical nursing program. BOCES health science careers students do their clinical experience at VHS in the fall as seniors and in the spring as juniors. They complete more than 100 hours, working with residents and helping with feeding, ambulation

and personal care — such as dressing and bathing. The students get hands-on experience and are able to practice the skills they need for their certification exam. “The clinical visits allow students to do basic nursing care, which is where everyone starts,” says Kathy Eisenhut, VHS administrator.

Consisting of current and past patients and staff members, PAC meets every other month to offer and discuss ideas and suggestions that have the potential for enhancing the level of care provided by Community Memorial Hospital and Family Health Center patients. Projects addressed by the council were discharge folders, side effects of medications, quiet hour, fall prevention, and hourly rounds. “Input from this group has made a significant impact on how we pro-

vide care to our patients. The members of this council are an invaluable resource,” added Chase. While Chase presented this information to the Midwest coalition, she has worked with fellow colleagues across the state at conferences including the New York Patient Family Partnership-Critical Access Hospital Coalition in Troy. To find out more information about Community Memorial’s Patient Advisory Council, contact Chase at 315-824-6572 or email dchase@cmhhamilton.com.

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

Don’t miss the June edition of In Good Health Special issue highlighting men’s health, diabetes, summer safety, health careers and much more

Dental Health

Richard M. Cherpak, M.D. Richard M. Cherpak, M.D. Richard M. Cherpak, M.D. Garth J. Garramone, D.O., F.A.C.P. Garth Garramone, D.O., F.A.C.P. Dr J.Stanley Weiselberg GarthBrett J. Garramone, F.A.C.P Brett R. Gandhi, Gandhi,D.O., M.D. R. M.D. Smile with Dr. Suy Dr Norman Neslin Norman R. Neslin, M.D. Defining Dentistry: Brett R. Gandhi, M.D. Dr Robert Pavelock Norman Neslin, M.D. Robert R.R.Pavelock, M.D. What is dental fluoride? Norman R.F. Sklar, Neslin, M.D. Bradley M.D. Dr Bradley Sklar Robert R. Pavelock, M.D. Stanley P. Weiselberg, M.D. Dr Richard Cherpak Robert R. Pavelock, M.D. H 116 Business Park Drive, Bradley F. Sklar, M.D. Dr Harvey Allen Utica,F.NYSklar, 13502M.D. Bradley p. 315 -624-7070 | f. 315-316-0367 Dr info@mveccny.com Emil MiskovskyM.D. Stanley P. Weiselberg, Stanley P. Weiselberg, M.D. By Dr. Salina Suy

Editor’s note: This is another segment in a continuing series titled, “Defining Dentistry,” designed to enlighten readers on various components of dentistry. appy May everyone! May means that summer is near, and I am summer

ready! I just love the sun and being outside. What is your favorite summer activity? May also means it’s my sister Sandra and fiancé Albert’s birthdays! Fluoride is a natural occurring mineral that is found in many foods and water. Fluoride helps prevent tooth deSuy cay by making the teeth more resistant to acid attacks and it can help reverse early tooth decay as it disrupts acid production. Throughout every single day, minerals are added to and lost from the enamel layer of the tooth. This process is called demineralization and re-mineralization. This is due to the changing acid levels of our saliva, plaque accumulations and present bacteria. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are re-deposited back onto the enamel surface from foods and water we eat. If more is shedding off than is being put back on, then tooth decay occurs. Fluoride helps us systemically and topically. — Systemically: In patients 6

years of age and under, fluoride is incorporated into the development of adult teeth, making the adult teeth stronger against acid. Systemic fluoride can be found in water, foods and supplements as prescribed by your dentist or physician. — Topically: We can use dental fluoride! Dental fluoride is fluoride that is incorporated into dental products to provide benefits to patients. They are in products such as fluoride varnish, toothpaste, mouthwash and even some whitening gels. You can get dental fluoride through over-thecounter products and at the dental office. The fluoride offered at the dental office is usually a higher concentration than the daily denitrifies, and it can be used throughout your lifetime. Every day is an opportunity to UT-000595577 provide your teeth with fluoride. It only takes 24 hours for cavities to start to form from demineralization by acid. Remember; brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse! I hope this column has helped shed some light on the different forms of fluoride. As always, thank you for joining me in this month’s education series and hopefully we will learn more together next month. 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! Until next time, “Smile PROOF with Dr.O.K. Suy.”BY:___________________________


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

O.K. WITH CORRECTIONS BY:________________________


• Dr. Salina Suy is a health and wellness advocate and general UT-000595577 (100%) dentist in Utica. Want to learn more? ADVERTISER: MOHAWK VALLEY Visit Facebook @smilewithdrsuy orENDOSCOPY PROOF CREATED AT: 2/22/2017 9:24:00 AM UT-000595577 www.smilewithdrsuy.com. SALES PERSON: UT6021 NEXT RUN DATE: 02/26/17 SIZE: 5.389X10.125 PUBLICATION: UT-SS2

May 2019 •

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

Page 21

Gift brings Roswell Park, OHC closer to goal


oswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Oneida Healthcare announced they have received a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor to their joint capital campaign. Along with other donations, the gift will assist in the completion of a three-phase project that will provide expanded access to Roswell Park’s National Cancer Institute-level cancer care to residents of Central New York. As the first phase of the campaign, Oneida Healthcare and Roswell Park opened a new infusion center in Madison County in the fall of 2017, as part of a medical oncology affiliation with Roswell Park. The center includes 12 infusion suites, four clinical exam rooms, a telemedicine conference center, and a consultation room. In June of this year, the second phase, the Dorothy G. Griffin Radiation Oncology Center, will be completed as a joint effort between the two health care providers. The final phase will be the expansion of Oneida Healthcare’s imaging services with the installation of a new state-of-the-art 3 Tesla MRI, PET/ CT and a second 3D mammography unit at the Alice M. Gorman Imaging Center. All three services will be conveniently located on the Oneida Healthcare campus. “The support of our generous donors continues to play a vital role in providing access to the highest quality of care, close to home,” said Gene Morreale, president and CEO of Oneida Healthcare. “With the continued growth of our oncology program and the expansion of our outpatient imaging services, we will be able to provide patients with stateof-the-art diagnostics, local access to NCI cancer care guidelines, and to the latest treatment options from a comprehensive cancer center ranked among the top 3 percent nationwide. Without our generous donors, this would not be possible.” The anonymous donation follows a $250,000 gift made to the campaign by Community Bank N.A. and Oneida Savings Bank Charitable Foundation in late 2018. The gift, to be given across five years, will help cover renovations, construction and leading-edge technology in the new facilities. Community Bank N.A. will gift $100,000 while the Oneida Savings Bank Charitable Foundation is contributing $150,000. Together with the gift from the banks, other philanthropic contributions and a $6.75 million grant awarded by the New York State Department of Health in 2016, this gift brings the total raised for the campaign to more than $10 million of the $12 million goal for the threephase project. Individual gifts to support this project can be made online at give. roswellpark.org or by calling Roswell Park at 716-845-1338. Page 22


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. Q.: How many years have you been practicing dentistry? A.: I graduated from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2004, and have been in practice for 15 years now. Q.: Your father, John Zalatan DMD, 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 becoming a dentist. Actually, I never really wanted to be a dentist at first. I’ve always enjoyed building and constructing things so I thought about becoming an engineer or architect. Eventually, that changed after exploring those options and talking with people in those professions. I then saw my father happy with a great family practice as his own boss, and he was able to construct things, be creative and also help people. All these aspects made me decide to pursue dentistry. Dentistry is unique in the medical profession in that you can set up your own hours, and you are not required to be part of these massive medical groups to function, unlike what the physicians have fallen into over the years. Dentistry as it turned out was a really good choice for me and I’m happy to have become part of this profession. 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. Our office has a tremendous amount of technology that makes all aspects of dentistry exciting. Some of the more unique procedures I do, for example, involve working on patients that have sleep apnea. It’s rewarding to provide this life-changing treatment. In fact, I myself have sleep apnea, and that sparked my interest in helping others with it. I also love facial aesthetics and pain management through the use of Botox. I have been doing that since 2009 and have a large following for it as well.

elements used in the past. We have the use of computers now, providing us with high-resolution digital X-ray imaging, as well as 3-D CT scans that assist in an excellent ability to diagnose and treat dental disease earlier and faster then ever before. Computer-aided 3-D printing and milling has revolutionized dentistry. It has allowed us to shorten appointments like delivering a crown the same day versus the two or three appointments needed in the past. Q.: Many people have a fear of going to the dentist. How do you and your staff work with patients that are very anxious?

Q.: 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.: The quality of care has dramatically improved over the years. Advanced technology directly affects quality patient care and experience. We’ve seen advancements in dental materials being more biocompatible, and have fully eliminated the toxic

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

A.: I am sedation certified, so I am licensed to administer conscious sedation. If you came in with a high 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. We establish a human connection, and our 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, inviting environment. Also, we always make sure patients are comfortable by providing free consultations. Patients have a chance to come in and meet us, and check out the office and staff. This greatly reduces anxiety. 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 new advancements in the industry, including new developments in Europe such as sending electrical charges across the teeth in combination with minerals to re-mineralize them. The process brings an unhealthy tooth back to its original healthy state without drilling a cavity to put a foreign material in its place. The use of stem cells to possibly repair and grow teeth will continue to develop and progress toward eventually becoming a reality.

Lifelines Birth date: 1978 Birthplace: Utica Current residence: Utica Education: Doctor of Dental Surgery, University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine (2004) Affiliations: Academy of General Dentistry; American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry; American Academy of Facial Esthetics; American Sleep and Breathing Academy Hobbies: Skiing, scuba diving, mountain biking, and construction-design consulting



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 8 This program will meet from 5-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday for three consecutive weeks. Freshstart is designed to help smokers plan a successful quit attempt by providing essential information, skills for coping with cravings, and group support. For more information or to register for this program, call Elyse Enea, Herkimer County HealthNet program coordinator, at 315-867-1552, email eenea@herkimercounty.org or register online at www.healthnetinc. org.

May 9

Laryngectomy support group to meet The Laryngectomy Support Group will hold its monthly meeting at noon May 9 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. The public is welcome to attend. Those with questions can call the speech therapy department at 315801-4475.

May 9

RMH honors cancer patients, survivors Rome Memorial Hospital Radiation Medicine and radiation oncologist Michael Fallon invite cancer patients and survivors to the annual Survivors’ Breakfast on May 18 in RMH’s cafeteria, 1500 N. James St. “Our cancer patients and survivors are extraordinary examples of hope, courage and strength,” said Amy Weakley, radiation therapist and certified medical dosimetrist at RMH Radiation Medicine. Each survivor or patient is encouraged to bring one guest. Breakfast will be served from 8-11 a.m. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required. Contact Weakley at 315-338-0897 before 4 p.m. May 9. Guests are encouraged to park in the Bartlett Wing lot, with easy access from East Oak Street. There will be signs to the cafeteria. This annual breakfast is an opportunity for area cancer patients and survivors to gather before the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life. The Rome Relay will be held June 1-2 at the NYS School for the Deaf. The Survivors’ Lap takes place at noon June 1. Survivors are encouraged to pre-register for the Relay for Life Opening Survivors’ Lap at the break-

fast, online at www.relayforlife.org, or by calling 1-800-227-2345. RMH is a sponsor of the ACS’s Relay for Life.

May 10

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. The group meets 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. The next meetings will be on May 10 and May 23. 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.

May 13

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. May 13. 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.

May 13

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. May 13 at Rome Memorial Hospital’s second-floor classroom. The group meets on the second Monday of every month. RMH is located at 1500 N. James St., Rome. For more information, call Deb Dunn at 315-533-6467 or email

Story idea? Call 315-749-7070


May 15

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 May 15. 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.

May 17

VolunTeens program offers service opportunity A summer volunteer program at Rome Memorial Hospital will provide youths aged 15 to 20 an opportunity to earn hours toward their high school community service requirements or gain insight into the health care field. Those accepted into the VolunTeens program will become a valuable asset to the hospital, its patients and visitors and experience a variety of activities in a hospital setting. Applications are available online by going to the hospital’s website at www.romehospital.org and clicking on volunteers. Deadline for submitting an application is May 17. The VolunTeens program will require participants to volunteer at the hospital four hours each week during eight weeks of summer vacation, from June 24 through Aug. 16, for a total of 32 volunteer hours. The fourhour shifts may be in the morning or afternoon weekdays. For more information, contact education-volunteer coordinator Sue LoGiudice at 315-338-7143 or Julie Chrysler, director of education-volunteers-employee health at 315-3387134.

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. All are welcome to attend regardless of feeding choice. International board-certified lactation specialist Amanda Huey N, IBCLC will lead the free class. Classes will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays on 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.

May 2019 •

May 18

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: — 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.

May 18

Mohawk Homestead to hold barbecue The Mohawk Homestead, 62 E. Main St., Mohawk, will feature a chicken barbecue at 4:30 p.m. May 18 until all dinners are sold. It is recommended but not required that the public purchase advanced sale tickets. Tickets are available for $10 each by calling The Mohawk Homestead at 315-866-1841 or stopping at The Mohawk Homestead. A dessert is also included with a half-chicken, salt potatoes, coleslaw and roll. Take-out meals may be picked up starting at 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot of The Mohawk Homestead. The barbecue is a fundraiser to benefit residents at the nonprofit home. For more information, contact Joe Franco, administrator, at 315-8661841 or email jfranco@mohawkhomestead.com.

May 20

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. May 20 in the second floor classroom at Rome Memorial Hospital. The group meets the third Monday of each month and is free and open to everyone. Offered by the hospital’s Community Recovery Center, the support group provides an opportunity to discuss issues with others who are in the same situation. Certified by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Community Recovery Center, 264 W. Dominick St., Rome, offers alcohol and substance abuse treatment for adolescents and adults. Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, the center participates with most major insurance programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. A sliding scale fee is available for self-pay clients. For more information about the support group or the Community Recovery Center, call 334-4701.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 23

For all the ways you make a big difference: thank you. You are the front line. You’re there when you’re needed most, paying attention to the small details. You solve problems and take time to be kindhearted. You understand and show genuine empathy and care. You work hard because it’s hard work, yet you do it with grace. You’re a nurse, and patients’ lives are better because of you. At Nascentia, we’re especially proud of our 178 nurses (and growing), who give their all for their patients and our mission. In celebration of National Nurses Week, we say “thank you” for your compassion and dedication.


888.477.HOME Page 24

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