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in good

Meet Your Doctor

Surviving Cancer

July 2017 • Issue 137

Leonardo M. Copertino

General surgeon on board at Mohawk Valley Health System.


Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Mohawk Valley stands up to cancer

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‘Deadliest Days’

AAA says more teens die in crashes between Memorial Day and Labor Day than in any other time of the year

Women’s Health Special Edition


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Problem gambling Disorder can be totally destructive Page 9

Jealousy: The Green Monster

Jealousy can poison a relationship quicker than anything else. See Page 6


Ginger can enhance calorie burn and reduce feelings of hunger. Studies have linked ginger to positive changes in cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and liver health. See SmartBites, Page 10

Dr. Martin Morell recently wrote a groundbreaking book on fibromyalgia. Page 14

Skin Care

Progress continues on new MVHS hospital in Utica

Aesthetics and modesty aside, what health benefits do bras provide, if any? We interviewed several experts.

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July 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Home and Hospital Medical Supplies

Newly renovated space for all your medical and special footwear needs Home and Hospital Medical Supplies New Hartford Shopping Center




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

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

Now approved for chronic pain

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.

Wednesdays/Thursdays Medical Marijuana now approved for chronic pain

Overeaters Anonymous plans meetings Overeaters Anonymous meets from 5:30-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday in Room 101 (first floor) at Rome Memorial Hospital, 1500 James St., Rome.

It also meets from 7-8 p.m. every Thursday at Oneida Baptist Church, 242 Main St., Oneida. Participants are asked to use the rear door. There are no dues, fees, weighins or diets. For more information, call OA at 315-468-1588 or visit

July 6

Parents bond to battle addiction A support group — Parents of Addicted Loved Ones — meets from 7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of every month at the Canajoharie Fire House, 75 Erie Boulevard, Canajoharie. The next meetings are July 6 and July 20. The support group is for parents with a son or daughter who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. PAL is a nonprofit organization run by a volunteer board of parents. For more information, visit www. or call PAL at 480-3004712.

July 13

Laryngectomy support group to meet The Laryngectomy Support Group will hold its monthly meeting at noon July 13 in the Sister Regina Conference Room on the first floor of the St. Elizabeth Medical Center

Continued on Page 12

Community Information Seminar:

Celebrating 10 years of practice Cathryn J. Barns RN MS FNP ANP-C

Specializing in diseases of the skin, including acne, warts, moles, skin cancer, rashes, psoriasis, eczema, skin infections, sun damages, hair and nail disease

1 Notre Dame Lane Utica, NY 13502

315-733-7913 We continue to be located next to Notre Dame High School Provider Cathryn J. Barns, ANP-C, FNP

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

Bariatric Surgery July 12, 2017 • 6:00 p.m. Presented by

January Hill, MD Utica Business Park 125 Business Park Drive, Suite 150, Utica, NY The offices of William A. Graber, MD, PC

To register call 315-235-2540 or toll free 877-269-0355

Momentum builds for new MVHS hospital

Planning, design phases under way; opponents continue to be vocal Staff reports


cott Perra’s bucket list might be getting a little more manageable now. The president-CEO of the Mohawk Valley Health System is checking off milestones and sounding more optimistic about the possibility of seeing a new hospital in downtown Utica rise before the end of this decade. On a day when the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce officially announced its support for Perra the project, Perra couldn’t help but smile as he thanked the Mohawk Valley’s business and civic leaders for continuing to have faith in his vision. “The resolution was certainly good news,” Perra said. “A lot of people are coming out and endorsing us now that we have the $300 million

grant, but it’s been a 2-1/2 year journey.” In addition, MVHS and the project team have started the first phase of the design process to build the new regional health care campus. “We still have many more steps in the process including the environmental impact study for the proposed area,” Perra said. When Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced passage of the fiscal year 2018 state budget extender, which funds all government operations through May 31, it included a $300 million grant from the Department of Health to MVHS to create an integrated health care delivery system in Oneida County. In the coming months, MVHS and the project team will be working on the design of the new health care complex as well as finalizing their certificate of need application to the NYSDOH. MVHS expects to submit its application by November. MVHS has hired an urban planning company, NBBJ, whose

Members of the No Downtown Hospital committee include Brett Truett and Donna Beckett, shown here at #NoDowntownHospital headquarters at 10-12 Liberty St., downtown Utica. They planned a multi-day event called “Battle For Our City” beginning on June 26. responsibilities include meeting with workgroups from the various departments within the health care system, as well as a forming a committee that will gather and consider community input during the design and construction phases. Jonathan Wilch, principal at NBBJ, said his company would be meeting with MVHS employees and medical staff who will be working in the new facility. “This helps to ensure it functions in a way that allows them

to provide the best care possible to their patients,” he said. NBBJ representatives will also meet with community members to get their input into how the new hospital can best be integrated into the downtown Utica revitalization plan, he added. Most of the officials who have supported the project from its start

Continued on Page 10 Continued on Page 18

July 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Your Doctor

By Barbara Pierce

Dr. Leonard M. Copertino

Leonard M. Copertino has joined the Mohawk Valley Health System Surgical Group with privileges at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica. He has an interest in a broad range of general surgery procedures and is board-certified in general surgery. Q.: As a general surgeon, you perform many different types of surgeries. This requires that you have expertise in a broad spectrum of diseases and conditions. You also must have the ability to make immediate, complex decisions. How did you gain this expertise and these abilities? A.: To become a general surgeon, my expertise comes from five years as a resident in general surgery. The first portion of my residency was performed at the University of Connecticut and its affiliated hospitals. After two years, I transferred to SUNY Stony Brook to complete my training. Also, prior to coming to MVHS, I was an attending physician in general surgery at Northport Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Northport. Q.: What types of surgery do you do? A.: I do what is called “bread and butter” surgery. This refers to the most common general surgical procedures, such as cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), appendectomy, hernia repair, soft tissue lumps and bumps, and general intestinal surgery. Q.: You describe your practice as “institutionally based.” What does that mean? A.: My experience working as a physician is based upon being hired to provide surgical services within the hospital that employs me. Q.: Do you specialize in proctology and endoscopy procedures? (Note: Proctology procedures deal with disorders of the rectum, anus, and colon. Upper endoscopy deals with the upper gastro-intestinal tract; colonoscopy with the large intestine, colon and rectum.) A.: I had training in these procedures through my residency. Also, I had much experience with these procedures as they made up a moderate percentage of my practice at my prior position. A large number of my previous patients had never undergone colonoscopy. I was able to provide that service for them, as well as management of more common ano-rectal disorders such as hemorrhoids and fissures. Q.: We all dread having a colonoscopy. (Guidelines say that at age 50, everyone should consider having a screening test for colon cancer, and then as needed, with no longer than 10 years between procedures.) When and why should we consider having one? A.: Colon cancer is one of the three most common cancers in this country. It is one of the most lethal cancers. However, if colon cancer is diagnosed in its early stage, the fivePage 4

last 10 years with gentler medication regimens. Q.: What is most challenging about being a general surgeon? A.: The hardest part of being a general surgeon, I think, lies in the inherent mortality of humanity. The technical aspects of surgery are tricky, but usually surmountable. But when we lose a patient, despite doing our utmost, that’s the hardest part. To cope with the fact that, despite how far we’ve come with modern medicine, for some things we simply don’t have a cure. Q.: What accomplishment in your career as a surgeon are you most proud of? A.: I’m still a relatively young surgeon, with a long career ahead of me. But I think what I am most proud of to date is some of the education I was able to offer to those following behind me while still in training. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of medical students and junior residents, and being able to help them along the path is very gratifying. Q.: What is most gratifying about being a general surgeon? A.: The satisfaction that I gain and the sense of personal accomplishment after a procedure well done is the best part about being a surgeon. It’s not uncommon to leave the hospital with the knowledge that I, personally, saved a human life that would have otherwise ended that day. To be able to perform something like that, and the appreciation and joy of the patient and his family, is truly an awesome feeling.


year survival rate (a common benchmark for cancer studies) is 90 percent or greater. If it’s diagnosed in later stages, that survival rate can drop dramatically — as low as 10 percent. Clearly, diagnosing and treating colon cancer early is a huge benefit. To that end, every person should have screening colonoscopies starting at the age of 50 at the latest. If you have a family history of colon cancer or certain other risk factors, then it may behoove you to undergo screen-

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

ing earlier than that. Q.: Can you say anything to make it more palatable so that we don’t avoid it? A.: As for everyone’s fear of colonoscopy itself, the procedure is virtually painless. With the aid of anesthesia, patients will be unaware they are even having the procedure. The bowel preparation is the aspect of colonoscopy that most patients are the least comfortable with, but even that has improved over the

Birth year: 1980 Birthplace: New Britain, Conn. Current residence: New Hartford Education: Doctor of Medicine degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies; bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. Affiliations: Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare Personal: Single Hobbies: Diehard skier/snowboarder every winter (I love snow), avid golfer and fly fisherman. I am attempting to be a semi-competent photographer, particularly of waterfalls and sunsets. I love to read science fiction and fantasy, huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien (“The Lord of the Rings”) and Jim Butcher (“The Dresden Files”).

Women’s HEALTH

Sweet Survival

Cancer survivors celebrate willingness to battle disease By Patricia J. Malin


odi Deep’s battle with cancer is no secret. She soundly vanquished her foe and she wants to shout it out to the rest of the world. The back window of her SUV, for example, carries the slogan: “Cancer, you picked the wrong bitch!” Deep, 52, of Marcy, was among the nearly 500 people who celebrated their good fortune at the 29th annual National Cancer Survivors Day breakfast recently at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro. The local woman has lived six happy years since her breast cancer was diagnosed and treated at the Faxton campus of Mohawk Valley Health System in Utica. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said, referring to her mastectomy and radiation treatments. “It brought me a different life, a goodness of life, especially the caregivers I met through this process.” She has become a strong advocate of mammograms, calling them a lifesaver. “It (cancer) was detected in advance. If I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t be here today.” When she reached the entrance to Hart’s Hill, she purchased a batch of raffle tickets from her friend Nicole Cocomazzi, who works at St. Luke’s Hospital. Proceeds from the raffles are donated to MVHS’s Cancer Center at Faxton, which sponsored cancer survivors day locally and provided free breakfast to survivors. The day provides an opportunity for all people living with a history of cancer — including America’s more than 14 million cancer survivors — to connect with each other, celebrate milestones and recognize their families and supporters. The event is held every year on the first Sunday in June. “Cancer is no longer a death sentence,” said Nancy Butcher, executive director of cancer services at MVHS, as she welcomed the guests, one of whom has survived cancer for 55 years. Another sterling example is Harold Coe. He will celebrate his


79th birthday in September, a good 10 years after his lung cancer diagnosis. As he enjoyed breakfast with his daughter, Laurie Dougherty, he recalled his struggle to deal with the disease. “I remember sitting in the doctor’s office and hearing him say, ‘You have cancer.’ I went home and sat in the back yard and cried. Then I got up and walked around. I saw the birds and the trees and I decided, ‘I’m going to fight this’.”

‘There’s always tomorrow’


Health MV’s Healthcare Newspaper

Jodi Deep, right, joins her friend Nicole Cocomazzi while buying raffle tickets at the cancer survivors breakfast at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro recently.



A monthly newspaper published by Local News, Inc. 20,000 copies distributed. To request home delivery ($15 per year), call 315-749-7070.

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2017 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: 4 Riverside Drive, Suite 251, Utica, NY 13502 • Phone: 315-749-7070 Email:

Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Contributing Writers: Patricia Malin, Barbara Pierce, Kristen Raab, Deb Dittner, Amylynn Pastorella, Pauline DiGiorgio Advertising: Amy Gagliano Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas Office Assistant: Kimberley Tyler

Dougherty said her father had an operation in 2006 to remove part of his lower lobe and faithfully underwent chemo every month. “I proved there’s life beyond cancer,” Coe added, “thanks to the doctors, my family and almighty God. Never give up; there’s always tomorrow.” One of the highlights of the cancer survivors breakfast was selecting winners of the raffles, especially the 50/50. Butcher announced the winners one by one and added humorous commentary each time. As she prepared to draw the winner of the manicure/pedicure services from a local salon, she told the crowd: “I guarantee this will go to a man.” She was right as she happened to draw Coe’s name. For the piece de resistance, Butcher drew names for the 50/50, which was split several ways: to MVHS’s Cancer Center, a couple of individuals, plus nearly $800 to a local nonprofit. This year, MVHS selected the 315K For the Cure Inc.,

which fights pediatric cancer. One of the founders of Utica-based 315K, Colin LaReaux, spoke to the breakfast guests and told them about his own battle with cancer when he was a young teen. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease when he was 13. For six months, he endured chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse. He remains cancer free today. In 2013, LaReaux started 315K For the Cure along with a fellow cancer survivor, Brooke Hoffman of Utica. She is also a Hodgkin’s disease survivor, dating back to 2003 while she was a college student at SUNY Oneonta. She was treated at University Physicians in Oneida, a satellite office of University Hospital in Syracuse. Now she is the vice president of 315K and has resumed her commitment to competitive running. She is a volunteer coach for the Cancer to 5K program in which she trains cancer survivors who are interested in completing their first race after sickness. LaReaux said he remembered the anxiety and the boredom he experienced as a patient. It prompted him to establish an organization like 315K that can help today’s generation of young cancer patients. Through such unique fundraisers as No Shave November and Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day in September, 315K is able to buy video games or event tickets to distribute to pediatric patients, said LaReaux, an attorney and CrossFit coach. “It’s not about raising funds as much as it’s about helping kids,” LaReaux said. “We make most of our donations to Golisano Children’s Hospital, giving kids tickets to entertainment or sporting events, movies and books. We want to help kids who are being treated. There are so many people who want to give back. As much as cancer is a terrifying disease for a child, you have thousands of people who want to help.” In the last three years, 315K raised $40,000, he noted. For details on upcoming events, go to About a week after the cancer survivors breakfast, the MVHS Cancer Center announced that it had received $500 in proceeds from a recent concert at the Stanley Performing Arts Center in downtown Utica. The concert was held recently and featured Orleans with special guest the Todd Hobin Band.

Advertise with the pros! Call 315-749-7070 today!

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.

July 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Women’s HEALTH Between You and Me

By Barbara Pierce

The Green Monster Jealousy can literally shred relationships

I’m can’t stop thinking that my boyfriend is cheating on me,” wrote Emily, asking me for my opinion. “I can’t stop myself — but I think I’m pushing him away because of it.” Yes, Emily, you are pushing him away by your obsession. And I know just what you’re talking about; I’ve been there myself. And it’s an ugly place to be. The best thing about being in a Pierce committed, longterm relationship is not going through the agony of beginnings. That’s one thing I’ve learned. I’ve gone through it — more than once. I was very unsure of myself, and worried that he might leave me, and I think sometimes that is what

caused him to leave me. Because when we’re jealous, it shows how insecure we are. And that’s not a good quality to have. It’s a really bad quality. Men like women who are confident and are generally secure in themselves. If you show signs of jealousy (such as freaking out if he wants a boys’ night out or he looks at another woman too long), men pick up on this incredibly quickly. And, if you accuse him of being attracted to another woman, or cheating on you with someone, you might just be putting the idea in his head. Or, he could think: “She thinks I’m cheating on her, so I might as well do it.” You get what you think about, whether you want it or not. You draw to yourself the essence of what you think about. If you think about things you want, they will come to you. In the same way, if you think about the things you don’t want, they will come to you.

What if you could choose?

5 Days or 45 Days

A hot, sexy friend of mine fell madly in love with a man much younger. Though the age difference concerned her, she married him anyway. They were happy together, except for one thing. She was terrified that he would leave her for a younger woman. She worried about this every day. She’d say “Oh … he works with all these beautiful young girls. I’m sure he will fall for one of them and leave me.” You can probably guess what happened. He came home one day to tell her he was leaving for someone his age. I don’t think he would have left her if that had not already been her reality — if she hadn’t sent those thoughts out to him and to the universe.

Powerful stuff

What I’ve learned over the years is that, as a woman, we have all the power over the man. You have to believe that. You must have the attitude that you don’t care; you don’t care if he leaves you; you don’t care if he cheats on you — because you’ll be just fine without him. That is having power. That attitude gives you all the power. He’ll want you more if he thinks you may not want him. Human beings are hard wired to want what they can’t have. If he thinks he can’t have you, or he thinks you don’t care if you break up with him, he will want you more.

“We pursue that which retreats from us,” someone said, and I believe that. The man wants the girl who is hard to get, not the girl who is so desperate to keep him. I learned this the hard way. I recommend that you talk yourself into this way of thinking. Say to yourself, every day, “I deserve his love. He’s lucky to have me. He won’t cheat on me because I am the only one he wants.” Keep saying that to yourself even if you don’t believe it. There’s a big difference between pursuing a man and showing you’re interested. When you start pursuing him, he instinctively stops pursuing you. And if he stops pursuing you, he won’t feel like he’s invested in the relationship; if he doesn’t feel invested in your relationship, he will never commit to you. Instead, learn how to show him you’re interested and give him some space to come in and pursue you. This makes him feel like he’s an important part of the relationship. This is what he needs to continue feeling attracted to you and eventually commit. • 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

Fibromyalgia – Unification Theory; Connecting the Dots.

New book release from Rheumatologist

Martin Morell, MD Find an up to date guide to this misunderstood, difficult to diagnose disease Books

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

Women’s HEALTH Face to face

Your face — it’s all about the skin By Barbara Pierce

‘How do I look?’ That’s what most of us ask ourselves when we look in the mirror. But here’s the thing — it’s really our skin that should be important to us, not how we look,” said skin care adviser Denise Passero of Amsterdam. “The part of our body that we take the most for granted is our skin. But it’s really important to take good care of our skin,” she said. “I’ve been researching skin care for years since I have struggled with problem skin my entire life,” she said. After taking classes on ways to improve the appearance and health of skin using organic and natural products, she became a distributor for Young Living Products — personal care products and therapeutic-grade essential oils. Her business is Mohawk Valley Essential Solutions. “Women pay tons of money to put things on their face. But it’s not just about how you look,” she said. “It’s important to have good health and wellness inside and out.” She said one of the best ways we can take care of our skin is through what we eat.

“If you have a bad diet, everything you eat shows on your face. I can personally attest to that fact. If I go through a few days of eating foods with a high-sugar content, it’ll show up on my face,” she noted. A mother whose teenage son had bad breakouts asked Passero what she could do to help him. “I asked her if he drank a lot of soda, and ate a lot of sugary foods, because that could contribute to his problem skin,” she noted. Passero said if you have problem skin, the first thing to look at is your diet. “Bacteria love sugar and if you tend to eat foods high in sugar or

drink sugary soft drinks and you have problems with your skin, one of the first things to do to improve the health and appearance of your skin is to remove those foods and beverages from your diet. Whatever we put in our bodies ultimately shows up on our skin,” she said. Eat healthy for your skin, Passero stressed. Eat healthy and stay hydrated; that is the first and most important component of a good skin care routine. Stress also can contribute to problems with your skin, said Passero. Some stress is unavoidable and natural. However, our emotions can play a huge role in the health of our skin. Some people tend to break out more when they are stressed out because stress causes the body to produce a hormone called cortisol that causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which can result in acne-prone skin.

Manage that stress

“One way to manage stress is through the use of aromatherapy,” Passero said. “I keep a diffuser in my office at work and use it almost daily to help with focus and to help me keep stress levels at a dull roar.” Passero said ylang ylang has become one of my favorite oils. “This oil has a very calming and uplifting effect for the heart, mind, and spirit. Added to bath salts, it is excellent for a nice, long soak in the tub,” she said. It provides excellent support for the nervous system, she added. “It is a strong, intense essential oil and a

little goes a long way. One drop can provide intense aroma,” she said. To care for our face, Passero recommends we do these four things daily: — First, clean with a cleaning agent to remove makeup, dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt, and excess sebum (oil). — Next, use a toner that helps to remove soap film and traces of other materials that were not removed during cleansing. The type of toner to use depends on whether your skin is oily or dry. — We all need an exfoliant to remove, brighten and refresh skin cells. — Last, we all need some kind of moisturizer to help to retain fluid in the skin by protecting the skin from water loss. Regarding of what products to use, Passero says there are no rules. “You really have to listen to your skin and its needs,” she said. Young Living offers products for each of these steps. Your local drugstore also has products designed to do these things. “It’s important to use quality products,” she cautions. “I’m passionate about Young Living products,” she noted. “They work best for me and my skin. In my research, I learned about the power of essential oils, hydrosols, and herbs to improve the appearance and health of the skin using organic and natural products.” For more information on skin care from Passero, see her website by Googling “Mohawk Valley Essential Solutions.”

If you think something is wrong with this picture, you should see what’s being served up in stores. Tobacco companies spend billions on colorful signs, special discounts and promotions in stores where kids can see them. And the more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking. It’s time for tobacco marketing to hit the road.

Tobacco companies place most of their advertising in stores where


% OF


shop at least once per week

Take action now at

July 2017 •


IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Diabetics: Be cautious of beverage choice Have game plan when selecting what to drink By Barbara Pierce


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

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


O.K. WITH CORRECTIONS BY:________________________



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

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NEXT RUN DATE: 02/26/17 PROOF DUE: 02/24/17 12:59:55 • IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

f you have Type 2 diabetes, you know it’s important to watch what you eat — and what you drink. Beverages high in carbohydrates and calories can affect both your weight and blood sugar. “Generally speaking, you want your calories and carbs to come from whole foods, not from drinks,” says Nessie Ferguson, a diabetes educator and nutritionist at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. This is why the best choices have either zero or very few calories. But deciding on a beverage isn’t really difficult. “When it comes right down to it, good beverage choices for Type 2 diabetes are good choices for everyone,” she says. Beverages, as well as food, affect your blood glucose level. If you have diabetes, it’s recommended that you get your carbohydrates mainly from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat or skimmed dairy products. Here are some suggestions about what to drink from Crystal Hein, registered dietitian and nutrition educator and owner-operator of Crystal Clear Nutrition in Herkimer. — Drink more water Water should always Hein be your first choice of what to drink. “As a dietitian, I encourage mostly water throughout the day,” she said. “Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, or any fresh fruit to your water for a treat. As water takes the edge off your appetite, drinking a glass before a meal helps you eat less. Six to nine 8-ounce glasses of water per day are recommended. Still not convinced? Here’s something that may convince you: Water may help control your blood sugar by flushing out glucose. A study found that people who drank less than two cups of water a day were 30 percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drank more. — Drink more milk Low fat and fat-free milk is a good choice, said Hein. It provides the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D your body needs. It’s a great beverage for people with diabetes. — Avoid sugary fruit juices Your mom served up orange juice every day. But Hein advises to avoid fruit juice. When choosing juice, make sure the label says 100 percent juice with no sugar added. Also, be mindful of the portion size — four ounces is a serving. The reality is that yes, a glass of orange juice contains Vitamin C, but that doesn’t outweigh the fact that it’s loaded with sugar. “Some fruit juices have several hundred calories from sugar,” Hein said. A 12-ounce glass of orange juice contains an incredible 10 teaspoons of sugar, about the same as a can of Coke. “Remember that liquids are absorbed more quickly and cause a

faster increase in your blood sugar level than whole food like fruit,” Hein said.

Soda deemed unhealthy

— Avoid soda “A can of soda has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar,” Hein cautioned. That will send your blood sugar soaring — as well as boosting your risk for weight gain, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. If you have diabetes, cutting out soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks is one of the most powerful ways to control blood sugar, lose weight, and improve your health, experts agree. — Drink diet soda carefully “Drinking diet soda will help to reduce your overall caloric and carbohydrate intake since it contains no carbohydrates and will not raise blood glucose levels,” said Hein. But are zero-calorie drinks a brilliant choice, or could they also mess with your blood sugar? Recent science has stirred the debate. Some studies found no link between diet drinks and diabetes; others say they are connected. “I drank a Diet Dr. Pepper most every day. I thought it was fine as it had no calories or carbs,” said Pat Van Deusen, 62, of Nampa, Idaho, who has struggled with diabetes for years. “I could never get my blood sugar under control. Then I saw a new doctor, who suggested I drop the Diet Dr. Pepper. I was amazed! My blood sugar went down to where it should be and has pretty much stayed there! It really made a difference!” Van Deusen said. But, as there are a lot of things to factor in and disagreement among researchers, don’t give up on diet soda just yet. As Hein said, diet soda is a better alternative than a sugar-packed version for diabetics. — Drink coffee carefully “Unflavored coffee is a good choice,” said Hein. What people add to their coffee may raise blood sugar. Sugar, sweetened creamers, milk and half-and-half can raise blood sugar. “Some popular, flavored coffee drinks can have the equivalent of 15 teaspoons of sugar in them,” she cautioned. The Federal Drug Administration has approved several sweeteners for people with diabetes. Hein recommends you use these in your coffee. Research indicates that for some people who have diabetes, coffee may raise blood sugar. Bottom line: It comes down to how coffee affects your individual blood sugar. If you’re having a tough time controlling your blood sugar, it may be worth cutting out coffee to see if it makes a difference. Everyone’s blood-sugar response is unique. — Drink more tea I recommend unsweetened tea,” Hein said. “Green, hot, cold, fruit flavored or just plain tea.” Sweetened, bottled iced teas have tons of added sugar.

Know When to Fold ‘Em Gambling problem can lead to disastrous consequences By Amylynn Pastorella


hen gambling addiction becomes a problem, it’s safe to say that all bets are off when it comes to a cure. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 6 million adults and half a million teens meet the criteria for a gambling addiction. Problem gambling is a progressive illness where an individual continues to gamble despite the negative consequences and/or the desire to stop. This can often lead to losses in jobs, relationships, finances, homes and health, and cause emotional and psychological problems. Ever buy a lottery ticket, win money and go back to buy another ticket? While this can be a controlled activity, for problem gamblers it becomes an uncontrolled abuse. From the innocent purchase of lottery tickets to gaming in various venues, the habitual giving away of money in hopes to making more money is a slow demise into addiction. The spender can’t stop spending. Gambling gives the illusion of easy money, yet can grow quickly into financial ruin. The odds are never in favor of the gambler, because whether it is poker, blackjack or something else, gambling is a successful industry in which the house

or business always wins. The National Council on Problem Gambling is a national advocate campaigning for programs and services to help problem gamblers and their families. The council calls on supporters from around the nation to utilize certain services to help those facing a gambling addiction. Their efforts to educate health agencies focus on prevention, education, treatment and enforcement and research on problem gambling. Health administrators, social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, as well as psychoanalysts throughout New York state can receive this training.

An expert’s view

Locally, Cynthia Davis, a clinical social worker and therapist in New Hartford, is certified by the New York State Problem Gambling Training Partnership to offer treatment for this issue. “If you or a loved one are suffering from a gambling disorder, recovery is possible,” said Davis. “We provide treatment that has shown to work in clinical trials, which were funded by New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.” Treatment can include cognitive-behavioral therapy along with a Gamblers Anonymous 12-step

program. “We place an emphasis on individual approaches for gamblers,” she said. “Our treatment approach is one-on-one gambling therapy, which includes an individualized treatment plan. We offer recovery solutions for your gambling problem in a confidential setting.” Research demonstrates that treatment through counseling appears to be more effective than medication, and CBT is a widely used counseling technique. In CBT, an individual will partner with a counselor to identify patterns of thought and belief that develop into unwanted behaviors such as gambling. “The service we administer dives into the heart of the addiction,” Davis explained. “Gambling, like any other addiction, stems from deeper issues than just wanting to win more money. Some use it as a form of release from other problems.” Therapists seek to determine the causes and severity of the problem that drives a person to this pattern of spending. For more information about problem gambling, visit the New York State Problem Gambling Training Partnership website at http://, or contact Davis at 315794-2454.

Symptoms of Problem Gamblers — Being preoccupied with gambling, constantly planning how to get more gambling money — Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill — Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling without success — Feeling restless or irritable when you try to cut down on gambling — Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of guilt, anxiety or depression, etc. — Trying to get back lost money by gambling more (chasing losses) — Lying to family members or others to hide the extent of your gambling — Jeopardizing important relationships, professional or educational opportunities due to gambling — Resorting to theft or fraud to get gambling money — Asking others to bail you out of financial trouble because you gambled money away Source:

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“Destination Chenango”

SEPT. 16 August 31

Traumatic injuries happen. When you’re hurt, Jonathan Wigderson, DO, is here to help. As an orthopedic trauma specialist, Dr. Wigderson has experience with emergencies. In addition to trauma surgeries, he also performs other knee, hip and shoulder surgeries and has recently joined the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Orthopedic Group. Before joining MVHS, Dr. Wigderson was affiliated with Genesee Orthopedics and Plastic Surgery Associates, PC and has been on the St. Elizabeth Medical Center medical staff since 2011. He is board certified in Orthopedic Surgery by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery.

MVHS Orthopedic Group 1903 Sunset Avenue, Utica, NY 13502 315-624-8150 (607) 334-1400

July 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9


The skinny on healthy eating

Relieving Nausea Just One of Ginger’s Powers


oes ginger really help you lose weight? Recent research gives it a thumbs-up. The new studies, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, suggest that consuming ginger can enhance calorie burn and reduce feelings of hunger, and that it’s associated with weight loss in overweight adults. More good news: Studies have also linked ginger to positive changes in cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, inflammatory proteins and liver health. Although the field is in its infancy, says Marie-Pierre StOnge, associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University, the research is promising. For now, she adds, people should know that ginger is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and that “including it in their diet certainly won’t hurt—and might even help a great deal.” Ginger’s latest perks seem fitting, especially since so many of us already prize ginger for its health benefits. What are those benefits? Let’s take a look. Of all the spices, ginger seems to be the go-to spice for stomach woes, from nausea to indigestion to motion sickness. Ginger soothes the stomach because it contains the compound gingerol, which helps to relax the

G.I. tract by blocking receptors that cause nausea. I drank ginger tea for morning sickness while pregnant and continue to drink it today whenever I feel queasy. Fresh ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, thanks again to the gingerol compound. Some studies suggest that ginger may provide symptomatic relief of pain and swelling for individuals with inflammatory health problems like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, consuming fresh ginger may also help arthritis-related problems with aging knees. Besieged by painful periods? Ginger may be your ticket to a more comfortable day. On the cancer front, ginger is showing some true grit. Researchers from the University of Minnesota have indicated that ginger may inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells. Likewise, Dr. Rebecca Lui and her colleagues from the University of Michigan showed that ginger induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells. In both studies, all roads lead back to its acclaimed gingerols. Must we consume an entire ginger root in one sitting to reap any benefits? Not likely. Because the active substances in ginger are so concentrated, experts say you don’t have to use very much to get the

goods. For arthritis, some people have found relief consuming as little as ¼-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food. For nausea, some have had their rumbles righted with a few ½-inch slices of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water.

and pepper and toss lightly. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, lime juice, red wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper, and sesame oil. Whisk it all together until incorporated. While whisking with one hand, slowly drizzle in the canola oil until well mixed. Pour the dressing over the carrot and edamame mixture. Toss to combine. Top with the chopped avocado pieces. Garnish the dish with more sesame seeds and cilantro if you like.

Helpful tips

Gingery Carrot Salad with Edamame and Avocado (Serves 4-6) Adapted from “The First Mess” cookbook


5-6 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed 1/4 cup black sesame seeds (optional) 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (mint or basil also good) salt and pepper, to taste 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped

Ginger citrus dressing:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice juice of 1 lime 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated 1 garlic clove, minced salt and pepper, to taste few drops of toasted sesame oil 2-3 tablespoons canola oil

Select fresh ginger roots that are firm, smooth and free of mold and soft spots. Next, take a whiff: it should be pungent and spicy. Fresh, unpeeled ginger can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. My favorite tip for storing ginger: Peel several large roots with a paring knife, finely grate roots in a food processor, scoop the resulting mixture into an ice cube tray, and freeze. Once frozen, place individual cubes in a freezer bag and then, before you cook with a cube, thaw it at room temperature or for just a few seconds in the microwave.

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle colum-

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

Combine the carrot matchsticks, thawed edamame, sesame seeds and chopped cilantro in a large bowl. Season the whole mixture with salt

New hospital in Utica in development stage Continued from Page 3 two years ago attended a recent press conference at the chamber offices in the Landmarc Building downtown: Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), chamber executive director Meghan Fraser McGrogan and Patrick Becher, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, who explained the rationale for the chamber’s decision. New York Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Rome) and Sen. David Valesky (D-Syracuse) are also on record of supporting the downtown hospital. A prepared statement from the chamber stated building a new medical campus would replace the two aging hospitals that comprise MVHS: the 100-year-old St. Elizabeth Medical Center and the 60-year-old St. Luke’s Hospital, part of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare. The new facility would also integrate services at one site from specialty outpatient services to emergency and acute care services, and possibly doctor’s offices. MVHS estimates the integrated health campus will cost $480 million for a 750,000-square-foot facility with 400 beds. In addition to the state grant, the remaining $180 million will come from MVHS capital, bonds Page 10

and fundraising. Additional benefits, the statement noted, include the recruitment of medical providers to a state-ofthe-art venue, as well as expanded economic benefits by having 3,500 MVHS employees and staff working and possibly living in downtown Utica. Palmieri said the new medical campus would be another piece of the puzzle that fits into his long-term plan for a revitalized downtown. The 2018 state budget also includes funds to renovate the Utica Memorial Auditorium, which sits on the edge of the downtown parcel sought by MVHS. Palmieri and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente are eyeing the development of new apartments, a possible brew museum and a casino nearby. Another milestone cited by Perra was hiring a project manager — The Paige Group — that recommended an architectural firm and a construction manager for the planning, design and construction of the hospital project. He said he understands the public still has a lot of questions about the project and MVHS will continue to be transparent and available for discussions with community groups.

Opponents fired up

On the morning of the recent

press conference, three members of a group opposed to a downtown hospital marched with signs in the parking lot of the Landmarc Building. MVHS’s new hospital will cover approximately 34 acres downtown between Oriskany Boulevard and Court Street. Much of that property is currently occupied. Some of those business owners are among the opponents of the plan. Perra said MVHS has begun reaching out to property owners downtown and will begin appraising the properties. MVHS officials said once it finalizes its master contract with the DOH before the end of the year, it plans to make offers to buy those properties. The chamber of commerce’s press release included a note saying, “Our member businesses located within the new facility’s footprint will receive fair market value for their properties.” Joe Cerini, who owns a historic building called Citation Services, isn’t reassured. “I wouldn’t take a million (dollars),” he said while holding a “No Downtown Hospital” sign. “I’ve put in too much sweat equity and I don’t want to move.” For 17 years, he has invested personal funds and muscle into renovating an 18,000-square-foot building that he said was riddled with rodents and a haven for drug addicts until he

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

purchased it. Brett Truett, owner of SoftNoze USA in Frankfort, joined Cerini in the protest. Truett is the organizer of a Facebook page #NoHospitalDowntown that has more than 1,200 supporters, including seven downtown business owners. “If you want to attract people to downtown neighborhoods, you don’t do it by (losing) other downtown businesses,” he commented. Truett said his biggest objection to the downtown hospital plan is to see politicians rather than physicians orchestrating it. “We have all these politicians saying they have the money, but we’re not hearing about any support from the medical community,” he said. He and Cerini also said MVHS will have trouble recruiting physicians to the area since the region — and New York state as a whole —is projected to lose population. “You’re still competing with New York City, Boston and Cleveland,” he added. Cerini agreed. “If they can afford it, people will still go to out-of-town specialists” because they want to be treated by physicians who have greater experience with a more diverse patient load, Cerini said.

Call in sick or not?

Suggestions for employees, employers By Barbara Pierce


eeling totally lousy but you must get that project done today? Should you call in sick or not? Here are questions to ask yourself about whether to call in sick or not and how to do it, as well as suggestions for employers. — Could you be contagious? Contagious infections are either caused by a bacteria or virus, explained Brenda Carney, nurse practitioner and CEO of Central New York Family Nurse Practitioner, New Hartford. Bacteria cause bacterial infections, while viruses lead to viral infections. If you have something that could be passed on to others, though you may want to be in the office, the office will not want you there. Instead, see your health care professional and get treated. Bacterial infections usually respond well to antibiotic medication. You’ll be good to go back to work 24 hours after you’ve started the antibiotic, explained Carney. Common bacterial infections include ear infections, sinus infections, strep throat and urinary tract Carney infections. — How to know when you’re contagious? Warning signs include elevated temperature, nausea or diarrhea; excessive mucus production, red and crusty eyes, achy joints, lethargy and fever. “Viral infections are a big pain in the neck,” Carney added. The flu and colds are caused by viruses and don’t respond to antibiotics. Build up your immune system so you’ll have more resistance to infections, she stressed. “Boost your immune system by using zinc and vitamin C; drink a glass of orange juice every day. And stay hydrated, eat well, and get adequate sleep.” As an employer who wants to keep her staff healthy, Carney makes sure that hand sanitizers are available at each workstation and encourages her staff to wash their hands frequently. “We’re interacting with the public, with a large number of people each day, and each of the people we see is interacting with a whole network of other people, so there is a whole lot of potential germs coming in the door.”

Can you do your job?

Even if you are not contagious, sometimes you feel bad enough that you probably aren’t going to be able to perform your job well. When you’re that sick, quality and attention to detail suffers, especially if you work in an industry that requires concentration, operating machinery, or interacting with the public. — What about a “mental health” day?

Some days you feel totally fine physically, but just need a day off from the stress of work or a demanding boss. What about taking a “mental health” day? “Mental health days are important for reducing stress,” said Carney. However, it would be best if you saved your sick time and took a planned vacation day off instead. “People definitely need adequate down time,” she said. Schedule mental health time off in advance and enjoy it. On the other hand, if your need for a mental health day is severe — say you’ve just gotten devastating news and can’t concentrate or stop crying — take that mental health day. And of course, if you need to take care of a sick relative or have legitimate mental health conditions, these are protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. To employers, Carney said: “Make sure the work place is enjoyable for employees. “When we first opened our office, it was havoc, stressful for employees. We’ve made a lot of changes to make it a happier place to work. “We looked at the process — What we are doing, what would make it easier for employees and help the flow. We got input from every player regarding what could make things work better — what better person to give you that input than the person doing the job? “Empower your employees, engage them and learn what they’re doing. Make it a happier place for them to work.” — How to call in sick There’s conflicting advice about whether to call or if email is sufficient. If you’re unsure, look in your employee handbook, or ask your boss upfront what works best for him or her. If your employee handbook is silent and you never asked your boss, what should you do? Experts say in most situations, email is fine. But if you’re in doubt, follow up with a phone call once the workday starts. — Should you offer to work from home? This can be a good option — particularly if you’re home caring for a sick child, and you feel fine. If this isn’t an option, or you are out of paid sick days, another option might be to

By Jim Miller

How to hire home helper

Dear Savvy Senior,

I would like to hire a personal assistant/home helper for my mom to assist with some simple household chores like house keeping, errand running, driving her to the doctor, and keeping her company. But mom doesn’t require personal/ physical caregiving nor does she require any home medical care. Any tips to help us find someone?

—Looking for Mom Dear Looking:

Getting your mom some help at home to handle some of her household chores can make a big difference keeping her independent longer. Here’s what you should know.

Home Helpers

For seniors who could use some help at home — but don’t need a caregiving aide for personal care — there are a bevy of personal assistance/home helpers out there that can help make life a little easier. Most home helpers can assist with any number of things like shopping, running errands, transportation, light house keeping, laundry, meal preparation, arranging services (home maintenance, lawn care, etc.) and other household chores, along with providing companionship and support. And, if your mom gets to the point she needs personal/physical care like bathing or dressing, they can usually help with this too.

July 2017 •

There are two ways in which you can go about hiring someone for your mom; either through a home care agency, or you can hire someone directly on your own.

Home Care Agency

Hiring a home helper through a non-medical home care, or non-medical companion care agency is the easiest, but most expensive option of the two. Costs run anywhere from $12 up to $30 an hour depending on where you live and the qualification of the assistant/aide.

Hiring Directly

Hiring a personal assistant/ home helper on your own is the other option, and it’s less expensive. Costs typically range between $10 and $20 per hour. Hiring directly also gives you more control over who you hire so you can choose someone who you feel is right for your mom. But, be aware that if you do hire someone on your own, you become the employer so there’s no agency support to fall back on if a problem occurs. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11



Continued from Page 2 hospital building, 2209 Genesee St., Utica. The support group is sponsored by SEMC. Laryngectomy support group meetings are held at noon on the second Thursday of each month. A laryngectomy is the procedure to remove a person’s larynx and separates the airway from the mouth, nose and esophagus. The laryngectomee breathes through an opening in the neck, called a stoma. The public is welcome to attend. Those with questions can call the speech therapy department at 315801-4475.

July 10

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. July 10. 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.

July 10

Support group to meet at Rome Memorial Hospital The brain aneurysm, AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and stroke support group will meet from 5:30-7 July 10 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

July 17

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. July 17 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.

June 19

Rome Hospital Foundation sets dates Rome Hospital Foundation will

hold fundraising events this year as part of its continued effort to support the mission of Rome Memorial Hospital. — In the fall, the seventh annual Brew Ha Ha craft beer tasting will take place at Woods Valley Ski Area in Rome. The event will be held from 4-8 p.m. Sept. 23. The Brew Ha Ha features more than 50 types of craft beer and wine for attendees to sample. — The annual gala is Rome Hospital Foundation’s cornerstone fundraising event and will be held from 6-11 p.m. Nov. 11 at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona. For more information, contact Rome Hospital Foundation at 315-338-7181 or email foundation@

July 18

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 July 18. 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, 690 W. German St., Herkimer. Questions may be directed to Tammi King, infection control nurse, at 866-3330, ext. 2308.

KIDS Corner


‘Deadliest Days’ New teen drivers face triple the risk of a fatal crash


ewly minted teen drivers in the United States have almost triple the risk of being involved in a deadly crash than adults, a new study finds. The study looked at national data, and also found that drivers aged 16 to 17 are almost four times more likely than drivers aged 18 and older to be involved in a crash. Compared to drivers aged 30 to 59 years old, new teen drivers are 4.5 times more likely to be involved in a crash, and more than three times as likely to be in a fatal collision. The findings were released at the start of the “100 Deadliest Days.” That’s the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During that time, the average number of deadly crashes involving teen drivers is 15 percent higher compared to the rest Page 12

of the year, the study authors said. Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving inexperienced teen drivers during this deadly period. The study was released June 1 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This study “found that that inexperience paired with greater exposure on the road could create a deadly combination for teen drivers,” David Yang, executive director, said in a foundation news release. “Statistics show that teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road,” he said. Fatal teen crashes are on the rise and increased more than 10 percent between 2014 and 2015, according

to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. Three main factors associated with fatal teen crashes are distraction, not buckling up and speeding. AAA says parents can help reverse this trend by getting more involved and talking to their teens about the dangers of risky driving behaviors.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

“Parents are the front line of defense for keeping our roads safer this summer,” Jennifer Ryan, AAA director of state relations, said. “It all starts with educating teens about safety on the road and modeling good behavior, like staying off the phone and buckling your safety belt.”

The Balanced Body

The Social Ask Security Office

By Deb Dittner

Ahhh … chooo!

From the Social Security District Office

Look for ways to counter those summertime allergies


or allergy sufferers, the challenge is real all year long. The good news is that by July, grass pollen should subside and you might feel like your spring allergies are finally becoming manageable again. The bad news is that July marks the start of fungus spores and seeds, so if you’re allergic to molds and spores, too, you may feel like your allergies never end. Mold can grow on fallen leaves, compost piles, grasses, and grains. With troubling allergies, you may consider an over-the counter medication to get you through those tough days. But I urge you to think twice and consider a more natural approach. Medications can wreak havoc on your body in other ways such as increased fatigue, dry mouth, and for those with high blood pressure, a possible rise in your blood pressure if taking antihistamine. So what are you to do? — Have a mocktail! It’s a blend of apple, ¼ cup pineapple, and six ounces of water and a drizzle of local raw honey. It not only tastes fantastic but helps to support your immune system to keep allergies at bay. The apple is anti-inflammatory as it contains quercetin. Pineapple contains bromelain, a naturally occurring antihistamine. Apple cider vinegar has many uses but this time of year it helps to fight allergies. One ounce a day added to water will help maintain your alkaline pH, counter inflammation, and stabilize digestive health. — Eliminate dairy from your diet. Dairy can aggravate the immune response of the body and increase inflammation, causing an increase in mucous production. By going dairy-free, your symptoms may improve. — Using a neti pot a minimum of once daily. Irrigation of your sinus passages will remove pollen, and decrease the thickness of mucous leading to lessened congestion. It is important to wash your neti pot regularly with a mixture of vinegar and water to eliminate increased bacteria or mold from forming inside the chamber and entering your nasal passages.

Oils to the rescue

A combination of therapeutic grade essential oils can help with allergy symptoms. I recommend a mixture of lemon, peppermint and lavender oils diffused into your home, bedroom or office. You can also inhale a few drops of each placed under your nose or on your temples, avoiding the eye area. This combination may act as a natural antihistamine while decreasing the overall inflammatory response of allergens. — Acupuncture has been shown to decrease allergy symptoms. Acupressure can also be helpful by

holding pressure to the sides of your nose, between your eyebrows, and between your thumb and finger. — The stinging nettle root has been successfully used in the treatment of allergies. A tea or capsule form can decrease allergy symptoms and inflammation as the plant contains chlorophyll and vitamin C, providing support to the immune system. For itchy, watery eyes with clear nasal discharge, consider organic Eyebright herb tea. Drinking a cup twice daily can help with allergy symptoms. — Raw, local honey contains local pollens to sensitize you, creating fewer allergy symptoms. The exposure to the pollens in the honey helps to stimulate the immune system, creating a protective response. — Onions are considered a homeopathic remedy that decreases allergy symptoms. Micro doses of Allium cepa in homeopathic remedies act as an antihistamine. — “All disease begins in the gut,” said Hippocrates. To improve gut health, consider taking a probiotic. Without proper digestive health, the other systems of the body become imbalanced. Probiotics as a supplement or through food can help to lower your histamine response, decreasing allergy symptoms. — Fragrance in perfumes, dish soap, body wash, laundry detergent, cleaning products and more causes a buildup of toxins in the body, causing not only allergy symptoms but other conditions. — Water, water, water! Hydration is so very important for many bodily systems. Water will thin out mucous and help to eliminate toxins from the body. Incorporate any of these allergy-fighting remedies into your daily routine and enjoy warm weather ahead.

Ticket to Work puts folks back into labor force


ocial Security encourages people to rejoin the workforce when they are able. Ticket to Work is our free and voluntary program that helps people get vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals and other employment support services. This program is for people aged 18 to 64 who are receiving disability benefits and need support re-entering the workforce or working for the first time. While many disabled individuals are unable to work and may never be able to return to work, we know that some are eager to try working again. Work incentives make it easier to work and still receive health care and cash benefits from Social Security while providing protections if people have to stop working due to a disability. Social Security works with employment networks to offer beneficiaries access to meaningful employment. Employment networks are organizations and agencies, including state vocational rehabilitation agencies that provide various

employment support services. Some services they may help with include résumé writing, interviewing skills and job leads. Ticket to Work gives individuals the opportunity to choose from several employment networks. Participants are free to talk with as many employment networks as they want before choosing one. If someone signs an agreement with an employment network, they’ll help the individual develop an employment plan. We’ll review their progress toward achieving the goals of their employment plan every 12 months. If they are making timely progress in their return to work plan, we will not conduct a medical review of their disability during the time they’re in the program. Many people have successfully completed the Ticket to Work program. Anyone interested in the Ticket to Work program should call the Ticket to Work Helpline toll-free at 1-866-968-7842 (TTY 1-866-833-2967). More information on the program is available online at

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Dittner • Deborah Dittner is a nurse practitioner and health consultant for amateur and professional athletes. If you’re an amateur or professional athlete looking to increase energy, boost performance and shorten recovery time, check out her website at to learn how. If you’re an athletic department head, coach, or athletic trainer, and would like to learn how your team can gain a competitive edge through whole foods-based nutrition and wellness, contact her at 518-596-8565.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Punishing Pain In new book, local rheumatologist explores a little known condition — fibromyalgia

By Patricia J. Malin


ibromyalgia is a complicated disorder, but one local physician has found a means to enlighten his patients and the public about it. Martin Morell, a rheumatologist with Arthritis Specialists in New Hartford, recently released a book titled, “Fibromyalgia-Unification Theory: Connecting the Dots,” a summary of research into a puzzling condition. Morell, a former assistant professor of rheumaMorell tology at Albany Medical College, has treated some 4,000 patients since he began his private practice in New Hartford in 2000. Fibromyalgia is a condition marked by chronic and widespread debilitating pain. It is estimated to affect more than 5 million people in the United States. Morell chose to write the book — available on — “to try to figure out a condition that was very poorly understood, with many prevalent and common presenting

symptoms that were misunderstood and untreated by many professionals,” he said. “This first-of-its-kind reference offers patients, family members and caregivers a complete picture of fibromyalgia, including information on differential diagnosis and associated symptoms,” he added. It’s a compilation of 10 years of academic research as well as evidence from his clinic and patients. He said he spent the last two years writing the book. “This is the first time that I connect the dots from all the literature around the world and how it connects like a jigsaw puzzle to explain this elusive condition,” he said. Fibromyalgia has not always been recognized as a disease, but Morell said it is just starting to be recognized as a valid diagnosis. Medical treatments are in the early stages of development in terms of how to treat various symptoms, he said. Fibromyalgia is not associated with old age and can strike individuals at any time. Some patients have developed intense pain and muscle weakness associated with fibromyalgia as a result of a car accident, for example. “It could happen in young children, but peaks usually in the second

and third decade,” he said. “The only (age) factor is that it may increase with the baby boomers due to their sheer numbers in the general population.” Some of the common symptoms include stiffness and relentless pain that is sensitive to the touch and can be felt anywhere in the body, often resulting in fatigue, depression, sleeplessness and migraine headaches. Some of these symptoms are said to mimic the flu, which can result in a misdiagnosis by physicians untrained in rheumatology or neuromuscular conditions.

Wracked with pain

“Although patients’ experiences vary, this disease is characterized by widespread pain and neural symptoms, Morell said. “Just a simple touch or grab on the arm is extremely painful. Like overloaded electrical circuits, normal pathways in the nervous system burn up. Over time, this damages the brain, leading to additional symptoms.” He hasn’t been seeing any uptick in the number of local patients who suffer from fibromyalgia, but he does believe more people are becoming aware of the diagnosis. That awareness can be traced to new treatments, as well as improved prescription medicines and more money spent by pharmaceutical companies on adver-


tising the solutions. “(It is) not more prevalent,” he said. “It is still more common than rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatological conditions combined. It may have several etiologic factors including trauma or may develop from flu-like symptoms or just from pure genetics. The purpose of the book is to explain in detail how it affects all different organs and explain the different symptomatology associated with this condition.” So how do rheumatologists help these patients deal with their frustrations? Morell focuses on three treatment protocols or what he calls pillars: sleep control, daytime pain control and energy and concentration treatment. Pain control is linked to prescription medications, but he cautions that insurance companies might limit coverage. Nevertheless, Morell said powerful medicines, or “cocktails” in the non-alcoholic sense, “seem to be quite effective in improving the patients’ quality of life.” Research, combined with new technology, has slowly improved the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. Morell is most interested in seeing the results from magnetic resonance image testing.

Continued on Page 17

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

Health News Little Falls Hospital has new medical director

to improve patient care and safety in the emergency room. I hope to continue the work in making the emergency department a high- functioning, high-quality department.” Britton attended medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and completed his residency at Albany Medical Center. He is board-certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

MVHS Wellness Center offers summer specials

Psychiatric Center for Forensics in Marcy and the VA Healthcare Network, GI Unit, in Syracuse. Law completed post-master studies in advanced pathophysiology, earned her Master of Science degree in nursing and adult nurse practitioner, and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing Law from SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse. She also completed an international rhinology course at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the New York State Nurse Practitioner Association.

The Mohawk Valley Health Luis Oceguera has been selected System Wellness Center is offering as the new medical director of Little summer discounts. Falls Hospital, a subsidiary of Bassett Specials include: Healthcare Network. — With the purchase of a threeSince 2012, Oceguera has been an month gold, silver or bronze memattending surgeon bership for July, August and Septemin the division of ber, receive one week free. general surgery — With the purchase of a 10-class at Bassett Medical exercise card, receive two classes free. Center and also — Offerings include aquatic exsees patients at ercise classes and a fitness center. LFH. While skilled The Genesis Group and Medical Visit in all areas of Societies of Oneida, Herkimer and wellness for more information. To general surgery, Madison counties recently honored join the wellness center, call 315-624he specializes in Catherine Kunz, vice president of 5484 or email bkleist@mvhealthsyscolon and rectal quality resources and risk surgery. ment at Little Falls As mediHospital, as an Oceguera cal director at outstanding health LFH, Oceguera will be responsible care professional for communicating and ensuring for demonstrated Faxton Urgent Care in Utica recompliance with the requirements set excellence in the cently began offering physical exams forth by the New York State Departworkplace and needed for camp, school or employment of Health for the medical staff, community. ment when primary care providers compliance with The Joint CommisLFH is a Donna A. Sickler was recently can’t see patients in time. sion standards relating to medical subsidiary of the named an outstanding health care Walk-ins are welcome with no staff and medical staff leadership as Bassett Healthcare professional by the Genesis Group appointment needed from 8 a.m. to well as the LFH bylaws, rules and Network. and the Medical Societies of Oneida, regulations and policies and proceKunz has been 8 p.m. daily at the Faxton campus of Kunz Herkimer and dures. with LFH for more Mohawk Valley Health System. Madison counties The service is available at a sumPart of his oversight will include than 10 years and at their annual mer rate of $40 until Labor Day at the serving as a confidant and adviser been in the health care field for more health care recogFaxton campus, corner of Burrstone to all of the physicians within the than 20 years. nition ceremony Road and Bennett Street (across from hospital. As part of her role as vice presrecently at Hart’s Propo Murnane Field). MP Order Oceguera is active in academic ident at LFH, Kunz is the corporate ad will appear at the of:cards are acceptHill Inn, WhitesCash and credit medicine, teaching medical students This compliance officer, chairwoman of classification boro. ed. and general surgery residents. He the environmental safety committee, Rome NY Sickler has has an academic appointment with the quality management committee, worked at Faxton Columbia University and serves as with the Joint Commission committee, in Home Date 05/2014 St. Luke’s Healththe surgical clerkship director for the and is one of the project leaders for in Utica for Ad Id: AM Date: March care. 17, 2014 Acct# A1ZGFE Sales Rep: GRIMALDI, JENNIFER L care Size: HCN6 Columbia-Bassett Medical School relationship-based the past 23 years. Sickler Cynthia Law has joined the Moin Cooperstown and is an active As a former Division I women’s She previously hawk Valley Health System Medical member in a number of medical and basketball coach at Duquesne UniGroup’s Town of Webb Health Center worked at St. Elizabeth Medical surgical societies. versity in Pittsburgh, Pa., Kunz conCenter and Albany Medical Center, as an adult nurse practitioner. tinues to utilize her talent and comPrior to joining MVHS, Law was munication skills from her coaching Continued on Page 16 employed by the Central New York background to positively influence the health care environment. LFH is an inpatient 25-bed acute Richard Nocella, a primary care care hospital. provider, has been certified to provide state Department of TransporDiabetes? tation physical exams at Little Falls Flat Feet? Hospital’s Dolgeville Health Center. The evaluation is required in Plantar Fasciitis? order to operate a commercial vePaul L. Campbell has been seYou may be eligible for shoes at little or no cost! hicle. It is referred to as a “medical lected as the inpatient nurse manager fitness for duty” examination, which at Little Falls Hospital, an affiliate ensures that each driver is capable of Bassett Healthcare Network. and healthy enough to successfully Campbell has 23 years of progrescomplete the duties associated with sive experience in the medical field commercial driving. and holds a Master of Arts degree in Fee for services is $95 per person. emergency and disaster management For more information and to from American Military University, make an appointment, contact the Charles Town, W.Va. Dolgeville Health Center at 315-429Prior to joining LFH, Campbell 8714. was the trauma program manager at Bassett Medical Center. As the nurse manager at LFH, Campbell will be responsible for day-to-day management and long-term planning of the patient care area, directing and deLewis W. Britton IV has been veloping nursing staff, as well as reappointed director of emergency services at Little Falls Hospital, an af- spiratory services, collaborating with filiate of Bassett Healthcare Network. physicians and multidisciplinary professional staff, and providing Britton will oversee staffing, physical and psychological support operations and quality in the emerfor patients, friends and families. gency department, which receives, Campbell lives in Newport with on average, 15,000 visits annually. his wife Alyssa and their two daugh“I have worked at the hospital ters, Caeli and Audrey. for the past two years and enjoy working and collaborating with staff

LFH administrator earns recognition

Faxton Urgent Care offers physicals

Health care professional awarded for excellence

Health center gains nurse practitioner

Doctor provides DOT physical exams

New inpatient nurse manager at LFH

LFH has new director of emergency services

July 2017 •

AMZHMDNLM 14-Mar-2014 07:57 IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Health News Continued from Page 15 where she developed the passion for organ donation. She is the liaison between Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and the New York State Center for Donation and Transplant and Sight Society of Northeastern New York, as well as a quality professional for the Mohawk Valley Health System. Sickler previously worked as a staff nurse in the intensive care unit as well as held roles as a charge nurse, nurse manager and relief supervisor. In her current position, she conducts medical record reviews, data analysis and root-cause analysis for process/system improvements. In the community, Sickler has served as a member on the Make a Wish Foundation, as an American Cancer Society Relay for Life volunteer, a member of the Memorial Hospital Alumni Association, performed community education on body donation and organ donation, has been a member of the registered nurse advisory committee through the NYS Center for Donation and Transplant and served on the board of directors for the NYS Center for Donation and Transplant from 2010-2015, for which she was honored with an appreciation award. Sickler received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome in Utica, and her nursing diploma from the Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Albany.

“Terry was chosen for her outstanding nursing leadership,” said Durinda Durr, vice president of clinical services at RMH. “She is a leader by example who displays her love for her profession every day through her actions, professionalism, knowledge and skill.” A graduate of Bell the Marcy Psychiatric Hospital School of Nursing, Bell earned her Bachelor of Science degree in health care administration from Kennedy-Western University, now known as Warren National University, in Cheyenne, Wyo. She started her career at RMH in 1975 as a medical-surgical staff nurse. She was promoted to director medical/surgical/pediatric nursing services in 1994 and assumed additional responsibility for maternity services in 2001. In 2009, she was promoted to assistant vice president of nursing.

Psychiatrist joins team at CHBS

Stanley Theater donates to cancer center The Stanley Theater donated $500 in proceeds from an Orleans concert to the Mohawk Valley Health System Cancer Center recently. The concert, held in May 19, featured Orleans with special guest The Todd Hobin Band. “With all of our self-produced concerts and events here at The Stanley, we try and give a little something back to our community,” said Jerry Kraus, executive director at The Stanley Theater. “This time around, we decided to help the cancer program at MVHS because of the fine work being done and the need to continually provide services. Everyone here, it seems, has a personal connection to dealing with family members and friends fighting cancer and we just wanted to recognize the program and show our support with a donation.”

RMH administrator honored for leadership The New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders recently recognized Teresa Bell, assistant vice president of clinical services at Rome Memorial Hospital, for outstanding leadership in nursing practice. With nearly 400 members across the state, NYONEL is the professional organization for nurses who design, facilitate, influence, and manage health care services in New York state. Page 16


Minhaj Siddiqi has recently joined Community Health and Behavioral Services as a full-time psychiatrist, providing psychiatric services at offices located at both 1427 Genesee St. in Utica and 207 W.

Dominick St., Rome. Siddiqi graduated with his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Cetec in the Dominican Republic and has most recently worked as a psychiatrist at the Central New York Psychiatric Center Office of Mental Health of New York State.

New practitioners join Upstate Family Health Upstate Family Health Center in Utica recently welcomed Jill MacDonald, nurse practitioner; Monique Grower, licensed practical nurse and Cynthia Santiago, registered nurse, to its growing team of health care providers. MacDonald Grower graduated from SUNY Institute of Technology with her Certificate of Advanced Study in family nurse practitioner and most recently worked in the Mohawk Valley Health System. Grower graduated from the Herkimer County BOCES LPN program

and most recently was employed at Bassett Health Center. Santiago graduated from the Chamberlain College of Nursing, Downers Grove, Ill., and most recently was employed as the Santiago assistant director of nursing at the Comprehensive Rehab and Health Center at Williamsville. The Upstate Family Health Center offers primary care services to people of all ages, including those who had formerly received primary care services through Upstate Cerebral Palsy Community Health and BehavMacDonald ioral Services. For more information on the Upstate Family Health Center, including information on its Rome office opening soon at 205 W. Dominick St., contact 315-6249470 ext. 260.

Nurse practitioner joins ranks at VHS Kathryn Miller, adult nurse practitioner, has joined the staff at Valley Health Services in Herkimer. A graduate of SUNY Institute of Technology, Utica, Miller earned her bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in the adult nurse practitioner program and also holds certification from Miller Community General Hospital, Syracuse. Miller’s previous experience includes serving as adult nurse practitioner at Lila Doyle Nursing Home, Seneca, N.C. She and husband, Dan, live in the village of Frankfort. Miller has a son in Brooklyn and a daughter and four grandchildren in Marcy. VHS is a privately owned, nonprofit organization that serves as a 160-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility.

Two VHS professionals honored The Genesis Group and Medical Societies of Oneida, Herkimer and Madison counties recently honored James Ward with its outstanding health care award and Robert DeCarlo with its Healthcare Hall of Distinction award. Both medical professionals were honored for demonstrated excellence in the workplace and the community.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

Ward has been with Valley Health Services for more than 16 years and has been in the health care field for more than 40 years. His medical experience spans the country, having worked at such prestigious health care institutions as Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Ward Tenn.; University of Rochester; Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Va.; medical practice in Statesville, N.C.; and Methodist Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. “Dr. Ward’s contributions to family practice, and most notably the care of the elderly, are vast,” says Lisa Betrus, VHS president. DeCarlo’s experience includes over 30 years of medical service with Slocum-Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford as a podiatrist. DeCarlo He is a member of the board of directors at VHS, and is involved with the community as evidenced by the impact of his work with St. Anthony’s Crusaders, the Ilion Little Theatre, Village of Herkimer Advisory Committee, community advisory committee for Herkimer Central School; and serving as the Herkimer Village Court justice and the town of Herkimer health officer.

St. Johnsville administrator earns award The American College of Health Care Administrators recently honored David Wallace Jr., administrator of St. Johnsville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in St. Johnsville, with the 2017 Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award. The award was celebrated during the awards luncheon at ACHCA’s 51st Annual Convocation and Exposition in St. Louis, Mo. Fewer than 9 percent of facilities nationwide qualify. This year, 1,288 facilities met the selection criteria. Two hundred and six administrators were awarded the facility leadership award nationally. Based on the premise that facility excellence reflects leadership excellence, this award recognizes the administrator of record who provided that leadership throughout the award year. The award is in memory of Eli Pick, who was a consummate member of ACHCA, dedicated to advancing professionalism and leadership in long-term care. Founded in 1962, the ACHCA is the only professional association devoted solely to For more information about

Continued on Page 17

Health News Continued from Page 16 ACHCA, call 202-536-5120 or visit

or to ask a question about Catholic Charities Counseling Services, contact the Oneida office by calling 315363-5274, or visit for more information.

Community Wellness Partners’ officials honored Physician joins ranks of Excellus board Community Wellness Partners’

Chief Financial Officer Russell Clark and former LutheranCare® CEO Andy Peterson were recently honored by the Genesis Group at the 12th Annual Regional Healthcare Recognition event at Hart’s Hill Inn, Whitesboro. The annual event recognizes outstanding health Clark care professionals who have demonstrated excellence in the workplace and community. Clark had been the CFO for Presbyterian Homes & Services for more than 25 years. Most recently, he took over as the CFO for Community Wellness Partners, an affiliation of LutheranCare and Presbyterian Homes & Services. Peterson Peterson was honored with the Healthcare Hall of Distinction Award for 2017. Peterson was actively responsible for the affiliation between the organizations prior to his retirement in June 2016. Combining nearly 150 years of service, Community Wellness Partners is a faith-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit affiliation of LutheranCare® and Presbyterian Homes & Services. For more information, visit www.communitywellnesspartners. org.

Catholic Charities offers mental health counseling Considering when or whether to speak with someone about a personal matter can be daunting. Finding a suitable “fit” with a professional may even seem to be another distressing barrier in a search for a confidential relationship that is both professional and uniquely personal. Catholic Charities Counseling services assist in improving management of anxious or stressful feelings, anger and aggression, parenting matters, grief, depression, substance and alcohol-related difficulties, and relationship communication and disruption, to name a few. With over 25 years of clinical experience in a range of clinical settings, licensed clinical social worker Richard Petty works with adolescents, adults, college-aged individuals, and couples. Most major insurance carriers are accepted. To schedule an appointment

Physician Louis J. Papa has been appointed to the board of directors of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and its parent company. Papa has been a member of the regional advisory board of Excellus BCBS Rochester Region since 2008 and will continue to serve on that board. Papa A resident of Rochester, Papa is board-certified in internal medicine and is a primary care physician with the Center for Primary Care and Olsan Medical Group, Rochester. He also is an attending physician at Strong Memorial Hospital and professor of clinical medicine at the University of Rochester.

CNYHHN names new executive director Jane Vail, of Whitesboro, has recently been promoted to executive director of Central New York Health Home Network, a care management organization established in 2010 covering 10 counties in partnership with Children’s Health Home Network of the Capital District and North Country Health Home. Together, they provide care management to assist Vail high-risk and highneed children and adults in increasing their connectivity to health care, social services and natural supports. In her new role, Vail will provide leadership and administration of the operations for CNYHHN, work closely with partner organizations and establish a strategic plan for the future of health home services in the New York state transition to Medicaid managed care. Vail has an extensive history in the health care and mental health field, having formerly served as the director of Community of Resources and Expertise, which created strategic alliances with the community; government agencies, businesses, colleges and nonprofit organizations to provide needed services to the component school districts of the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES and also as the former director of children’s services for the Oneida County Department of Mental Health. Vail received a Master of Science degree in counseling and social work from SUNY Oneonta.

For information on CNYHHN services, call 315-624-9670 or visit

Kelberman Center holds walks for autism The 10th annual Kelberman Center Walks for Autism, presented by NBT Bank, were the most successful to date. The walks were held at five locations throughout central New York during April, which is Autism Awareness Month. More than 2,300 people joined together to spread autism awareness and raised over $190,000 to support the many families with autism in each community. Event sponsor NBT Bank and gold sponsors NYCM, Caruso

McLean Investment Advisors and The Hartford, as well as committee members and volunteers, make the events possible. The Kelberman Center provides state-of-the-art programs and services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Specialized staffing is highly trained to meet the needs of individuals with autism and includes psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and educational and behavior specialists. Proceeds from the walks impact every person and family from preschool aged students to adults, additionally providing for summer camp opportunities for over 100 campers as well as weekly recreation and social skills programs for hundreds more. For more information, call 7380794.

New book sheds light on debilitating disease Continued from Page 14

“It proves a pathophysiology and atrophy of certain brain parts due to the chronic sensation of pain,” he noted. Also in the near future, we will have procedures to block pain centrally at the level of the spinal cord.” Unfortunately, there is no cure in sight. He also thinks researchers might be able to use nanotechnology for treatment. Morell said he has not had the opportunity to do direct research, although he has been involved in studies of fibromyalgia patients and applications of certain medications in collaboration with Joanne Joseph, a professor and psychologist at SUNY Poly Utica, as well as with the psychiatric department at University Hospital in Syracuse. Morell said putting the book together was a challenge because he wanted it to be entertaining and amenable to read for patients and the general public.

“I feel pleasure indulging into the scientific explanation of this area, although we are just scratching the surface in regards to the depth we can go to describe this disease. I have taken time to understand and develop successful plans of treatment. It is quite gratifying to be able to contribute to humanity in this fashion,” he said. Morell, 54, is a native of Puerto Rico and received his medical degree in 1992 from the Ponce School of Medicine in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He later attended Albany Medical College, where he did his internship in internal medicine. He received a fellowship in rheumatology there and remained at the college as an assistant professor through 1998. Also in 1998, he became a partner with Arthritis Health Associates in Syracuse. From 2001-2012, he was director of the fibromyalgia clinic at Sitrin Healthcare Center in New Hartford. His office is located in the Medical Arts Building, 4401 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford.

Herkimer BOCES nursing job fair helps students fill local need for LPNs


ara Nicolette, the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES adult practical nursing program coordinator, has been conducting a survey of local health care employers in a 25-mile radius and is finding that there is a strong need for licensed practical nurses. To date, 18 employers have responded including nursing homes, clinic and acute care facilities. In the responses, there are more than 770 positions identified as requiring an LPN licensure. Of those positions, 124 were identified as open. “Acute care hospitals to the east and west of us are beginning to reintroduce LPNs to the hospital as well. This opens more opportuni-

July 2017 •

ties for our students, but it will also compound the shortage,” Nicolette said. “The bottom line is the need has increased.” The Herkimer BOCES hosted its annual adult practical nursing job fair recently at the Herkimer BOCES Remington Educational Complex in Ilion. More than 22 local companies attended to meet with the LPN students. “We had more employers this year than ever before,” Nicolette said. Companies are offering competitive salaries and bonuses for joining them, such as having continuing education paid for – which is good news for students, Nicolette said.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Pauline’s Pieces

By Pauline DiGiorgio

Enjoy vacation time, but be moderate Here’s some healthy vibes for your upcoming time off


just recently went on a weeklong vacation to Denver, Colo. to visit my uncle. I had a fantastic time eating, experiencing and enjoying all of this wonderful state. We explored downtown, the Rocky Mountains and ventured up to the Red Rocks near Morrison, Colo. As you know, traveling and being “on the go” can make it sometimes a bit difficult to stay on track with eating choices, time to workout and motivation. It makes it quite easy to just say, “oh well,” and later on feel guilty. Now, I’m not saying buckle down, spend your time away lifting weights, sweating and eating veggies. Rather, it’s about balance, moderation and quick tips to help you build up and enjoy your new self even on your summer vacation. Here are a few of my top tips that kept me feeling healthy, happy and maintaining my fitness progress. • Buy a probiotic (a good one is an over-the-counter product called Garden of Life raw probiotics) More times than not you will be

eating out. Part of the fun of going to new places is indulging in some new foods. Your stomach gets used to digesting the same sorts of food on a daily basis. When you start introducing new foods, you will need that extra help from a probiotic pill. Restaurants often used processed, frozen or overly buttered ingredients that can leave you with an aching tummy. Help it out by providing extra hard-working enzymes to break down the enemies from that famous Philly cheese steak you just had to try. • 80/20 daily — I’m all about treating oneself, but when you go overboard, the “treats” don’t feel special anymore. So that’s why I incorporate the 80/20 concept to vacation eating. DiGiorgio Basically, I choose one out of the three meals of the day to be special whether it is a stack of the diner’s blueberry pancakes or a rack of barbecued ribs. The rest of the meals are based

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Fitness sensation Pauline DiGiorgio takes in Red Rocks Park during a recent visit to Jefferson County in Colorado. The park is known for its very large red sandstone outcrops. around what I typically eat, such as oatmeal, a big salad, roasted veggies, and lean meats. I also make it a point to hit the grocery store when I get to the hotel, and pick up my signature snacks like yogurt, fruit and rice cakes.



At our Rome off ice

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Watch the booze

• Easy on the drinks — Watch your alcohol intake. If you’re there for a week and drinking every night, not only are you adding thousands of added calories, you’re compromising on your sleep quality. This snowballs into being unable to digest your food correctly, sending it right to your fat cells instead of transferring it into energy, which you’ll be lacking because of your poor sleep. I don’t want to sound like the fun police, but if you want to make the most out of your days and stay happy, take a few days to take it easy to make sure you don’t run yourself down. • Do a little scoping around to see what gyms are in the area before you leave for your trip. Then sign yourself up for the “free week” trial they usually offer. I’m one that enjoys working out, especially checking out new fitness venues. But if you’re not, then get your workout done nice and early so you have the whole day, and feel accomplished with it out of the way. Plus, you will be consuming ex-

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

tra calories and this will help balance it out. • Plan vacation activities to keep active — Some suggestions are hikes, biking, and swimming. Another suggestion is to park away from a lunch or dinner spot and enjoy a nice walk. Also, sight-see on foot. • Always carry a water bottle — Water fills you up and fights increased sodium level bloating from restaurant foods. • Try out intermittent fasting — It’s a nice change to collect your calories for later on during the day so you can have bigger, more calorie dense meals and not go over your “macro” daily maintenance. I like to practice a 16-hour fast, eight-hour eating window. My schedule is eating from noon to 8 p.m., and then 8 p.m. until noon for fasting. • Last but certainly not least, enjoy yourself! — Don’t trap yourself into rules like “I must work out for this long” or “I can’t eat this.” Focus and be present on spending your vacation making memories and being aware of deserving time off with family and friends. The more you are present and aware, the less out-ofcontrol behavior you will likely fall into.

• Pauline DiGiorgio is a fitness ambassador and Group X instructor at Retro Fitness gyms. Questions? Email her at



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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Breaking the family bond Shattered relationships abound between parents, adult children By Barbara Pierce

My daughter won’t talk to me. She won’t answer my calls or my emails,” said Bruce Perksy of Englewood, Fla. “I miss my granddaughter and it hurts not to have a relationship with my daughter. I apologized for what I said to her about her husband, but she’s still so mad at me. What can I do?” “I am the grandmother of two beautiful grandsons,” said “Loving Grandmother” in Oneida County online. “I don’t get along with either of their mothers and they keep my grandchildren from me. What rights do grandparents have?” Many families endure disagreements but some of the feuds linger, and the chasms that separate parents and their adult children are among the most painful. A “silent epidemic” is what psychologist Joshua Coleman calls parent-adult child estrangement as he has so many parents coming to him to improve relations with their adult children. “The most common problem people come to me for is poor relationships with their adult children,” said psychologist Lyn Bernstein of Englewood, Fla., whom Perksy has seen. “This is a trend — we’re seeing it more,” said Ambi Daniel, family support navigator at the Center for Family Life & Recovery, Utica. “Many parents struggle with this.” “In addiction, a common theme is that parents are supposed to be the champions; parents are supposed to fix everything,” she said. “In trying to fix everything, they tell their adult children what to do. The kids already know what to do; they’re sick of hearing it. They’re doing the best they can. “The biggest fear of parents is that their child won’t recover. Though addiction is really difficult, recovery does happen with the right supports.” Daniel offers help to parents. She offers free classes — open to the community — to improve communication skills and boundary setting. She works with parents one-on-one when the issue is addiction. To sign up for the class or individual help,

call Daniel at 315-733-1709. Parents, while trying to fix everything, tell their children what to do. This causes the child to be resentful, said Daniel. “For a full year, I did not speak to my mother,” said Erica Manfred online as she sought ways to heal a rift with her mother. “She was controlling and hypercritical. One day I’d finally had enough and stopped calling or returning her calls. I was her only child, and the rift devastated her. She phoned regularly, but I was adamant about needing my own space without her in it,” Manfred said. “I eventually relented. But I let her know that some of her behavior, such as constantly criticizing my Daniel weight, wasn’t acceptable and that if she didn’t stop, I’d disconnect again. She knew I meant it and actually managed to change,” she added.

Fated to fail

“Unfortunately, many broken parent-child relationships don’t have a happy ending,” Manfred added. “I have friends who are still bitter about the way their parents treated them, years after their deaths. Many can’t forgive or get past the issues.”

These are issues that go back to childhood, such as feeling that a parent played favorites, or a conflicted divorce, which causes pain and anger that festers. Then some “triggering incident” occurs, leading to an argument, and the child cuts the parent off. The fight can be as minor as an argument over where to celebrate Thanksgiving or as weighty as a parent’s disapproval of a child’s spouse. When his daughter was 15, Perksy and his wife divorced. His daughter never got over it, sided with her mother and had much anger toward her dad. Their relationship was tenuous, and the current rift was triggered by a minor incident. “In most cases, the parent will have to make the first move to reach out and try to mend the rift,” said Manfred. “Especially if the child is too angry or hurt to do it, or if they haven’t fully grasped that they don’t have forever to make things right.” The power of a sincere apology cannot be overestimated. You can’t just offer a blanket “I’m sorry,” though, and expect dramatic results. It’s essential to find out what’s at the root of the rift, acknowledge your part in it and make real efforts to

mend it. Express remorse, not just guilt. And you have to give up being “right,” which can be the hardest of all. Overstepping parental bounds is another reason children disconnect with their parents. “Hint: ‘How can you live like this?’ isn’t a good conversation starter,” says Linda Bernstein online in a column titled, “The 6 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Adult Child.” “I know perfectly well that young adults hate it when their parents pressure them about anything, so my only self-defense is that my mouth worked quicker than my mind,” she said. “Questions have a heavy price tag. So choose carefully,” advises Jill Smolowe online. “My attempt to muzzle my questions is the most difficult act of love I’ve ever undertaken.” Parent-child bonds are for life. Reconciliations often occur after the birth of a grandchild. The desire for one’s child to have a relationship with grandparents is often the glue that patches broken bonds. But, at some point, you may need to come to peace with the fact that you did everything you could yet still couldn’t mend the rift.

We’re opening the doors to a new era at Crouse Health!



e invite the entire community to join us for tours of our newly expanded Pomeroy Emergency Services, meet our emergency services team members, and see how Crouse Health is improving access to care for all Central New Yorkers.

Thursday, July 13 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Crouse Hospital, 736 Irving Avenue Free parking in the Crouse parking garage

Pomeroy Emergency Services Opens for Patient Care Tuesday, July 18! Page 20

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • July 2017

Profile for In Good Health: MV's Healthcare Newspaper

IGH MV July Issue #137  

IGH MV July Issue #137  


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