IGH MV # 147 May 2018

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Concern for caregivers


Health careers: Nurse Manager Stacy Walton takes on challenge that involves clinical, managerial expertise Page 12

MAY 2018 • ISSUE 147

Those who commit to helping others need TLC too See Page 5

Is overtime killing you?

Blood donations vital

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Meet Your Doctor

Fans of fitness Pauline DiGiorgio, right, and fellow fitness enthusiast Kayla Almond focus on a healthy lifestyle.

Tom O’Hara watches a video and listens to music while giving a donation of platelets at the Mohawk Valley Red Cross office in New Hartford. The process takes between two to three hours.

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For story, see Page 13

Slim down with Shiitake mushrooms They contribute to weight management by providing enough protein and fiber to keep us feeling fuller longer. See SmartBites, Page 18 May 2018 •

Dr. Michael F. Trevisani is the chief medical officer for the Mohawk Valley Health System. Page 4

Beat the bloat

Smile with Dr. Suy

Dietitian Patricia Salzer tells us how to beat that overinflated feeling.

Dr. Salina Suy offers some brilliant teeth whitening advice.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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New Patients to their Five Local Family Health Centers!


Got a health-related activity or event that you would like publicized? Call Lou Sorendo at 315-749-7070 or email lou@cnymail.com.


Food Addicts in Recovery to meet Food Addicts in Recovery holds an anonymous meeting from 6:308 p.m. Mondays at Trinity United Methodist Church, 8595 Westmoreland Road, Whitesboro. For more information, call Helen at 315-794-2314.



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Insight House offers family support group Insight House Chemical Dependency Services, Inc. is offering a family support group meeting from 6:15-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Insight House, 500 Whitesboro St., Utica. The group is free and open to anyone who is concerned about a loved one’s relationship with alcohol, opiates/heroin, or other substances. For more information about the group, call 724-5168, ext. 265, from 8:30-4 p.m. weekdays. All calls are strictly confidential.


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Cardiology • Pediatrics • Laboratory Pulmonology • Surgery

May 1


Dialysis center offers CKD program

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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 5:30-8 p.m. May 1 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@ mvhealthsystem.org. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 26 million Americans have CKD and millions of

Pediatrics • Primary Care


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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.

May 1

Smoking cessation class on agenda Rome Memorial Hospital will begin a free three-week series of smoking cessation classes beginning on May 3. Those who register can earn a $20 grocery gift card upon completion of the program. Classes will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursdays, starting May 3 and ending on May 17, in the hospital’s classroom, 1500 N. James St., Rome. Guests are asked to use the Bartlett Wing entrance off East Oak Street for convenient parking and easy access to the second-floor classroom. Participants should plan to attend all three sessions for best results. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Call RMH’s Education Department at 315-3387143 on or before May 1 to register. The class is open to adults aged 18 and older. Smoking cessation class participants may be eligible to receive free nicotine replacement patches provided through The New York State Smokers Quitline. It would be advantageous to call Quitline at 1-866-NYQUITS before attending the first class to receive a free “start kit” of nicotine replacement patches. Anyone who is interested in learning more about smoking cessation can call the hospital’s education department at 315-338-7143, contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 866-NY-QUITS (866-697-8487) or visit www.nysmokefree.com. Other information may be obtained

Continued on Page 23

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper •

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Mental Health

The Green Monster? Could jealousy be getting a bad rap? “Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive” — Havelock Ellis By Marie Kouthoofd


ealousy. It’s been called a disease, a green-eyed monster and the slayer of love. A green-eyed monster is sick, ugly and cruel. And while a slayer, it kills in a violent way. Search the definition and find descriptors such as resentful, envious and intolerant. History is undeniably littered with incidences of love gone wrong. Leaving its indisputably, destructive mark, jealousy rears its ugly head in cases of domestic violence and crimes of passion. At the very least, jealousy has been known to cause great misery and destroy the relationship it holds so dearly. What is more, seen as emotionally dependent, the jealous partner is alleged to be insecure and riddled with low levels of self-esteem. • Old school definition: Having a narrow view of jealousy, much of the early literature and research fails to take into consideration the interplay of core beliefs and environment. The insecurity that one may feel when jealous may not necessarily reflect some deficit in the jealous individual, but more so insecurity with the stability of the relationship. • A complex emotion: Said to involve a combination of fear, anger and sadness, jealousy is driven primarily by a desire to protect the potential loss of a relationship. Indeed, infants as young as 6 months old can be seen seeking contact and vying for their mother’s attention when another child is introduced to the scene. This primitive infant emotion evolves into the sophisticated appraisals and reactions we see in adulthood. Siblings and fathers alike have been known to express similar levels of discomfort, when mom is consumed with the caring for her newborn.

• Let your jealousy inspire positive change: Apart from its

morbid dark side, jealousy can also function as a pro-social aspect of a relationship. In fact, research done comparing levels of jealousy and longevity of relationships found couples with higher reported levels of jealousy more likely to be married seven years later, compared to their non-jealous counterparts.

• Back off, this is my partner:

Some argue jealousy is a trait evolving via natural selection. Serving to preserve the relationship, jealousy can secure the survival of the family

else out there willing to give it a try. • Wake-up call: Becoming comfortable, we can begin to take our partner and relationship for granted. Along with the vestige, we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone; we may be treating our partner with less respect or love than times past. Instead of the gratitude once shown, we now complain, are critical or worse yet, show disdain toward our partner. A partner, by the way, that we now fear losing. If we love and cherish our partner, perhaps we should start showing it. Used as an accelerator, let the fear of loss keep the flames of passion alive. • Course correction: Finally, jealousy can help get our relationship back on track. It’s easy to forget what’s most important. Sometimes, a little turmoil can help us remember what we do and do not want in our relationship.

• Roll with changes: Times

unit by warding off possible threats and potential rivals.

• Have I told you I love you, lately?: What is more, jealousy can

also serve as a reminder to the recipient that they are still loved, wanted and desired. Although the initial phase of infatuation fades, expressing the desire for deeper intimacy can remind your partner that they are still desired and loved.

can alert us of the need to step it up, work a little harder and be that someone our partner still desires. For if we choose not to, be assured, there will always be someone

• Reality check: Possible threats or rivals may also provide incentive to better take care of your self. Take a good look in the mirror — do you like what you see? Being in a long-term relationship can make it easy to become complacent. Perhaps we stopped doing the things we used to do that originally attracted our partner. It’s easy to relax, let ourselves go and gain momentum on that downward slope. This is not to say we have to wear a mask and pretend to be someone we’re not, but potential rivals

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May 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Your Doctor

By Barbara Pierce

Diabetes Now Affects 23 Million U.S. Adults


he latest tally of Americans adults affected by diabetes finds more than 23 million struggle with the blood sugar disease. Of those, the vast majority — 21 million cases — are caused by Type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to overweight or obesity, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 1.3 million cases are attributed to Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder where the body fails to produce enough of the blood sugar hormone insulin. The number of diabetes patients is now “nearly 10 percent of the entire [adult] population,” noted physician Robert Courgi, a diabetes specialist at Northwell Health’s Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, Long Island. “As expected, the overwhelming majority is Type 2 diabetes — usually caused by obesity and treated with pills,” added Courgi, who was not involved with the new report. On the other hand, “Type 1 diabetes results in a destruction of the pancreas, is difficult to diagnose and must be treated with insulin,” Courgi said. “Type 1 must be recognized quickly and treated appropriately.” The new CDC numbers were based on 2016 data on more than 33,000 adults from the federal government’s National Interview Survey. The researchers noted that the 2016 survey was the first to add “supplemental questions to help distinguish diabetes [by] type.” According to the team, led by CDC investigator Kai McKeever Bullard, certain populations seem to be hit harder by either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. For example, the researchers said “white adults had a higher prevalence of diagnosed Type 1 diabetes than did Hispanic adults,” while “blacks had the highest prevalence of diagnosed Type 2 diabetes.” While Type 2 diabetes affected about 8 percent of white adults, that number rose to 9 percent of Hispanics and 11.5 percent of blacks, the report found. Overall, diabetes prevalence rose with advancing age but fell as levels of education and income improved. The findings were published recently in the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Dr. Michael F. Trevisani Dr. Michael F. Trevisani is the chief medical officer for the Mohawk Valley Health System, serving as medical director for both Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. Recently, senior staff correspondent Barbara Pierce interviewed Trevisani regarding his outlook on health care. Q.: As chief medical officer, what keeps you awake at night? A.: Chief medical officers are tasked with providing an all-encompassing environment for the delivery of high-quality health care. Our goals are to provide better health care, improve the patient experience with greater satisfaction, as well as improve caregiver fulfillment. All at lower costs. There are a number of challenges that I face daily. Providing patient safety and quality care are at the top of any list in health care. We examine everything, searching for better ways to do things. We are not satisfied with simple answers — we dig into problems and work together to formulate superior, long-lasting effective solutions. We look to those on the front lines in search of better ways to do things. When things don’t go as planned, we learn from experience and strive to do better next time. Recruitment is a top priority and activity — to attract talent to our area and provide what they and their families need to keep them here. We want them to find working here a fulfilling, professional experience. Physicians are not alone in caring for patients. It takes a team of dedicated professionals, all pulling in the same direction, with a common goal of providing the best care possible. Q.: What other challenges do you face as medical director? A.: Additional challenges include managing finances to carry out the mission of MVHS while fulfilling the ever-present government mandates. Special efforts must be made to keep up with changing regulations. Implementing these changes with the hospitals and outpatient areas is a challenge. A significant amount of communication is needed to comply with new and changed regulations. I do this by participating in medical staff department meetings, general medical staff meetings, and a monthly newsletter. Also, I make myself available 24/7. We continuously work as a team to improve patient satisfaction. A positive patient experience can have beneficial effects on healing and reducing the amount of time spent in the hospital. Our efforts focus on delivering the right care at the right time. I also look to the medical staff for their opinions. Strategic planning is

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018

ongoing. My role is to support those with direct patient care responsibilities to make sure they have what they need to do their jobs safely and effectively and can adapt to changes inherent in health care. All of these challenges, and many more, are faced head on by incorporating the MVHS values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence in everything we do. Q.: Has the role of chief medical officer changed over the years? A.: When I was in private practice as a colon and rectal surgeon in Florida, I wasn’t aware that the role of chief medical officer existed. The staff itself handled most of the issues

confronting them. As the delivery of medical care became more specialized and demanding, issues often went unattended. This is what drew me into the role I have now. I want to be of value to my fellow colleagues and engage the issues by working with the medical staff in a consultative role. What was once a role limited to liaison between the medical staff and administration has expanded to requiring expertise in project management, recruiting, quality and patient safety, strategic planning and finance. Q.: Patient care and safety are of concern to us all. What are your goals in this area? A.: Our desired goal is simple — to be the best. Achieving that goal and messaging that to the public are the challenges. We have a number of metrics we follow that help us determine how we are doing and where we need special efforts. We are an acute care hospital treating a wide range of illnesses. We do very well when compared to specific disciplines. We are equally stellar at orthopedics when compared to hospitals that do only orthopedics. We routinely treat a variety of conditions — cancer, complex dialysis patients and very ill stroke patients. We institute best practices and work to improve our care and outcomes. I have every confidence in

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Lifelines Birth year: 1958 Birthplace: St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica Current Residence: Norwich Education: Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College in Clinton; Doctor of medicine degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse Personal: Married 30 years; wife is a nurse in ambulatory care; three adult sons Hobbies: Athletic training, stained glass, Bonsai, aquaponics

Golden YEARS

Support for the journey Caring for a loved one with dementia By Barbara Pierce

Any of us, given a choice between having Alzheimer’s and caring for someone who does, would choose the caregiver role. But being a caregiver is hard. It is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” says Don Gasby in “Before I Forget,” the book he wrote with his wife Barbara Smith, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “Your loved one is on a journey you cannot block or prevent. All you can do is join the journey,” he noted. LutheranCare, an affiliate of Community Wellness Partners, supports caregivers on the difficult journey of caring for a loved one with dementia. With a grant, it has expanded existing support services and offers them at no cost to caregivers in Oneida, Herkimer, Lewis and Madison counties. Its focus is on rural communities with limited access to services. “Alzheimer’s disease affects thousands of New Yorkers each year and takes a devastating toll on both patients and the caregivers,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said online when approving grants for organizations to develop programs supporting family caregivers. “The Department of Health awarded us a $500,000 grant,” said Patricia Defrancis, director of the LutheranCare Caregiver Support Program. “We provide support groups, training, and resources to caregivers whose loved ones are memory impaired.” The goal of the program is to give much needed respite and support to persons caring for a loved one with dementia. “Caregivers definitely need respite,” emphasized Defrancis. “They

Oneida, Herkimer in good

off to recharge. If you burn out, that helps neither of you.” LutheranCare offers respite in several ways, explained Defrancis. Its day program gives a full day of respite each week. For their loved one to receive respite, the caregiver must be involved in one of the support groups it offers. “The support group gives you the tools you need to be a successful caregiver,” said Defrancis. “The most important thing caregivers get from the support group is they learn they’re not alone,” said Defrancis. “You’re not alone. You’ll

Fit to be tied

“More times than I’d like to admit, my weariness nudged me to frustration, even anger, at the end of a long, tiring day,” Gasby said. “More times than I like to admit, I resented that others went so freely through the days of their lives, while I sat at home with my wife. More times than I like to admit, the halls of our home echoed with my curses at God. “Going it alone doesn’t make you a hero; it just wears you out. It burns you out so you can’t be the caregiver you need to be. Take enough time


Health MV’s Healthcare Newspaper

need time for themselves, a break, so they can have their own social life. Caregiver burn out is a major problem; caregivers get sick because they aren’t caring for themselves.” “I promised Gail I would be there for her, in sickness and in health, for better or worse. It’s the promise we all make when we marry and it’s a healthy promise — unless it’s taken to excess,” said T.R. Kerth in the Naples (Fla.) Daily News. “When Gail’s abilities deteriorated, I took my promise to an unhealthy extreme. I felt I was abandoning her if I let any other caregiver help shoulder the load, other than a few hours every couple of weeks or so. The rest of the time, 24 hours a day, every day of the week, it was just me,” Kerth said. “That arrangement is fine for saints. But I’m not a saint; I’m flawed. And because I’m flawed, my care giving was flawed too.

find you build a network of friends that support each other and share ideas about problems you’re running into. Someone may have run into the same thing and can offer a solution.” In addition to the full day of respite offered, respite is available while the caregiver attends a support group. “A support group can be enormously helpful,” says Gasby. “Not only do they give you perspective and insights into day-to-day challenges, they also put you in touch with resources. And a support group is the best place to admit the dark thoughts you’re sure to have.” Lisa Woodard, intake coordinator for the program, said for caregivers, the most important thing to remember is to have patience. “Be patient and understanding; the person with memory impairment is not here to give us a hard time — they are having a hard time,” she said. “Patience is the watchword. I sure learned that,” says Gasby. “Gently repeat what your loved one has forgotten; gently answer the questions again and again. There’s no point correcting or criticizing. “Try not to show exasperation; that only deepens their anxiety. Anger and frustration are no help; they simply provoke hurt and resentment.” For more information, call LutheranCare at 315-235-7141 or see https://www.lutherancare.org/ and click on caregiver support.



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

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2018 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: 4 Riverside Drive, Suite 251, Utica, NY 13502 • Phone: 315-749-7070 Email: lou@cnymail.com

Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Contributing Writers: Patricia Malin, Barbara Pierce, Kristen Raab, Deb Dittner, Pauline DiGiorgio, Brooke Stacia Demott Advertising: Amy Gagliano Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas Office Assistant: Kimberley Tyler No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement — not to take the place of — the recommendations of your health provider.

May 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Golden YEARS

Giving Solace The Siegenthaler Center in New Hartford opens its arms to the dying, their support networks By Patricia J. Malin


our spacious suites are awaiting some special guests at The Siegenthaler Center on Middle Settlement Road in New Hartford. The Siegenthaler Center, the primary hospice for Mohawk Valley residents since 2005, reopened recently after being closed temporarily for renovations. The emphasis is on greater comfort and more amenities for end-of-life patients and their families. The center received considerable input from the public in making changes. “We heard from a lot of patients what they would like,” chief operating officer Joanne Moskal said during a recent open house. “Some of them suggested we add bird feeders, and others asked that we have portable beds instead of foldout couches,” she said. “It’s all about making the patients comfortable.” The rooms are spacious and cheery and rightly deserve to be called “suites.” Each suite has a large bed and a private bath — some with specially designed bathtubs and showers for elderly or handicapped residents. Friends and family are invited to come for frequent visits. If they choose to remain longer, they can use the portable beds for overnight accommodation. There is also a private bathroom for the convenience of overnight guests.

Through the years, volunteers have made or donated quilts for the beds and artwork that adorns the walls. The rooms also have desks and writing tables, and one or two windows that look out on the garden, the scurrying wildlife and the walking paths that surround the center. “Residents can see what the weather is like from their beds,” Moskal said. Speaking of birds, since the center doubles as a home, residents can keep their pets for the duration of their stay and are encouraged to bring favorite items from home to decorate their rooms.

Comfy kitchen

The newly renovated kitchen can be used at any time by patients and their families. The staff prepares meals for the residents and along with volunteers might join the residents at mealtime or help in making “treats.” It can accommodate as many as 20 individuals at one time, making it an ideal gathering spot, especially on holidays and birthdays. The center has 71 full-time staffers in addition to 119 trained volunteers. The center is open 365 days a year, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, and can host celebrations such as dinners, birthdays, parties, weddings and other informal gatherings.

Anthony Fragapane, left, who was recently named spiritual care coordinator at Hospice & Palliative Care in New Hartford, chats with long-time employee and The Siegenthaler Center’s receptionist Frank Calaprice. The center also has common rooms, a laundry room, and a private conference room for grief counseling. There’s a library and game room that’s suitable for all ages, including young children and grandchildren. Children are welcome to visit the hospice environment along with all family members. “Our job is not to replace the family, but to educate and support them,” added Moskal. The center accepts qualifying patients enrolled in the services of Hospice & Palliative Care who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness,

have exhausted curative treatment and have a prognosis of less than six months. For example, these patients might have illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, heart and liver disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other conditions related to aging and end of life. Even children with life-threatening diseases can live at the center. However, hospice services can also be provided to the community at large in Oneida, Herkimer, and eastern Madison counties whether a patient lives at home, in an assisted living facility or in a hospital. Physicians, counselors or family members can refer anyone from the community for hospice care. Dr. Randy Snow is the center’s medical director. The center was dedicated in February 2005 after Dean Siegenthaler of Oneida made a significant contribution in memory of his wife, Jacqueline “Jackie.” Dean felt the Mohawk Valley needed a residence for end-of-life patients even though it was too late for his wife. Dean passed away in 2008. A major contributor to hospice’s reception center in 2017 was the Tom Myslinski family of Rome. The center has welcomed more than 600 patients and their families since opening. Anthony Fragapane was recently named spiritual adviser-chaplain at the center. Fragapane said his father was a resident in a Syracuse hospice prior to his death in 2014. Hospice services include medical and nursing care 24/7, personal care, social work services, and medical equipment, supplies and medications. The services are available to anyone regardless of ability to pay and are typically covered by Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. For more information, go to www.hospicecareinc.org.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018

Golden YEARS

Hot flashes wreak havoc

Learn how to manage major menopausal symptoms By Barbara Pierce

I’ve reached the stage of menopause where I’m constantly either having a hot flash or feel freezing cold. Sometimes there is a very brief moment, usually just before or just after a hot flash, when I feel comfortable. I tell you, it’s not easy being me,” says Cynthia Quackenbush of Herkimer on her blog “Mohawk Valley Girl: My Totally Fun Blog about My Life in the Mohawk Valley.” Quackenbush, 54, has been having hot flashes for a few years. “They started as warm surges, then gradually got worse,” she said. Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause, said Barb DePree, a gynecologist who specializes in menopause, online. It is probably the most troubling symptom for many women as well. They come in the form of bursts of intense warmth and sweating that cause one to want to tear off all her clothes. A normal transition that every woman will face in her lifetime, menopause is a shift in hormones that can cause a whole array of symptoms. It affects every woman differently. Some women may go through menopause with very few symptoms; others will have every symptom. The age you experience menopause varies. The average age is 50, said DePree. The range is from 40 to 58. For most women, the changes start at age 40. Hot flashes make up to 90 percent of women miserable. And they can actually continue as long as 14 years, according to a recent study. And in a particularly unfair hormonal twist, the earlier hot flashes start, the longer they last.

Identify your triggers

While hot flashes are maddeningly unpredictable, they often seem associated with certain triggers, which are unique to every woman. Try to identify yours. DePree suggests triggers may include: — Smoking: Yet another reason to quit. A study found that smokers overall were about twice as likely to suffer from severe and frequent hot flashes than nonsmokers. African-American smokers

were 84 percent more likely to suffer intense hot flashes than nonsmokers; white smokers 56 percent more likely. — Alcohol: Experiment to determine whether this is a trigger for you, at what level, and which alcohol. — Spicy foods and hot drinks — Hot, stuffy, or crowded rooms — Activities that produce heat, such as ironing, washing dishes, and strenuous exercise — Sexual arousal — Stress: The more stressed you are, the more hot flashes you’re likely to have. Possible remedies: For most of us, hot flashes are uncomfortable and inconvenient. For some of us, hot flashes are debilitating and make it hard to sleep or function normally. Except for hormone therapy, no treatment regimen is guaranteed to alleviate them. A government study in 2002 advised against hormone therapy, as it is not safe for many women. For some women, these techniques work well and not so much for other females. As in so much of life, it’s a matter of experimenting until you discover what works for you. — Exercise: Women who exercise regularly have fewer hot flashes than women who don’t. — Lose weight if necessary. A higher body mass index is related to more frequent hot flashes. — Control your environment: Keep your home, especially your bedroom, cool. Use cotton sheets. Wear clothes in layers you can shed. “I’ve had to stop wearing sweatshirts and sweaters,” said Quackenbush. — Manage stress: When you’re heating up, remember that, while uncomfortable, hot flashes aren’t life-threatening or even particularly noticeable to others. Instead of panicking, take deep, relaxing breaths. Get up and walk around. Try meditation, massage, yoga, relaxation or other forms of therapy. “The only thing that helps me is to not worry about it,” said Quackenbush. “I know it will pass.” Maintain a sense of humor. “I have a sense of humor about it,” said

Quackenbush. “On a really cold day, I say: ‘I could sure use a hot flash now!’” — Prepare for romantic evenings: Drink cold beverages or eat a nonspicy meal. Wear cotton; make sure the temperature in your bedroom is cool. — Botanical remedies: Some botanicals relieve hot flashes. Some women are helped; others aren’t. Talk

with your health care professional before you begin, as some herbal supplements can interact with medication you’re taking or exacerbate a condition you have. — Black cohosh: Commonly used in Europe, this member of the buttercup family may be the most promising herbal treatment for hot flashes. “It’s the most common thing for hot flashes; we sell a lot of it. It works for many people,” said Ellen Poulette. David and Ellen Poulette own and operate Cooperstown Natural Foods. “Some women think it’s great; others don’t notice any difference when they take it. Everyone is different. Nothing works for everyone.” Soy and red clover contain plant-based estrogen, which isn’t as effective and doesn’t work the same way as the estrogen synthesized for hormone treatments. Still, some women say they help. — Vitamin E — Scientific evidence is scant, but some women say this works. For more information from DePree on hot flashes, see middlesexmd.com.

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5 Days or 45 Days

May 2018 •


IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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OneidaRADONC24.791x10.444.qxp_Layout 1 1/25/18 11:38 AM Page 1


MVHS Advanced Wound Care expands Outpatient care upgraded By Patricia J. Malin

T Upstate’s radiation oncologists: Paul Aridgides, MD, Seung Shin Hahn, MD, Anna Shapiro, MD, Alexander Banashevich, MD, Jeffrey Bogart, MD, Michael LaCombe, MD, and Michael Mix, MD

The expansion of cancer services in Oneida includes the TrueBeam Radiotherapy System, providing the same advanced image-guided radiation oncology technology used at the Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse. Fast and powerful, TrueBeam provides highly precise three-dimensional, IMRT and SBRT treatment for tumors in critical locations such as prostate, head and neck and CNS cancer as well as tumors affected by breathing motion, including lung, breast, liver and pancreatic cancer. When faced with a diagnosis of cancer, turn to the Upstate Cancer Center. With a comprehensive team-based approach, an individualized treatment plan is created for each patient. Upstate cancer physicians offer the latest technology and state-of-the-art treatments including access to national clinical trials. If you’re facing a diagnosis of cancer, explore your treatment options — close to home.

Upstate Medical Oncology 603 Seneca St., Oneida 315-361-1041

he Mohawk Valley Health System has expanded its Advanced Wound Care office in New Hartford to better treat area outpatients with chronic or non-healing wounds. MVHS Advanced Wound Care has been located at MVHS Medical Arts , 4401 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford for eight years. As part of its recent expansion, the facility added a treatment room, making the newer facility about 25 percent larger than the previous one, and now includes a pulmonary function-testing lab. “We had five treatment rooms and now we have six,” said Corinne Ritzel, the program director. “We also brought the pulmonary function lab here, so outpatients can have PFTs and labs in one building. It’s more convenient and provides multiple services for our patients.” The PFT lab was previously located at MVHS’s St. Elizabeth Campus in Utica. The relocation allows for more outpatient appointments in a comfortable setting, although inpatient testing will be done on a limited basis at the hospital. MVHS Advanced Wound Care treats approximately 40 patients a day. “The expansion helps decrease wait time,” Ritzel explained. Many of these patients have chronic wounds that are hard to heal, often seen with those patients diagnosed with diabetes. At MVHS Advanced Wound Care, patients can get individualized, specialized treatments and advice to help them avoid loss of limbs and

reduce the incidence of recurrence. “Diabetics need to maintain control of their A1C, their blood glucose levels, so wounds heal,” Ritzel pointed out. The staff takes time to discuss with the patient the underlying cause of the wounds, which can include lack of proper nutrition, exercise or having ill-fitting shoes. There is also a new office/computer room for wound care doctors. There are four physicians on staff at MVHS Advanced Wound Care: J.J. (Jorge) Ferreiro, Mark Hobaica, medical director William Lindsey, and Gino Trevisani. Lindsey has worked at MVHS Advanced Wound Care since it opened eight years ago and said he has seen “tremendous” improvement in patient treatment and education since that time. “A lot of the information is common sense, but with access to the Internet, they also have to filter out some of that information,” he said. Until MVHS Advanced Wound Care opened, Lindsey practiced general surgery in Oneida. “I’m glad to be here,” he said. “I enjoy every day here.” MVHS Advanced Wound Care works with other community providers to help offer the best care for patients. MVHS Advanced Wound Care also has two hyperbaric chambers for patients with hard to treat wounds. The patient breathes 100 percent oxygen while under high atmospheric pressure. The oxygen promotes growth in tissue cells to help them fight off bacterial infection and promote healing.

Upstate Radiation Oncology 605 Seneca St., Oneida 315-606-5045

Cancer Center at oneida upstate.edu/cancer

Expertise Compassion Hope l


Health Briefs Valley Health Services offers scholarship


erkimer County high school students scheduled to graduate in June are eligible and encouraged to apply for the Valley Health Services scholarship. Applicants must be planning to pursue higher education in a field employable by a nursing home Preference will be given to a senior who has worked or completed volunteer work in a nursing home. In order to be eligible for selection, the student must submit an official school transcript showing Page 8

a grade point average of at least 85 and a typed essay of 500 words or less addressing specific educational plans and goals, the reason for career choice, pertinent experiences in a nursing home, and volunteer time or employment in a nursing home The essays must be submitted by May 4 to Connie M. Castellano, director of community relations and fund development at Valley Health Services, 690 W. German St., Herkimer, N.Y. 13350.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018

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Nurses’ Week The Balanced Body

By Deb Dittner

On the front lines Celebrate Nurses Week May 6–12


ver since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nurse. My maternal aunt was a nurse and her husband a chiropractor, and all I ever dreamed of was becoming a nurse just like her. I never really saw her providing “nursing” care to patients, but knew she was very caring, gentle and loving of people. Why wouldn’t I want to emulate that kind of professionalism in adulthood? Fast forward Dittner — I went to a four-year nursing school and shortly after that, went to nurse practitioner school. This is all I’ve ever known other than expanding what I do and my schooling to provide education in whole nutrient-dense foods — including comfort foods — and lifestyle changes all of which creates a healing and caring environment. During Nurses Week, we need to take a moment to celebrate us! We need to honor Florence Nightingale (and Florence Nightingale Day May 12), who was an English social reformer and founder of modern nursing. She is well known for her service during the Crimean War where she organized, managed, and trained nurses in tending to wounded soldiers. Nightingale’s many writings later encouraged worldwide health care reform, providing an everlasting impact on improving public health for the poor.

Time to acknowledge nurses

We need to celebrate nurses while recognizing their devotion and contribution to the profession of nursing. The nursing programs of today need to continue to educate and emphasize to nurses and future nurses the priority issues facing the profession and care of patients, and how nurses are leading and building healthier communities. We need to inspire professional nurses to explore creative ways to build on knowledge and overall skills, and collaborate with other health care providers and communities with the goal of improving the health care of the populations we serve. This will be addressed during the New York State Action Coalition’s annual summit to be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 5 at Siena College, Loudenville. The college’s

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Baldwin nursing program is playing host to the summit. Dr. Jean Watson, a renowned nursing theorist, will be this year’s keynote speaker at the summit. Times have changed in the nursing profession. There is the personal, political, social, and scientific domain within the profession that has changed the internal fire and heart of the nurse. Of course, health care improvements occur daily, but what has happened to the interconnections and wholeness of the nurse? Recent trends in health care often put the nurse in front of a computer screen and not directly at the bedside where it all first began. And yet, they continue to manage. Many nurses look toward complementary and alternative medicine and the support of the American Holistic Nursing Association regarding trends and ways to continue “caring.” Let’s celebrate our nurses and other nursing professionals as we continue to move forward with the caring science our profession holds dear. Registration for the 2018 Future of Nursing Annual Summit entitled “Caring Science: Nurses as Champions for Healthy Communities” can be found at: https://wp.me/ P8hzNX-uY. For more information, contact Kennedee Blanchard by emailing kblanchard@cfnny.org. Continuing nursing education will be provided. Registration costs $50 and that includes breakfast, lunch and CNE. The cost for nursing students is $25. • 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.

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Report: Doc Salaries Show Modest Rise


rimary care and specialty doctors in the United States have seen a modest increase in earnings this year over last year, according to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018. The increases reflect a continued rise in doctors’ income over the past seven years. While there are many reasons involved, the main one comes down to the basic rules of economics. “The fact remains that the physician workforce is relatively stagnant in terms of growth and that demand for physician services keeps rising. The result, inevitably, is more spending and higher incomes for physicians,” said Tommy Bohannon, vice president of Merritt Hawkins, a doctor recruiting firm. The overall average doctor salary — including primary care and specialties — sits at $299,000. The average salary for primary care doctors is $223,000, compared with $217,000 in 2017. For specialists, it’s $329,000 this year, compared with $316,000 last year. Top-earning specialties with the highest average salary include: • Plastic surgeons: $501,000 • Orthopedists: $497,000 • Cardiologists: $423,000 • Gastroenterologists: $408,000 • Radiologists: $401,000 The lowest-earning specialties, on average, are: • Internal medicine: $230,000 • Family medicine: $219,000 • Diabetes and endocrinology: $212,000 • Pediatrics: $212,000 • Public health and preventive medicine: $199,000 As in prior years, male doctors earn more than female doctors. Male primary care doctors earn $239,000, almost 18 percent more than women, who earn $203,000. Male specialists earn $358,000, about 36 percent more than female specialists, who earn $263,000. Also as in previous years, white doctors earned more than those of other races. Here’s how they ranked: • White: $308,000 • Asian: $293,000 • Hispanic/Latino: $278,000 • African-American: $258,000 Who’s Up, Who’s Down? Psychiatrists are seeing the biggest gains in compensation this year (+16 percent). “We have never seen demand for psychiatrists this high in our 30-year history,” said Bohannon. “Demand for mental health services has exploded, while the number of psychiatrists has not kept pace. The short version is that aging produces many mental health challenges, including dementia and its associated pathologies, and that societal ills, such as the opioid crisis, are driving the need for more mental health professionals.” Page 10

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018


Mental illness, substance abuse co-mingle Lines blur between mental instability, misuse of drugs Prepare and prevent

By Kathy J. Peters


omen are particularly affected by depression — 12 million women in the United States experience depression each year, nearly twice as many as men. While men are more likely to die by suicide, women are twice as likely to attempt it. Ten to 15 percent of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression and 9 percent experience postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is defined by the presence of persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are intrusive and unwanted (obsessions), or repetiPeters tive and ritualistic behaviors that a person feels are necessary in order to control obsessions (compulsions). OCD tends to begin in childhood or adolescence, with most individuals being diagnosed by the age of 19. In the U.S., nearly 2.2 million American adults are affected by OCD. Teens are at a particularly high risk of mental health disorders. Warning signs that should be monitored are withdrawal from friends, becoming secretive and hiding something, and losing interest in their favorite activities without replacing them with new activities. Mental health issues directly correlate to substance use disorders as well as suicide attempts and completions. The coexistence of both a mental health and a substance abuse disorder is referred to as co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to diagnose due to the complexity of symptoms, as both may vary in severity. In many cases, people receive treatment for one disorder while the other disorder remains untreated. This may occur because both mental and substance use disorders can have biological, psychological and social components. Approximately 7.9 million adults in the U.S. have co-occurring disorders. During the past year, for those adults surveyed who experienced substance use disorders and any mental illness, rates were highest among adults aged 26 to 49 (42.7 percent). For adults with past-year serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders, rates were highest among those aged 18 to 25 (35.3 percent). Suicide is a serious public health problem that causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. The causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple combinations of factors, such as mental illness, substance abuse, painful losses, exposure to violence, and social isolation.


Suicide prevention efforts seek

— Reduce factors that increase the risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. — Increase the factors that help strengthen, support, and protect individuals from suicide. Ideally, these efforts address individual, relationship, community, and societal factors while promoting hope, easing access into effective treatment, encouraging connectedness, and supporting recovery. The five action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal are supported by evidence in the field of suicide prevention: ask, keep them safe, be there, help them connect, and follow up. • Ask: Asking the question, “Are you thinking about suicide?” communicates that you’re open to speaking about suicide in a non-judgmental and supportive way. Asking in this direct, unbiased manner, can open the door for effective dialogue about his or her emotional pain and can allow everyone involved to see what next steps need to be taken. • Keep them safe: Have they already done anything to try to kill themselves before talking with you? Do they have a detailed plan? Knowing the answers to each of these questions can tell us a lot about the imminence and severity of danger the person is in. • Be there: This could mean being physically present for someone, speaking with them on the phone when you can, or any other way that shows support for the person at risk and increases their connectedness. • Help them connect: Helping someone with thoughts of suicide connect with ongoing supports (like the Lifeline, 800-273-8255, or local services and resources) can help him or her establish a safety net for those moments they find themselves in a crisis. • Follow up: After your initial contact with a person experiencing thoughts of suicide, and after you’ve connected them with the immediate support systems they need, make sure to follow-up with them to see how they’re doing. This type of contact can continue to increase their feelings of connectedness and share your ongoing support. The Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. is the area’s leading expert for advocacy, prevention, counseling, and training. As a community partner, it is important to us that we continue spreading the message of help and hope to our area and with those whom we work. For more information, visit www. whenthereshelpthereshope.com or call 315-733-1709. — Kathy J. Peters is the advocacy coordinator for the Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc., 502 Court St., #401, Utica, N.Y. 13502. For more information, call 315-768-2650 or visit www.WhenTheresHelpTheresHope.com.

Lead-Free MV initiative gets boost


he Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties reaffirmed its commitment to reduce childhood lead poisoning recently, announcing it will invest $5 million to support Lead-Free MV Coalition’s work over the next decade. Community Foundation President and CEO Alicia Dicks made the announcement at an event marking the second anniversary of the coalition’s inception. The investment builds on The Community Foundation’s initial commitment of $1 million in January 2016 to launch a coalition that addressed childhood lead poisoning in Oneida and Herkimer counties. With over 100 members representing nearly 50 local organizations

and agencies, the Lead-Free MV Coalition includes representatives from public health, local government, legal, insurance, health care, education, child care, construction and support services constituencies. The coalition meets regularly and focuses on the reduction of lead hazards in pre-1978 housing, as well as expanding testing and community awareness of the problem. The Community Foundation’s investment will be used to leverage additional funding, and scale prevention and remediation efforts to protect a larger number of at-risk children. For more information about the Lead-Free MV Coalition, visit www. leadfreemv.org.

Spring into Action !

If you know someone who is struggling and may be considering suicide,


Ask * Keep Them Safe * Be There Help Them Connect * Follow Up

Learn more about savings lives at www.BeThe1To.com

If someone is in crisis, call the Mobile Crisis Assessment Team

315.732.6228 or the Suicide Prevention Hotline 1.800.273.8255

Subscribe to In Good Health

For more about Oneida United, call Center for Family Life and Recovery Inc. 315.733.1709 or visit www.WhenTheresHelpTheresHope.com

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Page 11

Health Care Careers Nurse Manager

Stacy Walton blends clinical, managerial experience to master job By Barbara Pierce


great nurse is caring, compassionate, understanding, nonjudgmental, and has a strong ability to empathize with patients from all walks of life. A great emergency room nurse must have all those qualities, plus the ability to stay calm, function well under pressure, adapt quickly to rapidly changing conditions, and have Walton good common sense. On the other hand, a great manager must have the ability to provide direction, inspiration, and guidance, nurturing the strengths and talents of his or her people to build teams committed to achieving common goals, good communication skills, and a love for and commitment to the organization. Great managers are difficult to find. It’s even more difficult to find a person who combines the skills and

talents that make a great emergency room nurse with the skills and talents that make a great manager, but Stacey Walton blends the necessary qualities to achieve that. Walton is assistant nurse manager for the emergency department at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. She has been in this position for two years. Prior to becoming assistant nurse manager, she served as a clinician-educator in the emergency department. “You always have to remember you’re a nurse,” said Walton when asked how she successfully combined the characteristics of a nurse with those of a manager. “We have to take care of patients. Anyone working in a health career has to keep that in the back of his or her mind. We must care about patients first of all.” “Though I don’t provide direct patient care, they’re all still my patients, so all of their outcomes matter to me,” she added. Much of Walton’s time is spent ensuring patients have good outcomes when they come to the St. Elizabeth Medical Center ED. That means a doctor sees them quickly, they get diagnosed, a treatment plan is established, and they are


discharged in a reasonable length of time. She is successful in this. “We do well. Patients report that they have had a positive experience with us. We send out patient surveys and ask patients to evaluate their experience with us,” she said. “Ninety-four percent of patients report that they would recommend us. That’s huge!”

Overwhelming satisfaction

Ninety-four percent of patients report a positive experience with St. Elizabeth’s. They report that they are seen quickly and treated well, and that makes her happy. “And it means we’ll get reimbursed,” she added. “Health care is driven by insurance. Yes, it’s sad. But we’re paid by our performance. If a patient’s survey reports a bad experience, we don’t get reimbursed for that patient. It’s not just the insurance company’s perception of us that’s important; it’s the patient’s perception.” Insurance and insurance coverage is the most challenging part of her job, she added. “We don’t deny anyone care because they don’t have insurance. But for those who have insurance,

we can’t get them admitted as an inpatient, can’t get them into surgery or discharge them without the insurance company agreeing. Or maybe the patient may not need to be admitted as an inpatient, but they need things in place to be cared for at home. Insurance has to agree,” she added. Because of insurance, there are many requirements that must be met before a patient can be discharged from the ED, she said. Things like a physical and occupational therapy evaluation, radiology and lab reports, and locating an appropriate facility, if necessary. All of these must be in place for insurance to reimburse the emergency room visit. What’s most rewarding about her career as nurse manager? “It’s the small wins,” she said. “Getting the patients in, getting them seen, and having them leave happy with the care they’ve received.” She’s proud of and committed to St. Elizabeth’s. “We excel in cardiac care. We’re a center of excellence for cardiac care. We do that phenomenally. I relish those wins,” she said. Having a cohesive team with medical staff is another strength she’s proud of. “We work closely with physicians. They’re a tight knit group of physicians, mostly local. We have an investment in our community, to give the best to our community. We’re invested in our family,” she said. Walton received her associate’s degree in nursing from St. Elizabeth College of Nursing and her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Utica College of Syracuse University. Registered nurse is one of the most in-demand jobs out there.


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.

A nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Page 12

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018

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Hereditary Cancer Risk Screening Mike Brunet holds a copy of a “Story of Hope,” a cancer patient who has been helped by a donation of platelets. Mary Brunet holds a copy of the plaque with the names of this year’s major platelet donors — those who gave 24 times. The Brunets were among a select group of about 60 donors who were honored recently by the Mohawk Valley chapter of the American Red Cross for making the maximum amount of donations within a 12-month period.

Blood Bond

Donors provide life-saving blood to those in need in community By Patricia J. Malin


ow difficult is it to save a life? It isn’t. According to Tom O’Hara, Mike Brunet and his mother, Mary Brunet, and hundreds of other American Red Cross blood donors in the Mohawk Valley, mere minutes can make a big difference. “It takes 117 to 137 minutes to give three units of blood,” said Mike, who returns home regularly to donate despite having an unusually busy work schedule out of town. “Who can’t spare three hours a week if you can save a life?” asks Mary of New Hartford. Both she and her son are longtime blood donors, but Mary said she is more apt to cajole her friends to do their part. The Brunets were among a select group of about 60 donors who were honored recently by the Mohawk Valley chapter of the American Red Cross for making 24 platelet donations — the maximum — within a 12-month period. Mike, 48, said he started donating blood in 1987 and would give as often as six times a year. He learned his blood type — A positive — was rare and desperately needed. After 10 years of that, Red Cross officials asked him to consider donating platelets, which is a more complicated process, yet just as painless and safe as giving whole blood. The State of New York Developmental Disabilities State Operations Office employs Mike, who works as a treatment aide at the Office for

People With Developmental Disabilities in Tupper Lake, located almost three hours from Utica. Nevertheless, he feels obligated to return to New Hartford every week or two to join his mother in giving platelet donations. “I come in on my day off,” Mike said. “A donation takes me about two hours and 10 minutes. I would give more than 24 times a year if they would let me, but they can’t.” As a nurse, Mary frequently witnessed the value of blood donations. It wasn’t until she went to work in a Utica nursing home, she explained, that she began to understand how she could personally make a difference in saving the life of a co-worker. “A girl who worked in human resources was getting three blood transfusions a day because of the effects of chemotherapy,” she said. She encourages her friends to donate. “I tell them, ‘You can do this, too.’ What’s three hours if you can save a life? My son recruited me for platelets and now I’ve been doing it seven years,” she said.

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Feeling of gratitude

Donors don’t necessarily know who will benefit from their whole blood or platelets, but they still feel richly rewarded. “Every time I donate, I get an email from the Red Cross telling me

Continued on Page 19

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May 2018 •


IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Dental Health Smile with Dr. Suy

By Dr. Salina Suy

Cosmetic Dentistry 101: Teeth Whitening (Part I)


es, it’s here and you asked for it. Whitening teeth is the most common thing patients talk to me about. “Dr. Suy, I want my teeth whiter. What can I do?” Let’s answer your concern, but the answer is different for every patient. This is the first segment in a series on teeth whitening. We will Suy talk about different factors that affect whitening and June’s column will talk about different products.

What is first step?

The first step is to be examined and interviewed. Although most whitening products are harmless, the point is to cause no harm to your patient and to not waste time or money if something is not going to work. Statistically speaking, there is actually about 5 percent of the population that won’t whiten. Let’s go through the checklist:

Oral hygiene regimen

The recommended regimen for patients is brushing at least twice a day and flossing once. Some patients will need to do more to maintain their health. Toothpaste has different properties for whitening. I recommend usng a toothpaste that is suitable for

defects of the parts of the tooth surface and are typically diagnosed at a young age. This is no excuse in place of good oral care, but about 3 percent of the population actually has genetic defects. If a patient has a certain pattern of staining, it might be an indication that they were on antibiotics when they were young and this affected developing tooth buds. There are many other medical factors, and these are just a few examples.


brushing sensitive teeth for protection purposes. Although we all like to think we brush perfectly, sometimes we are brushing wrong. Reviewing proper brushing technique is important — if you have been brushing wrong all along, you could potentially have whiter teeth by improving your technique, frequency or toothpaste.

Diet type and frequency

Where are my coffee lovers? Yes, coffee and tea will stain your teeth, but anything with dark coloring will. Snacking frequently makes the environment in your mouth more acidic. Beware of cavities from grazing.

Dental history

Have you seen your dentist lately? First things first: If your oral health is not supreme, you should not be whitening. The No. 1 prerequisite for whitening is a healthy mouth. Also important is a cavity-free environment, and you must determine what dental restorations you have and if they will whiten. Also, the whitening agent will not affect the majority of those who use dental materials such as crowns and fillings.

Medical history

Some people are actually born with “soft teeth”— these are genetic

Tobacco usage of any kind can cause outside and inside staining. This staining can be black, brown and sometimes grey. Depending on the type and duration of the tobacco, it may or may not be easily removed. The main problem is if you whiten and then use tobacco again right after, how long is that going to last you?

Now what?

After you have gone through the checklist, you have to find the right whitening ingredients. We will explore how to understand whitening products and find what is best for you next time in “Smile With Dr. Suy.” • Salina Suy is a health and wellness advocate and general dentist in Utica. Want to learn more? Visit Facebook @smilewithdrsuy or www.smilewithdrsuy.com.

All That Overtime Could Be Killing You Study: Working more than 60 hours a week increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke


40-hour work week may sound like a vacation to those burning the midnight oil. But a study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine shows that consistently surpassing this standard can be detrimental to your health. Researchers said they found that working 61 to 70 hours a week increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 42 percent, and working 71 to 80 hours increased it by 63 percent. Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, with more than half a million deaths each year in the United States alone, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Page 14

Another study, published in The Lancet, found that employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours. Even more shocking is that putting in these extra hours may not even lead to increased productivity because long work spans can actually decrease your efficiency. Germany boasts the largest economy in Europe, yet the average worker there only spends 35.6 hours a week on the job. Working less may not seem like an option at first, but here’s how to make it a reality. First, get more sleep at night.

This will give you the energy to be more productive during the day and get out of the office sooner. Create an organized list of tasks each day. Check off each item when completed to give yourself the motivation to get through your day more efficiently.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018

Working fewer hours will give you more free time in the short term and could decrease your risk of heart disease to give you a higher quality of life in the long term, according to the researchers.

Spiritual Health Milk & Honey

By Brooke Stacia Demott

Beyond the Pain Fruit of the spirit is joy “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”


— William Goldman, “The Princess Bride” (1987)

ndeed, Welsey. Anyone who’s been alive more than five seconds can relate — there are seasons of sorrow in life that hypnotize you with the full drums of misery, rolling out the anthem, “life is pain.” Our generation also offers the misleading annoyance of “selfie”-driven cyber communities Demott where everyone tries to look carefree, beautiful, and confident. 20 years ago, the only people on screen trying to craft an image were celeb-

rities; now everyone’s on screen, straining for as many “likes” as possible. So, when hard times smack you with the reality that “life is pain,” seeing everyone you know (live streamed, 24/7) promoting their happiness can make you feel pretty lonely. However, it’s likely that somewhere underneath the Snapchat mask, they’re hurting, too. It isn’t hard to make the case that we’re an unhappy nation. Suicide, murder and mass shootings in America are becoming disturbingly common. The influx of online faux-community has made people more isolated and lonely than ever. Americans strive to fill their homes with possessions and their lives with experiences but are nonetheless discontent. Annually, over $19 billion is spent on antidepressants — and over 30 million Americans are taking them. Also, 145 million Americans suffer chronic health problems — that’s one of every two adults — while divorce rates climb

and families crumble. We’ve got problems and we only have so much strength. Our reserve is easily depleted and difficult to restore. Each time we try and pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, those straps get thinner and our arms get weaker. It only gets harder as we get older, disappointments mount, and loved ones pass away. Our minds have a magnetic attraction to the negative, and so we often fixate relentlessly on what’s going wrong. Is it even possible to find joy in all of this? Yes, but not alone. One night, a long time ago, Jesus knelt down in a garden. He was coming to terms with the undertaking ahead of him — to be tried in a false court, sentenced to a humiliating death, and forsaken by God and his friends. Trembling, he prayed that He would be spared the task, but “nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” God filled Jesus with the strength He needed to go on.

God as refuge

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” — Psalm 46:1 When trouble comes, God is near; and when God is near, we need to grab hold of Him. God is the source of joy. Like a branch grafted to a tree, when we hold fast to God, we can draw con-

tinuously from His supply. Joy means exuberant happiness — the kind that overrides any circumstance and undergirds us in every catastrophe. But is that realistic? When a marriage falls apart, or the cancer has returned, when we are crushed by disappointment — how can we find joy? Alone, we are weak, and our heads hang low in affliction. But God’s strength enables us to lift our eyes and see the endless stretch of blessings in our lives. Gratitude is the first step toward joy. For every complaint, count a dozen blessings. The dark backdrop of suffering often allows them to shine brighter. There are so many things to be thankful for — from sugar to songbirds, life supplies us a million little gifts every day. Gratitude is a powerful weapon against despair. Suffering is inevitable; you can choose to let it either grow your character or destroy you. Ask yourself: In my suffering, is my character growing, or my bitterness? Cast that bitterness aside and chart what you have learned. Hardship builds hope — let that hope fuel you to give hope to others. Forgive people who have hurt you — posture yourself for forgiveness, even if they never ask for it. • Brooke Stacia Demott is a columnist with In Good Health newspaper. Got a question for Demott? Feel free to email her at brooketo@aol.com.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15

Health Briefs

Diet & Fitness Pauline’s Pieces

By Pauline DiGiorgio

Greens for Gains

Old adage of ‘Eat your vegetables!’ makes perfect sense


e’ve all heard it growing up — “Eat your vegetables!” But as I get older and experiment with more of a plantbased diet, I wonder to myself if eating my greens has made an impact on my gains in the gym. For example, dark leafy greens like kale, arugula and spinach provide countless health benefits such as protecting your bones from osteoporosis and regulating digestion to helping fight inflammatory diseases. These reasons alone merit adding them to daily consumption. DiGiorgio But I wanted to research deeper and see if these magical greens could help me with my gains from daily workouts. I put the subject to the test by committing to a FabFit smoothie every morning for four weeks. My results when combined with gym work come in the form of a tame, flat, happy tummy. This confirmed that upping these fibrous friends truly affirms my mom’s dinner comments. I will be eating my vegetables, keeping in mind my findings below: — Let’s break down the vitamins. Vitamin A will help with vision and cell growth that diminish as you get older. This also will aid in maintenance of major organs, including the heart and kidney. Vitamin C is designed to bolster your immune system. You can’t give it your all in the gym when you are sick, coughing and sneezing everywhere. Next up, Vitamin K is for strong bones and is essential to prevent injury. You don’t want to go snapping off your ankle on your cardio run or lifting a dumbbell, do you? Lastly, Vitamin E improves blood vessel health. As you work out, your veins and arteries become more flexible. More elastic stretch is needed so your muscles can allow more blood flow. Healthy blood vessels have the ability to dilate and expand more efficiently. Packing your diet with more greens means you’ll be upping your vitamins the body needs for peak performance. I think it’s often forgotten the mental capacity needed for a great workout versus a so-so sweat session. Your mental health plays a large role in overall wellbeing. If you don’t feel strong mentally, then you can easily lose focus, concentration and miss out on that fan favorite — the Page 16

Oneida Healthcare earns breastfeeding friendly practice designation


epresentatives from the Madison County Department of Health recently recognized two practices within Oneida Healthcare’s Circle of Care network — Women’s Health Associates and Maternal Health Center — as breastfeeding friendly practices. They represent the first in Madison County and the Central New York region to obtain the breastfeeding friendly practice designation, a designation from the New York State Department of Health. Health care providers who receive the breastfeeding friendly practice designation are recognized by their commitment to creating a breastfeeding friendly environment and receiving the necessary staff training to promote, support, and protect breastfeeding moms. Though breastfeeding is not an option for all moms, according to the DOH, breastfeeding does provide many health benefits for both baby and mom that traditional baby formula cannot provide. To receive designation by the NYSDOH, health care practices are required to complete 10 steps which focus on creating a breastfeeding friendly office, encouraging breastfeeding, and supporting mothers with the education and training needed to breastfeed safely. Women’s Health Associates, 139 Fields Drive in Oneida, provides comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology services to area patients. Maternal Health Center, located at 221 Broad St., Oneida, offers obstetrics for area Medicaid patients. For more information about the DOH’s breastfeeding friendly practice designation, visit health.ny.gov.

Root Farm offers fresh local produce Pauline DiGiorgio, right, joins fellow fitness enthusiast Kayla Almond during a recent workout session. endorphin high. A study in the Journal of Neurology shows increasing your daily serving of leafy greens over five years compared to an individual who lacked this consumption resulted in a “younger” brain — 11 years younger to be exact. These “superfoods” are so rich in folic acid, beta carotene and essential vitamins, it protects the brain against inflammation and ultimately strengthening all aspects of congestive health. Let’s put this life-changing game plan into action, creating a habit that’s easy to start implementing everyday.

FabFit smoothie

My formula of this daily FabFit smoothie is split into four parts that you can mix and match with what you have on hand. — Part one: Let’s pick your greens. There’s many to choose from,

but I believe a good fist full of spinach is ideal, with any flavor you’re going for. — Part two: Fat. Try to choose a high-quality source. I love coconut butter, and a couple tablespoons will do. — Part 3: Fiber. I found chia seeds to be the easiest to toss in. — Part 4: Protein. I’ve leaned toward a plant-based diet as of late. A great pea protein like PEScience’s new vegan line of vanilla or peanut butter has been my go to. Go easy on the fruit as it spikes blood sugar. A quarter cup shall do just fine. Freeze the fruit first to add a creamy, thicker texture. Vanilla cashew milk and ice help with maintaining its “milkshake” feel and voila, you have greens for gains! • Pauline DiGiorgio is a fitness ambassador and Group X instructor at Retro Fitness gyms. Questions? Email her at ptlifts@gmail.com.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018

Are you interested in savoring healthy, farm fresh produce each week this summer? The Root Farm is in its second year of offering its community supported agriculture opportunity, enabling participants to enjoy 15 weeks of locally grown vegetables and flowers beginning June 28. Full shares cost $450 each and can be picked up at the Root Farm, 2680 King Road, Sauquoit, from 3-6:30 p.m. every Thursday. Half shares are also available for $300. “This is a wonderful way to support The Root Farm and the services it provides to so many children and adults from our community, while also enjoying a wide variety of fresh, local produce,” said a Root Farm spokesperson. For more information or to sign up, email info@rootfarm.org or call 315-520-7046. The Root Farm, a nonprofit organization, has expanded to a new location on over 100 acres in Sauquoit. The Root Farm is focused on learning and healing for people of all ages and abilities through the power of equine, agricultural and recreational experiences.

Beat the Bloat

Discover those food culprits that cause overinflated look, feeling By Kristen Raab


f you frequently have to unbutton your pants after a meal, or find yourself wondering why your belly seems to grow after having a glass of chocolate milk, you are not alone. While bloating is a normal part of the digestive process, there are some foods and behaviors more likely to cause extensive bloating behaviors. Pat Salzer, registered dietitian for Excellus Salzer BlueCross BlueShield, recommends keeping a food diary to identify particular foods that might cause tummy troubles for you. You should also share this information with your doctor to develop a plan that is right for you. Read on to discover common bloating culprits. Artificial sweeteners: We may assume we are making healthy choices when we eat sugar-free foods, candy, and gum. However, if these items contain artificial sweeteners, they can cause bloating. Xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, maltitol, and erythritol can all cause bloating and gas and are commonly used in popular gums

and mints. Swallowed air: Chewing gum and eating hard candies are two of the most common gas-producing activities. Make sure to eat slowly, chewing food well. If you eat too quickly or fail to properly chew your food, you will “swallow air which leads to bloating,” Salzer explains. It is also harder for the digestive system when you don’t fully chew your food. Poorly fitting dentures, smoking, and postnasal drip are lesser-known reasons people swallow too much air. Eating too fast or too much: Of course, overeating may also lead to bloating. If you frequently feel stuffed after eating, and notice a so-called food baby, try decreasing portion sizes. Healthyeating.org offers information on portion sizes, including a chart that uses hands to indicate proper portion sizes. For example, a one-cup serving size of cereal is equal to your fist. Raffinose is a complex sugar found in beans, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, and other vegetables. Beano® can be taken before eating these foods. It contains the enzyme alpha-galactosidase. You can also soak beans to reduce the amount of gas they cause, but discard the water afterwards.

Lactose: It’s the natural sugar in dairy products and some processed foods. An enzyme called lactase breaks down that sugar so we can absorb it into our bodies. However, many people don’t have enough of it, and this can result in symptoms such as gas after an ice cream treat. If you don’t want to avoid these foods, digestive enzymes containing lactase help digest carbohydrates, which should reduce or eliminate the symptoms. Even those who aren’t lactose intolerant may experience bloating and discomfort from milk. Salzer suggests trying hard cheese or yogurt instead. Fructose is found in onions, artichokes, pears, wheat, and in some sweetened drinks. FODMAPS are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Following a low FODMAP diet and eliminating these foods is helpful for some people. For more information on FODMAP foods, visit www.ibsdiets.org/ fodmap-diet/fodmap-food-list/ Starches: Potatoes, corn, pasta and wheat all produce gas. To avoid gas and bloating, consider rice. You may also opt for gluten-free pasta or bread. If you decide to eat potatoes or corn, keep your portion small, eat slowly, and drink plenty of water. Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate. When it reaches the colon, bacteria digests it, which is called fermentation. This produces gas. We consume soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber includes lentils, nuts and most fruit whereas insoluble fiber includes beans, seeds, and root vegetables. If you only experience occasional

bloating, make sure you have enough fiber in your diet to avoid constipation. However, Salzer cautions us to “gradually increase fiber intake as some of these foods may cause gas initially.” Carbonated beverages: Avoid carbonated beverages as they cause bloat. Water or herbal tea is the best beverage to choose. Add fruit or herbs to water or drink peppermint tea, as it is known to decrease digestive disturbances. The International Foundation of Functional Intestinal Disorders suggests cutting down on high-fat foods to see if that reduces bloating. Without these foods, the stomach empties faster, potentially reducing the amount of gas. The IFFID also notes the following foods are less likely to cause gas in most people: — Meat, poultry, fish — Eggs — Vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini and okra — Fruits such as cantaloupe, grapes, berries and cherries — Gluten-free bread and rice Ginger relaxes the intestinal muscles and helps to speed up digestion. Fennel and parsley are other herbs thought to help. Peppermint relaxes the digestive tract, which may help with the discomfort bloating causes. Note that people with acid reflux may want to avoid peppermint as it may increase those symptoms. Munch on some fresh pineapple as it contains bromelain, which is an enzyme that aids in digestion. Eating more potassium, which is found in bananas and avocados, flushes out excess sodium, reducing gas for some people.

Director of Nurses United Helpers, founded in 1898, is seeking a Director of Nurses with the skills, compassion, and commitment to making a difference in the delivery of quality of care. This position will provide leadership and oversight of nursing department clinical staff at Maplewood Health Care and Rehabilitation Center located in Canton, NY. This is a fulltime position.

LPNs 1,000 Hiring Bonus

The primary purpose of this position is to carry out the assignment of nursing care on an assigned resident care unit (s). Provide direct nursing care to residents at the facility to ensure that the highest degree of quality care is maintained at all times.


•Implementation of each resident plan of care.

•Monitoring resident physical and psychological status-documents and reports concerns to supervising RN. •Directing the Nurse Aides and Resident assistants regarding resident care practices. •Insuring each resident's care plan is understood by direct care givers. •Maintaining an environment conducive to providing quality of care. •Give and receive nursing report at the beginning and ending of shift. •Attends Resident Care Conference as directed by Nurse Care Coordinator. Keep informed of new medical and nursing measures as related to the needs of residents. Responsible for completion of documentation of daily supervisor report on the status of resident conditions as per facility polices and protocols. Follow Standards of Practice and facility policies and protocols for medication and treatment administration. VHS offers a competitive package that includes paid vacation, personal, sick, paid holiday time, 401K pension plan, health and dental insurance. Applications/resumes accepted at:

Our successful candidate will enjoy learning and mentoring others. At least five years of nursing leadership experience, preferably in long term care, is required. Maplewood Health Care and Rehabilitation Center is a 96-bed facility specializing in outpatient therapy, subacute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, asssisted living and services for individuals with dementia. Touting health & wellness. Maplewood Campus was designed based on years of documented research which cite the benefits of providing care and services on a smaller scale. Maplewood incorporates the arts, nature, spiritual and recreational opportunities, as well as community and intergenerational connections into a residential health care setting. If you enjoy a collaborative teamwork environment, providing highquality services, are interested in learning and mentoring others, and making a positive difference in the lives of others every day, we encourage you to apply. Apply for this job and more on-line www.unitedhelpers.org/apply (315) 393-3074 United Helpers is a Non-Discriminatory and Equal Opportunity Employer.

Human Resource Director

Valley Health Services, Inc. 690 W. German St. Herkimer, NY 13350 EOE FAX# 315-866-6546 | EMAIL: lhocking@valleyhealthservices.org May 2018 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17


The skinny on healthy eating

soften. Remove from heat. Place beans in large bowl and mash. Stir in sauté mixture along with soy sauce, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and egg. Refrigerate mixture for 10 minutes. Divide mixture into 4 portions and shape into 1/2-inch thick patties. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 8 minutes, flip; then cook for 7-8 minutes more. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for spicy aioli in a small bowl and mix well. Top burgers with spicy aioli and garnish of choice.

Slim down with Shiitake mushrooms


ith swimsuit season right around the corner, many of us are looking to drop a few pounds. But how do we stick to our diets when some of the lower-calorie foods are so blah? Mushrooms, including shiitakes, may be the ticket, as they provide a big blast of deliciousness for very few calories. One cup of cooked shiitakes, for example, has only 80 calories and next to no fat. Make your next burger with half beef and half chopped shiitakes — and you’ll have a tasty patty with half the calories and fat. Low calories notwithstanding, shiitakes contribute to weight management by providing enough protein and fiber to keep us feeling fuller longer. According to a recent study on satiety published in the journal of “Appetite,” those who ate a mushroom-rich meal experienced less hunger, greater fullness, and decreased prospective consumption compared to those eating meat. More research — conducted at the University at Buffalo — indicated that mushrooms may help with weight loss by regulating blood sugar. The preliminary study exam-

ined how plant-based glucose can aid in normalizing blood sugar, which then supports the essential hormone balance needed to shed pounds. Peter Horvath, associate professor in the department of exercise and nutrition science at UB, suggested that both a mushroom’s dense phytonutrients and antioxidants work together to nourish cells and level blood sugar. Beyond being a dream diet food, this rich-flavored mushroom contributes more nutrition than you might think. Shiitakes are a knockout source of copper, selenium and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), nutrients we need to keep our systems running smoothly. An essential trace mineral, copper joins with iron to form red blood cells and helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, and nerves. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that fights oxidative stress and helps defend the body from chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. And vitamin B5 plays a role in energy metabolism, red blood cell production, and nerve function. All three keep the immune system humming.

Shiitake-Black Bean Burgers with Spicy Aioli Adapted from One Green Planet Serves 4

Helpful Tips

If available, buy loose over prepackaged shiitakes (so you can inspect quality) and store in a partially open zipper-lock bag, which maximizes air circulation without drying out the mushrooms. Look for shiitakes with the thickest caps you can find and avoid those that appear wet, slimy or shriveled. Take a whiff: they should smell earthy not sour or fishy.

For the Burgers: 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, finely diced 15-ounce can unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper 1/4 cup breadcrumbs 1 beaten egg For the Spicy Aioli: 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 garlic clove, minced 2 teaspoons hot sauce (recommend: Sriracha) 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle colum-

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

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 3 minutes more, just until mushrooms start to

Blood Pressure: Understanding the New Guidelines


pertensive until they got to 140/90. But the new guidelines eliminate the prehypertension category, putting everyone with systolic pressure readings (top number) between 120 and 129 and a diastolic reading (bottom number) below 80 in a new “elevated” category. And those with a reading of 130/80 or higher fall in some stage of hypertension. Here’s a complete rundown of the new five category blood pressure ranges: • Normal: A top number less than 120 and a bottom number less than 80. • Elevated: A top number between 120 and 129, and a bottom number less than 80. • Stage 1: A top number between

130 and 139, or a bottom number between 80 and 89. • Stage 2: A top number of 140 or higher, or a bottom number of 90 or higher. • Hypertensive crisis: A top number over 180 or a bottom number over 120. Millions of Americans with high blood pressure don’t know they have it because it usually has no outward signs or symptoms. But high blood pressure, over time, can damage your arteries and increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney damage and even dementia. To guard against this, everyone over the age of 40, as well as those younger with risk factors for hypertension should get

their blood pressure checked at least once a year. If you find that your blood pressure numbers fall in the “elevated” category, you should take steps now to get it under control. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, losing weight, exercising, watching your salt intake, quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol is often all you need to get it back to normal. Even if your blood pressure numbers are in the “stage 1” category, lifestyle changes are recommended first, unless you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, or you’re at high risk for cardiovascular problems because you smoke, have high cholesterol or Type 2 diabetes.


f you’re unsure what your blood pressure levels should be, you’re not alone. Recent changes in the hypertension guidelines made by the American Heart Association and the American College Cardiology mean that roughly 30 million more Americans than previously thought are now considered to have high blood pressure (hypertension). According to the new guidelines, anyone with a blood pressure reading above 130/80 is considered to have high blood pressure. Previously, those with a blood pressure reading between 120/80 and 139/89 would have been put in the prehypertension category and wouldn’t have been considered hy-

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018



M-F 9:00am-8:00pm




Between You and Me

By Barbara Pierce

Truth Hurts

Brutal truths about human behavior By Barbara Pierce


ou see a wallet with a $100 bill peeking out, fluttering on the sidewalk. There’s not another person in sight. Would you quickly swoop down to pick up the bill and stick it in your pocket if you thought no one would ever know that you took it? Or would you try to find the owner of the wallet? Many of us would grab that $100 if we were Pierce sure no one would ever know. We stay honest because someone might be watching. Deceit, lying, and falsehoods lie at the heart of our cultural heritage. Even the founding story of the Christian tradition, the story of Adam and Eve, revolves around a lie. Nearly all of us lie. Mostly, we shade the truth just enough to make ourselves and others feel better — little white lies. But sometimes they are big ones. However, if we were asked to rate how honest we are on a scale of one to 10, we would all probably say nine or 10. Which would be a self-delusion for many of us. I’m fascinated by the behavior of humans, like lying, and like our ability to delude ourselves. Understanding human behavior is an ongoing process. Both our conscious and subconscious minds have significant bearing on our behavior, but most of us have only a minimal understanding of this.

Here are some things I find interesting about human behavior. We are so deluded when it comes to ourselves. We tend to see ourselves through rose-colored glasses. Most of us think we’re better than we actually are — not just physically, but in every way. Most people believe they are above average, which is of course, statistically impossible. For example, 93 percent of drivers rate themselves as a better than average driver. Ninety four percent of college professors say they do above-average work. When I was a boss, I did annual evaluations of my staff. As a way to kick off the discussion, I asked them to rate themselves. About 90 percent of them ranked themselves well above average. We see ourselves as better looking than we actually are. Research suggests we think of our appearance in ways that are more flattering than

Plasma, platelets save lives Continued from Page 13 about a ‘story of hope,’” Mike added. “It shows me where the plasma blood or platelets has extended someone’s life.” Sometimes the need is right in his back yard. “We give enough to meet our quota and keep the Utica hospitals supplied,” said Heidi Chrisman, site supervisor at the local Red Cross office on Commercial Drive in New Hartford. People who are familiar with blood donations know it is ordinarily a 10-minute procedure. Although giving whole blood plasma is quick, donors have to wait a minimum of 56 days before they can donate again. That puts the blood supply in jeopardy, especially if there is a widespread emergency. Donations of whole blood are typically used for trauma patients or accident victims where there is an extreme loss of blood.

Platelets, though, are routinely used to support patients recovering from or preparing for surgery and aids in blood clotting. Platelets help cancer patients, organ transplant recipients and those suffering from blood disorders, according to the Red Cross. “It takes five to eight (whole) blood donors to equal enough platelets given by one donor,” said Tom O’Hara of Clinton, who returned to the Red Cross office to donate platelets early on a Sunday morning, a few days after the recognition ceremony. He has been a blood donor for many decades. He started while he was in high school for his mother, who suffered from blood cancer, he said. He now hopes he can help a friend of his who has cancer and is hospitalized. “A donation of platelets can make up for 15 people a day giving whole blood,” O’Hara said. “If I give

realistic. I guess that explains why I look at all those pictures of myself and think, “That doesn’t look like me; I look better than that.” Guess the sad reality must be that I really do look like that unattractive woman who keeps showing up in my pictures.

Overrating ourselves

“People over-estimate themselves,” says Cornell University psychologist David Dunning, online. “But more than that, they really seem to believe it. I’ve been trying to figure out where that certainty of belief comes from.” Happier is not the one who has a lot of money, but the one who has more than his neighbor does. People constantly compare themselves with others and feel satisfied if they are superior in some respect. And another thing: We all know that looks matter. What most of us don’t understand is just how much the way a person looks matters to 24 times a year, that can help 360 people.” One donation of platelets can be used for as many as three separate patients or up to three doses can be used for one patient, according to the Red Cross. When giving platelets, both of the donor’s arms are hooked up to an apheresis machine, which is used for the collection of donor blood components. The donor reclines in a chair and can watch TV, videos or listen to music. A smaller needle is used for a platelet donation compared to a traditional whole blood donation, so some donors find it to be more comfortable. A centrifuge pulls blood out of one arm and separates the platelets from the plasma. The remaining red blood cells are then returned to the other arm. One platelet donation through apheresis removes less than 20 percent — about 2-½ tablespoons’ worth — of a donor’s total platelets. Platelets only last five days, so the Red Cross depends on regular donations to “ensure a safe and

May 2018 •

us, and how difficult it is for us to ignore a person’s appearance when making a social judgment. This is not just about romantic relationships; I’m talking about all of our human interactions. In politics, the importance of appearance has been researched considerably. When we vote for a political candidate, we like to think we are voting for him or her on their merits, not on looks. But research has found that a candidate’s appearance — not beauty, but a look of competence — can swing votes significantly. This effect is powerful. For many of us, appearance determines whom we vote for. Another interesting thing about us — Most people live with discomfort because they’re afraid of the unknown. They would much rather suffer from the devil they know than venture into uncharted territory. “You stick with what’s known and suffer, instead of trying something new because you’re terrified of uncertainty,” says life coach Matthew Jones, online. “We construct the very prison in which we live.” And money, money is packed with meaning. A lot goes on in our brains when we think about money. According to research, money kills empathy and compassion. If you’re wealthy, you don’t have to be attuned to social cues like a person with less. “Rich people can just sail along without worrying about threats, so they tend to ignore how others feel,” says an article in Time magazine. And the more we have, the more we need, and the more we focus on it. Money makes you dangerous, too. Researchers observed crosswalks and found that people driving luxury cars were three times less likely than those in more modest vehicles to give the right of way to pedestrians, and they were four times more likely to cut off other drivers. • Barbara Pierce is a retired licensed clinical social worker with many years of experience helping people. If you would like to purchase a copy of her book, “When You Come to the Edge: Aging” or if you have questions for her, contact her at barbarapierce06@yahoo.com. steady platelet supply,” it states. For more information, visit www. redcrossblood.org/plateletFAQ#FAQ3.

Importance of platelets

Every 30 seconds, someone in the United States needs platelets. Platelets are in constant demand by hospitals. After your platelet donation, they are immediately tested and prepared for delivery to a hospital. On average, platelets are transfused within three days of donation. Over 1 million platelet transfusions are given to patients in need each year. Platelets give cancer patients the strength they need to keep fighting. While cancer patients undergo treatment, a major side effect is low platelet count. Without a platelet transfusion, cancer patients face life-threatening bleeding because platelets help blood to clot. Platelets also help patients survive major surgeries or serious injuries.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19

Health News Advances training in pelvic floor rehab

Insight House receives holiday match grant

Nicole Hebert, a physical therapist at Little Falls Hospital, a part of the Bassett Healthcare Network, recently advanced her training in pelvic floor therapy to include bowel dysfunction and treatment of the male pelvic floor. Hebert has been evaluating and treating the female pelvic floor for 10 years. Hebert With her advanced training, treatment is available for men and women with urinary or fecal incontinence, constipation, urgency and frequency of urination, and pain in the pelvic region. This includes pain in the abdomen, buttocks, pelvic floor, tailbone, vagina, rectum, penis or testicles. The pelvic floor muscles may become weak, tight or spastic as a result of disuse, surgery or trauma.

Insight House Chemical Dependency Services, Inc. in Utica has received a Stewart’s Holiday Match grant of $500 to purchase drug and alcohol educational materials directed at adolescents. Funding was made possible by Stewart’s Holiday Match Grant, as customers donated more than $945,000 last year from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day. Stewart’s matched the amount collected, bringing the total amount awarded to charities and organizations to over $1.89 million. Since 1971, Insight House has provided professional and confidential drug and alcohol treatment services to individuals and their families. The agency is the largest substance abuse treatment center in Central New York, and offers a comprehensive range of outpatient, day rehabilitation and residential programs.

Insight House names employees of quarter Marisa Graziano and Tom Marszalek were named employees of the quarter for the first quarter of 2018 at Insight House in Utica. Supervisors nominate employees of the quarter for their reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution. Graziano, of New Hartford, is business office manager. Her responsibilities include scheduling intake appointments with clients, processing approved purchase orders and vouchers, Graziano maintaining accounts payable and receivable, and preparing claims for reimbursement from funding sources. She was nominated by her supervisor, controller Sue McGuiggan, and has been employed at Insight House for 20 years. Marszalek, of Whitesboro, is a chemical dependency counselor in the outpatient department, and specializes in group, individual and family clinical services. His supervisor, outpatient clinic director BevMarszalek erly Fellone, nominated him. Marszalek has worked at Insight House for six years.

Page 20

MVHS names policy management coordinator Linda Baird has been named policy management coordinator for the Mohawk Valley Health System. In this new position, she trains policy owners and approvers in utilization of the PolicyStat system while assisting them and their department staff in maintaining organizational policies and procedures. Prior to joinBaird ing MVHS, Baird was employed by Sodexo, where she most recently served as manager of the service response center and patient transport services at the MVHS St. Luke’s campus. She also previously served as manager of the service response center at the Faxton campus and in nutrition services at the St. Luke’s campus. Baird completed the basic medical terminology course and is a certified ISO 9001:2015 internal auditor for MVHS. She serves as a member of the MVHS decontamination team, life safety committee and medical records committee.

MVHS names new stroke outreach nurse Jennifer Hurd has been named stroke outreach nurse for the Mohawk Valley Health System. In this position, Hurd is responsible for ongoing needs assessment and planning, development and implementation of community education outreach initiatives designed to increase knowledge in the community about the causes, signs and symptoms and risk factors for stroke.

She will also educate on the interventions available, their time sensitivity and that stroke is a medical emergency. Hurd has worked for Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and MVHS for more than 19 years. She has held positions as a staff nurse, clinician on the stroke Hurd unit and general education clinician. Hurd earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from SUNY Institute

of Technology at Utica-Rome in Utica and her associate’s degree in nursing from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in Syracuse.

MVHS names talent acquisition specialist Cori Grubner has been named talent acquisition specialist for the Mohawk Valley Health System. In this position, Grubner is responsible for the full life cycle of talent acquisition activities, including relationship building with the local resource pool and community, hiring managers and candidates.

Continued on Page 21

Health equals wealth

Women’s Business Center leader provides guidelines to prosperity


f you ever thought about starting a business or are operating one, then staying healthy is vital for your continuing financial success. Dr. Patricia Laino offers the following guidelines to promoting health while being in business. She is called “Dr. Pat” by the thousands of business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs that have been trained and Laino coached by her for over two decades. Hundreds of these entrepreneurs went on to start and operate robust and healthy business operations. Current business data reveals that more than 85 percent of all small businesses in America fail in the first three years of operation, while approximately 83 percent of Dr. Pat’s entrepreneurs that start a business thrive, succeed and remain healthy. “Going into your own business is one of the most important steps you will ever take in your life,” she said. “You must have a unique product or service that can produce a healthy profit, a prime location that attracts sufficient customers, be better than your competitors and maintain a strong desire to succeed, while staying healthy in the process. Implementing all of these elements will contribute to a healthy and wealthy business enterprise.” Dr. Pat’s advice to those already in business or thinking about starting one is: — Do you have the management skills and expertise in the business

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018

field that you want to enter? — Are there enough customers who will want to buy from you? —Will you be in a prime location? — How much money are you putting in and how much money do you need to get started or expand? After you have researched and responded to these basic questions, then it’s time to begin working on your own individualized Business Plan that will result in your future healthy and successful business venture. If you would like to learn more of Dr. Pat’s “secrets” about operating a successful business, you can go to drpatlaino.com or purchase her book entitled “Unlock the American Dream” from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. • Dr. Patricia K. Laino is the executive director of the Women’s Business Center of New York State.

Health News Prior to joining MVHS, Grubner worked for Upstate Cerebral Palsy in Utica as a recruiter, staff development specialist and credentialing specialist. She was also a cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructor at UCP and volunteered at its therapeutic riding program Grubner for people with disabilities. Grubner also worked as a recruiter for Staffworks in New Hartford. She earned her Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in business management with a specialization in equine business management from Cazenovia College.

studies from the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica and her Bachelor of Science degree from Keuka College in Keuka Park. Borst completed her Associate in Applied Science degree in nursing at St. Elizabeth College of Nursing in Utica and is board-certified through the American Borst Academy of Nurse Practitioners as well as a member of the AANP. She is also certified in advanced cardiac life support and basic life support. Borst is a veteran of the United States Army and volunteers as the commander for the American Legion Post 169 in Oneida.

MVHS names benefits specialist

Employee celebrates 30 years with SDMG

Nikita Marko has been named benefits specialist for the Mohawk Valley Health System. In this position, Marko will be responsible for the administration and coordination of medical, dental, vision, life insurance and voluntary benefits. She will ensure data accuracy and assist with education initiatives. Marko Prior to taking this position, Marko was administrative assistant to the vice president of nursing, and supported multiple assistant vice presidents and nursing management teams across two campuses. She also served as an adjunct instructor for Microsoft Excel and Access classes at Utica School of Commerce. Marko earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration at SUNY Institute of Technology in Marcy. She completed the MVHS Aspiring Leaders Program in December 2017.

Karen Zecca was recently recognized for 30 years of service to Slocum-Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford. She joined SDMG in March of 1988 as a patient services representative. In April of 2000, she took on the role of medical assistant-medical receptionist in the Zecca office of plastic surgeon Carl Krasniak, where she remains today. “Zecca’s contribution to the plastic surgery department is vital, balancing both clinical and reception responsibilities,” an SDMG spokesperson said. “Karen performs her job with thoughtfulness and professionalism.”

Continued from Page 20

MVHS Rome Medical Office gains FNP Mary-Jane Borst, a family nurse practitioner, has joined the Mohawk Valley Health System’s Rome Medical Office and has admitting privileges at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica. Prior to joining the MVHS Medical Group, Borst was employed as a registered nurse-robotics coordinator in the department of surgery at Oneida Healthcare in Oneida. Borst received her master’s degree in family nurse practitioner

SDMG achieves AAAHC accreditation

tation. Anne Falchi, chief operating officer of SDMG, stated, “When you see our certificate of accreditation, you will know that AAAHC, an independent, nonprofit organization, has closely examined our facility and procedures. It means we as an organization care enough about our patients to strive for the highest level of care possible because that’s what our patients deserve.”

SDMG to implement new EHR system Slocum-Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford recently announced the start of a project to transition to Epic, a new and improved electronic health record system, by Oct. 25. This new EHR will result in improvements not only to patient record keeping, but also to registration, scheduling, billing, laboratory and radiology services, as well as electronic prescribing. SDMG’s care team will have immediate access to up-to-date health records from a platform that supports changing federal regulatory requirements. This new system allows for streamlined paperless billing and online bill pay options. It fosters patient engagement in their health care by providing patients the ability to manage appointments, view test results, see medication lists, review preventive care plans, and commu-

SDMG names employee of quarter Maria Wolak has been named employee of the quarter for the first quarter of 2018 at Slocum-Dickson Medical Group PLLC in New Hartford. Wolak began her career with SDMG in February of 2015 as the sleep lab clerk. This role requires her to perform various clerical Wolak functions within the sleep lab, reschedule appointments and field phone calls.

Continued on Page 22


Your Doctor

By Barbara Pierce

Allegiance runs deep to community Continued from Page 4

Slocum-Dickson Medical Group PLLC in New Hartford has achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. Accreditation distinguishes this multi-specialty medical group from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation. Status as an accredited organization means SDMG has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. AAAHC accredits more than 6,000 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accredi-

nicate through a secure electronic connection to their SDMG care team. Another feature, Care Everywhere, allows the patient’s chart to follow them and be shared with other medical facilities. SDMG will be utilizing Epic Community Connect, an extension of St. Joseph’s Health comprehensive EHR system. The Epic Community Connect model is used throughout the country, allowing larger health systems to provide the Epic EHR platform to independent physician practices.

this system and those who provide care at MVHS. Q.: What is most rewarding about your position? A.: What I find most rewarding is the ability to participate in a variety of activities all with the goal of providing high-quality health care. I have the opportunity to interact with dedicated people sharing that goal. I have meaningful dialogue and formulate plans of action to achieve the goals of improving the patient experience and outcome, improving the physician experience and lowering the cost of care. I enjoy the pace of change in health care, a challenge in itself. I constantly have to be ready to stay the course or change course before it is obvious that a change needs to be made. I also enjoy strategizing new ways to do things, new services to consider offering, and figuring out

May 2018 •

how to exceed the expectations of our community. Q.: Is there anything else you would like people to know about you and your position? A.: As CMO for MVHS, I’m a member of our community. I want MVHS to provide the same level of care to those in our community as I want for my family and myself. I support our community by strengthening the ability of our health care system to fulfill its promise and mission, which is to provide the best care with the most effective technology and best-trained physicians and staff. I am open to new ideas and how to improve what we do. Every time we hear of a concern from a patient or family member, we take it seriously and study how to improve what we do. Our administration continuously works to achieve a high level of care.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21

Health in good

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Families who are dealing with the problems of addiction can find help and information at a support group meeting from 6-7 p.m. May 21 in the second floor classroom at Rome Memorial Hospital. The group meets the third Monday of each month and is free and open to everyone. Offered by the hospital’s Community Recovery Center, the support group provides an opportunity to discuss issues with others who are in the same situation. Certified by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Community Recovery Center, 264 W. Dominick St., Rome, offers alcohol and substance abuse treatment for adolescents and adults. Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, the center participates with most major insurance programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. A sliding scale fee is available for self-pay clients. For more information about the support group or the Community Recovery Center, call 334-4701.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018

Health News Continued from Page 21 Wolak maintains a positive attitude and is always willing to go above and beyond when needed, an SDMG spokesperson said. “She is always professional and courteous during her interactions with patients, providers and insurance companies. She is dedicated to ensuring that the sleep lab runs efficiently and her role is vital to the smooth operation of the sleep lab,” the spokesperson added.

CNY Labor Council elects president The Central New York Labor Council elected its first female president in over 150 years, Samantha DeRiso. DeRiso was elected following the retirement of outgoing president Patrick Costello. DeRiso is employed by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and has been a DeRiso member of the labor movement for over 30 years. Some of DeRiso’s victories include organizing over 600 women and men employed by the Mohawk Valley Health System — formerly St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica — to fight for higher wages and safer working conditions, participating in numerous strikes with her union brothers and sisters, and traveling the country to work with various labor unions in their grassroots organizing campaigns. The council is one of about 500 state and local labor councils affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Members of the council represent 63 public and private sector unions throughout the Mohawk Valley.

Graduates from peer mentoring program Senior certified nursing assistant Nicole Russell recently graduated from Valley Health Services’ peer mentoring program and was honored at a luncheon at VHS in Herkimer. The five-week program’s purpose is two-fold — it serves as a career ladder for senior CNAs who have the expertise and knowledge to share with newer Russell CNAs and it also assists with retention of CNAs. The program is an opportunity for professional growth, according to Tammi King, director of staff development. “It is valuable because it enhances team building and improves quality of care. Additionally, this program provides support, assistance with training, develops teamwork and builds professional development skills,” she said.



Got a health-related activity or event that you would like publicized? Call Lou Sorendo at 315-749-7070 or email lou@cnymail.com. Continued from Page 2 by visiting www.smokefree.gov.

May 3

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 May 3 and May 17. The support group is for parents with a son or daughter who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. PAL is a nonprofit organization run by a volunteer board of parents. For more information, visit www. palgroup.org or call PAL at 480-3004712.

May 5

Annual Walk for Wanda event set Herkimer County HealthNet — along with a host of volunteers — will present the fifth annual Walk for Wanda on May 5 in Eastern Park (adjacent to Benton Hall Academy) in the city of Little Falls. The walk will start at 10 a.m. in Eastern Park. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 588 Albany St., Little Falls. The walk is in memory of Wanda Gifford, lifelong resident of Herkimer County, who passed away in 2014 from complications due to diabetes. Proceeds from the Walk for Wanda fundraiser will support Herkimer County HealthNet’s Type 2 diabetes prevention and diabetes programs for Mohawk Valley residents. Register for fundraiser at https://www.eventbrite.com/walkforwanda or at Herkimer County HealthNet’s Facebook page at www.

facebook.com/herkimercountyhealthnet. Monetary donations can also be made directly to Herkimer County HealthNet and mailed to 320 N. Main St., Suite 3300 Herkimer, N.Y. 13350. For more information, call Althea Noyes, at 315-823-4523. For more information about Herkimer County HealthNet, call 315-867-1552 or check out its Facebook page.

May 5

May 10

May 16

Laryngectomy support group to meet

Valley Health Services accepts syringes

The Laryngectomy Support Group will hold its monthly meeting at noon May 10 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.

Valley Health Services is accepting the community’s medical waste of needles, syringes and lancets from noon until 2 p.m. on May 16. The service is available on the third Wednesday of every month. The waste must be in approved puncture-resistant containers available at local pharmacies and properly marked “biohazard.” The containers may be brought to the outpatient receptionist on the ground floor at VHS, who will contact the personnel responsible for medical waste disposal. VHS is located at 690 W. German St., Herkimer. Questions may be directed to Tammi King, infection control nurse, at 866-3330, ext. 2308.

May 14

May 21

Community Recovery Support forum for Center there to help patients, cancer survivors The Community Recovery Cen-

MVHS Wellness Center classes to begin The Mohawk Valley Health System Wellness Center begins a new session of specialty classes May 5. Classes run in eight-week sessions and space is limited with registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants must register and pay for the eight-week session of class in advance or purchase a prepaid punch card for per-class entry. Call 315-624-5484 or email wellness@mvhealthsystem.org to register for classes or to purchase a membership. Visit mvhealthsystem.org/wellness for more information on each class.

The Mohawk Valley Health System’s Cancer Center’s monthly support forum for patients and cancer survivors will be held at 6 p.m. May 14. The cancer support forum meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of every month in the Cancer Center’s fireplace lounge on the main floor of Faxton Campus, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica. The forum, led by the Cancer Center’s social worker, offers support to anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or to RSVP, call 315-624-5241.

May 7

May 14

Valley Residential Services sets open house Valley Residential Services in Herkimer will hold an open house from 2-4 p.m. May 7. VRS has availability within its enriched housing program at 323 Pine Grove Road. There will be an opportunity for the public to tour independent living apartments and meet with staff. Those interested in learning more or becoming a resident are invited to attend. For more information, call 315-219-5700, ext. 2329.

Support group to meet at Rome Memorial The brain aneurysm, AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and stroke support group will meet from 5:30-7 p.m. May 14 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 RomeNY@JoeNiekroFoundation.org.

ter of Rome Memorial Hospital, certified by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, provides outpatient services for the treatment of adults and adolescents who are chemically dependent on alcohol, prescription medications and illegal drugs. The group is led by substance abuse counselor Danielle Russell, who has 10 years of experience in the field of addiction. The group is free and open to everyone but focuses specifically on the problems faced by those who have a love one who is suffering from addiction. The group meets from 6-7 Russell p.m. on the third Monday of each month in the second-floor classroom at Rome Memorial Hospital. The next meeting is May 21. Located at 264 W. Dominick St., Rome, the Community Recovery Center operates from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Friday and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. For more information about the Community Recovery Center, call 315-334-4701.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • May 2018

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