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in good

Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

August 2012 • Issue 78

What’s up doc?

St. E’s welcomes Margaret M. Cooper

Nourish your child for the new school year


Child sex abuse

Abuse leaves long-lasting scars.See Page 6

Binge drinking, dementia link

See Page 5

Story on Page 13


They are a lot like Marilyn Monroe: pretty on the outside and a lot more substantial on the inside than you’d ever imagine. Story on Page 11

Get ‘In Good Health’ at home. See coupon inside

Workplace workouts

Cholesterol kills

Story on Page 15

Story on Page 9

August 2012 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Advertise in In Good Health call 315-749-7070 today!


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

Support group for those in mourning “GriefShare” meets from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. “GriefShare” is a faith-based support group. For more information, contact Andrea, program coordinator, at 735-6210, or visit

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012


Off to market at LutheranCare As a community service, LutheranCare in Clinton will provide a shuttle bus service Thursdays during the Clinton Farmers’ Market. The service is offered free of charge to the public. The service will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Aug. 30. Service will take place from the Clinton schools to the Village Green. For more information, contact Karen Ostinett at LutheranCare, 315235-7104.

July 31

Lutheran Care to host MS support group LutheranCare will host a support group for persons living with multiple sclerosis and their loved ones. The group will be facilitated by LutheranCare social worker Pam Sacco and Polly Papanek, both of whom have been certified through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to be qualified as self-help group leaders. The forum is being sponsored by LutheranCare and conducted as a community service.

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The group will meet from 2-3 p.m. alternate Tuesdays beginning July 31 in the family gathering room of the administration building on the LutheranCare campus, Route 12B, Clinton. The forum is offered to those affected by MS either directly or as a caregiver/family member and is designed to be a venue in which there is open discussion of questions, concerns and the sharing of personal experiences. If interested in participating, contact Sacco at LutheranCare, 315-2357143.

Aug. 4

Zumba to support Kelberman Center services The Kelberman Center will feature a “Zumbathon” from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 4 at the Paragon Athletic Club, 8387 Seneca Turnpike, New Hartford (in PAR Technology Park). All proceeds support the programs and services at the Kelberman Center and the event will help to raise awareness for those with autism spectrum disorders. Pre-registration is available at Paragon Athletic Club from 7:30-8 p.m. Aug. 2 and from 10-11 a.m. Aug. 3. Contact Laura at 315-797-6241 or with Zumbathon questions.

Aug. 5

Vendors wanted for summer bazaar St. Joseph Nursing Home, 2535 Genesee St., Utica, will celebrate its eighth annual summer bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 5. Proceeds from the event will be used to upgrade the programs and activities of St. Joseph Nursing Home. For more information, call Kathy Poupart at 315-797-1230 or email at

Aug. 5

Separated & Divorced Support Group to meet The Separated & Divorced Support Group meets from 5-6:30 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The meeting is free and open to all. For more information, contact Andrea, program coordinator, at 735-6210, or visit

Aug. 5

It may be time to consider The Third Option The Third Option meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every other Sunday at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The next meeting will be Aug. 5. The Third Option is a support group for married couples and helps them learn new ways to handle old problems. For more information, contact Andrea, program coordinator, at 315-735-6210 extension 228, or visit

Continued on Page 16

Strong job growth predicted for healthcare workers


emand is soaring for healthcare workers, and that is expected to create major opportunities for community colleges. A study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce says 5.6 million new jobs in the healthcare sector will be created for over the next eight years. That includes all sorts of related jobs—many of which require no more than an associate degree—such as medical technicians, pharmaceutical sales representatives and doctor’s office assistants. According to the study, 13 percent of all jobs will be in the health sector in 2020, and one out of every $5 will be spent on healthcare. At the same time, the report finds, the demand for postsecondary education in healthcare will grow faster than any other field except the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and education fields. Eighty-two percent of those 5.6 million new healthcare jobs will require postsecondary education and training—and an increasing number of jobs will require at least an associate degree. While 21 percent of all health care jobs required an associate degree in 2010, that will rise to 25 percent by 2020.

The ‘upskilling’ trend

Among the trends identified in the study, “upskilling” in nursing is growing especially fast. In 1980, 37 percent of entry-level registered nurses had at least an associate degree; by 2008, that figure had grown to 80 percent. Between 1992 and 2008, the report states, the proportion of working nurses with bachelor’s degrees has increased from 31 percent to 40 percent. During the same period, the number of registered nurses (RNs) in management and administration with bachelor’s degrees has increased from 14 percent to 20 percent. Meanwhile, the report documents a significant shortage of healthcare workers, due in part to the aging of the existing workforce and an aging population with greater needs for longterm care. The report projects a 26 percent increase in nursing jobs in the next six years, “but that won’t be enough to

meet the demand,” the report states. To address a shortfall of more than 800,000 nursing jobs, it says the United States will have to continue recruiting nurses from other countries. While there are plenty of qualified applicants for college nursing programs, the report states, “existing academic programs don’t have enough classrooms or faculty to move students through the educational pipeline quickly enough to meet the growing demand.” Associate degree programs continue to graduate more RNs than bachelor degree programs, but “the gap between the two is narrowing,” the report finds. “However, the gap between RNs with an initial nursing education of associate degree and RNs with initial nursing education of bachelor degree has not narrowed, but rather has been widening.” The report attributes this situation to an increasing number of practicing RNs upgrading their skills by earning bachelor’s degrees, rather than an increase in newly minted RNs completing bachelor’s programs.

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The allied professions

Community colleges still produce nearly 50 percent of the nurses entering the field today, the report finds, while for-profit institutions are producing a growing share of people trained for healthcare support and paraprofessional jobs. Between 1986 and 2010, the percent of healthcare credentials produced by for-profit institutions has grown from 1 percent to 29 percent. During that period, community college market share has declined from 37 percent to 32 percent. The market share of universities (public and private) has decreased even more, from 62 percent to 39 percent. The demand for healthcare support paraprofessionals is expected to grow faster than any other group of healthcare workers, with 4.8 million projected for 2020. The report predicts a 30 percent increase in the number of jobs available in the allied health professions between 2010 and 2020. More than 40 percent of these jobs require a postsecondary vocational certificate or associate degree.

ONEIDA, HERKIMER, MADISON AND OTSEGO COUNTIES in good A monthly newspaper published by



Local News, Inc. Distribution: 20,000 copies. To request home delivery ($15 per year), call 315-749-7070.

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2012 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: 4 Riverside Drive, Suite 251, Utica, NY 13502 • Phone: 315-749-7070 Email: Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Contributing Writers: Patricia Malin, Barbara Pierce, Kristen Raab, Malissa Allen Advertising: Jennifer Wise Layout & Design: Chris Crocker Office Manager: Laura Beckwith

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Extreme heat requires precautions


ith temperatures in the 90s and extreme heat indexes due to humidity, Tim Page, medical director of Rome Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department, recommends taking a few precautions as the best way to avoid a heat-related illness. “When temperatures climb, people are more susceptible to symptoms of heat exposure because they don’t replace essential fluids when they are out working or playing,” Page said. “People need to drink water frequently when it’s hot, because the thirst mechanism doesn’t actually kick in until the body is already at a mild state of dehydration.” Page recommends that people drink plenty of fluids and stay indoors in an air-conditioned room during the extremely hot part of the day. “If possible, plan any necessary outdoor activities in the early morning or the latter part of the evening when the temperatures are lower,” Page said. “If you have to be outside, hydration is even more critical. Plan on drinking water every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day and avoid caffeine or alcohol, which increases the loss of water from the body.” Page also encourages residents to make sure older friends and family are also taking the right precautions during the extremely hot weather. “It’s very important to check up on your elderly parents and neighbors because they are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses,” he said. If the body becomes dehydrated and fluids and electrolytes are not replenished, heat exhaustion can be the result. Symptoms include profuse sweating, headache, weakness, vertigo, nausea, muscle cramps and even loss of consciousness, according to Page. “Those suffering from heat exhaustion should be moved to a cool area to rest. If they are conscious, they should be given water, about one liter per hour, for several hours. More intensive medical intervention is necessary if they are unconscious or they don’t improve with rest and fluid replacement,” he said. Heat stroke is a more severe and potentially life threatening heat-related illness. With heat stroke, the body cannot sweat enough to cool it down and the core body temperature rises to a dangerous 104.9 degrees or more. In addition to headache and fatigue, a person suffering from heat stroke will often have hot dry skin, increased heart rate and breathing. “If you think someone has suffered from heat stroke, call an ambulance immediately,” Page said. “If you can’t get the victim to the hospital right away, start trying to cool the person down by removing some clothing and pouring cool water on the body,” he said. “In a hospital, medical staff will use aggressive measures to reduce the core body temperature. The patient will usually need to rest for several days and may experience temperature fluctuations weeks later.” “The young, the elderly, the obese and the sick are more at risk for heatrelated illnesses,” Page noted. Page 4


Your Doctor

By Lou Sorendo

Margaret M. Cooper Margaret M. Cooper recently joined the staff at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. She is a new pediatrician for St. Elizabeth Medical Group, East Utica. Recently, Mohawk Valley In Good Health Associate Editor Lou Sorendo interviewed Cooper regarding her profession. Q.: You attended Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica. What is it like to return to your educational roots? A.: I am very excited to come back to where my family is and where I grew up. Not only did I attend MVCC, but I was also raised in Holland Patent and graduated from H.P. Q.: Why did you choose the Mohawk Valley and St. Elizabeth Medical Center to practice? A.: I am coming back to be closer to my family and my husband’s work. My husband runs a business with his father in the area and so that is my main reason for coming back. I grew up here, so it has always felt like home. I chose St. Elizabeth in particular because I like where my office is located. East Utica is my favorite part of Utica. I also like the staff at St. Elizabeth. Q.: You are active in many community outreach endeavors. What motivates you to volunteer on such an extensive level? A.: I like to know what is available to my patients and their families in the community and one of the best ways to do that is by being active in the community. Q.: What motivated you to get into the specialty of pediatrics? Were there any influences that led you in that particular direction? A.: The minute I decided that I wanted to become a doctor, I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. It felt right and throughout medical school and residency that feeling never wavered. I have seven nieces and nephews and a new niece on the way and I always enjoyed being around them. I also love working with kids; the things they say and do make me smile all day. Q.: In general, what is the premise behind osteopathic medicine? Is it employed on a widespread basis in the medical world? A.: Osteopathic medicine is definitely growing. It is basically a more holistic philosophy behind the practice of medicine that incorporates everything that allopathic medicine does in addition to realizing that the body is all connected and a problem in one part of the body can impact another part. We also learn manipulations for muscle and bone problems and organ dysfunction. Q.: As a pediatrician, what are some of the more commons types of ailments that you expect to encounter? A.: Common colds, rashes, and asthma.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012

Q.: What do you personally feel it takes to be a successful pediatrician? What does it take to have “the right stuff?” A.: Good personality, enjoying

working with children, and being a good listener. It’s important to listen to parents—they usually know when something is wrong with their child. It is also important to listen to the patients and address their fears and concerns as well, even if they are underage. Q.: What do you find most gratifying about being a pediatrician? How about the most challenging? A.: The most gratifying is the patients, just working with them. The most challenging is taking care of very sick children. Another challenge is helping patients and families navigate the health care world, but it is a very important part of medicine. Q.: How do you feel the healthcare system can be improved in this country? Where do you see its flaws? How about its strengths? A.: Insurance companies are the biggest challenge and bring the most flaws. I think how insurance companies cover things is a major problem. It definitely makes things more difficult. However, this country has a lot of excellent and caring physicians.

Lifelines Education: Graduated from Holland Patent High School; attended Mohawk Valley Community College and transferred to Northeastern University in Boston, Mass.; attended Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Blacksburg, Va. and completed residency at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J. Affiliations: American Academy of Pediatrics; Cooper University Hospital; American Osteopathic Association. Hobbies: Reading, baking, and snowboarding

Back to School The Balanced Body

By Deb Dittner

Reading, writing and proper diet Make sure youngsters eat food of nutritional value to give them added edge


t’s that time of year again when we start to think about our children heading back to school. For me, my youngest child is heading off on her own for her first year of college. So in preparation for the fall and the beginning of a new school year (and sports schedules, dance and music lessons), we all need to look at returning to more regular meals vs. those of a carefree summer. Start with a nutritious breakfast—one that is going to hold until lunchtime. Breakfast Dittner needs to give children and adults energy, thinking power and lasting fuel. With obesity rates on the rise, advertising should no longer be about marketing foods to children that are sugar-laden (cold cereals such as Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms just to name a couple) and contribute to heart disease and other health problems. Food companies need to do more in the promotion of healthier alternatives. No time for breakfast, you say? Well then, get up an extra 15 minutes and enjoy energy-packed, slow-burning options, for we know that good nutrition is the key to our children’s success. For example, prepare quinoa cereal using either milk or water then add a little pure maple syrup, ground cinnamon, fresh raspberries and top with sliced banana. Another quick option is to combine plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit (your choice) and chopped, toasted walnuts topped with a drizzle of local honey.

Fill up with fuel

Here are a few healthier options for that most important meal of the day, ensuring your child has a happy and fuel-filled morning: • Fresh fruit smoothies consisting of berries, banana, plain yogurt and a dash or two of cinnamon • Oatmeal with organic raisins or other dried fruit, a dash of cinnamon and a drizzle of real maple syrup • Almond or cashew butter, organic raisins and banana sandwiches on whole grain toast • Baked apples (‘tis the season!) topped with oats, cinnamon, chopped nuts with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey • Breakfast egg sandwich on a whole grain muffin with organic

cheese, turkey bacon or steamed veggies • Organic yogurt with berries and nuts Lunch can always be a challenge. “Brown bagging” lunch has always been the choice of all my children and variety is of the utmost importance so as not to cause boredom. Gather up healthy recipes from your favorite cookbook, magazine or online and pack leftovers. If you’re sending a sandwich, prepare with whole grain bread. Avoid meats that are processed, treated with hormones or antibiotics, or try an alternative protein such as hummus and nuts. Pack more fruits and veggies that contain minimal pesticides. For a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen,” go to to receive your guide. Instead of soda, sugary juice or bottled water, use a stainless steel bottle using less plastic, saving money and the environment to hold filtered water from home. Also, send lunch in reusable packaging so as to limit the amount of garbage generated.


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Dinnertime, family time

Dinnertime seems to vary with activities. There is often practice or games, music lessons or after-school clubs. No time to make dinner? Try cooking a couple different wholesome meals on the weekend (cook once—eat three times) that can be easily put together in different ways during the week. Try to have a sitdown evening meal, again considering nutritious options, as many nights a week as possible. This is the time for discussion on daily classes, friends, sports and family activities. So parents, let’s make an impact on our children’s health and happiness by providing highly nutritious meals. By being aware of what we feed our children gives the power to provide them with a lifetime of learning skills and multiple opportunities to be physically active. May your new school year be healthy and happy! • Deb Dittner is a family nurse practitioner, Reiki master teacher and a holistic health counselor. August 2012 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 5

The Ragin’ Cajun

By Malissa Allen

Child sexual abuse Abuse of innocent children destroys lives


f you watch the news or browse the Internet at all, it doesn’t take long to find a story on yet another child that is missing, or has been beaten, tortured, raped and even murdered. The sad part is, today many are by the hands of their own parents. This is becoming an all too often news story, with no end in sight. There are groups known as “sex rings” all over the world, where pedophiles go to “sex camps,” pay hundreds of dollars to rape and torture these babies. I say babies, because most are under the age of 15. These innocent children are being stolen from their families, even worse, Allen handed over by their parents, to be blindfolded, drugged and taken to a foreign place, sold to adults, and ran through like cattle, for grown people’s sexual pleasure. Children are being taken from their front yards, playgrounds and even the safety of their own homes. There really doesn’t seem to be a safe hiding place anywhere anymore. The days of playing out in the yard, or at public parks with friends, seem a thing of the past. The alarming part is the method these children are being taken and sold, like cattle, is very disturbing. The price for a blonde-haired, American child, 10 and under, is $10,000; the same description for a teenager, $15,000; an adult, $25,000.

Cyber abuse

Not sure about you, but I have yet to find an honest paying job where this type of income is at stake. Just recently I read an article where over 500 people were arrested for a child pornography website that people paid $250 a month for a membership to watch and share children having sex with adults, men, women, and each other. For the life of me, I simply cannot understand what a grown adult could get from such a sick-minded thing. Another example is the scandal that has rocked Penn State University. It involves Jerry Sandusky, a former football assistant coach who was recently convicted of molesting young boys for years. The sad part of the story is it was determined that others covered for him simply for the fame and fortune that would be lost had this horrific “secret” been brought to the public’s attention. Reading these stories where these grown men and women take these young innocent children and do things to them that we cannot even begin to imagine, turns my stomach. Three months ago word got out in my hometown in Louisiana that two very sweet, precious little girls had been being molested for several years. Page 6

Both of these little girls had kept this secret for a while. Just like so many stories we hear today, their hidden secret was not strange, nor would their story be believed. Their monster was their grandfather, their father’s father. And if it could get any worse, their daddy lived in the same house with the grandfather and was there on every visit. This was no newsflash obviously to the sweet little girl’s father. He too had been arrested a few years earlier for having sex with a minor, but even with that, it is still shocking to know that their own father sided with the grandfather, turning his back on his own sweet little girls.

Justice for all?

When sheriff’s deputies went to arrest this monster for what he had done to his own granddaughters, he admitted his guilt with his son by his side. Knowing his own father molested his two little girls, the son continued to live with him and defend the man that stole his daughters’ innocence. These two little girls had to re-tell their stories over and over while seeking justice and waiting for the day when justice would be served. The judge that presided over this case must not have any girls in his family at all. He sentenced this evil man to five years in prison, but suspended all but one year, and that year he was given probation. No, that was no typo. You read that right. Needless to say, this created outrage among many people. How on earth is it possible for this to ever stop when these evil people get no punishment for it? Nothing upsets me more than to read where a child molester, murderer or abuser gets a slap on the wrist, and is told to go back to the playground, but play nicer, and then you read the next story about some guy that gets 20 years for smoking weed.

Once an abuser …

I don’t care how much therapy, medication, or religious education a man or woman gets, nothing is going to change this person to not do the same act, perhaps worse next time, to another innocent child. This makes me sick when I read where a judge has simply handed a child predator back into the streets, to lurk and seek out his next victim. These people are not going

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012

Numbers reflect sad reality

• A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. • More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse. • Approximately 80 percent of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. • It is estimated that between 50-60 percent of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. • More than 90 percent of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. • About 30 percent of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the cycle of abuse. • About 80 percent of 21-year-olds that were abused as children meet criteria for at least one psychological disorder. • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 was $124 billion. to suddenly gain a conscious and leave the little ones alone. When I made a post on Facebook about this, something strange began to happen. Women, friends of mine, began sending me messages, one after the other, telling me their story and writing things like, “This happened to me,” or “I understand how these little girls feel, I’ve been there.” The sad truth is, so have I. My anger and the details began to sound very familiar to me. The people and the places were different, but the same symptoms over the years of what keeping silent about something so devastating, all were the same. We all talked of our low self-esteems, the guilt we carried with us our entire years.

‘Silent, hidden war’

When I began talking to my friends, it dawned on me that we are the unknown heroes of a silent, hidden war. So many women, especially from my generation, harbor the same, devastating horrible secret. A few had never told another living soul of their stolen childhood and for the first time, grieved their loss while talking to me about the people that hurt them, the one’s that didn’t believe them, even the guilt they carried all the way up to the moment that we talked. There were six ladies that I had written me their story, detail after details—tear after tear and pain after pain. The memories were hard to write and even harder for me to read.

But based on what they asked of me, I could not turn away from them and say, “No, your childhood, your dignity and your pride mean nothing to me.” They all needed someone to be their voice. They needed to say the things that happened to them. They wanted to say it and let it out. They needed a voice and they chose me. I asked my editor if I could do a series on “Women Warriors,” the ladies that survived childhood sexual abuse so that each of these ladies, including myself, finally were able to be heard.

Spotlight on abuse

Starting in the next edition, I will begin a three-part series on sexual abuse. Each lady’s story will be told. Each painful memory will be remembered and each ghost laid to rest. I ask that you read their stories without prejudice. I hope if you have small children that you listen to them, HEAR them. If you begin to notice odd behaviors, don’t just assume they are OK. If you see changes in their grades, their laughter or the lack of wanting to go back around certain people, please ask your child why. The most important thing is to believe your daughter or son if they tell you someone is doing mean things to them. Most children are ashamed of what has happened, and will shy away in fear it will be them that is going to be laughed at, made fun of, and most of all, unloved. Loving them is what will bring them back after such tragedy happens. It’s not easy recovering from being molested, especially by someone you love and feel is never going to hurt you. By the way, justice was served to the grandfather that felt he beat the system. He died recently after each of his organs one by one shut down. When the doctors opened him up, they found it impossible to do anything to save him. They simply sewed him back up and allowed him to meet the ultimate judge. • Malissa Allen is a staff writer with Mohawk Valley In Good Health.

Golden Years Neurological impairments Therapy results in better hearing and speech for those with neurological impairments rate of hearing loss. Also, persons with untreated hearing loss are more likely to experience isolation, depression, paranoia, and anxiety. Also, studies suggest that hearing loss contributes to cognitive issues in older adults, Stegemann continued. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases by 20 percent for every 10 decibels of hearing loss.

By Barbara Pierce


axton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica recently hosted an educational session on better hearing and speech, designed for adults with neurological impairments and their caregivers. Neurological impairments often result in difficulties in communication, speech, hearing, and swallowing. The focus of the session was how to improve these hearing and speech difficulties using the services and treatments available through the hearing and speech department at FSLH. “All of those who came were impressed with the presentation,” said Christine Stegemanno, one of the presenters. Other presenters were Danielle Furlong and Tamara Casella. Furlong and Casella are speech pathologists. Stegemann, doctor of audiology, is the hearing and speech manager. Neurological impairments are those that affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Strokes, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s, and multiple sclerosis are some of the most common. Neurological impairments have rapidly become a significant and growing problem, according to the World Health Organization. Complications of neurological impairments can affect one’s ability to speak and communicate.

Strokes destructive

Strokes can have significant impact on the ability to speak by causing aphasia or apraxia. Strokes are the most common cause of aphasia or apraxia. In aphasia, the individual may have difficulty expressing himself when speaking, may have difficulty comprehending speech, or difficulty with reading and writing. “However, there is no direct correlation between cognition and language in aphasic adults,” added Furlong. Being aphasic does not mean one’s ability to think is impaired. Language therapy tailored to the individual aphasia should begin as soon as possible, and the prognosis of the therapy depends on several factors. Apraxia is a motor speech disorder, Furlong explained. People with apraxia know what words they want to say, but their brains have difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. In dysarthria, the muscles of the mouth, face, and respiratory system may become weak, move slowly, or not move because of a stroke or other brain injury, Furlong said. Speech may be slurred, slow, mumbling, with drooling.

Sound advice

Furlong’s tips for those with dysarthria: • Speak slowly and loudly; pause frequently. • Check with the listeners to make

Therefore, persons with dementia should have a full hearing evaluation. If there is hearing loss, they should be fit with hearing aids which reduce some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including disorientation, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness. For more information, contact the hearing and speech department of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare at 315624-5455.

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sure that they understand you. • Limit conversations when you feel tired, because that is when your speech will be harder to understand. For the listener, she recommends you reduce distractions and background noise, watch the person as he or she talks, and repeat only the part of the message that you understood so that the speaker does not have to repeat the entire message. Stegemann described the relationship between stroke and hearing loss. Some strokes do cause hearing and balance symptoms. Strokes that affect the temporal lobe can cause hearing loss, inability to comprehend words, or auditory hallucinations. Damage to certain areas of the brain can make one unable to comprehend complex auditory signals. This causes difficulty in following directions, a poor memory for auditory information, and confusion between similar sounding words. The person may miss the subtleties of language, may misread what is said as anger or sarcasm, or miss the point of jokes. If one has these difficulties, Stegemann recommended some things that will help: • Get the person’s attention before you begin to speak • Minimize background noise • Use simple, direct language, and give short directions. • Speak to the right ear (because the left ear has a tendency to be the weaker ear) • Stick to the topic and avoid tangents. • Also, look for evidence that the person understands you, and reinforce auditory information with visual and/ or written information or gestures.

Address hearing loss

Hearing loss is twice as common in adults with diabetes, said Stegemann. Even a pre-diabetic condition (blood sugar levels higher than normal, but not high enough for diagnosis of diabetes) can causes a 30 percent increase in

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 7

Golden Years Remember house calls? Award-winning doctor reflects back on the good old days By Patricia J. Malin


nce upon a time in America, there was a physician known as a general practitioner. He (doctors in olden days were predominantly men) seemed to be on call perpetually. For 50 years, he cared for his patients from cradle to grave, and attended to their children and grandchildren, too. How many dinners were interrupted by phone calls as he responded to emergencies, perhaps even delivering babies at home? Gino Trevisani lost count. There was no such thing as keeping “banker’s hours” or adhering to a strict 9 to 5 weekday schedule. Old-time family doctors did not chafe under what a younger generation might consider hardships. “We worked from about 7 a.m. to midnight,” Trevisani recalled fondly. Unlike today’s specialists, GPs knew no other lifestyle. It was an occupational hazard of medicine, but a calling that is rapidly disappearing. Trevisani, now 80, received the Excelsior Award from the St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation during a banquet in Whitesboro recently. Terrance “Terry” Mielnicki, a community leader, was named humanitarian of the year. Although he “retired” in 1996, Trevisani is still practicing at St. Elizabeth Family Medical Center in Utica and in Clinton. As he accepted his award, he gave thanks immediately to his wife, Arlene. “I need to share this award with many other supporters,” he said. “Arlene had a difficult job of raising our children while I was out delivering babies and doing surgery. She holds our family together. All of our children exceeded our expectations,” he said. Of his eight adult children, most are working in healthcare. “I want to share this award with my colleagues,” Trevisani continued: “Dr. Callan; Dr. Ted Max, one of the best surgeons I ever worked with; Dr.

Tom Ryan and Dr. Ed Furcinito, who was the master at delivering babies. They were the backbone of our profession. They were the old family practitioners who cared for patients from cradle to grave, worked long hours and made rounds in the hospital and made house calls at night. They were the real pillars of medicine.”

Welcome to world of medicine

Trevisani came about his career unconventionally. A graduate of Proctor High School, he went on to major in marine biology at Utica College. However, through many hours of conducting research, he became impressed with medicine. He received his medical degree in 1961 from Tufts University School of Medicine. He is listed online as a geriatric specialist, but he never considered himself anything other than a GP. He gave credit to other mentors and colleagues too, citing Frank Graniero, Fausto Franchini and Robert Brennan for providing him with invaluable instruction in “bedside manner.” A doctor was not merely one who dispensed medicine. He was a trusted family adviser, maybe overlapping with a minister or giving psychological advice. “My patients needed someone to help them,” he told the audience. Through the years, he learned to empathize with his patients’ personal “struggles.” He said having “compassion for patients helped me deal with the problems of patients in the past ... A sick patient became more than his or her illness.”

Caring is the key

In concluding his speech, he emphasized that he followed one motto above all throughout his career: “The secret of caring is caring for the patient.” In an interview afterwards, Trevisani recalled that in many decades of playing stork to expectant mothers, there was one incident that stood out. “I had only one breech delivery and Dr. Furcinito helped me,” he said.

Dr. Geno Trevisani, left, joins Terrance “Terry” Mielnicki at the recent St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation banquet in Whitesboro. When asked why there is a shrinking population of general physicians, Trevisani explained, “It’s the money. Everyone wants to be a specialist. It’s also the insurance companies who don’t want to pay for preventive care by primary care physicians. It’s easier for them to pay physicians for technical advice than for a surgical procedure.” Trevisani’s roots go so deep that many of his children are active in the medical profession. Two of his daughters are nurses; one daughter is an opthamologist and another is a physical therapist. “He never encouraged us to go to medical school,” said his son, Gino, who nevertheless did follow in his father’s footsteps. He recalled that when he was a child, his father was away frequently, but there was plenty of quality time when he was home. “He used to come to my sports’ practices. Even though he worked a lot, he put his family first,” he said. The younger Trevisani, 46, has been a doctor for 20 years. His practice is located in Burlington, Vt., and on the battlefield. He is a colorectal surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at the University of Vermont School of Medicine. He is also a colonel in the Army Reserve and commander of the 20-person field hospital (the 691st Spe-

cial Forces) in Afghanistan. In August, he returned for his fifth tour of duty in Afghanistan and is expected to stay for 90 days.

Mielnicki serves SEMC Foundation

Mielnicki has been president of the foundation board of directors since 2008. He has been active as a major fundraiser for SEMC, “allowing the medical center to keep up with the ever-changing demands of healthcare for its patients,” according to a press release. As an example of the foundation’s mission, Mielnicki cited a $3,597 grant the foundation received in June 2011 from Syracuse University men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim and his wife, Julie. With the grant, St. Elizabeth Medical Center purchased sleeper chairs in order to provide in-room accommodations for family members of critically ill cancer patients. Mielnicki is director of the substance abuse unit at the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center and is a private mental health counselor. A graduate of SUNY Utica-Rome, he also has a master’s degree in health administration from The New School and a master’s degree in social work in mental health from Syracuse University.

FSLH Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Telethon raises $520,380


he 21st annual Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Telethon recently on WKTV NewsChannel 2. Broadcast live from Gilroy Kernan & Gilroy, Inc. in New Hartford, the telethon raised $520,380, which will be used to support programs, services and equipment that benefit maternal and children services at FSLH. “This year’s CMN Hospitals Telethon was an enormous success and the money raised will have a signifiPage 8

cant impact on FSLH and the support provided to our area’s children,” said Michele Adams, CMN coordinator. “All of the money raised stays in the Mohawk Valley and provides funds for vital programs, services and equipment for the women and children we serve.” The funds raised help FSLH provide a pediatric cardiology telemedicine program that gives Mohawk Valley residents virtual access to a Syracuse-based pediatric cardiologist. This telemedicine program has become

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012

increasingly important since FSLH adopted the American Association of Pediatrics recommendation to screen all newborns born or transferred to FSLH for congenital heart disease by measuring blood oxygen saturations. Any newborns that do not pass the screening need to have an echocardiogram performed and read by a pediatric cardiologist. “The pediatric cardiology program allows the Syracuse-based pediatric cardiologists and FSLH neonatolo-

gists the opportunity to have virtual conversations about babies who they think might have heart problems,” said Julie Wells-Tsiatsos, nurse manager of maternity services at FSLH. “Using this technology, the presence and severity of a newborn’s heart problem can be determined or ruled out immediately, and the doctors and parents can speak about any treatments that may be needed,” she added.

Golden Years Cholesterol a heart stopper Watch LDL levels because it may save your life By Kristen Raab


holesterol is a waxy substance that the body makes, which is needed for proper functioning. However, we increase the cholesterol in our bodies by eating certain foods, which can cause health problems. Maintaining proper HDL (highdensity lipoproteins) and LDL (lowdensity lipoproteins) levels is part of any healthy lifestyle. Why is it is important to watch your cholesterol levels? High cholesterol increases the risk for heart disease. People with higher LDL cholesterol are at a greater risk of getting heart disease, while having higher HDL levels decreases the probability of getting the disease. The danger is that plaque can build up around the arteries of the heart. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat and other substances. These areas can eventually lead to blockages that limit the oxygen flow, causing a heart attack. Excellus Health and Wellness Consultant Pat Salzer explains, “The key is to watch portion size of animal products.” She also recommends avoiding foods that have trans-fatty acids or that are partially hydrogenated. These products have a “negative effect on heart health.” An example of this is vegetable

shortening, which Salzer says “may be even worse for us than butter.” The flavorful fat on your steak may taste good, but it is not good for you. Limit your consumption of these cholesterol-laden foods. There are fats that are beneficial. Consuming mono-unsaturated fats is healthy. Some of these options include olive and canola oils, walnuts, almonds, avocado and salmon. Another great choice is to eat foods that are “high in soluble fiber such Salzer as apples, carrots, kidney beans, or chick peas,” says Salzer. Fiber lowers cholesterol because “it is soluble and forms a stick gel with water that attracts cholesterol as it goes through the digestive tract.” An example of this type of meal would be a salad with corn, tomato, black beans and a fifth of an avocado.

Lifestyle choices pivotal

Exercise and other lifestyle choices play important roles in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. The first step is to get to a healthy

weight. According to a 2009 Excellus report, in the Utica/Rome/North Country region, the estimate is that 248,335 people have high cholesterol. This is partly because of high obesity and cigarette smoking rates. The report notes that 26 percent of people in the region smoke and 60 percent are overweight. According to Salzer, increasing physical activity is essential for increasing HDL. Smokers have yet another reason to quit: “One of the benefits of not smoking is that it will increase

It’s a ‘joint’ effort Orthopedic health is vital to maintain good quality of life By Kristen Raab


any people complain about their joints aching, and some of these cases might actually be a medical condition. It could be osteoarthritis, which is the most common joint disorder. It is caused by too much wear on a joint. “Most people will get it in some joint (often knees and hips) in their lifetime,” said Kenneth Ortega, an orthopedic surgeon with the Adirondack Community Physicians Orthopedic Group in Utica. There are some steps that people can take to minimize the impact of joint disorders. Osteoarthritis tends to run in families. “There is not much you can do in that case to prevent it,” Ortega said. However, there are lifestyle choices that can help in managing the condition, which are also useful for those without joint disorders. Physical activity is just as important for those with joint disorders as it is for those who do not have them. “Exercises that maintain muscle

tone without stressing your joints are the most effective,” Ortega said. This means that “if you have osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, you may want to ride a bike or swim rather than run,” he noted. This way, you can tone your muscles while avoiding undue stress on your joints. Ortega Weight is a factor in joint health as well. “People should try to maintain an ideal body weight,” Ortega said. Extra weight puts more pressure on the joints. “The less stress on a joint the better,” Ortega said. Diet is an important component of weight management. Ortega says, “Intake has to be balanced with output and everyone’s metabolism is different.” He

offers the following advice: “Avoid empty calories, such as those from sugary drinks and others that don’t provide any nutrition.”

Stop slouching!

Daily choices can make a difference, too. For example, it is easy to slouch while watching TV at home or after hours in front of the office computer. However, “Slouching puts pressure on your bones, which causes discs to become compressed and can make you vulnerable to back pain,” Ortega said. The solution is to sit in a comfortable chair with your shoulders back. “If you work at a desk, make sure your chair and computer are in proper positions. Look ahead and not always down,” he said. Wearing heels for eight hours a day or carrying a heavy bag may also damage one’s joints. “Wear comfortable shoes and don’t be a victim of fashion,” he said. It is important to wear shoes that absorb part of the shock of walking and standing. As for purses and briefcases that

August 2012 •

your HDL,” Salzer said. Diabetes and hypertension are other risk factors, and in this same region 28 percent of the population has hypertension while about 10 percent have diabetes. Parents can make positive changes in their homes. Salzer said, “The family should have heart healthy habits.” Start early because “childhood is the best time to enforce good habits,” she added. Some of her suggestions include broiling food instead of frying it. Bake the foods that would typically be fried such as French fries. Decreasing portion sizes is another smart choice. Lastly, grind up flax seed, and put it into foods such as oatmeal, baked goods, or peanut butter to reap the benefits of this cholesterol fighter. Another factor that can lead to high cholesterol is genetic makeup. High cholesterol can run in families, but people who already have this problem can still reduce the impact with proper diet and exercise. It is important for people to discuss medication, exercise choices, and diet with their doctor. In order to remember which lipoproteins are good, Salzer recommends thinking of HDL as happy and LDL as lousy. “Little things can really add up to make a big difference,” Salzer explains, and “the sooner you start, the better.”

are weighing you down, “make sure you alternate shoulders and lift with your legs (not your back) if picking the bag up off the ground,” Ortega said. If a person injures a joint, it is best to treat the injury right away. “When pain does occur, the use of ice and heat and sometimes anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful,” Ortega said.

When to go see doc

For a “fresh injury,” do not apply heat, he advises. “Ice after exercise and heat for stiffness the next day can also sometimes help.” Medications may be used, but a doctor’s consent should be received first. Also, if the pain is persistent and rest does not help, it is time to visit a doctor. Other signs you need to go to the doctor include pain associated with swelling that is not healed with ice, rest and perhaps medications; or pain or persistent swelling associated with an injury.” At some point, it might be determined that surgery is the best option to treat the problem. Surgery is considered after a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. It is natural to feel a bit hesitant about surgical procedures, but Ortega says, “The right surgery for the problem can offer you the possibility to continue your daily activities and hobbies and prevent further damage.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

Golf gadgets that can help older golfers By Jim Miller


here are actually a number of golfing gadgets and accessories on the market today that can help older golfers who struggle with arthritis, injuries or loss of mobility. Here are some possible solutions that can help keep your dad on the golf course. Gripping a golf club is a very common problem for seniors with arthritis or those who have hand or elbow injuries, or any condition that affects their hand strength. To help alleviate this problem there are specially designed golf gloves and grips that can make a big difference. Depending on the severity of your dad’s problem, an inexpensive option to check out is the Bionic Golf Gloves (, 877-524-6642), which are ergonomically designed to improve grip with less effort. Or the Power Glove (, 800-836-3760) that uses a Velcro strap to secure the club to your hand. These gloves run between $20 and $30. Another option to consider is to get oversized grips installed on your dad’s clubs. These can make gripping the club easier and more comfortable, and are also very good at absorbing shock. Oversized grips are usually either onesixteenth-inch or one-eighth-inch larger in diameter than a standard grip, and cost around $5 to $10 per grip. Your local golf pro can help with this. Or, for a grip-and-glove

HELP REDUCE ER CROWDING. FOR COLD AND FLU SYMPTOMS, SEE YOUR DOCTOR. A recent study found that each year there are hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits in upstate New York that could be avoided. Minor conditions like cold and flu symptoms, congestion, back pain, earaches and sports injuries are best treated by your doctor. If your doctor isn’t available, consider visiting an urgent care facility. And do your part to relieve ER crowding.

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Page 10

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012

combination fix, check out the new Quantum Grip (, 855692-3784) that incorporates hook Velcro golf grips and companion golf gloves that have mating loop Velcro material in the palm. This insures gripping power and prevents the club from slipping in your hand. The price: $30 per grip or $189 for a set of seven, plus $40 per glove. If back, hip or knee problems or lack of flexibility is also hampering your dad on the golf course, there are a number of innovative gadgets that can eliminate the bending and stooping that comes with teeing up the ball, repairing divots, marking the ball on the green, retrieving a ball or tee on the ground, and picking a club, sand rake or flag stick up off the ground. These stoop-proof devices run anywhere from a few dollars up to $70 and can be found at sites like kool-tee. com, and uprightgolf. com. There are also a number of great ergonomic golf carts that can help older golfers who still like to walk the course. These are three or four-wheeled, lightweight push carts that provide great stability, can be adjusted to fit your body size, and fold into a compact size in a matter of seconds. • Jim Miller is the author of Savvy Senior, published monthly in this newspaper.


By Anne Palumbo


The skinny on healthy eating

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lthough radishes are available year-round, I associate them with summer, when my dad would unearth a few from the garden and make his famous sliced-radish sandwiches. A simpleyet-delicious assembly of bread, butter, salt and sliced radishes, they were screamed for more than ice cream. These days, I remain a big fan of radishes and enjoy them raw, roasted, and lightly sautéed. Nutrition-wise, radishes are a lot like Marilyn Monroe: pretty on the outside and a lot more substantial on the inside than you’d ever imagine. To begin, this cheery little vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin C, with one cup (sliced) providing nearly a third of your daily needs. A vital nutrient and powerful antioxidant, vitamin C works hard to keep your tissues and immune system in tip-top shape. Radishes may also contribute to the health of your heart, thanks to their decent concentrations of folate and potassium (about as much as a small banana, per cup). Folate, which should top every pregnant woman’s mustconsume list for its role in reducing birth defects, may benefit the rest of us by lowering the levels of an amino acid that has been linked to narrowing and hardening of the arteries. As for potassium: According to the American Heart Association, this crucial mineral helps to regulate blood pressure by lessening the negative effects of too much sodium. What more makes radishes so remarkable? They are naturally low in calories (only 19 per cup, sliced); they have no fat or cholesterol; and they’re a pretty good source of fiber. Fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol by ferrying it out of the body, promotes regularity, stabilizes blood-sugar levels, and keeps us satiated longer. Lastly, like other brightly colored vegetables, radishes are rich in anthocyanins, beneficial compounds that may strengthen the immune system and help prevent certain diseases.

Helpful tips

Choose firm, smooth radishes, with their greens intact. The leaves, which should be green and fresh looking, are both tasty and nutritious (high in calcium and vitamin C). To store radishes in fridge: lop off greens and store separately; put radishes in a plastic bag so they don’t dry out, and place in vegetable bin. Radishes last

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Roasted Radishes with Asparagus and Thyme 2 bunches radishes, trimmed 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon 1 bunch thin asparagus, ends removed, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces 1 teaspoon dried thyme Kosher salt and coarse black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash radishes, pat dry, and quarter; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on the radishes, then sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Place radishes on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes, turning once while cooking. While radishes are cooking, prep asparagus and place in same bowl used for radishes. Drizzle the remaining teaspoon of oil on asparagus and mix well. Toss asparagus with the roasted radishes (at the 20-minute mark) and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the asparagus is tender. If pan seems too crowded, place asparagus on a separate sheet pan and roast alongside radishes for remaining time. Put roasted vegetables in bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve hot.

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Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle columnist, 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

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August 2012 •

Colors shown may not match publication colors.

Page 11

The Social Ask Security Office Column provided by the local Social Security Office

Social Security and women

By Jim Miller

How to find help paying for your hearing aid There are also a number of

Dear Savvy Senior, nonprofits that offer hearing aids at Are there any resources or deeply discounted prices, or for free. programs that help seniors with Some good ones to check out include: the high cost of hearing aids? HEAR Now Can’t Afford To Hear Dear Can’t, It’s unfortunate, but millions of Americans with hearing loss don’t get hearing aids because they simply can’t afford them. Hearing aids are expensive, typically costing between $1,000 and $3,500 per ear, and most insurance companies, including traditional Medicare, don’t cover them. While there’s no one simple solution to finding affordable hearing aids, there are a variety of options you can look into that can help. Check Insurance

Your first step is to check with your health insurance provider to see if it provides any hearing aid coverage. If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, you need to know that while original Medicare (Part A and B) and Medicare supplemental policies do not cover hearing aids, some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans do. If you have an Advantage plan, you’ll need to check with your plan administrator. Medicaid also covers hearing aids in some states to people with very limited means. Your county social service office can give you more information. Or, if you’re a federal employee or retiree, hearing aid coverage may be available through some insurance plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Or if you’re a veteran, the VA provides free hearing aids if you meet certain conditions such as being compensated for any servicedconnected disability or if your hearing loss is connected to military service. See or call 877-222-8387 to check your eligibility.

Financial Assistance

Depending on your income level, there are various programs and foundations that provide financial assistance for hearing aids to people in need. Start by calling your state rehabilitation department (see www. for contact information), or the nearest chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America ( to find out if there are any city, county or state programs, or local civic organizations that could help. Page 12

Sponsored by the Starkey Hearing Foundation (starkeyhearingfoundat, 800-328-8602), this program provides hearing aids for people with net incomes below $19,058 for a single or $25,743 for couples. Your only costs are a hearing test and an application fee of $125 per hearing aid request.

Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project

Offered through some Lions clubs throughout the U.S., this program provides the opportunity to purchase new, digital hearing aids manufactured by Rexton for $200 per aid, plus shipping. To be eligible, most clubs will require your income to be somewhere below 200 percent of the federal poverty level which is $22,340 for singles, or $30,260 for couples. Contact your local Lions club (see lionsclubs. org for contact information) to see if they participate in this project.


A civic service organization that runs a hearing aid recycling program through its 500 clubs nationwide, refurbishes them, and distributes them to local people in need. Call 800-5935646 or visit to locate a club in your area.


This program (, 866-956-5400) helps people purchase new, digital hearing aids at reduced prices ranging from $495 to $975 for one hearing aid, or $990 to $1,575 for a pair. To be eligible, your income must be below $27,075 for a single or $36,425 for couples. For a list of more programs, visit the Better Hearing Institute website at, and click on “Hearing Loss Resources,” then on “Financial Assistance.” Or, call the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at 800-241-1044 and ask them to mail you their list of financial resources for hearing aids.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012

Women are less often covered by private retirement plans, more dependent on Social Security in their retirement years than men


ug. 26 is known as Women’s Equality Day. On that date in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was signed, giving women the right to vote. Social Security treats men and women equally. Men and women with identical earnings histories are treated exactly the same. However, there are things women in particular should know about Social Security. Although treated equally by Social Security, there are trends and differences in lifestyle that can affect benefits. For example, women tend to care for many people: spouses, children, and parents. Taking time away from the workplace to care for a newborn child or aging parent can have an impact on your future Social Security benefits. Also, despite significant strides through the years, women are more likely to earn less over a lifetime than men. Women are less often covered by private retirement plans, and they are


Q: How can I get a copy of my Social Security Statement? A: If you are age 18 or older, you may get your Social Security statement conveniently online at any time after creating an account at www. The statement provides estimates for retirement, disability and survivors benefits, as well as a way to determine whether your earnings are accurately posted to your Social Security record. Social Security sends paper Social Security statements in the mail only to people age 60 and older and, beginning July 2012, to workers the year they turn 25. If this applies to you, you should receive your statement about two to three months before your birthday. Also, you can get an instant, personalized estimate of your future retirement benefit using our online Retirement Estimator at www. Q: My child, who gets Social Security, will be attending his last year of high school in the fall. He turns 19 in a few months. Do I need to fill out a form for his benefits to continue? A: Yes. You should receive a form, SSA-1372-BK, in the mail about three months before your son’s birthday. Your son needs to complete the form and take it to his school’s office for certification. Then, you need to return page two and the certified page three

more dependent on Social Security in their retirement years. And, women tend to live about five years longer than men, which means more years depending on Social Security and other retirement income or savings. If a woman is married to a man who earns significantly more than she does, it is likely she will qualify for a larger benefit amount on his record than on her own. Want to learn more? Visit our women’s page at www.socialsecurity. gov/women. Follow the link on that page to our publication, “What Every Woman Should Know.” You can read it online, print a copy, or listen to it on audio. We provide alternate media as well to reach as many women as possible and to provide the information the way you’d like to receive it. Learning about your future Social Security benefits and how men and women are treated just the same in the eyes of Social Security: what better way to celebrate Women’s Equality Day?

back to Social Security for processing. If you can’t find the form we mailed to you, you can find it online at the following address: www.socialsecurity. gov/schoolofficials/ssa1372.pdf. Q: My neighbor, who is retired, told me that the income he receives from his part-time job at the local nursery gives him an increase in his Social Security benefits. Is that right? A: Retirees who return to work after they start receiving benefits may be able to receive a higher benefit based on those earnings. This is because Social Security automatically re-computes the retirement benefit after crediting the additional earnings to the individual’s earnings record. Learn more by reading the publication, “How Work Affects Your Benefits,” at www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs/10069.html. Q: Can I get both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security benefits based on my disability? A: Many people eligible for Social Security disability benefits also may be eligible for SSI. The disability decision for one program is the same for the other, but you must meet additional resource and income limits to qualify for SSI benefits. Learn all about SSI and whether or not you may qualify by reading the publication, “You May Be Able To Get Supplemental Security Income” (SSI) at www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs/11069.html.

Golden Years

102 and counting Florence Hagan easily surpasses the century mark By Patricia J. Malin


nly a month after she was released from the hospital, Florence Hagan of Utica felt spry enough to attend the St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation’s Recognition and Leadership dinner at Hart’s Hill Inn in Whitesboro recently. As the event concluded, she waited near the exit to the banquet room and said hello to old friends. “Dr. Brennan, I don’t know if you remember me,” she said. Robert Brennan, a retired physician, was momentarily puzzled. Perhaps recognizing it was a “senior moment,” Hagan introduced herself by giving the doctor a clue: “I’m a lot older than you,” she said. Hagan is one gutsy lady who willingly divulges her age, then smiles mischievously and waits for disbelief or awe (and of course, compliments) to set in. She’s 102 and still standing on her feet, although aided by a walker.

Knowing that she was hospitalized and taken to Faxton-St. Luke’s Hospital for congestive heart failure on Mother’s Day, her rapid recovery was more remarkable. “I called in 11 members of my family (to the hospital) and they expected me to say my final goodbye Hagan to them,” she joked. “But I fooled them. I was in the hospital for five days and in intensive care for two days. I got a blood transfusion, two

pints of blood. It must have come from teenagers because I feel better now!” Hagan said longevity runs in her family, but it’s true that one never knows why good fortune or good health smiles on some people and not others. Although her parents died in their 70s, she has two sisters, now 93 and 95. Their four brothers are deceased, however. She and her late husband, Lawrence, a certified public accountant, had three children. Her husband died in 1998 and her oldest daughter is deceased. She said her relatively good health is due to her outlook on life. “I pray a lot,” remarked Hagan, a parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes in Utica. She was asked how she managed to survive widowhood. “I realized he was in a better place than I was,” she commented. “My family takes care of me and I have wonderful friends.”

Hagan said she was briefly employed as a secretary for an insurance company in Philadelphia, Pa., for eight years in the 1940s until her first child was born. She has continued to stay active in other ways. She was 96, she admitted, when she had to relinquish her driver’s license, so she relies on friends to get around. She has been a member of the St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation board for 50 years, so it was no surprise she attended the banquet honoring Gino Trevisani and Terry Mielnicki. “I have a good appetite,” she emphasized. She is also a longtime member of the Catholic Women’s Club and participates in a bridge club. “That takes a lot of learning,” she said, referring to the card games. She is notoriously successful at bridge, according to some of her friends, who look at Hagan and can confirm that with age comes wisdom.


Startling new findings: Binge drinking greatly increases risk for dementia In other words, if you drink four or more drinks on only two days of the month, even if you drink absolutely no alcohol on the other 29 days, you are two and a half times more likely than a person who does not drink that much to begin to have symptoms of dementia.

By Barbara Pierce


new study has found a link between binge drinking in older adults and an increased risk of developing dementia. The surprising research found that adults over 65 who reported binge drinking at least once a month—drinking four or more drinks on one occasion—were more likely to experience a decline in both memory and cognitive function, or ability to think clearly and productively. Both are characteristics of dementia. These findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada recently. The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference is the world’s largest conference of its kind, bringing together researchers from around the world to report and discuss groundbreaking research and information on the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. For eight years, researchers from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, England, studied a representative group of 5,075 U.S. citizens, aged 65 and older. 8.3 percent of men and 1.5 percent of women reported binge drinking once a month or more. Those who reported binge drinking at least once a month were 62 percent more likely to be in the group that experienced the greatest decline in cognitive function, or difficulty think-

Memory killer

ing clearly. They were 27 percent more likely to be in the group that experienced the greatest decline in memory. Those who reported binge drinking twice a month or more were two-anda-half times more likely to be in the group that experienced the greatest decline in cognitive function. They were two-and-a-half times more likely to be in the group that experienced the greatest decline in memory.

You are two and half times more likely to have problems with your memory and cognitive decline; two and half times more likely to be given a diagnosis of dementia. That is a heavy price to pay for drinking four drinks on only two days of the month. The differences were present even though researchers took into account other factors known to be related to cognitive decline such as age and level of education. Until now, little has been known about the effects of binge drinking on the brains of older people, explained lead researcher Iain Lang in his presentation to the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, as reported by the university. “We know binge drinking can be harmful: It can increase the risk of harm to the cardiovascular system, including the chance of developing heart disease; and it is related to an increased risk of injuries. However, until we conducted our study it was not clear what the effect was of binge drinking on cognitive function and the risk of developing dementia.”

August 2012 •

This research has a number of implications, concluded Lang. First, older people and their physicians should be aware that binge drinking may increase their risk of experiencing cognitive decline, so that they can change their drinking behaviors. Second, policymakers and public health specialists should know that binge drinking is not just a problem among adolescents and younger adults. We have to start thinking about older people when we plan interventions to reduce binge drinking.

Help is available

The New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse is available to help those who are concerned about binge drinking. “We are a referral agency. We assess the situation and provide referrals to help,” explained Elizabeth Gimble, addictions referral specialist. On their 24-hour hotline, 1-877-8467369, they assess the amount of alcohol that one drinks to determine the best program for that individual. The programs they recommend range from out-patient rehabilitation programs, to 12-step programs, to inpatient detoxification for three to five days, or in-patient rehabilitation for 28 days or longer. There is no charge for their assessment and recommendation. Insight House in Utica, 315-7245168, also offers an assessment of the individual situation and recommendations, said Donna Vitagliano, CEO. They provide both in-patient and outpatient programs, depending on the need.

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Fitness Exercising with your pets Dogs, cats need a healthy lifestyle too By Amylynn Pastorella


elissa Cerminaro, of Utica, is a devoted pet owner who takes the time to care for her dog, Keokie, by exercising and keeping her healthy. Just as Cerminaro provides the proper care for her pet, she herself is also living a healthier lifestyle. Exercising with pets is a great way to keep fit for both humans and their animal companions. “Keeping my dog healthy definitely inspires me to keep myself healthy. She is considered a large breed dog unfortunately being prone to cancer. In order to keep her [Keokie] healthy I have to maintain her weight. Keeping her active keeps me active and she is a great partner to go on walks with,” said Cerminaro. To keep Keokie healthy, Cerminaro does many things. They go for walks at least five times a week. Keokie gets playtime each night by chasing her ball or playing with toys. Play time is not only a way to keep her healthy, but it also rewards her for being good all day. Another important way that keeps Keokie healthy is eating right. Cerminaro chooses a select brand of dog food for Keokie and the dog never eats table scraps. “I also try to socialize her with other dogs to keep her happy, which I think is a very important part of a dog’s well being,” said Cerminaro.

attention. When making a decision to own a pet, keep in mind it is a huge responsibility and choose a breed wisely. Do research and be sure when choosing a pet that they work well with family and lifestyles. Owners will reap the benefits of daily exercise just as much as their pets. Similar to humans, without proper care, pets can become overweight, which can lead to all types of issues, including cancer, muscle and joint problems, and unhealthy living habits. Along with getting annual vaccinations and checkups, exercise is the next step to keeping healthy. Taking dogs for a walk is strenuous and relaxing for both pets and owners. Owners with cats can tempt them to chase lasers and feathers on Melissa Cerminaro spends some quality time with her dog, string, and also set up scratching posts with catnip Keokie. on them around the house. Dependent on master Diana Puchalski, veterinarian and Cerminaro’s advice to other pet owner of the Beaver Meadow Veteriowners is to remember that pets rely nary Clinic in Barneveld, is an advoon their owners to keep them healthy. cate of healthy lifestyles and well being Just like children, they need time and for both owners and pets.

Pet project

Personally, Puchalski, owner of two Labrador puppies, found her pets were not getting as much exercise as they should. Her pups, Mac and Ronnie, were only getting walks at noontime each day. To better improve their fitness regime, Puchalski started to run with them three to four times per week at a slow pace over one to two miles. Gradually their short runs grew to two to three miles. “At that point, I decided to train for the Boilermaker as I myself needed to get into shape and my boys loved our running dates. Soon we were training up to five to six miles every other day,” said Puchalski. Keeping in mind the heat and humidity, Ronnie, Mac and their owner ran by water sources along their route. Due to her commitment to keep herself and her pets healthy, Puchalski has lost 25 pounds since April and successfully ran the 2012 Boilermaker road race. Humans and animals are at risk for common health issues such as heart disease, respiratory distress, diabetes, arthritis, hip and joint problems and endocrine disease. Many ways to keep owners and their pets exercising regularly such as walks and play times are beneficial for both living beings. Veterinarians and primary care physicians are available for questions regarding health concerns or exercising limitations.

Pressure points

New report: MV-region adults diagnosed with high blood pressure follow recommended care, but many don’t


hile many Utica/Rome/North Country adults diagnosed with high blood pressure take steps to control the condition, thousands are putting their health at risk by failing to do what they can to manage it, according to a new Excellus BlueCross BlueShield report. “About three out of four of the 170,000 Utica/Rome/North Country adults diagnosed with high blood pressure said they changed their diet or increased their physical activity to manage their condition,” said Frank Dubeck, chief medical officer for medical policy, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “But one in four Utica/ Rome/North Country adults with the condition is not taking these two crucial steps to improve blood pressure control. “That’s concerning, because properly managing high blood pressure can add years to your life and help you avoid costly and crippling health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease,” he added. One in three Upstate New York Page 14

adults, or 1.2 million people, were diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2009, according to the most recent data available. Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but certain factors increase risk. The risk of high blood pressure increases with age and is higher in people who have a family history of the condition. Non-Hispanic blacks and women older than age 65 are also prone to high blood pressure. Adopting a healthier lifestyle can help adults prevent and control high blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle includes maintaining a healthy weight; minimizing dietary salt, fat and sugar and getting enough potassium; regularly engaging in aerobic physical activity; moderating alcohol; avoiding tobacco; and following your physician’s advice about blood pressure control medication. The Excellus BlueCross BlueShield report is based on an annual survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the report,

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012

many Utica/Rome/North Country adults diagnosed with high blood pressure said they made recommended lifestyle changes to manage it. • 68 percent to 81.5 percent said they changed their diet, reduced their salt intake or increased their physical activity. • About one-half said they don’t drink alcohol, but 10 percent said they had at least one binge-drinking episode in the 30 days prior to the survey. • About four out of five said they take blood pressure control medication as advised by their health care provider. • 83.8 percent said they do not currently smoke, but 15.9 percent said they currently do. Obesity is the most important predictor of high blood pressure. In the Utica/Rome/North Country region, 41.5 percent of adults diagnosed with high blood pressure were obese, and 38.9 percent were overweight. Only about 17.2 percent of adults diagnosed with high blood pressure were at a

healthy weight. Blood pressure measures how hard the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries. High blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, which can cause heart and kidney disease. You have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, if your systolic pressure (“top number”) is 140 mm Hg or higher or your diastolic pressure (“bottom number”) is 90 mm Hg or higher. “The report also found that a health professional’s advice to adopt healthier behaviors can be a powerful motivator for patients,” Dubeck said. “About 75 percent of Upstate New York adults diagnosed with high blood pressure who reported adopting a healthier diet, for example, said they were advised by a health professional to do so.” Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s “TakeCharge Community Health Report” on high blood pressure is the second in a series describing what Upstate New Yorkers report doing to manage their health conditions proactively.

Fitness Keep fit at work There are exercises you can do in workplace to keep fit By Amy Pastorella


esearch shows that fitness results can be achieved in as little as 10 to 15 minutes a day. One of the biggest excuses for people to not exercise is time constraints. Today’s world moves so fast and it is easy to let all of the day’s responsibilities and obligations take over things that “should” be done. Work, home, and family—the list can get pretty long. Working out is no exception. “An excuse is something people use to make themselves feel better for not doing what they should do. We have members that have multiple jobs and children, yet still make time to train three to five times per week,” said Steve Krebs, personal trainer and owner of Next Level Performance Boot Camps in Marcy. Krebs said people make excuses for many reasons. The main reason is people are afraid to leave their comfort zone, he said. “It is easy to remain in homeostasis, very difficult to make change, and lose body fat and eat clean,” he said. Without regular exercise, bodies can very easily become seething volcanoes just ready to blow.

Here’s some advice

Following are practical and inexpensive ways that will help you to sneak in small workouts without adding more time to your already too-busy day at the office: • Park further from the office and walk • Ride a bike to work instead of driving if you have the option. Good for you, good for the environment! • When you use public transporta-

tion, get off a stop earlier and walk if you can. • Take something to your car before 5 p.m. just for the exercise. • Take a walk at lunch and eat a healthy meal at your desk. • Buy a hand gripper and use it

KIDS Corner Got kids? Then you’re less likely to catch a cold


eing a parent reduces your risk of catching a cold—possibly because of unknown “psychological or behavioral differences between parents and nonparents,” according to a study in the July issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society. The risk of becoming ill after

exposure to cold viruses is reduced by about half in parents compared to nonparents, regardless of pre-existing immunity, according to research led by Rodlescia S. Sneed and Sheldon Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. The study suggests that other, yet unknown factors related to

while you are reading, waiting for files to download, etc. Great workout for your forearms and better strengthens your hands to deal with repetitive motion like typing or clicking your mouse. You can also keep small dumbbells or exercise bands in your desk drawer and do arm exercises with them throughout the day. • Take a break every hour or so and stretch your muscles. • Take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible. • If you carry a briefcase, keep a couple of heavy books inside. As you are walking to and from work, you will get an arm workout. Remember to switch arms. You can even use the briefcase for some arm curls at your desk when no one is looking. • While sitting at your desk, occasionally lift your legs off the floor and hold them out straight for 15 seconds. This will activate your core muscles. • Tone up your butt by flexing for 20 pulses while sitting in your chair. Repeat this four or five times throughout the day.

• Only fill your water bottle up half way at the water cooler. That way, you have to get up and walk more often.

being a parent may affect susceptibility to illness. The researchers analyzed data on 795 adults from three previous studies of stress and social factors affecting susceptibility to the common cold. In those studies, healthy volunteers were given nose drops containing coldcausing rhinovirus or influenza viruses. After virus exposure, about onethird of volunteers developed clinical colds—typical symptoms of a cold plus confirmed infection with one of the study viruses. The analysis focused on whether being a parent affected the risk of developing a cold, with adjustment for other factors. The results showed a lower rate of colds among parents, compared to volunteers who were not parents. In the adjusted analysis, the risk of developing a cold was 52 percent lower for parents. That might be expected on the basis of immunity—kids get colds, and parents may develop protective antibodies against the specific viruses causing those colds. However, the lower risk of colds in parents could not

be explained by pre-existing immunity, based on levels of antibodies to the study viruses. Parents were less likely to develop colds whether or not they had protective levels of antibodies. The protective effect of parenthood increased along with the number of children (although there were limited data on parents with three or more children). Parents were at reduced risk of colds even when they didn’t live with any of their children. In fact, parents with no children at home had an even larger, 73 percent reduction in risk. The risk of colds was lower for parents in most age groups.

August 2012 •

Roadmap to feeling good

These few tips are a big step in the right direction toward a healthy lifestyle. Exercise does not have to be viewed as another task in our daily lives. One way to look at exercise is an opportunity to give your body what it needs to feel good. As mentioned, maintaining that healthy diet during work is as easy as preparing your food ahead of time. Diet and exercise are two top factors to feeling healthy. “If you fail to plan then you better plan to fail. If the food is already made, you are less likely to grab that quick fix,” said Krebs. Afraid to leave that comfort zone? A technique for motivation is to find like-minded people with similar goals that will help you keep motivated and hold you accountable. Beginning a training program can be very intimidating. Taking small steps and easing into the intensity is a good method to start with. Starting with minute-made movements can produce a life-changing experience. “Obtaining a better life begins with the decision to make a change. After the decision is made our daily decisions become habits, our habits become rituals, and our rituals dictate the outcome of our lives,” Krebs said. “Happiness is a byproduct of making the right decisions on a consistent basis and exercising discipline. The road to a better life starts with believing in yourself and surrounding yourself with positivity,” said Krebs.

Advertise in In Good Health call 315-749-7070 today!

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Between You and Me

Sociopaths among us One woman tells her agonizing tale after getting tangled in a web By Barbara Pierce

I’m desperate! I’m trapped! I don’t know what to do!” cried Karen to me. I was a counselor at a Florida clinic for abused women. Hunched over, lanky, unwashed hair falling around her face, with no makeup, the 52-year-old woman looked as miserable as she felt. Her bizarre story sickened me. Karen had owned a successful beauty salon in Rochester. In Florida on vacation, she met a man in the bar of her hotel. Richard was tall, gorgeous, and charming; she was enthralled and began seeing him every day. When he suggested she move down so they could be together, she was in heaven. She went back to Rochester, sold her business, packed up, and moved into a condo on the beach with Richard. They bought a GMC truck, then a boat. They lived in style, on her Pierce money. Though Richard never worked, this didn’t bother Karen; she was madly in love. As her money was running out, she got a job as a hairdresser. She got up at 4:30 a.m. to fix Richard a huge breakfast and spend several hours cleaning—at his insistence—before she left for work. Often, he told her it was degrading to be a hairdresser. Finally, she got the courage to tell him she was moving out. He told her that if she left him, he would jump off the bridge and kill himself. She was trapped. Karen was the victim of a sociopath: A cunning, deceitful, manipulative, exploitive sociopath; a person without a conscience. Sociopaths aren’t just in prisons, they are among us. One may live next door to you, may be in the next office, may even be sharing your bed. One out of 25 ordinary Americans is a sociopath, says Dr. Martha Stout of Harvard Medical School in her book. “The Sociopath Next Door.” We all most certainly know at least one. Also known as psychopaths or antisocial personalities, they are persons without a conscience. It’s not that they fail to grasp the difference between good and bad; they just don’t care. The difference between right and wrong does not bring on the emotional sirens, flashing red lights, or fear of God that it does for the rest of us. Without the slightest blip of guilt or remorse, one in 25 people can do anything at all. The rules don’t apply to them; they believe they are above the rules. And they see other people as wimps who deserve to be preyed upon. Or, they Page 16


By Barbara Pierce

may think “Get the other guy before he gets you.” Con artists, they entice others and, through subtle manipulations, exploit or defraud them. The high incidence of sociopaths in our midst has a profound effect on us. This 4 percent drain our relationships, drain our bank accounts, our self-esteem, our accomplishments, and our peace. Karen’s life was shattered by a sociopath. The damage he did her is deep and will be lasting. And is startlingly common. Surprisingly, many people know nothing about this disorder, says Stout. If they do, they think only in terms of persons who break the law and are imprisoned. Most prisoners are sociopaths. But most sociopaths aren’t prisoners. There are a large number who do not break the law. And, as they are quite satisfied with themselves and their lives, they don’t seek therapy. It’s not a curable condition. Sociopaths are good at recognizing someone who is trusting. Richard knowingly chose his mark. Knew how to make her fall for him. They are good actors; they have no capacity for love or empathy. The causes of sociopathic behavior are not clear, as they are for other disorders. DMS-IV, the official manual of psychiatric conditions, identifies antisocial personality disorder as “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others.” To protect ourselves, Stout recommends: • Listen to and trust your gut instinct, even if the other person is in a position of authority. If you’ve fallen in love fast, be skeptical. • In a new relationship, practice the rule of three: Three lies says you’re dealing with a liar; cut your losses and end the relationship. Totally end it. • You don’t have to be polite in all situations. And be skeptical of those who seek your pity. • You can’t save a person without a conscience. Don’t give him a second chance. Karen finally began to see Richard for the exploitive person he was, left him, and got her life back on track. A painful, slow process. • Barbara Pierce is a retired licensed clinical social worker with many years’ experience helping people. If you have a concern or question that you would like addressed, send your concerns to her at

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012


Continued from Page 2

Aug. 28-29

Ready to explore ‘The Art of Call out for child singers for Marriage?’ The “Art of Marriage” will be talent show presented at The Good News Center, Aug. 10

Abraham House will present its fundraiser called “Singing Sensations” talent show at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at Mohawk Valley Community College Theater, Information Technology & Conference Building, 1101 Sherman Drive, Utica. For further information, call Abraham House at 733-8210. Abraham House provides a secure and loving home without charge to the terminally ill in the community.

Aug. 18

Abraham House offers volunteer training class Abraham House will be offering a one session volunteer training class from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 18 at Abraham House. No prior healthcare experience is needed. Abraham House is looking for volunteers to be caregivers for its guests as well as for “buddies” to assist caregivers with sitting with guests and household needs. Abraham House provides a secure and loving home without charge to the terminally ill in the community. Abraham House is located at 1203 Kemble St., Utica. Call Abraham House at 733-8210 to register or register online at

Aug. 25

Are you prepared to tie the knot? “Ready, Set … I Do!” will be presented Aug. 25, Sept. 1 and Sept. 8 at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The three-session workshop series focuses on marriage preparation. For more information, contact Tanya, program coordinator, at 315-735-6210 ext. 234, or visit

Aug. 28

‘Women at the Well’ to gather “Women at the Well” meets from 6:30-8 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The next meeting will be Aug. 28. Sister Mary Ellen Schopfer, spiritual director, will facilitate the faith-based session. The event is free and open to all Christian women. For details or to register, call The Good News Center at 315-735-6210 or visit www.TheGoodNewsCenter. org—Events Calendar.

10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica, on Aug. 28-29. The two-day video event is for committed dating, engaged and married couples of all ages. Cost is $20 per person that includes lunch, snacks and workbook. Register online at or call Tanya at 7356210.

Sept. 12

YMCA Corporate Cup Challenge on tap The YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley will host the silver anniversary of the YMCA Corporate Cup Challenge on Sept. 12 at Kanon Valley Country Club, Oneida. The tournament is a fundraiser to provide support for youth and family programs. Proceeds from the event fund scholarships for youth and families who need assistance to attend programs. For more information or to register on line, visit and click on special events and then Heroes Golf Tournament. You may also pick up a registration form at the Oneida Family Y, 701 Seneca St., Oneida, (363-7788) or the Rome Family Y, 301 W. Bloomfield St., Rome (336-3500).

Sept. 15

Upstate Cerebral Palsy schedules family expo Upstate Cerebral Palsy will present its family expo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Armory Drive Campus, 1601 Armory Drive, Utica. The expo is a free event that brings families together to have fun and learn about the many opportunities available at the agency and within the community for products, programs and services. Vendors who wish to participate or families who would like additional information can contact Bill Mullin at 315-798-4006 ext. 400 or william.

Sept. 28-29

Ready to master the ‘Art of Marriage?’ The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica, is featuring the “Art of Marriage,” a two-day video event, Sept. 28-29. Dating, engaged and married couples are invited to attend. Register online at or call Tanya at 7356210.

H ealth News Chairmen to step up for worthy causes Stephen R. Zogby, executive vice president of Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. Insurance, will serve as chairman of the 2013 America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk, according to The American Heart Association. Zogby will lead the fundraising efforts for the Heart Run & Walk in the Greater Utica/Mohawk Valley to help achieve the AHA’s 2020 impact goal: to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent. The 2013 Heart Run and Walk will be held on March 2 at Utica College. Earlier this year, the event raised $1.1 million with help from 8,778 runners and walkers. The AHA is also announcing Andrew K. Ward, Esq., of the Ward Law Firm, as the chairman of the 12th annual Go Red For Women Luncheon. The 2013 Go Red Luncheon will take place on May 1 at the Hart’s Hill Inn. Ward will lead the effort to raise funds and awareness for women in the Greater Utica/Mohawk Valley area against their largest health threat: cardiovascular diseases.

Online map helps locate award-winning hospitals Finding the right hospital for treating heart disease and stroke just got easier, thanks to a new online tool from the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association. A new interactive map featured on lets you search by city or zip code to find hospitals recognized by AHA/ASA’s quality achievement awards program. Hospitals receiving these awards are among the best in the nation in following treatment guidelines proven to increase survival rates and reduce readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure, and stroke patients. In the Utica area, Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare was awarded Gold Plus for Stroke under the Get With the Guidelines program, along with qualifying for Target: Stroke Honor Roll status. The hospital map is just one tool found on the new website. Users will also find information and resources to help heart disease and stroke patients and their families learn more about living with these conditions. Hospitals on the map have received an achievement award from the AHA/ASA, or received certification or accreditation through the association’s programs with The Joint Commission or the Society for Chest Pain Centers. The map is launching in conjunction with the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” annual issue, which you can find at The issue features an ad listing the more than 1,000 unique hospitals to receive AHA/ ASA achievement awards this year. For more information on the AHA/ASA’s hospital accreditation and certification programs, visit www.

17th annual SEMC tourney raises big bucks St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation in Utica recently held its 17th annual golf tournament at the Yahnundasis Golf Club. A total of 224 golfers helped to raise nearly $120,000 to purchase Neurostar angiography equipment for St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Shown are members of the presenting sponsor, St. Elizabeth Health Support Services Team. To find out how to become a part of foundation events, call 315-734-4287 or visit To learn more about the associations’ suite of quality improvement programs, visit

FSLH makes staff announcement Michele Adams has been named annual giving director for the Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare Foundation in Utica. In this position, Adams is responsible for the development of annual giving campaigns for patients, employees, medical staff and the community. Adams’ previous position Adams with FSLH was as Children’s Miracle Network coordinator for the FSLH Foundation. Prior to joining FSLH, Adams was a development director for the YWCA of the Mohawk Valley in Utica. She also held positions as a campaign associate and communications/ campaign associate for the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, Inc., also located in Utica. Adams received her Bachelor of Science degree in public relations and journalism from Utica College.

FSLH physician named top family doctor Bruce Elwell, a family practice physician at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare’s Adirondack Community Physicians Barneveld medical office and medical director of St. Luke’s Home, has been honored with the 2012 Family Doctor

of the Year award by the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. Elwell received the award recently during the Academy’s annual Congress of Delegates in Albany. Elwell has practiced family medicine since 1988. In his position as medical director for St. Luke’s Home in Utica, he oversees all programs including sub-acute rehabilitation, Elwell long-term care and the medical-model adult day health care program. Elwell was nominated for the award by several of his patients. They cited in their letters of nomination his compassion and understanding and his diligence in pursuing a complete diagnosis. Elwell is a graduate of Colorado State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and chemistry. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed a family medicine residency at the U.S. Air Force Medical Center at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

Iroquois Healthcare names new chairman Scott H. Perra, president/CEO, Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica, is the new chairman of the Iroquois Healthcare Association’s Board of Directors. Perra was appointed to the position, which carries a two-year term,

August 2012 •

recently during the annual membership meeting which took place in Cooperstown. Perra is president/CEO for Mohawk Valley Network and FSLH in Utica. FSLH is a health system with 372 acute care beds, 202 long term care beds, and 15 satellite offices in Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison counties. Perra MVN is an integrated delivery system with $340 million in revenue and 2,650 full time equivalent employees. Perra joined St. Luke’s-Memorial Hospital Center in 1985, becoming the executive vice president/chief operating officer in 1989, remaining in the position through the Faxton Hospital and St. Luke’s-Memorial Hospital Center consolidation beginning in November 1998. He was appointed as president/ CEO in January 2009. He has served on the IHA Board of Directors since March 2009. The IHA is a nonprofit, regional trade association dedicated to serve as a resource and leader to support its 53 members in 31 counties of Upstate New York and the communities they serve.

Wound care patient celebrates 103rd birthday Lyle Fuller, a patient at Advanced

Continued on Page 18

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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H ealth News Continued from Page 17 Wound Care of St. Elizabeth Medical Center in New Hartford, recently celebrated his 103rd birthday. A favorite among the staff, Lyle was surprised with balloons, cupcakes and best wishes all around during his appointment on July 3. Fuller’s doctor, Leo P. Sullivan, of Surgical Fuller Associates of Utica, said, “I am absolutely amazed at the results at Advanced Wound Care. The gentleman is 103 and had an ulcer on his leg for six months; it’s a tribute to Mary Ellen Schrader and the entire staff that he healed so well.” Schrader, clinical coordinator of Advanced Wound Care, said, “Mr. Fuller’s wound presented a challenge to our staff, but through surgery and consistent therapy, his recovery was truly amazing.” Fuller lives at Bethany Gardens Skilled Living Center in Rome. “It means so much to us to know that he is so well-liked by the staff over there,” said Fuller’s daughter, Ida. “You hear so many bad things in the world today and not near enough of the good. Thank you for being part of the good.”

St. E’s welcomes 10 new doctors to program St. Elizabeth Medical Center welcomed 10 doctors to the area recently. The new residents began training in the three-year family medicine residency program. William Jorgensen, residency program director, said the physicians would train and provide care at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, the Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center on Hobart Street and the St. Elizabeth’s Women’s Health Center. They will also train at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. With the addition to the 10 new residents joining the program, this brings the total number of doctors in the program to 28 for the upcoming academic year. The residency program was started in 1975-76 to attract more doctors to practice family medicine. Since then, nearly half of the 229 physicians completing the program have settled in Upstate New York. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and by the American Osteopathic Association, and is affiliated with SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa. The new doctors are: • Noha Abdelhamid—She was Page 18

Little Falls Hospital presents 2012 Burke Scholarships Little Falls Hospital recently announced that it has awarded the Dr. Bernard J. Burke Scholarship for 2012. The annual scholarship is in memory of Burke’s many years of service to the hospital and to honor his lifelong dedication to his patients. A deserving student in the Little Falls Hospital service area who plans to pursue a career in a health field is awarded $500. The 2012 winners of these scholarships are Shea Nagle of Dolgeville High School and Kaylyn Woodrick of Herkimer High School. Dr. Priscilla Garlock and Dr. Amy Grace at Little Falls Hospital presented the students with the scholarships. Shown from left are Garlock, Woodrick, Nagle and Grace. born in Alexandria, Egypt and graduated in July of 2007 from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Her hobbies include reading, cycling, fishing, basketball and travel. Abdelhamid and her husband, Tamer Elsioufi, are the parents of a 5year-old daughter, Abdelhamid Janna Elsioufi. • Deep Bharaj—She was born in Sao Luis, Brazil and graduated in January, 2010 from Saba University School of Medicine, Netherlands Antilles. Bharaj’s hobbies include yoga, Feng Shui, reading, photography, swimming, tennis, walking/running and Indian Classical Odissi Dancing. She also Bharaj enjoys traveling throughout the United States, India and the Caribbean. • Paul Gambino—He was born in Brooklyn and graduated in November 2009 from Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica, with highest honors. Gambino enjoys wrestling, lacrosse, running, dogs and dog training, backgammon, computers, reading, research, snowboarding, skiing, cook-

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012




ing, gardening, and family time. He is the father of a son, Frank Carlo Gambino. • Rashid Girshab—He was born in Omdurman, Sudan and graduated in April 2011 from St. Matthew’s School of Medicine, Grand Cayman. Girshab enjoys soccer, basketball, fishing and camping. • Rebecca LaValley—She was born in New Hartford and graduated from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse. LaValley received the medical alumni scholar, Herbert Weinman Scholarship Award. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, softball, field hockey, shopping and camping. She is married to Eric LaValley. • Ranjit Mandhare—He was born in Bhuinj, India and is a 2008 graduate




of the American University of the Caribbean, Netherlands Antilles. Mandhare’s hobbies include reading, movies, sports, chess and outdoor activities. • Prity Rawal—She was born in Hoboken, N.J. and graduated in December, 2009 from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Grand Cayman. Rawal earned honors and high pass recognition of United States clinical clerkships. She enjoys running, drawing, reading and health and fitness. • Neil Shah— He was born in Anand, India and graduated in May from American University of Antigua College of Medicine, Antigua. Shah’s interests include community service, volunteering, charity work, sports, fitness,

Continued on Page 19

H ealth News Continued from Page 18 business administration, real estate, traveling, movies, and home décor. • Asim Siddiqi—He was born in Hoboken, N.J. and graduated in December 2010 from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Grand Siddiqi Cayman. Siddiqi was awarded a certificate of excellence on a multiple sclerosis paper during medical school. His hobbies include reading, medicine, exercise, basketball, baseball, football and running. • Ayaya Vanumu—He was born in Rajahmundry, India and graduated in January 2007 from Rangaraya Vanumu Medical College, India. Vanumu enjoys tennis, trail running, reading and hiking.

Dispose of sharps/needles at St. E’s St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica provides a household sharps disposal program for people who want to dispose of sharp medical instruments such as insulin hypodermic needles. The program is open to individuals from private residences, not businesses. Sharp instruments, packed in a puncture-proof container and clearly marked as “sharps,” may be brought to the hospital services department, located in the basement of the medical center, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays. For more information, contact hospital services at 315-798-8249.

HealthNet awards grants to playground, trail projects Herkimer County HealthNet’s wellness committee selected four municipalities and organizations this year in Herkimer County for playground and trail development and enhancement projects. The grants were funded by the New York State Department of Health’s Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play grant. The awards are as follows. • Little Falls School District: Benton Hall Academy playground— $11,100 • Town of Ohio: Municipal fitness trail—$10,000 • Town of Russia: Nature trail— $10,000 • Town of Webb: Waterfront recreation and revitalization—$9,903 Herkimer County HealthNet also

awarded municipalities and nonprofit organizations more than $28,000 worth of playground surface material as part of a program aimed to meet playground foundation codes and standards by the New York State Department of Health. The ultimate goal of the program is to increase the use of playgrounds in Herkimer County by making them safer. Herkimer County HealthNet is a New York state Department of Healthfunded Rural Health Network that administers the Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play grant.

MMRL leader presents lecture at Japanese meeting Dr. Charles Antzelevitch, executive director and director of research of the Cardiac Research Institute at Masonic Medical Research Laboratory in Utica, was honored with an invitation to present the keynote lecture at the annual meeting of the Japanese Heart Rhythm Society recently. The symposium, attended by over 2,300 cardiologists, electroAntzelevitch physiologists and scientists from throughout the world, was held in Yokohama. The lecture titled, “J Wave Syndromes from Cell to Bedside,” dealt with two inherited sudden death syndromes in which the MMRL has served a pioneering role. The CRI has gained international renown and wide acclaim in the scientific and medical community as a leading cardiac research center. The hallmark of the institute is its innovative and imaginative approach to fighting heart disease. The MMRL’s legacy of scientific breakthroughs has helped to generate new heart medications and develop diagnostic procedures for the management of cardiac arrhythmias, and has aided in the advancement of life-saving technologies. The MMRL is also one of the top genetic screening centers in the world dedicated to helping families afflicted with sudden death syndromes.

VHS selects employee of the quarter Robin Rivenburg, head cook, was selected as Valley Health Services’ employee of the first quarter of 2012. Rivenburg joined the dietary staff of VHS in October of 2005 and became head cook in March of 2008. The co-worker who nominated Robin said, “Robin offers to do any job in the Rivenburg dietary depart-

UCP names ‘Caring Person of Year’ Joleen Ferris was recently named the Caring Person of the Year at Upstate Cerebral Palsy for 2011-2012. She was honored with this distinction at the Upstate Cerebral Palsy annual meeting recently at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre. The award recognizes people who have consistently served the community in their commitment to supporting individuals with special needs as well as taking an active role in making the Mohawk Valley a better place to live. Shown is Ferris, left, with agency board member Lenora Murad. Ferris has been a staple on WKTV NewsChannel 2 and has also been a tremendous supporter and friend of Upstate Cerebral Palsy over the past decade, giving of herself to support children at the agency. ment when faced with staffing shortages. She offers to pick up extra shifts without complaining.” The VHS employee of the quarter program recognizes the outstanding performance VHS employees. Employees submit nominations and the winner is entitled to a designated parking spot for three months, a gift certificate, recognition in local papers and the facilities newsletter and becomes eligible to participate in the employee of the year program.

Arc offers school-to-work program The school-to-work program at The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter, is designed to give individuals the opportunity to gain work experience throughout the community. Through employment services, the school-towork program serves all individuals with various different disabilities. The school-to-work program is formatted for those individuals who are in high school and gives them the safe skilled training that assists the young adults to become successful in community based employment. The school-to-work program works

August 2012 •

with various school districts as well as the Oneida-Madison BOCES. For more information about the school-to-work program, contact Joanne Donaruma-Wade at 315-2721617.

Sitrin launches Stars & Stripes Run/Walk

The Sitrin Health Care Center in New Hartford will feature its first annual Stars and Stripes Run/Walk to support the nation’s military heroes on Sept. 29 at the SUNY IT campus, Marcy. Registration will take place at the SUNY IT Campus Center from 8-9 a.m. This event is sponsored by Adirondack Bank, and features a 5K run, 5K wheelchair race, and two-mile walk. Individuals, including businesses and community groups, are encouraged to form teams to walk or run in honor or in memory of a loved one who has served our country. Proceeds from this event will support Sitrin’s military rehabilitation program. For more information about the run/walk course, fundraising incentive levels, and Sitrin’s military rehabilitation program, visit or call Cheryl Jassak at 315- 737-2245.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Running down a dream Utica Boilermaker Road competitors overcome physical obstacles By Patricia J. Malin


ith a field of 14,000 runners at the Utica Boilermaker Road Race—the world’s largest 15K—one can find plenty examples of inspiration. Many runners refuse to let age, hot weather, physical differences and difficulties or other hazards deter them from showing up at the start and striding jubilantly across the finish line. Following weeks of hoopla, the 35th annual Boilermaker took off like a rocket recently. The event includes 15kilometer, 5-kilometer, kids and wheelchair races, not to mention its famous post-race party at Matt Brewing Co. Of the 11,435 runners who actually started the 15K race, only 75 failed to finish. There were 3,303 finishers in the 5K. Fourteen Central New York residents have competed in every Boilermaker 15K since 1977. The only woman in this prestigious group of runners, Sheila Burth of New Hartford, finished in 2 hours, 22 minutes, 38 seconds in the 45-to-49 age division. Devon Henry, 19, of Utica challenged himself to finish the 15K wheelchair race using a standard wheelchair. He was last in the field of 18 competitors in 1:43.36, but he nevertheless reached his goal of finishing in less than two hours and 15 minutes. “It’s awesome!” he said with a big smile as he joined the post-race party in the Sitrin Rehabilitation tent. Though the temperature was a cool 67 degrees

at the start, it warmed up quickly and Henry said he struggled. “When things got a little hot by the golf course, I slowed down, then I was alright,” he said. Henry earned a customized racing wheelchair valued at $2,500 and donated by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. The winner in the wheelchair division was Matthew Lack, 20, of New Zealand (36:41). But Utica’s Hermin Garic was close on his wheels and finished a strong second in 38:07.

See Katie run

Katie (Kathryn) McCauley of Whitesboro had no urgent need to run the Boilermaker or to prove a point about disabled athletes. She only became interested after watching WKTV’s “Go The Distance” group. Go The Distance selects a field of nine committed rookies and they train together for 12 weeks leading up to the 15K race. McCauley, who wears a metal prothesis in place of her right leg, began hanging around the Go the Distance runners and decided to start training alongside them. “We adopted her along the way,” explained WKTV’s website. McCauley, 24, said she was born without the lower part of her right leg due to a genetic disease. She doesn’t see her Boilermaker run as extraordinary. She ran with her younger sister and finished in just over 2 hours, 18 minutes, 707th of 712 in her age group. “It wasn’t bad,” she said of the 9.3-mile race. “But I’m tired. I spent 12 weeks in the Go the Distance program

Katie McCauley (front) takes a sip of water on Whitesboro Street as she nears the ninemile mark of the Boilermaker Road Race in Utica. Page 20

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2012

his leg at about the eight-mile mark and finished in 2:27.01 in the 75-to-79 age group. He admitted it was his worst time in 10 Boilermakers. “It’s always a privilege to be in this race,” he said as he headed to the party. “It’s a marvelous way to show support for the community.” Goldstein, a freelance writer who specializes in Star Trek scripts, became familiar with the Boilermaker through his daughter, Sherri Goldstein Cash, a professor at Utica College. Richard Sullivan, 83, of Buffalo, was the oldest age group winner in the 15K (2:00:57). There were just three men in the 80-to-99 age group. June Vyse Gravener, 81, of Mount Upton was the oldest woman finisher (2:18:36).

And the band played on

Angela Derrane and her white Labrador mix, Hunter, stood on Whitesboro Street, just above the intersection with Court Street at the 9-mile marker. She not only applauded the runners, but also the Mohawk Valley Frasers performing outside the gates of Devon Henry celebrates after completing the the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Boilermaker Road Race in less than two hours and Center. Not many people could tolerate two or three hours of earning a racing wheelchair for next year’s race. bagpipe music, but Derrane felt and it definitely made this easier. But it this was part of her responsibility as a wasn’t my best race. I ran my first race, volunteer trainer with Freedom Guide a 5K, in the (Distance Running) Hall of Dogs for the Blind of Cassville. Fame race (in Utica) in May.” “There’s so much activity and so McCauley said the best part of the much noise here today,” she said, gleerace was the support from the crowds fully. “Guide dogs have to experience and she is now hooked on running. She so much. For example, this dog could played modified and junior varsity soc- be headed to New York City or another cer at Notre Dame High School, but “I place where there is a lot of traffic and don’t think I was very good at it,” she crowds and noise and other animals. confessed, laughing. We don’t know where the dog will She graduated from Harvard wind up (after training). We placed 30 University and recently earned her dogs last year.” master’s degree in library science at Syracuse University. She is employed One-year-old Hunter good-naby Mid-York Library as a digital litturedly took it all in stride. He sat paeracy educator. tiently at his master’s feet and followed On a sad note, Ed Bradley, 49, of the race, occasionally appreciating a New Hartford, who had competed in pat on the head. 15 Boilermaker wheelchair races since 1990, died unexpectedly the day after Derrane spends 12 to 18 months the race. He had suffered a stroke in training each canine at home for FreeJune and later a brain injury and was dom Guide Dogs. During that span, a unable to compete in his hometown trainer will put a dog into all kinds of race. situations that test its temperament. Bradley had long been an enthusiThe bagpipes sounded and the astic wheelchair participant. He won drummers twirled their drumsticks the 2010 Niagara International Marawith only brief pauses to rest. Hunter thon and captured the Falling Leaves wandered close to the band and was title several times. He also rode in the mildly admonished by Derrane. “Ben Ride for Missing Children. can’t play right now,” she told her The Kids’ Run was held on July pupil. Her 18-year-old son, Benjamin, 7, the day before “the big one.” Scotty is a drummer with the Frasers. Both Fura, 9, of Syracuse, who lost his right Ben and Derrane’s husband, James, ran arm in an accident when he was 2 years in the 15K, contributing to Hunter’s old, ran his first Kids’ Run in the 9-10 excitement. age group. In 2010, his mother, Jennifer Meanwhile, actor Stephen Baldwin Fura, published a book titled, “Scotty’s made an appearance at the Boilermaker Way,” in which she highlights her son’s Expo to promote the Carol M. Baldwin determination to learn to fish, ride a Breast Cancer Research Fund, Inc. The bike and compete in other sports. fund supports researchers investigating Fred Goldstein of Glen Oaks gritthe causes, prevention and treatment of ted his teeth as he walked across the breast cancer. finish line. He developed a cramp in

In Good Health  

Utica, Rome and the Mohwak Vally's Healthcare Newspaper

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