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in good Nov. 11: Remembering the nation’s freedom fighters Page 15

Turkey Day by the numbers Page 13

Continuing the war against HIV/AIDS

November 2017 • Issue 141

Can you hear me now?


Mohawk Valley’s Health Care Newspaper

Be all ears when it comes to auditory health

Golden Years Special Edition

Page 5

Meet Your Doctor

Restore, re-energize body through exercise

Page 20

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Cannellinis Sometimes called “white kidney beans,” cannellini beans are an all-time favorite, from their taste to their texture to how wonderfully they absorb flavors. See SmartBites, Page 15

Introducing: Dr. Salina Suy, DDS Page 11 November 2017 •

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Give with


BBB’s Charity Review program works to encourage wise giving and increase public confidence in Upstate New York charities. Visit or to look for a charity. If you work with a charity, contact us at to learn more about accreditation. We are proud to recognize our local Accredited Charity Seal Holders as of October 18, 2017.


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.


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

Nov. 1

Caregiver support group presentations set

The Oneida County Office for the Aging and Continuing Care is hosting caregiver support group Catholic Charities of Buffalo Buffalo presentations. Crisis Services Buffalo Three senior centers will discuss Insight House Chemical Detheir programs and provide inforpendency Services, Inc. is offering a Epilepsy-Pralid, Inc. Rochester mation about their agencies — Ava family support group meeting from Food Bank of the Southern Tier Elmira Dorfman Senior Center, Rome; Park6:15-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Insight way Center, Utica; and North Utica House, 500 Whitesboro St., Utica. Friends of Night People Buffalo Community Center, Utica. The group is free and open to Lollypop Farm, Humane Society Fairport All events will be held at the anyone who is concerned about a of Rochester and Monroe County loved one’s relationship with alcohol, North Utica Community Center, 50 Riverside Drive, Utica. The center opiates/heroin, or other substances. Make-A-Wish Foundation Albany will provide tours. For more information about the of Northeast New York The next caregiver support group, call 724-5168, ext. 265, from presentation will be MP held from 6-7:30 Propo Read to Succeed Buffalo Buffalo 8:30-4 p.m. weekdays. Order p.m. Nov. 1. Carol Nettleton, OneiThis ad will appear at the classification of: confidential. All calls are strictly Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Buffalo da County Office for the Aging and Continuing Care coordinator, will Rome NY Schoharie Area Long Term Schoharie Wednesdays/Thursdays demonstrate relaxation with guided with in HomeWellsville Date 05/2014 SPCA Serving Allegany County imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing techniques. United Way of Cattaraugus County Olean Date: March 17, 2014 Acct# A1ZGFE Sales Rep: GRIMALDI, JENNIFER L Size: HCN6 Ad Id: A December’s caregiver support presentation will be held from 6-7:30 United Way of Greater Rochester Rochester Overeaters Anonymous meets p.m. Dec. 6. American Association United Way of the Greater Capital Region Albany from 5:30-6:30 p.m. every Wednesof Retired Persons’ Associate State day in Room 101 (first floor) at Rome Director Laura J. Ehrich will speak on Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Latham Memorial Hospital, 1500 James St., Veterans One-Stop Center of WNY Buffalo Rome. Continued on Page 19 Water For South Sudan Rochester

Insight House offers family support group

Overeaters Anonymous plans meetings

For more information about Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York and Charity Review, call 800-828-500 ext. 295 or email

Diabetes? Flat Feet? Plantar Fasciitis?

You may be eligible for shoes at little or no cost!

MVHS updates property acquisition


he Mohawk Valley Health System has finalized the site plan for its new regional health care campus. With the refinement of the plan, three properties that were originally identified for use by the system are no longer within the campus boundaries. MVHS officials recently met with these property owners to make them aware that their properties are no longer included in the plan for the new, regional health care campus. The three properties no longer in the final site plan are Eggers Caryl & Corrigan (Oriskany Street and Broadway), Rockford Auto Glass (Oriskany and Washington streets) and a building owned by The Orange Tree, LLC Page 2

(Lafayette Street and Broadway). “We know this process has been challenging for the business and property owners and we appreciate their patience as we have been working through this complex project,” said Scott H. Perra, president/CEO of MVHS. MVHS officials are now working to coordinate a date for the public announcement. The site plan includes refinement of the campus boundaries, hospital size and placement, and location of ancillary buildings and parking amenities. It does not include the aesthetics of the facility design, which are still under development.

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

AMZHMDNLM 14-Mar-2014 07:57

STDs hit all-time high in U.S.

Report: More than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in 2016


ew cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States reached an all-time high in 2016, federal health officials reported in late September. There were 1.6 million cases of chlamydia, 470,000 cases of gonorrhea and 28,000 of syphilis reported that year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in its annual report on STDs. And the diseases are on the rise in a number of groups, including women, infants, and gay and bisexual men. “Increases in STDs are a clear warning of a growing threat,” said physician Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number, and outpacing our ability to respond,” he said in an agency news release. Young women account for nearly half of all diagnosed chlamydia infections, but syphilis and gonorrhea are increasingly affecting new groups of people. Between 2015 and 2016, syphilis rates rose nearly 18 percent. Most cases occurred among men, especially gays and bisexuals. Half of the men in those two groups also had HIV, according to the report. But syphilis rates rose 36 percent among women and 28 percent among newborns between 2015

and 2016. In 2016, there were more than 600 cases of syphilis-infected newborns, resulting in more than 40


deaths and severe health complications, the CDC said. “Every baby born with syphilis represents a tragic systems failure,” said Gail Bolan, director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “All it takes is a simple STD test and antibiotic treatment to prevent this enormous heartache and help assure a healthy start for the next generation of Americans.” Gonorrhea rates rose among both men and women in 2016, but the largest increase (22 percent) was

among men, and a large number of new gonorrhea cases were among gay and bisexual men. The report also noted the growing threat of drug resistance to the last remaining recommended gonorrhea treatment. Antibiotics can cure all three diseases. But if undiagnosed and untreated, STDs can lead to serious health problems such as infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and increased risk of HIV infection, according to the CDC.


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From 2012-2016, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s annual operating margin has averaged 0.3 percent, considerably lower than the average of the four major for-profit health plans. Based on a comparison of earnings before interest and taxes, we would have needed to collect $1.6 billion more in premium revenue to achieve the same level of earnings as the major carriers over that period. Because we’re a business, not a charity, we need to earn a margin. But we do not pay dividends to shareholders. That works in your favor. We’re a nonprofit health plan, so we deliberately budget for low margins to keep coverage more affordable. We know you have other important things that matter. We’re neighbors helping neighbors build healthier communities.

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November 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Night shifts may widen waistline Disturbing normal sleep patterns is the main culprit, nutritionists say


orkers who regularly pull overnight shifts may be more prone to pack on the pounds, a new analysis suggests. The finding involved an indepth look at 28 studies conducted between 1999 and 2016. All the investigations explored the health impact of shift work, in which employees are regularly asked to either alternate between daytime and overnight schedules or to exclusively work overnight hours. An estimated 700 million men and women around the world now follow that work pattern, representing about 20 percent of the global workforce, the researchers said. And while the numbers varied by study, the new analysis determined that, on average, routinely working a night shift seems to boost the risk for becoming obese or overweight by 29 percent. Although the review could not prove cause-and-effect, nutrition experts expressed little surprise at the finding. Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, suggested that sleep disruption is without question the main culprit. “As studies have demonstrated, and this study supports, the human body is programmed to sleep when it is dark, allowing hormones that impact hunger and satiety to reset for the next day,” she explained. “When people are awake when they should be sleeping, the hormones related to hunger and satiety appear to be thrown off, resulting in changes in eating, changes in metabolism and a tendency to eat more than we need,” Diekman said. That point was seconded by Penny Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition at Penn State University. “Sleep deprivation is a major stressor that should be avoided as much as possible,” she said, noting that by working night shifts, people are inevitably working against their natural biological clocks. Neither Diekman nor Kris-Etherton were part of the current review team, which was led by M. Sun of the JC School of Public Health and Primary Care at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The investigators reported their findings in the Oct. 4 issue of Obesity Reviews.

Page 4


Your Doctor

By Pauline DiGiorgio

Dr. Salina S. Suy, DDS

The office of Dr. Theodore Camesano, 8 Business Park Court, Utica Business Park, Utica, recently welcomed Dr. Salina Suy to its practice. She became an associate of fellow dentists Ted Camesano and Korin Carville earlier this year after completing her residency at Faxton St. Luke’s Hospital of the Mohawk Valley Health System. Q.: Once you knew you were interested in health care, why did you choose dentistry? A.: Since a very young age, I always knew that I had nice teeth and a friendly smile. I was very proud of that! One day I chipped my front tooth and I was devastated. I went to the dentist and she fixed it all up for me. That’s when I knew I wanted to do that for others. I love creating that happiness for patients. Smile makeovers and whitening treatments are my favorite.

quality services. Q.: What gives you the most gratification as a dentist? A.: Having great patient-doctor relationships, working with my patients to achieve their goals, and seeing them leave the office with beautiful smiles on their faces. Q.: What are your personal and professional goals? A.: I want to settle down in the Mohawk Valley and build roots here, maybe buy a house, get married, have children and get some cute dogs. As for professional goals, I am pursuing two fellowships through the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and Academy of General Dentistry. I believe continuing education is so important to the way we practice. Overall, I want to keep doing my best for this office, contributing new, up-to-date exciting dentistry, and changing people’s views of having to go to the dentist. Going to the dentist should not be so scary; it can be fun

Q.: What’s your philosophy on how oral health relates to overall body health? A.: I believe oral health is directly linked to systemic health; it is very important. What you choose to put into your mouth will go into your gastrointestinal tract, and if you have an unhealthy mouth, you are technically constantly swallowing bacteria, harming your overall health. Q.: What is the most common problem or issue you see with patients? A.: Easy! They don’t floss enough! I recommend at least flossing once a day, preferably before bed.


Q.: What is your No. 1 tip to improve dental health? A.: It’s important for all of us to make it more of a priority and make that connection between oral health and your general overall health. Q.: What do you think you can contribute to the dentistry profession or your office? Do you follow the current trending topics of the dental field? A.: I am always contributing current trending information from New Age Dentistry to the office. I’m striving for the best in-office experience, so when you sit in my chair, there is no question that you will be receiving the best care I can provide. I educate the patient thoroughly; we talk about options for treatments, take before and after photos of the teeth and watch tutorials on procedures so they are always informed. Patient education is very important. Q.: How do you work with the public in a dental setting where people are often nervous or anxious? A.: I try to be very relatable and spend plenty of time with them, talking with them about past experiences and truly uncovering why they are scared of dentists while show-

ing empathy. After I uncover their thought process, my dental assistant Kayla Almond and I will try to ease the patient so that we can make them as comfortable as possible. Q.: Are there challenges that come with being a young female dentist, and if so, how do you overcome them? A.: There are a lot of challenges. The biggest challenges I seem to face is that many people overlook my education and experience for my looks and my age. I overcome this by reassuring patients with my professional background, experiences, credentials and providing them with

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

Age: 27 Birthplace: Stockton, Calif. Current residence: Utica Education: General practice residency, Faxton St. Luke’s Hospital of the Mohawk Valley Health System; Doctor of Dental Surgery, cum laude, University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine; Bachelor of Science in exercise science, magna cum laude, University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions Affiliations: American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, New York State Dental Association, Fifth District Dental Society, Oneida Herkimer County Dental Society Family: My amazing significant other, Albert G. Tahan, and my loving cat Minerva. My mom is the strongest person ever and I have three wonderful siblings. Hobbies: Traveling, fitness, watercolor and acrylic painting, learning and enjoying the outdoors. Everyday is an adventure.

Golden Years Now Hear This!

Age-related hearing loss: Is it inevitable? By Barbara Pierce


he longer we live, the more likely we are to experience age-related hearing loss,” said Robert Bishton, hearing specialist at Action Ear Hearing of New Hartford. “Some begin to experience hearing loss in their 60s. Some may not experience it until they’re in their 80s. We’re all different.” Age-related hearing loss is called presbycusis, explained Bishton. It’s caused by deterioration in the functioning of the Bishton inner ear. About one-third of people over the age of 60 have hearing loss. By 80, it rises to about half. “I compare it to expecting that you’ll need glasses to see up close as you get older. This often starts in the 40s, but for some it can be their 30s, and for others, their late 40s,” he added. “Life is like a deck of cards — we’re all dealt a different hand.” “Don’t accept it. Don’t accept hearing loss,” he said. “Get treated and live life to the fullest.” “Don’t ignore it or dismiss it as a normal part of aging. If you dismiss it, you become antisocial. People who can’t hear when others talk just fade away. They become socially isolated and their relationships become strained,” Bishton said. Also, research found that older

adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia, compared to those with normal hearing. The risk increases as a person’s hearing loss grows worse. Experts speculate that hearing loss could lead to dementia by making individuals more socially isolated — a known risk factor for dementia and other cognitive disorders. Also, a significant association between hearing impairment and moderate to severe depression has been found. “If you’re losing your hearing, get it diagnosed and treated. Get it treated and love life,” he said. “Hearing aids today are fantastic — they’re small. Nobody even notices or cares. A person would rather have a faceto-face conversation with you when you’re not going “huh?” or asking him to repeat himself.” Though there’s no way to avoid age-related hearing loss if you’re genetically predisposed to it, there are things you can do to minimize hearing loss. “Take care of your hearing. Protect your hearing,” Bishton said.

Loud noise equals trouble

Is there is a correlation between loud noises and hearing loss? “Absolutely!” he said. Repeated or prolonged exposure to anything over 85 decibels can harm your inner ear. Your hair dryer or lawn mower might register about 90 decibels. A power drill can put out 100 decibels and start to do damage after only 15 minutes. Music turned up and played through earphones can easily

reach 105 decibels. “Today we don’t just rake leaves or shovel snow; we use leaf blowers and snow blowers with high decibels. Even one blast of a shotgun can cause damage,” said Bishton. When you are exposed to loud noise, choose ear protection that works for you. The best kind is the kind you’ll use — earmuffs, earplugs. Most are inexpensive. Other things that contribute to hearing loss are infections, medications, head injuries, strokes and tumors. Even a buildup of earwax can cause significant loss. To get the right treatment, you need to know the reason for your hearing loss. Certain medications may cause hearing loss, said Bishton — medication for hypertension, high doses of antibiotics, or steroids. If you’re taking one of these medications and notice you’re having more difficulty hearing, contact your doctor. Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke have been linked to a higher likelihood of hearing loss as you age. For those with hearing loss, the

Hearing Loss Association of America offers help. “We’re a self-help group,” said Roger MacCasland, leader of the Utica chapter. The mission of the group is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy. Its website www. features valuable information. “We share a commonness,” said MacCasland. “The group helps you feel you are not alone. We have presenters; we get answers; we share resources.” MacCasland publishes the group’s newsletter, which contains information on local resources and helpful advice. For information on the group and the newsletter, email MacCasland at If you’ve noticed that you have trouble hearing or if people say you do, that’s a good indication that you have a problem. But it doesn’t tell you anything about the cause or the extent of your hearing loss, and it doesn’t move you closer to a solution.

Senior Citizens:

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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, Pauline DiGiorgio Advertising: Amy Gagliano Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas Office Assistant: Kimberley Tyler No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement — not to take the place of — the recommendations of your health provider.



505 Roberts Street, Utica NY 13502 | 315-790-5392 |

November 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 5

AMERICU SERVICES, LLC* IS HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDIC ARE AmeriCU Services, LLC will be hosting several complimentary, no-obligation Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Medicare Plans Seminars**. Please join us for one of the following dates:



Auburn Financial Center 295 Grant Ave., Auburn, NY 13021 Wednesday, November 1 • 4PM

Griffiss Financial Center 231 Hill Rd., Rome, NY 13441 Monday, September 11 • 4PM Monday, October 2 • 4PM Monday, October 23 • 4PM Monday, October 30 • 4PM Monday, November 27 • 4PM Monday, December 4 • 4PM

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By Jim Miller

A Cheap Death

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How to Donate Your Body to Science

Dear Savvy Senior,

Syracuse Financial Center 6303 Thompson Rd., Syracuse, NY 13206 Wednesday, November 8 • 4PM To register, call 1.877.480.0501 (TTY users call 1.800.421.1220) 8AM to 8PM, Monday - Friday. From Oct. 1 to Feb. 14, representatives are available seven days a week from 8AM to 8PM. Register online at If you are unable to attend a session and would like to learn more, please contact our licensed Medicare advisor, Paul Holgate at 315.356.3312 or email

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What can you tell me about body donation programs? With little to no savings, I’m looking for a free or cheap way to dispose of my body after I die.

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Old and Broke

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al

If you’re looking to eliminate your funeral and burial costs, as well as help advance medical research, donating your body to science is a great option to consider. Here’s what you should know.

1-877-554-3645 (TTY: 1-877-421-1220). 1-877-554-3645 (TTY: 1-877-421-1220).

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In Good Health

4 Riverside Drive, Suite 251, Utica, NY 13502 Page 6

Dear Broke,

Body donations

It’s estimated that each year, at least 20,000 people donate their whole body, after death, to medical facilities throughout the country to be used in medical research projects, anatomy lessons and surgical practice. After using your body, these facilities will then provide free cremation — which typically costs $600 to $4,000 — and will either bury or scatter your ashes in a local cemetery or return them to your family, usually within a year or two. And, just in case you’re wondering, your family will not be paid for the use of your body. Federal and state laws prohibit it. Here are a few other things you need to know and check into, to help you determine whether whole-body donation is right for you: Acceptance rules: Most body donation programs will not accept bodies that are extremely obese, or those that have infectious diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, H.I.V. or MRSA. Bodies that suffered extensive trauma won’t be accepted either. Organ donation: Most programs require that you donate your whole body in its entirety. So if you want to be an organ donor (with the exception of your eyes), you won’t qualify to be a whole body donor too. Special requests: Most programs will not allow you to donate your body for a specific purpose. You give them the body and they decide how to use it. Memorial options: Most programs require almost immediate transport

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

of the body after death, so there’s no funeral. If your family wants a memorial service they can have one without the body. Or, some programs offer memorial services at their facility at a later date without the remains. Body transporting: Most programs will cover transporting your body to their facility within a certain distance. However, some may charge.

What to do

If you think you want to donate your body, it’s best to make arrangements in advance with a body donation program in your area. Most programs are offered through university-affiliated medical schools. To find one near you, the University of Florida maintains a list of U.S. programs and their contact information at usprograms. In addition to the medical schools, there are also private organizations like BioGift ( and Science Care ( that accept whole body donations too. Some of these organizations will even allow organ donation because they deal in body parts as well as whole cadavers. If you don’t have internet access, you can get help by calling the National Family Service Desk, which operates a free body donation referral service during business hours at 800727-0700. Once you locate a program in your area, call and ask them to mail you an information/registration packet that will explain exactly how their program works. To sign up, you’ll simply need to fill out a couple of forms and return them. But, you can always change your mind by contacting the program and removing your name from their registration list. Some programs may ask that you make your withdrawal in writing. After you’ve made arrangements, you’ll need to tell your family members so they will know what to do and who to contact after your death. It’s also a good idea to tell your doctors, so they know your final wishes too. 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.

Golden Years Hospital trips can be deadly

The Social Ask Security Office

From the Social Security District Office

Hospital-acquired infections kill tens of thousands each year By Barbara Pierce


ospital infections kill twice as many Americans as those who die each year in car crashes. They kill more each year than AIDS and breast cancer combined. “There are 75,000 people who die each year of health care-related infections,” said Heather Bernard, director of infection prevention for Mohawk Valley Health System. She oversees infection prevention programs at all MVHS locations, such as St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare, and its long-term care facilities. You might think of hospitals Bernard as sterile safety zones in the battle against infection. But in truth, they are ground zero for the invasion. On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one health care-associated infection. In the ongoing war of humans versus disease-causing bacteria, the bugs are gaining the upper hand. Deadly and unrelenting, they’re becoming more and more difficult to kill. But there’s hopeful news: The MVHS is aggressively taking steps to reduce infections. “We use best practices to reduce infections,” said Bernard, noting procedures are proven to produce optimal results. “We insist on cleanliness. Cleanliness of patients, Cleanliness of health care providers, and cleanliness of the facility,” said Bernard. “One basic is adequate hand washing,” she added. “This is the most important way to prevent hospital infections.” They have long been encouraging doctors and nurses to wash their hands frequently. “Now we’re getting patients engaged; we’re starting a patient hand hygiene campaign. We’re making it easy for patients to wash their hands, like having a sanitizer at the bedside.” “We have strict bathing practices,” she said. “All patients are bathed every day. For high-risk patients —such as those in the intensive care unit and those with central lines (catheters in the body) — in addition to a routine bath, we use a chlorhexidine gluconate bath. “We have very strict cleaning practices so that every nook and cranny is thoroughly cleaned. We use only a certain disinfectant. We use disposable mops and cleaning

cloths, so they aren’t carried from room to room. We then finish with an ultra-violet light machine to give an extra bang for your buck and get rid of invisible bacteria.”

Growth of ‘superbugs’

In addition to cleanliness, the other important concern for Bernard is the appropriate use of antibiotics. “We have a big push to make sure we’re giving the appropriate antibiotic,” she said. This is because many of these deadly infections can be traced back to the use of antibiotics, the very drugs that are supposed to fight the infections. The inappropriate use of antibiotics encourages the growth of “superbugs” that are immune to the drugs and kill off patients’ protective bacteria. “We want to ensure the antibiotic is appropriate and that the patient needs it,” she added. “Not every infection requires an antibiotic. It’s important that antibiotics are not taken if they are not necessary. The more that we control this, the more we can control infections that are antibiotic-resistant.” As a patient, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of a hospital infection. Infections can occur after many types of medical procedures. This is particularly true if you are having surgery. — Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your care so that you will fully understand your treatment plan and expected outcomes. — If you have diabetes, be sure that you and your doctor discuss the best way to control your blood sugar before, during, and after your hospital stay. High blood sugar increases the risk of infection noticeably. The stress of surgery often makes glucose levels spike erratically. When blood glucose levels are tightly controlled, patients resist infection better. Continue monitoring even when you are discharged from the hospital, because you are not fully healed. — If you are overweight, losing weight will reduce the risk of infection following surgery. — If you are a smoker, consider a smoking cessation program. This will reduce the chance of developing a lung infection while in the hospital and may also improve your healing abilities following surgery. — If you have an intravenous catheter, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Tell your nurse promptly if the dressing works loose or gets wet. Avoid a catheter if possible. — In any health care setting, wash your hands carefully after handling any type of soiled material. This is especially important after you have gone to the bathroom.


One fact you should know about disability

isability is something many people aren’t faced with in a direct way. The reality is, a 20-year-old worker currently has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. That makes Social Security disability benefits something you should learn about and understand. One fact you should know is Social Security’s definition of disability: the inability to work because of a severe condition that is expected to last for a year or end in death. Social Security disability benefits replace part of your income when you become disabled and are unable to work. Other disability programs may have partial disability or short-term disability, but federal law requires a stricter definition of disability for Social Security benefits. The definition of disability used to qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance is generally the same one that is used for Supplemental Security Income benefits. Most people focus on the medical severity of their condition when filing for disability benefits. They provide medical records that show how severe the condition is. Since Social Security defines severity in terms of being unable to work, we also need complete work information. You can read a description about the process of evaluating whether you can work or not and the severity of your condition in our publication, Disability Benefits at, under the section, “How we make the decision.” Understanding how

Q&A Q: My aunt is considering applying for Extra Help with Medicare Part D prescription drug costs, but she has about $10,000 in the bank. Would she still be eligible with this much money? A: Based on the resources you mentioned, it sounds like she may qualify. However, there are other factors to consider. In most cases, recipients of Extra Help are limited to $13,820 (or $27,600 if married and living with a spouse) in resources in 2017. Resources include the value of the things you own, such as real estate (other than the place you live), cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds and retirement accounts. To learn more, visit the Medicare link at www.

November 2017 •

we make the disability decision helps you see the importance of information you provide about your condition and the types of work you have done. For more information about how we evaluate your work, you should review this section on our website: disability/step4and5.htm. Remember, when you provide the details about your condition and your work, you’re creating a picture of your individual situation. These details show the extent of your disabling condition. These are examples of some of the types of specific information we need about your prior work: • Main responsibilities of your job(s); • Main tasks you performed; • Dates you worked (month and year); • Number of hours a day you worked per week; • Rate of pay you received; • Tools, machinery and equipment you used; • Knowledge, skills and abilities your work required; • Extent of supervision you had; • Amount of independent judgment you used; • Objects you had to lift and carry and how much they weighed; • How much you had to sit, stand, walk, climb, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, balance; • How you used your hands, arms, and legs; • Speaking, hearing and vision requirements of your job(s); and • Environmental conditions of your workplace(s). or call us at 1-800772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Q: If I get approved, how much will I receive in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? A: The amount of your SSI benefit depends, in part, on the amount of other income you have. For 2017, the basic, maximum federal SSI payment is $735 per month for an individual and $1,103 per month for a couple. However, some states add money to the basic payment. Other monthly income you have would begin to reduce the basic SSI payment. Other things, such as where you live and who you live with, can affect your payment amount. Learn more about SSI by reading SSI publications at

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 7

Health Careers Hospice nurse

A tender hand in the presence of death By Barbara Pierce “It’s such a rewarding job. It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever done,� said Lisa Alteri. As a registered nurse working for Hospice & Palliative Care, New Hartford, Alteri cares for those at the most vulnerable point of their lives. Hospice is end-of-life care, providing comfort and support for those with life-limiting illnesses and for their families. “I can’t cure. I can bring comfort. I want to make sure it is a comfortable death,� she said, her voice showing the passion she feels about her career. Offering a tender hand in the presence of death is a true passion; some would say it is a calling. “You touch the lives of so many people, so many families,� she said. “I ask myself: Did I make a difference in this person’s life? Did I make a difference to this family?� Hospice nursing gives you the opportunity to make a meaningful difference to people, which is really what nursing is all about. “I’m having a soft landing.�

When she found this note from her husband after he died in hospice care, Flo Glasser felt such a sense of peace. Hospice made a big difference to her and to her husband. “I always wanted to be a nurse,� Alteri said. “I always wanted to be a hospice nurse. After I had four kids, I went back to school to become a hospice nurse.� “When I was in high school, I lost my mother. That’s what drove me to become a nurse,� she said. “Then I married and my mother-in-law took me in and became my second mother. Then she got cancer; I took care of her as she died. “It’s not easy to care for a loved one who is so ill. But that’s what got me going every day and made me stronger.� “Everyone is born, and everyone will die,� she said. But it’s never easy. Not easy for family members or hospice staff. “When I’m especially attached to a patient, it’s hard. I need to clear my head. I walk or listen to music,� she said. One thing she especially enjoys

What if you could choose?

5 Days or 45 Days

about being a hospice nurse: “You work with lot of different people, a lot of nationalities, a lot of beliefs.� “Some people have it all — they have their families around them at the end of life. Some have no one. Would I want to be alone?� she asked. She has a special caring for those who are alone, tries to see them every day and makes sure a volunteer spends time with that person.

Leading her charges

“I have a team under my wing,� she said. “A social worker, a chaplain, volunteers, and a home health aide or LPN. They work together, following my lead.� The team works to support the patient and family. It is important to learn what the patient and family want, as they are in charge. Team members let her know if there is something she needs to address. “We’re available 24/7,� she said. Educating family members is an important part of what she does. “I educate myself about the patient’s diagnosis so I can have an idea of what we will see at the end, and so that I can prepare the patient and the family for what will happen. What does rapid breathing or other symptoms mean? Educating them about what to expect helps them get through. Knowing what to expect makes them more comfortable,� she said. Alteri obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing, taking special courses in critical care. To prepare to

become a hospice nurse, after becoming an RN, she worked in a special care unit caring for catastrophically ill and medically complex patients, and then in a dialysis unit. “That got me in the door to hospice,� she added. She began at Hospice & Palliative Care two years ago. “It’s a great career,� she noted. “Any nurse who is interested in hospice should get experience in critical care — get all the experience you can in critical care — because you’ll be making critical decisions as a hospice nurse.� “We are fortunate to have such an amazing, caring and skilled staff person,� Hospice & Palliative Care Community Support Services Supervisor Laurie Barr said about Alteri. “She’s amazing and her patients and families are lucky.� Frances Mannino’s husband received care from Hospice and Palliative Care in their home in Utica. “Hospice came and helped us get through,� she said. “They are such wonderful, compassionate, loving, caring people. They are angels.� The hospice team serves people in Oneida, Herkimer and eastern Madison counties. Care is provided for anyone who has a life expectancy of six months or less. Nurses specialize in pain control and symptom management. Services are available to anyone who needs them, regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay. For more information on Hospice & Palliative Care, see or call 315-735-6487.

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Health Careers

Occupational Therapy Health care professionals help restore normalcy to patients’ lives By Kristen Raab


ave you ever wondered if occupational therapy might be the career choice for you? For many patients, OT is a smart health decision, and it’s also a great career choice. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, OT helps people “participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).” Jennings This includes helping people with disabilities, injuries, or who are aging. Occupational therapists assist people across their lifespan. “OT focuses on activities of daily living, developmental skills training, helping people recover from injury, adapting and modifying the environment,” said occupational therapist Amy Jennings. There are a variety of places occupational therapists can work. The most common are hospitals, home care, sub-acute rehabilitation, long-term care, inpatient settings and schools. An OT can expect to spend a lot of time on his or her feet at work. Occupational therapists create plans for patients with specific goals to improve the ability to complete tasks. Other aspects of the job include demonstrating exercises and stretches that reduce pain, demonstrating exercises that can help relieve pain, educating families and employers on patient care and accommodation, recommendation of special equipment, and evaluating homes and workplaces to identify ways to improve these locations for the patient. Jennings received her Bachelor of Science degree in health studies. She is presently enrolled in an occupational therapy graduate program. The current requirement for an entry-level OT position is a master’s degree. In addition, she furthered her education by completing her master’s degree in health care administration in 2015. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam is required. Jennings passed that test, and she is working toward her nursing home administration licensure. The requirement is to complete an administrator-in-training program.

Career in health care

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.

Jennings worked at various levels of health care since 2000. Her first work experience in a health care center was with Sodexo at the Heritage Health Care Center in Utica as a dietary aide-supervisor. She began working at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse in 2008. “I have experience across multiple settings and am a rehabilitation director in a subacute-long-term care facility,” she said. Her experience includes generalist therapy, neurological, orthopedics and stroke programs, trauma therapy, spinal cord and traumatic brain injury. She maintains a specialty certification as a certified brain injury specialist. Pay rates for occupational therapists vary by state and work facility. The median wage in 2016 was $81,910, but it’s possible to start out in the mid $50,000 range and to earn over $100,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is significantly faster than the average for other careers. “My favorite part about OT is having the opportunity to help people. I really enjoy making a positive difference in the lives of others through improving independence and maximizing skill performance,” Jennings said. She also enjoys being on an interdisciplinary team as it “allows for the opportunity to collaborate and provide the best quality care,” she said. As is the case with any job, there are challenges. “Documentation, insurance and ongoing changes, as UT-000595577 well as productivity or direct patient care hours, can be stressful,” Jennings noted. Jennings advises students in the program to observe and participate in a variety of settings and to pick the best choice for them. She noted health care is always changing, so one must “never stop learning and continue to keep up with continuing education requirements.” “Always ask questions and never stop advocating for your patients,” she said. For career information, visit Considering-OT-Career.aspx or PROOF O.K. BY:___________________________ O.K. WITH CORRECTIONS BY:________________________ PLEASE READ CAREFULLY • SUBMIT CORRECTIONS ONLINE Jennings’ favorite quote is “the most important investment you(100%) UT-000595577 can make is in yourself” by Warren ADVERTISER: VALLEY Buffet, which alignsMOHAWK nicely with herENDOSCOPY PROOF CREATED AT: 2/22/2017 9:24:00 AM UT-000595577 chosen profession. SALES PERSON: UT6021 NEXT RUN DATE: 02/26/17

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


PROOF DUE: 02/24/17 12:59:55 November 2017 • IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

Between You and Me

By Barbara Pierce

Inner Sanctum Your subconscious mind rules your behavior “Tall, slender, clean cut, clean shaven, a classy professional.” That was how I described the man of my dreams. I was single and searching. I’d been told that the first step to find the man of my dreams was to describe him. Shorter than I, overweight (but buff), high school dropout, beard, tattoo, think “biker.” That describes the man I fell in love with. Diametrically opposed to the description in my mind. This is because our rational mind does not make the decision of whom we are attracted to. Our subconscious mind actually makes our decisions for us. Decisions about Pierce whom we love, how we behave, how we respond to people and to situations. Yes, it’s a proven fact: Your subconscious mind runs your life, makes you behave the way you do, is responsible for how you react. “There is our conscious mind that thinks freely. Then there is our subconscious mind, which is basically a super computer loaded with a database of programmed behaviors, most of which we acquired before age 6,” said Bruce Lipton online at The subconscious mind automatically reacts to situations. “Our brains begin to prepare for action just over a third of a second before we consciously decide to act,” said Lipton. In other words, even when we think we are conscious, it is our subconscious mind that is making decisions for us. Lipton also says that our subconscious mind operates at 40 million bits of data per second, while our conscious mind processes at only 40 bits per second. So our subconscious mind is

much more powerful, and it is our subconscious mind that shapes how we live our life. It powerfully influences our behavior, making us do things without knowing why. Most of our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior depend on the 95 percent of the brain activity that is beyond our conscious awareness. In one research study, college students bumped into a woman holding textbooks, papers and a cup of either hot or iced coffee. She asked for a hand with the cup. The students who held the cup of iced coffee rated the woman as being colder, less social and more selfish than did the students who held the hot cup. Findings like this are many: People tidy up better when there’s a tang of cleaning liquid in the air; they become more competitive if there’s a briefcase in sight, or more cooperative if they glimpse words like “dependable” and “support.” People marry people with the

same last name. We tend to be unconsciously biased in favor of traits similar to our own, even meaningless traits like our names.

Appealing to subconscious

In restaurants, flowery modifiers lead people to rate those foods as tasting better than the identical foods with only a generic listing. Crispy cucumber, velvety mashed potatoes, slow-roasted beets on a bed of argulula. The description of a dish influences our feeling of how its tastes. In study after study, people are strongly influenced by irrelevant factors — the ones that speak to our unconscious desires and motivations. When asked about the reasons for their decisions, the subjects were completely unaware that those factors had influenced them. We judge products by their boxes, books by their covers. Marketing is everything. Also, when you hear results of polls where they ask people things



At our Rome off ice

Page 10

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

like the reason they support or don’t support the president, the reasons they like or dislike their job, spouse, etc., take the results with a grain of salt. Their rational answer is pretty meaningless and they don’t really even know. We make judgments, we act influenced by factors we aren’t aware of. We form instant assessments when we meet a new person. In seven seconds, we’ve decided if we like this person or not, about the time it took you to read this paragraph. If you are a doctor, the tone of your voice can have an impact — not only on your patient’s assessment of you, but whether they sue you if anything goes wrong. If you are a salesperson, your degree of eye contact influences whether you make the sale. We don’t realize how quickly we judge others. Our subconscious mind makes snap judgments. It’s how we are genetically wired. First impressions do matter. They matter because we continue to believe them. Even when we get subsequent information that shows we were wrong, we ignore the subsequent information. We stick with our initial impression. Knowing that our subconscious is running the show, shaping our behavior, and has all the power, what are we to do? Treat it with respect, suggests Matt James online. Your subconscious has important roles to play. It has a wisdom of its own that should be honored. Be aware of it. Respect your instincts. Work with your subconscious rather than trying to browbeat it into submission or ignoring it. • 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



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Mental Health Dyslexia: Untangling the Words Learning disability can have dramatic impact on lives By Barbara Pierce “One in five people today struggle with dyslexia,” said Linda Martin, director of the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Oriskany. Dyslexia is a learning disability that causes problems with reading, spelling, writing and sometimes math. Kids with dyslexia are often labeled as slow learners. Though dyslexia impacts learning, it has nothing to do with intelligence. Kids with this issue are just as smart as everyone else; their brain just functions differently. Boys and girls have it equally. “It doesn’t go away; you don’t get over it,” stressed Martin. “It’s a lifelong issue. You learn strategies to get around it; you learn to manage.” Dyslexia has degrees of severity, so symptoms may differ from one child to another. It’s mainly a problem with reading accurately and fluently. Kids with dyslexia may have trouble answering questions about something they’ve read. But when it’s read to them, they may have no difficulty at all. “The predisposition to have dyslexia is hereditary,” explained Martin. People sometimes believe dyslexia is a visual issue. They think it is reversing letters or writing backwards. But dyslexia is not a problem with vision or with seeing letters in the wrong direction. It’s more a problem of matching letters to sounds. Having a different way of learning is extremely frustrating for kids; they endure severe difficulties and demoralization daily. Other kids make fun of them as they struggle. “I just couldn’t get it, no matter how hard I tried,” one girl said online of being in second grade. “It hurts my mind,” one teenager says of the many hours each day she must spend doing homework. Another said: “I pretended I was sick. I was so far behind I didn’t want to go to school.” Children left with untreated dyslexia often suffer devastating

consequences. It is the No. 1 reason teenagers drop out of school and is a primary factor in juvenile delinquency. Research reveals that children with untreated dyslexia can become underachieving adults unable to contribute to society at their fullest capacity. It is, however, treatable. Children with dyslexia need professional help, and the earlier they get it, the better their chances of success in school. Third grade is critical in a child’s life, Martin said. Up to then, they’ve been learning to read. In third grade, they begin to read to learn. “In third grade, off you go! If you have difficulty reading, you hit a wall,” Martin said.

Early indicator

Children who don’t learn to read successfully in second grade are on the path to becoming high school dropouts.

“Though one in five school children struggles with dyslexia, New York state is reluctant to deal with it,” Martin added. “We’re encouraging schools to get proactive.” “We’re here to help,” she said of the Children’s Dyslexia Center that provides free tutoring for children with dyslexia and also trains tutors — all without charge. “As long as we can do it for free, we will,” Martin said. “We tutor kids in Central New York from First grade to high school seniors.” Dyslexia tutoring that is clinically proven is provided free of charge. The center also provides accredited training to become a certified trainer, also at no charge. To enter the program, a bachelor’s degree is required. The program offers four years of training, in the classroom and in supervised practice. Symptoms of dyslexia vary

according to your child’s age. If you are concerned about your child, there are many good online resources. One is www.Understood. org., which even offers a simulation of what it is like for a child with dyslexia. Do read the book “Overcoming Dyslexia,” by Sally Shaywith, Martin recommends. “It’s excellent,” For concerned parents, tutors can be hired to provide help privately. The center has a list of certified tutors if parents wish to hire a tutor. Get help if you suspect your child has dyslexia, Martin urges. “Help is life changing. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There are ways to help,” she said. It costs approximately $5,000 to tutor one child for one year; most children require two years of tutoring. The nonprofit Children’s Dyslexia Center relies almost entirely on donations to operate. To make a donation, visit its website at http://cnyclc. org/cnyclc/, or call 315-736-0574. There are three major fundraisers every year — a walkathon on Sept. 23, a gala in March and a golf tournament in August. Volunteers support the center in many ways. To learn about volunteer opportunities, visit the website or call. Experts say to read aloud to your children and choose stories that play into his or her passion. This is helpful to any child, but especially one with dyslexia. Martin wants people to know that, though it’s a life-long issue, children with dyslexia can become strong readers, strong learners, and can succeed in school and in life. For more information on the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Central New York, see cnyclc/ or call 315-736-0574.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11

Mental Health It’s a natural remedy!

Counters disorders

freedom from worry. They’re right. “There’s something powerful and beautiful here,” said Nancy Herrick, office manager, Spring Farm CARES Animal and Nature Sanctuary, Clinton. “It’s very peaceful; very soothing. Beautiful to see.” The Nature Sanctuary, 250 acres of forest, wetland, and grassland, has several miles of trails that are open by appointment and tours. “The length of the tour depends on the visitor,” added Herrick. “Naturalist Matt Perry runs the sanctuary and guides the tours. He’s interesting to listen to, with a wealth of interesting tidbits you’d never know.” “People volunteer here, an hour a week or more,” she said. “They sit with the small animals, cats, bunnies, and groom them. The animals love it. So do the volunteers.” “This is a very welcoming place to be,” she added. “We love to have visitors and welcome everyone to tour our facility. We’d like you to make an appointment so that we have staff available to give you the complete tour.” Appointments can be made for seven days a week. For more information, call 315-737-9339. For more information on the nonprofit Spring Farm CARES Animal and Nature Sanctuary, see its website at If you have time to stop and smell the roses, great! But if you find yourself in a hurry (and who doesn’t these days?) simply seeing beautiful blooms can lift your spirits, according to a study done by Harvard. So buy yourself some flowers and put them on a vase near your bed. Or take the scenic route for your morning commute and make sure to actually enjoy the scenery. “Do something good for yourself,” Scarfuto. “Just look at the beauty around you.” The stunning photographs of MVTTL can be seen on the Facebook page “Mohawk Valley Through the Lens.”

beyond the injury to understand the mental and emotional impacts on recovery when symptoms persist,” Neidecker said. Doctors should get a full patient history to uncover factors that might complicate concussion recovery in teens, he said. “Often in this age range, issues like migraines, depression and anxiety have not yet been diagnosed,” Neidecker explained. “So, if I ask

a patient whether they have one of these conditions, they’re likely to say ‘No’. But when I ask about their experiences, I get a much clearer picture.” The research team focused on 102 girls and 110 boys, ages 11 to 18, with first-time sports concussions. Symptoms lasted a median of 28 days in girls (half more, half less) and 11 days in boys.

Nature’s medicine: How time outdoors makes us healthier By Barbara Pierce


magine a remedy that has absolutely no side effects and is readily available at no cost. A remedy that will lift your spirits, reduce your stress hormones, increase your feelings of wellbeing, lower your blood pressure, and improve your cognitive functioning. “Just look at the beauty of nature and you’ll feel good,” said Lynn Scarfuto of Herkimer. Being out in nature has so many health benefits said the retired nurse, who regularly enjoys the beauty of the area as she photographs the Mohawk Valley as a member of Mohawk Valley Through the Lens. She’s onto something. Being in nature and even viewing scenes of nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Research done in hospitals found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety. Another study found that post-surgery patients with a view of trees out their window needed less pain medication than

those without this view. When we get close to nature — untouched wilderness or even a back yard tree — we do our overstressed brains and bodies a favor. There’s a reason they call nature the miracle medicine. The Mohawk Valley, with our state parks, rivers, canals, and mountains, features some of the most beautiful scenery in the nation. In 1642, early settler Arent van Curler reported on this majestic valley, “the most beautiful land that the eyes of man ever beheld.” “We get a lot of enjoyment out of being out in nature,” added Scarfuto. “My favorite area is the covered bridge in Salisbury. It’s a beautiful old bridge with a beautiful waterfall. Bob (Robert Ostrander, her significant other) loves to photograph barns. He likes to drive down back roads to see what he comes upon.” The Canalway Trail between Mohawk and Herkimer, down to the Fort Herkimer Church, is Clifford Oram’s favorite spot. The Ilion resident is also a member of MVTTL, originated

by his son.

One study found that the closer someone lived to a green space or nature area, the healthier that person was likely to be. In fact, those who lived closest to a park, nature reserve or wooded area were less likely to suffer from anxiety or depression. Other studies have found sleep improvements, better immune system function, and lower rates of stress related disorders in those who spent regular time in nature. All of these factors may be reasons that regular gardeners live longer and the practice of “forest bathing” (spending time in the forest) has become popular in Japan and is even prescribed and covered by some medical plans. The Japanese practice of “forest bathing,” called Shinrin-yoku, involves walking slowly and mindfully through nature. It’s not a hike to get somewhere or a tour of a scenic area but simply an enjoyment of the outdoors. And this simple jaunt, they say, brings peace, happiness, and

s d i K Corner

Girls’ sports-related concussions may last twice as long


ports concussion symptoms linger twice as long in teen girls as in boys, a new study finds. “These findings confirm what many in sports medicine have believed for some time,” said lead researcher physician John Neidecker, a sports concussion specialist in Raleigh, N.C. Previous research has suggested that concussions may exacerbate underlying conditions that are Page 12

more prevalent in girls — migraine headaches, depression, anxiety and stress. This may explain the extended recovery period, Neidecker and his colleagues said. The study findings were published Oct. 2 in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The results highlight “the need to take a whole person approach to managing concussions, looking

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

Mental Health number raised during 2015.

44.5 million

The forecasted number of turkeys raised in Minnesota in 2016. Minnesota topped in turkey production, followed by North Carolina (33.5 million), Arkansas (26 million), Indiana (19.5 million), Missouri (19.2 million) and Virginia (17.2 million).

$25.8 million


Thanksgiving Day By the Numbers

n the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims — early settlers of Plymouth Colony — held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Many regard this event as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. The Wampanoag Indians in attendance played a key role. Historians have recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America. These include the British colonists in Virginia as early as 1619. The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday 154 years ago (Oct. 3, 1863) when President Abraham Lincoln pro-

claimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving Day should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday. The following facts are made possible by the responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys.

244 million

The forecasted number of turkeys raised in the United States in 2016. That is up 4.5 percent from the

The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys in 2016, with 99.9 percent of them coming from Canada and the remaining from France. When it comes to sweet potatoes, the Dominican Republic was the source of 49.6 percent ($6.4 million) of total imports ($12.9 million). The United States ran a $13.7 million trade deficit in live turkeys during the period but had a surplus of $159.4 million in sweet potatoes.

859 million pounds

The forecasted weight of cranberries produced in the United States in 2016. Wisconsin was estimated to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 521.0 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (estimated at 207.0 million pounds). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington were also estimated to have substantial production, ranging from 19.4 to 58.8 million pounds.

3.1 billion pounds

The total weight of sweet potatoes — another popular Thanksgiv-

ing side dish — produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2015.


The number of baked goods stores in the United States in 2015 — a potential place to visit to purchase tasty desserts.


The number of fruit and vegetable markets in the United States in 2015 — a great place to find holiday side dishes.


The number of places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course. Turkey Creek census designated place in Arizona, had 405 residents in 2015, followed by Turkey city, Texas (367); Turkey Creek village, La. (357); and Turkey town, N.C. (280). There are also 11 townships in the United States with “Turkey” in the name.


The number of places and townships in the United States named Cranberry, a popular side dish at Thanksgiving. Cranberry township (Butler County), Pa., was the most populous of these places in 2016, with 30,739 residents. Cranberry township (Venango County), Pa., was next with 6,452 residents. Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare | St. Elizabeth Medical Center November 2017 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13


Reasons to Advertise in the 2018 CNY Healthcare Guide



CONTENT: The Healthcare Guide is the only publication of its type in CNY. It brings a wide range of information about hospitals and other health providers, nonprofit organizations and support groups. It includes profiles of top leaders in the healthcare industry.

2 3 4


use the Healthcare Guide as a reference material to consult names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. The material is current all year-long. SHELF LIFE —


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healthcare professionals (administrators, managers, supervisors), health consumers and subscribers to In Good Health.

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Free online presence. Your ad will be in our Interactive Edition at Viewers will be able to click on it and visit your site in seconds. Distribution. Available everywhere, including all Wegmans and other grocery stores in the region

PLUS: Resources Directory Listing many nonprofit organizations, support groups, medical practices.

Call Amy Gagliano at 315-749-7070 • Page 14

The Balanced Body

By Deb Dittner

It’s time to set, reach fitness goals Make exercise part of your lifestyle


taying fit is so very important for a balanced and healthy body, mind and spirit. But I often hear, “I just don’t like to exercise.” That saddens me becauses I have been an athlete like forever. And no, I don’t expect everyone to go to the gym every day, or run that three-mile race next month, or learn the latest piece of equipment that gets you toned in 30 days. But I do say time and time again — you need to move! Let’s explore how you can achieve your fitness goals: We are all individuals and what Dittner works for your friend may not be what your body requires. There is no best workout routine as advertised in the latest fitness magazine. The best workout plan is the one that you find and stick to, one that you enjoy and works for your fitness goals. I have a client in this exact same boat. She hasn’t moved in years but understood that was something she needed. I asked, “What have you liked doing in the past?” She responded with getting a personal trainer. So that is what she did and is now flourishing. Understand that your fitness routine is for you and only you. Do not compare yourself with a family member, your best friend, or the person next to you at the gym. Your fitness goals are all about you and reaching for the best version you can be. Running yourself into the ground is not in your best interest. Will you feel sore after a workout? Yes, possibly in the beginning. Don’t forget you’ll be working muscles that you haven’t worked in quite some time. A great workout will energize you and challenge you to come back for more the next day. Is quitting in your future? I truly hope not but there are times that you may feel this way. Some days you may wake up feeling down on the whole movement thing. Granted, you are pushing yourself out of your

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

comfort zone, but don’t feel that this is a sign of weakness. Instead, keep moving however small that may be, and this too shall pass.

Benefits of weightlifting

Some women fear that they will “bulk up” and not be considered feminine. But don’t worry ladies! Women lifting challenging weights improve bone density, and that decreases the possibilities of developing osteoporosis. Weight lifting also improves self-confidence, overall strength, muscle definition, and increases fat loss. Quality and not quantity is what I look for in a fitness regimen. You do not need to be in the gym every day or on the road every day, or lifting weights every day. Time is not the important factor here but what you do during that time is what creates quality sessions. Eating whole nutrient-dense foods is important in achieving your fitness goals. I’m a big foodie and encourage incorporating six to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits into your daily nutrition. Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, and wild-caught fish help to balance along with clean, lean protein. And remember — no one can be “perfect” in what you eat. I once had a client say that she “didn’t want to eat like I eat” even though she didn’t know what I ate on a daily basis. We are all individuals requiring specific needs for your individual health and wellness. Depriving yourself of a favorite food may only make you want it more so. It’s OK to have that piece of birthday cake or an ice cream cone during the heat of summer. Serving size and portion control is important here. Having fun with fitness helps in the reduction of stress and improved sleep. Who couldn’t use less stress in your life or a better night of sleep? Enjoy! • Deborah Dittner is a family nurse practitioner and health consultant. Her mission is to transform as many individuals as possible through nutrition and lifestyle changes. For more information, check out her website at www.debdittner. com or contact her at 518-596-8565.

18.5 million

The number of military veterans in the United States in 2016.

1.6 million

The number of female veterans in the United States in 2016.

11.6 Percent

The percentage of veterans in 2016 who were black. Additionally, 78 percent were non-Hispanic white, 1.6 percent were Asian, 0.7 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.2 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 1.3 percent were some other race.

6.5 percent

The percentage of veterans in 2016 who were Hispanic.

Veterans Day is celebrated Nov. 11.

9.2 million

The number of veterans age 65 and older in 2016. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.6 million were younger than age 35.

6.7 million

Veterans Day by the numbers


eterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to

The number of Vietnam Era veterans in 2016. Moreover, there were 7.1 million who served during the Gulf War (representing service from August 1990 to present); 768,000 who served in World War II; 1.6 million who served in the Korean War; and 2.4 million who served in peacetime only.

honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation and a remembrance ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. The ceremony honors and thanks all who served in the U.S. armed forces.



The number of states with 1 mil-


28.3 percent

The percentage of veterans 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2016. In comparison, 31.5 percent of nonveterans had a bachelor’s degree or higher.


The annual median income of male veterans in 2016, compared with $35,365 for male nonveterans.


The annual median income of female veterans in 2016, compared with $23,445 for female nonveterans.

7.2 million

The number of veterans 18 to 64 years old in the labor force in 2016. Of those veterans, 6.8 million were employed.

4 million

The number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating in 2016. Of this number, 1.3 million had a rating of 70 percent or higher. A “service-connected” disability is one that was a result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Severity of one’s disability is scaled from 0 to 100 percent, and eligibility for compensation depends on one’s rating.

By Anne Palumbo

The skinny on healthy eating

Helpful Tips

Little Cannellinis Dish Out Big Benefits

eans are a big part of my weekly diet, for many reasons. But there was a time when I could barely imagine eating them, thanks to the canned, overly sweet baked beans that I choked down as a child. What really did me in was the fatty glob of pork, tucked amidst the gooey beans, that sometimes found its way onto my plate. What brought me back to beans, however, was my daughter, who became a vegetarian at 12. Concerned about the nutritional needs of her growing body, I looked for alternative sources of protein, vitamins, iron, and more — sources the whole family could enjoy. All roads pointed to beans. Though empty-nesters now, my husband and I continue to enjoy beans. In fact, we probably eat more beans than ever, now that we’ve cut back on meat and are keeping closer tabs on our hearts, weight and fiber intake. Nutrition reasons aside, we like beans because they’re economical, convenient and planet-friendly (1 pound of beans requires less than 500 gallons of water to produce; whereas 1 pound of meat requires over 1800 gallons). Cannellini beans, sometimes called “white kidney beans,” are an all-time favorite, from their taste to their texture to how wonderfully

lion or more veterans in 2016. These states were California (1.6 million), Texas (1.5 million) and Florida (1.4 million).

they absorb flavors. Similar to many beans, a half cup of cannellini beans serves up 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, scant fat, and about 10 percent of our daily iron needs. Although the protein in cannellini beans is incomplete — like most plant-based proteins — it simply needs to be combined with a complementary protein to reap the full benefits of this powerhouse nutrient. No worries, however, about pairing proteins at the same meal; just having another plant protein — such as nuts, grains, or pasta — at some point during the day will do the trick. Cannellini beans are super good for hearts. One, they rock with cholesterol-lowering fiber; two, they’re chock full of folate, a B vitamin that effectively lowers levels of an amino acid in the bloodstream associated with greater risk of heart disease and stroke; three, they’re low in fat and calories (only 100 per half cup); and four, they’re loaded with heart-protecting antioxidants. Another reason to chow down the cannellinis? They boast a remarkable amount of molybdenum, a trace mineral that helps to detoxify sulfites (preservatives found in prepared foods and wine), which can sometimes cause headaches. Some wine and cannellini pâté, anyone?

Nutrition-wise, canned beans and dried beans are about equal. But if you prefer the convenience of canned over dried beans, look for canned beans labeled “Low Salt” or “Low Sodium.” Before using in any recipe, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly to remove excess sodium.

Cannellini Bean Chili with Turkey 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and diced 1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, more to taste 2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 cups cooked, shredded or diced turkey (optional) juice of 1 lime salt and pepper, to taste Garnishes, such as grated cheese, fresh cilantro, plain Greek yogurt Heat the oil in large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion,

November 2017 •

poblano, and jalapeno; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about eight minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, and hot pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cannellini beans, broth, and cooked turkey (if using). Bring to a boil, while mashing some of the beans against the side of the pan to release starch. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice and more broth, if needed. Season with salt and pepper; garnish as desired.

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

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Health News Physicians Urgent Care at Griffiss open Walk-in urgent care services are available in Rome for patients aged 2 and older. Physicians Urgent Care at Griffiss opened in the Mohawk Glen medical building in Suite 120, located in the rear of the building. Open to the public, Physicians Urgent Care will participate with most major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Rome Memorial Hospital is working with Slocum Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford, which is staffing the new urgent care with a physician onsite working in collaboration with nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide medical care for minor illnesses and injuries. When a patient can’t wait for an appointment with his or her own provider, Physicians Urgent Care will provide the community with an alternative for those minor problems that don’t need to be seen in an emergency department. These include treatment of sprains, broken bones, cuts, common illnesses and job-related injuries. Initially, the urgent care will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, but it will expand hours to meet the community’s evening and weekend needs.

Physician joins AMP Urology Urologist Brent E. Carlyle of AMP Urology has joined Rome Medical Practice to offer urological services in Rome. The office is located in the Griffiss Business and Technology Park at 267 Hill Road, Suite 300, accessed by turning on Avery Road next to AmeriCU Federal Credit Union. “Dr. Carlyle is a great addition to Carlyle the urology team, joining Dr. Wael Muakkassa and Dr. Bashar Omarbasha in providing treatment of diseases of the urinary tract in men and women,” said Giselle Wisdom, Rome Medical Practice administrator. Carlyle completed his urology residency at Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. He earned his medical degree at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; his undergraduate degree with Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is a member of the American Urological Association. “I became interested in urology because there is a lot of variety in this field of medicine,” Carlyle said. “Beside the differences in treating men and women, as an urologist I treat a Page 16

and literacy education. — Betsy Harvey-Minutti was recently promoted to senior manager of rehabilitation clinical services. She has been with CABVI for 20 years. “Betsy was originally hired as a case manager and has consistently shown care and dedication to the job but, more importantly, to the people CABVI serves,” the spokesperson said. Harvey-Minutti graduated from SUNY Brockport with a bachelor’s degree in social work and received her vision rehab therapist training through Lighthouse in New York City.

SDMG employee celebrates anniversary

American Heart Association takes mission to new Utica location The carpet is fresh, there’s a huddle space with a treadmill and an exercise ball, and staff of the American Heart Association are settling in to their new offices at 125 Business Park Drive, Suite 106, Utica. The AHA/American Stroke Association recently cut the ribbon to officially open the new office. AHA-ASA volunteer Jim Stasaitis and board chairwoman Marolyn Wilson (center) cut the ribbon along with volunteers, survivors and representatives from the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce. “All of us are excited to continue the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association in our new space,” said Jennifer Balog, executive director of the Greater Utica AHA-ASA. “We will continue to strive to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.” variety of disorders.” Carlyle performs in-office procedures, including cystoscopy and vasectomies. Carlyle and his wife, Lauren Carlyle, a pediatrician, are the parents of five children, one set of twins and one set of triplets.

CABVI announces new hires, promotions The Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Utica recently announced hires and promotions. — Kelly Smith is the new CABVI base supply center manager at the Newport Naval Station in Newport, R.I. “Her decision to join the CABVI family was inspired by its mission to help people Smith and the chance to fully utilize her customer service skills,” a CABVI spokesperson said. — Felix Mendez is the new contact center manager. “With his educational background in business management, Felix continues to apply his knowledge to managing a seamless work environment,” the spokesperson said. — David Holbert, who started as an information technology technician, is the new IT manager. He has

been with CABVI for two years. He received a Bachelor or Science degree in computer information sciences from ECPI University, Richmond, Va. “As an Army veteran and skilled computer scientist, Dave is a great addition to the CABVI family,” the spokesperson said. — Kim Scerbo is the new Mendez children’s service supervisor, and has been employed with the agency for 11 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Utica College with a major in psychology and a minor in early childhood education. She also earned a Master of Science degree in education from SUNY Cortland. Scerbo In addition to her educational accomplishments, Scerbo earned her Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired Certification from Dominican College in Orangeburg and holds a New York state professional certification in early childhood education

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

Slocum-Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford recently recognized Jennifer Rose for her 25 years of service. A celebratory breakfast for all employees was held in her honor. Rose began her career with SDMG in October of 1992 as a medical records clerk. Shortly after, Rose she transitioned into a position as a medical assistant in the dermatology department. By 1997, Rose found her permanent home in the ophthalmology department working as a medical assistant in the office of Alan D. Harris. Over her 25-year career with SDMG, Rose has proven to be a team player, helping out where ever she is needed in order to meet department goals and ensure high-quality patient care, according to an SDMG spokesperson.

SDMG names business office director Margaret (Peg) Sparrow has been named business office director for Slocum-Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford. She is responsible for the direction and coordination of business office operations and billing services. She provides leadership and oversight for a large staff of business office personnel Sparrow and patient service representatives. Sparrow began her career with SDMG in 2004 as an insurance specialist in the business office. She was later promoted to training educator, business office supervisor and then special projects coordinator. Sparrow has more than 18 years of experience in medical billing ser-

Continued on Page 17

Health News Continued from Page 16

certified professional in healthcare compliance. Prior to arriving at UCP, he worked for Bassett Healthcare Network as the interim corporate compliance officer. Prior to that, he worked as an associate risk manager and legal affairs manager.

vices with a high level of productivity, adaptability and problem-solving skills. “Her success in previous supervisory positions is evidence of her excellent leadership skills and ability to motivate staff and guide them through change processes,” an SDMG spokesperson said.

Help make holidays bright at UCP

Medical group gains new physician Sascha Qian has joined the staff of Advanced Physical Medicine and Rehab-Spinal & Skeletal Pain Medicine in Utica, and has privileges at both Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. In this position, Qian provides a wide range of services, including ultrasound and fluoroscopically guided injections, spinal cord stimulation, vertebral augmenQian tation, stem cell therapy, as well as outpatient lidocaine and ketamine infusions for neuropathic pain. Qian received her medical degree from Yale University in New Haven, Conn. She completed an anesthesiology residency at Columbia-New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, followed by a fellowship in interventional pain management at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in biological studies from Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., and graduated with Phi Beta Kappa and honors.

Residency program gains faculty member Donish Siddiqi has joined the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program as a core faculty member and has privileges at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. The residency program is an affiliate of SEMC and the Mohawk Valley Health System. Siddiqi earned his medical degree Siddiqi from the American University of Antigua College of Medicine in St. Johns, Antigua. He completed his family medicine residency at the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency in Utica and his associate’s degree in health science from the American International College of Arts and Sciences-Antigua in St. Johns, Antigua. He is board-certified in family medicine by the American Board of

Students explore health care careers at Rome Memorial Hospital Rome Memorial Hospital’s three-day Health Care Academy program — sponsored by Rome Hospital Foundation and M&T Bank — introduced 17 campers from nine different schools to an array of health care careers recently. In photo above, students at the academy get hands-on experience inside the hospital’s hazardous materials decontamination tent. Working alongside the decontamination unit’s Nicholas Facciolo, left, and Noel Colp, right, is academy participants Anthony Carrock, James Pike and McKenna Smyth. The fellow student they are “decontaminating” is Ella Hale. Looking on is Julie Chrysler, hospital director of education, volunteer services and employee health, and student Emery Crossley. Family Medicine. Siddiqi is a member of the Medical Society of the State of New York and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He speaks Hindi/ Urdu and Spanish, in addition to English. Siddiqi’s office is located at the Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center, 120 Hobart St., Utica.

Red Yarn Drive aids special cause Calling all knitters! The American Heart Association-American Stroke Association needs your help to celebrate American Heart Month in February. Together with Mended Little Hearts of Utica/Mohawk Valley and Team Matteo Supporting Little Hats, Big Hearts, the American Heart Association presents “The Red Yarn Drive.” The drive honors babies, parents, and heart healthy lives in a special way. The Red Yarn Drive is recruiting crafters to make handmade red hats to be given out to babies during American Heart Month. These hats will help empower parents to live heart healthy lives and to help their children do the same, while raising awareness of congenital heart defects. The Red Yarn Drive is accepting donations of finished hats, as well as red yarn to supply the volunteers already working to carry out the groups’ mission. The drive will run through February when hats will be hand deliv-

ered to local hospitals. Red yarn can be dropped in red boxes throughout the community at local businesses, places of worship, and senior living and assisted living communities. Finished hats can be dropped off to the American Heart Association at 125 Business Park Drive, Utica. Hats of all sizes are needed ranging from preemie to infant. Optional patterns can be downloaded at www. The Little Hats, Big Hearts program is presented in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation. For more information, call 800242-8721 or visit or

UCP adds compliance officer Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s executive team recently welcomed Constantine Gleboff, Sr. as vice president of compliance and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) officer. Gleboff oversees the compliance department to enhance compliance with all service regulations, operational policies, procedures and billing requirements. Gleboff Gleboff earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Touro Law School on Long Island and then became a

November 2017 •

Upstate Cerebral Palsy, 1020 Mary St., Utica, has begun its annual “Holiday Miracles” project to help needy children receiving agency services. Each year, caseworkers identify children who are in need of assistance. Volunteers then receive a child’s wish list of items including clothes, pajamas, books and toys. Community members are invited to participate through either sponsoring a child or children or through making a donation. For more information, or to shop for a child this season, call 315-738-0794 ext. 223.

VHS selects top employee of quarter Lynn Shepherd of the activities department at Valley Health Services, Herkimer, was selected as the employee of the third quarter of 2017. Shepherd joined the VHS staff as a resident aide in April 2015, became a certified nurse assistant in November 2015, and joined the activities department in January. Shepherd’s co-workers affirm Shepherd that he is a “huge asset” to the activities department. “He has an exuberant attitude and fun approach to programs. Lynn starts the day with energetic announcements regarding upcoming events, and the residents love spending time with him,” a co-worker noted.

VHS bolsters food service staff Eric Kennedy has joined the staff at Valley Health Services in Herkimer as the assistant director of food service. Kennedy received a certificate from the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in food service. Having served in a food service role for most of his life, Kennedy’s professional career experience includes serving as a cook in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, as well as working with Kennedy organizations such as Orchard Hall and Loretto Nursing Home.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

Health in good


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

Seeking Nurses! Are you looking for a change? Full and Part time Opportunities for RN’s and LPN’s The Arc, Oneida – Lewis Chapter has nursing opportunities available in Oneida County assisting individuals with disabilities with their medical needs. To ensure oversight and provision of nursing services to individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities that we support in our Utica/ Rome Programs. FT, PT or per- diem opportunities. Flexible schedule to meet your needs! Current licensure, valid NYS driver’s license required. Generous paid time off/ benefits package for FT. $2,500 sign on bonus for RN’s. Apply at: 241 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501, fax resumes to (315) 272 – 1785, or email

Check us out at Drug free work place/ EOE.

Making a donation this year? First, check with Better Business Bureau


e all know to check with the Better Business Bureau before making a purchase, hiring for the home or buying a car, but did you know that you can check with BBB before you give to charities, too? BBB knows that people have concerns and wonder if an organization is legitimate before they give. BBB has verified information available to help you give with confidence. “BBB’s information isn’t just great for donors, it’s a valuable accountability tools for charities, too,” A BBB spokesperson said. BBB has 20 standards for charity accountability. Once a charity meets all 20 standards, it’s a BBB-accredited charity. The reports show how charities Page 18

performed against the 20 standards for charity accountability. BBB’s charity reports show people how a charity raises money, how that money is spent and more. The evaluation process looks to ensure that the organization’s board of directors is providing adequate oversight and that it’s being truthful in fundraising, among other things. Each year, BBB publishes its “Upstate New York Giving Guide,” which highlights the evaluation conclusions of its charity reports. This year’s guide was recently released. For the guide, visit All charity reviews are online at or Information is also accessible by calling 1-800-8285000.

Take back your weekend Down time is essential to health

By Barbara Pierce


ake back your weekend and leave the work at work — it will bring you life-changing benefits. More of us have given up our weekends to our workplace. Technology makes it easier to do and harder to disconnect from our work. More and more, our work and our private lives have blended into one. The surprising news? It’s not improving our work, and it’s not good for us. Weekends aren’t what they Carney used to be. It’s become a serious problem, both for our health and our work. The weekend — the once-sacred 48 hours of leisure away from our jobs — has been lost to overbooked schedules, pinging devices and encroaching work demands. Many of us are working more hours than we did a decade ago, and worse, we allow those hours to slide over seven days a week, giving us no respite to tune out and recharge. “People definitely need adequate down time,” said Brenda Carney, nurse practitioner and CEO of CNY Family Nurse Practitioners, New Hartford. Carney ensures that her employees take time off on weekends as well for planned vacations. “Regular time off is important for reducing stress,” she said. “Enjoy your time out.” We don’t need research to tell us that failure to take time off from work is hurting us. Our health is deteriorating, our social networks (the face-to-face kind) are weak and our productivity is down. It’s not just health issues that arise, such as exhaustion, substance abuse, heart disease, and all the physical ramifications of overwork. People who are overworked also start to make more errors. Germany has a short-hour work culture and is one of the strongest economies in the world. Mexico and Korea have the longest hours and are among the least productive. The United States and Canada are somewhere in between. In a new book, “The Weekend Effect: Life-Changing Benefits of Taking Time Off,” author Katrina Onstad dives into the ongoing struggle to step away from our smartphones and make the most of that time. A well-lived weekend is the gateway to a well-lived life, she says. By saving our weekend we can save ourselves. Whether your weekend is

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

the traditional Saturday-Sunday or another two days — best if they’re together — live those days well. A well-lived weekend means embracing the weekend and making it count. Reclaim your leisure time with meaningful pursuits, as opposed to a Netflix binge fest that leaves you wondering where the weekend went. Research suggests that passive forms of leisure don’t actually make you feel better; they just provide instant gratification or quick hits. As part of that Sunday night letdown, people think, “I went to the mall and I got a pedicure — why don’t I feel any better?”

‘Active leisure’

Instead, Onstad suggests “active leisure,” which has much longer-lasting benefits. The biggest piece of it is socializing — finding real human connection. Rates of social isolation are higher than they’ve ever been. While we may be really digitally connected, we’re not necessarily connected to one another in a meaningful way, and that’s an urgent problem for our own happiness. “I always thought volunteering seems so pious, and who wants to spend their weekend doing it, when it’s so boring?” Onstad asks. “But it turns out that volunteering actually creates the sensation of more time. If you don’t want to spend every Saturday volunteering at a soup kitchen, then try a one-off event here and there, because there’s incredible value in that. There are many volunteer opportunities in the Mohawk Valley. Or consider a hobby you can get enthusiastic about. “I’ve been doing photography for a long time,” said Lynn Scarfuto of Herkimer. “Lately I’m passionate about doing macro with flowers.” As a member of Mohawk Valley Through the Lens, Scarfuto’s photographs are displayed on the group’s Facebook page. And there is much to explore, much to excite us and give us a fresh perspective, such as places rich with history. The Erie Canal inspires awe in Brian Howard of Sherburne. “Speaking for myself, it’s the most significant landmark of our area,” said Howard, executive director of the Oneida County History Center. “So much of the history that runs through this county is connected to the Erie Canal. Indulging in the history of our area, there’s nothing better than the canal.” And, with our state parks, rivers, canals, and mountains, we have some of the most beautiful scenery in the nation. Expose yourself to the benefits of nature.

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Continued from Page 2

the topic of fraud, scams, and identity theft. Ehrich will also provide caregiver resources as well as the services and benefits AARP offers. For more information, contact 315-798-5456.

Nov. 1

Learn how to handle shame The Mohawk Valley Health System will host a free stroke support group presentation from 6-7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Soggs Room at St. Luke’s Home in the Center for Rehabilitation and Continuing Care Services, 1650 Champlin Ave., Utica. A video will describe how to handle shame. Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior, according to Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past 10 years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica is an affiliate of MVHS and the area’s only designated primary stroke center. For more information or to RSVP, call 315-624-6365.

Nov. 2

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 Nov. 2 and Nov. 16. The support group is for parents with a son or daughter who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. PAL is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer board of parents. For more information, visit www. or call PAL at 480-3004712.

Nov. 3

Abraham House to host annual gala The Abraham House will host its 10th annual “A View of Hope” gala from 7-10 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Historic Union Station, 321 Main St., Utica. The event will include a premium open bar available throughout the night, a variety of heavy hors d’oeuvre stations, and entertainment by the band, Last Left. Semi-formal attire is requested, and valet parking and a coat check will be available at the door for guests’ convenience. The gala is an annual event in which all of the proceeds help the

Abraham House, a local nonprofit organization with a mission to provide high-quality care for the terminally ill, without placing any financial burden upon the guest or his or her family. Tickets are available online at, by calling the Abraham House at 733-8210, or in person at The Abraham House, 1203 Kemble St., Utica.

Nov. 4

St. E’s College of Nursing plans open house St. Elizabeth College of Nursing, 2215 Genesee St., Utica, will hold an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 4 at the college. The event will include tours and question-and-answer sessions. The college offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree in nursing, and theoretical learning fully integrated with clinical experience. SECON offers an evening-weekend nursing program in addition to the weekday program. It is designed to meet the needs of the adult learner who is unable to attend class during the weekday hours. To RSVP, go online at www. For more information, call 315-801-8347.

Nov. 7

Chronic kidney disease program set The Dialysis Center at the Mohawk Valley Health System offers an educational program for those who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The program will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Weaver Lounge at the Faxton campus, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica. Registration is required as seating is limited. Contact Cindy Christian, CKD program coordinator, at 315-624-5635 or email cchristi@ According to the National Kidney Foundation, 26 million Americans have CKD and millions of others are at risk for developing the disease. Early detection and intervention helps to prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure, known as end stage renal disease.

Nov. 9

Laryngectomy support group to meet The Laryngectomy Support Group will hold its monthly meeting at noon Nov. 9 in the Sister Regina Conference Room on the first floor of the St. Elizabeth Medical Center hospital building, 2209 Genesee St., Utica. The support group is sponsored by SEMC. Laryngectomy support group

meetings are held at noon on the second Thursday of each month. 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.

contact the personnel responsible for medical waste disposal. VHS is located at 690 W. German St., Herkimer. Questions may be directed to Tammi King, infection control nurse, at 866-3330, ext. 2308.

Nov. 11

Herkimer County HealthNet is sponsoring a free health and wellness series open to anyone interested in living a healthier and balanced life. Crystal Hein, registered dietitian, will lead the series. The series will feature different topics from 5-6:30 p.m. each month at Herkimer Community College, 100 Reservoir Road, Herkimer, room 295. Class topics will be: • Healthy holiday eating, Nov. 16 • Basics to weight loss, Jan. 11 • Inflammation and diet, Feb. 6 The seminars are open to all, but reservations are required. For more information or to register, call HCHN at 867-1552 or email Elyse Enea at eenea@herkimercounty. org.

Rome Hospital Foundation sets date The Rome Hospital Foundation is holding a fundraising event to support the mission of Rome Memorial Hospital. 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@

Nov. 13

Nov. 16

HealthNet to feature health and wellness series

Nov. 20 Support forum for patients, cancer survivors Family support group The Mohawk Valley Health focuses on addiction System’s Cancer Center’s monthly support forum for patients and cancer survivors will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 13. The cancer support forum meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of every month in the Cancer Center’s fireplace lounge on the main floor of Faxton Campus, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica. The forum, led by the Cancer Center’s social worker, offers support to anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or to RSVP, call 315-624-5241.

Nov. 13

Support group to meet at RMH The brain aneurysm, AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and stroke support group will meet from 5:30-7 p.m. Nov. 13 at Rome Memorial Hospital’s second-floor classroom. The group meets on the second Monday of every month. RMH is located at 1500 N. James St., Rome. For more information, call Deb Dunn at 315-533-6467 or email

Nov. 15

Valley Health Services accepts syringes Valley Health Services is accepting the community’s medical waste of needles, syringes and lancets from noon until 2 p.m. on Nov. 15. The service is available on the third Wednesday of every month. The waste must be in approved puncture-resistant containers available at local pharmacies and properly marked “biohazard.” The containers may be brought to the outpatient receptionist on the ground floor at VHS, who will

November 2017 •

Families who are dealing with the problems of addiction can find help and information at a support group meeting from 6-7 p.m. Nov. 20 in the second floor classroom at Rome Memorial Hospital. The group meets the third Monday of each month and is free and open to everyone. Offered by the hospital’s Community Recovery Center, the support group provides an opportunity to discuss issues with others who are in the same situation. Certified by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Community Recovery Center, 264 W. Dominick St., Rome, offers alcohol and substance abuse treatment for adolescents and adults. Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, the center participates with most major insurance programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. A sliding scale fee is available for self-pay clients. For more information about the support group or the Community Recovery Center, call 334-4701.

Nov. 23

Roadrunners to feature event on Thanksgiving The Utica Roadrunners will host their 23rd annual run and walk to end hunger on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23. Race-day registration will be held at the Utica Parkway Center, 220 Memorial Parkway, from 8-8:45 a.m. There will be a 5K run and 2-mile walk. Donations are $7 for individuals or $200 for families, plus two non-perishable items. Donations will benefit Compassion Coalition and local food pantries. Those who cannot attend can send a donation to Utica Roadrunners, P.O. Box 4141, Utica, N.Y. 13504.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19

Ending an Epidemic

New York’s ‘End the AIDS Epidemic 2020’ initiative proves worthwhile By Patricia J. Malin


CR Health, which covers nine counties in Upstate New York, has announced a dramatic decrease in the number of new HIV infections in the state in addition to stronger efforts to combat AIDS. From 2014-15, there was a 10 percent decrease in the state in the number of new HIV infections in men who have sex with men (MSM), the group that is most severely impacted by HIV. This is the first decrease in this population in the last decade. The figures in New York state mirrored a 19 percent overall decrease of HIV in the U.S. population among all MSM from 20052014, despite a 6 percent increase Murtaugh among African-American and Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. AIDS means acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. Wil Murtaugh, executive director of ACR Health, recently held a press conference in downtown Utica to discuss how changing priorities in New York state have contributed to improved rates for men and women afflicted with HIV. AIDS is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition. There is still no cure for HIV/ AIDS, but new medications, more comprehensive testing and greater awareness have led to an optimistic outlook for agencies and individuals involved with New York’s campaign to “End the AIDS Epidemic” by 2020. Testing locally is up 545 percent in 2017 compared to 2012. In 2012, ACR Health offered five programs that provided HIV testing and 151 tests were completed that year, Murtaugh said. “In 2017, we have eight programs that provide HIV testing; 974 HIV tests were completed between Jan. 1, 2016 and May 4,” he said. “Our goal is to test 750 a year. The disease is very controllable. There is no cure, but you can live a full life if you take your medicine. Perhaps it’s three or four pills a day for the rest of your life.” Statistically, the war on HIV/ AIDS is succeeding. Twenty-five years ago, when AIDS burst onto the national scene, approximately 14,000 people in New York state were

Page 20

diagnosed with HIV/AIDS for the first time, Murtaugh pointed out. By 2010, newly diagnosed cases in the state amounted to about 4,000, and in 2015, it fell to 3,100. That number also tracked the various causes of transmission: MSM (almost half of the cases); individuals who contracted the disease via injectable drug use; heterosexuals; pediatric cases alone, plus those who got HIV/AIDS from unknown causes.

Get tested annually

From 2010-14, there were no new diagnoses of HIV/AIDS among MSM in the state and less than 1 percent nationwide. In 2014, nearly 2,000 men were newly diagnosed with HIV in New York. By 2015, new HIV infections in MSM came in at 1,775, a 10 percent decrease. Heterosexual diagnoses in the state fell by an astounding 35 percent (from 1,158 to 753) during that same time frame. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all individuals aged 13-64 be tested yearly for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. Testing should be done more often if one is at high-risk, for example a drug user or one sharing needles, men having sex, couples having unprotected sex or a woman who is planning a pregnancy. ACR Health, as with other community health centers, can ensure that testing is done privately, said Murtaugh. It’s also important to remember that the stigma once attached to HIV/AIDS is slowly dissipating. He told the case of a young man who died at age 32 from AIDS. “He was so stigmatized, he didn’t want to get tested. It’s so sad that in 2017, people feel stigmatized. Whether he is a drug user or it’s stigma alone, we assure you that AIDS testing is confidential and protected. People and families come to us every day to get health insurance and testing. No one should feel stigmatized,” he said. New York state’s program to end AIDS by 2020 was started in 2014. When ACR Health and the state’s AIDS initiative went looking for statistics, it picked 2012, which was “a normal year prior to the added push,” said ACR public relations director Jean Kessner. With the start of the new program in 2014, the state “invested lots of money in testing, locating HIV positive individuals, and bringing them into care. That is why we used that year as a comparison,” she said. A new prescription drug, Truvada, that treats HIV, has also come on the scene in recent years and can prevent HIV in people who are negative or think they might have been exposed to a partner with HIV.

ACR Health resources listed


he mission of AIDS Community Resources (ACR Health) is to prevent the incidence of HIV infection, to enhance the quality of life for people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS, to address HIV/ AIDS-related needs and facilitate access to available resources and end discrimination. ACR Health provides services in nine counties: Cayuga, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and St. Lawrence. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. After hours, call 888-475-2437. — Central New York (headquarters) 627 W. Genesee St. Syracuse, NY 13204 Phone: 315-475-2430 or tollfree 800-475-2430 — The Q Center 617 W. Genesee St. Syracuse, NY 13204 Phone: 315-475-2430

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

— Syringe Exchange 637 W. Genesee St. Syracuse, NY 13204 Phone: 315-475-2430 — Northern New York 120 Washington St., Suite 302 Watertown, NY 13601 Phone: 315-785-8222 — Mohawk Valley 287 Genesee St, 2nd floor Utica, NY 13501 Phone: 315-793-0661 — Oswego 10 George St. Oswego, NY 13126 Phone: 315-475-2430 Services: Tests for chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, viral hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections For more information on ACR Health, visit

Profile for In Good Health: MV's Healthcare Newspaper

IGH MV #141 November 2017  

IGH MV #141 November 2017  


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